LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - With school canceled for the day, kids flocked to Mt. La Crosse to take advantage of around a half foot of new snow.
"Just skiing today, no classes so just trying to get out here and get the fresh snow," said Jordan Hyzer. "I was waiting for it all night and it never came. And then this morning woke up with a lot of snow so it was nice."
"I've been out since 8 o'clock," said Augie Schini, another student hitting the slopes on his day off. "I was here this morning." Augie said he wanted to stay at the ski hill until 6pm.
This season's going out on a high note, but it didn't always look so promising.
"This year definitely has been better than last year, although it kind of started out the same," said Darcie Breidel, General Manager at Mt. La Crosse. "So the February weather has really saved us. We were starting to think ‘oh, gosh. We've got two bad years in a row!' but the weather lately has been good and so this year is definitely a better year than last."
Last year, warm temperatures and lack of snow made many ski hills open late and close early. This time last year, Mt La Crosse wasn't even open.
"Last year it wasn't all that good," said Schini, "because some of the hills weren't open because it was just too warm and there was no snow."
"When the streets don't have snow on them and the backyards have grass, people just aren't thinking about skiing," said Breidel. "We definitely aren't going to probably ever make up for what we lost last year. So all we can do is just pick ourselves up and start trying to make each season better than the last"
And the general consensus on the hill is this year has been a substantial improvement.
"It's been a lot nicer than the past few years," said Hyzer. "There's a lot of snow. And late season snow which is nice. We didn't even get all the hills open here last year."
"In the beginning of the year it was not really good," said Schini, "because not as many of the hills were open but now it's really fun."
"It's been a decent year," said Breidel. "You know, it started out a little rough and it's ending out really nicely. And you know, if today was the last day of skiing I would be happy with that. It's a beautiful day out here and the conditions are just going to be great the rest of the week too. The temperatures are supposed to be warm and with all this fresh snow it's going to make for a great closing weekend."
Mt La Crosse is scheduled to close for the season on March 10. But if the weather cooperates, Breidel says they will try to stay open for another weekend.
"You know, we'd love to have this kind of weather in December when everyone's anxious to get out for the first time," said Breidel. "But we can't order it so we're just going to be happy with the fact that we've got some great snow today."
Since the snow on Mount La Crosse has been primarily natural this year, skiers said the slopes haven't been as icy as last year when the snow machines were working full blast.
Mount La Crosse put their snow machines away in mid-February and has been relying on the weather to bring a good close to the season.
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