Weekend Outlook

By:  Greg
October 15, 2009 4:46 pm | Category: Skiing

As many of you know by now, there is snow in them-thar-hills. On Monday night/Tuesday morning a potent winter-like system moved through the north country (as forecast by our weather team), and layed down a substantially beautiful layer of white in the hills and even in some of the colder valleys. Since then there have been on-and-off flurries in the Greens and Whites. Moreover, looking ahead to the weekend, our very own Lionel Hutz is tracking the first potential Nor’Easter that could be approaching the area this weekend.

As we have noted on the blog, the FIS have all been getting out to enjoy the snow,

Click to enlarge.

But a party of three is no fun, so in case all the white stuff has your juices flowing, and you want to get out on the hill this weekend and try to make some (junkboarding) turns of your own, here’s our no-warranty “Weekend Outlook” and snow report.

Currently the Mount Mansfield Snow Stake sits at 3″, and from our experience this is pretty much dead on accurate in terms of the snow you can expect to find on the ski trails at Stowe as of today. Of course you can expect less at the base than at the summit, but as of the time of writing, snow was available for sliding top to bottom. Temps look to be cold into the weekend, so we can probably expect that to stick around. As Sam noted on Tuesday however, he couldn’t believe how many people were out sliding on grass, and so you might actually find it to be tracked out at Stowe.

A bit further south, the heart and soul of skiing, Mad River Glen has all of its blue squares skiing exceptionally well. The snow is slightly deeper than 4″ above 3,000 feet. Sam and friend of FIS, Jshefftz, were there on Wednesday morning and recorded several laps, and both reported excellent conditions. See here for Jshefftz’s full report.

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Down at Sugarbush north, Sam, KC and I (Greg) did a dawn patrol on Thursday and found that although there was no snow at the parking lot, blue slopes on the upper mountain (especially Elbow) were absolutely fantastic, and the junkboarding was maybe even feeling like REAL skiing.

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Snow was deeper on the upper reaches of Sugarbush than it was at Stowe. In places it was even measured up to the mid calf (approximately 7″). Of note is the fact that on the upper mountain the water bars are almost completely filled in. This convenience-to-sliding simply cannot be underestimated.


One thing that was noticeably missing from Sugarbush however was foliage (or “Snowliage” as some are calling it). Almost all the leaves are gone from the trees there, so if you want to be skiing and taking in the leaves at the same time, don’t head there. Stowe however still has some extremely vibrant oranges and reds (yellows are almost gone though), so that would be your option for peak foliage skiing. Although it sounds pretty lame, I cannot emphasize how incredibly cool it is to ski down amidst brilliant orange and red:

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Down at Killington they’ve been making snow around the clock, but haven’t mentioned if they will open this weekend. If they don’t, all we can say is that all that marketing hype about the “Beast of the East” being back is exactly that: hype. I guess the Beast doesn’t prepare for opening day… Opening day prepares for the Beast… apologies to JerseyGuy on Kzone.

Way down at Mount Snow it looks like they have the guns going, and will be open with a little tiny patch of delicious good stuff. Could be a lot of fun for those in the area. Not sure if it’s worth the trip though if you are coming from farther away.

Over in Maine Sunday River was the first to open with lift serviced skiing for the 09-10 ski season. Congratulations! MadPatSki went over today (Thursday) to check it out, and we’ll update this post with his report as soon as he checks in. Also EasternSlopes.com has a full report of what’s going on in that neck of the woods.

A few miles west, over in NH, our own Allen A. Taylor went and checked out the conditions at Cannon Mountain. Seems like the junkboarding is doable, but if you can get to Vermont, I think the snow will be deeper and a little bit more forgiving.

Finally for the brave of heart, it should be noted that our favorite rock pile, Mount Washington, has received over a foot of snow this October, with well over 6″ this week. Ground conditions at the summit report 5″ of snow and ice with deeper drifts. Apparently on Wednesday the Mount Washington Observatory shift change was forced to abort plans to ascend via the auto road due to 4′ drifts, and had to take the cog railway instead. In my mind 4′ foot drifts=face shots… hmmm… In any case, our very own top secret operative at the cog railway has provided two pictures of the current conditions from near the summit. Many Bothans died to bring us this information:

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Click to enlarge

Be advised this is the upwind side of Mount Washington, so you wouldn’t expect to see snow sticking around here. Even in the dead of winter the NE side of Mount Washington often looks more like the moon than a skier’s paradise. Indeed, all the snow is usually blown to the east side of the mountain (looker’s left in the picture) over the summit cone towards Tuckerman. The only exception to this would be if the storm was a Nor’Easter (cough… weather section has it covered…cough…) in which case the snow would be blown to the west side of the mountain. That said, the ravines webcam isn’t looking too promising either. If you do decide to approach Big George this weekend, please do it wisely and safely. Conditions above timberline will no doubt be life threatening.

We’ll have a full trip report up with oodles of pictures for your viewing pleasure next week when things calm down. Until then, I hope this suffices to get you out on the hill… I hope to see you out there! Good luck and CARPE SKI ‘EM!



  1. andyzee
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 5:42 pm  

    Great report! Now get a job!

  2. Jon
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 5:50 pm  
  3. ml242
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 7:03 pm  

    sick post. to borrow from McDonalds “I’m Lovin It”

  4. Owen
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

    This site rocks. Extremely informative and always good for a laugh.

  5. Greg
    wrote on October 15th, 2009 at 8:43 pm  

    Thanks Owen. Glad to hear it! That’s what we’re aiming for!

  6. Jonathan Shefftz
    wrote on October 16th, 2009 at 12:35 am  

    Great to hook up with Sam yesterday at MRG!

    So today I went hiking on Mt Greylock with a friend who is hiking the AT – he started off as a somewhat “pure” thru hike, but he’s section hiking now, so we started at the Thunderbolt parking lot, then did a loop up the Thunderbolt, then up and over the summit on the AT, then down the Cheshire Harbor Trail. Temps were in the 30s at the base, definitely below freezing at the summit, with some frosted-over trees. I kept thinking, wow, if this keeps up, soon we’ll be skiing in northern New England! Oh, wait a minute — then I remembered yesterday:

  7. MadPatSki
    wrote on October 16th, 2009 at 9:52 am  

    Nice touch on KC picture. LOL Did she find it in Argentina???

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