1/19/17 — Throwback Thursday

19 January 2017 — Past readers of SkierNet.com et al may recall “throwback Thursday” was a regular column in which I set my sights on the little guys, the hidden gems, small-but-mighty, etc. For those of you who think skiing is synonymous only with places like Stowe or Lutsen or Sun Valley, come along and we’ll show you what you’re missing. Liftlines, pricey tickets, far-flung parking lots with bumpy shuttle rides, on-slope photo services and phony base villages need not apply…first we’ll crank it up by clearing up a few rumors…despite their best efforts, New Hampshire’s Tenney Mountain will not be re-opening this season; the fits-and-starts weather combined with the enormity of waking up a sleeping ski area are just too much right now; ownership sees no need to bleed more money for what would be an unprofitable feel-good story at this point…let’s get the tough news out of the way…when you talk about throwbacks, New York’s Hickory Ski Area is back as far as you can throw. Surface lifts, no grooming, no snowmaking, etc. unfortunately no natural snow the last couple years, hence no customers, so they’re shut down as of now…that’s not necessarily permanent doom and gloom, look a couple mountain ranges away at Vermont’s Magic Mountain; they’ve been on life support a dozen times in the last 40 years, yet they’re headed into this weekend with trail count ratcheted up to 16…up the road at Mad River Glen — a big ski area but still a throwback — they reopened today after being completely shut down for a few days. Storm rolled in yesterday and delivered half a foot of ice cream instead of the expected rain…move to the midwest, my personal fave throwback is Camp 10 in Wisconsin; they’re 100% open and during January they give half price tix to anyone who brings a pass from any other ski area. Their passholders also get perks, including discounts at Mt Lacrosse, Powderhorn, Tyrol Basin, Sunburst, Snowstar, Norway Mountain, Porcupine Mountain, and even a one-time discount at Granite Peak. Camp 10 is old school baby, the skiing is sweet and the vibe is terrific…well now I’m going to get the polite midwestern e-mails “what about Mount Bohemia?” Well I think Bohemia is in a class by itself, it ain’t throwback, it ain’t futuristic, it’s just Bohemia, and it’s fantastic. Right now they’ve got everything open except some of the cliff action in the “backcountry.” Haven’t had fresh for a while but the snow is holding up beautifully…in Colorado my fave throwback is Ski Cooper (not Copper), they do a thing in which they rotate their grooming so as not to create overworked, compacted, icy surfaces. Add in the fact that it is 100% natural snow and I tell you the skiing is heavenly. When I die, send me to Cooper…move out and up to Utah, gotta ski the Beav! That’s Beaver Mountain, north of almost everything else. Take a look at our photo above, taken at the Beav earlier this week. Need I say more? Next Thursday we’ll throw it back to California, the Pac NW, and the Mid Atlantic. More old school areas than you realize…and the parking is free.