The Globe sports section started running its golf content last Thursday in place of "SnowSports."
How's that working out?
The only negative that can be said about our recent pattern of storms is that it's put a delay on the warm, spring days that we've come to expect during March and April. Last April 1, I enjoyed the slopes at Waterville Valley under 70-degree, clear skies. I skied in a T-shirt, made frequent sunscreen breaks, and plowed through soft mashed potato bumps.
Tomorrow, Waterville may see more than a foot of snow.
We'll take it.
The issue with spring skiing normally is that the days are bittersweet. There's no greater feeling than chopping up corn snow amidst the wafting scents of barbecue and sun tan lotion. But those days also signal that the end is near. In 2011, that day seems nowhere in sight, even as some ski areas have already put up the "See you next winter" signs at the ticket booth. Well, it still is this winter. Tomorrow's "April Fool's Day" storm is expected to dump anywhere from 6-16 inches in the New England mountains, prolonging a ski season that already has been one of the more memorable in some time.
Because he called this possibility last week, we're going to go with Famous Internet Skier Lionel Hutz's predictions, in which he calls for 6-10 inches for much of Vermont, and 8-16 inches for southern Vermont, nearly all of New Hampshire and portions of Maine. How is Jay Peak going to live without another foot of snow?
Still, despite mid-winter conditions, some ski areas are sticking to their targeted closing dates. Both Cranmore Mountain and Black Mountain ended their operations last weekend, even with solid coverage throughout. Attitash, Ragged, and Gunstock plan to close on Sunday, the day Burke Mountain had also planned on calling it quits. But you don't expect them to miss an April Fool's Day storm do you? The Vermont resort announced yesterday that it will extend its season into next weekend.
The later we get into April, we may see more of that across New England, with most mountains boasting a base that can take them easily into May. For some mountains, a closing date is a closing date. For others, it's a target.
After all, at this rate, we may have to wait until May for any semblance of typical spring skiing. Tomorrow is April 1, and it's going to be a powder day most everywhere in New England. The golf courses will be empty. You can read about them on Thursdays though.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.