I usually wait till there's plenty of natural snow covering before beginning the ski season. This season I figured I'd try out the conditions with just snow guns at Belleayre in the Catskills, NY. I went yesterday. My verdict: Not bad!
I brought my nephew for his first ever lesson. While he was in class I was sampling the hills. I didn't check out any diamonds as it was my first day and I didn't want to ski a rock or something, so I just stuck with the blues. The conditions were fine! Maybe they were on the diamonds as well.
I had never skied when there was so little covering throughout the mountain, (lots of trails not open) but where the snow guns visited, the trail conditions were fine. A good benefit of the day was the lack of crowds.
It made me realize that people get manipulated by the media and their own belief systems. People don't see snow falling and assume there's "no skiing." Not true. The irony is that the snow conditions were better than some days where there's been plenty of natural snow. Those days there's a lot of natural ice too. Not much ice yesterday.