Big news east, west, and internationally this past weekend…but first off, a moment to say “thank you” and “job well done” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King…news in the east is the crazy upside down weather going from warm and rainy to deep freeze. New England correspondent Sam Shirley reported in from Black Mountain New Hampshire yesterday, check out the photo above. Sam sez:
The thaw was definitely over today at Black Mountain. Most trails which had snow made on them previously retained an excellent base, but natural trails were very thin and patchy. The only terrain which was officially open today was groomed and the groomers did an excellent job. Ungroomed snow was almost all ice. They were relatively busy, especially for Black, but there were often no lines to get on lifts.
Sam’s photo below drives home his point about the significance of snowmaking; Maple Slalom and Jackson Standard trails stand side-by-side at venerable Black Mountain:
…story was pretty much the same all over the northeast, although in some locations the rain turned to snow before it moved out, which resulted in much better skiing over the weekend. One fly in the ointment was Gore Mountain NY, which had decent natural snow fall overnight Friday well into Saturday morning. Unfortunately they must’ve had somebody sleeping at the switch, as only two lifts were running partway up the mountain, long lines everywhere, ropes across 90% of the mountain, and by the way full holiday rates were in effect. Clouds parted early Saturday, but absolutely no effort was made to groom additional terrain nor run any more lifts. Nuts. We gotta start calling these places out on their bad ticket policies. Basically ORDA is telling customers to bend over and take it…sandwiched between NH and NY we find the quaint state of Vermont, good news out of the Green Mountains this weekend is that Bromley has restarted their snowmaking system. You may recall their pump house was destroyed by fire right around the Christmas holiday period. It took a Herculean effort by mountain ops to keep things open since then, kudos to them for a job well done. I think the system they’re running right now is not quite as burly as the one that burned down, but it will be enough to clean up and then expand terrain….now moving west, seems that parts of Colorado are finally starting to see a regular snow pattern. Picture improving at Arapahoe Basin, they were able to open parts of the Montezuma Bowl this past weekend…tomorrow I’ll recap the World Cup action; we leave you today with another photo from Sam at Black Mountain. Off in the distance is Doubletop Mountain, which has at least one very cool backcountry ski trail…