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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The Day After That

Certain questions linger in the minds of skiers and some will never go away. “Ski on storm day or the day after?” Last week I didn’t have to make that choice. I was locked in to ski the day after that.

I have a theory, or maybe it’s a coping mechanism, but it works for me. I’m better off getting to the hill as soon as I can, even if it’s not soon enough.

Last week, from the sidelines, I watched two storms drop snow on the East. Both storm tracks favored Gore, and if you count the snow from Friday night, the mountain recorded nearly two feet. Friday morning I headed north, rising at 3:30 to drive to the hill. I didn’t make first chair, but the crowd was surprisingly light and I parked in the A Lot at 9:30.

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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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