Ski hills working around Mother Nature, hoping for weekend opening

LAKE GENEVA -- Most of Wisconsin has largely avoided significant snowfall so far this winter, but our region's ski hills are working around Mother Nature to allow those who love winter sports to get out there on the slopes! Ski hills like The Mountain Top in Lake Geneva were busy Wednesday ignoring the will of the weather, by creating their own winter wonderland!

Crews at The Mountain Top were busy Wednesday creating man-made snow. The process involves pumping water out of a pond, which gets pumped into the snow-making machine, which is either a fan gun or a snow-making tower. This gets pumped into the atmosphere and freezes into a snow crystal, and falls to the ground as snow. Officials say this man-made snow will help kick off the ski season, but they're always hoping for natural snow to fall. "The dry stuff that comes from the clouds is probably the best and the ultimate to ski on and snowboard on," The Mountain Top Ski Director Hans Hauschild said.

Meanwhile, back inside, crews were busy preparing for the season as well. "Lots of fittings, lots of, 'this didn't fit right.' We'll readjust stuff for folks," Lynnette Lawrence said.

The warmer than normal weather so far this winter has taken its toll, and the season will begin with limited, but fully snow-covered runs. "We'll probably only have one lift going, and a couple runs open, where in the past, we've had pretty much about 80 percent of our hill open," Hauschild said.

The Mountain Top plans to be up and running starting this Friday at 4:00 p.m., but they're not the only ones kicking off ski season this weekend. Wilmot Mountain in Wilmot will open Friday at 2:00 p.m., and Alpine Valley says they hope to be open at some point this weekend. If you really can't wait, Sunburst Ski Resort in Kewaskum plans to have three runs open starting Thursday at 4:00 p.m.