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.
Projected storm totals steadily decreased leading into the weekend. Saturday was a sanity check day that I spent recovering from work induced exhaustion. Sunday was supposed to be epic redemption. But the storm faded away before it began, favoring areas further east and south. Dartmouth tallied just 1-2″ by first chair on Sunday morning and that’s the breaks.
During my first drives to Saddleback, I would gaze west from Route 17 in Mexico and contemplate Black Mountain of Maine. I originally mistook it for a lost area, making a mental note to research the area for possible turn earning.
But the lifts have been spinning steadily at Black since 1935. More well known for hosting numerous high profile nordic championship events, the alpine portion of Black focuses on affordable family friendly skiing for local area residents.
The reason that the lifts still turn at Black Mountain is Maine Winter Sports Center’s financial support from the Libra Foundation. Without the financial support of the Libra Foundation, Black Mountain would not be able to offer its record low lift ticket price of $15.00 and sustain operations.
Driving up the access road to Abram, it happened. The flood of endorphins. Arm hairs standing up a bit. An emotional reaction to a pile of rock topped by flora and frozen water under a blue bird sky. I knew there was still untracked powder on yonder trails a day after the powder day. Abram is a special place and I knew I was in for a good day.
After grabbing a seat on The Way Back Machine (man, I love that lift’s name and the area’s theme), I surveyed the snow conditions and I liked what I saw. I REALLY liked what I saw. Loose powder was everywhere and the edges of the trails had plenty of untracked. A day after the powder day.
After fierce deliberations during the evening prior, I decided to make a “driveway decision” in the morning. Seeing the winds on Mount Washington blowing only 40-50 MPH out of the northeast suggested that all lifts at Cannon would run and they did. Indeed, the Peabody Quad was as calm as I’ve ever seen it during a storm.
I would like to personally thank Deval Patrick for being a pussy. Otherwise, I would have feared the hoards of Massachusetts skiers heading north. Other options included four mid-sized ~1000′ areas that would have had snow and no crowds but not the same level of terrain. I’d say that I choose wisely.
Cannon reported a two day total of 16″ and that sounds about right. Six of those inches fell yesterday and the remainder fell last night. It snowed all day and they might have picked up another two inches this afternoon. Much deeper drifts could be found so while boot deep was the average, exploding knee deep was still plentiful.