Skaneateles Ski Hill celebrates 50 years of family fun

The Skaneateles Ski Hill in Marietta is a warm and inviting place for families to enjoy a day on the slopes. It's been that way for 50 seasons this winter.

As ski hills go, though, warmth is usually found within the confines of the ski hill lodge, which was receiving some new flooring on Dec. 21. On the hills and in the snow making building, cooler temps are the norm.

"We have the ability to make snow on 90 percent of the hill," said Brad Wirth, president of the ski hill, as he opened the doors to a building filled with blue pipes snaking in and out of one another.

The snow machine is the ski hill's newest purchase and was working in full force on Dec. 19 until the hill's water supply ran low. The water comes from a pond that was dug during the 1970s to capture water runoff from the hills to be used to make a base layer of snow. The pond can store between 1 million and 1.5 million gallows of water that run off the hill.

Before the new equipment, the members were able to cover about 30 percent of the hill, Wirth said. Overall, the pump house, which houses the snowmaking equipment, is the newest addition to the club in 40 year, Wirth said.

While the new snowmaking equipment is an exciting addition to the ski hill, what's more exciting is that this little club in the valley between Skaneateles and Marcellus has remained open on a volunteer basis for 50 seasons.

"We are looking for people who have been past members," Wirth said, noting the club would appreciate pictures of the ski hill and stories about members' memories of their times at the hill.

"I'd be glad to receive pictures or stories from anybody in the community."

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