Flash back to March 26, 2012, and my ski blog, there were less than a dozen ski areas still open - today there are four times that. What a difference a good snow year can make for skiers and riders.
This week last year, with temps in the 70's and 80's, the only ski resorts still spinning were Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Loon, Waterville Valley, Jay Peak, Stowe, Sugarbush and Killington. Riding the lift this weekend, I reminisced with skiers who recalled the Maine Adaptive Ski A Thon of 2012, held annually end of March, they were skiing from snow patch to patch in places. Flash forward to today, four dozen ski areas are open in New England, skiing on at least two feet of base depths, many still 100 percent open heading into Easter weekend.
The Weather Channel reports that last winter at this time only 7.7 percent of the county was covered in snow (primarily in the North West). Today 48.7 percent of the U.S. has snow cover. The forecast is for the North East is seasonable temps this week, followed by cold for the first two weeks of April. Having almost exhausted their alphabet with silly snowstorm names for winter 2102-13 (many of which brought substantial snow dumps across the states), The Weather Channel still has Walda, Xerxes, Yogi and Zeus that could deliver more snow this spring.
I don't care what Punxsutawney Phil or Climate Change prognosticators had to say earlier this winter. Sure feels like an amazing, long ski season to me. The only "warming trend" I see is a coat of wax on my skis.
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.