In snow belt, more is merrier - The Buffalo News

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In snow belt, more is merrier

There are two types of people in the world.

Those who hate snow, and those who live in Colden.

Or to put it more romantically, those who hate snow and those who enjoy, embrace and relish it.

Like Wade Buchwald Jr.

“When I heard 3 feet, I was like, ‘Yeah, Saturday is the day,” Buchwald said as he donned his boots and skis at Kissing Bridge ski resort.

Buchwald knows he’s a bit out of the mainstream when it comes to his passion for winter.

When he and his wife moved here from Colorado – he’s originally from South Buffalo – they immediately went in search of a home where snow is measured by the foot, not the inch.

They found it in Colden, where nearly 4 feet fell this week.

“We wanted that Colorado feel,” Buchwald said of the early snowfall. “If you live here, you might as well enjoy it.”

Dealing with the inconveniences of a regional snowfall Saturday, much of Western New York recoils at the thought of 4 feet of snow. But in southern Erie County, it is welcomed.

“Embrace the winter,” said Johannes Aubrecht of East Aurora as he headed to the slopes at Kissing Bridge. “What else are you going to do?”

Even Heather Aldrich and Morgan Siller, foreigners from faraway Lancaster, found themselves gushing over the early and deep snowfall that greeted them Saturday.

“I would rather be bundled up, swooshing down a hill, than sweating somewhere in the sun,” Aldrich said as she and Siller took a break from snowboarding.

Down the street at Glenwood Depot, owners Bruce and Kim Zehnder are tending to a young family, fitting them with boots and skis for the season.

“We got snow, 4 feet of it,” Kim said with a knowing smile. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Like so many others in Colden and Glenwood, the Zehnders, third-generation residents, live for the winter and all it brings.

Their small ski rental business, which opens in November and shuts down in April, thrives when the snow arrives early and stays late.

“We like the four seasons,” Bruce said.

Even among the nonskiers, there’s a love of winter in the hills of Boston, Colden and Glenwood.

“This is the place to live year-round,” said Larry Tibbetts of Boston as he sipped a cup of coffee at the Colden Kitchen. “Life here is perfect.”

Tibbetts has a friend, a former Hamburg schoolteacher, who spent his summers visiting other states in search of the ideal retirement location.

His friend ended up in Eden – Eden, N.Y.

“We have beautiful springs. We have beautiful falls,” Tibbetts said. “And if you want winter, well, here it is.”

Elizabeth Hens, who has spent each of her 20 years living in Glenwood, is one of those who wants winter, and boy, did she get it this week.

And she’s loving it.

“I’m a snow bunny,” Hens said. “It’s fun. I love going out and playing with my dog in the snow.”

Her two co-workers at the Colden Kitchen, also natives of the hills, are nonskiers but just as appreciative of the change in seasons.

They just prefer to enjoy it indoors.

“It’s pretty,” said Marlee Nye, 18, of Glenwood. “It really is.”

“I just like to stay inside and watch movies,” said Christine Heichberger, 21, of Colden.

OK, you may not find either of them on the slopes at Kissing Bridge, but there were plenty of others taking their seats on the chair lifts Saturday.

For Justine Nadherny, the resort’s social media director, it was one of those instances when the undeniable truth – the 45 inches of snow outside – trumped any orchestrated spin or hype.

“We have a guy who’s worked here 35 years and he says this is the most snow we’ve ever had this time of year,” said Nadherny.

It also is Kissing Bridge’s earliest opening in 13 years, and more snow is heading this way.

After four days of on again, off again snow, the region was expected to get another 4 to 8 inches Saturday.

And this time, everyone from Niagara County south to the Pennsylvania line was supposed to get it.

“This is a different type of snowstorm,” said Dan Kelly, meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

The new storm moved north from Indiana and Kentucky on Saturday and is expected to hang around long enough to add an inch or two today.

In Glenwood and Colden, a few more inches may go virtually unnoticed.

Only Warsaw, which had 46 inches on the ground Saturday, got more snow this week.


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