All in all, most of us would rather ski and ride natural snow. All in all, resorts would rather their snow falls from the sky, too. But that hasn’t been the reality for ski areas since before most of us were born, and without snowmaking there wouldn’t be much of a ski resort industry, nor places for groms and gromettes to learn how to travel safely and capably in the mountains.

And without little areas that rock, without Mom and Pop hills, the snow culture would be a much less interesting, funky, and authentic place. That’s why spots like Ski Plattekill, one of the last family owned hills in New York, feel so vital—as areas fall to the economics of seasonal business and fight to stay alive in shrinking seasons, the efforts of Ski Plattekill feel ever more noble and precious.

This short film from Adam Carboni follows snowmakers at Plattekill for an intimate look at what goes into “making the snow and putting it down, grooming it, making it nice.” In a world of mega-resort companies like Vail, it’s a reminder that the soul of skiing has always been about finding snow, one way or another.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.

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