Skiing in New England is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. This winter, I feel like we got the funky bonbons filled with icky sticky fruit flavoring. Right now the snow at many ski resorts actually resembles cookie dough, the bare spots are the chocolate chips.
The biggest treat of snow this season came Halloween, but that was too soon, too big a trick for ski resorts to open up, except Killington and Sunday River who started their season October 29. Snow totals around New England have been low all winter, while temperatures continue to be record high. Now many ski resorts are closing before their anticipated alpine end dates.
The good news - there are a handful of ski resorts that made serious snow from November through February that are determined to keep their lifts spinning as long as there is a ribbon of snow and people show.
New England’s biggest ski events are still on the calendar, Sunday River hosts The Dumont Cup this weekend, 80’s weekend March 31-April 1, and Parrothead April 7-8. Okemo’s FestEVOL is this weekend, ending their ski season Sunday. Mount Snow will finish this weekend with their 10th annual “Sink or Swim Pond Skim.” Cannon is planning Blizzard Splash Pond on March 31, and Bodefest April 7, stay tuned. Sugarloaf celebrates Reggaefest April 13-15, and may well be the last lifts spinning in New England this spring. Sugarloaf closed May 9 last year, but they received 16-feet of snow last year too.
Here is where you come in. If, like me, you have not had your fill of skiing, goggle tans and soft corn snow, then you should “run Forrest run” to those ski resort still open for skiing. There are deals now that trail counts and crowds are disappearing, like Waterville Valley’s $25 tickets, and $29 at Saddleback if you present your pass from another ski area.
One more word to the wise, watch out for snow that has turned to glue, stops you in your tracks and causes a double heel release sending you sailing in the squishy snow (shout out to my ski friend who suffered those sticky consequences). Forecast is for more seasonably cool temps next week, but I suggest you get your chocolates before they melt.
Photos by Greg Burke
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.