Finally, the first big snow falls up north

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So where’s winter?

If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, winter will officially arrive at 6:12 a.m. on Friday.

Friday marks the end of the ancient Mayan calendar, the time when some believe the world will end. That would mean the end of everything …  including skiing and snowboarding.

But there’s bigger question some are asking: How are snow conditions?

Well …  it depends of where you go.

Head to Sugarloaf and Saddleback in Maine and you can enjoy some sweet deep powder. The real stuff, not machine made snow.

That’s because, for some reason, the Snow Gods have blessed these two areas with up to 32 inches of pow pow in the last seven days. As you would expect, the Big Dump has exploded trail counts at these two areas.

The Lucky Loaf reports this morning: “The snow has left us buried here at Sugarloaf, with total accumulations of over 2 and a half feet of fresh powder since Sunday. Trail count has jumped to over 100, and more snow is on its way with possible accumulations of 4-6 inches through Thursday night and Friday. Snow is soft, and surprisingly light at elevations Temps in the 20s and 30s today, with little to no wind forecasted.”

Sunday River in western Maine picked up 14 inches in the last three days, allowing it to open up 58 or its 132 trails.

Finally.

Unfortunately, the big snow missed most northern New England areas. Yeah, White Mountain areas in New Hampsha got up to 13 inches many, but most Granite State hills had to settle for a only a few inches.

In Vermont, the big winners were in the northern part of the Green Mountain State. Stowe, Sugarbush, Bolton and Jay are sitting pretty with up to 17 inches of freshies. Killington reports it got 7 inches.

Southern Vermont areas like Mount Snow and Stratton were on the short end of the snow stake with just a few inches. Hey, we’ll take it and now it looks like winter.

Sadly, Massachuetts and Connecticut areas got nothing. And we’re going to get kicked again with some heavy rain moving in tonight.

Once the rain moves out Friday, those ski areas will have time to recover for the weekend.

While no major snowstorms are expected during the Christmas/New Year’s break, a long stretch of cold temperatures will allow ski areas to open up more terrain through the salvation of snowmaking.

Yes, it’s not a perfect situation and things will be more crowded during holiday week, but it’s not enough to cancel your plans.

My advice: If you’re planning to be skiing or snowboarding up north next week I’d get out early to enjoy the best conditions and fewer people.

Jim Shay

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