State of the Mountain: MLK Weekend

Things are trending up as we move into MLK Weekend. With the 1-3″ we grabbed overnight into Friday and the 4-6″ we saw Friday night into Saturday, we’ve now collected 32″ of fresh snow since last weekend. Pretty incredible. Some light and dry, some heavy and wet, overall it’s done absolute wonders for the base all over the mountain. Things are in great shape.

In fact, things shaped up so nicely that we were cleared to open 100% of our terrain heading in Saturday, including spinning the Castlerock and North Lynx lifts and reopening all of our closed natural snow terrain. The hitch? This storm that rolled in Friday night brought with it significant winds and has left all of our summit lifts on wind holds. As of this writing, we continue to perform wind checks on lifts in the hopes of opening them up later today. We’ve also welcomed in some mixed precipitation that we hope transitions back to snow sooner than later.

Specifically on that Castlerock piece though, we often get the question why hiking as opposed to spinning the lift? Our strategy for years now has been to initially open the terrain up for hiking to help get it skied in, particularly when the snowpack is still building. Remember all the reasons we love Castlerock in the first place? The rocks, the stumps, the roots, the narrow ungroomed trails with no snowmaking. That all means letting it rip with the lift and numerous skiers, some who probably shouldn’t be there to begin with, probably wouldn’t be a good idea until its skied in and the hazards become clearer. But luckily this recent snow and a day of hiking access had us feeling comfortable about opening the lift. Now we just need that wind to dissipate.

One final lift note, the depths on Slide Brook still aren’t quite there, but we plan to spin that lift when conditions allow.

The snowmaking teams have continued to proceed full throttle with building depths and opening new terrain. Most recently they finished up on Birch Run and Sunrise at Lincoln Peak, getting that all groomed in for today. Once temps cool back down tonight we’ll resume snowmaking on Sleeper and Sunrise at Lincoln Peak and Cliffs and Riemergasse at Mt. Ellen. Then looking ahead there’s some good cold weather coming in as well as two more potential storms on the horizon for 1/16 and 1/20 that we’re eying.

Once your legs call it quits, there’s another full slate of events on deck for the weekend including our next NSAA Safety Month Event, Alyx the Magician (tickets still available), and fireworks and torchlight among others. Take a look at our events calendar for a full schedule or stop by Guest Services to grab a holiday flyer.

And given that MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a National Day of Service, Sugarbush will be hosting a food drive on Monday, January 15th. We’ll have stations at both mountains and you can come donate food items to the Mad River Valley Food Pantry. Sugarbush will be matching a dollar for each item donated.

I also think this is a nice opportunity to remind everyone of all the great local organizations we support through our philanthropy. The Be Better Here Fund, which is the giving arm of our resort, supports numerous local organizations, causes, and events through cash and in-kind donations. Check out this blog post for a list of some of the organizational partners we work closely with. Continuing to support the community remains a top priority for both Sugarbush and Alterra Mountain Company as a whole. We also support a number of local school programs, as well as many charity events and fundraisers.

So enjoy yourselves out there this weekend. Things are on the upswing as we cruise through January and the good times are ready to be had. Come grab yourself some.

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