Magic Mountain led Vermont in new snow reporting in with 10-14″. It felt deeper in spots but never felt less. The snow was extremely dense and super surfy. I was expecting more people but crowds were light and the double was ski on all day. It felt great to have a relaxing powder day.
Red Line and Black Magic were closed to conserve snow conditions for this weekend’s Ski the East Freeride Tour stop. It was disappointing not being able to ski one of New England’s best liftlines, but I could certainly get behind the cause of ensuring Magic has a great event on Saturday. Otherwise, the mountain was completely good to go, though there wasn’t much base to speak of underneath the new dense snow.
The last week of February brought record snow fall to the Catskills of New York while leaving most of New England with moderate snow at best and rain at worst. After consulting the radar and weather reports, Magic seemed like the safest bet with the best combination of snow, lack of rain, and good terrain. I was not alone in coming to this conclusion as Magic Mountain saw record crowds and long lift lines.
I awoke extremely early to ensure I made first chair at 8:00 A.M. New snow was variable throughout the mountain. The base area picked up about two inches of very heavy wet snow. The upper mountain was densely powdery with about 4-6″ on the trails and 6-8″ in the woods. Most of the mountain skied great but the lower mountain got more and more manky as the day progressed. Groomer run outs on the lower mountain were the best option skiing back to the Red Chair.
More face shots today in one run than all others in my life combined. Multiple trips to the white room. Well over two feet deep at the base and almost three feet deep most places on the mountain with deeper drifts. Snow was rather heavy but the snow never turned over despite the warm temperatures.
Steep runs were required for completely untracked turns. Any pitch less than about twenty to twenty-five degrees resulted in tip dive, snow above the thighs, and a complete stop. Slightly tracked runs were amazing. No competition with untracked freshies every run, all day, open to close. We hit every wood shot including two mandatories, Red Line, Black Magic, and two times down a pillowy and sensational Magician (a.k.a. Master Magician). Suffice to say, today owned. Best day of the season and I think a top ten lifetime day.
Magic delivered on MLK Day with the most new snow in Vermont. And while some locations in New Hampshire received the same or more new snow, Magic offered up the best combination of cost, terrain, and lack of crowds on a holiday weekend. Magic is always a safe (and cheap!) location on a holiday weekend for crowd avoidance. So this storm could not have been better timed.
Having said that, this was my first time skiing Magic during which they had a lift line attendant checking tickets and organizing the lift line. The two line coral backup up to a ten chair wait at one point. Wow! There were no chairs going up empty at Magic today until very late in the afternoon. It seems like the word is finally getting out about Magic.
Magic received half a foot of fresh. Powder consistency was fairly high moisture content but still rather of powdery. Great snow for packing down and improving the already ample base. My observations are that Magic did not receive rain prior to the snow. The new snow fell on a bomber but rather crusty base. The new snow was definitely much needed. Base is good but great conditions on a good base is better. All trails were open and skiing very well!
Lots of uncertainty about a storm and how much would fall in Vermont. Storm projections decidedly favored southern New England with storm totals rapidly diminishing to the north. With a rare drive to southern Vermont tipping the day trip meter at two and a half hours on dry pavement, I only wanted to make the drive if it was going to be worth the effort.
And it definitely was! Words can not describe but I will do my best. After a harrowing drive that lasted more than three hours and involved knuckles from a virtually unplowed I-91, I got to Magic at 8:45am and hooked up with Kingsley. Magic opens at 8am on the weekends which I totally dig but did not work in my favor today!