3/9/17 — Throwback Thursday, March Madness and Montana

9 March 2017 — Some resorts making snow, some resorts digging out the snow, some resorts closing due to wind, some resorts closing due to lack of snow. I call that March Madness…particularly distressing is the latest closure announcement, this time from Oak Mountain in Speculator, NY. Now this is in the Adirondacks for goodness sakes, and the weather is such that they can’t continue. It’s time to take real action, rather than just blab about it and make it all political. Arapahoe Basin CO is one of the few that does anything about this; they have a carpool discount for vehicles with four or more. Bring everybody from the car to the ticket window and get discounted lift tickets, even if some of the passengers are passholders. Now that’s cool, but it’s just a drop in the bucket. Let’s get more resorts on this, and let’s see resorts offer discounts to anybody who uses public transportation, for starters. Time for politics is over, it’s now time for action. Offsetting credits don’t impress me if you’re still polluting at the source. That’s just greenwashing, and using profits to pay for the privilege of polluting…I’ll get off the soapbox now…snow continues to pile up in the Tetons; they’ve passed 500″ for the season at Jackson Hole…and where they aren’t getting snow, they’re making it, especially at the Peak Resorts properties. Both Mount Snow VT and Attitash NH expecting to turn the guns on later tonight, touching up key areas for the waning season. Mount Snow sez they’re committed to staying open until April…semi-throwback Caberfae MI also had the guns on recently, then got some natural, then the guns, anyway they’re in terrific shape and you can ski there tomorrow and next Friday for just nine dollars, that’s not a typo. Don’t think you’re gonna ski there today, wind holds throughout the region, check before you go…throwback Thursday report from Anthony Lakes, Oregon, they’ve got 14″ of fresh since the weekend and they’re opening today with wall-to-wall powder, albeit for the usual groomed runs Broadway, Variety, Vista, and Road Run. They’re also serving up super tracks for the nordies…speaking of throwbacks, Blacktail Mountain up in Lakeside, Montana having a terrific season, it’s snowing like crazy this morning and they do a “thrifty Thursday” thing which is pretty cool; serving up 1400′ vert with powder powder powder for just twenty-five bucks today…elsewhere in Montana, Great Divide Snowsports is one of those throwback areas you wait until they get the goods, then you do whatever it takes to get there. Well take a look at the photo above, 8″ fresh and it’s simply wonderful. 1600 acres on 1300 vertical. If you’re anywhere near it, today is one of those days. It’s fairly close to Helena, probably closest area to Helena I suppose, and that’s a great town with just about the easiest and most convenient airport going. I say this because when you book your ski trips, you gotta plan for at least one day at a “hidden gem” like Great Divide, in between the madness at the mega resorts…more throwback madness, back to Vermont, Magic Mountain has made snow in March for the first time in its history. Not only that, but thanks to new ownership and recent improvements they managed to make snow simultaneously on both “sides” of the mountain, also a first. They’re gonna gun for April, and we hope to see it. Right now they’re on wind hold, along with a lot of other regional areas. BTW if you buy a regular lift ticket this Saturday, you ski Daylight Savings Sunday for free. I love these throwback places, for the life of me I can’t understand why people prefer to pay top dollar to park in far-flung lots, ride shuttles, wait on line and pay fifteen bucks for a hot lamp cheeseburger at the mega resorts…very happy birthday to US Ski Team stalwart Julia Mancuso…and finally, NCAA Ski Finals going on right now in New Hampshire; alpine events at Cannon Mountain and nordic down the road a few miles at Jackson XC. Jackson has long had a homologated XC competition course or two, including the famous “Wave” route. Well, it’s famous in nordie circles. Cannon, for its part, recently expanded racing operations onto the old Mittersill slopes. This is terrific for racers but caused quite a ruckus among the backcountry diehards who considered that area their personal playground. Anyway, I’ll have some info on the results and such tomorrow.

Above: Photo this morning, pow at Great Divide Montana

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