This weekend head north for best conditions

The weekend outlook for skiing and snowboarding looks good, but you have drive a few hours to find the best conditions.

That’s because warm temperatures earlier this week have prevented southern New England areas from making snow. Mohawk Mountain and Ski Sundown in Connecticut have pushed back their openings at least a week. That’s the same story with Butternut and Catamount in Massachusetts. While cold temperatures have returned last night, it’s not enough time to get New England’s Banana Belt areas up and ready for the weekend. And with warm temperatures forecast to return this weekend and into the week, the opening dates remain up in the air. What these ski areas need are about three days of solid snowmaking temps to get things in shape.

The closest ski areas planning to be open this weekend include Jiminy Peak in northwestern Massachusetts; over in New York, Belleayre, Hunter and Ski Windham have a few trails open.

The best choices for the weekend are in Vermont. Green Mountain areas fired up their snowmaking guns last night laying some fresh snow on the trails. Keep in mind, however, that only about a quarter of the trails are open. But there are enough top-to-bottom runs open to make the drive north worth the effort. The good side of that: most ski areas are not yet charging the full price for lift tickets.

Jim Shay