How Wisconsin is coping without snow this Winter
For the second straight year, there hasn’t been much snow this winter.
The Milwaukee area averages about 8.5 inches of snow by this time of year, but has gotten only half an inch.
That has lead some Wisconsin skiers have had trouble finding trails with snow this year.
"All of the trails are covered with grass, so this is the only place to ski,” said skier Marianne McGivern about Lapham Peak.
Michigan Tech skier Brad Bass says without man made snow, he’d be running out of options.
“I would have to be running or bounding or roller-skiing," Bass said of his training. "But on snow time is really essential for skiing.”
Erik’s Bikes and Boards says,it’s unusual, but they’re getting by this Winter by selling more bikes than snowboards.
“We definitely can still sell some bikes," Milwaukee store manager Jeremey Wade said. "Fat biking is pretty popular around here. You don’t need snow to fat bike. There is also gravel road bikes and adventure bikes.”
Still, they would do better with snow.
“When people start to see snow outside, it makes something go off in their brain, and they start buying gear,” Wade said.
Erik’s says man made snow does help.
The organization Friend’s of Lapham Peak says all their snow comes from volunteer work, and about $50,000 in donations a year.
"Snowmaking is really a community effort here in the Delafield area,” said Lapham Peak Friends Snowmaking Chair Anne Riendl.
It still needs to be 18 degrees or colder for them to make the snow, but over the years, they’ve developed 1.6 kilometers of track that can operate with zero natural snow.
“Last year there were eight days that we could ski on the parts of the trails that require snow from the sky," Riendl said. "We had 78 days that we could ski on the man made trail, so it makes a huge difference in the amount of skiing that we can do.”
You can donate to Lapham Peak Friends Snowmaking here.