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Warmer winter season is making ski resorts fight to keep snow on slopes

Roundtop Mountain Resort is increasing their snowmaking infrastructure to keep snow on the slopes.

LEWISBERRY, Pa. — The weather likely won't be getting any colder this season.

For many ski resorts in Central Pennsylvania, the warmer weather means snow-making crews have to strategize a plan to keep the snow on their slopes.

Roundtop Mountain Resort in Warrington Township has been investing more resources in their snowmaking infrastructure compared to previous seasons. 

The snowmaking team uses more energy-efficient equipment, called HDK Snow Guns, that allow more artificial snow to blow farther across their slopes and spread further around the mountain.

Even still, the warmer weather hitting Roundtop Mountain Resort only allows them to open around 80% of their mountain. 

Instead of blowing artificial snow four or five times a week, this mild winter season forces the maintenance crews to cover the mountain only a few times a month or whenever the temperature drops low enough.

That is growing continually rarer. 

Less natural snow falling in Central Pennsylvania means less of a base layer for Roundtop Mountain to build on for their slopes. 

Jim Garling, senior director of mountain operations at Roundtop Mountain Resort sees the writing on the wall and knows that future winters could potentially be warmer. But he still remains optimistic.

"I haven't given up on winter yet," said Garling.

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