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A Season to Remember

Notes from the Slopes: The New England Ski Report

Once winter took hold, it turned into one of the best ski seasons we’ve had in years! It seems as if one record fell after another. Record-breaking skier visits were joined by record sales of apparel and equipment, and—can’t overlook this one—record snowfall.  Then there’s this month. March has been extremely snowy; so much so, that records for single, one-day snowfall totals have also been broken.

It’s safe to say that many skiers will keep the memories of this blockbuster season alive for years to come. Some memories will be cherished for the fun shared with our families. For me and my family, I’ll remember this season as the one where we trekked up to Maine to challenge ourselves on Camden Snowbowl’s toboggan chute, home of the U.S. National Toboggan Championships. Yep, you literally fly down an ancient, ice-encrusted chute on a flimsy piece of plywood. Hey is this thing really safe? You clock speeds of 50 mph, making it almost impossible to sit up—as if you would want to—only to get shot out onto a frozen lake that’s had a few days of melt going on in the February thaw. I was scared to death. And yeah, it was a blast.

North Haven resident Pete Gajdosik and his daughter, Molly, found a different type of experience to challenge them this season. That’s because they found themselves involved in a chairlift rescue at Mount Southington. And it wasn’t a drill. Back in January, the double chairlift to the summit completely shut down. Pete and Molly were left dangling in their chair, among others that cold winter night, for more than an hour. Pete and his daughter were about 30 feet off the ground. Neither got hurt, and Pete and Molly said they did get hot cocoa when they were finally rescued.    

Nicole and Michael Wells, members of the Connecticut Ski Council, said this season was “absolutely amazing.” The couple decided to try new mountains, including Ragged, Loon and Pico. Nicole Wells, a skier for eight years, said that this year really made her an expert. Good conditions allowed her to increase her confidence and improve her skills. “I will take on any trail, can maneuver the bumps, and even take on some double blacks!” She even got to venture into the trees for glade skiing. The Wells plan to ski Okemo this weekend to wrap up their season.

That’s not to say this is the season finale for skiing—far from it. It’s not unusual for Vermont’s Jay Peak and Killington and Sugarloaf, Maine, to ski into May. Stowe and Sugarbush, in Vermont, had skiers on their slopes into late April last year. Since it’s been so snowy this month, however, it’s likely that a lot of areas will stay open longer.

For those of you continuing into the shoulder of the season, you’ve got a lot to look forward to in the weeks to come. Central and northern New England mountains have healthy and generous coverage overall. Add in the longer days of sunshine and spring snow and you’re guaranteed to make more great memories.  

See you on the Slopes!  

CT
Ski Sundown reopens today, Friday, with day and night sessions. Sunday will be dayskiing only.

Mohawk plans to reopen Saturday for the weekend. Sunday will be the last day of the season.  Deals: Ski FREE on Sunday; Rentals and lessons at regular cost. Last year Mohawk closed on the 28th, so they are right on schedule.

Southington is closed for the season. March 19 and 20 was the last weekend of skiing for them.

MA
Jiminy Peak has day sessions only. Surfaces are loose granular, groomed. The base is 15-40”. Jericho is open on Friday.   

Butternut has everything open. The base is 16-44” on a hardpacked base with groomed, soft snow to top it off. Tubing is finished for the season. Events: March 26: ParrotHead Festival  Deals: Everyday $25 tickets until the end of the season

Catamount reopened on Thursday and will offer 30 runs for dayskiing only. The base measures up to 40”. Cat terrain park is online and has been newly tweaked. Deals: $27 tickets Mon-Friday; Reduced rates for this weekend

Wachusett picked up a few inches of natural on Monday, and another round of snow on Wednesday-Thursday. Spring Hours, opening at 8 am and open until 8pm. Deals: Buy online for spring discounts Events: March 27: Polar Bear Fun Day and the Great Boston Ski and Snowboard Race; April 2: Up, Down and Around

VT
Mount Snow is just over 90 percent skiable with a base of 18-52”. The new bubble chair is coming next season. That said, the old chair is coming down. Check out the progress at http://www.mountsnow.com
Closing date is anticipated in early-to-mid April. That’s the norm for them. Events: March 25: ReggaeFest; March 27: Duct Tape Derby Deals: March 27: Youth Pay their Age

Okemo has the whole line-up including glades. Snowmaking is done for the season. It plans to keep going into mid-April. Events: March 26: Annual Joey Jam Deals: March 29: Ladies’ Day

Bromley has four terrain parks and more than three dozen open runs on a base of up to 38”. Glades and terrain parks are online. Events: March 26: The 1st Annual Bromley Rando Race 

Killington picked up a few inches of snow this week.  All mountain areas and virtually all runs are open. The base is 36-42”. Skyeship base and Bear Mountain are good parking alternatives to the main lots. Events: March 26: FREE moe. show at Bear Mountain at 2pm

Mad River Glen has had early week snow, about 4” Monday.  The mountain’s 100 percent.  Surfaces are soft and edgeable spring snow on a firm base. MRG is on spring hours: 9:30-4:30pm  Events: March 26: MRG Family Tournament

Smugglers’ Notch has few new inches to top off Friday’s terrain. It offers something for all skills. Experts-only Black Hole, off Madonna, is back open. All of Morse and Sterling are skiable. Coverage is good, even on natural snow trails with a base of 34-48”. April 3rd: Final day on Morse; April 17: Final day for Sterling and Madonna Events: March 26-27: Family Fun Race; April 2: Cambridge Day; Brewfest; Gravity Control Big Air Final

Jay Peak Resort is working on 350” of snowfall this season. Light dusting to kick off Friday morning. goes with everything. It’s wide open on all runs.  Events: March 26: Skier/Boardercross Challenge; April 9: Pond Skimming

ME
Sunday River
has spring cover and 127 open runs. Fresh grooms throughout the mountain with White Heat and Vortex bumped up. Events: March 27: Eat-the-Heat Chili Cookoff and Firefighters’ Race; April 4: ParrotHead Festival

Sugarloaf
has seen a foot of snow this week. It’s on all mountain areas, including the snowfields. Events: March 27: Maine Maple Sunday; March 27: Paintball Biathlon; April 14: 23rd Annual Reggae Festival; May 1st: End of regular season, with extended season to follow- weather permitting

 NH
Bretton Woods
has a few inches of new, and is online with a base of up to 60” and all runs. Cross country network has 75k of network open; 50k trackset and groomed. Events: March 26: Annual Beach Party/Slush Party Event and Winter Mountain Bike Race

Cannon starts the weekend on new snow with 71 open trails and Mittersill. More than half the runs are groomed. Events: March 26: Redhook Fest Free Concert; April 2: Bodefest. Registration is underway

Attitash has a 46” base with 75 open runs. Events: March 26: Grandstand Mogul Jam; April 2: Annual Pond Skimming

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