Presidential Mountain Report

A Very Presidential Mountain Report

A Foreword:

(2/19) **Last Tuesday, my boss asked me to write a state-of-the-mountain report, to give our beloved guests an honest take on what to expect snow-wise, going into President’s Week. In case you’ve blissfully forgotten, things looked a liiiiitttle different a week ago. By different, I mean, you could just start to see last year’s dead leaves on the ground in the woods, and I may or may not have compared Spring Fling to skiing on “Dippin’ Dots with a touch of freezer burn”. Now, one thing to know about me, is I can hype myself, and others, up for anything…even a somewhat snow-less President’s Week. So, I said, “Aye-aye, Captain Bleh”, put my head down, and got crackin’ on that report. 

Another thing to know about me, is I’m a big proponent of the whole “butterfly effect” thing– you know, a butterfly flaps its wings and then you win the lottery, and you wouldn’t have won the lottery if that butterfly hadn’t flapped around…you get my point. And I don’t want to take credit for the foot of snow we’ve accumulated since last Wednesday…but all I’m saying is, would we really have seen all that heavenly fresh powder, if I hadn’t written up an entire report gently preparing the public for a snow-less February vacation? Oh, the irony… well, hindsight is 20/20, and I got quite the kick out of reading back this report, one week and one foot of buttery-soft snow later. Disclaimer: before you read this, please note: CONDITIONS HAVE CHANGED!! The Sugarbush snow globe was enthusiastically shaken, leaving us with perfect powder/packed powder conditions, beautifully blanketed woods, and more powdah on the way by end-of-week. In addition to snow, we were also given the gift of sunshine, which will be shining down on us and lifting our sprits for the better half of the holiday week. 

So, I hope you also get a kick out of reading this little time capsule. The only accuracy discrepancy is the snowpack, which, again, for the record, IS CURRENTLY POWDER/PACKED POWDER!!! But, I think this serves as a good reminder that Vermont winters have a weird and wonderful way of working out. They’re unpredictable, sure, but they haven’t failed us yet. So keep the faith, and keep doin’ your snow dance. Remember to enjoy what we’ve got, because any day on the hill, regardless of the elements, beats a day off. And whatever you do…don’t discount the butterfly effect…**

Tuesday, February 13th:

I’m sure you’ve heard some iteration of “this has been a weird winter” about a thousand times by now. I’m sure you’ve also looked at the foot of snow at your doorstep in November, and then at the barren trees on a 50-degree day in February and thought to yourself “this has been a weird winter”. Well, I’ll be next in the line of many to attest it has, in fact, been a weird winter. So I won’t keep telling you what you already know. But I will give you the current lowdown on the state of the mountain, as you start packin’ those bags and planning your trip up to Sugarbush for President’s Week.

If you’re coming up from lower New England, I can imagine your morale is probably pretty low after today’s “snowless snow-day”. 18 inches were predicted in the Boston area today, and probably around 2 fell. My metro-Boston dwelling parents had already baited the neighborhood kids to shovel out their cars. My dad, a public school teacher, was giddy with the news of a well-deserved day off, and the promise of a romp in the deep snow with the dog. And then…nothing. Or, almost nothing. But wipe those frowns off your faces, my friends, because, against all odds, things at Sugarbush are looking pretty darn good.

Consider yourself lucky you booked a trip here, because we currently have the highest percentage of open terrain in the Northeast. Not to brag or anything…think of it as me validating your excellent choice in ski resorts. You’re also paying us a visit at the perfect time, because Slide Brook, the world’s longest detachable quad, connecting the mighty Lincoln Peak to the dignified Mount Ellen, lovingly referred to (probably only by me) as Slidey B or The Great Unifier, is open and spinning 7 days a week! Slide Brook makes the perfect lunch spot for those interested in capitalizing their time on snow. The ~15 minute ride gives you more than enough time to demolish a sandwich and a cold beverage while taking in the insane views of the Slide Brook Basin. Maybe you’ll even see some cool wildlife down below. Or a ski patroller on a snowmobile– also cool!

But you came here to ski, so you want to know what you’ll be skiing on. Roughly half of our terrain will be groomed for your leisurely lapping delight, and the other half will be bumps and jumps galore for our mogul madmen (and women!). And while the snow surface is right on par with this unconventional winter, it is still fun, flakey, and user-friendly. Of course the snow surface varies across the resort and across the peaks, given elevation, wind, and sun exposure. But I’d call it a hearty hybrid of loose, dry, fine granular atop a reliably edge-able hard pack. The softer top layer gives you that fun floating feeling, while the bottom layer is that familiar, East Coast snowpack that brings you back down to Earth and keeps your turns nice and sharp. This “hearty hybrid” snowpack is a result of the freeze-thaw, freeze-thaw we’ve been seeing all winter long. But with every grooming rep our Mountain Ops team gets in with the snow cats, the more consistent and fluid these trails become. The snow is already a blast, and with every day closer to President’s Week, those groomers just keep getting better.

And who’s to say, the storm of the century could be just around the corner. There’s really no telling. If Boston can have a “snowless snow-day”, then truly anything can happen. A few snowflakes are already popping up on the 10-day forecast, so we’ll see where that goes and we’ll be ready for surprises. I think that’s the most magical part of skiing– we can only control so much. Of course, we would not be in the great shape we are now without our insanely devoted and hardworking patrollers, snowmakers, and mountain/lift ops folks. But Mother Nature is our Ring Leader, and she’s sure been delving out the Winter Whiplash. All we can do is take care of her so she takes care of us, and make the most of whatever she throws our way. Hopefully it’s a 100 year blizzard. But how lucky are we, that we get to ski at all?! That we get to laugh with our friends on the lift, fly down a groomed Stein’s, look out over the Adirondacks from the top of Heaven’s Gate, get sunburnt on a perfect bluebird day, challenge ourselves on moguls or in the park, and finally take off our ski boots after an exhilarating day?! SO lucky, is the answer. And my snow reporting instincts are telling me, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, lady.” After all… “this has been a weird winter…” (1,001).

Between sunshine and powder, check out one of the three dozen events going on around the resort this week!!

Find Us

123 Main Street
New York, NY 10001

Monday–Friday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00AM–3:00PM