Ship of Fools

Photo above shows how the season makes April Fools out of many skiers: We line up to buy overpriced tickets for a white ribbon of death in early December, but by the end of March we’re ready to put the skis away despite the fact that a lot of ski areas are blanketed with snow. And that brings us to the photo, which was taken this morning at Titus Mountain in New York State. Titus banged it up for the season yesterday — not enough skiers coming out regularly to justify extending the season — despite a massive base of snow. Look closely at the photo and you’ll see a fresh coat on the magic carpet lift; fell overnight. And that’s the problem in a lot of places. Move downstate a bit in NY and we’ve got Plattekill enjoying 6″ of fresh overnight. First problem Platty faces is making people aware of it, second problem is making them care. No word yet, but I expect they’ll be spinning again this weekend…contrarian opinion? Majority of skiers are intermediates or below, and the majority of intermediates struggle in spring conditions. Checking in from Smuggler’s Notch Vermont this past weekend, novice and intermediate skiers were slogging through slushy snow that feels like glue. Now they’ll probably get some cooler weather this week to shape things up, but I fully expect Smuggs and a few others will close with skiable snow even in the woods…same deal in the west, many popular places such as Mt Hood Ski Bowl now on a weekends only operating schedule…downstate at Mt. Bachelor, news is they’re going to be adding a new lift in the off season on that nice little hike-to cinder cone looker’s right on the lower mountain…and best April Fool’s hijinks award goes to Powder Mountain UT, who announced this morning that red wolves have been detected and they’ll be parachuting in additional wolves as part of an endangered species program, and then closing the mountain for all summer activities. Fortunately for PowMow fans, the red wolf is found only in the southeastern US, and its range ends well before it reaches the Rockies.