Why Do the License Plates Turn Green?

By:  Greg
April 11, 2011

As the old joke goes: “How do you know when it’s spring in New Hampshire? The license plates turn green.”

To those of you who get the joke: High Five; you’re awesome. To those of you who don’t: It’s a way live-free-or-die skiers unctuously make reference to the fact that Vermonters invade their White Mountains come spring.

Either way, it’s perhaps one of the better jokes going around the east coast backcountry ski community if for no other reason than because it’s true; each spring green plates fill the lots of White Mountain trailheads. After a season of skiing “out west” in Vermont, in spring, many a Vermont skier heads “back east” to schuss the thousand-foot-plus coolers of New Hampshire.

Just as with the emergence of the first green leaves though, timing is everything when it comes to the changing of the license plate colors in New Hampshire. If the green plates come east too early, The Whites will welcome them with full on “big mountain” conditions, replete with avalanches and extreme weather. These are far too extreme for timid Vermonters, and so they choose to wait for a gentler mountain. If the green plates come east too late though, all the best runs will be full of runnels, lined with moguls–or worse yet–melted out! In fact, the best green plate blooms in New Hampshire are exactly when the elevation of powder preservation is slowly climbing the mountainsides from low to high. At least that’s what we think. This is the story of our migration.

Earlier this week, the elevation of powder preservation was quite low, and so the green plate bloom was postponed so this could happen.
bloom postponed

Amazingly enough even when the sun came out for a few days, a stiff NW wind kept the powder soft and fluffy. In addition, it seemed like every night a few inches of magic snow got wrung out of the atmosphere, providing just a bit more fluff factor each day.
Green Mountain Magic Snow in April

This is VTah after all… only the best champagne powder under a brilliant sun will do.
VTah in April

It was clearly just a bit too early for a green license plate bloom in New Hampshire when conditions were this prime “out west.”
a bit too early for green plates in NH

Even the snowboarders were getting some love from the fluff factor in the Green Mountains
Christian snowboards through powder in VT

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Read about the author:   Greg
Enjoy this TR? Read another: TR: A Presidential Orbit


  1. Skimtwashington
    wrote on April 11th, 2011 at 11:58 am  

    Whooaa! It’s KC this time capturing the top pic on this post! Nice job everyone…skiing and photos.

    You definitely need to hook up with an advertising agent and sell to a company like Mountain Dew or Snickers (remember our brief discussion at Lake o’ Clouds?)Even to film you, Greg and crew, for a commercial advertisement. Then you can do this full time! ‘Course you’ll probably stop posting when your a professional photog(making the $’s)-Cause then you’ld be giving it away..

    If I think or can Find a connection for you…..

    • Greg
      wrote on April 13th, 2011 at 8:07 am  

      Thanks! Yes indeed I remember our conversation at Lakes last year… and before that via email/T4T-PM regarding the Wild West TR.

      We are currently working with many potential sponsors, ad-buyers, and affiliates, but the climate is very rough for raising money for ski stoke. The primary producers of ski stoke (love them or hate them) have the market for advert dollars locked up pretty tight, and it’s hard to edge in. We keep trying though!

      Good thing we all love doing this stuff anyway… so I’m glad when folks enjoy it!

  2. ross
    wrote on April 11th, 2011 at 12:01 pm  

    Wow! Way to get after it. The far west high adirondacks were pretty good on Friday. But not like this! You guys rock. I’ve gotta get out of the lift sevre and score the sick gnar!

  3. MadPatSki
    wrote on April 11th, 2011 at 1:41 pm  


    I thought that Icelandic had a copyright on that joke.

    Greg, you got to tell me something. The ads that show up, are you the one that choose them? I’m scratching my head and I was somewhat disappointed not to see more skin in this TR based on the items below. ;)

    Beyond Coastal Natural Sun Care Kit SPF 30

    CARVE DESIGNS Women’s La Paz Bikini Top

    EXOFFICIO Women’s Give-N-Go Lacy Low-Rise Bikini

    Not sure where the whippet would fit in.

    • powhounddd
      wrote on April 12th, 2011 at 7:01 pm  

      ROFL indeed!

  4. Chris
    wrote on April 11th, 2011 at 2:07 pm  

    Solid work guys and gals. I must get up there with ya soon.

    • Greg
      wrote on April 13th, 2011 at 8:05 am  

      Thanks alot Chris! Yeah there’s lots to do in the Whites this year!

  5. icelanticskier
    wrote on April 11th, 2011 at 10:46 pm  

    well hot dang it! at least you know what side of the hill you’s westerners are supposed to be on! you sure “transitiony” is my only TM on here? ;)

    very nice thread! more folks should move west. skiing sucks east of the big river. (quite voice, go west, go west, go west……)


    • Greg
      wrote on April 13th, 2011 at 8:05 am  

      Yes Indeed rog… you certainly do have a few more TMs in here ;)

      i think you were the first person I heard the joke from, but I recall you heard it from someone else right?

  6. powhounddd
    wrote on April 12th, 2011 at 7:01 pm  

    snow is rad and going fast on it is even radder YEEEAAAAAAAAAAHH

  7. icelanticskier
    wrote on April 13th, 2011 at 2:13 pm  

    ya, i heard that joke in the mid nineties from a long time gos co-share holder:)

    tomorrow is not gonna $uck! you should quit work tomorrow and get over here.


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