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VT snow intel: North vs. South - current snow conditions? Is South VT a "washout?"

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Heading up to VT for some family skiing this coming Friday-Monday, and am looking for snow condition feedback from VT locals or others who have skied there since the storm Sunday.

 

From what I've been able to gather from online reports, it looks like resorts south of Okemo got clobbered by rain and sleet, whereas Killington and northward got 1-2 feet of snow over the last 3 days.

 

Will the south be as bad as it sounds?

If so, is the snow at Killington or Stowe light & plentiful enough to warrant a complete last-minute overhaul of our travel plans?

 

We've booked a place near Magic Mountain & had planned to ski there and Bromley, thanks to 3 days worth of lift vouchers from the recent Epic VT promo.

Magic's website features a rather grim statement about torrential rain, but says that it wasn't a "total washout" (not exactly a reassuring qualifier).

 

Magic is listing 5" as their present base, and is closed through Friday.

That sounds like mud & rocks to me.

I'm considering other "emergency" measures for saving the extended weekend, including bailing on the vouchers, if needs be, and heading north for Okemo (30mins from our cabin) or Killington (60mins - a long ride with little kids though).

 

There is also the option of cancelling our lodging with penalties, and heading even further north towards Stowe, but this will essentially triple the cost of the trip, so I'm reserving this thought only as a desperate last measure.

 

Your thoughts, guidance?

post #2 of 12

Did you get the info you're looking for yet?

 

check out this thread on another site:  http://www.snowjournal.com/page.php?cid=topic17534

 

Here's NWS snowfall chart:  http://www.erh.noaa.gov/btv/headline/

 

Looks like Sugarbush and north of there got the big 2' or more snow.  Killington got more rain than snow, but might be better than Magic.  Maybe you can try a day at Kmart, then pull out of Magic area and go north if necessary. Northern VT appears to have even greater than usual slope conditions advantage over Southern VT at this time.  This time of the year is a huge crapshoot, ain't it???  I was in the right part of VT, but one week early, just this time last week.  The epicski vouchers work great, but not if there's no snowfrown.gif

 

I mention a couple of alternate ticket discounts in this thread in case they are useful: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/102128/vintage-vermont-march-2011

 

FIRST HAND REPORT BELOW SOUNDS ENCOURAGING FOR YOUR SITUATION.icon14.gif

post #3 of 12

Skied at Okemo this morning and it was incredible...got better with each run Jay Peak hit the jackpot with 42".

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robin Sadler View Post

Skied at Okemo this morning and it was incredible...got better with each run Jay Peak hit the jackpot with 42".

That's encouraging to hear.

Guess the big question now is will even the current conditions hold given that we now have over an inch of rain forecasted for Thursday / Friday night.

 

Thanks for the links James.

Problem is, if we show up for our Magic-area accomodations for the first night, then we won't be able to cancel out of the remaining 2 nights.

My wife pretty much just quashed the 7 hour drive to Stowe idea anyway: leaving NJ after 5pm with two small kids would put us into Stowe some time between 2-3:30am, so Saturday skiing would be shot.

 

Boils down to an all-or-nothing scenario of staying down by Londonderry, and chosing between Bromley, Magic, Okemo and ~maybe~ Killington on Sunday or Monday.

 

Oh well, if the weekend's a wash out, weather down here is forecasted to be pretty nice: I'll just go out for a nice, long base conditioning ride on my road bike.
 

 

post #5 of 12

Currently snowing at Killington, but he rain is coming.  I would stick with your current plans as the surfaces to the north are going to be affected also.  Depending on the temps, could be either hard and fast or soft and sweet this weekend.  If the former, Okemo and its grooming is a great choice.   

post #6 of 12


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Quote:

That's encouraging to hear.

Guess the big question now is will even the current conditions hold given that we now have over an inch of rain forecasted for Thursday / Friday night.

 

Thanks for the links James.

Problem is, if we show up for our Magic-area accomodations for the first night, then we won't be able to cancel out of the remaining 2 nights.

My wife pretty much just quashed the 7 hour drive to Stowe idea anyway: leaving NJ after 5pm with two small kids would put us into Stowe some time between 2-3:30am, so Saturday skiing would be shot.

 

Boils down to an all-or-nothing scenario of staying down by Londonderry, and chosing between Bromley, Magic, Okemo and ~maybe~ Killington on Sunday or Monday.

 

Oh well, if the weekend's a wash out, weather down here is forecasted to be pretty nice: I'll just go out for a nice, long base conditioning ride on my road bike.
 

 

 

 

For what it's worth from several years of Londonderry-based skiing - really no need to panic. If anything you may be pleasantly surprised by the skier-per-acre ratio wherever you go. 

 

From what I saw two weeks ago and what's come through since, Bromley should have more than enough base to withstand whatever rain comes through.  They seem to think so too - just got their email saying "we have some great conditions on tap for the weekend."  Granted that's marketing and they "puff" more than Magic or MRG - but with 44/45 trails currently open and a deep base of both manmade and relatively recent natural, Bromley should ski pretty well.  And the current rain and nonholiday weekend is going to keep crowds away.  If you really want to bail no need to go further than Stratton -- same industrial skiing as Okemo (great snowmaking and fast lifts) but much better lift layout and more convenient both to Londonderry and your drive home.  Killington is a longish drive from Londonderry - IIRC it took me 90+ minutes to get to Kilington or Pico from there. 

 

But also don't give up on Magic.  They just posted a new and fairly honest snow report predicting a "good chunk" of the hill open for the weekend.  They're closed Friday to minimize rain impact and let it drain through and dry out for the weekend.  Some people strongly prefer Magic at 50% open than any of those others at 100%; there's a reason.   And they do have snowmaking and a decent base and grooming on the easier side of the hill.  And remember, all skis are rock skis...

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks Jim & TS, that's super helpful insight: given the ugliness of the forecast, my wife has been leaning on my pretty hard to call it all off, but I think I'd rather cajole her into going than blow off 3 days of free lift tix - provided there will actually be snow underfoot!

 

Just read that Magic report: suppose it's all about how you read it: when I first saw the part about 4" "making the mountain look white again" the first thought that came to mind is "hidden rocks!"

I hear you about rock skis though: after 9 days amongst the andesite rocks of Big Sky / Moonlight Basin last month, where the locals I was skiing with had me *hiking on rocks* across the North Summit Snow Fields, there's not much more I can do to my bases that they haven't already seen.

 

Since we'll just be a mile or two down the road from Magic, and most of our vouchers are Magic vouchers, that will obviously be our starting point.

If both Magic & Bromley are a godawful mess, we'll probably make the drive to Okemo.

We typically ski Mt. Snow in S.VT., and have been to Stratton, but I'd like to branch out and try a couple new resorts: not least because as I've been watching the radar maps this week, Stratton & points further south have been pretty well stuck on the wrong side of the rain / snow divide (seems the cold air has mostly been north of Route 11).

 

Anyhow, I guess it's time to just cross my fingers and pack the gear!

Thanks for the guidance, and if anyone has any relevant last-minute intel on Friday I'll be checking back in right up to our departure at 5pm.

post #8 of 12

Makes sense ... enjoy the weekend.   I bet it will be empty wherever you go - which is the best way to ski Okemo  if it comes to that. 

 

About Magic - if you typically ski Mt. Snow please come with a different set of expectations - both are fun places to ski but in quite different ways.  

 

Have fun. 

post #9 of 12

As of yesterday afternoon (Thurs. 3/11) Killington was in great shape from storms Monday and Wednesday night. Drove south at the end of the ski day and just encountered massive amounts of rain that was headed for Kmart and the rest of Vt. skiing.

 

Good luck!

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
Makes sense ... enjoy the weekend.   I bet it will be empty wherever you go - which is the best way to ski Okemo  if it comes to that. 

About Magic - if you typically ski Mt. Snow please come with a different set of expectations - both are fun places to ski but in quite different ways.  

Have fun.

Unfortunately, half our family went from feeling somewhat lousy to full-blown flu symptoms on Friday, and I've had to bow my head to fate and call the whole thing off.

Trip insurance takes some of the sting out of it, but I'm definitely mourning the premature end of my season.

 

I posted a thread in General Discussions about giving away the 6 free lift ticket vouchers I won on Epic's recent resort review promo.

*I still have one Bromley voucher left to give away*

Anyone who wants to PM me their name & address can have it!

 

PS - as for expectations & Magic, I've heard that it's a scrappy little mountain, and that the draw is the terrain, not the polish.  While we actually enjoy the overall Mt. Snow experience (which feels very down-home, New-Englandy & Norman Rockwellish compared to Squaw Valley where I grew up skiing), we typically ski there because friends own a cabin just a few minutes up the road, and it's nice to hit the easy button for family ski trips & go where we have a well-oiled routine.

I tend to approach E.Coast skiing with the lowest expectations that I can muster, and can honestly say I've only been gravely disappointed so far with Statton, but not because it failed to live up to my expectations, but because it fails to live up to its own.  That overpriced, overgroomed molehill suffers from the worst delusions of grandeur I've ever encountered in a resort (end of rant).

Anyway, there are plenty of other options in VT, and as our kids get older and more adventurous, I'm sure we'll get out and explore them all, just not this season: our March is booked and the snow is obviously not going to stick around 'till summer.

post #11 of 12

I can tell you right now stowe has a huge base and its not going anywhere quick.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloscente View Post

Quote:

Unfortunately, half our family went from feeling somewhat lousy to full-blown flu symptoms on Friday, and I've had to bow my head to fate and call the whole thing off.

... I tend to approach E.Coast skiing with the lowest expectations that I can muster, and can honestly say I've only been gravely disappointed so far with Statton, but not because it failed to live up to my expectations, but because it fails to live up to its own.  That overpriced, overgroomed molehill suffers from the worst delusions of grandeur I've ever encountered in a resort (end of rant).

1 - Reality sucks, sorry to hear that.

2 - Good attitude re EC skiing but IMHO if you hit it frequently enough it will exceed expectations several times a year - and you never know when or where.   (It's even been known to happen at Stratton!)

 

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › VT snow intel: North vs. South - current snow conditions? Is South VT a "washout?"