Ski Wentworth is a hub of activity these days as the ski hill prepares for one of its earliest openings in recent memory. Brad Works - Amherst Daily News
WENTWORTH - There's no question where Sonny Durning will be on Saturday.
"I'll definitely be in Wentworth," said the diehard skier.
Ski Wentworth will open for the season with the Sissy, Rosebowl, Bunnyhill and possibly the Beaver and Chickadee available for skiers and snowboarders.
Durning, an Economy Point native who turns 73 in February, started skiing when he was 58 and hasn't looked back.
"The first time out I was hooked," he said.
"To be truthful, I didn't expect to fall and, of course, I did every run. But I just took to it naturally… It really is a passion. I look forward to skiing in the middle of summer."
Leslie Wilson, Ski Wentworth's general manager, said the phones have been ringing steadily as people get excited for ski weather before Christmas - a rarity in recent years.
"This is one of the earliest opening days we've had in 10 years," she said.
Other than 2003, when it opened Dec. 7, and 2001, when Dec. 15 was the first day, the hill has remained closed until the Christmas presents were unwrapped.
Durning said he enjoys skiing the glades at Wentworth, meaning a cleared path through the trees on natural powder. It is for experienced skiers only.
"Once you get accustomed to skiing the powder, there's absolutely nothing like it," he said. "Every run is a slalom run because you're skiing around trees."
Durning skied at Wentworth on April 15 this year following a big snowstorm despite the hill being closed for the season. He, and a group of other enthusiasts, climbed to the top of the headwall and skied to the bottom.
He also skied the Explosion about 20 times on May 22 four or five years ago.