Free skiing at Mohawk Mountain Saturday

Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall will be offering free skiing and snowboarding on Saturday.

All you have to do is show up, go to the ticket window inside the lodge and they give you a FREE lift ticket.

Yes, free! The adult tickets are normally $56 for eight hours, $51 for four hours.

On its web site, Mohawk announces: “On Saturday, March 30, we invite everyone to join us for CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY – also known as FREE lift ticket day! It’s a Mohawk Mountain tradition – and our way to say THANKS for your support! While Customer Appreciation Day is traditionally the last day of the season, we reserve the right to reopen the following weekend – if the weather holds out and keeps delivering these amazing conditions! We know many of you are wishing for Spring weather…. just not you skiers and boarders. As long as Mother Nature keeps delivering the cold and the snow, we’ll keep delivering the cord and the smiles.”

The free offer DOES NOT include free rental equipment or lessons.

As you can imagine, the free lift ticket attracts lots of people. It’s wise to get there early because the parking lot fills quickly. Lifts start turning at 8:30 a.m. and go until 6 p.m.

You should also hold off  washing your vehicle. The parking lot can become very muddy, especially with temperatures expected in the 50s on Saturday. Last year some cars had to be pulled out of the mud.

If you’ve never been to Mohawk, this is a wonderful opportunity. With 25 trails and a 650-foot vertical drop, it’s Connecticut’s largest ski area.

There’s a nice and easy beginning area served by a slow-moving lift. It’s generally an intermediate mountain with cruising runs. Grooming and snow conditions make it a very easy “mountain” to ski or snowboard.

Founder Walt Schoenknecht opened Mohawk in 1947. He is also one of the first people to embrace snowmaking. Schoenknecht invited the owners of the Tey Manufacturing Co. of Milford to test its new snowmaking machines. Those first tests had limited success, but also gave Schoenknecht the reputation as a ski area pioneer. To this day, Mohawk lays claim as “the home of snowmaking.”

Schoenknecht would later develop Mount Snow in southern Vermont. In fact, there’s a trail at Mount Snow named “Thanks Walt.”

And to Walt’s family that still runs Mohawk, thank you for giving people a free day to ski and snowboard.

Jim Shay