2/23/17 — Weather Runs Amok & Captain Picard Battles the Borg

23 February 2017 — With Paoli Peaks IN shut down yesterday, possibly for the season, and what with Boston Mills, Brandywine and Alpine Valley OH closed today, a whole bunch of recent weather closures at Jackson Hole WY, Powder Mountain UT, lifts buried in Sierra snow…weird winter to say the least…photo above taken this morning at Alpine Meadows, notice the loading stations at two of the three chairlifts are buried. It is much the same at sister resort Squaw Valley, they’re only about half open and working to restore more lifts…meanwhile back east and across the midwest, resorts are marketing this brutal warm up as “spring conditions in February.” Reports from Blue Mountain PA had temps in the 60s as the sun was setting. Hey I got news for them: spring conditions are usually terrible, that’s why most people stop skiing in the spring. So what’s it going to do to this season…Peak Resorts might’ve been a bit optimistic with that dividend declaration, they got a lot of disappointed customers in Ohio, see aforementioned Boston Mills, etc….late yesterday we heard from Win Smith, owner and general big boss man of Sugarbush VT, weighing in on Vail Resorts‘ purchase of nearby Stowe Resort and what that will mean in the east. After the requisite “Good competition is always welcomed, and Vail will bring that to Vermont,” Smith followed right up with “The one thing that they cannot bring to Stowe, however, is the special nature of the Mad River Valley – the nearly 4,000 acres of terrific skiing we have at Sugarbush, and the unique environment of our neighbor, Mad River Glen.” Which might be another way of saying Stowe has a neighbor with a unique environment, but you can’t get there. He then proceeds to talk about the variety of entrance road options, smooth parking lot management, shuttle buses, etc. that Sugarbush offers. Probably brings this up because there were a lot of disgruntled skiers waiting in long lines on Stowe’s one-and-only entry road during the past holiday weekend, and the parking efforts seemed confused through much of it. Mr. Smith then drove the stake into the vampire by concluding “If the EPIC pass brings more skiers and riders to Stowe, as it likely will, I think everyone will appreciate even more the environment we have here at Sugarbush.” Well said!…not that many people really care, but Telefest this weekend at Plattekill NY. Now if you miss that, no worries, the Kåre Andersen Telemark Festival returns to Bromley VT on March 4th with the usual buckets of ibuprofen available for all participants. Hey I think tele is cool. Well, “cool” may not be exactly the best description…actor/director Peter Fonda celebrating a birthday today, he’s an avid skier, participated in celebrity ski races up to a few years ago…happy to report a 32-year-old man missing at California’s Heavenly Resort Tuesday was found safe Wednesday morning; he went snowboarding out-of-bounds off the High Five run and became disoriented in deep snow…regret to report Gokase Highland Ski & Snowboard resort in the southwestern Kyushu, Japan is likely to bang it up at the end of this season. According to a local tourism official, “Smaller ski resorts that cannot invest in artificial snow makers seem to be struggling as we have seen a shortage of snow for some years.”