Neither treacherous roads nor blustery conditions kept hardcore skiers from their favorite slopes during Thursday's snowstorm.
Area ski resorts reported atypical midweek attendance as locals and visitors took advantage of the fresh powder and more moderate, near-20-degree temperatures, compared with the bone-chilling weather since Christmas.
"We have a good crowd as schools were closed. Season pass holders commented how it's not often you get to ski on fresh powder," said Sherry Roberts, owner of Bousquet Ski Area in Pittsfield.
"With the warmer temperatures, people are almost sweating out there," joked Rich Edwards, co-owner of Catamount Ski Area in South Egremont.
Coming off a fairly successful holiday week, local ski areas were thrilled with better-than-expected turnout during the storm.
"This week tends to be quieter than after Christmas, but fresh snow always brings out the crowds," noted Katie Fogel, marketing director at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort in Hancock.
But the flurry of skiers likely will not last, as the coldest blast of arctic air this winter will put the Berkshires back into another deep freeze through the weekend. Weather forecasters expect daytime highs near zero Friday and Saturday, with nighttime temperatures as low as minus 15 and windchills as low as minus 30.
"We already decided to close at 4 p.m. [Thursday] and Friday, and we may consider canceling night skiing on Saturday," Roberts said.
Jiminy Peak also has curtailed night operations through Friday, while Catamount has had only one night of skiing since the bitter cold settled in after Christmas.
"Wednesday was the first night we had skiing. Wednesday during the day was perfect skiing weather, with temperatures in the 20s and little wind," Edwards said.
Nevertheless, the ski areas would rather have cold and snow over above-normal temperatures, especially heading into the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
"We're looking to get us into next weekend, when the weather looks good, with temperatures near 30," Fogel said.
"At least the snow won't be melting by then," Roberts said.
Dick Lindsay can be reached at email@example.com and 413-496-6233.