Originally Posted by at_nyc
I'm unfamiliar with "Thanksgiving", at least not in skiing terms! It's just one day off (vs. the 2 during Christmas/New Year). There're several of such one-day-off during the better part of winter: President's Day, and something called MLK day? And the even lessor known one call "Easter"!
You must have a public sector job. Anyone in school tends to get five days off for Thanksgiving, y'know: Weds through Sun. And Christmas can be a full week for many students. So parents try to cobble together their own vacation days, this is why that week is blackout for some season pass packages; so much demand. This also is why most resorts don't become fully operational until Thanksgiving weekend, BTW. Wash the dishes Thursday, hop in the car, and Ski Trip!
That's not true.
Many of the mid-winter thaws washed away the snow on natural trails down to the brown/grey matter. Only trails with the most heavily man-made stockpile had enough base to remain open. It's by no means "the whole mountain to play with". We'll have to agree to disagree about this, hopefully not referent to MIB3. Maybe it's about what areas we tend to ski in. Up in northern New England, have never seen a thaw like you describe, and I've lived here for 30 some years. Or maybe just random chance; you hit 'em, I didn't. Before this year, spent more time further north, Smuggs and Stowe, up into Canada, or over at Cannon and Waterville Valley, so could be that too.
I happen to know because I got into the habit of buying comp tickets off people who got skunked by such days (but don't have time to use the comp). I can recall many years I got MOST of my skiing using such tickets. So yes, that how often those days happen. Again, really have not had that experience. Perhaps closer to NYC?
Well, you missed a lot of the open trail then!
But you can be excused for the ignorance, because even I missed Mouse Trap and Snowdon completely. And only "found" Rime(?) on the last run down.
That's not to mention couple of the ones on the Canyon side I didn't get to (or not enough run on) till later in the day. They would have skied better earlier in the day. I only wish I got there on first chair (only made it at 9 instead of 8) so I have more time to ski the ones I didn't have time for. What Killington had open last Sunday was as many trail count and verticle as many mountains HAVE, never mind being open even in mid-winter! Well, yes. I grew up in Los Angeles, where the local mountains were more like one face with five runs, all sheet ice, only open for a few weeks after each storm. So I guess from that perspective...And obviously some stretches all over K-ton Sunday you could ski if you wanted to hike from one to another to find 50 yards of slush, then off with the skis and walk for a bit. Bear looked like that. But how did you get to Mousetrap etc.? Board showed only Gondola and Superstar running. Was Quad open? Cuz no route open from K peak. I skied off Gondola, which had a very thin, rapidly melting path down to Canyon, Cascade was decent, couple of other short cut overs that Killington of course names and calls a run were open, Double Dipper was mostly grass with one yard wide choke point after another. Saw bunches of folks walking through the mud below there. Launch Pad, which is a traverse they stockpiled snow on, allowed access from the peak to Ovation, which was sorta half of half open. All of which is why they closed the Gondola, as of today, only the Superstar Chair is operating. No more lateral access, nothing at bottom. But hey, I think you should zoom up and hit Superstar, plenty of snow there. Meanwhile, sorry, but kids have soccer league this weekend...
More generally, I'd say that we may differ on our definitions of alpine skiing. I actually really enjoy conditions like that on the right equipment. Eg, hiking boots and snowshoes on a pack. Or perhaps, with one more last overnight snow, old AT rig. Great to just explore, knock around the woods, watch the world wake up. Doing the same set of bumps over and over with a bunch of drunks in T's, aviators, and carefully backwards baseball caps, maybe not so worth the drive.