By Jay Lloyd

MOUNT POCONO, Pa. (CBS) — Winter sports enthusiasts got a break this year as the sound of skis and snowboards echoed on Pennsylvania slopes by Thanksgiving.

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It was a start to one of the earliest seasons in recent memory. As a cold snap set in, Big Boulder opened its terrain parks before Thanksgiving and other Pocono resorts weren’t far behind.

Jack Frost–Big Boulder mountain manager Mark Daubert was optimistic about the shape of things to come.

“This early shot gets us a couple of weeks of early snowmaking,” Daubert said, “build up our base, gives us some confidence that we can make our goal.”

That goal is snow piled high enough to withstand any winter warming spells and see skiers and snowboarders on the mountain right into March.

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This year, skier and rider enthusiasm gets an international boost. It’s a winter Olympics year.

“It just gets people excited about skiing and snowboarding and outdoor sports,” Daubert said.

It also means more of us will be seeking out racing trails for organized kids programs or just for a day of competitive fun in the gates, and maybe a chance at recreational gold.

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