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Update: Killington just announced that last Sunday May 16 was their last day of the season.

Maybe be one more day, but nothing is certains considering temperature in the 80s. As predicted in last week’s post, days of the Superstar glacier were numbered; looks like it might be it, either Killington is done for the season or they pull it all together for one more hurrah for the season Saturday. Some walking will definitely be required.

Killington VT16 May 22 May (tentative Saturday only)

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Last chair in the East since 2006:
2006: May 5 – Bretton Woods
2007: May 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat
2008: May 11 – MSS
2009: May 4? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS, Jay and Sugarbush
2010: May 3? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS and Jay
2011: May 22 – MSS
2012: May 6 – MSS
2013: May 26 – Killington
2014: May 19 – MSS
2015: May 25 – Killington
2016: May 29 – Killington
2017: June 1 – Killington
2018: May 27 – MSS
2019: June 8 – MSS
2020: March 19 – Kamiskotia, Ontario
2021: May 16 – Killington

Killington is a familiar territory, with Mont St-Sauveur in the Laurentians, they are the only two ski area that have made beyond May 15 in the past 15 seasons. This season the Beast has clearly been the only options after May 1-2 weekend. 

Although Kiilington will be clearly the last to close in the East this season, St-Sauveur’s October 30 opening date assured it the longest season in the East regardless if Killington opens Saturday or not. St-Sauveur’s season spanned 185 days versus Killington’s 178 days. Some people would point out that Killington has had more Operating Days 170 compared to St-Sauveur’s 154 days, but with night skiing hours, MSS would have more Operating Hours than Kmart. So in my books, it’s a moot argument.

Previous years:
Here was the head-to-head showdown since the Beast came back in town.
2013:
May 26 – Killington
May 19 – MSS
2014:
May 19 – MSS
May 18 – Killington
2015:
May 25 – Killington
May 10 – MSS
2016:
May 29 – Killington
May 23 – MSS
2017:
June 1 – Killington
May 13 – MSS
2018:
May 27 – MSS
May 26 – Killington
2019:
June 2 – Killington
June 8 – MSS
2020:
March 14 – Killington
March 15 – MSS
2021:
May 2 – MSS
May 16 – Killington

The good news is that after last March Covid shutdown, despite low snow year, most ski areas in the East outside Ontario had a somewhat normal length ski season. Ontario’s third lockdown ended the ski season just on the eve of Easter weekend on April 3. The first lockdown ended the 2019-20 season’s just prior to School’s March break and Ontario’s 6-weeks second lockdown started on December 26.

Ontario third’s lockdown which affected ski areas, but also Golf courses, is now slated to last until June 2. Despite Ontario government decision to not allow alpine skiing (and golf courses) to open, the province has struggled to control Covid versus the neighbouring province Quebec made the decision to use more successful methods to try to control the pandemic will allowing ski areas to operate all season. Maybe the difference is that Ontario’s premier Doug Ford doesn’t ski compare to his Quebec counterpart François Legault. I really fell sorry for all of Ontario ski areas operators, owners and employees.  

Ontario might have been the only juridiction in North America to shutdown skiing, but Europe has generally had a series of stricter measures which definitely included ski resorts closures. Resorts in France, Germany and Italy closure occurred in November/December. France ski resorts are getting their first opportunity to this coming weekend. Germany’s season would generally be over, but this time of the season. Italy’s season wasn’t all lost as they reopened, before shutting down again only to recently reopen. Switzerland hasn’t had any ski resort closure this season, but the biggest challenge would be travelling across borders. European ski lifts were allowed to continue ski racing, but were closed to the general public in many places; pretty most the opposite with ski racing in Canada.

Among the regular May skiing areas, Kiilington, St-Sauveur and Sugarloaf had their earliest closing day in a decade. Jay Peak and Sugarbush made it to May 1-2 weekend which isn’t far off their regular end of season date.

Killington, Vermont
Average closing date May 15
*
2006: May 1
2007: May 6
2008: April 20
2009: May 2
2010: April 25
2011: May 1
2012: April 22
2013: May 26
2014: May 18
2015: May 25
2016: May 29
2017: June 1
2018: May 26
2019: June 2
2020: March 14*
2021: May 16

Previous years:
St-Sauveur, Québec
Average closing date May 13
*
2006: April 30
2007: May 6
2008: May 11
2009: May 3
2010: May 2
2011: May 22
2012: May 6
2013: May 19
2014: May 19
2015: May 10
2016: May 23
2017: May 13
2018: May 27
2019: June 8
2020: March 15*
2021: May 2

Jay Peak, Vermont
Average closing date May 3
*
2006: April 22
2007: April 28
2008: May 4
2009: May 3
2010: May 2
2011: May 15
2012: April 29
2013: April 28
2014: May 11
2015: May 3
2016: May 1
2017: May 1
2018: May 6
2019: May 5
2020: March 15*
2021: May 1

Sugarbush, Vermont
Average closing date May 2
*
2006: April 30
2007: May 6
2008: May 4
2009: May 3
2010: April 18
2011: May 1
2012: April 8
2013: May 4
2014: May 4
2015: May 3
2016: May 1
2017: May 1
2018: May 6
2019: May 5
2020: March 14*
2021: May 2

Sugarloaf, Maine
Average closing date May 1
*
2006: April 16
2007: April 29
2008: May 5
2009: May 4?
2010: May 3?
2011: May 9
2012: April 16
2013: May 5
2014: May 4
2015: May 3
2016: May 1
2017: May 1
2018: May 6
2019: May 5
2020: March 15*
2021: April 25

*Average closing dates exclude 2020 Covid shutdown.

LIST OF POST-EASTER CLOSING DATES IN THE EAST 

Sutton QC – April 10
Ti-Basse QC – April 10
Smugglers VT – April 10
Gore NY – April 10
Whiteface NY – April 10
Holimont NY – April 11
Hunter NY – April 11
Comi QC – April 11
Édouard QC – April 11
Le Massif QC – April 11
Massif du Sud QC – April 11
Ste-Anne QC – April 11
St-Mathieu QC – April 11
Tremblant QC – April 11
Smokey NL – April 11
Stratton VT – April 11
Bretton Woods NH – April 11
Cannon NH – April 11
Sunapee NH – April 11
Waterville NH – April 11
Wildcat NH – April 11

Saddleback ME – April 17
Snow VT – April 18
Stowe VT – April 18

Sunday River ME – April 24
Sugarloaf ME – April 25

Jay Peak VT – May 1
Sugarbush VT – May 2
St-Sauveur QC – May 2

Killington VT – May 16


List of Killington Seasons since 1966-67
* 2019/2020 : early closure due to COVID-19
* 2012/2013 : Appreciation Day for one October weekend, reopened on November 5. K record states season as “October 13-15, Nov 5 – May 26”
* 2005/2006 : Open for one weekend after huge October storm, reopen on November 19. K record states season as “October 29-30, Nov 19 – May 1”
* 2008/09 : Nov. 2-6, Nov. 19-May 2


Season Open – Close / Total Snowfall / Ski Days
2020/2021 November 20 – May 16 / 217” / 170
2019/2020* November 3 – March 14 / 192” (til May 9) / 133
2018/2019 October 19 – June 2 / 233” / 211
2017/2018 November 8 – May 26 / 233” / 187
2016/2017 October 25 – June 1 / 252” / 201
2015/2016 October 19 – May 29 / 81” / 189
2014/2015 November 3 – May 24 / 197” / 192
2013/2014 October 23 – May 18 / 196” / 199
2012/2013* October 13 – May 26 / 208” / 195
2011/2012 October 29 – April 22 / 152” / 176
2010/2011 November 2 – May 1 / 263” / 179
2009/2010 November 7 – April 25 / 230” / 153
2008/2009* November 2 – May 2 / 283” / 169
2007/2008 November 16 – April 20 / 282” / 157
2006/2007 November 23 – May 6 / 294” / 165
2005/2006* October 29 – May 1 / 191” / 166
2004/2005 November 9 – May 15 / 206” / 188
2003/2004 November 10 – May 12 / 215” / 184
2002/2003 October 25 – May 26 / 291” / 204
2001/2002 November 6 – June 1 / 192” / 202
2000/2001 October 29 – May 27 / 316” / 202
1999/2000 October 25 – May 29 / 209” / 205
1998/1999 October 22 – May 25 / 186” / 204
1997/1998 October 1 – May 25 / 242” / 205
1996/1997 October 4 – June 22 / 301” / 233
1995/1996 October 17 – June 10 / 307” / 224
1994/1995 October 3 – June 4 / 182” / 214
1993/1994 October 1 – June 9 / 279” / 243
1992/1993 October 1 – June 1 / 300” / 229
1991/1992 October 21 – June 14 / 198” / 226
1990/1991 October 27 – May 28 / 206” / 214
1989/1990 October 10 – May 28 / 249” / 208
1988/1989 October 13 – May 21 / 202” / 211
1987/1988 October 12 – June 1 / 238” / 227
1986/1987 October 10 – June 3 / 233” / 224
1985/1986 October 1- June 3 / 198” / 224
1984/1985 November 3 – June 2 / 220” / 212
1983/1984 October 20 – June 21 / 238” / 246
1982/1983 October 17 – June 16 / 197” / 240
1981/1982 October 20 – June 15 / 268” / 225
1980/1981 October 14 – May 27 / 257” / 226
1979/1980 October 10 – May 23 / 138” / 221
1978/1979 October 16 – May 22 / 292” / 219
1977/1978 October 24 – May 23 / 341” / 195
1976/1977 October 27 – May 15 / 346” / 201
1975/1976 October 30 – May 5 / 232” / 173
1974/1975 October 19 – May 12 / 307” / 190
1973/1974 November 5 – April 30 / 193” / 177
1972/1973 October 20 – April 15 / 267” / 184
1971/1972 November 9 – May 18 / 323” / 192
1970/1971 November 18 – May 21 / 334” / 184
1969/1970 October 24 – May 4 / NA” / 178
1968/1969 November 9 – May 10 / NA” / 183
1967/1968 November 5 – April 7 / NA” / 154
1966/1967 November 4 – May 2 / NA” / 180

Of course the last chair in the East doesn’t mark the end of skiing; there is some more snow patches left to be skied. And yes, for the first time in an Eastern season thread, there is indeed before one place where you can ride a lift and ski and it’s in indoor skiing in a New Jersey Mall.

And yes, skiing has come down to this…

The End indeed.

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Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 posts:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Meltdown – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 3

Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 4

May-ed it – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 5

Mothers’ Day Skiing Edition – Eastern Closing Thread 2020-21 – Part 6

How much longer May we ski? Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 7

For the second weekend in a row, Killington has the only lift spinning in the East. Last weekend skiers said goodbye to Skyelark and Bittersweet; it’s down to the Superstar glacier until the end.

Killington VT– late May (tentative – Friday-Sunday + Memorial Monday only)

Trail: Superstar

Lift : Superstar Express Quad

Time : 9am to 5pm (8am to 5pm Sat & Sun)

Cost : $89US lift tickets (advance discount online).

Advance ticket are being sold up to Memorial Day May 31; are they going to make it less than stellar snow year?

Snow depth at the top of Mount Mansfield VT – 2019 versus 2021


Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Although the snow stake at the top of Mount Mansfield is further north; we can see that only 6” snow remains, well below the 28” average. Killington is the only Eastern ski areas that have closed numerous times in June. Closing date in 2019 was on June 2, but snow at this time of the year was at 47”, over 3 feet more depth.

Snow depth at the top of Mount Mansfield VT – 2021 versus June ending seasons since 2002

Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Superstar Glacier has made it also in June 1 in 2017; it had then 34”. In the entire history of skiing at Killington, Superstar has made it to June 10 times in the past 30 seasons. If you look at the third graph C below, the only season where snow level were almost as low as this season was back in June 1993. I would be very surprise if K would remain open with the amount of snow that was left back in 1993. On that cold and rainy Tuesday morning, there were only a handful of skiers, a day where they was more distance travel by feet than skis.   

Killington is a familiar territory, with Mont St-Sauveur in the Laurentians, they are the only ski area that have made beyond May 15. This season the Beast has clearly been the only options after May 1-2 weekend. How long will it last? Odds are unlikely for a June or Memorial Day weekend closing. It will all depend how much melting occurs in the next week or two.

Snow depth at the top of Mount Mansfield VT – 2021 versus all June ending seasons on Superstar Trail

Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Last chair in the East since 2006:
2006: May 5 – Bretton Woods
2007: May 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat
2008: May 11 – MSS
2009: May 4? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS, Jay and Sugarbush
2010: May 3? – Sugarloaf on Monday?*, MSS and Jay
2011: May 22 – MSS
2012: May 6 – MSS
2013: May 26 – Killington
2014: May 19 – MSS
2015: May 25 – Killington
2016: May 29 – Killington
2017: June 1 – Killington
2018: May 27 – MSS
2019: June 8 – MSS
2020: March 19 – Kamiskotia, Ontario
2021: May ?? – Killington

Latest per ski area since 2006:
St-Sauveur QC : June 8, 2019
Killington VT : June 2, 2019
Jay VT : May 15, 2011
Sugarloaf ME : May 9, 2011
Sugarbush VT : May 6, 2007
Wildcat NH : May 6, 2007
Bretton Woods NH : May 5, 2006
Mont Miller QC : May 3, 2015
Mont Comi QC : May 1, 2016
Saddleback ME : May 1, 2011

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List of Killington Seasons since 1966-67
* 2019/2020 : early closure due to COVID-19
* 2012/2013 : Appreciation Day for one October weekend, reopened on November 5. K record states season as “October 13-15, Nov 5 – May 26”
* 2005/2006 : Open for one weekend after huge October storm, reopen on November 19. K record states season as “October 29-30, Nov 19 – May 1”
* 2008/09 : Nov. 2-6, Nov. 19-May 2


Season Open – Close / Total Snowfall / Ski Days
2020/2021 November 20 – May / 217” / next ski day is 168
2019/2020* November 3 – March 14 / 192” (til May 9) / 133
2018/2019 October 19 – June 2 / 233” / 211
2017/2018 November 8 – May 26 / 233” / 187
2016/2017 October 25 – June 1 / 252” / 201
2015/2016 October 19 – May 29 / 81” / 189
2014/2015 November 3 – May 24 / 197” / 192
2013/2014 October 23 – May 18 / 196” / 199
2012/2013* October 13 – May 26 / 208” / 195
2011/2012 October 29 – April 22 / 152” / 176
2010/2011 November 2 – May 1 / 263” / 179
2009/2010 November 7 – April 25 / 230” / 153
2008/2009* November 2 – May 2 / 283” / 169
2007/2008 November 16 – April 20 / 282” / 157
2006/2007 November 23 – May 6 / 294” / 165
2005/2006* October 29 – May 1 / 191” / 166
2004/2005 November 9 – May 15 / 206” / 188
2003/2004 November 10 – May 12 / 215” / 184
2002/2003 October 25 – May 26 / 291” / 204
2001/2002 November 6 – June 1 / 192” / 202
2000/2001 October 29 – May 27 / 316” / 202
1999/2000 October 25 – May 29 / 209” / 205
1998/1999 October 22 – May 25 / 186” / 204
1997/1998 October 1 – May 25 / 242” / 205
1996/1997 October 4 – June 22 / 301” / 233
1995/1996 October 17 – June 10 / 307” / 224
1994/1995 October 3 – June 4 / 182” / 214
1993/1994 October 1 – June 9 / 279” / 243
1992/1993 October 1 – June 1 / 300” / 229
1991/1992 October 21 – June 14 / 198” / 226
1990/1991 October 27 – May 28 / 206” / 214
1989/1990 October 10 – May 28 / 249” / 208
1988/1989 October 13 – May 21 / 202” / 211
1987/1988 October 12 – June 1 / 238” / 227
1986/1987 October 10 – June 3 / 233” / 224
1985/1986 October 1- June 3 / 198” / 224
1984/1985 November 3 – June 2 / 220” / 212
1983/1984 October 20 – June 21 / 238” / 246
1982/1983 October 17 – June 16 / 197” / 240
1981/1982 October 20 – June 15 / 268” / 225
1980/1981 October 14 – May 27 / 257” / 226
1979/1980 October 10 – May 23 / 138” / 221
1978/1979 October 16 – May 22 / 292” / 219
1977/1978 October 24 – May 23 / 341” / 195
1976/1977 October 27 – May 15 / 346” / 201
1975/1976 October 30 – May 5 / 232” / 173
1974/1975 October 19 – May 12 / 307” / 190
1973/1974 November 5 – April 30 / 193” / 177
1972/1973 October 20 – April 15 / 267” / 184
1971/1972 November 9 – May 18 / 323” / 192
1970/1971 November 18 – May 21 / 334” / 184
1969/1970 October 24 – May 4 / NA” / 178
1968/1969 November 9 – May 10 / NA” / 183
1967/1968 November 5 – April 7 / NA” / 154
1966/1967 November 4 – May 2 / NA” / 180

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Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Meltdown – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 3

Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 4

May-ed it – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 5

Mothers’ Day Skiing Edition – Eastern Closing Thread 2020-21 – Part 6

For the first time since November, no lifts were running for skiing anywhere in the East. After last Sunday like in every May, Killington scaled back it’s skiing operations to Friday-Sunday only. We also witnessed the last hurrah at Jay Peak on Saturday; Sugarbush and St-Sauveur on Sunday.

Friday May 7th, skiing is open again today and for the Mothers’ Day weekend. Killington, as always, is the last one to offer skiing in the US East. This season also marked a return to the only and last one to spin lifts in the East since 2017 as St-Sauveur had is earliest non-Covid closing date in 11 years last Sunday. 

For the first time since 2013, Killington will be the only game in town on Mothers’ Day weekend. 

Numbers from previous seasons on Mothers’ Day weekend: Total:
2021 : 1 (Killington)
2020 : 0 (Covid shutdown)
2019 : 2 (Killington & MSS)
2018 : 2 (Killington & MSS)
2017 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2016 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2015 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2014 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2013 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2012 : 0
2011 : 2 (Jay, MSS)
2010 : 0
2009 : 0
2008 : 0
2007 : 0
2006 : 0

St-Sauveur skiers, staff and owners are happy that they managed a regular length season from October to May after last season’s brutal March 15 shutdown of skiing across Quebec and eventually all of North America. St-Sauveur opened three weeks earlier that Killington in the Fall (October 30 versus November 20), so for now, MSS’s season is still theoretically longer depending when Killington closes?

So if you are able to get into Vermont, go skiing … here is an excerpt of the anticipated snow report published late Thursday afternoon.

Killington groomers are going to be out tonight, smoothing out Superstar as well as Skyelark for nice fresh corduroy tomorrow morning. The arrival of May and recent wet weather has caused bare spots to open up on some of our trails. There will be walking required on Upper Bittersweet and Lower Skyelark and you may encounter other bare spots on other trails.” 

May and Mothers’ Day is easy, but odds don’t look good for a Memorial Day or June 1 closing. So better go skiing now before it’s too late. 

More on the subject on the next week’s update.

LIST OF LAST 4 SKI AREAS OPENED THIS SEASON 
Jay VT – May 1
Sugarbush VT – May 2
St-Sauveur QC – May 2

Killington VT – late May (tentative – Friday-Sunday only)

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Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Meltdown – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 3

Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 4

May-ed it – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 5

Despite the seasonal warm weather, the low snow year and some naysayers who thought that lift served skiing in May was in jeopardy this season, it will happen, we May-ed it , skiing at 4 ski resorts in Vermont and Québec for at least one day this weekend.

As stated last two weeks ago, without uncontrollable circumstances like last Spring, there is always lift served skiing in May somewhere in the East. Odds are that it will be in Vermont and Québec. May 2021 won’t be an exception. All the same regular May spinning hills are still present with the exception of Sugarloaf which closed last Sunday.

This weekend should be the last one for all except Killington. It will be also the earliest closing for St-Sauveur since 2010, when it also closed on May 2. You have to go back to 2006 season from an earlier closing date (April 30) at the Laurentians ski hill, also worked out that the calendar that made it that day was a Sunday. So after Sunday, Killington will be the last one standing, but you’ll have to wait until Friday to ride the Superstar Express again, as they will now be closed midweek.

After last season’s brutal shutdown, one year living with Covid, if you discount Ontario, the vast majority of ski resorts managed to have normal ski season length, all be it dealing with various Covid procotols. Kudos for all the great work from managers, employees and skiers that permitted us to have a safe and somewhat normal season.

All the other ski resorts in the East generally don’t offer May skiing; those that have may-ed it in the past years, seldom do.

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Eastern US

LIST OF 4 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY STILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND 

Jay VT – May 1 (Saturday only)

Sugarbush VT – May 2 (weekend only)

St-Sauveur QC – May 2 (weekend only)

Killington VT – late May (tentative – daily until May 2 then Friday-Sunday only)

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Frequency of number of ski areas spinning in May

7 or more ski areas : 4 times
6 ski areas : 3 times
5 ski areas : 1 time
4 ski areas : 4 times
3 or less ski areas : 3 times.

Previous years:

Here was the status of what was happening at the same time in previous years.

Total / Daily until May:

Total / Daily until May:
2021 : 4 – Killington, MSS, Sugarbush, Jay
2020 : 0 – Covid shutdown
2019 : 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarloaf, Jay, Sugarbush, Big Boulder
2018 : 9 – MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Whiteface, Big Boulder, Bristol, Craigleith
2017 :  6  – Killington, MSS, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
2016 :  7  – MSS, Jay, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Sunday RiverComi
2015 : 9 – Killington, MSS, Jay, Miller, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Sugarbush, Sunday River, Wachusett
2014 : 6 – MSS, Killington, Jay, Comi, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf
2013 : 4 – Killington, MSS, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush
2012 : 1 – MSS
2011 : 7 – MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf, Miller, Sugarbush, Killington, Saddleback
2010 : 3 – MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf
2009 : 5 – Jay, MSS, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Killington
2008 : 4 – MSS, Sugarloaf, Jay, Sugarbush
2007 : 4 – Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat, MSS
2006 : 2 – Bretton Woods, Killington

Ski areas that have spinning in May since 2006 including this year’s recent tentative closing dates)

Mont St-Sauveur QC : 14 times (93%) – last 14 years in a row
Killington VT : 12 times (80%) – last 8 years
Sugarbush VT : 12 times (80%) – last 8 years
Jay VT : 11 times (73%) – last 7 years
Sugarloaf ME : 11 times (73%)

Sunday River ME : 3 times (20%)
Miller QC : 2 times? (13%)
Big Boulder PA : 2 times? (13%)
Wildcat NH : 2 times (13%)
Comi QC : 2 times (13%)
Saddleback ME : 1 time (7%)
Bretton Woods NH : 1 time (7%)
Wachusett MA : 1 time (7%)
Whiteface NY  : 1 time (7%)
Bristol NY : 1 time (7%)
Craigleith ON : 1 time (7%)

By Provinces/States:

By Provinces/States:
Quebec : 14 times (93%)
Vermont : 14 times (93%)
Maine : 11 times (73%)
New Hampshire : 3 times (20%) – if no lift are spinning, you can always ski on Mt Washington.

Pennsylvania : 2 times? (13%)
Massachusetts : 1 time (7%)
New York : 1 time (7%)
Ontario : 1 time (7%)

An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.

Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Meltdown – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 3

Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 4

After the unseasonal warm temperatures since the official start of Spring, we have seen a swing across the East into some below normal temps with some snow accumulations or dusting in most parts. And it’s snowing again today. 

Although we seem to have a lower number of areas offering see skiing over the weekend, we are pretty close to part especially south of the border. Six resorts have confirmed that they were going to be open at least one day this weekend. It will be Maine’s two remaining areas last hurrah this weekend; with the exception of Killington, everyone else will be closed next midweek after Sunday, but rest assured, they will some May skiing this season.  As mentioned in my last post, if you remove last season Covid closures, it is virtually assured that there is some May skiing somewhere in the East.

Four areas are longing to spin one day or more in May. Jay and Sugarbush have confirmed that the first weekend of May would definitely be their last of the season. Don’t wait, go skiing if you can.

Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

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Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Eastern US

2021 : 6 / 5

2020 : 0

2019 : 12 / 6

2018: 21 / 9

2017 : 16 / 7

2016 : 14 / 8

2015 : 13 / 7

2014 : 13 / 6

2013 : 9 / 4

2012 : 2 / 1

LIST OF 6 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY STILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND 

QUEBEC : 1

St-Sauveur – May 2 or more (weekend only)

NEW ENGLAND : 5

Sunday River ME – April 24

Sugarloaf ME – April 25

Jay VT – May 1 (tentative – daily until April 25 then Saturday only)

Sugarbush VT – May 2 (daily until April 25 then weekend only)

Killington VT – late May (tentative – daily until May 2 then Friday-Sunday only)

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An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.

Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Meltdown – Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Part 3

It’s been such a long time since I’ve written a trail report on Ski Mad World. The last time I’ve posted was almost 5 years ago. The last one was on AKAMP at Mont Avila almost one year after the fact; the previous report was on the surfing June patches at Mont St-Sauveur.

Discipline and motivation are part of my daily struggles. It’s one thing about going skiing, writing about it is a whole different tale. This isn’t new, I’ve been dealing with mental health issues for at least a decade. Something I need to kick myself out of bed to go skiing, but that is highly correlated with my mental state. The pandemic hasn’t help as my skiing duties and travels have been drastically reduced.

I always complained that I was too busy when I worked 9-to-5 to put a dent into the millions of thoughts, memorabilia and memories on paper or this blog. It will be almost 7 years since I last work in a regular office, but unfortunately this blog didn’t pick up during this time. The only daily blogging exercise I’ve managed to update on my skiing, traveling and life has been Facebook then Instagram.

Why am I doing this? Why am I bothering writing about this? As they say in French, “la mémoire est une faculté qui oublie”. As an ex-girlfriend once told me, I’m always living in the past. Maybe not living in the past, but cherishing my distant memories of my childhood when I was a toddler and my parents lived together. It was the only way to hold on to memories of my father. Retaining a bunch of other memories along the way was the side effect. Writing them are one of the ways to bring them back to life and remembering what we have lost and gained over a half century of skiing.

It is fitting that the first post in almost 5 years is from my outing at Mont St-Sauveur-Avila from Friday, February 26th, 2021. So many memories are tied to this place. Memories from the Laurentians skiing pioneers to my mine.

The McGill Red Birds ski team would ski and race on Mont St-Sauveur one hundred years ago. The Laurentian Lodge was set up 98 years ago a few miles away in Shawbridge (now Prévost) in 1923; Foster’s Folly, Alex Foster invented and installed the World first rope-tow on Big Hill next to the Lodge in 1931. Ski trains began taking Montrealers and Americans to the Laurentians hills in 1928. Percy Douglas, member of the Laurentian Ski Lodge and later Canadian Ski Hall of Fall (link) was one to initiate the venture to have the American Fred Pabst a lift on Hill 70 in 1934.

Towards the end of World War II, Nymark and a group of business joined together to form Uphill Limited where current Mont St-Sauveur was divided into various lots with lifts on Hill 67 to 72. It wasn’t until Jacques Hébert that Hill 68, 69, 70 and 71 amalgamated and became Mont St-Sauveur. That is when my personal history with Mont St-Sauveur began.

****

Although Mont St-Sauveur has never been my main ski destination in any given season; many memories throughout the years are based here. Side trips with my mom when visiting her family in the Laurentians, yellow school bus night skiing trips in High School; Murray Hill bus rides on school PD days. Early memories from St-Sauveur include the old double Mueller chairlift where you had to sidestep up a ramp to the first floor of the building to load on the lift. Meeting my childhood ski buddy Eric at the chalet at the bottom of Hill 69 where lunch box skiers were exiled. Of course, this was a few years before the construction of the massive main lodge. There was no urban feeling at the time in St-Sauveur; they were fields between the village of St-Sauveur-des-Monts and the base of the mountain.

The new chalet, the construction of the new lodge, the first Triple chairlift, first detachable quad to recent late Spring skiing which includes a ski and waterpark day in June 2019. 

Some more recent or vague souvenirs of my competitive skiing:

Hill 70: CEGEP tryout in December 1984.

St-Sauveur Downhill: CEGEP races in 1985

UdeM Carabins training from Hills 68, 70 and 71 in the 1980s.

Hill 72: a return last season as a coach for the ENL slalom races where I meet up with fellow coach and teammate from the UdeM ski team days.

****

Back to Friday, February 26th, 2021.

I haven’t travel this far from home since my last visit to Mont St-Sauveur back in November. My limited skiing has uniquely done locally at my home hill 35km away from Ottawa. 

Balancing skiing and Covid guidelines can be difficult sometimes. The Ontario government mentions that skiing isn’t a good enough reason to travel, plus I’m leaving the province. Quebec doesn’t recommend people to travel between regions with a province-wide curfew. Yes, the pandemic has greatly affected my ski season as this day marked outing number 21, less than half where I’m generally at at the end of February. Very little coaching hours as the ski team was on pause during the 5-6 weeks. No traveling to New England or Eastern Quebec like last season.

This ski outing combined business and pleasure. I only had a few hours, but I decided to explore parts of Mont St-Sauveur that I hadn’t skied since the 1980s.

Decided to move one trail at a time from West to East across Hill 72 to 67 and Mont Avila, however the first run chosen was the remains of the St-Sauveur Downhill where the Québec intercollegiate CEGEP circuit held it races. I remember racing here, but the trail is pretty narrow when compared to current races runs. The original ran parallel to the Nordique and had a similar topographical feel to it. The final pitch of the run was sacrificed in the late 1980s to make way to the waterpark tube slides.

Conditions were definitely firmer than the snow I’ve been skiing all season at Edelweiss. Not icy, but just firm; was it the grooming? the snowmaking? or simply the amount of skier traffic?

After the skiing everything open vicinity of Hill 71 from La Plagne to Hill 70 West, I moved towards Hill 68, first skiing on the ungroomed natural snow on Grand Élan. The trail dimension is reminiscent of a time when most trails, even at MSS weren’t huge boulevards. After 68, I did another little shoot through the tree called Chute which was the old 68 chair liftline. A few bumps and thin cover on this poor snow year.

Skied the old Hill 69 liftline called Épervier and Tom Barbeau. Tom Barbeau used to be “the” run as a kid, skied on this ungroomed memories until I hit the best conditions groomed run on the mountain; Hill 69 near the old chalet. Although it was a Friday afternoon, there was still corduroy to be tracked on this tiny run.  This run was above the chalet, now called Chalet des Éperviers, had its own lift, first a small T-Bar then a double chair. Hill 69 has become pretty irrelevant and ignored by skier traffic since the last lift was removed almost two decades ago.

Dove down Hill 67 pronto on the Avila side to use the facilities. They were a few porta potties at the bottom, but they were closed so I rushed into the Avila lodge. This season, ski hills lodge were basically only open for the use of the washroom as per Quebec Covid ski resorts regulations. 

Hill 67 was definitely “ski sauvage” for Les Sommets resort, bumps, obstacles and marginal coverage which, for a fraction of a second, reminded me natural trail of Vermont. One more run down La Laurentienne trail before finishing my quest to ski all of St-Sauveur open trails around Hill 70 plus pick up a piece of ski equipment at La Shop in the Village before closing time at 6pm.

It was a fun trip back. I know this is a very long detour to pick up a tiny piece and, what seemed, like a longer text to described my day. This was started over one month ago, but like everything I write, I do it as a testament to future days passed.   

I’ll revisit some previous documented and non-documented tales from this season and previous ones. Well, I’ll try.

MadPat’s Picture Gallery:

Mont St-Sauveur-Avila QC: 26 février 2021

Sources:

Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum (1982): H. Percy Douglas

Chabot, D. (2007). Les Laurentides, berceau du ski : la rencontre de deux mondes. Histoire Québec, 13 (1), 21–27.

Lapointe, M-A and Samuel Mathieu (2017): The Pays-d’en-Haut: a Jewel of Leisure and Recreation

Musée du ski des Laurentides (2021): Skiing’s growth in the Saint-Sauveur valley

Stock, S (2021): Downhill Skiing in the Laurentians, Part 1: The Early Years in Laurentian Heritage WebMagazine

  • * Update: April 15, 7:30PM: Winter storm warning for part of New England. Magic Mountain VT might reopen for one day, on Saturday, if it receives enough snow.
  • ** Update: April 16, 5:30PM: Magic didn’t enough snow at the base to reopen tomorrow. Saddleback announced that tomorrow Saturday will be their last day. With the rain, MSS decided to close Thurs-Fri and focus on weekends only one week earlier.

As expected the big melt continued this week and translated directly to ski areas closing earlier than their usual date. Since Easter Monday snow depth at the top of the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, lost 19” (48cm) and stood only 16” (41cm) on Monday. 

Regarding the snow depth at the summit of Vermont:


Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Below Vermonter ski enthusiast and weather guru Powderfreak and Braatencast guy, Scott Braaten, sums up the last stretch at the epicentre of the Green Mountains; this reflect the situation across Eastern North America.

Although ski areas don’t uniquely rely on natural snow, the combination of a low snow year and warm temperature doesn’t spell good news. 

The number for operating ski hills has moved from 32 to 10 in one weekend, down to numbers similar to the Springs of 2012 and 2013. Quebec lost 9 of the 10 Quebec ski areas it had last weekend; some had scheduled closing dates, but some closed earlier. Vermont account for over half of the remaining areas with Maine, New Hampshire and Quebec accounting for the rest.

LIST OF 11 10 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OFFERING SKIING THIS WEEKEND * **

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Eastern US

2021 : 11 / 10 10 / 9 * **

2020 : 0

2019 : 31 / 9

2018: 33 / 11

2017 : 16 / 7

2016 : 14 / 8

2015 : 10 / 7

2014 : 11 / 5

2013 : 8 / 4

2012 : 6 / 3

((*

*))

((*

LIST OF 11 10 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY STILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND *

QUEBEC : 1

St-Sauveur – May 2 (daily until April 14 25) **

VERMONT : 6 5 * **

Magic – April 17 (tentative – Saturday only) * **

Snow – April 18

Stowe – April 18

Jay – May 1 (tentative – daily until April 25)

Sugarbush – May 2 (tentative – daily until April 25)

Killington – TBD (daily until May 2 then Friday-Sunday only)

MAINE : 3

Saddleback – April 17 18 **

Sunday River – April 24

Sugarloaf – April 25

NEW HAMPSHIRE : 1

Loon – April 18

((*

*))

((*

MAY 2021 ?

People are asking and wondering if there is be skiing at May this season. St-Sauveur and Killington snow coverage definitely looks ugly compared to what the average mid-April would look like.

People have been wondering while there even be skiing somewhere in the East in May? Generally it isn’t much of a problem, however with all the travel restrictions and closed borders, it might be more challenging that just  hoping a ski area spinning a chairlift. 

With the exception of last season, for at least 45 years, at least one ski area has always spun their lift in May. This year shouldn’t be an exception, currently there are 4 that are hoping to get to May (Killington, St-Sauveur, Sugarbush and Jay) and if it is, there is always skiing somewhere inside a New Jersey mall.

Frequency of number of ski areas spinning in May

7 or more ski areas : 4 times
6 ski areas : 3 times
5 ski areas : 1 time
4 ski areas : 3 times (4 times with the season’s prospect)
3 or less ski areas : 3 times.

Previous years:

Here was the status of what was happening at the same time in previous years.

Ski areas that have already closed are crossed out.

Ski areas in italic have a closing date prior to May.

As indicated below, many of the ski resorts have made it to May in the previous years have already closed (crossed out) to the season in the early April or have scheduled (italic) an April closing date.

Total / Daily until May:
2021 : 4? – Killington, MSS, Sugarbush, Jay
2020 : 0 – Covid shutdown
2019 : 6 – MSS, Killington, Sugarloaf, Jay, Sugarbush, Big Boulder
2018 : 9 – MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Whiteface, Big Boulder, Bristol, Craigleith
2017 :  6  – Killington, MSS, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Sunday River
2016 :  7  – MSS, Jay, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Comi
2015 : 9 – Killington, MSS, Jay, Miller, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Sugarbush, Sunday River, Wachusett
2014 : 6 – MSS, Killington, Jay, Comi, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf
2013 : 4 – Killington, MSS, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush
2012 : 1 – MSS
2011 : 7 – MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf, Miller, Sugarbush, Killington, Saddleback
2010 : 3 – MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf
2009 : 5 – Jay, MSS, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Killington
2008 : 4 – MSS, Sugarloaf, Jay, Sugarbush
2007 : 4 – Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat, MSS
2006 : 2 – Bretton Woods, Killington

Ski areas that have spinning in May since 2006 including this year’s recent tentative closing dates)

Mont St-Sauveur QC : 14 times (93%) – last 14 years in a row
Killington VT : 12 times (80%) – last 8 years
Sugarbush VT : 12 times (80%) – last 8 years
Jay VT : 11 times (73%) – last 7 years
Sugarloaf ME : 11 times (73%)

Sunday River ME : 3 times (20%)
Miller QC : 2 times? (13%)
Big Boulder PA : 2 times? (13%)
Wildcat NH : 2 times (13%)
Comi QC : 2 times (13%)

Saddleback ME : 1 time (7%)
Bretton Woods NH : 1 time (7%)
Wachusett MA : 1 time (7%)
Whiteface NY  : 1 time (7%)
Bristol NY : 1 time (7%)
Craigleith ON : 1 time (7%)

By Provinces/States:
Quebec : 14 times (93%)
Vermont : 14 times (93%)
Maine : 11 times (73%)
New Hampshire : 3 times (20%) if no lift are spinning, you can always ski on Mt Washington.

Pennsylvania : 2 times? (13%)
Massachusetts : 1 time (7%)
New York : 1 time (7%)
Ontario : 1 time (7%)

An important note to remember, this list can change at any moment. Even if there is snow, call ahead, some might not bothering spinning if the weather doesn’t compare with the notion of Spring skiing.

Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Eastern Closing Thread : Post-Easter Heatwave – Part 2

Last week we mentioned how little snow had fallen in the East this winter, despite this important fact, the season has been more consistent weather wise and we didn’t get the regular freeze-thaw cycles. Ski resorts didn’t lose much of their machine and natural snow that fell during a good stretch of the season which made conditions awesome for the amount of snow that we actually received.

This week fans of late season skiers were hit by a double whammy, three if you count the Covid shutdown of Ontario resorts. 

1 ) Post-Easter: 

Easter Holidays weekend is often a goal to reach in the ski resorts’ calendar. The vast majority of ski resorts, the last long weekend of the season; the last chance for Holiday crowd, after this weekend, many areas which just stretched their snow coverage to a minimum can finally relax and “let it go” and call it a season. Even ski hills with great coverage also choose to end of the season as there is no financial incentive to continue just to spin lift “just for passholders.”     

2) Unseasonal hot weather:

After a few weeks since that last record weather week of March, we are back into the record breaking temperature back in some part of the East. It was +22c at Tremblant yesterday, +16c at the summit. Eastern Quebec ski areas that usually close in mid-April when they still have most of the terrain open couldn’t even make to Easter weekend or barely.

Although we dodged a bullet this season as the low snowpack we didn’t have to deal with the usual Winter season thaws, but the low snowpack really took a beating with the warm week at the start of Spring. The current warm spell is spelling the end of the season for many, even if they would have wished to extend their season longer.

After last season’s March Covid shutdown of skiing, this Spring season is turning to the worst season since that March Heatwave 2012 season. The number keep changing by the hour as a few other Quebec late season ski areas like Val d’Irene are cutting their season short by two weeks. We are down to only 32 ski areas operating on April’s second weekend compared with 117 in April 2018. In 2012, we were down to 20 resorts.

You want to have some more lift served skiing, you better go now before it’s too late. The heatwave is suppose to subside Sunday, but rain is in the forecast for all of next week and it’s still going to be warm and above seasonal averages.  Not many ski areas will survive this weekend, so go …. NOW.

Snowdepth: 2012, 2021 and average comparison

Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Eastern US

2021 : 32 / 21
2020 : 0
2019 : 75 / 25
2018: 117 / 52
2017 : 92 / 36
2016 : 46 / 11
2015 : 82 / 38
2014 : 89 / 35
2013 : 47 / 25
2012 : 20 / 11 

LIST OF 32 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY STILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND
QUEBEC : 10
Sutton – April 10
Ti-Basse – April 10 (Saturday only)
Édouard – April 11 (weekend only)
St-Mathieu – April 11 (weekend only)
Le Massif – April 11
Ste-Anne – April 11
Tremblant – April 11
Comi – April 11
Massif du Sud – April 18 (Friday-Monday only)
St-Sauveur – May 2 (daily until April 25)

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR : 1
Smokey – April 11 or more (Thursday-Sunday only)

NEW YORK : 5
Kissing Bridge – April 10 only (one day special events – no lift)
Gore – April 10
Whiteface – April 10
Holimont – April 11 (Friday-Sunday only)
Hunter – April 11

VERMONT : 7
Smugglers – April 10
Stratton – April 11
Snow – April 18
Stowe – April 18
Jay – May 1 (tentative May 1st only – daily until April 25) April 25 *
Sugarbush – TBD (daily until April 25)
Killington – TBD (daily until May 2 then Friday-Sunday only)

NEW HAMPSHIRE : 6
Bretton Woods – April 11
Cannon – April 11
Loon – April 11
Sunapee – April 11
Waterville – April 11
Wildcat – April 18 (tentative)

MAINE : 3
Saddleback – April 18
Sunday River – April 24
Sugarloaf – TBD (daily until April 25).

*Update: April 9, 10:55pm: Jay mentioning May again, but as a possible one day only. It was mentioned in the previous post, but initially remove from this one.

Ski Mad World’s previous Eastern Closing 2021 post:

Eastern Closing Thread 2021 – Depressing? – Part 1

Another year, another start to the Closing Thread prior to the first weekend in April. 

The Global pandemic continued into the 2020-21 season; after abruptly ending the Northern Hemisphere season last season and severely affecting the following Southern Hemisphere Winter, this season has been far from easy. International borders closed into the US-Canada border which has been closed for now over one year. Travel restrictions across the continent and various provincial and state requirements. 

Various measures were set by local authorities across North America which included physical distancing, mask requirements, limited limited ticket sales, no indoor facilities or cafeteria. Ski school and ski races and programs canceled or suspended. The ski season had it’s share of various lockdowns and curfews, some like Quebec didn’t stop skiing operations while Ontario measures shutdown every ski areas across Ontario. Canada’s two biggest provinces had different approach dealing with the pandemic; the Quebec ski association seems to have the Quebec’s government ear or maybe that Quebec Premier Legault is a skier and Ontario’s Ford isn’t.

The season has had some positives and negatives: although the East generally didn’t get much snow, there hasn’t been very little thaw episodes. Conditions in my part of the World were great once snowmaking had covered the trails. Troubles started as we approached the end of March, record breaking temperatures with a few torrential downpours recked havoc on the snowpack.

Some would say that the situation bleak as the third wave of the pandemic is here and Ontario is heading into a new province-wide lockdown tomorrow. A few ski areas across Canada have had to closed due to Covid again. That being said, the overnight freezing in back in the North, some places even got a powder day on April Fools. Hills that rely on Natural snow were hard hit by the recent thaw/rain prior to reaching April. especially in Eastern Quebec, which is unprecedented.  

Without taking into account as the travel restrictions and look strictly at the state of affairs at the various ski areas across the East, the situation is bad, but not as bad as the Spring of the Big Thaw, 2012, when roughly 29 ski areas spun their lifts in April. Of course, we are far from the great Spring of 2019 which had 137 ski areas still open. Killington and St-Sauveur would even offer us a few liftserved ski days into June. But at least, we are still skiing somewhere in the East unlike last Spring.

Snowdepth: 2012, 2019, 2021 and average comparison

Source: Mount Mansfield Summit Station

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Eastern US

2021 : 89 / 40
2020: 1* / 0
2019: 137 / 61
2018: 158 / 78
2017 : 153 / 70
2016 : 76 / 19
2015^: 82 / 38 (2nd weekend of April)
2014^: : 89 / 35 (2nd weekend of April)
2013 : 107 / 48
2012 : 29 / 11

((*

LIST OF 88 89 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OFFERING SKIING INTO APRIL
QUEBEC : 31 32 ***
Western 16
Vidéo – April 3 (Saturday only)
Chanteclerc – April 4 (weekend only)
Blanc – April 4
Gabriel – April 4
Morin Heights – April 4
Olympia – April 4
Habitant – April 5
Owl’s Head – April 5
Vallée Bleue – April 5
Bromont – April 11 (tentative – after Easter Monday, weekend only)
Orford – April 11 (tentative – after Easter Monday, weekend only)
Montcalm – April 11 (weekend only + Easter Friday/Monday)
Avila – April 11 (weekend only + Easter Friday/Monday)
Tremblant – April 18
Sutton – April 18 / TBD (tentative)
St-Sauveur – May 2 (daily until April 25)

Centre and East – 15 16
Adstock – April 4 (weekend only)
Gallix – April 4
Gleason – April 4
Grand Fonds – April 4
Édouard – April 5
Le Relais – April 5
Stoneham – April 5
Vallée du Parc – April 5
Miller – April 5 or more (this Sunday, maybe more) ***
Ti-Basse – April 11 (tentative – Friday-Sunday only)
St-Mathieu – April 11 (weekend only + Easter Friday/Monday)
Le Massif – April 11
Ste-Anne – April 11
Comi – April 11 or more TBD (Wednesday-Sunday plus Easter Monday)
Val d’Irène – April 18 (Friday-Sunday only and Easter Monday)
Massif du Sud – April 25 (tentative Friday-Monday until April 18 then weekend only)

ONTARIO : 11 * Ontario Lockdown update
Osler Bluff – NA
Baldy – April 2
Hockley – April 2
Loch Lomond – April 2
Boler – April 2 3 (tentative) *
Caledon – April 2 4 *
Calabogie Peaks – April 2 4 *
Hidden Valley – April 2 4 *
Craigleith – April 2 4 *
Devil’s Glen – April 2 18 (closed next Tuesday-Friday) *
Blue – April 2 18 (tentative due to new Covid lockdown) – Spinning lift until midnight when the lockdown takes effect at 12:01am. *

NEW BRUNSWICK : 1
Crabbe – April 5 11 (Wednesday-Sunday plus Easter Monday only) **

NOVA SCOTIA: 2
Martlock – April 1 5 **
Tuonela – TBD

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR : 3
White Hills – April 3
Marble – April 4
Smokey – April 11 (Wednesday-Sunday only)

NEW YORK : 13
Titus – NA – pause ***
Kissing Bridge – April 10 only (Rope Tow special event)
Song – April 3 (tentative Saturday only) ***
Plattekill – April 3 (Saturday only)
Royal – April 3 (Saturday only)
Woods Valley – April 3
Bristol – April 4 (tentative) ***
Belleayre – April 6 4 ***
Windham – April 4
West Mountain – April 11 (Friday-Sunday only)
Gore – April 11
Hunter – April 11
Whiteface – April 11
Greek Peak – April 7 TBD (daily until April 4) ****
Holimont – April TBD

VERMONT : 11
Bolton – April 4
Burke – April 4
Pico – April 4
Okemo – April 4
Smugglers – April 11 (tentative)
Stratton – April 11
Snow – April 18
Stowe – April 18
Jay – May 1 (tentative – daily until April 25)
Sugarbush – TBD
Killington – TBD (tentative)

NEW HAMPSHIRE : 9
Attitash – April 4
Gunstock – April 4
Ragged – April 4
Sunapee – April 11
Bretton Woods – April 11
Cannon – April 11
Loon – April 11
Waterville – April 11
Wildcat – April 18

MAINE : 4
Shawnee Peak – April 4 (Sunday – members only)
Saddleback – April 11
Sunday River – April 24
Sugarloaf – TBD

MASSACHUSETTS : 1
Wachusett – April 4

PENNSYLVANIA : 1
Seven Springs – April 3

NEW JERSEY : 1
American Dream (if you want to include indoor skiing)

EDIT: April 2, 2:22pm: Some ski resorts were waiting and see if the new 28-day Ontario Lockdown was going to apply to them. It does, every ski hill in Ontario is shutting down today.

** April 3, 12:05am: Update for the Maritimes. Ski Matlock’s last day was on April 1st. Crabbe’s last day will be Monday April 5th.

*** April 3, 11:45pm: A few tentative confirmed opening, one extension by 2 extra days and one confirmation that Titus was done for the season.

**** April 6, 7:30pm: Closing day confirmation for tomorrow at Greek Peak. All other updates will be posted in next post.


Generally they always been skiing somewhere on the planet, but the accessibility of the ski season has never been so challenging due to the different travel restrictions. There are always a few places where skiing is happening once we get away from the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter, but the pandemic is affecting travel and even ski areas opening like it did on the top part of the Globe.

The Summer solstice is here and Sweden’s Riksgransen once again open one last time this season to offer their annual skiing under the midnight sun weekend. Lesotho’s Afriski was the first to open in the Southern Hemisphere and yesterday Australia’s Thredbo and Baw Baw opened with a few others opening in the next 1-2 days. The situation in the Andes is more dire as the pandemic hasn’t reached it peak; those considering to open have postponed an 2020 season indefinitely.

Planning for everyone involved in skiing is challenge in these difficult times. Normally the only factor that should interest us skiers is temperature and snow; Covid-19 has added health authorities orders and guidelines with travel restrictions and borders closures. No one knows what tomorrow has in store, and without being an epidemiologist, you can see how various Summer ski countries are currently doing to control the pandemic. Countries were the number of cases are increasing will be more problematic for the upcoming summer months ski season.

North America:

Far from the pandemic, Northern Ontario’s Kamiskotia ski area closure on March 19 marked the end of lift assisted skiing in the East. The West has seen a few areas reopen since the start of the lockdown, but the situation with the coronavirus around these areas wasn’t as critical at the time of the reopening.

Baldy (California), Bachelor (Oregon), Arapahoe (Colorado) and Crystal (Washington) have reopened, but now have officially closed for the season: Crystal and A-Basin closing last Sunday. 

Timberline (Oregon) and Beartooth (Montana) are currently open with some health restrictions; their scheduled closing day are respectively Labour Day Monday September 7 and July 5.

There are some backcountry earned turn terrain available in the West as well as the East that are now non longer restricted.

The Canada-US just extended its border closure until July 21. If you are a foreigner, you can’t enter Canada for non-essential travel. The US border is closed to China, Iran, Brazil and most of Europe (Schengen area plus UK and Ireland).

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data
Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Elsewhere:

There are a few places of Earth that offer skiing during our Summer months. Besides the few glaciers areas in the Northern Hemisphere (Alps and Norway), the Andes (Chile and Argentina), New Zealand/Australia and a couple of areas in Southern Africa (South Africa and Lesotho). All these areas have their own health and/or travel restrictions which I have tried to best summarized. I’ve also added the Daily New cases curve (7-day average) for each the following summer skiing countries.

New Zealand and Australia:

South Island’s Mt. Hutt opened on June 12.

North Island’s Ruapehu ski areas still have some works to be completed before they can open. Both are planning to open for July 1. New Zealand is pretty much back to normal internal as it no longer has anyone with the corona virus. The country’s major ski resorts are scheduled neither July 1 or on the last weekend in June. Club fields open generally in mid-July.

The Australian skiing situation is still affected by the pandemic with certain internal physical distancing and internal travel restrictions. Ski resorts generally open at the beginning of June, but due to the current situation and adjustments required plus lack of snow, the ski season started with Thredbo and Baw Baw opening on June 22. Hotham, Falls Creek, Perisher, Falls Creek and Buller should open today or tomorrow.

Australia and New Zealand borders aren’t expected to open until 2021.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data
Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Argentina and Chile:

The situation in South America is somewhat more complex as the number of cases is on an ascending path and still hasn’t peak. The situation and approach towards Covid-19 is very different between both countries. 

There is no clear indication of when or if the ski season in Argentina will be permitted to operate. Las Lenas and La Hoya announced they wouldn’t open for the 2020 season. Chapelco and Cerro Bayo will only open to local residents if they are allowed to operate. Uncertainty throughout the country. 

No Chilean ski resorts have mentioned that they will definitely not open, but  more remote areas like Corralco and Pucon are unlikely to open due to local authorities. Uncertainty remains, but unlikely to open prior to late July. Portillo has indefinitely postponed the start of their season. There is a lot of uncertainty on when and if Chilean ski areas will open for the 2020 season.

From the start, Argentina have been more aggressive in their measures. Argentina borders are closed to foreigners until June 28 plus there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arriving in the country. Travel between provinces and cities are restricted. All commercial flights, long-haul buses and trains are suspended.

As the situation worsen in Chile, the country is now under curfew and travel is limited or restricted between certains regions. The international borders are also closed until at least September 14 and anyone arriving from abroad is required to self quarantine for 14 days. 

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data
Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Europe:

In contrast to the South America where the Covid-19 cases is still increasing and haven’t reached the peak, Europe is on the other side of the first wave and slowly opening up. The normal summer skiing options are already open or about to open. The only situation limiting access to skiing are the borders. Travel between countries is still very limited. 

Some of the National ski team have started training, but are generally limited to their home country. In some cases, early access to the glaciers were limited to high level athletes.

France:

Val d’Isère : June 6 to July 11

Tignes : June 20 to August 2

Les 2 Alpes : June 6, 2020 (exclusive access for high-level athlete). 

June 27, 2020 (general public, but limited access) to August 30.

Open to EU countries (except for Spain), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican if they don’t have COVID-19 symptoms. Travelers from other countries are required to quarantine 14 days.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Switzerland:

Crans-Montana : June 6 to June 14

Zermatt : June 6 until next season.

Saas Fee : July 11 until next season.

Last week Swiss borders reopened to travelers from EU Member States, Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and the United Kingdom. Local measures have been relaxed. Non-essential travel denied travelers from outside the EU and Schengen Area until at least June 30. Social distancing rules apply.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Italy:

Passo dello Stelvio : June 13 (general public) to November 1

Breuil-Cervinia : June 6 without accessing the Glacier on the Zermatt side of the Italy-Swiss border. Access to the glacier started on June 20.

Inter-regional travel is now permitted as June 3. Open borders without restriction for the EU, the UK, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City and the Schengen area travellers. Other travellers must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Austria:

Kaunertal : May 29 to June 7

Kitzsteinhorn: May 29 to July 21

Molltaler Gletscher : June 6 until next season

Hintertux :  May 29 until next season

Travel to Austria is mostly unrestricted for the Schengen area (except Spain, Portugal and Sweden) plus Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania which have spent 14 days in these countries. Non-residents can enter with a medical certificate with a negative COVID-19 result.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Norway:

Fonna – May 12 to September 15

Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter – May 16 to November

Stryn Sommerski – June 12 to July 19

Last week Norway borders opened to travelers from Nordic countries including Denmark, Iceland, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Quarantine rules and restrictions apply for traveler from Sweden. Travel from other European countries may be allowed from July 20. Social distancing rules apply.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Sweden:

Riksgransen : June 18-21 with skiing under the midnight sun.

Borders are open without restrictions to travelers from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and the UK. Non-essential travel denied travelers from outside the EU and Schengen Area until at least June 30.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Asia and Africa:

Japan:

Gassan : April 3 to mid to late-July.

Travelers from most countries will be denied entry to Japan, with a few exceptions. Anyone who arrives in Japan may undergo a coronavirus screening test, and must self-isolate for 14 days at a designated location. Restrictions differ between prefectures, non-essential inter-prefecture travel is in place until June 19.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

South Africa and Lesotho:

Afriski (Lesotho) became the first ski area in the Southern Hemisphere, Tiffindell (South Africa) is still awaiting for authorities approval. Although going to the South of the African continent is extreme, the border situation is even more complicated. Lesotho’s borders are closed even to South Africans. South Africa is closed to all foreigners and flights are suspended until June 30. Interior to travel restrictions exists and varies between provinces and districts. 

Even if this is Africa, there are a few private club where skiing can be done, however this also have another challenge, as they are entirely dependent on natural snow.

Worldometer’s COVID-19 data
Worldometer’s COVID-19 data

Upcoming ski season 2020-21:

A cloud of uncertainty is hovering over next season. The mega ski resorts and the multiple resort passes purchases have declined after the 2019-2020 was cut short. For example, prior to last pandemic shorten season the Epic (Vail) and Ikon (Alterra) passes would guarantee 4 seasons of skiing in 4-5 continents (North and South* America, Japan, Europe and Oceania. * Epic pass doesn’t have any South American resort). Overall numbers were down for last season.

The Southern Hemisphere ski season will be greatly observed by ski industry official on this side of Equator. As mentioned about above, New Zealand might not be the example as the Corona virus has almost been eradicated from the country. This upcoming ski season in South America and Africa is very uncertain as the numbers of cases keep increasing, the odds of an actual opening of their ski resorts is decreasing. Australia is really the only place on Earth that will be opening under the struggles of trying to control the virus.

What does 2021 hold?

Ski industry operations? Ski racing? Traveling industry? World Cup circuit across different continents? The FIS had a couple of scenarios on the table when discussing the upcoming season which included only European races, even going as far as to limit it to Europeans and/or countries where the pandemic situation is under control. Will the races be hosted without spectators? The final decision was to keep the original calendar of events while keeping the flexibility to change it depending of a possible Covid-19 second wave or if the health situation worsen. The Cortina 2020 World Championship was moved to 2021 as Italy was then the epicentre of the pandemic. Recently the Cortina organizing committee is asking the FIS to postponed for an extra year to 2022 “due to the continuing uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19 at an international level.”

To illustrate the level of uncertainty is that some World Cup athletes haven’t been on snow for over 100 days if there isn’t skiing opportunities within their national borders as international travel is severely limited as detailed on my text above. Norwegian, Austrians, Swiss, French, and Italian have access to summer glacier areas to train within their national borders while the Swedish and Americans skied ski areas with leftover snow; the US training at Cooper (Colorado) and Bachelor (Oregon).

Have a great summer everyone and stay safe. As for myself, I’ll try to stay cool and try to deal with the backlog of ski reporting that I’ve been putting off for the last few seasons. Stay tune…

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