Magic: You Never Forget Your First Time

It seems like everyone has an opinion about Magic Mountain in Londonderry VT. I certainly had one, and I’d never skied there. Over the years I absorbed enough to know that the old school hill was the place to be when storms dump on Southern Vermont.

I started to think about skiing Magic at the end of a big pow day at Hickory back in 2014. I met GetAmped who told me he lived in Schenectady, which was as he described it, “perfectly positioned in the center of the Magic Triangle.” I was already a big fan of the other two of the vertices of triangle, Plattekill and Hickory. But I’d never been to Magic.

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Catching Winter at the Right Moment

The 2017-18 season has been a tale of at least two winters. We got off to a promising start with big storms in December that opened up trails, and the snow was preserved by a persistent and brutal polar vortex that lasted into the second week of January.

Then MLK weekend featured a devastating thaw with significant rain that devoured the eastern snowpack, and since then conditions have largely mirrored last year—extended dry periods with mild temperatures, punctuated by brief periods of heavy snowfall. Getting it while it’s good has required patience, luck, and a willingness to go the distance—sometimes even as far as Quebec.

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Tales from a NYC Ski Bum: North for Powder

As a Northeast skier, I’m used to variable conditions. Soft slush beneath a falling wintry mix? I’ll take it. Groomed granular over icy hardpack? I’ll hit it while it lasts. Week-old packed powder? If it holds an edge, I love it.

But there’s only so long a snow junkie can go without a fix of the untouched and pure stuff, so I loaded up the Jeep and made my way to the far north last week, where the forecast called for six inches at Jay Peak, and a foot at Mont Tremblant. The promise of fresh pulled me north.

Skiing in Canada isn’t a day trip for those of us who live at the bottom of New York State, so I worked in a couple of stops along the way. I skied Hunter with Icecoastchef on Wednesday, and ripped groomers solo at Okemo on Thursday.

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