2/16/17 — Throwback Thursday, better late than never

16 February 2017 — So much snow falling around the country I can’t even wrap my head around it…snow stacking up and ready to fall any moment at throwbacks like Anthony Lakes up in Oregon, Caberfae blanketed yesterday in Michigan, and it’s still snowing right now at Mad River Glen in Vermont. But the big winners right now appear to be in Maine, where Sugarloaf and Sunday River are talking feet rather than inches; even out in potato country we’ve got 6″ of fresh and still falling. But this is Throwback Thursday, not mega-mountain whatever…Speaking of which, shout out to Maine’s Big Rock ski area in Mars Hill out by the Canadian border, that’s one of those little-known thousandish footers that serves up big skiing in a small town and it is terrific — photo above taken by Eric Hendrickson courtesy Big Rock. If that ain’t a pretty sight I don’t know what is…back to Mad River Glen sort of expecting to be mobbed this weekend as rightly they should, if you can ski there I’m not sure why you’d want to be anywhere else. Anyway, they’re semi-anticipating parking issues, reminding patrons about the sprinkling of no parking signs at certain places along Route 17. MRG sez: Please respect the state regulations and do not park your vehicle over the white line or in any portion of the active travel lane. VTrans has warned us that improperly parked cars are subject to towing. Please carpool if you can and allow our lot attendants to fill the parking area as effectively as possible. Thanks for your help…carpooling always a good thing…another Vermont throwback, Magic Mountain down in Londonderry sez they completed load testing on their second lift despite today’s snow, but more state testing tomorrow. Let’s hope for the best, lest they have some 1975-era liftlines this weekend…speaking of which, I don’t care where you are, best thing to do on a holiday weekend like this is go where the rest of the people ain’t. That means skip the big name places and head for the Magics, the Big Rocks, Whaleback or Black Mountain in New Hampshire, Ski Brule in Michigan, Cooper (not Copper) in Colorado, did I mention Magic Mountain? They’ve got another one of those in Idaho, it’s about half the vertical of the one in Vermont but with a top ticket price of $32, I’ll take that over Sun Valley this weekend. Point is the big resorts are so crowded, nobody goes there anymore….regret to report that 26-year-old John Fields, Jr., of Jackson WY was BC skiing with three others after summiting South Teton yesterday, planning to ski down via the Amore Vida Couloir when he fell on the approach, slid and then fell some 1400′ down another couloir. His body was recovered and removed by helicopter…and at Winter Park, 17-year-old Alicyn Mitcham of Colmesneil, Texas, was pronounced dead at Denver Health East Grand ER yesterday. County Coroner Brenda Bock said that Mitcham crashed into a tree on the Forget-Me-Not route in the Parsenn Bowl, and she was not wearing a helmet at the time…better news, a skier who got lost at Bolton Valley VT yesterday was found safe about an hour after he called for help…be careful out there folks, lot of snow and a lot of temptation to go find powder stashes. Honestly if you aren’t familiar with backcountry technique and navigation, the best place to find untracked powder is the rolling hills of your local golf course, or an easily accessible field at a nearby state park or national forest. Hike up, ski down. No shame in that — not everybody is born to be a backcountry stud. And besides, it’s kind of…throwback!

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