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The 2021-2022 Ski season thread


Skivt2
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Just now, PhineasC said:

We all ski and BW is our main mountain, for sure. We also ski at Cannon on a regular basis and will add Wildcat in this season assuming the conditions are good. That mountain was pretty rough last season unless you enjoy a hot mess where you are fighting the terrible conditions the entire way down. Not my cup of tea, but some people seem to get into that.

Wildcat is a gnarly place.  Never skied Cannon in my heyday.  Cranmore may be a place to hit for some night skiing and other activities they have.

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Yeah we plan to hit Cranmore this season. Seems like a neat little mountain. Reminds me of some of the smaller hills in the southern regions that work hard to put out a good product and cater to families versus hardcore ski nuts who want to do battle with the mountain.

Cranmore has a storied history.  One of the oldest, longest running areas in North America.  Great all around place but has some sneaky steeps.  This is a good read on it.

https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/NewHampshire/cranmore.php

I had the pleasure of riding the skimobile when I was a kid.  Removed long ago.

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20 minutes ago, Baroclinic Zone said:

Cranmore has a storied history.  One of the oldest, longest running areas in North America.  Great all around place but has some sneaky steeps.  This is a good read on it.

https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/NewHampshire/cranmore.php

I had the pleasure of riding the skimobile when I was a kid.  Removed long ago.

We stayed at a timeshare of a family friend right in front of Cranmore in Feb 93 . The kids had a blast that 2 weeks. We skied Cranmore Attitash Wildcat Bretton and Cannon and also visited Santa land or whatever its called  now. Best vacation ever. Think we had 2.5 feet of snow and it got super cold a couple nights. Great memories 

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46 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Yeah we plan to hit Cranmore this season. Seems like a neat little mountain. Reminds me of some of the smaller hills in the southern regions that work hard to put out a good product and cater to families versus hardcore ski nuts who want to do battle with the mountain.

You really would like Mt Abram right before Sunday River. Has some sweet runs and some steep surprises.  Nice family Mt what less than an hour away from you. Check it out.

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2 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Does Killington provide a top to bottom path or is this part hiking?

They start with a 10 minute hike from the gondola to the north ridge on the peak walkway.  They blew Great Northern yesterday so now you can ski from the gondola to north ridge and then only have to walk back to gondola to get down.  North Ridge is only about 500-600 feet of vertical but its at about 3000' and has its own quad, so they can get it open fast.  Once they get another few days of good snowmaking, they will make a connection to Snowdon and have TTB.  They can usually pump that out pretty quick, but next week will be tough for the lower elevations.  I would guess they will be TTB mid week the following week.

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Thanks, I was trying to look at the trail map and figure out what they are doing. I have never skied there before. They seem to be into this "gimmick" first open and last closed deal but I think it's pretty cool they put that effort in. I sometimes wish other ski places I frequent were that obsessed with getting open and would spend the money, but sometimes they seem content to just wait or unable to make snow even when temps cooperate (*cough* Wildcat).

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31 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

Thanks, I was trying to look at the trail map and figure out what they are doing. I have never skied there before. They seem to be into this "gimmick" first open and last closed deal but I think it's pretty cool they put that effort in. I sometimes wish other ski places I frequent were that obsessed with getting open and would spend the money, but sometimes they seem content to just wait or unable to make snow even when temps cooperate (*cough* Wildcat).

Nah, I wouldn't say it's a gimmick.  You just have to know what to expect.  People can't be surprised to find only superstar open on Memorial Day.  It's Vermont at 3500'.  I think the late season is more for the tailgating and party, with some cool laps in shorts in between.  Jay will stay open until May and some years, it's just The Jet.  You're not going for the conditions, that's for sure.  Early season, Killington does make an effort to blow at every possible moment.  And many places only have one or two real trails open even up to the start of December unless there is some good natural so Killington will almost always have more actual skiing.  Now if the northern Vermont places get hit early, that's different story.

Other places may call it 6 trails, but a lot of times it's just one route down.  I think with Killington, it's more about the brand.  There is no way they are making money on any skiing before Thanksgiving or April on; and the cost of putting on the World Cup is probably a loss too.  I always want Jay to blow more trails early on, but I get it.  Jay's "brand" is not first to open.  It's the most natural snow in the east, trees, and late season.  

I like Killington for different reasons I like Jay and Stowe.  I don't really know Wildcat, but I should get there this year.  I hear when it's on, there is some great terrain and some of the best views in the east.  

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2 hours ago, bwt3650 said:

Nah, I wouldn't say it's a gimmick.  You just have to know what to expect.  People can't be surprised to find only superstar open on Memorial Day.  It's Vermont at 3500'.  I think the late season is more for the tailgating and party, with some cool laps in shorts in between.  Jay will stay open until May and some years, it's just The Jet.  You're not going for the conditions, that's for sure.  Early season, Killington does make an effort to blow at every possible moment.  And many places only have one or two real trails open even up to the start of December unless there is some good natural so Killington will almost always have more actual skiing.  Now if the northern Vermont places get hit early, that's different story.

Other places may call it 6 trails, but a lot of times it's just one route down.  I think with Killington, it's more about the brand.  There is no way they are making money on any skiing before Thanksgiving or April on; and the cost of putting on the World Cup is probably a loss too.  I always want Jay to blow more trails early on, but I get it.  Jay's "brand" is not first to open.  It's the most natural snow in the east, trees, and late season.  

I like Killington for different reasons I like Jay and Stowe.  I don't really know Wildcat, but I should get there this year.  I hear when it's on, there is some great terrain and some of the best views in the east.  

It's still a gimmick to be one of the 1st to open.  If your smart enough when looking at open terrain. you'll look ate miles and acreage vs # of trails.  Many places have gone with upper/middle/lower to add trail counts.

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23 minutes ago, Baroclinic Zone said:

It's still a gimmick to be one of the 1st to open.  If your smart enough when looking at open terrain. you'll look ate miles and acreage vs # of trails.  Many places have gone with upper/middle/lower to add trail counts.

Agree 100 percent with the trail count thing.  Acreage is a much better read.  That was my point with some resorts showing six open trails with really only one route down.  But Killington does have an advantage with that high terrain with a lift and they will definitely blow snow when others won’t.  It’s smart marketing to a point, but they usually lead in open acreage too until natural snow really starts rolling.

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I feel like Mt Ellen could get Elbow off the Summit quad open pretty early if they were so inclined, which is a really good cruiser.  Upload/download on GMX and lap the top 1000 feet of vert.  Trail faces northeast and they do have good snowmaking.  But they've never showed the least desire to do so.  As it stands it's probably the premier place to skin during the early season, which is something.

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15 minutes ago, radarman said:

I feel like Mt Ellen could get Elbow off the Summit quad open pretty early if they were so inclined, which is a really good cruiser.  Upload/download on GMX and lap the top 1000 feet of vert.  Trail faces northeast and they do have good snowmaking.  But they've never showed the least desire to do so.  As it stands it's probably the premier place to skin during the early season, which is something.

Yeah, that’s a good call.  Mt. Ellen seems like it’s just overlooked.  Don’t they open it late, close early and not put a lot of snow making into it?  I’ve only been to that side a few times but it seemed like some great terrain. 

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2 hours ago, radarman said:

I feel like Mt Ellen could get Elbow off the Summit quad open pretty early if they were so inclined, which is a really good cruiser.  Upload/download on GMX and lap the top 1000 feet of vert.  Trail faces northeast and they do have good snowmaking.  But they've never showed the least desire to do so.  As it stands it's probably the premier place to skin during the early season, which is something.

That set-up would be ideal.  I've always liked both Lincoln Peak and Ellen set-ups for early/late season skiing.  Mt Ellen also retains snow very well.  I see those north facing trails like FIS with snow on them for a very long time in the spring.  I do think it favors spots with easy access to shorter vertical (just a portion of the hill)... for both early and late season skiing.  Mostly because it's easier to open and to keep open 1,000 verts or less.  We've always joked that it would be fun if Stowe had a mid-mountain lift... say on Nosedive or from the Mtn Triple to the summit.  Call it the "Marketing Triple chair" to keep access to skiing/riding going early/late season.  A long season is nice.

Uphill equipment though has made it feel ok when places don't open/close as early/late as possible.  You can still experience it if you want to.  It is harder for places to put together 2,000+ verts of continuous acceptable coverage for such a long time.

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This is the prelude to the King of Spring debate! I have always thought the skyline lift at Sugarloaf that runs from 2,400-3,800' which can be accessed by a couple of different base area lifts would be the ultimate early/late season pod - western maine, great snow retention and terrain in that area of the mountain is outstanding. Just too far though. Killington is perfectly situated in terms of distance. I always enjoy my early May visit there to ski bumps on a warm sunny day.

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Going to be real close for that World Cup measurement next week at Killington.  They will probably have about 36 hours to bury that thing.  This week hurts and looking at the mid-section on webcams, not sure they make it.

What are the measurement requirements? I noticed that they had a ton of guns on the top and bottom of Superstar last week but not on the one bottom middle section?
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5 hours ago, snowgeek said:


What are the measurement requirements? I noticed that they had a ton of guns on the top and bottom of Superstar last week but not on the one bottom middle section?

I’m not sure the specific depth requirements but it’s pretty significant I believe…. like an even 30” wall-to-wall top-to-bottom.  Possibly even more?

It has to be enough depth to sustain winch cat grooming operations, drilling holes to set gates, and most importantly it has to be deep enough to sufficiently anchor layers of safety netting.  Those anchors go pretty deep to be able to stop a skier moving at a high rate of speed and not just rip out of the snowpack.  That’s where the wall-to-wall coverage is needed… can’t skimp on the side of the trails where safety netting gets drilled in and anchored.

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I’m not sure the specific depth requirements but it’s pretty significant I believe…. like an even 30” wall-to-wall top-to-bottom.  Possibly even more?
It has to be enough depth to sustain winch cat grooming operations, drilling holes to set gates, and most importantly it has to be deep enough to sufficiently anchor layers of safety netting.  Those anchors go pretty deep to be able to stop a skier moving at a high rate of speed and not just rip out of the snowpack.  That’s where the wall-to-wall coverage is needed… can’t skimp on the side of the trails where safety netting gets drilled in and anchored.

Ahhh, makes sense. Suspenseful! giphy.gif


.
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On 11/9/2021 at 3:45 PM, powderfreak said:

I’m not sure the specific depth requirements but it’s pretty significant I believe…. like an even 30” wall-to-wall top-to-bottom.  Possibly even more?

It has to be enough depth to sustain winch cat grooming operations, drilling holes to set gates, and most importantly it has to be deep enough to sufficiently anchor layers of safety netting.  Those anchors go pretty deep to be able to stop a skier moving at a high rate of speed and not just rip out of the snowpack.  That’s where the wall-to-wall coverage is needed… can’t skimp on the side of the trails where safety netting gets drilled in and anchored.

Everyone at the big K is betting they pull it off.  Can’t underestimate Killington’s ability to make snow on Superstar.  And of course that glacier is the same snow we will be skiing on for Memorial Day.  As a 100 Club member the mountain gifted me with grandstand seats.  I have not missed a World Cup race at K yet.  I feel pretty confident I will get to see the fastest women in the world ski on my local hill again this year.  Looking forward to the G love concert on Sunday too.

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13 minutes ago, PhineasC said:

BW says no night skiing again this season, a minor bummer. It's a nostalgia thing for me, I grew up night skiing with my dad after he'd get home from work a couple nights a week. Hopefully Cranmore does it.

1,300' vertical of night skiing just across the border.

https://mwvblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/03/shawnee-peak-the-gem-of-western-maine/

shawnee-peak-at-night-bridgton-maine.jpg

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hiked north twin yesterday which had snow on the last couple hundred vertical feet. Cannon Mountain has made snow on upper ravine, upper cannon and bypass. the profile (cannonball) lift is another good candidate for early/late season skiing, getting uploaded/downloaded by the peabody lift. the profile lift base is above 3,000'

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I was wondering if ski areas ever use chair lifts for regular downloading?  Killington has the K1 Gondola which makes it easier, especially since it's designed to be ridden with skis off.  Picture people downloading on a chairlift while holding their skis.  I don't think they would do that.  Sound like a clusterfudge.

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1 hour ago, snowgeek said:

I was wondering if ski areas ever use chair lifts for regular downloading?  Killington has the K1 Gondola which makes it easier, especially since it's designed to be ridden with skis off.  Picture people downloading on a chairlift while holding their skis.  I don't think they would do that.  Sound like a clusterfudge.

There were a few years (maybe 4-5 years ago?) where the snowmaking plan at SB included getting upper Jester, Downspout and Organgrinder open first, running Heavens Gate and downloading on Super Bravo. Didn't seem to get much guest push back but its more expensive to operate that way in the early season. Recent years have all started by running the Valley House quad and using the Snowball > Spring Fling route which is the more sensible option if temps allow. Not sure what the plan is for this year. 

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