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Ski resorts ramp up for holiday week with help of colder-than-normal temperatures

Snowmaker
Corey Hickey adjusts the snow making machines at Kissing Bridge in Glenwood on Dec. 9. (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Colder-than-normal temperatures and lake-effect snow have helped open more trails at area ski resorts in time for the holiday week.

"The weather has been our friend," said Jane Eshbaugh, marketing director at Holiday Valley.

Holiday Valley has 40 slopes open now and plans to open all of its 58 slopes by Sunday.

The Ellicottville resort has reported 84 inches of natural snow so far this year and has been making snow since late November.

Temperatures that have remained below freezing have helped preserve the natural snow and enabled the resort to add to the base, Eshbaugh said.

"We have been making snow all along as weather permits," Eshbaugh said. "We've got a lot of snow out on the slopes. We're reporting an average base of 12 to 42 inches, but there are spots of many, many feet of snow."

Kissing Bridge in Glenwood reports having nine slopes open in its central area with three to four lifts operating. The resort reports 15 to 19 inches of depth and continues to make snow to open additional runs, according to its website. 

Temperatures expected to remain below freezing through the end of the week will also help keep a blanket of snow on the ground for Christmas.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for high temperatures to remain in the mid 20s in the Buffalo area through Saturday. December, so far, has seen above-average snowfall and colder-than-normal temperatures in the region.

Related: The stage is set for winter 

--Denise Jewell Gee

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