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Magic Mountain 2010-2011... Why the best mountain in S.VT is getting even better!

post #1 of 327
Thread Starter 

     Hey all, most of you know about my obsession with Magic Mountain but I had to start a thread about this coming season as there's just so many improvements, I'd be doing you a disservice by not telling you about them.  Even in the off season, I spend a great deal of time there helping the staff make repairs on equipment, camp and clear trails, and generally help out whenever and wherever I can.  It's because of this constant involvement that I can relay to you the massive changes Magic is making this year.  Dont worry, they aren't puttin gin a high speed gondi to the top, and there's still no village- thank God.  The things they ARE changing however, will vastly improve the overall skier experience without compromising what we all feel is the "magic experience". 

 

     First up is the mowing.  Magic recently purchased an AEBI flail mower, which has allowed them to mow a MUCH larger swath of the mountain, resulting in wider and smoother trails, as it gives the soft grasses a chance to grow above the goldenrod and other sticky brush.  Crews are out even as you read this widening trails to their border, cutting back the brush that is encroaching and making corners and such that have gotten hairy in the past few years a good, solid cleaning.  The difference in trail width and quality is already staggering. 

 

     Next is the snowmaking.  Magic's snowmaking has been in desperate need of repairs and upgrades for years, and it's been getting some SERIOUS attention in the off season this year.  Look for the west end to blow snow for the base- and staple trails like wizard and talisman should have full ability to blow snow should the need arise.  Also, a myriad of patches and fixes along the east side piping will mean that the guns that were not functional last year will be ready to go.  Also they will be using the fan guns this year, not just the tower guns.  I for one, am excited to see the change this brings.  Magic is more of an off-piste oriented hill, but it's nice to have nice groomers, and it will also hopefully increase skier visits from other, more posh area resorts.   

 

     Up next is the grooming.  The old groomer operator was far from an artist but towards the end of the season you may have noticed a jump in the quality of the grooming on parts of the hill.  This is beacuse of Magic's new groomer operator who will now be handling the vast majority of the courderoy, as the old operator got the boot.  The new guy is obsessive about the quality of his work and I'm positive that you'll notice a huge difference in the quality of the grooming, it'll be that apparent.  Also, Magic is repairing one of their older snow cats, as to be able to groom the hill faster and relocate snowmaking equipment without stopping the other groomer or relying on sleds.

 

     On to tree runs, Magic's bread and butter.  Let's just say that I've already spent four or five weekends up there, camping out and cutting new woods trails/cleaning old ones with large groups of friends of Magic.  Magic might have far and away the best tree skiing in S.VT, but that doesn't mean we are leaving well enough alone.  Just this past weekend, we cleared out more than a dozen cliff bands, steep woods shots, a natural staircase pillowline and more than a few steep chutes.  Resting on our laurels is just not what we do.  We hike, we scout and we make the cool stuff we find skiable, it's just the Magic way.  Locations are tour-only, as in you have to come and find someone who knows to be shown them, but a season pass or share in the mountain is a sure bet for learning the ins and outs of the hill. 

 

     Now for the black chair.  Yes, it will be running this year.  Not all the time, but when the weekend "crowds"  create a liftline (GASP!  A LINE!?!???) it will be an option to disperse the people a bit better.  There were a few days last year when there was actually a 15 minute wait in line, which was weird.  It will be good to have that as an option this year for sure, as time spent waiting line is time NOT being spent sliding downhill, and that's not cool.   

 

     Park skiing.  Yes, Magic will have some this year.  Not a huge Red-Bull sized park, but a few features to keep the jib kids happy, most likely on Carumba but nothing set in stone as far as how much there will be just yet.  It's been discussed, and it seems everyone agrees that Magic should use some of the park stuff it had spread around the hill, so look for that as well. 

 

     Basically if you liked Magic last year, you'll LOVE it this year.  If you loved it last year, you may just become as obsessed as I am with it and never want to leave again.  If there is anyone that has never been or people who have gone and maybe didn't get to let their hair down, please don't hesitate to PM me, etc.  It is my home mountain and I want to share it wil as many people as possible and make sure people have a blast when they're there.  It is in my opinion what skiing should be, and for those who want a no-hassle, all-skiing experience unrivaled in S.VT (or maybe anywhere for that matter!) and I hope to introduce my favorite hill to those of you who have had enough with the megaresort experience and want to get back to what's important.  Thanks for reading, and if you are interested in becoming a Magic shareholder or just want to keep up on what's happening on the hill, please stop by the following websites... 

 

Save magic official website, info on physical progress, share sales, management plans, etc. 

http://www.savemagicvermont.com/

 

The oh-fish-ul Mountain site, with info on season passes ($389 for a full season of skiing?!?!!??) 

http://www.magicmtn.com/seasonpass.php

 

Link to TGR thread about the volunteer camping trips and woods progress.  Last weekend's trip was I think page 8. 

http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=169458

 

So who is planning on spending time there this winter?  If you are, make sure you find me.  I'd love to show you all the awesome things Magic has to offer and introduce you to the people that make Magic what it is.  I'm 100% positive that once you get into the scene, you will never look at resort skiing the same.  Thanks for reading and if you have any questions, concerns or ideas, throw them out there!  Also, if you have a cool story of some awesome pictures, throw them in here too! 

post #2 of 327

Wow DoWork, Thanks for sharing this!

post #3 of 327

One of the few areas in the east I will miss. 

post #4 of 327
Thread Starter 

No problem TC, now I just have to work on getting the Academy coaching and admin staff there during your December trip to the NE!  :) 

post #5 of 327

I will definitely make my first return to Magic in over 20 years. And how about a post-ESA Stowe get-together? I could do that on my return trip to PA.

post #6 of 327
Thread Starter 

Evan, what a great idea!  That way you could put those newly acquired skills to work! 

post #7 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

No problem TC, now I just have to work on getting the Academy coaching and admin staff there during your December trip to the NE!  :) 


Oooooh that would be fun wouldn't it?

post #8 of 327

Thanks for the info, Do Work.

 

How much would Magic offer an improving high intermediate skier.  I only really started skiing a lot last year and most of my experience was on piste (I mostly skied Stratton, Okemo, Killington, Saddleback, ME).  I enjoyed Saddleback's glades, but haven't spent a lot of time off piste in the woods.  That being the case, do you think Magic is an option for me?  I'm certainly not saying I'm against tree skiing, just that I'm probably not yet good enough to handle the most difficult runs or do it all day.  I'm a grad student in Connecticut, so assuming I could get the college student rate, I'd be tempted to buy a pass if I thought I'd come up three or four times.

 

What do you think?  (Any other Magic skiers please weigh in too)

post #9 of 327

Marcus- if you can get the Magic college pass it's a no-brainer.  $129!?!?  One of the nice things about Magic is that even if you aren't an expert & taking advantage of the tree-skiing, it still has really cool terrain.  If you're like most, eventually skiing on wide open groomers will get boring.  Sure, it's fine for early season or to get a warm up in, but eventually you want some variety.  Magic has a lot of intermediate, narrow windy trails that are really fun to ski.  It's also a great place to learn skiing trees.  I don't remember most of the trail names (i'm bad at that), but I remember last year skiing in trees that would be great for intermediates.  My only knock on the place would've been that early season could suck because of a lack of snowmaking.  But with the improvements DoWork points out that shouldn't be a problem this year.  And lets hope we get some early snow this year in VT!!!  Last year it didnt' start until mid-Dec!!

 

DoWork- Thanks for the updates.  Keep them coming!  Looking forward to getting up there this year!

post #10 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

Thanks for the info, Do Work.

 

How much would Magic offer an improving high intermediate skier.  I only really started skiing a lot last year and most of my experience was on piste (I mostly skied Stratton, Okemo, Killington, Saddleback, ME).  I enjoyed Saddleback's glades, but haven't spent a lot of time off piste in the woods.  That being the case, do you think Magic is an option for me?  I'm certainly not saying I'm against tree skiing, just that I'm probably not yet good enough to handle the most difficult runs or do it all day.  I'm a grad student in Connecticut, so assuming I could get the college student rate, I'd be tempted to buy a pass if I thought I'd come up three or four times.

 

What do you think?  (Any other Magic skiers please weigh in too)



I think it would be a great option for you Marcus.  The best part about learning at Magic is that while it has plenty of mellower terain for those still honing their confidence and technique, it also has the stuff to push your ability level on once your confidence and ability has grown.  One of the great things about learning at Magic is how quiet the trails are.  It's tough to concentrate on form and flow when you're in traffic with random people swooping in to kill you, and I really appreciate the solitude your group feels around the hill, it helps you concentrate on your own skiing and to enjoy yourself without worrying so much about what others are doing around you.  Also a very low-pressure environment, you don't really hear any down-talking, just genuinely nice people that will all want to help you get better.  If you'd like to warm up to more tree skiing there's also plenty of smaller, more mellow areas to cut your teeth in and find your mojo.  I'd be more than happy to show you around and help you get the feel for the mountain, it's a great place to be! 

 

As someone who wants to get better every dayI ski, I can't imagine a place that would be better to advance yourself than Magic, and at $120ish for a full-season college pass, a big night out's bar tab worth of dough has never brought you so much enjoyment! 

 

post #11 of 327

I forgot to add that the vibe at Magic is one of its best aspects.  It's very comparable to MRG in that way.  It's a chilled out, relaxing atomosphere.  The bar (i forget the name) for after skiing is great too.

post #12 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post




Oooooh that would be fun wouldn't it?



Sure would!  Based on my skiing with Bob Barnes last year, I think he'd really appreciate the steeps up there for sure! 

post #13 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by farlep99 View Post

Marcus- if you can get the Magic college pass it's a no-brainer. 





Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

As someone who wants to get better every dayI ski, I can't imagine a place that would be better to advance yourself than Magic, and at $120ish for a full-season college pass, a big night out's bar tab worth of dough has never brought you so much enjoyment! 

 


Thanks to both of you for the replies.  Magic sounds exactly like the kind of place I'd love.  I'll make a plan of getting a student pass this year if I can.  And Do Work, I'll hopefully see you up there sometime this year.

 

Thanks again!

post #14 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

Do Work, I'll hopefully see you up there sometime this year.

 

Thanks again!



If it's a pow day, I'll be the guy at the front of the liftline that can't stand still with the huge smile. 

post #15 of 327

 

Aug 18, 2010

 

Hi DoWork:

 

Great report on an area which I've been intrigued about ever since the 80s when I read in Ski (or Skiing) magazine that the owner Swiss skier/instructor Hans Thorner spent his summer times scouting the mountain, picking up rocks and stones and manicuring the trails.  The reason that he spent so much time on summer trail grooming/maintenance was that he believed this would contribute to early openings as well as better quality skiing even when the snow depth on the trails was marginal.  The guy was "green" ahead of his time.  Don't know whether you're familiar with this story or not and if you can fill in the details?  Anyway, drove past this area in the early 90s and it was sad and forlorn looking.  I definitely want to ski this area and hope you'll be around so that we can make a few turns together.

 

Think snow,

 

CP 

post #16 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post

 

Aug 18, 2010

 

Hi DoWork:

 

Great report on an area which I've been intrigued about ever since the 80s when I read in Ski (or Skiing) magazine that the owner Swiss skier/instructor Hans Thorner spent his summer times scouting the mountain, picking up rocks and stones and manicuring the trails.  The reason that he spent so much time on summer trail grooming/maintenance was that he believed this would contribute to early openings as well as better quality skiing even when the snow depth on the trails was marginal.  The guy was "green" ahead of his time.  Don't know whether you're familiar with this story or not and if you can fill in the details?  Anyway, drove past this area in the early 90s and it was sad and forlorn looking.  I definitely want to ski this area and hope you'll be around so that we can make a few turns together.

 

Think snow,

 

CP 



Oh, it's well known that Hans Thorner was way ahead of his time.  Many of his practices still live on, and the loose rocks on the trails still depend on the hands of the workers and volunteers that put in time there to throw/carry them into the woods.  Historically, it has been a mountain that has done a lot with a little and it continues to do so.  It does give you an immense sense of pride to go there and put in some effort to clean up the hill, then come back in the winter and say "yeah that's right, I helped make this run awesome!".  Hans also was a big believer in the maintainance of the hill maintaining more than just the trails- it's good for YOU too! 

post #17 of 327



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post





If it's a pow day, I'll be the guy at the front of the liftline that can't stand still with the huge smile. 


He'll be the guy right behind me.

 

Well said Dowork.  Might be a little long but I thought i'd throw international filmaker legend Guy Douchette's year end film up.

 


 

post #18 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Work View Post

 

  ...  Now for the black chair.  Yes, it will be running this year.  Not all the time 

    ,



I'm not going on it, at least not without a rope.  I don't want to get stuck on it when it's not running!

 

DoWork, easy does it in the woods.  Remember they are woods not glades.  Leave anything over 3/8".  Before you know it the place will look like Stratton.

post #19 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

 

DoWork, easy does it in the woods.  Remember they are woods not glades.  Leave anything over 3/8".  Before you know it the place will look like JAY!

 

 

I fixed it for ya, and you're preaching to the choir!  I know you and Live4ski will be back next year   I know he got his $$$ worth on his pass last year for sure, now we just need YOU to smile for the camera and get one of those shiny cool-kid passes, I'll even throw in a Save Magic lanyard at no extra cost!   
 

post #20 of 327

Can't wait to get back there again this year - a great place that sounds like it could be getting even better.

post #21 of 327

DoWork, thanks for the save magic shout out.  While it is hard to believe the vibe could ever be better than last year, I agree it will be exciting to see the hill regain some glory with long overdue infrastructure repairs.

 

Sorry we missed you guys last weekend, see you on one of the next work days.

post #22 of 327
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

Thanks for the info, Do Work.

 

How much would Magic offer an improving high intermediate skier.  I only really started skiing a lot last year and most of my experience was on piste (I mostly skied Stratton, Okemo, Killington, Saddleback, ME).  I enjoyed Saddleback's glades, but haven't spent a lot of time off piste in the woods.  That being the case, do you think Magic is an option for me?  I'm certainly not saying I'm against tree skiing, just that I'm probably not yet good enough to handle the most difficult runs or do it all day.  I'm a grad student in Connecticut, so assuming I could get the college student rate, I'd be tempted to buy a pass if I thought I'd come up three or four times.

 

What do you think?  (Any other Magic skiers please weigh in too)

Magic is the hill that made me a skier.  I have been skiing the hill over 30 years now and have been a passholder for many.  If you have only skied the above mentioned mountains you will notice quite a few things.  Magic is considerably less polished but the rough edges create its charm.  While grooming has improved greatly in the past 2 years and will improve even more this season, you will learn about skiing natural terrain.  Yes, you will encounter a rock or a branch, probably not on a green but certainly on a blue.  We call them "geological treats" and as you get better, the rock becomes a place to get air.  

 

Most important is Magic's focus.  It is not about the best lift system, the most peaks or a base village. The focus remains on the skiing and the community.  Not that big resorts are bad, it is just nice to have an alternative.  Magic is the like cheers on skis, our lift attendants are Dave and Harley and they have been for many years.  Our bartender is Lisa and Tyler in the kitchen knows to serve up three racer's specials for us in the morning.  You can show up alone and find someone to ski with all day.  Yes all mountains have regulars but it seems that most who stop by become regulars here.  One major difference is that we want more people at our mountain to keep it open.  Any of the regulars would be happy to give you the a tour and show you a few secrets.    

 

So give Magic a try one day, if you like what you see and think you'll be back 3 more times they will credit your ticket towards a pass. Most of the regulars sit around the ned of the bar between the deck bar and the Freedogger message board. (Just don't sit at the 2 tables below the Freedogger board, this could result in injury).  If you introduce yourself someone there would gladly give you a personal tour.  You can also PM one of us before you come.

 

We don't have sushi but we have a damn nice shot ski.
 

post #23 of 327

Aha, I do have an Epic Ski screen name..thought I might.

 

+1 for loving Magic. Been skiing there for 5 years and I love it. 

 

This weekend was pretty amazing and we cleared out some new features on some secret stashes.

 

20-25 feet without snow.

 

 

The sunsets aren't too shabby

 

38593_418465161639_690021639_5356801_2456137_n.jpg

 

Not a bad view to wake up to

 

40400_417947866639_690021639_5339417_5282195_n.jpg

 

 

Glad this new group of management is kicking some butt and taking names. It's amazing what some intelligence, passion and hard work can do for a place.

 

Looking forward to another amazing season. 

post #24 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangegondola View Post

Magic is considerably less polished but the rough edges create its charm.  While grooming has improved greatly in the past 2 years and will improve even more this season, you will learn about skiing natural terrain.  

 

Most important is Magic's focus.  It is not about the best lift system, the most peaks or a base village. The focus remains on the skiing and the community.  Not that big resorts are bad, it is just nice to have an alternative.  Magic is the like cheers on skis, our lift attendants are Dave and Harley and they have been for many years.  Our bartender is Lisa and Tyler in the kitchen knows to serve up three racer's specials for us in the morning.  You can show up alone and find someone to ski with all day.  Yes all mountains have regulars but it seems that most who stop by become regulars here.  One major difference is that we want more people at our mountain to keep it open.  Any of the regulars would be happy to give you the a tour and show you a few secrets.    

If you introduce yourself someone there would gladly give you a personal tour.  You can also PM one of us before you come.

 

We don't have sushi but we have a damn nice shot ski.
 



All quoted for truth   OG makes a fantastic shotski partner, impromptu lead singer and tour guide for sure! 

post #25 of 327

OK, I must know...what's shot ski?

post #26 of 327

Marcus we regularly ski with a 7 yr old who can ski just about anything.  He just does a bit slower.  My point is Magic has great trails for all abilities. 

 

farlep99 let us know when you're coming & we'd be happy to ski with you.  Myself OG & DoWork are there every weekend, holidays, hooky powder days, etc.

 

The bar is Goniff's Den.  Say hello.   I'm in bright yellow in the vid I posted, OG has the smurf pants & we always have cams on our heads.

 

I know it's only post #2 for me but I still have quite a few Save Magic T-shirts if anyone is interested. (spam)

post #27 of 327
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post

OK, I must know...what's shot ski?



A shotski is a ski with shotglasses attached down the length of it.  It basically means that 4 people all take a shot at the same exact time.  Magic also has a coaching staff that's second to none for this truly... ahem...  epic undertaking.  I'm sure there will be pics posted soon... 

post #28 of 327

Magic2-27-10torchlite023.jpg?t=1282238853

post #29 of 327

I posted a pic of the shotski "because i'm new here this has to be moderated".  If you guys want some Magic stoke, please correct this.

post #30 of 327

I may have met one or two of you last year, but it was after skiing.  I was there with my girlfriend (an awesome tree skier) & she bought a Save Magic t-shirt.  That shirt got a lot of comments during spring skiing @ Mad River & Sugarbush.  The people were big fans.  Last year I did a share house @ Mt. Snow which we pretty much decided we'd no longer do after visiting Magic.  We plan on doing most weekends there this year (when we don't go further north), although not sure what we'll do for lodging.  Do you know are there many share houses in the area?

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Magic Mountain 2010-2011... Why the best mountain in S.VT is getting even better!