January 15, 2014 - More than a foot of snow caused trouble all over Clarkston, but for skiers hitting the slopes at Pine Knob Ski Resort, it was made to order.
"I love it," said Jose Miguel, a teenager from Mexico City attending Everest Academy who tried snowboarding for the first time about a month ago.
Another group of teens from just outside Detroit go to Pine Knob every Wednesday.
"We come here to have fun and do what we love to do," said Donovan Price.
Beginners hit the small bunny hills while experienced visitors take on slopes like "The Wall," on skies and snowboards.
"Skiing is easier to learn, but harder to master," said Ski School Director Pat Deibel. "Snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master. Both are physically demanding and excellent exercise, but snowboarding is a bit more demanding."
Snow conditions are prime this year, Deibel added.
"Natural snow is great because it drives business, and when a lot of snow falls it really helps boost snow sports," he said.
They can make their own snow, but nothing beats snow created by mother nature, he smiled.
"Every night we have 250 kids here and they come here four days a week," he said.
Many participate in special programs like Thunderbolt Training Centers, Pinnacle Racing or several other classes for skills development and racing.
"We create really great racers," said Deibel.
Ten ski teams are based at Pine Knob, including Clarkston High School's three teams. In 2012, the Wolves Varsity Boys team won the Division 1 state title.
Adults are not left out either, and can participate in an Adult Race League.
Caelan Kramer hits the slopes as much as he can often five hours a day five days a week during the season which usually last from November to March.
"It's beautiful out there," said Deibel. "They don't make ugly ski resorts."
Pine Knob Ski and Snowboard Resort is located at 7779 Sashabaw Road. For more information visit www.skipineknown.com or call 248-625-0800.
Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.