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Q:Upstate NY, VT early season?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am putting together a biz trip to Albany, NY next week. I wonder if it's worth to pack the ski's and kick off the season in one of the upstate NY or VT places on the weekend of 7-Dec. I would have to invest in rental car and accomodation, so i'd hate to get skunked. I hear Killington is open based on snowmaking? I've been there last season 1 time (same scenario) and did not return as a convert, really, but it's the white that really matters, so: Which place has the best conditions right now? I'll take it from there (follow the weather news, basically).
Also: Many places open on the last weekend of November. I'm concerned about obnoxious weekend crowds, especially that early season. Q: to East coast skiing veterans: Avoid or go? THX in advance!
post #2 of 12
It's definitely worthwhile, if the weather reports are correct. Killington, Okemo, Gore and Mt Snow have all been open, and by Thanksgiving almost everyone should be open. Pre-Christmas crowds are always tolerable or better, and if we get a good storm, the first week of December could be the best skiing of the year. Or it could rain. Check the weather forecast.

post #3 of 12
Can't speak to NY, but in VT early season best bets are Killington and Okemo. Early December is a tough call with weather as rain or snow can fall from the sky. If temps have stayed below freezing at night and there hasn't been rain early season can be good.

Check the Okemo or Killington websites. To correctly understand the trail count divide the number of open trails by 3 if you are an optimist or 4 if you are a realist for the actual number of ways down the mountain. So if the report says there are 36 open trails figure a dozen or so ways down the mountain.

Killington with the high elevation and different faces can usually deliver the goods early. New England has had some natural snow. Go for it!
post #4 of 12
Okemo is generally overly groomed, but it's a good early season choice. It's not steep, but it has cruisers and they generally groom nicely spaced moguls into some of the blue and black runes.
post #5 of 12
If you're going to albany and want an alternitive to the Vermont crowds I would try Gore or Whiteface. We're supposed to get some snow tommorrow night so Turkey day should be nice!
post #6 of 12
I teach at Okemo and was there last weekend. They are boasting about 23 trails but that really amounts to about 5. The conditions were quite good with a hardpacked base and some fresh natural on top.Saturday was cold and windy with some of the fluff getting blown to the sides of the trails leaving some pretty icy stuff in the middle. Sunday after some good grooming the cover was very good. They are making snow around the clock and plan to have about 50 trails open this weekend. I would expect it to be rather busy being a holiday weekend. Ludlow is also expecting snow showers over the weekend. Hope this helps
post #7 of 12
Killington would be a good bet. I was there last weekend and they had enough natural snow to fill in the trees and make some of the higher tree runs skiable.

They are also calling for light snow showers (1-3") almost every other day for the next 10 days on the forecast, so yes, I think is it worth it.

Don't know about any other place up there as I have only been to Killington so far this year.
post #8 of 12
Today's snow is going mostly south, so don't discount a trip to the Catskills. Watch the weather and hope for the best.

post #9 of 12
I would definitely go, provided the weather holds up (easy enough to check online). It's shaping up to be one of the best (i.e. early & good quality) opens in several years. I always try to get at least one trip in pre-Christmas every year. Last year, I didn't go until the weekend before Christmas, because the conditions were so sketchy. This year, they've had quite a bit of snow over a period of time, & it's been consistently cold enough for them to build a decent base. In addition to the places listed above, you may also want to consider Stratton, which, as of today, has 30 open. Given their snowmaking capacity, they can crank it out pretty fast as long as it stays cold.

If you pay attention to the conditions and are ready to go as soon as they are favorable, early skiing in the East can be great. Relatively small crowds, good deals (ski & stay, etc.), & hopefully good conditions. Think about it....go skiing, or hang out in Albany for the weekend....is there really a debate there?

I'm probably heading up next weekend. Maybe I'll see you up there somewhere.
post #10 of 12
Just returned from Killington. The skiing was outstanding. Most of the mountain was open. It snowed about 6-8in. 11/30 to 12/1. Based on first hand reports from Whiteface and So. VT, I would suggest that Killington would be the best bet for this week.

It sure was great to see plenty of natural snow at Thanksgiving! It looked like they're almost ready to open up Bear Mt. too. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #11 of 12
Killington is in great shape (skied Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). They picked up about a foot and a half while I was there (on top of decent coverage), based on what was on my car each day. Friday it got a little skied off by the end of the day and the hardpack underneath was a good test of the edges. Saturday was absolutely great. Sunday was even better, except visibility was minimal due to the snow dumping like crazy. Weather for the rest of the week is cold with some more flurries predicted, so next weekend (12/7 & 8) should be great...I can't wait to get back up there. Definitely worth the trip. Lots of terrain and darn good conditions.
post #12 of 12
Rodney - you should have stayed until the Afternoon on Sunday. Absolutely wonderful skiing. Sun was out & the pow was knee deep in the trees.
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