Conditions report: Welch Village shouldn’t have been as good as it was

It’s been a brutal snow season so far for the Midwest and that tension is only exacerbated by the pandemic we’re enduring, but the resilience of independent ski areas like Welch Village is something to be applauded.

The view of the lodge from the top of one of Welch Village’s best runs. Friday, Jan. 8.

In a quick Friday jaunt down to the Cannon River Valley, I found a well-maintained ski hill operating as a well-oiled machine.

Last week, we broke down just how behind Midwest ski areas are on snowfall this year, but you could barely tell in a trip to Welch. Nearly every run, including its “Back Bowl” were open Friday and the snow was just right.

The so-called “comfy” chair at Welch Village. Friday, Jan. 8.

If your barometer for this stuff is a foot of blower powder or nothing, you can skip this one. But for those of us who can appreciate a few dozen vertical feet on some cold snow, read on.

With almost no snow in the forecast and none in the last week, it shouldn’t have been as nice as it was. The snowmaking team and ski area staff have done a good job of putting new snow down and making the most of what fell around the holidays, especially as temperatures fluctuated right around freezing over the last week.

A frosty tree in early January. Friday, Jan. 8.

I know other Midwest ski areas are doing similar good work, and hats off to them. They have every excuse to have a bad year, but they refuse. Keep up the good work and pray for snow. Stay positive, test negative.

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