Looking at the calendar, it’s hard to believe that it’s still February because the outside temperatures have been so unseasonably warm. Sounds like spring skiing in most areas this week, but with their great base, there’s still plenty of opportunity on the slopes. And with temps dipping as the week goes on, there’s more snow on the way. A lot of melting has taken place in the low elevations making this a perfect time to take in a different mix of activities. How about renting bikes and heading to lunch at a countryside inn? Or gather the family together and take a factory tour? As you can see by the reports below, our Snow Spotters have lots of ideas to keep you busy and make your Vermont getaway memorable.
Laura Malieswski of Burke Area Chamber of Commerce offers a lot of suggestions for enjoying the school vacation week in the Northeast Kingdom, “There are lots of events happening at Burke Mountain to keep the kids busy including Story Times, Movie nights, arts & crafts, and more. For the adults, there is live music at the Tamarack Grill and The Bear Den, along with Trivia nights, Classic Ski Movies and more.
Other local events include a Sip n’ Create night at the Serenity Spa in Lyndonville. Enjoy some wine while you learn to make a Boxwood Spring Wreath. For more events happening during school vacation week, visit, www.burkevermont.com.”
Smugglers’ Notch Resort in the Stowe-Smugglers’ Notch Region has a busy week planned for vacationers as well. The following is from Hugh Johnson’s Feb. 21 blog for Smuggs, “The warmer weather that we saw today is on the way out and we have colder air moving in. The temperature has already dropped to 36 degrees at the summit of Sterling Mountain at 4 pm this afternoon. Our groomers will be out in force tonight. We have many things happening this week and this weekend. Here is a list of our upcoming events:
Thursday, February 22
FamilyFun Magazine Winter Carnival
Bonfire, torchlight parade and fireworks
Friday, February 23
Black Bear Tavern Après Sport Party
Smugglers’ Notch Snowshoe Festival
Black Bear Tavern Après Sport Party
Sunday, February 25
FREE Family Fun Race
Black Bear Tavern Après Sport Party”
Further south in Manchester, Lori from the Manchester View provides a lot of suggestions for enhancing your vacation, “We got new snow a couple of days ago – about 3 inches, but, would you believe it’s going to be warm this week? You better believe it! In addition to fun spring skiing, the mountains have many activities to entertain you and keep you busy: Stratton Mountain Music Festival has great tunes and beats. Bromley offers music, too, and the 33rd Annual Telefest. Come rip with some of the best tele skiers in the East. This festival is open to the entire family. Clinic options will include topics appropriate for all ages and levels – beginner to advanced, and the USTSA sanctioned race features both citizen and expert categories. And Magic Mountain has the Magic Rail Jam, a free-ride ski competition. After a full day of mountain activities, luxuriate in a one or two-person spa tub in your room at the Manchester View! Then, in the evening settle in your room by the wood-burning or gas fireplace, maybe even read a book you bought at the fabulous Northshire Bookstore and enjoy your favorite beverage. There’s plenty of local and outlet shopping, as well as art galleries to peruse. Come share this little taste of spring with us.”
Here’s the latest snow report from the ski resorts she mentions:
Stratton Mountain Resort – “Our fast and furious preview of spring is a thing of the past now that winter has returned, bringing the potential for snow with it. Temperatures plunged, compared to yesterday, overnight with today’s range expected to be between 26 and 36 degrees with a potential for snow. The grooming team waited for those temperatures to drop before covering 69 trails in fresh lines; we plan to add to that by working into the morning hours. We’re happy to have winter back, and look forward to more snow in the forecast so be sure to get those snow dances moving and grooving!
Grab your tickets today for Cider Magazine’s “Favorite Jam Band” Roots of Creation who will be hitting the Grizzly’s stage this Saturday, Feb 24. Tickets are just $10 when purchased in advance.”
Bromley Mountain – “Well, yesterday’s taste of Spring was fun, but we’re happy to report that normal winter temperatures are returning today. We’re expecting a few snow showers and flurries, with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures reaching the low 30s at the base and high 20s at the top.
With the return of cold temps comes the return of our snowmakers. Even though its late February, they’re not throwing in the towel yet! They will take advantage of a short window of decent temps tonight to bust out a few fan guns and resurface several high traffic areas. Then early next week we should see some real cold temps, which is when they will throw everything they’ve got at the mountain to undo some of the damage from this week’s heat wave.
Spring Loaded Cards are back, and on sale! 4 non-transferable ski days for $119! Check out Kidsrule 3-Packs, and save $45/day on our all-day kid’s ski and snowboard program.”
Magic Mountain – “Temperatures have turned colder overnight after yesterday’s record warmth and the groomer has been out repairing and smoothing out our East Side snowmaking trails with the latest thaw to freeze cycle. Today’s high will be in the low 30s with a chance of snow in the afternoon accumulating to about an inch or more.
There has been considerable snow loss due to this week’s warm temperatures and our team will be out making snow as soon as temperatures remain cold enough in the low 20s for an extended period to reinforce the East Side trails and then go back to the West Side. Tonight might be a slight window for snowmaking. There is also the chance of snow this weekend Saturday night into Sunday with 3-5″ currently in the forecast–it could be mixed precipitation as well which may actually help us in rebuilding the base as we head into what typically is a snowy month of March. There’s still winter to come in New England.
There will be an Alpine Touring clinic on Thursday with a twilight hike. And we have our annual Winterfest Celebration this Saturday with torchlight parade and fireworks, and silent auction fundraiser for the youth race and freeride Alpine Club programs.”
If you’re headed in the direction of Ludlow and Okemo Mountain, you might want to consider the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville. Julie can suggest a multitude of activities to make your visit perfect. “Despite unpredictable temperatures, having fun in the Okemo Valley is still a safe bet! We had a 2′ base of snow early in the week; we’ll see how it unfolds with this sneak peek from Spring. Although they are still grooming and skiing on Okemo Mountain, these warmer temperatures are perfect for hiking and for road trips. (Depending on the hiking trail you choose, you may want to bring snowshoes or crampons or just sturdy boots.) Guests at Golden Stage Inn have two favorite road trips … Woodstock / Quechee where you can walk trails, see the gorge, visit shops, and eat well, and Windsor where you can tour a brewery, watch Simon Pearce glass blowing artists do their thing, and visit several Vermont shops including a distillery and a cheese shop (Heaven?!). In both areas, you’ll likely find a sugar house already working their Maple Syrup season. We look forward to helping you customize your own Vermont vacation!”
And, back home in Woodford, I can report, “With unseasonably warm temps yesterday, we had quite a bit of melting here at the top of the mountain in Woodford. Nevertheless, snow remains and the prediction is for a bit of snow today and over the weekend. Maybe not enough to make the snowmobilers happy, but just enough to cover the bare patches of ground and bring back the beauty of a Vermont winter.”
If you’re looking for even more to do this week, check out the Vermont.com Calendar of Events. And have a great vacation week!