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Late March Early April Conditions - West and/or New England

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Obviously, the snow quality out West is going to be superior out west in late March or early April, as the snow quality is superior there year round (from what I understand, at least, I've never skied in New Englad). That said, I'm hoping to get one last ski trip in this year, and I'm trying to get some feedback on what my options are.

 

I live in Philadelphia, so while Vermont isn't necessarily any closer travel time-wise than heading to Denver or Salt Lake City instead of VT (flying vs. driving), going to Vermont is more viable for me in this particular case for reasons such as cost/etc (no plane tickets, no rental car).

 

What can I expect snow-quality wise out west and in New England in the next 3-4 weeks? Is Vermont even viable, or has is warmed up too much? I'm pretty certain that CO/UT will yield good conditions, but not sure I can pony up the cash needed to make the trip happen.

 

Also - how late into April do good conditions hold (typically) in these locations?

 

Any feedback is appreciated.


Edited by greenlander - 3/21/11 at 9:00am
post #2 of 23

Especially this year, many resorts south of Killington are going to be a bust.  Mt. Snow has already basically announced they will close April 9, and I bet Okemo, Stratton, etc. will be in the same boat.  I can't speak for northern VT/Maine, but I'd definitely plan on spring conditions with some earth mixed in once you pass April 1. 

OTOH, I just got back from Utah.  There's still lots of snow on the ground (everywhere I went was 100% open save for avalanche closures) and it snowed another 4-9" over the weekend.  Coverage everywhere, including the trees and gulleys. 

I'd go west if it were me.

 

BTW: I just spent less than a $1,000 on a week for two for everything in Utah (rented a car and skis too) except the plane ticket.  Prices out west seemed very moderate for an easterner; the most expensive ticket (Alta) was $65!  Snowbasin was $58!!!  If you can manage a cheap flight, I think the actual experience is cheaper out west.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
BTW: I just spent less than a $1,000 on a week for two for everything in Utah (rented a car and skis too) except the plane ticket.  Prices out west seemed very moderate for an easterner; the most expensive ticket (Alta) was $65!  Snowbasin was $58!!!  If you can manage a cheap flight, I think the actual experience is cheaper out west.
 

 

I was afraid VT wasn't going to be an option, which may be a deal breaker.

 

Issue is kids in this case. Mine likely need to come along on this trip, and 2 extra kids means 2 extra plane tickets. Not to mention flying with two young kids ... Throwing them in the car and driving up to VT is a whole different (and infinitely easier) story.

 

If CO/UT look good out till April 15, I may still have a shot at going West.
 

 

post #4 of 23

My kids used to be on break the last 2 weeks of March and 4 airfares were beyond my means. I hedged our bets by trying to go as far North as possible while keeping the drive time under 8 hours. Over the years we hit Tremblant, Stowe, Jay Peak, and even Killington; had one sold week of rain, but overall lucked out conditionwise.

 

Killington's website shows an April 25 closing date, so it might be worth checking some of the others as well.

 

Don't know if they still do it, but Jay used to run some killer deals for ski in/ski out lodging including lifts and lessons for 2 adults with kids skiing free (lessons were extra but relatively cheap).

 

Conditions? Who knows at this time of year. Looks like it's supposed to stay cold through next week with some snow in the forecast; this morning I saw cars with snow on the roof driving down the NJ Turnpike. We once got 4 feet of snow at Jay the last week in March, so anything's possible.

post #5 of 23

Agree with Gary not to give up on Eastern skiing.  There will be no crowds or issues with last minute reservations.  I only get to New England for spring skiing on rare occasions, but it's my impression that Northern VT, NH and Maine all usually have some very fun skiing into April.  Just stay on top of the conditions at some of the places known for late season skiing such as Sugarbush, Stowe, Jay, Killington, Wildcat, Cannon, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Eastern Canada, etc.  Plan to go, but make your choice of final destination just a few days before you head up.  Obviously, the earlier in Apr the better and your mileage may vary for any particular spring season.  Around mid-Apr many of the still-open areas could shut down quickly if Mother Nature gets fickle.

Reports on two trips where I found very worthwhile spring skiing in the East around April 1st:

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=838&mode=headlines

http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1145&mode=headlines

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Ah, this is some positive news. I might be willing to push it to Jay or one of the Mt. Washington area resorts if they'll yield good skiing the first week of April. I suppose I'll just have to follow the weather. I'm inclined not to trust that just because the resort has trails open, they'll ski well, so I suppose the trick is watching temperatures and precip the next few weeks.

 

I don't want to drive 8 hours to ski on ice. I can do that in PA. smile.gif

post #7 of 23

In case you want to get out and try something new, we've currently got a 250" base and more snow in the forecast. The forecast is for snow every day for the next 10 days, although only a few inches each day. The 10 to 14 is looking like another serious round of storms.

 

Although I'll be the first to admit the cost and travel time is a wee bit more than getting to VT.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iWill View Post

In case you want to get out and try something new, we've currently got a 250" base and more snow in the forecast. The forecast is for snow every day for the next 10 days, although only a few inches each day. The 10 to 14 is looking like another serious round of storms.

 

Although I'll be the first to admit the cost and travel time is a wee bit more than getting to VT.



iWill - Who is we?

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately, right now the forecast for the first week of April in central/northern VT is for highs in the mid 50s and rain. Sure, we're 12-15 days out. Hopefully it stays cold for another week or so.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlander View Post





iWill - Who is we?


Mt. Baker; although all of the PNW areas (and much of the sierras) are having a grand old time.

 

post #11 of 23

Mammoth is getting nuked this week, so will likely be open until July 4th and the skiing will be good through May for sure.

post #12 of 23

In terms of snow quality, terrain, skiing potential etc., same answer as the rest of the season - west is best.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by snofun3 View Post

In terms of snow quality, terrain, skiing potential etc., same answer as the rest of the season - west is best.



I ski more powder here than I ever did at Snowbird, I also ski more ice as well. The best run of my entire life was taken in Vermont at 5pm on March 7th of this year. 48 inches of new over 2200 vertical feet with out a single track in it.

 

West is best for people who dont ever want to get better.

post #14 of 23

I'm surprised to hear you say BWPA that you ski more powder at Stowe than when you were at Snowbird. 500 annual inches vs 300 inches , would think more powder days at Snowbird.

 

Or at Stowe more powder days but typically less powder per snowfall?

post #15 of 23

Stowe passed 300 inches today. We passed 700 inches today. Wicked!

post #16 of 23



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenlander View Post

Unfortunately, right now the forecast for the first week of April in central/northern VT is for highs in the mid 50s and rain. Sure, we're 12-15 days out. Hopefully it stays cold for another week or so.


Keep the faith - weather forecasts beyond one week are amazingly unreliable beyond the temperature trend, and mountain weather is a whole different story. I used to hike with a grizzled New England woodsman who claimed that any mountain over 3000 feet had its own peculiar weather system. Don't know if there's any science to back that up, but I've seen plenty of annecdotal evidence.

 

The good thing about this time of year is that the hotels are empty. I wouldn't leave home without making a reservation, but you can wait until the last minute. 50's and dry isn't bad at all.

post #17 of 23

Whole mountain is empty. Got 6" last night and you could ski right onto the chair all day. Good times.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

I'm surprised to hear you say BWPA that you ski more powder at Stowe than when you were at Snowbird. 500 annual inches vs 300 inches , would think more powder days at Snowbird.

 

Or at Stowe more powder days but typically less powder per snowfall?



My impression from BWPA's posts is that he knows the mountain like the back of his hand, so he knows every stash there is to ski powder for weeks. I think at Snowbird, you're in some of the heaviest competition for powder in the world.

post #19 of 23
Stowe and jay in northern vt are good til mid april easy. I just came back from utah and all the cottonwoods are in good shape for the forseeable, alta/snowbird being in the best shape. The ogden resorts are still a good bet. Would recommend to stay away from park city as the conditions are deteriorating.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post

I'm surprised to hear you say BWPA that you ski more powder at Stowe than when you were at Snowbird. 500 annual inches vs 300 inches , would think more powder days at Snowbird.

 

Or at Stowe more powder days but typically less powder per snowfall?


the deal is you can find it easier at stowe....well at least I can. There are alot of times when we might get say 4 inches, then 6 inches, and 3 inches, then 3 inches and since we never had a "storm" ooone comes up but there is now a foot in half of unsettled snow where noone has skied it.  Inbounds trees are quite often untracked, let alone the sidecounty and backcountry which is hit up quite a bit but there is always spots people will pass up.

 

Today we got 6-10 inches of snow, with noone there there are untracked lines on the trails let alone the trees, we left after skiing untracked all the ways down the backside of spruce peak. It was snowing an inch an hour when we left.  That alright it sucks though go west to the bird! ;).

 

The thing is here you need to be a good if not great skier to ski our powder, you need to be comfortable in REALLY tight places, and you need to be on big skis. The rules out west dont apply , fat rockered skis arent a crutch but a necessity to deal with the layer cake and crust you can sometimes run into.

 

 

 

post #21 of 23

Though it causes me true pain, I'm going to defend BWPA.  I, too, object to his abrasive, cocky,overly-authoritative voice -- and especially his significant deficiencies in grammar and the niceties of English mechanics and punctuation.  He can be a confrontational pain.

 

However.....I understand where he is coming from.  96.5% of eastern skiers ski on trail or very close to official trails.  If you are willing to hike, or explore unofficial terrain, you can find all kinds of untouched snow.  And....that snow can be anything.  Often it is unexpectedly sweet powder.  But just as often, it is powder on top of crust, hardened old stuff, and some other combination.  Unlike out west, it is usually virgin, because you are the first and maybe only person there.  It resides in eastern woodland, which yields much tighter lines than western trees.  And, it often requires lots of skill and an ability to adapt on the fly that is not always present out west.

 

The best analogy for me comes from whitewater kayaking.  The rivers out west are HUGE and often require massive cojones simply to drop into the holes and drops.  But the rivers in the east are tight, fast, and extremely technical.  Each requires a different set of skills, but it could be argued that the ability to work precisely and quickly that eastern rivers demand leads to better technical paddlers. 

 

FWIW, I believe BWPA when he says he has had a great powder run at Stowe.  He may be exaggerating that his run was better than anything out west -- but I'd believe it was at least comparable in many ways.

post #22 of 23

Mar 23rd. I guess that qualifies as late March. Stowe reported 1" last night. Maybe they had their units mixed up.

DSC_1953.jpg

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Mar 23rd. I guess that qualifies as late March. Stowe reported 1" last night. Maybe they had their units mixed up.

DSC_1953.jpg



Boring... no one is in that picture.

biggrin.gif

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