Extraordinary VT ski season continues
March 24, 2008
Obviously a truly epic base for New England resorts. Today Alta, in Utah, has a base of about 155 inches, again a larger than normal amount, although not by much. Last I saw Alta had received about 550" of snow this season. The Alta snow depth stake is at mid-mountain, not at the top.
Jay Peak VT has received 358" so far with more tonight and tomorrow. And more over the weekend.
Alta's up to 584" for the season. Almost 49 feet of snowfall!
VT has been going through their share of ups and downs since January (after an epic December). There have been some rain spells recently, along with warmups and freezes. There have been several days where the Sugarbush snow report was so honest, they were telling people to stay home! But it's still been a lot better than the winter we experienced. Often, Vermont managed to stay below freezing when Snowshoe was in the 40s. In a normal winter, Snowshoe is about as cold as southern Vermont, and actually gets more snow than the southern Vermont resorts (~180" compared to their ~120"). Not this year!
That's amazing. Even better, they have the historical records going all the way back to the winter of 1954:http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=mansel.php3
It looks like the winters in the 1950s were dismal. It was only in the early 1960s that things began to pick up. It also looks like winters like this occur roughly once every five years or so. Also- although snow tends to hold in pretty well through mid-April, it craters awfully fast after that. Except in the snowiest years, Mansfield is usually snowfree by around Memorial Day.
Usually. I vividly remember taking my parents to Smugglers Notch the day before my college graduation on 25 May 1971, even though on graduation day, I was roasting in my new USAF uniform for the commissioning ceremony. The road between Smuggs and Stowe's toll road was still closed, however.
That sounds about right, Lou:http://www.uvm.edu/~empact/data/gendatep...&csv=0&totals=0
Isn't it nice to have data that confirms your memory?
It's amazing to me just how rapidly the snow melts there though. Look at the chart, between May 3rd and May 10th of 1971 the snow crested at 112 inches deep- and it was gone by June 7th. This is repeated in almost every year, it takes about a month or a month and a half to go from peak snow depth to nothing at Mount Mansfield. When summer comes, it comes!
It is now almost 20 yrs. since I started skiing Mt. Washington in the spring. My experience is that it matters very little what happens before Apr. 1. It matters what happens after Apr. 1. A fast warm up or a big rain can turn a great winter's accumulation into a substandard one in just days. Also the snow lasts a long time so long as it goes below freezing every night. However once Temps are above freezing 24/7, it doesn't last long. Skiable snow on Mt. Wash. sometimes lasts into June and I once skied there in July. The extra 2000 ft. elevation above Mansfield makes a big difference. The best year ever was 1997 when 100" of snow fell in May. June skiing that year was spectacular.
Edited to say that a friend on the Mt. Washington volunteer ski patrol (which pre-dates and was the model for the National Ski Patrol) says that "The Rockpile" is really loaded this year. People are skiing lines that haven't been skied in 50 years; lines that normally end in 40 ft. cliffs are smooth snowfields. This is both because it is an above normal snow year, and a lot of storms have blown in from the east and southeast, loading up the glacial cirques like, Tuckerman, Gulf of Slides, and Great Gulf, which all face east. Lets hope for a slow warm up this year.
Graphing smoothed data for all years, it looks like this might be #3, 4, or 5. The first graph is misleading since the flat line appears to indicate the graph went much higher, but it just means the data is not yet entered for those dates.
What is just as interesting is that the non-zero data points go out to late July on several years. The average peak is around March 22, but there is a second peak around April 12 showing the common effect of late season storms. That looks like a good time to plan a trip to Stowe or Smuggs if they are planning on being open.
I believe that Sugarloaf has announced it will be open into May and the recent pics look like midseason. Sweet!
It's a nice web application, tidy and effective.
Stowe is reporting 21" since yesterday. Jay is reporting 18" and it's still puking. Most lifts are on wind hold. Should be sweet in the am. Time to start driving.
I might be taking a bussiness trip in a couple of weeks to Schenechtady, NY (just west of Albany). Any good recommendations for a day trip from that area?
Any good recommendations for a day trip from that area?
You can get to Killington & Okemo is a little more than 2 hours from there. You can also get to Mt. Snow in less than 2 hours. I think I'd opt for Mt. Snow just cause of its proximity.
One of my childhood haunts was Gore, New York. Very underrated, skis much bigger than it appears on the trail map. It's closer than Whiteface and I think it's worth the visit.
Thanks. Mt Snow is really close to the Albany airport. Guess I'll have to weigh conveniece vs. snow quality when the time comes.
I'm spending the night near Worcester, MA, also only about 15 miles from Wachusett Mtn ski area. No natural snow here, but will see mucho soon. Tomorrow drive to Quebec City where they have broken the 1965 all time record for seasonal snow. Easter sightseeing in the Old City. Then skiing Mont Sainte Anne and Le Massif next week. Both got big dumps the other day, with a little more coming over the weekend. Will be "January @ Blue Knob" type weather while I'm up there. Bring it on.
Woostah, eh? You're close to God's country. Next thing you'll be by Lehstaah, Peebiddy, Whehah, and you may even see an Athol or two...
I may still be up there (Stowe) in a couple of weeks. Enjoy the snow...
My dad is from West Boylston, my mom from Leominster (born in Glens Falls, NY). My first job out of school was at Wachusett.
I used to spend my summers with my dad after my parents divorced, first in Worcester then in Gardner. Used to bike everywhere- went from Worcester to the Quabbin Resevoir to Sterling back to Worcester once (85 miles total) and from Garnder bicycled up to Mount Monadnock to hike it (I don't even think I could bike from Gardner to Mount Monadnock these days, much less hike it then bike back in a single day!). Those are some seriously old stomping grounds of mine, and although the area is rather pretty (lots of forest up there), it's not a place you need to see to live a full life, to put it nicely.
Wow that video looks great David, thanks for posting it. You'd never know they got some rain 3-4 days ago! I have sort of been kicking myself for not going up there this weekend. Maybe next weekend....
I'm still in love with New England and plan to retire there, first choice Vermont (Burlington or Stowe, evenly divided... Second choice is Compton NH or Waterville Valley, and third choice is Tanglewood. Of course, Beantown trumps everything. I'd give anything to live in Boston.
David, you 'da man. That was an amazing video! New England in its full splendor.
I lived in Cambridge for a year (well commuted each Monday morning, back Friday night). It was wonderful! I'd go back in a second!
I was just in Cambridge for a course at you-know-where when we had a 10-inch snowfall. About the most majestic urban scenery you could imagine.
Actually Roger, I think every American needs to see New England. Perhaps not necessarily Quabbin and Gardner, but the spirit of the place and the sense of history permeates the land and the people as soon as you cross from New York into Connecticut and continue North. It is a different style of living from the rest of the country. Not everyone may feel totally at home, but it nevertheless it is a creative powerhouse. And besides, it is stupefyingly beautiful.
Just to clarify, I wasn't referring to all
of New England, or even New England in general. I meant Central Massachusetts. It's the beginning of the rust belt and a pretty depressing place. Having lived in Rome, New York, I can also say with relative confidence that, apart from Fort Stanwix and some locks on the Erie Canal, you really don't need to shed a tear on your deathbed if you don't get to Rome.
As far as the history goes, yes, New England should be seen by everyone, that's true. Our country literally began in Lexington and Concord. And as far as the scenery goes, the largest swaths of wilderness on the east coast cover Upstate New York and the northeastern kingdom (which I would say runs from the eastern edges of Burlington right up to Cairbou, Maine) with some areas that rival the Rockies in terms of scenery. The 100 Mile Hike on the AT through Maine is one of the classic stretches of that classic trail. There are still an eclectic mix of towns in Vermont- from trendy Stowe to some real down home places on the eastern side of the state where old timers in downeast accents gather over coffee and yap about the weather and what not until the snow melts (in May).
And of course there's southern Connecticut, where you can go watch an entirely different "running of the bulls" these days.
In general, New England is not my type of place. The weather is too gray and the people are too surly. That and I've got a lot of memories of family up there (some of whom are still there and still creating bad memories, even half a country away). But that's just my own personal experience. And again, when I made my disparaging comment, I was thinking mostly about central Mass.
That said, since my family is from central Mass I am constituionally incapabale of liking Boston (except in sports, though thanks to their dominance recently the charm of rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots has worn off) because of course Boston is the source of all our problems, it's not our fault, etc etc...
I agree in many respects. Spent time working on projects in that area. Did some camping in the Athol area and hiked Monadnock a couple of times. The area has been bypassed by the wealth and sophistication that is so particular of the rest of New England save for the Maine uplands. Yes, not a pretty demographic picture and yet, it is steeped in history and in the midst of the most gorgeous natural scenery.
We probably disagree on New Englanders being surly, probably in the same way that you would disagree with my perception that great plains people are generally intolerant and rigidly dogmatic. I find that New England demographics and life style sometimes have more commonality with Europeans than with the rest of North Americans, but still it is a very friendly and empathetic population.
We probably disagree on New Englanders being surly, probably in the same way that you would disagree with my perception that great plains people are generally intolerant and rigidly dogmatic.
Kind of. It's not nearly as bad as the people who've never been out here think it is. What I find more than intolerance is an insular worldview. I also think folks here think that people from outside the region view them as rubes, and they vary from agreeing to resenting the perception... and have their own opinions of "the coasts" as a result.
However, I also know a lot of rough stories from small towns, places where "ostracization" still means something. I've seen a fair share of intolerant people in big cities, but at least in big cities if people cut you off there's somewhere else to go. Life gets very, very lonely in a small town when you're shunned.
But again, I'm not sure it's worse here than it is in some other parts of the country and world. Oftentimes our first experience with a phenomenon becomes an archetype against which we view more favorably- or less so- our secondary and tertiary experiences with new places or people. So I try to check what I've seen against what else I've seen and what I haven't. And I've certainly seen worse intolerance and bigotry elsewhere.
Kind of. It's not nearly as bad as the people who've never been out here think it is. What I find more than intolerance is an insular worldview. I also think folks here think that people from outside the region view them as rubes, and they vary from agreeing to resenting the perception... and have their own opinions of "the coasts" as a result. .... And I've certainly seen worse intolerance and bigotry elsewhere.
I tend to have an incredibly optimistic view of mankind and am very much of a humanist. However... seeing the shenanigans of the Westboro Church, or looking at a state legislature outlawing the teaching of evolution in schools, makes me wonder about how otherwise normal people could succumb to such narrow insularity. And with world public opinion already expecting that behavior and watching for such expressions, I am at a loss as to why anyone in that environment would be surprised at the rest of the world thinking that they're rubes... Unfortunately, it takes a certain social order to nurture and feed a Fred Phelps and he is certainly at home there.
Having worked in the area, I was amused when, talking to some of their leaders, they uttered statements that went beyond the injurious while referring to people of a different ethnicity, religion or background. Even though the target of the comments was the individual whose decisions were making possible the rebuilding of their community... it just happened that such individual didn't appear any different than their mainstream, so they didn't feel it would make a difference...
In this case, it would require a worldwide search to find worse bigotry and intolerance elsewhere... :-)
Unfortunately, it takes a certain social order to nurture and feed a Fred Phelps and he is certainly at home there.
So, uh, what kind of social order does it take to nurture snipers who shoot schoolchildren
Outlawing evolution? Not only was that not the State Legislature (it was the school board), it never happened
, the people who tried to get intelligent design taught in science class lost in their own primary
,and their attempt was overturned over a year ago. At least get your facts straight before your start tsk-tsking other people. And of course these debates have happened in other states that you have lived in
, and have been championed by your elected representatives
Now, you can argue all you want that you don't like or agree with Santorum, but you just lumped the entire state of Kansas into being some type of Fred Phelps enabler (and he hasn't even been elected to anything!), which, frankly Lou, is disgusting, stupid, obnoxious, boorish, and offensive. All you've done is broadbrush an entire region and group of people based on stereotypes and misinformation... oh, and a couple experiences you had while you were "in the area". And that, in a nutshell, is the definition of being judgmental.
Oh Roger, you're funny when you get sanctimonious. Who called New Englanders "surly"?
the Kansas State Board of Education took out most references to evolution in 1999. The fracas of that action led to changing of the board's composition for one term, after which most of the former members returned to the board and they acted to change the permanent wording again. The hearing that were scheduled were seen by the scientific community as rigged and there was a boycott against such hearings by national and state education and scientific communities. Faced with both national and worldwide pressure, the idea was dropped. Again, a new election recomposed the membership of the board.
As far as being judgmental, we all are to one way or another. It is obvious you've never felt discrimination face to face. Or having been told you're less of a human being for your ethnicity. And these nice folks were not folks in a bar and I'll leave it at that...
The best we can do is agree to disagree. I don't go to Kansas and you may stay away from the surly people in New England. I'm back to skiing.