WMSN FOX 47
 

FOX47 NEWS - February Thaw

Jeff Angileri
Feb 7, 2009, 5:55 PM


The February thaw seems like bad news for businesses that rely on the cold and snow -- but, the weather isn't stopping the skiers.

For those on the slopes at Tyrol Basin, flirting with 50 degrees in February means it's a skier's paradise.

Thanks to abundant early snowfall, and more people spending money locally, the ski hill is coming off a great winter season. Business is up 10 percent over last year, despite the poor economy. Now, comes the cabin fever crowd.

We're coming off a couple of weeks of pretty cold weather -- so when you get a nice warm 45-plus degree day and sunshine -- I think the desire to come out is definitely still there, said Don McKay, Tyrol Basin general manager. In fact maybe even more so.

Melting is evident everywhere -- workers took advantage of the warmth to break up ice on the pathways. As for the slopes, they don't expect the weather to put too much of a dent in the snow pack.

We've been making snow all winter, on average we have a three-foot base of snow that's a lot more durable, said McKay. We'll have plenty of snow all the way to the end of March.

No packed powder in the forecast, but enthusiasts say there's something special about spring-like snow.

It's good for beginners, said Chad Lutter of Madison. The snow's a little slower, a little bit stickier.

The Gartmeier family says it conjures up memories of skiing in the mountains of their native Germany.

Said Doris Gartmeier, I hope we have fun in this nice weather, and nice sunny day.

The melting snow pack did affect local snowmobile trails. As of 6am Saturday, all trails in Dane County were closed.

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