2/26/18 An Ikonic Shaft, Sam’s Powder Day, 6 Packs & Insolvency

New England correspondent Sam Shirley weighs in with a brief but awesome trip report from tiny but awesome Abenaki Ski Area in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Abenaki is one of those little engines that could type places that happened to be in the crosshairs of a serious snowstorm yesterday. Sam’s photo above gives you an idea of what the day was like…

It was a powder day with about 3 inches of new snow at opening and two more during the day. Everything except the glades and Twister was open and there was a nice manmade base on all open trails. It was relatively busy and there was sometimes a wait for the rope tow. The tow runs as fast as a high-speed quad which makes for fast runs.

Other notable New Hampshire news from this past weekend, we have to mention the fabulous new branch of the New England Ski Museum in the heart of North Conway Saturday afternoon. They had quite a turnout, with hundreds of ski history enthusiasts, NESM members, contributors, even the local television station was on hand for the festivities. Many of us assume that Cranmore Resort started the whole thing in that area, with the arrival of the legendary Hannes Schneider firing up the engine, but the Museum goes back to CCC trail days and even prior. In addition to the early history, they’ve got recent artifacts including one of Bode Miller‘s World Cup GS suits, and a pair of Hannah Kearney‘s Olympian mogul skis. It’s a must-see if you’re in the area.

Now all of this doesn’t mean that northeastern skiers are an overwhelmingly happy bunch these days — at least not those who are holding a MAX Pass. As Matthew M. commented in our previous post,

Ikon is giving us east coasters the shaft

…which is a pretty accurate description. It certainly mirrors the sentiment we’ve seen around the various eastern-oriented websites. I gotta believe the sales of the “open” version will drop like a stone. Maybe not the add-on pass — haven’t really looked at those prices yet. If it has the same black-out/limited-use shenanigans of the open pass, well, fuhgedaboutit.

If you haven’t figured out by now, today is all about the east. We’ll be back tomorrow with a whole bunch of stuff from the west, including expanded terrain at Crested Butte, a report from my buddy Ron at Snowbird, and a bunch of other stuff. Tomorrow.  If you’re here exclusively for midwest or western news, sorry — but we’ll be glad to make it up with a couple of FREE Ski Bum stickers — just e-mail your mailing address to sticker(at)skibum.net.  

Back east, Windham Resort in New York’s Catskill region announced today that they’ll be adding a high speed six pack this summer. Windham has had a high speed quad for a few years; that lift will stay. According to their statement, “the new Doppelmayr lift will run from the base area to the summit, replacing the current Whistler Triple, better known as “F Lift”. It will have a slope length of 5,105 feet, and an uphill capacity of 3,000 people per hour. The ride from base to summit on the new lift will be just under five and a half minutes.” Windham is also adding RFID access control next season.

The oft-troubled Haystack ski area is in the news again. Currently the exclusive domain of Hermitage Club members (and the occasional Bachelor TV show contestants), they’ve been going through what can best be described as growing pains. On Friday, mortgage holder Berkshire Bank filed to foreclose on the Hermitage Inn Real Estate Holding Company, the Hermitage Club, and Hermitage owner James Barnes in Windham VT Superior Court. A spokesperson for the group sez something like this was expected and will enable the Hermitage to proceed into a glorious future etc. etc. (They didn’t use those words, actually, but that’s the gist of it.) I guess whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, or something like that.

Tough news, Yawgoo Valley has banged it up for the season. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Yawgoo is Rhode Island’s sole public ski area. February. I recall this happened in the 1974-75 season, can’t say for sure.

Before we head west tomorrow, here are a couple more shots Sam took at Abenaki yesterday…