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Massachusetts school vacation

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
The skier in my morning lesson today was a lady from Boston who brought her three kids to Michigan to ski for what she said was a state-wide school vacation that occurs the week of the Presidents Day holiday. She said they decided to come here and were delighted to find a little 500-foot hill with a wide choice of uncrowded open slopes that had great snow and short lift lines. It didn't hurt that we've been unusually sunny on and off most days so far this week.

Anyway, her description of "family friendly" ski resorts in the east (read less expensive) was that they'd have narrow slopes made icy quickly by masses of family vacationers who also created lengthy lift lines.

Is that correct for this week? Are other Eastern states on a week-long school holiday?
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
The skier in my morning lesson today was a lady from Boston who brought her three kids to Michigan to ski for what she said was a state-wide school vacation that occurs the week of the Presidents Day holiday. She said they decided to come here and were delighted to find a little 500-foot hill with a wide choice of uncrowded open slopes that had great snow and short lift lines. It didn't hurt that we've been unusually sunny on and off most days so far this week.

Anyway, her description of "family friendly" ski resorts in the east (read less expensive) was that they'd have narrow slopes made icy quickly by masses of family vacationers who also created lengthy lift lines.

Is that correct for this week? Are other Eastern states on a week-long school holiday?
Mass has this week off.. I was at okemo last sunday and the main lodge resembled a day care center.. The conditions were good though.. Next week is NH vacation week..
post #3 of 15
Allow me to show my ignorance by stating that I thought most public school systems were on "winter" vacation this week!

To answer your question, Kneale -- yes, most Eastern states are on school vacation at the moment.

From what I remember from my days in Northern Vermont, a good deal of schools in Quebec are on holiday next week. The two week period beginning with the President's Day long weekend is generally one of the busiest for East Coast resorts.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I know about the Canadian national school vacation set through negotiation with the teachers union. I'd just never heard of a statewide school vacation. In Michigan, each local district sets its calendar and plans time off individually, usually with an eye toward keeping some time available for snow days so they don't have to extend the school year into the summertime to meet the minimum number of days required to get state funding. Rural roads can be a bear for buses to negotiate during and after storms, and if half or more of your students can't get to school, you don't get paid for that day either. And, of course, the unions have a say in the scheduling here too.
post #5 of 15
Most mid-Atlantic school districts that I'm familiar with only get Pres Day off, not whole week. Although with four skiing kids I envy that midwinter week off, but if crowds are so bad in New England that people prefer midwest...I don't know? I wouldn't think far northern VT, NH and ME would be too bad Tues-Fri of this week?
post #6 of 15
Yesterday there was virtually no lift line at Stowe. The weekend was an outright zoo however.
post #7 of 15
Here in NY schools are off the entire week and the slopes are packed for the most part .
post #8 of 15
Stratton was a zoo yesterday. However, if you go up top and ski the blacks, they're fairly uncrowded. Most of the masses are on the greens and blues.
post #9 of 15
In addition to getting the 'winter' break do they also get the 'spring' break?
post #10 of 15
Yup. April vacation. Theres Feb vacation and April vacation (at least in MA). The kids usually end up staying in school well into June, including snow days.
post #11 of 15
this coming weekend is usually the worst for crowds in NH, as it overlaps with both the MA (this week) and NH (next week) breaks.

I'm hoping the predicted cold weather will keep some of the crowds away. Waterville was not at all crowded last Saturday, due to the cold and conditions, I think.
post #12 of 15
Having grown up in the MA public school system and HS in a NH parochial school, the weeks are different, partly due to parents work schedules and vacation schedules. Mass has a lot more people than NH, VT and ME, and therefore they take the week prior to NH, VT, and ME. The thoughts seemed to be so parents could schedule vacations around New England and attempt to balance out the crowds, just think how chaotic the I-93 corridor ski areas would be with all of New England having the same vacation schedules.

Personally, I think the New England vacation schedules make sense because of how inter-related the states are. In New England, its very common to be fairly familiar with all the states. The biggest difference I've noticed was that in other parts of the country, many people only go to different states if they are taking an extended vacation (more than a day or shopping trip). But in New England its very common for people from MA to go to NH to shop, or to go to ME to go to the outlets, or go skiing in VT, etc.

Now in terms of family friendly areas in New England having winding trails, that's pretty much just how the New England ski areas are. Historically, New England Ski Areas were winding trails through the woods, where as Western areas are wider and more clear cut trails, or above tree line (like European trails). Its just a character of New England skiing.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus

Now in terms of family friendly areas in New England having winding trails, that's pretty much just how the New England ski areas are. Historically, New England Ski Areas were winding trails through the woods, where as Western areas are wider and more clear cut trails, or above tree line (like European trails). Its just a character of New England skiing.
Given the extremely crowded 'narrow winding trails typical of New England', the accident rate, and the unpleasantness of skiing in zooming traffic, wouldn't it be time to ditch 'tradition' and clear some wider trails at these places?

It may be 'the way it's always been', but slamming into people on trails that are too narrow for the crowds seems like a deliberate safety issue easily solved by logging some of the trees out and making them wider to accomodate the crush of skiers who clog every trail.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni
Given the extremely crowded 'narrow winding trails typical of New England', the accident rate, and the unpleasantness of skiing in zooming traffic, wouldn't it be time to ditch 'tradition' and clear some wider trails at these places?

It may be 'the way it's always been', but slamming into people on trails that are too narrow for the crowds seems like a deliberate safety issue easily solved by logging some of the trees out and making them wider to accomodate the crush of skiers who clog every trail.
Those "narrow windy trails" do serve a usefull purpose though -- it makes it very hard for the wind to strip a trail completely bare. Wide, straight trails can turn into wind tunnels. I also imagine it's a lot cheaper to do snowmaking on a narrow trail then it is on a wide one.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF
Those "narrow windy trails" do serve a usefull purpose though -- it makes it very hard for the wind to strip a trail completely bare. Wide, straight trails can turn into wind tunnels. I also imagine it's a lot cheaper to do snowmaking on a narrow trail then it is on a wide one.
While some of this is true (blocking wind), and other parts may be (cheaper), many areas do have a fair number of wider, more open trails, however, many areas are going to be hesitant to rid themselves of the winding trails because of the ambience of skiing through the woods. However, in terms of accident rates, most colisions I have seen and heard of happened on those wider trails (where people are more prone to go faster). The incidents I have heard of where people are injured or killed by going off the trails on winding trails have happened when people are going too fast for the given trail and typically the accidents appear (on description) as not being able to make a turn and going over the side and into the woods.

Personally, what I would like to see is more snow fencing through trail merges. If a snow fence extended into a trail merge, maybe even 20-30 feet to alow people to see each other, I have a feeling many accidents in trail merges would be avoided.
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