Julia Giolo, 6, tries snowboarding for the first time at Roundtop Mountain Resort.
Julia Giolo, 6, tries snowboarding for the first time at Roundtop Mountain Resort. (Chelsea Shank photo)

A wind advisory Sunday afternoon helped to make the conditions for skiing and snowboarding at Roundtop Mountain Resort in Lewisberry just right.

Cameron Boisvert, 19, and Gage Boisvert, 17, of New Cumberland, said the wind on Saturday night and into Sunday made the slopes even better for snowboarding.

The Boisvert brothers work in the resort's food court and get to snowboard free on their days off.

"We started working here, and then we got into snowboarding," said Cameron Boisvert. "It's a fun environment to work in."

Roundtop opened for the season Saturday.

The four inches of natural snow that arrived Saturday drew lots of people out all weekend, said Chris Dudding, marketing director.

"People love natural snow," Dudding said. "Even just a small amount makes it look wintry, and people get really excited about that."

The snowmaking staff at Roundtop also made two inches of snow Saturday to add to the mix.

At the beginning of the season they usually make snow around the clock to make sure everything gets covered, but after that, they usually only add snow through the night, so that it doesn't interfere with activities, Dudding said.

He expects the snow tubing hills to be open next Friday.

Crowd sizes are dependent on the weather, but peak season typically begins the day after Christmas and lasts through Presidents Day, said Dudding.

"The forecast is looking excellent for the next 10 days," Dudding said. "Last year was a bit slower, but the two years before that were booming. So it really is weather-dependent."

There is a new terrain park this year, and all of the children's rental equipment is brand new, said Dudding. All of the rental equipment at Roundtop is new within the past two years, he said.

The resort has 2,000 sets of skis - a significant number compared to ski resorts out west, where more people own equipment.

Most customers come from within an hour and a half away from Lewisberry, but some travel from as far as New York and Virginia, said Dudding.

"We had some people here from Alabama and Florida this weekend who said they have never seen snow before," Dudding said.

Ashley Harris, 28, of Mechanicsburg, tried skiing for the first time Sunday.

"It went pretty good," said Harris. "I was expecting a nightmare, but it was OK."

Her husband, Damien Harris, told her to skip lessons and "just get up on the mountain and fall a million times and you'll get it."

Their 12-year-old son, Derek, tried snowboarding for the first time with a new board he got for Christmas.

Things didn't go quite as well as he hoped, but he still wanted to return next weekend to try again.

Tim Pearson and his daughter, Katie Pearson, traveled from Loudoun County, Va., to Roundtop on Sunday because it is the closest ski resort.

"We would prefer to ski out west, but you do what you can," said Tim Pearson, 58, who has been skiing for 40 years.

His daughter said she is still learning, so skiing is definitely a challenge.

"It makes me want to conquer it," said Katie Pearson, 21.

Candace Farley and her family spent the weekend at Roundtop. They love skiing but didn't go last year because it was not a good season, she said.

"It's a chance to get outside in the winter when there isn't much else to do," said Farley, 45, of Bowie, Md. "It gets your heart pumping."

Roundtop Mountain Resort is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. For rates and more information visit www.skiroundtop.com.

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com