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The 2022 - 2023 Ski Season Thread


Skivt2
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Several opening days today in Vermont. Stoke seemed high, far and wide. I still cannot believe that exactly one week ago, we were seeing record highs reach into the low 70s, with the summits getting near 60F.

Last Saturday I hiked this hill in shorts and a t-shirt. Today we rode a lift into a winter wonderland. Warm, wet ground, leaves and sticks... to a snowpack that's actually above normal at the Mansfield Stake (not a high bar though, 10" instead of 6"), is one helluva switch flipping to me.

With another week of snowmaking coming up (maybe a messy storm late week though?), the VT ski areas should be in a good position heading into the end of November and early December.

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I got out there after the daily 11am Snow Plan meeting, and by then the early folks had gone home.  Crowd was pretty light today, except for the morning lineup of course.  But once it flushed out, it was ski on.

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5 hours ago, mreaves said:

Yea. I figured one of the VT regulars would guess it. I was coming down 108 from Bakersdield today and that view struck me as one we don’t see posted very often. Not many mention them here. 

It's a great hill.  Very old school, laid back vibe and great terrain.  They really need natural there to shine, though...and on cold windy days, those lifts take forever.  I haven't been there enough to really explore it.  Being at Jay and getting an epic or ikon, it just usually gets left out for me, but I do try to make it there at least once a season.  

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1 hour ago, bwt3650 said:

 They really need natural there to shine, though...

Yea, I am not sure what it is but the Madonna Liftline, Robin's Run, etc. seem to need a lot more snow than similar trails with lots of ledge like those at MRG. That Madonna Liftline is as ass kicker though. In terms of exploring there are about a half dozen unmarked chutes and trails similar to Black Hole, some are a lot more technical and folks have put home made trail signs on them. Just the Sterling area is a ton of fun and has a lot of marked and unmarked woods that require less snow, more hardwoods over there than conifer. 

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Nice to see Bousquet opening on Friday. They have been blowing snow all week and it looks like they will be offering a decent amount of their terrain.  Great hill with a really nice new lodge and bar.  Very skin friendly. They have some fun trees if they get the snow.  I would say they get a bit more snow than Berkshire East. 

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19 hours ago, STILL N OF PIKE said:

Wonder if wildcat is being cheap with snowmaking again this year or they don’t have the capacity (they claimed one year their equipment was at attitash or some gibberish) 

love to see them open before Wachusett

Thursday 9 a.m. opening day

https://www.facebook.com/wildcatmountain/videos/1830721943929348

bring it on!

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Just now, STILL N OF PIKE said:

Thanks for update . Let’s hope they can avoid rain on Sunday pm . Will they be open daily ? Or just weekend to start 

Not sure. I think with the effort put into the snow making, it only makes sense for them to get an opening date out of the way and tucked into their records before the questionable antics of the upcoming system. Looks like it is one top to bottom run (3 trails connected) and they are running the quad.

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8 minutes ago, mcglups said:

Not sure. I think with the effort put into the snow making, it only makes sense for them to get an opening date out of the way and tucked into their records before the questionable antics of the upcoming system. Looks like it is one top to bottom run (3 trails connected) and they are running the quad.

What do you mean by the “questionable antics of the upcoming system” ...you mean the vail way Of running things ..in sorta in the dark , but I know they seemed to skimp on snowmaking last year 

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Oh, I was referring to the question of whether it was the start of daily operations, within the upcoming weather (guidance all over the place) and if a warm solution comes to fruition, it could wreck the man-made, so figure they are going to get the opening day as a milestone accomplishment. --- In terms of Vail and how they are investing in Wildcat, one can only imagine that somewhere on the 5-15 year plan is a major upgrade in the Cat. For now, I'm just going to enjoy it for what it is, and perhaps venture to Attitash once in a while. Onward!

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2 hours ago, mcglups said:

Oh, I was referring to the question of whether it was the start of daily operations, within the upcoming weather (guidance all over the place) and if a warm solution comes to fruition, it could wreck the man-made, so figure they are going to get the opening day as a milestone accomplishment. --- In terms of Vail and how they are investing in Wildcat, one can only imagine that somewhere on the 5-15 year plan is a major upgrade in the Cat. For now, I'm just going to enjoy it for what it is, and perhaps venture to Attitash once in a while. Onward!

2,100 vertical feet is a big deal too for Wildcat.  People look at all ski areas as generally equal when it comes to opening... but pay attention to vertical feet and trail length.

It's not easy to bury that amount of vertical in the feet of snow wall-to-wall required to support nightly grooming operations.  Places opening short vertical have a big advantage as much smaller windows can make it happen.

Shameless Stowe plug here but I've been super impressed with the snowmaking crew this year (shockingly, raising minimum wages to $20+/hr attracts people) that is running deep in personnel.  If we have two full top-to-bottom runs at 2,100 verts each on Thanksgiving, plus a variety of beginner terrain on lower Spruce, it's a very successful early season buildout to date.

When comparing early season snowmaking, the amount of vertical feet and miles available are the true industry metrics.

It makes Whiteface's 3,000 vertical feet open this past weekend probably the most impressive of the entire Northeast.  Killington had like 600 vertical feet, and was downloading/walking from the skiing... Sugarbush had like 1,000 feet (?) of a beginner/intermediate run open... while Whiteface (a NY State run area) was offering 3,100 vertical feet of sustained pitch, groomed snow from top-to-bottom.  IMO, Whiteface won the early season.

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2 hours ago, STILL N OF PIKE said:

What do you mean by the “questionable antics of the upcoming system” ...you mean the vail way Of running things ..in sorta in the dark , but I know they seemed to skimp on snowmaking last year 

I  have to push back on that a little.  Like PF said, two top to bottom runs pre thanksgiving isn't too bad at Stowe. Mt. Snow is looking at two or more TTB plus some beginner terrain and free fall on the Northface by Thanksgiving...and Hunter has two TTB with Hellgate and Belt, plus it looks like they are aiming for Minka and maybe a few others by Weekend and they don't even have the temps Vermont does.  Sugarbush has better latitude and elevation and only managed 1000 of beginner terrain.

 

Honestly, K-Mart has been less than impressive so far.  I'm going to attribute it to the non-stop Superstar build out, but that really should only take 3-4 days and with 7 days of non-stop incredible temps and wet bulbs, I would think that system would have been further along on Snowdon.  It's the best non stop snowmaking window to start the season in a few years.

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I also think the enthusiasm is high this time of year.  It’s dark, it’s cold, it feels like winter.  Darkness at 4:30-5pm feels like midwinter.  Pitch black by 5:15pm.  The expectations and “vibe” vastly out-perform the reality.

But it’s really still in the mid-November envelop, heading towards late-November.  This is so incredibly early in the snow season and climo normals, despite the warmth for the first two weeks.

@bwt3650 is spot on in recognizing the snowmaking window and time of year.  We are still days away from the time of year when spots like Jay Peak, Smuggs, and Bolton Valley have enough budget allocation to open.  Will those spots open their true vertical? Probably not, because it’s still so *early* in the season.  There are 5+ months to go of daily operations, it’s a lot.

There are s lot of skiers who don’t understand why half the mountain isn’t open this time of year.  It’s like why on this forum people are antsy/anxious/upset that mid-winter patterns aren’t settling in.  Average highs are in the 40s still at most stations.

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4 hours ago, Angus said:

Sugarloaf should get a call out too. They are running the superquad and timberline lift with top to bottom skiing including Hayburner which is upper intermediate/expert trail with a nice pitch.

Yes forgot them, I saw their video from the past weekend and that’s legit.  Wide trail coverage too.  Real vertical, real skiing.

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15 hours ago, powderfreak said:

2,100 vertical feet is a big deal too for Wildcat.  People look at all ski areas as generally equal when it comes to opening... but pay attention to vertical feet and trail length.

It's not easy to bury that amount of vertical in the feet of snow wall-to-wall required to support nightly grooming operations.  Places opening short vertical have a big advantage as much smaller windows can make it happen.

Shameless Stowe plug here but I've been super impressed with the snowmaking crew this year (shockingly, raising minimum wages to $20+/hr attracts people) that is running deep in personnel.  If we have two full top-to-bottom runs at 2,100 verts each on Thanksgiving, plus a variety of beginner terrain on lower Spruce, it's a very successful early season buildout to date.

When comparing early season snowmaking, the amount of vertical feet and miles available are the true industry metrics.

It makes Whiteface's 3,000 vertical feet open this past weekend probably the most impressive of the entire Northeast.  Killington had like 600 vertical feet, and was downloading/walking from the skiing... Sugarbush had like 1,000 feet (?) of a beginner/intermediate run open... while Whiteface (a NY State run area) was offering 3,100 vertical feet of sustained pitch, groomed snow from top-to-bottom.  IMO, Whiteface won the early season.

https://nyskiblog.com/whiteface-opening-day-2022/

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