Back from a tour of New England ski areas, thanks for your patience…speaking of New England, photo above from correspondent Sam Shirley, who went out to Ragged Mountain in Central New Hampshire to test out the “loud powdah” following the thaw-freeze-thaw cycle last week. A lot of New England looking like that photo right now — variable hardpack wherever there was snowmaking, variable ice and igneous wherever there was not. Not as bad as it seems, however, as Sam reports…
I skied Ragged today and took advantage of their excellent snowmaking after the recent thaw. There was a good variety of terrain open on both mountains and very good cover on open trails. Things started out a bit icy in the morning, but softened up throughout the day. It was busy and lines were 1-3 minutes long on average, but the fast lifts made many fun runs possible.
…and best news of all, regardless of what that Groundhog sez tomorrow, winter is coming back with a vengeance in February. Much of the northeast will get some much needed snow…I suppose the biggest news in the industry right now is the fact that the Max Pass is going bye-bye, to be replaced in a different form by the Ikon Pass. It’s come about primarily due to the sale of Intrawest to a combination of KSB and SkiCo aka Aspen Skiing Co. So the early announcements have the Aspen Resorts as part of the Ikon offering, along with some of the Boyne Resorts properties and most of the ex-Intrawest. Noticeably absent are Tim & Diane Mueller’s Okemo, Crested Butte, and Sunapee (NH) properties, as well as the New York State owned areas led by Whiteface. Apparently the ticket window personnel at a few of the Max Pass areas have been told that the final Ikon product is still being worked on, so who knows what could happen.
We leave you today with a couple more of Sam’s images from Ragged, where the conditions look pretty darn good, all things considered.