4/5/18 News, News, and more News!

Any guess at the photo above? Answer below…Season is winding down despite wall-to-wall snow at areas east, west, and midwest…first we’ll do some real news and then kind of cover some of the open/close situations…I suppose the biggest story is the number of substantial new lifts scheduled for the off season. Arguably the most notable is in Taos NM where they’re going to unstring the old chair 1 and replace it with a high speed detachable quad. This comes at the end of what most New Mexicans are calling “a dismal season.” How bad was it? I can’t think of a single resort in NM that was able to open 100% of terrain. In Taos’ case, it was the Kachina lift; resort sez they never had enough coverage….another new lift but no coverage problems in Montana; Big Sky still 100% open and they say they’re yanking one of the base area quads — to be replaced by the first eight (8!) passenger chair in North America. Whadda we call that thing? Maybe an octopus…big plans at Colorado’s Copper Mountain. They plan to install one of those mixed lift “chondolas,” combining six-pack chairs and 8-person gondies. Sunday River ME has one of those, although I don’t recall it being a six pack. A lot of people think it’s goofy but I happen to like the option. Copper sez this chondola will replace the existing American Eagle detachable quad. Their other high speed quad, the American Flyer, is slated to be replaced by a bubble-top six-pack. Pretty aggressive plans there on I-70…back over the hill a few miles at Winter Park, they plan to yank out the Zephyr Express chair and stick a 10-person gondy in its place. That move will cost ’em about $16 million…our zig-zag tour of Colorado — yes I did that on purpose — takes us back to Arapahoe Basin, where they say the much anticipated quad chair will be built this summer for the new Beavers section. This terrain is sort of sandwiched between Zuma and Pally, and will give the ‘basin a bunch of new lift served stuff for intermediates and experts. They did have it open this season, but you had to hoof it out of there…big news just in, Hunter Mountain NY received approval for “Hunter North,” which includes five trails and a new six pack. Rather than try to sort it all out, I’ll dig up the press release and relay that further down…last new lift that I’m aware of at this time is at Stratton Vermont, where they’re going to replace the cranky fixed grip quad in the Snow Bowl section with a high speed detachable. Stratton by the way was planning to end it this weekend, but right now they’re saying “one more time” and so next weekend will be spinning again…and that photo above is the view from Moose Mountain at Lutsen, Minnesota, where they still have 2/3 of their terrain skiable…so let’s kind of knock around the nation, see who is doing what this weekend…still in Minnesota, Wild Mountain open tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday and I’m pretty sure they’ve got 100% terrain, heck even the snowtubing is set to operate…back east, Montage Mountain in Pennsy will be open for a final Saturday, sez they’ll put you on the lift for ten bucks, can’t beat that…nearby Shawnee Mountain in the Poconos was hoping for one more, but they’re done…I think Jack Frost is running this weekend, then out, with sister area Big Boulder operating weekends until the snow is gone…still thinking about that $10 deal? head north a bit to Swain Mountain in central New York and you can ski Saturday for $15 and Sunday for $10 and then they’re packing it in…move east the the Catskills and Hunter Mountain sez that although Sunday is their last day of daily ops, they’ll reopen weekends until the snow is gone: No scheduled date yet. Here’s that statement about the new “Hunter North” pod: “The additional acreage will be located on the north-facing slope of Hunter Mountain, between Hunter Mountain and Hunter West. Initial work on the appropriately named Hunter North will include the clearing of five trails, which will be predominantly intermediate terrain along with the installation of a high-speed six-person detachable chairlift. The new lift will transport guests from the base of Hunter North to the intersection of the existing Belt Parkway and Way Out trails.” Well that’s good news for Peak Resorts…must be something with the name, both Shawnees had great snow and then gone. Shawnee Peak up in Maine also done for the season…but you don’t have to drive far to get to Attitash NH, they’ll be open this weekend but just on the older side, nothing going over at Bear Peak…over in Vermont, Okemo saying they plan to stay open through April 22. I can’t recall them going that late…down the road apiece, Magic Mountain definitely got through the mid-season thaw ok, they’re going to spin this weekend…and neighbor Bromley will be open three final days beginning tomorrow…now let’s head west, way out, Anthony Lakes Oregon partying and skiing for a final weekend, they’ve got awesome conditions but people just aren’t coming out…Crested Butte also going to shut it down on Sunday. They’re at about 80 percent open but gettin’ thin in the central Colorado sunshine…

One thought on “4/5/18 News, News, and more News!

  1. The Chondloa at Sumday River does have six-pack chairs.

    A few other notable lifts going in next season are the T-bars at Waterville & Ascutney and the Green Double at Magic. Work at Magic and Waterville started prior to this season, but neither lift was completed for this season.

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