Mount Snow Ready for the Holidays

Skiers and riders heading out to Mount Snow in Southern Vermont this Christmas week will not see anything like they did last year.

There is snow and plenty of it!

In addition to the almost two feet of natural snow in the past few weeks, the snow making crew has been hard at work covering the trails. Fan guns and ground-mounted guns were belching the white stuff all over the mountain leading up to the holiday break.

One skier remarked on the lift that right before Christmas Eve last year there was a small path of snow about two feet wide from Cascade to Canyon. Not so this year; full coverage.

Plenty of exceptional corduroy was prepared for those lucky enough to get out early. Long John from top to bottom was all “corded up” and held up all day.

Over in Carinthia, the coverage was also good with many features and jumps in place. “The Farm” seemed to bloom over night and was packed with its barnyard best features.

Guns had been blazing over on the North Face with over a foot of man-made powder on Challenger which made for some great bumps late in the day.

More work was needed Sunbrook Area but it was coming along. There was full coverage on Cloud Nine and Thanks Walt.

Let us all hope that the weather we have had so far continues. There is still significant pent up demand after last season.

Great out and enjoy the skiing and riding where ever you can!

 

 

This year getting the right start

top on the gondola at Whiteface Dec 14,2016 photo by Mike Roth
top on the gondola at Whiteface Dec 14,2016 photo by Mike Roth

It’s been snowing as we all can see and the ski areas are getting lots more snow than we are seeing here in the capital district. It seems the higher in elevation you get the more snow they are getting; even if it rains here there is always a good chance for snow in the mountains. Don’t let any rain dampen your spirits to go ski because there is some pretty good skiing here in the east.

Last week on Wednesday the 14th of December I went to Whiteface. Granted again not great amounts of snow on the roadsides during the drive up but when you looked up at the Whiteface terrain everything was covered and the skiing was FANTASTIC!

top of Excelsior
top of Excelsior

There were about 12 trails open but again everything was covered and as the day progressed more trails and lifts began to open. I am sure they are trying to save and make as much snow as they can for their big holiday week.

Thanks to the many weeks of early season snowfall, Vermont’s resorts have welcomed over 8 feet of natural snowfall to their slopes; they have expanded their terrain offerings and snowmaking coverage as the conditions have been on a positive note for this early season.

Jay Peak in Northern Vermont was reporting 5 feet of early snow in one week

In Southern Vermont, Mad River Glen opened on December 10th, and said it was one of the earliest opening days in years thanks to Mother Nature and the four feet of snow she’s brought to the Mad River Valley. Nothing like last year’s snow mounds

Bromley Mountain Resort has already received about a quarter of their average annual snowfall so far this season, and Killington Mountain Resort continues to see large increases in coverage. They are rapidly approaching last season’s total snowfall with 66” already fallen, including 18” in the last week. The holiday period in Killington is an exciting time, when operations are expanding with new trails, activities and attractions coming on line daily. They have lots of news this week, but most importantly, the skiing and riding conditions are the best we’ve seen in more than a year.

Consistently wintry weather, coupled with a healthy dose of natural snowfall, allowed the operations team to make serious expansion progress this week. They opened an engaging mix of natural snow trails, glades and snowmaking terrain, including the Needle’s Eye area, which boosted the Beast’s tally to more than 80 trails covering 359 acres. Future goals include Bear Mountain, within the next week, and Skyeship Base by the holiday. Check the Daily Report to follow the expansion progress.

With 18 inches of natural snowfall last week at Mount Snow, three more inches so far today the 22nd, and ideal snowmaking temperatures this week, they are prepared to make your holiday wishes come true.

If you’re planning on going to Mount Snow this holiday season you can expect snow-covered trails for every member of the family, from beginner to expert to park-lover.

They’re snowmaking team has been going to town and They’re planning to open Chute, Fallen Timbers, Milky Way, Ego Alley, and Roller Coaster by the weekend. Park builds are happening now in Prospector, The Farm, and Junkyard, and Grommet just reopened with a fresh build.

You can also enjoy a variety of events throughout the week, from Grommet Jam to the Torchlight Parade and Fireworks to live music at Snow Barn. If you haven’t made plans yet, there’s still time to save on lift tickets as well as vacation packages at Mount Snow.

great view from the top of Okemo 12/ 20/16 photo courtesy of Okemo
great view from the top of Okemo 12/ 20/16 photo courtesy of Okemo

Over at Okemo there is a beautiful snowy topping for your winter fun today ( 22nd)  dropping 2” around the resort! Reporting it’s some of the best early season skiing and riding they’ve seen in years!”

They are planning on opening Sprout, Promenade, Side Out, Rising Star, Day Break, Line Drive, Zip, and Moonshadow tomorrow the 23rd, which will bring their trail count to 70, which is over 60% of the mountain. In addition to our 371 skiable acres, they also have a variety of off-hill activities available for your holiday week. The Ice House is open for skating from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. almost daily with the option to rent skates and helmets at the rink. The Okemo Valley Nordic Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as well with options ranging from snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and an indoor golf simulator. The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster opens today and tomorrow from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. Check Okemo’s website for further time frames.

All in all there is plenty of snow to be skiing on at most ski areas in all of New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Everyone have a great holiday season and hope to see you on the slopes!

SKI FREE AS SANTA!

Santa's in mass on slope
Santa’s in mass on slope

It’s getting whiter out there but with lots of red showing up early in the season

Last weekend nearly 200 Santa Clauses took over Sunday River Sunday morning for a holiday tradition.  Sunday River had their 17th annual Santa Sunday where skiers and riders who dressed up as Santa Claus got an additional free lift ticket for the day if they made a donation to the Sunday River Foundation.

The event is meant to draw skiers to the slopes early in the season.

There were Santa’s and Mrs. Claus’s everywhere as you can see by the photo. And it’s all for a good cause.

The money raised from the event will go to the Sunday River Foundation which helps fund community projects near the ski area. In years past upwards of $3000 was raised .

Since you missed the event at Sunday River or just did not want to drive to Maine from the Capital District there are 2 more opportunities to get to ski and ride for free as Santa coming up the next 2 weekend.

santas at whitefaceAt Whiteface Mountain resort, Tis the season for snow, skiing, and Santa, and Whiteface Mountain is celebrating with Santa’s Ski Free Day on Sunday, Dec.11. Skiers and riders who dress as Mr. or Mrs. Claus, participate in a group photo and arrive by 10 a.m. will receive a free lift ticket. Those who don’t have a jolly red suit can donate a gently used winter coat or a new toy (valued over $10) and receive 50% off a lift ticket for the day. Contributions will be a gifted to someone in need this holiday season.

Weekend festivities also include the Lake Placid Holiday Village Stroll from Dec.9-11. With a skating party, Santa meet and greets and a bustling Main Street filled with holiday shopping deals, live music, and a tree lighting ceremony, the holiday tradition makes for a spirited and merry occasion at Whiteface Lake Placid.

Visit www http://www.whiteface.com/events/santas-ski-free-day or contact Jon Lundin at jlundin@orda.org or 518-523-1655 ext. 5313 for more information.skisanta

And if you don’t want that Santa suit to go to waste you can do it again  the following Sunday , December 18th at 10am at  Windham Mountain Resort welcomes all skiing and riding Santa’s in head-to-toe costumes. A free lift ticket will be given for anyone dressed as Santa for the day, plus 1 additional midweek non-holiday voucher. All skiing and riding Santa’s will be required to pre-register. A minimum donation of $30 is requested at the time of registration. 100% of the registration fee will be given to the local food pantry at Hope Restoration Church in Windham, NY. Limited to 300 pre-registered guests. 8:00am: Pre-registered Santa check-in on the 2nd Floor, mountain side. 9:45am: Santa’s to meet at D-Lift for donation presentation. 10:00am: Group chairlift ride, followed by ski or ride down What’s Next. Check with Windham for more specific and pre- registration details.

I have attended numerous Santa days and the atmosphere is always exciting and great fun to participate or just watch all the Santa’s struggling to ski in the baggy Santa outfits.

Photos and cartoons by Mike Roth