HERRICK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- For a Wednesday in December, the chairlift at Elk Mountain was getting a workout. Skiers and snowboarders weren't going to pass up a chance to hit the mountain on opening day.
"It's a great first day, tons of snow, lots of snow, tons of trails open," said eighth grader Sam Millett.
Millett wasn't the only one skipping school. A whole crew from Lackawanna County picked Elk over class.
"Definitely, can't miss the opening day at Elk; it's like my home," eighth grader Annie Johnson said.
From the kids to the seasoned veteran, Phil Pass has come for the past 50 years to ski Elk.
"It's just incredible, really incredible. It's magic," Pass said.
Skiers and snowboarders are excited for the new season at Elk Mountain in Susquehanna County, not just the outside conditions but inside as well.
"There's quite a few changes," said Phil Seiler. "They've redone the bar and new cabinets and things, painting. It's a big change from what we've been seeing over the years."
With a big base of snow on 10 trails so far, plus renovations, Wi-Fi, and a new website, Elk Mountain hopes forecasted rain doesn't dampen the young season.
"We're hoping that doesn't happen, but we have enough snow we'll be alright," said Elk Mountain's Bob Deluca.
No matter the conditions, Phil Mosolino wouldn't let his fight with cancer keep him from skiing opening day.
"I was doing chemo and didn't think I'd make it out this year. Still doing it but I'm here, didn't think it was possible," Mosolino said.
Elk Mountain is open for day skiing and will start night skiing in a couple weeks.