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Mid Season Check Ins

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, it's February 10th, which means that for a lot of us we're right around halfway through the season. I thought it might be fun to have a "check in" and let everyone know how the season's been in our area. I'll get us started.

 

Location: Stowe, VT and Sugarbush, VT

 

Overall, we've had a pretty dry Winter. We had some good snow to get things started in late November, which has proven to be crucial to our season so far. Unfortunately though, our normal holiday season drought has lasted a bit longer than usual. This past weekend we did get a bit more snow though, so I'm hoping we've turned the corner and that there's still time for a few more storms. The upside to the season is that it's stayed pretty cold and rain free. Typically we get a few rainy days and some warmer weather just after the holidays, but we were fortunate enough to mostly avoid the days that tend to take away our snow base.

 

With the second half of the season still ahead of us, I'm looking forward to the possibility of getting a few more snow storms. If we don't I'm thinking I might have to break out the AT setup and get a few hikes in. Sure it won't be powder, but at least it'd be nice to break away from the weekend crowds a few times this year.

 

So what about you guys? How's the season been where you are? What things/experiences have you really enjoyed this season, and what lays ahead for the second half of the winter? Let's have some fun with this!

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiessentials View Post
 

 What things/experiences have you really enjoyed this season...

Started volunteering with adaptive ski program. Outside of self rewarding, I have met many awesome people that dedicate countless volunteer hours to assure anyone with a disability, or other reasons may also enjoy the same recreation we love so much. The program I never knew about, or never paid much attention has given me the opportunity to utilize my skills in a most rewarding way. Also though the program I have had the opportunity to teach smaller children without physical limitations how to ski, nothing is cooler than that. No worries Lindsey, the future of alpine will be safe.

 

Other than that it's been ""Polar Vortex"" in So WI, windy negative temps has limited my chair time to once or twice a week, been snowshoeing/adventuring the Baraboo Bluffs mostly.

 

Second half: Heading to CO in ten days, first vaca in years - - hence the posting of so many Q's on Epic.

 

That's my story, you asked. ...and my plug to promote volunteer work 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Jag- 

 

That's awesome. What kind of disabilities do you work with? I always find myself admiring skiers with disabilities... whether it's someone who has to use a sit ski or even a blind skier... I think it's pretty amazing that these people choose to overcome such crazy odds, just to get out there and be on the slopes with us. 

post #4 of 13

Michigan = best season in a very long time.  Constant lake effect December through February, pow days, almost no ice to speak of and just great skiing.

Best part of the season, starting to race, running gates with friends puts a whole new twist on things!

post #5 of 13

It has been an amazing season at Wolf this year. If you had asked me two weeks ago I would have been more muted.

 

The lifts opened on natural snow in Mid-October. Skiing at that point was altogether dicey (there is a video floating around on this site showing some of it), but from opening day you could hit some of the hike-to terrain and find skiable powder (with nasty sharks underneath, but still).

 

By the first week of November, some serious storms started hitting. Knee deep and 100% open the first week of November. By mid-November the base was in place to go full bore on the entire mountain. And the storms kept rolling in. By Mid December I had 18 ski days, 14 of which were more than 1' of snow.

 

Mid December the ridge formed and pushed all the moisture North. January is usually pretty dry, this year almost nothing fell.  However, Wolf still had one of the deepest bases in the country and had great mogul skiing on soft snow through most of the dry spell.

 

Until the last day of the month when the snow started again and has not stopped. Well over 100" so far this month. Ridiculously deep conditions and it just keeps piling on.

post #6 of 13

Massanutten is having a great season.  Early start in Dec.  Completely open by the demo weekend Jan. 11-12.  There was more new natural snow in Virginia in the first half of January than where I went out west.  More snow expected this week, just in time for Pres. Day weekend.  Although they really don't even need it because the base is well over 40 inches.  That's twice as much as what's needed at Mnut to have a very good time.

 

Similar good conditions in the rest of the southeast and Mid-Atlantic.

post #7 of 13
Whitefish has been having a great season overall. Started out with a bang, close to 100% open on day one. Incredible conditions throughout all of December. January started okay, but then a snow drought made its appearance. Didn't lose base, but didn't gain either. Things were still fluffy for a while, but day after day of clear skies eventually took a toll and it became all about the grooming. February has seen a slight pick up, but the real news is still to come. We are expecting over a foot this week, but I don't believe it until it is on the ground.

NO EXTRAPOLATION SHOULD BE DONE FOR OTHER MONTANA RESORTS, FOR FERNIE, OR FOR SCHWEITZER, based on this report. Whitefish has been having "its own" weather this season.
post #8 of 13

We have heard nothing about Stowe conditions. NOTHING. Who skis there ? I heard some dribble about alot of snowguns, or something like that.... 

:eek

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by COBillsFan View Post
 

We have heard nothing about Stowe conditions. NOTHING. Who skis there ? I heard some dribble about alot of snowguns, or something like that.... 

:eek

 

I'm wondering where the OP has been, if he says that Stowe avoided the rain. At the end of December and during the first 3 weeks of January, we had bitter, subzero cold for 5 or 6 days a week. Then it would warm up to 40, and dump an inch or two of rain, then the temps would drop again, freezing everything solid. Vermont got absolutely clobbered with rain this January, worse than I've ever seen. There wasn't a drought by any stretch of the imagination. Our base depths got slammed, and the November snow had absolutely nothing to do with our being able to survive thus far. It was the 9 million dollars in snowmaking over the last two years that made the on trail conditions bearable.

 

Once the rain was over, we have been continually missed by major storms time and time again. All those massive storms dumping a foot plus on the 1-95 corridor have given us a few inches if anything at all. We are finally able to get off trail, but the woods are still sketchy at times. In mid February. So this whole 'oh, it's been a little dry, but we've been lucky' stuff is ridiculous. Northern Vermont's season so far has been ugly, very ugly. We need a dump or two, badly.

post #10 of 13
Aspen's had a great season, right from the start.

Chicago's having the best XC season since I've been here, but it's been dam cold.
A balmy -2 this morning. Better get going!
post #11 of 13

This season has been great for Mid-Atlantic skiing.  My home mountain, Liberty has been 100% open since Christmas week with over a 4 foot base (gigantic for Liberty).  Most of the resorts out here rely on man made snow, so the only thing we need is extended cold temperatures.  I expect that one of the Snow Time ski ares (Liberty, Roundtop, and Whitetail) will stay open till the end of March with at least 90% of their runs open.  Snow Time usually only keeps one of their areas open past the first or second week of March.

post #12 of 13

It's been a below average season for snowfall here in West Virginia. What differentiates West Virginia (Timberline, Canaan Valley, Snowshoe and even Wisp in nearby MD) from the rest of the Mid Atlantic areas is the amount of natural snow (180-200 inches a year.) We've also had some warm-ups and rain (mostly early season) that have killed the base in the trees just as they were becoming skiable. That said, things are looking promising for tree skiing this weekend and next. Trail coverage and trail snow surface have been pretty decent.

 

So, I rate the first half as somewhat below average, but still tons of fun. And there are two halves to the ski season...

 

Edit: with the frozen Great Lakes, we'll have to rely on clippers, nor'easters and other instabilities to get our second half snow.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

 

I'm wondering where the OP has been, if he says that Stowe avoided the rain. At the end of December and during the first 3 weeks of January, we had bitter, subzero cold for 5 or 6 days a week. Then it would warm up to 40, and dump an inch or two of rain, then the temps would drop again, freezing everything solid. Vermont got absolutely clobbered with rain this January, worse than I've ever seen. There wasn't a drought by any stretch of the imagination. Our base depths got slammed, and the November snow had absolutely nothing to do with our being able to survive thus far. It was the 9 million dollars in snowmaking over the last two years that made the on trail conditions bearable.

 

Once the rain was over, we have been continually missed by major storms time and time again. All those massive storms dumping a foot plus on the 1-95 corridor have given us a few inches if anything at all. We are finally able to get off trail, but the woods are still sketchy at times. In mid February. So this whole 'oh, it's been a little dry, but we've been lucky' stuff is ridiculous. Northern Vermont's season so far has been ugly, very ugly. We need a dump or two, badly.

 

Okay, so I went back and took a look at this year's weather for Stowe and Sugarbush, and compared (what I could) to last year. Looks like you're right about Stowe getting more rain this year than last. To be honest, I've been skiing at Sugarbush more this year, which appears to have skewed my perspective a bit. While we've certainly had a couple of rainy days over at 'bush, it looks like Stowe got hit with harder rains when it did precipitate.

 

Take a look at the weather report for December over at Sugarbush, only 3 days with rain, none of them over 1/10". Stowe on the other hand, got over 1.5" of rain in December. Looks like I was a bit off with the initial report, apologies! Regardless, I think we can both agree that the forecast for the next few days is looking pretty nice!

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