|So let me just say - I've skied professionally, full-time, all around the world, for 15 years now. And New England sucks.
Thank you. Send hate mail to the editor. [img]smile.gif[/img] [/QB]
Yup, NE is a tough one. You count the great days on the fingers of one hand. I honestly don't know what the deal is. Many NE resorts were started in the late 40's and mid 50's. Was the snow good then, and bad now? The late 80's were bad. The early 80's saw the effect of Mt. St Helens (measurable cooling in the northern atmosphere) and '93 '94 saw Pinatubo which caused two great winters. Two years ago there was a lot of snow for some reason.
Technically, the storms come up the Eastern Seaboard. If they are in land, they bring the warm moist South Atlantic air up, and you play golf. If they are off the coast, they suck the cold Labrador air down and you rock and roll in nice powder.
Another issue is the size of the resorts. They are tiny. If the snow is poor, you (and everyone else) go to the resorts that make the best snow. The snow gets skied out quickly. In a good snow year, all are good and you see smaller crowds...less travelled resorts are the way to go (Bromeley, Sunapee).
And NE conditions are truly trick or treat. A few years ago (I think it was December of '96) there was seven feet of snow. Wonderful. Then January came, and mid January it rained for an entire week. It washed the entire base away (PA of course bore the brunt of this in flooding) and they started from scratch. Unreal. You'd think that with seven feet that it would be around until Spring. And the melt occured over *all* of NE.
It's a tough life
I well remember '88 where you were skiing on a white, machine made trail in the midst of brown. I believe last year was even worse.
First of all, you deal with machine made snow (and the marketers actually tell you it is better than natural snow, believe it or not). But the people from the cities (NY, Boston, NJ) really do believe that, so it all kind of works out. One time I made a run, and at the end, somebody at the bottom exclaimed,
"It don't get no better than that!!!!" Guess he never tried Utah, huh?
My take is that the crowds on the small area defeat the snow quality. Historically, there isn't the data that there is out west, but there is some data for Mt. Mansfield
. But this data doesn't take into accound the rain
which attacks the snow depth frequently (aka "freeze-thaw cycle").
But I have had many very fine, actually magical, skiing days there. I have to smile at Bob's comment, "Things change in ways we can never predict or imagine."...yep, this is NE. The week before I left NE, friends coaxed me up to Wildcat for a last day of skiing. I couldn't go up Friday night, so Saturday morning I set out. It was raining like hell. All the way up Rt 16 it was raining. Got to Jackson. It was raining. So I figured, oh well, we'll just hit the great Wildcat Tavern for a Guinness and say farewell. But as I climbed to Pinkham notch, it was snow. When I got to Wildcat, there was four feet of fresh on the ground. Runs were open that hadn't been open in years. Then the clouds blew out, and all day we had a clear view of Mt. Washington. I have the pictures.
Sometime, climb Mansfield or Tuckerman's.
And I will tell ya, there ain't no place in the world like Stowe or Quechee or Waitsfield, VT or Jackson NH or Bethel, Maine.[ November 01, 2002, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: Charlie Crabb ]