13 December 2016 — the good news just keeps coming in, so far in the midwest this early season is arguably better than anything last year in a couple spots…Wild Mountain Minnesota has been making snow, getting snowed on, snowed under. They’re expecting to be 100% open by Saturday, which is earliest I can remember…in Vermont Mad River Glen opened the double chair this past weekend. Quite a contrast from last season when they were barely open at all, let alone anything this early. Regardless, the MRG faithful have been doing the earn-your-turns thing so it looks like the area’s been open anyway…up the road at Bolton Valley –see photo above from yesterday — they opened for the season this past weekend with a big push from Mother Nature. Have to keep in mind, that even though they gleaned about two feet of fresh, ground still isn’t frozen and there’s open water and streams and whatnot that prevent them from getting a lot of terrain open…anybody use skiing apps? You know, keep track of your vertical, top speed, blah blah blah? Did this for a while and finally said “enough.” Funny thing is, years ago it was the basis for my decision to get a smart phone. I’m enjoying skiing a lot more since I deleted the app. I know there are some who love it, and it must be enough for the developers to spend a bundle on development and marketing etc. Curious what percentage of skiers use ’em…back to Minnesota, cold temps also doing good things at Lutsen Mountains; they expect to have three of their five hills open this weekend…in New York state, mid-sized West Mountain (a bit north of Albany) will open Friday with fireworks and other whizbang stuff. I think that’s worth noting since that hill was virtually out of business a couple years back. Kudos to much better management and to a dedicated group of locals, and local racing community, keepin’ it going…Michigan’s Ski Brule hosting a Scout Day and Family Day on Saturday, which is cool. They’re going to have merit badge counselors on the hill, and any Boy Scouts participating in merit badge class will also receive a free Ski Brule Patch. Very cool! And that reminds me, if you’re looking for a sensible and fun alternative to ski apps, how about collecting ski patches? Don’t knock it until you try it, fun hobby…skier killed this weekend at Alpental WA; 45-year-old Richard Glade suffocated in a tree well. Please do not ski in tree wells.
Photo above courtesy Bolton Valley VT