Ski Vermont Prepares for Winter 2013-14
Sarah Wojcik, firstname.lastname@example.org
When the temperatures dip the snowguns will rip!
As the first reports of snow upon Vermont’s mountain peaks start rolling in, ski and snowboard resorts around the state prepare for opening day with snowmaking tests and project wrap-ups. See what your favorite resorts are doing to get ready and stoked for the season and when they plan on opening.
Opening Dates (UPDATED 11/20/13):
Killington Resort: October 25, 2013 (passholders); October 26, 2013 (public)
Okemo Mountain Resort: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
MountSnow Resort: Friday, November 15, 2013 (closed midweek, reopening November 22, 2013)
Bromley Mountain: Saturday, November 16, 2013 (closed midweek, reopening November 23, 2013)
Stowe Mountain Resort: Saturday, November 16, 2013 (passholders); November 23, 2013 (public)
Sugarbush Resort: Friday, November 22, 2013 (passholders), Saturday, November 23, 2013 (public)
Smugglers’ Notch Resort: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Stratton Mountain: Saturday, November 23, 2013
Jay Peak Resort: Saturday, November 23, 2013 (closed midweek, reopening Friday, November 29, 2013)
Magic Mountain: Friday, December 13, 2013
Bolton Valley: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Burke Mountain: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Mad River Glen: Saturday, December 14, 2013 (earlier if possible)
Middlebury College Snow Bowl: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Pico Mountain: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain
After picking up some early-season snow on October 22, winter has become top of mind in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The Kingdom Pass, the season pass that gives holders access to both Jay Peak Resort and Burke Mountain, saw a spike in sales over its inaugural season last year. And both resorts plan on continuing the excitement with the snowmaking operations scheduled to start next month. Jay Peak plans on turning on the guns on or around November 1st with Burke Mountain following suit on November 15th, weather depending. And if Mother Nature cooperates, both resorts plan to be open by Thanksgiving.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
At Smugglers’ Notch Resort, a second season of snowmaking enhancements brings 100 new HKD tower snow guns to intermediate and advanced terrain on Sterling and Madonna Mountains. New tower fan guns will provide additional coverage on the learning area on Morse Mountain and at the Sterling base. Last winter’s investment of over $1,000,000 in snowmaking included 150 high efficiency tower guns. This two-year investment enhances the snowmaking product for skiers and riders, allowing more snow to be made at a wider temperature range, and improving the early and late season coverage with greatly reduced energy costs. Smugglers’ plans to kick off ski and ride operations on Friday, November 29, 2013, the day after Thanksgiving, with intermediate terrain on Sterling Mountain available for skiers and riders to enjoy with early season lift ticket and lodging pricing. (http://www.smuggs.com/skivtw)
Stowe Mountain Resort
This summer, Stowe Mountain Resort’s continued investment in its state-of-the-art snowmaking operations include an additional 3.4 million dollars in new equipment and upgrades, which consist of 100 HKD tower guns, 3 Super Pole Cat fan guns, a new pump-house and miles of snowmaking pipe. Add that to the 4.7 million invested last summer for a 16-month total that includes; 445 HKD tower guns, 150 energy efficient land guns, 20 Super Pole Cat fan guns and another seven miles of new snowmaking pipe. In addition to supplementing superlative snowmaking, the improvements allow Stowe to operate with greater energy efficiency. From a skier’s standpoint, the new snowmaking increases potential for more early season terrain, raises overall snow quality and allows mountain operations to resurface the mountain quickly. To see how Stowe's snowmaking magic happens click here for video.
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge Nordic Center will have newly upgraded trails and a stadium facility for the 2013-14 winter season. “This year is a monumental season with Trapp Family Lodge hosting the 2014 Junior National Nordic Ski Championships.” remarked Nordic Director Paul McNeil. The stadium construction has included a widened start area, a new lap lane, a new timing shack location and finish terrace. In addition, trail work on the race course has continued with the widening of climbs and the reshaping of berms which will provide exciting skiing. Aside from racing, all the improvements will strongly enhance the teaching area and free-skiing for our trail users. Trapp looks forward to a mid-December opening thanks to snowmaking or even earlier with natural snowfall.
Bolton Valley anticipates opening for the 2013-2014 season on Saturday, Dec. 14, weather permitting. Bolton Valley replaced 6,000 feet of snowmaking pipe during the off-season. One third of the ski and snowboard rental fleet was updated with new equipment from Rossignol and Burton as well. Base lodge upgrades included a new outdoor staircase and new carpeting. As the season approaches, Bolton Valley officials will be announcing opening day plans, which typically include holiday festivities, skiing Santas and more.
Sugarbush Resort has scheduled opening dates of Saturday, November 23 for Lincoln Peak and Friday, December 20 for Mt. Ellen, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this season. A target date of Friday, November 1 has been set to begin snowmaking at Lincoln Peak, and the resort is currently in the process of installing 77 new HKD snow guns and 11 Snowlogic stage towers. Sugarbush also purchased two new groomers to add to its biodiesel fleet. Renovations on Mt. Ellen’s base lodge and Lincoln Peak’s Valley House will be ready for opening day, as well as improved seating in the Gate House.
Middlebury CollegeSnow Bowl
The Snow Bowl crew is installing 15 new 30” SV10 tower guns on Allen and Ross to be ready for snowmaking which will commence right after Thanksgiving for an anticipated 12/14/13 opening date.
Rikert Nordic Center
With the addition of a new trail and the snowmaking system ready to roll, Rikert is looking forward to the upcoming season. New rental skis, snowshoes and snowbikes are at the ready. When the temperatures dip the snowguns will rip! Rikert is looking forward to opening as soon as there is enough snow to groom. Keep up-to-date at www.rikertnordic.com.
Killington Resort and Pico Mountain
Cold temps returned Tuesday night to Killington and they should see a good snowmaking window from Wednesday, October 23 for several days. At this point in time, Killington plans to be open for skiing and riding on Friday, October 25, 2013 if conditions permit. Friday will be for Season Pass holders only and lifts will run from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. They will then open to the public on Saturday, October 26, 2013 if conditions permit.
On Wednesday, October 23 Killington will communicate all the details for guests regarding terrain available, ticket pricing, services available, etc. Stay tuned to www.killington.com/conditions for all the latest information and operations outlook.
Okemo Mountain Resort
With nearly $1 million in snowmaking improvements, Okemo Mountain Resort is getting ready for the 2013/14 ski and snowboard season to begin. 225 new HKD tower guns have been installed and the entire infrastructure has received upgrades. The system has been tested and snowmaking is scheduled to begin November 1. Okemo’s target opening day is Saturday, November 16 and Okemo is working toward having more terrain open earlier this season than ever before. Snowmaking will begin at Okemo’s Jackson Gore on December 1, after all sleepy bears making their way along an identified bear migration corridor on the mountain have found a place to hibernate. Stay tuned to Okemo’s snow report page for updates.
Eagerly anticipating the season, Bromley is wrapping up second floor base lodge renovations and getting snowmaking primed and ready to begin blasting on November 1 (temps permitting). Season Passes and Value Cards are on sale at bromley.com, as well as Value Tickets. Save up to $15 off holiday lift ticket prices with Value Tickets. They are valid any day of the 2013/14 winter season, are fully transferrable, and like lift tickets, specially priced for Adults, Teens, Seniors and Juniors. Deadline for Value Ticket purchases is December 4; must purchase at least 5 tickets. Ready for the season? Projected opening day at Bromley Mountain is scheduled for November 29, 2013.
With two big Volunteer Days of glade clearing under its belt (see videos at www.youtube.com/skimagicvt), it's time to "think snow" at Magic. Both bottom-to-top Red and Black lifts, accessing all of Magic's big 1700' vertical, have gone through extensive maintenance for a planned December 13th ski area opening. Magic added another snowmaking trail on its challenging West Side to extend trail coverage after a record amount of snow was made last year. New high-efficient HKD mobile tower guns will upgrade Magic's man-made snow capability. Magic also plans to open its snow tubing park and base beginner area for the Thanksgiving holiday. www.magicmtn.com
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton is buzzing as a $6.5 million investment takes shape in myriad ways around the mountain, from new snowcats and snowmaking enhancements, new look and menus for the Mid-Mountain Lodge to a total remodel and rebranding of the Black Bear Lodge now featuring the latest in convenience and comfort along with that classic Vermont vibe.
Projected opening day is November 27 with Stratton getting ready to test the snowguns as temperatures drop. This winter’s calendar is packed with events starting with the traditional Thanksgiving Gobble Gobble Wobble 5k, which also launches Stratton’s Be. Event Series that offers big cash prizes for participation.
Mount Snow Resort
Following a number of recently completed snowmaking efficiency improvement projects, Mount Snow’s snowmakers are eager to get the system up and running so skiers and riders can enjoy the results of many months of hard work. Once temperatures permit, the resort plans to fire up the fan guns on Launch Pad and hold its annual early season rail garden with all proceeds from lift ticket sales to benefit the Deerfield Valley Food Pantry. Mount Snow traditionally sets a goal for opening with top-to-bottom skiing and riding for all abilities, including a terrain park, on or before Thanksgiving.
Bromley snowmaker Chris Nevitt throws the switch during a water test on October 10.
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