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What a difference a year makes skiers!

Posted by Heather Burke  December 27, 2012 01:24 PM

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Last year, on Dec 28, the subject of my ski blog was "one of the worst Decembers to remember for skiers." A serious lack of natural snow and unseasonably mild temps over Christmas week 2011 held most ski resorts at 20-40% o f their terrain open on entirely man-made snow. Fast forward to today, Sugarloaf has 1,059 acres open, 91% of their skiing, including Bracket Basin and the new Eastern Territory - which is all natural snow gladed terrain. Sunday River and Saddleback are skiing on the majority of their trails, having received up to a foot in the past week. And it's still snowing... sugarloaf-haul-back-hrb.jpg

Vermont ski resorts received as much as a foot of fresh powder in the last 24 hours, especially Jay Peak, Smugglers, Stowe, Stratton, Bromley and Sugarbush and its still dumping. New Hampshire ski areas got half a foot in the last 24 hours, and as much as a foot in the past few days.

In Mass, Jiminy Peak has over 80% of their ski terrain open, Butternut, Nashoba Valley and Wachusett are about 50% open with fresh snow to soften the manmade.

Of course, along with winter storm Euclid came winds causing lift holds for some ski resorts. They are accustomed to a dose of reality with every dump, and I am happy to report that ski resorts are providing better updates on lift statuses and more accurate snow accumulations in this era of social media and smart phone users that have every app on the planet tracking and verifying downhill resort data.

Friday should be a great ski day on this fresh snow, as winds die down, and travel conditions improve. Cranmore dedicates their new $1 million East Side Triple, the Herbert Schneider Triple - in honor of the Austrian ski instructor who came here in 1939 and passed away this June. Schneider served as both owner and GM of Cranmore - the ski area is 75 this season.

The weekend looks white and wonderful for skiers and riders, so much better than last December and definitely cause to celebrate. Call it Snowmageddon, Snowpocalypse, La Nina, or whatever you wish - but get out there and ski.

See you on the slopes!

Photos by Greg Burke

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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 and


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