This weekend brings additional ski areas opening, some fresh natural snow and, unfortunately some rain Sunday.
So Saturday will be the pick of the weekend with sunny skies in southern New England. I don’t think crowds will be too bad since many people are in the midst of holiday shopping, etc. The biggest crowds are likely at Connecticut ski areas and Massachusetts areas like Butternut, Catamount and Jiminy.
The best advice: get there as soon as the lifts open, ski/snowboard half a day and head home. That’s a particularly a good plan if it’s you first time out this season.
All day Saturday looks good with temperatures in the 40s south, 30s north. On Sunday in the north, snow is expected in the morning before turning to mixed precip then rain. Before it ends, it could turn back to all snow. The rest of the week remains cold with an increasing chance of snow. So things do not look so bad.
Throughout the winter, you should check out Mad River Glen’s weather blogger Josh Fox. This guy is usually accurate with his forecast and does not overhype.
For the first time this season, all four Connecticut areas will be open.
Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall has been blowing snow all week. The Connecticut area opens its season on Saturday.
Ski Sundown in New Hartford opens today with runs on Canyon, Nor’easter, Exhibition, Temptor and Stinger. Mohawk Mountain in Cornwall and Mount Southington open on Saturday. Woodbury has been open for a few weeks.
Best deal: Mohawk where a full-day ticket is $30 and a half-day (go for this one) is $20. Lifts start turning at 8:30 a.m.
Ski Butternut opens today; Catamount on Saturday. Catamont will be charging $40 for a weekend single-day ticket; Butternut $35. The areas join Jiminy Peak in having their lifts turning.
Most Vermont areas are in great shape thanks to lake effect snows. Heaviest snowfalls were in the central and northern part of the state. Bolton Valley was the big winner with up to 48 inches in the last week. Stowe, Smugglers and Bolton Valley got three feet and Sugarbush and Killington about two feet. Southern Vermont got less than a foot.
With the exception Magic, Mad River Glen, Pico and Suicide Six of all Green Mountain State are open. Even though Mad River got between 18 and 30 inches, it still isn’t open because the snow was light, fluffy and often, wind driven; not the best kind to build up bases. MRG is shooting for a Dec. 16 opening.
Okemo opens the Jackson Gore and Solitude areas; 44 trails will be open this weekend. A ski demo is planned both days at the Gore.
Bretton Woods got 22 inches this week allowing it to open a third of its trails. Along with BW, top picks this weekend are Loon, Cannon and Sunapee. Wildcat plans to open Saturday.
At Cannon on Saturday bring 4 non-perishable items to Guest Services and get a half price ticket for that day. Applies to full-day tickets only. Food collected benefits the Good Neighbor Food Pantry in Franconia, NH.
Best deal: At Sunapee on Sunday Ski or ride for $30 with the contribution of five non-perishable food items for local families & food shelters.
Do you really want to pay $89 for a lift ticket this season?
You will if you blindly walk up to the ticket window at Stowe, Vermont on a Saturday.
And you’ll have to fork over $79 if you do the same thing at Mount Snow in southern Vermont.
A snowboarder enjoys some fresh snow at, where else, Mount Snow in southern Vermont on Tuesday. Mount Snow is one of the 15 major New England ski resorts offering ticket discounts for Connecticut ski club members this season.
Today I’m going to give you THE best advice to save more than 50 percent off the price of ski lift tickets:
JOIN A SKI CLUB.
Now, don’t start worrying about attending meetings, hosting get togethers or baking cookies. How you want to interact with club members is up to you.
Usually, the only requirement for joining a ski club is paying the membership fee and signing the application.
The goal here is to get that all important membership card.
Why? Because that’s your ticket to getting big savings at SELECTED areas on SELECTED days.
First go to the Connecticut Ski Council web site and find a club to join. There’s more than 40 clubs across Connecticut in the council including ones in Trumbull, Fairfield, Stamford, Danbury, Norwalk, New Haven, Stratford, the Naugatuck Valley, at UConn, even Sikorsky.
Josh from Bolton Valley sent this photo today showing some of the 3.5 feet of snow that has fallen at the northern Vermont area. Bolton will be open Friday. It is also one of the areas that has discounted tickets for ski club members. In fact, ski club members can get a $15 lift ticket next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
You simply click on the details of a club to find out activities, discounts, trips and membership fees, etc.
For example, the NAVA Ski Club in the Naugatuck Valley has a membership fee of $45 for one person, $50 for a married couple. All you have to do is fill out the application, write a check, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope and your membership card is mailed to you. It’s that simple.
Now here’s the important part… the card entitles you to get steeply discounted lift tickets on 90 Connecticut Ski Council’s Awareness Days at 15 major Vermont and New Hampshire including Jay Peak, Killington, Mount Snow and Okemo.
All of the clubs’ web sites have the 2010-11 CSC Awareness Day calendar. Keep in mind that you have to be at those areas on those specific days to get the discount. And naturally, you have to have your membership card with you.
This is the calendar of where you need to be on a certain date to get huge savings all season long.
For example, if you have a ski club membership card, you can get a lift ticket at Killington in Vermont for only $35 this Saturday, Sunday or Monday. If you don’t have a card you’ll pay $65.
A look at the calendar mid-season shows the highest discounted ticket prices were $42 at Stowe and $41 at Killington where a regularly priced weekend one-day ticket costs $84.
The calendar also tells you which ticket window you need to pick up the discounted tickets. At Okemo, it’s at the Group Services Trailer and at Killington, the Snowshed base area.
Other perks offered by ski clubs include bus trips to resorts (in the East and out West), company/product discounts, multi-day/bulk tickets and, if you want, social get togethers. Some clubs also have ski lodges that offer affordable lodging in Ski Country. The council also has an active racing program.
All members share a common love of skiing or snowboarding, the snow, good times and outdoor (and sometimes indoor) fun. And with big savings, you can’t go wrong on this deal.
After this week’s heavy rain soaked the Northeast, things are definately looking up for improved snow conditions this weekend.
You can thank the cold temperatures that have allowed ski areas to lay down a fresh layer of machine made snow. And there’s a good chance that northern New England areas could pick up a few inches of natural snow. In Vermont, Saturday night looks snowy. Mmm. Sweet!
At Bretton Woods in New Hampshire, Mother Nature left a fresh coat of natural snow overnight and then passed the torch over to our groomers to take charge for some early morning trail manicuring. They're back to snowmaking on five new trails today.
WEATHER: Daytime temperatures in northern New England should stay below freezing during the day, teens and twenties during the night (perfect for snowmaking). Winds, thankfully, will be light. Skies will remain cloudy through the weekend with a chance of snow showers north. Heading to Stowe? You’re in luck. Southern New England will have daytime temperatures in the mid to upper 30s, twenties at night. Again, good news for Connecticut and Massachusetts snowmakers.
BEST DEALS: Most areas are still not charging their peak season rates because of still limited terrain. At the prime Vermont areas expect to pay between the mid-$50 to $65 for a pass. Cheapest ticket in the Green Mountain State this weekend? Bromley: $44 adults, $39 juniors. Here’s a rundown of what areas will be open this weekend.
Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire is charging $46 for adults, $34 for young adults and seniors and $26 for juniors and super seniors.
Closer to home, Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Mass. will be charging $35 for adults and $25 for juniors this weekend.
EVENT PICK:Sundayat Okemo demo Burton’s 2011 line of boards and equipment. Also on the events roster, is the SKI Magazine Super Demo and People’s Ski Test.
Mount Snow will host its first Film Festival tonight and Saturday. Overall ten films will be shown at three different locations in the Deerfield Valley. It kicks off on Friday night 7pm at the Snow Barn with an all ages, free showing of films from Flow Snowboarding, Transworld Snowboarding and Teton Gravity Research. For more information on the Mount Snow Film Festival click here.
Here’s what areas will have their lifts turning:
Connecticut:Woodbury, the first state area to open, has two trails open (mainly for snowboarding).
Mohawk Mountain had the snowguns blowing Friday morning in the hope of opening Saturday.
Massachusetts: In the eastern part of the state Wah Wah Wachusett’s got four trails open. Jiminy Peak in the northwestern corner of the state will reopen Saturday.
Vermont Lots of options here: Jay Peak, Stowe, Smuggler’s Notch, Sugarbush, Killington, Okemo, Mount Snow, Stratton and Bromley. Stratton had some problems with its Ursa lift and expects to have it running again today.
New Hampshire Bretton Woods, Cannon, Waterville Valley, Granite Gorge, Loon, Mount Sunapee, Cranmore and Pat’s Peak.
Smuggler's Notch in northern Vermont started its season today. This shot was taken at the summit on the Rumrunner's trail.
Now we’re on a roll!
More Eastern ski resorts are open today after cold weather allowed them to fire up the snow guns. Stratton in southern Vermont, Smuggler’s Notch in northern Vermont and Jiminy Peak in northwestern Massachusetts have their lifts turning today.
In New Hampshire, add Waterville Valley, Cranmore and Pat’s Peak to the Granite State areas back in business. Other New Hampshire areas that were already open include Cannon, Bretton Woods and Loon.
Over in the Great State of Maine, Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Big Rock are back in the game.
Stratton Mountain opened at 8:30 a.m. today with snow flurries falling, temperatures in the teens and winds are blowing from the SW at 20-35 mph. They are offering top-to-bottom skiing/riding on 12 trails via 4 lifts with some delayed openings for additional grooming.
Trails include Black Bear, Old #8, The Chute, Polar Bear, Upper Grizzly Bear, Bear Bottom, Grizzly Access, Overpass, Village Walk, Runaway, Yodeler Express, and Suntanner. Surface conditions are machine groomed loose granular with a base depth of 24″.
There’s skiing and snowboarding on eight trails at Jiminy including West Way, North Glade and 360. Tickets cost $35 for adults, $25 juniors.
Sugarbush in Vermont opened for the season on Thanksgiving thanks to work from snowmakers earlier this week. Upper elevation trails like the classic Jester are open.
There’s some snow – and ice – in ski country today as northern New England makes the quick transition to winter.
The National Weather Service has posted winter weather advisories until noon today throughout most of northern New England with periods of snow and freezing rain. It’s not a big storm; just a few inches of snow expected in the higher peaks.
While today is not the best day to go skiing or snowboarding, this weekend is shaping up to be a good one hit the slopes. The only downside is some steady winds Saturday.
In Vermont, there’s a slight chance of snow showers early Saturday then turning partly sunny with highs around freezing. Sunday looks like the best of the weekend with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 30s.
In Vermont, areas open include Jay Peak, Stowe, Killington, Sugarbush, Okemo and Mount Snow. Killington is at the head of the pack with 18 trails open, including summit to base runs.
New Hampshire areas open are Bretton Woods, Cannon, Granite Gorge and Loon.
In Connecticut, the only game in town is in Woodbury (with limited terrain). Look for Mohawk, Southington and Ski Sundown to be open by the second weekend of December.
In Massachusetts, Jiminy Peak is planning to open this weekend.
Hours are 9 am-4 pm Saturday and Sunday. Pricing is $35 for adults and $25 for juniors. All 10/11 Jiminy Peak season passes will be valid. They will post the projected trails later today.
With the return of cold temperatures, Mount Snow in southern Vermont has turned on its snowmaking guns near the summit. The resort plans to open for the season on Thanksgiving Day.
Thankfully, cold weather has returned. And that means ski resorts can again fire up their snowmaking arsenals and open trails … just in time for Thanksgiving.
Mount Snow in southern Vermont is the latest area to announce its opening on Thanksgiving Day.
The Grand Summit Express, Canyon Express, Nitro Express and Discovery Shuttle will all be turning Thursday starting at 8 am. Open trails will include Cascade, Canyon, Long John, Beaver Hill, Launch Pad, Mineshaft and the Gulch. The Gulch will be setup as a terrain park with top-to-bottom features.
Yet Snow warns: “While we will be open with skiing and riding for all abilities there are some early season conditions on the lower elevations. What does that mean? Thin spots, some potential grass poking through, stuff like that. The usual early season east coast conditions! However don’t expect that to last long, with a major cold front coming our way the Fan Guns will get turned back on and cover this place in snow.”
How much will it cost to ski/ride Mount Snow this weekend?
Adults: $55 (19 years – 64 years)
Youth/Senior: $45 ( 6-18 years/65+ years)
Children 5 & under: Free.
Okemo, also in Vermont, had its opening day on Tuesday. Here’s a video from Okemo:
Today was also the first day of the season at Stowe in northern Vermont.
Stowe’s report: “We will open today with 6 trails and 2.5 miles of top-to-bottom skiing/riding: Ridgeview, Lower Ridgeview, Upper Lord, Lord, North Slope, and Lower North Slope, with all those trails groomed overnight; we also have three features on Ridgeview. Please note conditions will be for advanced skiers/riders only. Winds may affect lift operations today; so, far, it looks likely the FourRunner Quad will run. The Lookout double will be the back-up, and we’ll keep the snow phone & website updated as needed. We’re making snow on Sunrise, Centerline, Lord and Inspiration. One reminder: during these first few days when there is unlimited enthusiasm but only limited terrain, please be especially aware of snow conditions and other people around you.”
Stratton in southern Vermont is also on course for a Friday opening.
Their lastest report: “After another short period of mild weather here at Stratton Mountain, we’re happy to report that we expect snowmaking to resume late tonight and continue through tomorrow evening/early morning Thursday. Thursday may bring a wintry mix late, which hopefully leaves us with a net gain to our snowmaking production. Currently, we are targeting to open on Friday with upper mountain skiing and riding (downloading will be required) through this weekend starting at 9am. Colder weather is expected to return on Friday night and stay through the weekend into next week which should give us a great opportunity to expand our terrain. Snowmaking operations are focusing on the following terrain: Black Bear, Polar Bear, The Chute, Grizzly Bear, Bear Bottom, Old #8, Grizzly Access, Overpass and Village Walk.”
Jay Peak in northern Vermont is also planning a Friday opening.
Okemo kicks off its season today with a few upper elevation trails open.
Today is opening day at Okemo in Vermont!
Okemo will have two lifts, Northstar Express and the Glades Peak Quad, servicing four trails on the upper mountain; Buckhorn, Drop Off, Countdown, and Upper World Cup. This terrain will be open for advanced skiers and riders only.
There will be shuttle service from the bottom of the F-10 carpet area to the base of the Northstar. You can expect to ride the Northstar to the summit, ski and ride until your heart is content, and then download on the Northstar with a shuttle to the base.
Lift ticket pricing will be as follows for opening day: Adult (full-day/half-day): $39/$29Young Adult/Seniors (full-day/half-day): $33/$25Juniors/Super Seniors (full-day/half-day): $25/$19
Stratton in Vermont still hopes to open by this weekend.
Their most recent report: ”This week’s weather, and forecast, has been as variable as the market. After a 48-hour start to the snowmaking season, we put our systems on pause and have re-evaluated our projected opening with an eye on Friday. Please stay tuned to the snow report on Stratton.com for updated information. Currently, temperatures are above freezing with light precipitation in the area. We do expect temperatures to drop back down as this week progresses, and will make snow at every opportunity that comes our way. Since the forecast is changing so drastically, it’s very easy for a light drizzle to quickly turn into flurries at the summit if Mother Nature cooperates. Despite the questionable weather conditions we’re still gearing up, stretching out and getting rest so we’re ready to ride this weekend. Trust us, we are as anxious as you to start this season, but only if it’s on a high note. We’re now projecting to open before this weekend.”
While things could be better, at least weatherwise, there will be some skiing and snowboarding this Thanksgiving weekend.
Killington in central Vermont leads the back with top-to-bottom sliding from Killington Peak, through the North Ridge area and down Snowdon to the K1 base. It’s a big step and as you would expect, prices have increased to reflect the expanded terrain. The price of a full-day ticket has risen from $49 to $65. Today, Killington will have 14 trails open.
Stowe in northern Vermont plans to open Wednesday.
Their report: “We plan to open the FourRunner Quad at 8am on Wednesday with top-to-bottom skiing & riding on Ridgeview, Upper Lord, Lord, North Slope, and Lower North Slope. Although the snow guns have been temporarily turned off due to warmer weather, our snowmaking team took full advantage of the recent stretch of cold weather and made copious amounts of snow between last Wednesday night and early this morning. During that time, the snowmakers buried portions of Ridgeview, Lord, North Slope, as well as the Mansfield base area. In addition to terrain on Mansfield, they also made snow in the base area of Spruce and the Carpet Learning Area. Looking ahead a bit, the preliminary forecast for Thanksgiving weekend calls for good snowmaking weather along with the chance for some natural snow.”
Several ski resorts are on the verge of throwing out the first snowball of the ski/snowboard season!
Killington in Vermont and Sunday River in Maine remain the only ski areas now open.
But that will change next weekend with the projected opening of several more. Many more are shooting for a Thanksgiving weekend opening.
While it’s been a slow start to the season in the East, many areas are taking advantage of the cold nighttime temperatures to lay down a base.
Keep in mind that terrain will be limited for a few more weeks, but there should be enough satisfying runs to make the drive up north worthwhile. Beginners, however, may be shut out of some of the action because terrain is more for intermediates and experts.
The following are the projected opening dates. Those not listed don’t have specific dates yet.
Naturally, keep in mind everything can change with the weather. But things are definately looking up. For latest snow conditions visit the following sites:
Believe it or not the Woodbury ski area has already laid down a carpet of snow for limited skiing and snowboarding. Woodbury will be open today (Saturday) so if you want to get some early turns in (close to home) this the only game around. Check out Woodbury’s live came here.
No word yet on Connecticut’s three other areas, but expect them to be open by the first weekend in December.
This cam grab image is from the Woodbury ski area from Friday morning, Nov. 12.
Friday, Nov. 26:
Ski Butternut, Ski Ward and Wachusett
Saturday, Nov. 20:
Okemo, Stowe, Sugarbush
Wednesday, Nov. 24:
Friday, Nov. 26
Bromley, Jay Peak, Smuggler’s Notch
Friday, Dec. 10:
Saturday, Dec. 11:
Saturday, Dec. 18:
Friday, Nov. 19:
It's a calm day at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Temperature at 9 a.m. was 38 degrees and with wind blowing ay 19 mph. That will soon change in the next couple of weeks, maybe days.