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Skivt2

The 2014-2015 Ski Season Thread

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The big noreaster looks off the table...there was a chance last week, but it has faded in recent days.

The one good thing though is that it will remain fairly cool all week, so the snow will melt pretty slowly for this time of year. Not sure which one is best, but KMart is down to just the Superstar chair, so your tree options will be limited...if they even have much natural cover still on that section of the mountain.

Wildcat and Jay will still have tree skiing I would think. Jay would be the safest bet if you really want to do tree skiing...there was still a ton of snow in the trees there on the upper half of the mountain yesterday and the 10-12" new they got just prior to that really made it fun. I'm not as familar with Wildcat's glade layout.

Thanks for the info. Decisions, decisions!

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Wildcat has all their marked glades on the lower mountain I believe because there is some issue with cutting trees above a certain elevation there. I'm sure there are unmarked stashes higher up, but I'm not enough of a regular to know where they are.

There's usually much more paperwork, environmental studies, red tape required to cut anything above a certain elevation...like in VT once above 2,500ft the Act 250 process comes into effect.

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There's usually much more paperwork, environmental studies, red tape required to cut anything above a certain elevation...like in VT once above 2,500ft the Act 250 process comes into effect.

Yeah, doing anything above 2500' involves jumping through a lot of hoops. I remember several years ago someone in West Dover built a big house without the proper permits and I think they made them tear it down. If not that then there was a huge fine involved.

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I was a tree hugger in my earlier years after visiting the Pacific Northwest and seeing the massive clear cuts in the Cascade and Olympic ranges. But when they wouldn't connect Pico to Kmart because of this sort of red tape, I was instantly "cured." I think the west is too lax and in VT they are too strict. I don't think cutting a few trails or thinning out the underbrush is a big deal. Luckily, they preserved the old growth out west by making 3 national parks (Olympic, North Cascades and Mt Rainier) been to all three. They are all breathtaking, but Mt Rainier is #1 for in-your-face scenery. The temperate rainforest in Olympic an't too shabby either.

Jason

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Awesome! Is that on Big Jay?

yes

 

I'll add that at 1800 on the run out it was extremely thin. Like in no snow or an inch

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I've never seen them operate that triple, ever...I wonder if it's going to blow up or something when they go to fire it up?

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No...she's fine. A bit slow and old school. One of my favorite trails, piece of cake, skis off that

The last few times I hiked up to it or skied through the trees since the lift wasn't running

I am guessing they run it about 10% of the time

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Well 5 days after my Jay Peak excursion, I was reflecting on the ski season...my best and most active season since 2004-2005.

 

First day skiing was November 29th at Killington a few days after the pre-Thanksgiving storm had dumped a foot of snow up there. Made for excellent early season skiing, by far the best I've personally experienced in my few early season trips...which I consider basically anything prior to Christmas. Far from the icy death chutes you often see early season. I took a hiatus during the terrible stretch from mid-December through a chunk of January, though VT probably got off a bit easier in this time...I recall a couple paste jobs there.

 

I returned to the slopes at Sunday River on February 7th after the 2 week snow blitz in SNE which included a good chunk of Maine. Conditions were excellent with 100% of the terrain open. Shortly after on February 17th, I was up at Killington again for 4 days. The conditions were once again spectacular....even though I think we had more natural snow pack down here by that point, lol. On March 7th it was back to Sunday River for a 2 day weekend trip. It was perfect weather with highs in the upper 20s and almost no lines despite it being a weekend. Excellent conditions...esp considering SR hadn't seen a good natural snow dump in 2 weeks. The no-lines were a theme in February and March...even on weekends and vacation days.

 

After about a month off, I returned to the slopes for what I thought was my final ski day of the season on April 11th. This time it was Bolton Valley with $19 lift tickets. The day started off frustrating as it was cold and windy and it put the lifts on wind hold...except the lower mountain. After 3 hours, the wind finally died down. The skiing was great once on the mountain...it wasn't an ideal trip, but for $19 I couldn't complain. However, given the pattern setting up on the models for snow in NNE, I was left feeling like I wanted to try one more trip once about a week had passed. I finally decided last week during the upslope snow event that I would return for one final day....this time Jay Peak and their $31 lift ticket (I had waited a bit too long to nab it at $27) for April 26th. I posted the pics just a bit further up as most of you have already seen them. The mountain did not look like April 26th and I was skiing in powdered glades all day long....the snow begin to get sticky on lower mountain by lunchtime, but the non-existent lines and great conditions made for a spectacular final ski day of the season for me.

 

This thread was fun...and it felt good to get back skiing double digit days (10 exactly) for the first time in a decade. Last year I had skied I think 5 or 6 days...which had been my most in quite sometime. One thing that this ski season will be remembere dfor (at least for me...and I'm sure several others) was how long it was. The cold in late winter and start of spring really extended the season...and we're not just talking on man made cornfields...it was full-mountain skiing at so many places well into April. Great season it was...even with the hiccup mid-Dec to mid-Jan...one of these year's we'll have sublime skiing around the holidays :lol:

 

 

 

I'm left feeling excited for next winter. I will be going out west at some point next winter...early favorite is Telluride...but I hope to get at least another 10+ days in right her in New England too.

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View from a lift shack yesterday...this is south facing Spruce where wind and solar has melted the pack off a lot more than Mansfield's east to northeast facing aspect across the resort.

Looking across, you can see how good the over still looks on Mansfield's trails.

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Passed this too a bit after passing Cannon...that random pond/lake next to the highway at Franconia Notch...still waiting for ice-out there, haha:

Cannon1.jpg

I've actually been fishing in that area.... Beautiful little stretch there

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I went to Wachusett for the bonus day today.

They were charging $10 but with a bronze pass it was $1. I had a gold pass so no charge

A couple of hundred people were there. You had to hike up to the mid lift and I am out of shape so that was fun. Lol

The one open trail had plenty of snow. Fun runs. Did 6 or 7 then scooted to the base area to grab a burger

Skiing in 7 months straight. Never done that before

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Nice Dave.  That's pretty awesome that WaWa opened up for a day.  

 

Here's a photo from Sunday River today...looks like they are getting to the end now, there are a lot of people on that ribbon on the left side of the photo, haha.

 

11154863_10153293617659603_9971692300464

 

 

Now that's taking it to the end.  Smuggs and Stowe over here both look to have much better cover still (heck some natural snow trails are still skiable) but have been closed for 2 weeks now.  

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Was at Killington for the last couple days, still offering some good skiing.  I noticed their seasonal snowfall to date was 190" which is down about 20% from average.  Despite that, the snowpack remains strong on some runs from the cold spring and snowmaking efforts.

 

pano.jpg

 

Superstar "Glacier" in all it's glory.  

ss.jpg

 

ss-pile.jpg

 

In the North Ridge area the Powerline trail still had plenty of natural cover with it's shady exposure and high elevation.

20150502_103421.jpg

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Awesome. I love the north ridge area at Kmart. Yeah it makes you wonder how even better the skiing could have been this late in the season if they had gotten above average snow with these cold feb, March, and April temps.

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Awesome. I love the north ridge area at Kmart. Yeah it makes you wonder how even better the skiing could have been this late in the season if they had gotten above average snow with these cold feb, March, and April temps.

Yeah would've been incredible.

Still ended up a touch below normal snowfall for most of the Greens from Killington northward...there is definitely a perception that we were wayyyyy above normal with snowfall in the public eye and media. Then when you mention what the total was and what average supposedly is...and they go huh?

I thought Killington lists their average as 250", but if they had less than 200", that is quite a bit below average.

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Yeah would've been incredible.

Still ended up a touch below normal snowfall for most of the Greens from Killington northward...there is definitely a perception that we were wayyyyy above normal with snowfall in the public eye and media. Then when you mention what the total was and what average supposedly is...and they go huh?

I thought Killington lists their average as 250", but if they had less than 200", that is quite a bit below average.

yeah, 60" shy out of 250" is 24%

I often go this time of year, so I looked at my pics and this year has better coverage than any of 2013, 2010, 2009, 2007

Without checking I'm pretty sure some of those years were above average snowfall for K.

 

The Superstar pile is the best in a long time.  If we don't torch too badly June seems to be a possibility.

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yeah, 60" shy out of 250" is 24%

I often go this time of year, so I looked at my pics and this year has better coverage than any of 2013, 2010, 2009, 2007

Without checking I'm pretty sure some of those years were above average snowfall for K.

 

The Superstar pile is the best in a long time.  If we don't torch too badly June seems to be a possibility.

 

What's sort of interesting to me is that a lot of the storms this season favored south, but we were able to end up with almost 100 more inches than Killington up here.  Which is really only a couple counties north on the Spine. 

 

It is interesting to me how the climo of the Greens shakes out in the south to north gradient, almost regardless of the prevailing pattern in the winter.  So although this winter favored areas further south in most of the bigger events, the final snowfall numbers came in as one would expect:

 

Jay Peak...373"

Stowe...284" (290" through April 30)

Bolton Valley...276" (through April 12?)

Sugarbush...249"

Killington...197"

Mount Snow...193" 

 

The Mount Snow number is their highest since the 2000-2001 legendary season, so the southern storm track paid off there. 

 

But as usual snowfall starts increasing quickly up north... Stowe got almost 100" more than Killington and Jay Peak got almost 100" more than Stowe. 

 

Jay Peak was almost 200" more snow than Mount Snow and Killington, lol.  That's a big difference.

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A friend posted this on social media, the view from the top of Smugglers Notch resort looking over at Stowe/Mansfield.

 

Nice coverage left for May.

 

10423700_10205662906885123_6138741613319

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For anyone curious, here's the data from the 1,500ft and 3,000ft snow boards at Stowe this season, and how it relates to other seasons.

 

Had a really good November for the second year in a row...overall a very average snow season with a decent Jan/Feb couplet.  Lack of thaws made the quality better than the numbers.

 

Interesting cycle of snowfall though, as of the 18-years listed here... from 1997-1998 through 2008-2009, 9 out of 12 winters involved snowfall totals over 300".  More recently, from 2009 onward, only 1 out of 6 winters saw snowfall over 300" (2010-2011).  That's pretty "streaky" snowfall and I know even the Mansfield Coop shows that cycle pretty well, even if the actual values are different.

 

I think those differences are what is making these recent winters feel lackluster...after coming out of a long stretch of generally favorable snowfall seasons, and now going into a stretch where only 1 out of 6 have exceeded 300". 

 

Also, I know it was brought up with the type of snowfall we received this winter (lots of consistent light events) was in stark contrast to what happened in SNE where it was very concentrated heavy snowfall in a short period of time.  I know some saw J.Spin's list of snowfalls, and mine is similar, with just a lot of small events all winter long.  You can see that in the ski area's weekly totals.  Only one period in February really stands out, and a few good early season snows.  The rest of it was just added up by consistent like 2-8" events.

 

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I guess the question is, would you rather an avg season with no disaster lake cutters or above avg with a few cutters thrown in? I assume even an above avg season may see at least 1 or 2 cutters. 

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I guess the question is, would you rather an avg season with no disaster lake cutters or above avg with a few cutters thrown in? I assume even an above avg season may see at least 1 or 2 cutters. 

 

It is a tough call.  I though am partial to snow falling out of the sky...more so than snowpack even, though that's important for skiing.  I really enjoy waking up at 4am, seeing it dumping, clearing snow off the car, driving to work through the unplowed streets of Stowe at the early hour, and checking snow stakes by headlamp in a maelstrom of falling flakes.  

 

I think I'd rather go with a couple cutters thrown in if it meant going back to a 350"+ season.  Like 2006-2007 when it snowed 300" after January 1st...or 2007-2008 which we did have a lot of mixed events in SWFE style, but likewise accumulated easily all season.  A couple cutters won't entirely wipe the snowpack out anyway, and if we are getting 350" of snow on the mountain, that usually correlates with 150+" in town...and that'll be enough to feel wintery even with a couple more rainers.  2-3 more rainers would be a fine trade for say 5 more days with 10" of snowfall each.

 

I just get so much joy from watching it snow and measuring it...long periods of no snowfall are boring to me, even if there's 2 feet on the ground.  I like the persistent flakes in the air, watching the radar and seeing how it correlates to where the snow is landing around these parts, having something to measure each day, etc.  It just makes my daily routine more enjoyable when it snows, haha.

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Honestly I think 2010-2011 was actually one of my favorites for the compromise of snowfall and cold temps.  

 

332" at the mountain, peak snow depth near 100", 151" total snowfall in town, max depth of 41"...there was so real serious thaw that I remember in January/Feb/Mar that winter, but snowfall was a notch above normal (about as much above normal as this season was below, within 1 SD easily).  The events were more exciting in 2010-2011 (including a 27" event in March 2011)...we had thundersnow in February, good banding from the January 2011 SNE storms, a 18-36" upslope event in early December, overall the events were a lot more exciting even though the snowfall was only 30-40" more than this year.

 

2010-2011 vs. this season... similar tracking of depths, but higher max depths in town and mountain than this season.  It was the perfect combo of no major melts and lots of good snow.  I would love to re-do that 2010-2011 winter.

 

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Sugarloaf looks to have excellent coverage still...this beats the Mansfield and Jay coverage, lol.  So far north, so long to melt it.

 

11174373_10153295894464603_9181581885017

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