With bright sun on endless snow, today couldn’t be more beautiful. This is winter in Vermont at its best. Although we had some rain in southern Vermont during the week, the ski areas are busily making snow and grooming to be ready for the upcoming weekend. There are activities galore as you will see from the reports below. But, truthfully, there’s never a bad time to visit Vermont!
Laura Malieswski from the Burke Area Chamber of Commerce in the Northeast Kingdom reports, “Conditions are good in Burke with 29 out of 50 trails open at Burke Mountain and 100% of trails open at Kingdom Trails for Nordic, fat biking, and snowshoeing fun. The VAST Snowmobile trails in the area are good for riding and some warmer temps are on the way for the weekend. The shanties are out on Lake Willoughby and other lakes just in time for the FREE Ice Fishing day on Saturday. With the warmer temps arriving, anglers should take caution and avoid driving cars and trucks on the lakes.”
From Hugh Johnson’s blog at Smugglers’ Notch, “33 trails have been groomed for today, including Snow Snake, Smugglers’ Alley, and Upper Drifter for a grand total of 132 acres of freshly groomed terrain. Today we plan to have top to bottom skiing and riding on all 3 mountains with 6 lifts operating. We have 57 trails open with terrain for all ability levels.”
Lots going on this weekend at Smugglers’ Notch including the Annual Smugglers’ Notch Pass Ice Climbing Event, Kiss 108 FM Winter Games (Sat.), WinterFest presented by the Cambridge Area Rotary (Sat.), and the annual Winter Trails Day (Sat.), a free snowshoeing and cross country celebration for all skill levels.
Bill Vines from the Birch Ridge Inn in Killington reports that he has a snow stake behind the inn to record natural snow in the area not influenced by snow making activities. He takes a photo most days and posts them to his website, and has been doing this for 11 years. His report for Sunday, Jan. 21 reports “Melting continues, 6 3/4 inches.”
Julie from the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville notes, “The crazy cold temperatures have retreated and the weather looks promising for nighttime snowmaking and daytime skiing! Okemo Mountain Resort prides itself on superior grooming and the feedback we get from our guests at Golden Stage Inn backs up their boastful claims! Come check out the downhill skiing, tubing, ice skating, and X-country skiing that Okemo offers. And if you’re not a winter sports person, you can still enjoy happy hour on the Golden Stage Inn porch! (However, you may prefer to sit by the fire and enjoy our daily homemade soup, hot apple cider and the bottomless cookie jar. It’s warmer!)
On Stratton Mountain, the focus is on providing the best skiing experience possible! Today they report, ” The mountain is skiing fast and firm, but after a long night out for our snowmakers and groomers, fresh lines make for consistent edging. Make sure to grab hand warmers for the lift ride with temperatures between 0 and 13 degrees, and winds out of the northwest at 10-40 mph. Our operations team will be operating full-throttle as we prep for the weekend, and hope to have 82+ trails ready for guests come Friday.”
Savannah Strom from Bromley Mountain in Peru predicts some fun ahead at the resort. “In honor of the Winter Olympics, this year we will host the Bromley Olympics. Complete with wings, beer specials, competitions, prizes, and live music. Grab yourself a partner, or let us give you one, to compete in groups of two in Giant Jenga, Ping Pong and Cornhole. Sign up in the Wild Boar Tavern by 3:30pm on Feb. 10th at no cost.
It’s February Festival time! Join us February 17th for the yearly celebration, kicked off with the torchlight parade and fireworks around 7pm. Then it’s on to the base lodge for dancing and live music by the Mike McMann Band. Evening also includes good eats, raffle, a live auction, and other activities. Proceeds to benefit the Bromley Outing Club.”
At nearby Magic Mountain in Londonderry, improving upon what Mother Nature offers is imperative. They report today, “Brilliant blue bird skies and chilly 10 degree temperatures start the day. Fast and firm, with each day of grooming improving conditions as we head toward the weekend. The new Terrain Park is a huge hit with even more features being added for this weekend. The terrain park will be open until dark after rest of the mountain closes.”
And, at home in Woodford, we’re happy to see the sun sparkling off the snow, but still happy to enjoy the view from inside the window rather than out.