In a Facebook post last night, Sugarbush president Win Smith termed yesterday's sublime day on the slopes in Vermont the "'awesomest' day." That's just about as good a way to sum it up as anything else, for really there aren't many legitimate words to convey just how special a bluebird powder day it was.
The winter storm that tore through northern Vermont Monday ended up as the fifth-largest in state history, and No. 1 for the month of March. With a total of 124.3 inches, it is now the third-snowiest winter in Burlington history. Jay Peak actually reported 42 inches of new snow yesterday morning. That's Tahoe math. At Stowe, it was a mere 28 inches that buried Mt. Mansfield, making for a playground that led to permanent smiles all day long.
When I arrived at the Mt. Mansfield base lodge around 9 a.m., there was a clear buzz over Monday's powder day and the ensuing, sunny skiers that Tuesday morning brought. The stake read 90 inches. There was but not a cloud in the sky. And the vibe that can envelop Stowe on days like this was contagious. After booting up, I headed for a warm-up run on Lord, then over to the quad to tackle Liftline. The snow was deep and immediately proved a harbinger for the type of burning my quads would be suffering by the end of the day. It was then over to Hayride, a spring favorite of mine, before heading over to Nosedive, which was still slick on the upper portions despite the bounty of new snow. In the glades though, there was still untracked in the late-morning hours.
When I popped back out onto Nosedive, I was greeted by the face of a young woman alternating between laughter and gasps of breath. That was a recurring sight, a mountain filled with happy people enjoying March snow that Vermont had never seen the likes of. By the end of the day, my body was more sore from skiing as it had been in quite some time, and I was ready to do it all again, not wanting to let go of a day that will go down as an all-timer for those who enjoyed it.
In the skiing community, there's no word more overused than "epic" (Maybe "stoked"). But if the shoe fits...then, yeah. It was epic. Or, "awesomest."
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.