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Skivt2

The 2016-17 Ski Season Thread

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1 hour ago, mreaves said:

Watching WC skiing from Val d' Serre (sp?) France. Doesn't look like a lot of snow over there. Basically just the icy ribbon of death they are racing on. 

Alright, so the women were in France and there looked to be a little more snow than where the men were, Alta Badia, Italy.  I then went down a wormhole about that area in the Dolomites. Apparently they have a reknowned snowmaking system. Beautiful part of the world. 

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Even with the mini-thaw, the snowpack is still sitting in at least the top 25% of seasons for this date.

Great start.  Been a while since I feel like we've had a solid base so early in the season.  There's some water in there now for sure, ha, so its like a bunch of concrete covering the hill but when the snows do return, it'll get back to sickness very quickly.

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Did about 5 hours at king pine today. Pretty damn cold.... car thermo read 3 when. We arrived and 10 when we left.

They were blowing snow all over the place.

Conditions were incredibly icy.... but what can you do.

Does look like they have a pretty good base and a decent amount or natural snow. Seems like that area holds the cold pretty good 

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Really hoping this storm comes through in southern Vermont. Planning on doing Saturday-Tuesday at Stratton. Not that conditions are currently bad according to my buddy's there right now but it would've nice to get some good natural trails open

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Friday/Saturday is shaping up as a good day to hit some lesser known resorts like Sunapee, Burke, Ragged, or even the Ascutney rope tow/skin trails that are being maintained by the non-profit.  Of course the skiing will likely be good everywhere, and particularly in N Conway/ W ME... but the E VT, W and C NH mts may do well relatively tomorrow.

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Probably the busiest day I've ever seen at Stowe.  Actually been the busiest few days I've ever seen around here.  Traffic has been horrible.  Took my wife an hour to go about 3 miles to work on Mountain Road.  She might have been able to walk faster, and definitely ride her bike faster.  Feels like Boston at rush hour.

We pretty much ran out of parking today and yesterday.  And probably will tomorrow again.  Its been a while since we've had snow on Christmas week with 95% of terrain open.  Skiing is so good out there.

Got a quote in this Boston Globe online article...and sounds like we weren't the only busy ones. 

https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2016/12/30/there-much-rejoicing-new-england-ski-country/owNVn88aRRlKLXWIXHkziO/story.html

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I saw an angry FB post on the Stowe page...pissed off about traffic, then no parking, and ended with never going there again...

I had thought about going skiing, but then remembered it was a holiday weekend and decided to just hang out on my couch instead. Hoping to get a day in before the January holiday kicks in but after the rain and some cold and snow returns

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Jay was fantastic today. Snow was still hammering when I left at 3 to drive home. Been along time since I can remember it being that deep in the wood during December. Crowds were not to bad at all either. Which was probably due to all the lifts spinning, that was a nice surprise!

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12 minutes ago, #NoPoles said:

I saw an angry FB post on the Stowe page...pissed off about traffic, then no parking, and ended with never going there again...

I had thought about going skiing, but then remembered it was a holiday weekend and decided to just hang out on my couch instead. Hoping to get a day in before the January holiday kicks in but after the rain and some cold and snow returns

Its still snowing up there and was snowing all day...with a good pulse around the late arrival folks and the evening exit.  We had one of our busiest days in a very long time...top 3 in the 13 years I've been skiing here, IMO.  The conditions were sweet.  The ironic thing is that pretty much every mid-week day all winter sees empty chairs and cabins going up.  Vacation/holiday weeks are something else though.

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I live in a popular summer resort town and understand the challenges of peak holidays and public perception. At least summer resorts have 2-3 solid months where kids are off and the crowds are spread a bit  

You folks in ski country get hoards of tourists shoe-horned into what amounts to 2 holiday weeks and a weekend. If I were emperor of the universe I'd mandate a rolling winter holiday week for all mid Atlantic and North Eastern schools. 

When I worked in the restaurant business I was able to ski mid-week non holiday all the time. The past 15 years I have taught high school and it is really a challenge to justify a trip to NNE. 

When our kid was younger we booked a house for Christmas week for a few years. 2002 was the highlight but after a few stinkers we stopped. 

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Berkshire east today was about as busy as I've ever seen it. All lifts spinning, with actual lines. The parking lot and main lodge were a train wreck of people. Traffic on the hill was heavier than I've ever seen. Snow was amazing, but they need more!

They started night skiing last night, I haven't been yet but I hear it's a huge improvement with the LED upgrade. Much better visibility.

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46 minutes ago, #NoPoles said:

I saw an angry FB post on the Stowe page...pissed off about traffic, then no parking, and ended with never going there again...

I had thought about going skiing, but then remembered it was a holiday weekend and decided to just hang out on my couch instead. Hoping to get a day in before the January holiday kicks in but after the rain and some cold and snow returns

Do resorts turn people away? This is more of a question for someone like PF

i mean... if it's that ridiculous.. there should be a cap on ticket sales for a given day.

I know it's usually not a good business Practice to turn away customers, but given the complaints coming out of the resorts... there may be more people that won't come back because of how busy it is.

I guess it's ultimately whether you think you'll lose more from it being packed, or buy turning people away 

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1 minute ago, TauntonBlizzard2013 said:

Do resorts turn people away? This is more of a question for someone like PF

i mean... if it's that ridiculous.. there should be a cap on ticket sales for a given day.

I know it's usually not a good business Practice to turn away customers, but given the complaints coming out of the resorts... there may be more people that won't come back because of how busy it is.

I guess it's ultimately whether you think you'll lose more from it being packed, or buy turning people away 

Yes, they will turn people away..

This is from out west but Powder Mountain used social media inform people that they were sold out, I believe it was just after Christmas and the storm.

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4 minutes ago, #NoPoles said:

Yes, they will turn people away..

This is from out west but Powder Mountain used social media inform people that they were sold out, I believe it was just after Christmas and the storm.

Yeah... I have to imagine at some point.. it's just too much.

I wouldn't pay the outrageous prices for weekend and holiday periods to stand in lines all day.

a buddy of mine was at Sunday river today and said it was a zoo 

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Yeah. We've gotten the call a few times from wawa at berkshire east giving us a heads-up that they've sold out and are recommending us. Crazy.

The busiest I've ever seen was blue mountain in PA on MLK weekend. The trails were so packed it was downright unsafe. Not a fun experience.

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58 minutes ago, Professional Lurker said:

Yeah. We've gotten the call a few times from wawa at berkshire east giving us a heads-up that they've sold out and are recommending us. Crazy.

The busiest I've ever seen was blue mountain in PA on MLK weekend. The trails were so packed it was downright unsafe. Not a fun experience.

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I got to get to Berkshire East this season.   I never knew that Wachusett would send people over.   Interesting.   Might make a few converts

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Rumors of 18,000 at Killington today.  Vermont is packed and we got very little snow here at Killington so the woods are not skiable and most natural snow trails are very boney.  Lots of ice on groomers.  Makes for extremely crowded slopes.  

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Skied Cannon yesterday and can report record breaking crowds (according to regulars). Arrived at exit for cannon at 8:40ish and had to wait on off-ramp and crawled up access road to parking lot. Heard that the tram parking lot was full at 8AM (Tram goes up first time at 8:15). Lift lines were crazy and skied singles line all day. Probably 12" new over pretty much boilerplate. It was a lot of fun but there was a lot of powder bump to boilerplate to powder bump skiing which can be tough on body. BTW: Loon supposedly stopped selling tickets which pushed folks to Cannon. Heard Wildcat had huge crowds too.

What a change - 6 days out so far this season. 3 days have been with snow falling. Last year, all my days were post thaw or rain!

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I got to get to Berkshire East this season.   I never knew that Wachusett would send people over.   Interesting.   Might make a few converts



Yes, you do! I think we need to pick a date. I'd love to get a group together from here. I'm certain we could do a group rate. There are several I've skied with here, but many i have not yet had the pleasure. Can we make it happen?

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16 hours ago, TauntonBlizzard2013 said:

Do resorts turn people away? This is more of a question for someone like PF

i mean... if it's that ridiculous.. there should be a cap on ticket sales for a given day.

I know it's usually not a good business Practice to turn away customers, but given the complaints coming out of the resorts... there may be more people that won't come back because of how busy it is.

I guess it's ultimately whether you think you'll lose more from it being packed, or buy turning people away 

So here's the issue at a lot of resorts... its the public access to the resorts and the parking.  We time our lift lines and document them at least once an hour all day long on these busy days.  We never went over a 15 minute wait this week at any lift that I'm aware of (10 minutes is a huge lift line for Stowe, whereas MRG had 45-minute lines yesterday and Smuggs was near a half hour from friend reports).  This place has the lift capacity to move a lot of people and to spread them out on the hill.  Also, when the snow is good like it has been the past few days and the woods and backcountry are in play, it really is not bad on the mountain.  Ask anyone up here who skis and when the woods are in play, it can seem like at least a third of all people are in the glades or exploring. 

There's a lot of factors that go into it...like if the woods or natural snow terrain wasn't open, everyone is on the main routes.  Then it seems a lot busier than it is.  Last Christmas we had a fraction of the people but because of the warmth in December we didn't have much open so the actual skiing was MUCH more crowded from a certain perspective.  Right now you can go anywhere on the mountain and it spreads it out quite a bit.

Our issue and a lot of other places issues with regards to these big days, is the arrival and exit of guests.  It has nothing to do with the on-hill experience which can still be very good.  The problem is you have two lane access roads (in Stowe's case its state highway 108) and 8-10,000 people are trying to use that one two-lane road at exactly the same time in the morning and the evening.  Throw in that its snowing and half of the cars do not have snow tires or are experienced in driving up winding hilly roads and you have traffic problems.  People just stopped with their flashers on because they are spinning their bald tires on the hill.  You have people who don't know where they are going so they are already moving slowly and timidly.  And you have people pulling out of every lodging establishment all along the road at exactly the same time in the morning. 

From what I saw on social media, I did not see one complaint about the on-hill experience or that it was crowded or lift lines or whatever.  It was entirely on the traffic between town and the resort and that parking became extremely limited if not completely full.  I have a hard time with it because it sucks when you know you can't do anything about it...the traffic in town and up to the resort is something the ski area has no control over.  If 10,000 people decide they want to go to the mountain at 8am...unless the state widens the road or something, there will always be a few days where it goes straight to gridlock.  Then you have the same thing at the exit at the end of the day. 

Its just like being at a major sporting event or concert or whatever.  There's traffic to and from the event but the actual event is fine and people have a lot of fun.  Its a tough one to solve.  Its essentially a mini-rush hour.  Its just physically impossible for that many cars to go where they all want to go at the same time.

 

 

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