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Posts Tagged ‘June’


MSS: Disconnected patches

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: MadPat adding some extra weight. Probably the beer.

After leaving St-Sauveur on May 22, the snow depth looked deep enough that it would survive into June even if the hill was closing the following day. A source had told me that it was still continuous snow from the lift to the top of the pitch on Sunday May 29. On that day South of the border Killington was still offering lift-served skiing, although they was some walking required. K was even hoping to offer some skiing on June 1, however the continued heatwave squashed those plans.


Mogulskier’s Stealth approach


Out of sight

I could have gone to Killington to earn my June turns on the Superstar patches with a number of likeminded snownuts, but I was somewhat afraid of the response I would get from the Customs Officers: drugs testing or locked up in an asylum. So I decided to keep my skiiing shenanigans closer to home this time. Forecast was calling for heavy rain at time on Thursday June 2, but the weather was perfect the Friday June 3, plus I had a partner in crime with Mogulskier. We meet up in front of a very green Mont St-Sauveur, however approaching the mountain you could definitely see some snow was still present higher up on part of Hill 70 and Nordique. The question on the amount was hard to see from a distance; it just looked like a bunch disconnected patches.


Snow!!!


Crest of the final pitch


Middle flats

Near the base of Hill 70, workers were getting things ready for the Summer activities and Waterpark, so we decided to use a stealth approach in a less obvious location. We joined Hill 70 just above the final pitch and witness our first patch of snow. Snow was semi-continuous on the middle flats on looker’s right close to the trees and shade. Someone had definitely been around as the two box features were moved a few feet from the last open day to the remaining snow area. Bri7 had mentioned that the patch was still continuous on Sunday with 2-3 choking point, this was clearly no longer the case. As we moved above the mid part, there was a wet grass/mud field. Through the trees onto the next trail there was the appearance of an important Nordique patch.


Upper pitch with two distinct patches


Mogulskier on lower patch


Lower patch’s snowbridge

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: Upper patch

The next important patch was on the upper pitch, however there was a cut/snow bridge on the verge of collapse where a stream. Once we arrived at the clearing at the top of the triple, there was no longer any remaining snow. We dropped on gear and celebrated the verge of my first descent of Quebec June skiing with a couple of bottle of beer. As for Mogulskier, he had skied Mont St-Sauveur with the lift running back in June 1997. We hiked over to take a look at the upper pitch of Nordique and the patch looked more impressive through the trees. It was only one narrow cross trail patch, so not necessarily enough to fight the adversity. The adversity had found us and it was black flies. We quickly chugged what was left of our beer and jumped into our ski boots still attached to our skis.


Where the snow that we saw on Nordique?


Nordique’s snow patch partially hidden

Funny, I was so focus on carrying a pair of bottles that I had forgotten my ski poles. D’oh!!! We hurried down from our spot before bug lunch, connecting the patch as best we could via grass and mug skiing. That included the perhaps ill-adverse skiing over the snow bridge. The upper patch was definitely the steepest if you didn’t mind the few yards of grass skiing. The main patch was definitely the middle of the trail, a few hundred feet of partially suncupped hard snow. Although it was hot, the snow didn’t have the cream cheese fell. The main patch curled over the crest of the pitch with one tiny patch in the middle of the pitch and ended on fresh ankle-deep grass. Fresh tracks top to bottom with only one portage. Woyou!!!!

After reaching our car, we drove off to look at possibility our next mission on the neighbouring ski area in a few weeks time.


Maximum vertical


Upper patch


Connecting patches


Pretty much continuous


Timelapse video of Mogulskier

Fresh tracks


Top to bottom


Next mission?

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 3 juin 2016

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And it has come to an end…

Although we all hoped to ski and ride into June, Mother Nature had other plans, as she often does. With virtually no snow on the lower third of Superstar, we have decided NOT to spin the lift on Wednesday June 1.

Killington: May 29
With a pathetic 81″ (one-third their yearly snowfall average), Killington showed us a commitment to offering skiing as long as there was snow on the ground. The fact that they opened at all on Sunday, where skiers had to walk-on and off the lift, climb down to the snow and hike the bottom pitch of Superstar, is truly amazing. That was the kind of spirit that Killington had made their reputation in the 1980s and 1990s with continuous years of June skiing when the term “Some walking required” was a given. No one else would have opened under these conditions and even K wouldn’t have even been even been close to open this weekend a few years ago. Kudos to the Killington crew for your commitment in offering us skiing so late this season, even if Mother Nature wasn’t very kind to the East this season. Latest closing since June 1, 2002 THIS season is truly a symbol of their dedication to skiing.

Mont St-Sauveur: May 23
Although the season wasn’t as pathetic as South of the border, it wasn’t a great year like the previous season. The cold April help prolong the season, in some cases, the damage was already done when the real Spring skiing arrived (see ski areas below). MSS has been generally been aiming for mid-May and Victoria Day weekend every year and reaching it. Kudos to everyone at MSS. An extra three weekends of Spring skiing over other Eastern ski areas plus the extra days in October, only Killington had offered a later and longer season.

Jay Peak VT – May 1
Mont Comi QC – May 1
Sugarbush VT – May 1
Sugarloaf ME – May 1
Sunday River ME – May 1

Now what?

Killington isn’t the only ski resort in North America to close recently. There aren’t many liftserved options left on the continent. Summer ski area Beartooth Basin MT hasn’t open again this season due lack of snow.

Killington VT – closed May 29
Mt. Bachelor OR – closed May 29
Aspen CO – closed May 30 (open for Memorial Day weekend)**
Snowbird UT – closed May 30
Squaw Valley CA – closed May 30
Blackcomb BC – closed on May 30, but reopening on June 11

Still open (or reopening):
Aspen C) – June 5 (weekend only)**
Arapahoe Basin CO – June 12 5 (minimum daily until June 5, then Friday-Sunday only)*
Mammoth Mountain CA – July 4 June 12 (minimum)**
Blackcomb BC – July 17 (reopen on June 11)
Timberline Lodge UT – September 5

Northern Hemisphere

That is it, 3 ski areas open this week, potential 4 in mid-June. Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood is offers close to year-round skiing in North America. They are a few places in Europe in the Alps (Tignes, Les Deux Alpes, Zermatt, Saas Fee, Passeo del Stelvio, Hintertux and Mölltaler Gletscher) and Norway (Stryn, Galdhøpiggen and Fonna) that offer the same. A few other offer June and early Summer skiing in the Alps and Scandinavia, but not close to year around.

Southern Hemisphere

Our Summer is their Winter, so that a number of ski resorts on the southern continents of South America (Chile, Argentina), Australia (New Zealand, Australia). There are also 3 ski areas in South Africa and Lesotho in Africa.

Other silly places to ski with lifts
Indoor skiing found in Europe, Asia and Australia and dryslope skiing, sand skiing, but I’ll stop here before it gets too crazy.

Skiing without lifts?
It’s a big world, there are a number of areas that still have snow. Even in the East, where the season has been so bad, but not for long. Some of it is serious and it can be silly.

I’m planning to keep the blog somewhat active the Summer minus of a few weeks. I have a few posts related my Summer skiing experiences that have never been posted which I hope to be able to post them over the next few months. Some of them may be republication from another site on the blog and will show on their original date, so subscribed on the Ski Mad World Facebook page or on Twitter to be fully in touch with snow.

* UPDATE, June 1: Arapahoe Basin announced closing day as June 12. Closed midweek next week.
** UPDATE, June 3: Mammoth announced they were extending their season to July 4. Aspen announced they be open this weekend.

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List of Killington Seasons since 1966-67

*** 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
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 weekly Eastern Closing 2016 posts:
Let’s move Past EASTer & Go Easterner – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Part 1
Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2015-16 – semaine 2
Monday, Monday…Eastern Closing 2016 Update – Week 3
The best of Spring Skiing – Eastern Closing 2016 – Week 4
May continue skiing – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 5
Dual May Days for Mothers’ Day – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 6
May it last? Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 7
Deep into May – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 8
At the end of May – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 9

Read Full Post »

*UPDATE : May 28, 5:30pm : Thanks to this heatwave and temperatures in the mid-80F, Sunday May 29 may be the last day of the season (lift access will be free), HOWEVER if “snow conditions permit we could turn the lift again on Wednesday for one last hurrah” June 1!!!

Only one standing, Killington is back.

Last weekend Mont St-Sauveur ended their season on Monday May 23, Victoria Day. Nothing more to expect with the last warm spell plus the Waterpark enthusiast banging at the counter. It was a beautiful way to end of the season with 3-day weekend of Spring skiing. Killington also offered the diehard another 3-day weekend.

Thanks to both snowmaking crew at K and MSS for giving us a few extra weekends. Killington and Mont St-Sauveur have been the only spinners in the East for a third weekend in a row, the closest other ski areas, Jay, Loaf, River, Bush, Comi all closed on May 1.

Killington is back and will offer the longest (1997-98) and latest (2001-02) ski season the East has seen in almost 20 years. This is incredible considering that the ski resort only received 81″ of snow this season, only one-third their yearly snow average and the resort’s lowest snowfall on record by over a 4-feet margin to 1979-80

Turning off the chairlift one last time in 2016…
Mont Comi QC – May 1
Sunday River ME – May 1
Sugarloaf ME – May 1
Jay VT – May 1
Sugarbush VT – May 1
Mont St-Sauveur QC – May 23

Killington VT – Monday May 30 June 1 (tentative)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad (walk-on/walk-off)
Trails : Superstar
Time : 8am (9am on Friday) to 4pm (5pm on Saturday), Monday? Wednesday?
Cost : $58US lift tickets – 50% with pass from another mountain.

It going to be like the 1990s late season skiing on Superstar again, thin cover, bumps, some walking required and walk-on/walk off.

If Killington make it this weekend, Memorial day or even June 1, how does it stack up with previous season. This would definitely be the latest an Eastern ski area has been open since I started keeping track of Eastern Closing in 2006.

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 30 June 1 – Killington (tentative)

Latest per ski area since 2006:
Killington VT : May 30 June 1, 2016 (tentative)
MSS QC : May 23, 2016
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

BUT the East has seen skiing later than the May days above. If we go back to the previous century, in this case the 1990s, at least 5 Eastern ski areas have offered liftserved skiing in JUNE: Sugarloaf (1997?), Sunday River (1995), Mont St-Sauveur (1997), Tremblant (1997), but only Killington has offered it numerous times: 14 times (1982-88, 1992-97, 2002). Killington is also the only ski area in the East to offer skiing in Summer, twice, JUNE 21, 1984 and JUNE 22, 1997. Only a handful of North American ski areas has offered Summer skiing without a natural glacier, all of them being in the West.

List of Killington Seasons since 1966-67

*** 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
2015/2016 October 19 – May 30 June 1 / 81” / 190 (tentative)
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 weekly Eastern Closing 2016 posts:
Let’s move Past EASTer & Go Easterner – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Part 1
Freeze Frame – Eastern Closing Thread 2015-16 – semaine 2
Monday, Monday…Eastern Closing 2016 Update – Week 3
The best of Spring Skiing – Eastern Closing 2016 – Week 4
May continue skiing – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 5
Dual May Days for Mothers’ Day – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 6
May it last? Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 7
Deep into May – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 8

Read Full Post »

The news was just confirmed late Thursday afternoon: there won’t anymore chairlift ride in the East to continue skiing. Not a real surprise after last week’s warning that they didn’t expect to have enough snow to open this entire weekend. Killington had hoped that maybe they would be able to offer us one more day on June 1 for bragging right, but making it to June has always been difficult. Even in the year they made it, it required tremendous ressources to build an “artificial glacier” high enough withstand weeks of above freezing temperatures.

Killington’s condition page said it best:

Mother Nature gives, and she takes away too. Unfortunately, the time has come to call it a season. Last night’s storm dropped significant amounts of rain and we’ve just lost too much snow to continue. Thus, we will not operate any more for this season.

Killington is proud to have delivered 192 days of skiing and riding this season, once again offering the longest season in eastern North America!

Thanks to all who encouraged us to try to get to June, but alas we will have to try again next year. With temperatures reaching 80 degrees many times through the month of May, Superstar could not hold on for the final curtain call on Monday, June 1.

This season Killington managed to offer skiers two extra May weekends of skiing compared to any other ski resorts in the East. May 25’s last chair wasn’t the latest closing in recent years, they managed to make it to May 26 two-years ago, but the coverage wasn’t on par with this season’s last day. There was an optimistic hope that they would be able to squeeze another day out of the Superstar snowpack and make it to June 1. It wasn’t going to be. With 192 skiing days, it marks the third-year in a row that the Beast managed over 190 operating days; in context, K hadn’t managed one season over 188, the last time had been as many operating days was prior to the 2002-03 season when 200+ days season was the norm for a quarter-century (see table at the bottom of this post).

There is always hope for next season, Killington fell short three times when they tried to renew with June skiing after the move from Killington Peak to Superstar for their late season focus.

Although it’s been a difficult season elsewhere on the continent; the East had a great year. You know its been a good year in the East or a bad year out West when some Eastern ski resorts rivalled or surpassed some of the main areas out West. The snow started arriving late out West; too late for many. That late season May snow helped Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin extending it’s season to June 14.

Hard times for late season turns out West as ski year-round till Labour Day Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood announced that they would cut the Summer season operations short by three-weeks, closing on August 15, 2015. Summer only area Beartooth Basin scheduled opening May 23 didn’t happen last week; they aren’t simply not going to run due to the low snow year in Montana.

The good news that lifts might have stopped in the East, but it doesn’t mean that the ski season is over. There are still many turns to be made in the East or elsewhere; for those willing to go earn-them and go further to make it happen.

Have fun !!!

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Recap of the late season runners:
Last weekend of April closers:
Ste. Anne QC – April 26
Okemo VT – April 26

First May weekend:
Wachusett MA – May 2
Sunday River ME – May 2
Miller QC – May 3
Sugarbush VT – May 3
Wildcat NH – May 3
Jay VT – May 3
Sugarloaf ME – May 3

Second May weekend:
St-Sauveur QC – May 10

Fourth May weekend:
Killington VT – May 25

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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

*I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

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List of Killington Seasons since 1966-67

** 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 / Ski Days
2014/2015 November 3 – May 25 / 192
2013/2014 October 23 – May 18 / 199
2012/2013** October 13 – May 26 / 195
2011/2012 October 29 – April 22 / 176
2010/2011 November 2 – May 1 / 179
2009/2010 November 7 – April 25 / 153
2008/2009 November 2 – May 2 / 169
2007/2008 November 16 – April 20 / 157
2006/2007 November 23 – May 6 / 165
2005/2006* October 29 – May 1 / 166
2004/2005 November 9 – May 15 / 188
2003/2004 November 10 – May 12 / 184
2002/2003 October 25 – May 26 / 204
2001/2002 November 6 – June 1 / 202
2000/2001 October 29 – May 27 / 202
1999/2000 October 25 – May 29 / 205
1998/1999 October 22 – May 25 / 204
1997/1998 October 1 – May 25 / 205
1996/1997 October 4 – June 22 / 233
1995/1996 October 17 – June 10 / 224
1994/1995 October 3 – June 4 / 214
1993/1994 October 1 – June 9 / 243
1992/1993 October 1 – June 1 / 229
1991/1992 October 21 – June 14 / 226
1990/1991 October 27 – May 28 / 214
1989/1990 October 10 – May 28 / 208
1988/1989 October 13 – May 21 / 211
1987/1988 October 12 – June 1 / 227
1986/1987 October 10 – June 3 / 224
1985/1986 October 1- June 3 / 224
1984/1985 November 3 – June 2 / 212
1983/1984 October 20 – June 21 / 246
1982/1983 October 17 – June 16 / 240
1981/1982 October 20 – June 15 / 225
1980/1981 October 14 – May 27 / 226
1979/1980 October 10 – May 23 / 221
1978/1979 October 16 – May 22 / 219
1977/1978 October 24 – May 23 / 195
1976/1977 October 27 – May 15 / 201
1975/1976 October 30 – May 5 / 173
1974/1975 October 19 – May 12 / 190
1973/1974 November 5 – April 30 / 177
1972/1973 October 20 – April 15 / 184
1971/1972 November 9 – May 18 / 192
1970/1971 November 18 – May 21 / 184
1969/1970 October 24 – May 4 / 178
1968/1969 November 9 – May 10 / 183
1967/1968 November 5 – April 7 / 154
1966/1967 November 4 – May 2 / 180

Source: MadPatSki attic collection

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4
May be on Mothers’ Day, Maybe June? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 5
Mid-May exceptions? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 6
May be last weekend, May or June ? Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Week 7

Read Full Post »

1 state in the East : Vermont!
1 ski area : Killington !!
1 lift running : Superstar Express Quad !!!
1 mile of skiing !!!
1 trail : the mighty Superstar
1 lodge : K1-Base Lodge
1 price for almost everyone (7 to 79) : $39 (unless you a pass, vouchers, 2for1, deals, etc). That turns out to under $2.30 per acre.
4-day long ski weekend : Friday to Memorial Day Monday.

Not much to add, for the second weekend in a row, the only lift spinning in the East is found at Killington. That hasn’t happened in over a decade. Monday will be May 25, which isn’t that exceptional in recent history: 2-years ago Killington closed on May 26. At the end of this weekend, the ski area will be the only one in the East to extend their season beyond May 22, twice! It will also mark the 3rd-year in a row beyond 190 operating days. That is more than 20 above the average days per season during the dark 2002-2012 period. The prior to that, Killington had 25 consecutive season above 200 days. The incredible 246 days happened during this time in 1983-84; that is a huge contrast to their low of 153 days 5 seasons ago in 2009-10. That’s more than an 60% difference in amount of operating days.

The writing was on the blog, although not published (I had to go see my daughter’s play this evening), that this might be the last full weekend of the season. That the snow wasn’t going to last as much as hoped and that the “some walking required” was just around the corner.

Two years ago, the resort aimed for June, but it’s hard to keep snow when the East got a waves of Summer hitting temperatures. They did everything they could to keep going and closed on June 26 with top-to-bottom skiing and walking on Superstar. This season last day might look the same if they close on June 1. As the last time, they offer skiing, walking, a lift running for free if they are open. An opening next weekend isn’t out of the question, but currently unlikely.

Hiking, walking, skiing, walking, skiing, walking and riding a lift, it has been done before. So I wouldn’t be surprise if they do it again. I seem to recall a very late May 1985 and especially June 1, 1993 on a cold day where they was probably as much walking than skiing involved, but yeah, it’s skiing in June. I’ve skied numerous times on June 1, it’s May 30 and 31 that I’ve never skied on. :O

Welcome back to the Beast !!! Best of luck for June !!!

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Friday to Monday, hoping for June 1, less likely May 29-31)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trail : Superstar
Cost : $39US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

Making it to June isn’t easy, even for the big guns like Killington; they did it before, but it required some tremendous resources to keep it going. The dynamic has changed since the annual June closings. When Killington moved focus on late season operations from Killington Peak to Superstar on Skye Peak, they fell short 3 times before reaching June on a regular basis again with June 1992. If they are committed into making to June a more regular happening, they have to analyse and make adjustments for next season.

Here is the lowdown from K itself:

4:57 pm 05/21/15–Welcome back skiers and riders. It is Memorial Day weekend and that means four days of fun here in Killington. We’ll start things off Friday with top-to-bottom skiing and riding on the expert-level Superstar Trail. In order to preserve snow we’ve kept the grooming to a minimum, smoothing just a single lane down the middle. The groomers have been working for the last two nights to reconnect the upper and lower sections so we will start the weekend with continuous skiing and riding, though we may have some walking required as weekend traffic takes its toll. Natural melting has reduced the size of the moguls so expect delightful medium sized bumps on Friday morning. Conditions change fast in late May so stay tuned for updates.

Looking ahead, we want to prepare you for the possibility that this will be the last weekend. As we’ve said all along, Mother Nature will decide when we pull the plug, and she’s getting insistent. We do plan to run the lift on Monday June 1, and tickets will be complimentary on that day. There will most definitely be multiple mandatory walking sections by then but if skiing or riding in June is on your bucket list, this could be your chance. As for the weekend of May 29-31, we don’t currently plan to operate because we just don’t think the snow will hold up well enough to handle the weekend traffic. If cooler temperatures prevail between now and then, and the snow holds up, we will reassess closer to the weekend.

The Superstar Express Quad will run 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Friday; 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Memorial Day. Stay tuned right here for updates.

Operating Day: 189

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Mid-May ski areas since 2006 :
2015 : Killington (June 1?)
2014 : St-Sauveur (May 19) and Killington (May 18)
2013 : Killington (May 26) and St-Sauveur (May 19)
2012 : none
2011 : St-Sauveur (May 22) and Jay (May 15)
2010 : none
2009 : none
2008 : none
2007 : none
2006 : none

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 or possibly June 1? – Killington

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4
May be on Mothers’ Day, Maybe June? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 5
Mid-May exceptions? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 6

Read Full Post »

The early May heat and rain took its toll on the snow and remaining ski areas. Jay Peak didn’t make it to Mothers’ Day while St-Sauveur closed out its’ season last Sunday May 10: 9 days earlier than the previous two seasons. Killington has confirmed that they be open Friday to Sunday this weekend and they are still hoping to make it to Monday June 1, but nothing can be taken for granted this time of the season. Temperature has dropped this week, so there is always hope unless you want to open your swimming pool soon.

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Fri-Sun only then weekends, Memorial day and June 1)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trails : Superstar, but probably not Skye Lark and Bittersweet
Time : 8am (9am Fri) to 5pm
Cost : $54US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

Here is the lowdown from K itself:

3:05 pm 05/14/15–Another May extended weekend is upon us – and it’s going to be a good one. We had some rain pass through this week – but have no fear, Superstar is still going strong.

For Friday, we’ll be grooming Superstar top to bottom, but only along the center of the trail. You’ll find soft bumps on the sides, and the middle will bump up nicely throughout the day too. Skyelark and Bittersweet are probably done for the season – we’re going to evaluate Friday morning to see if they can open.

Open terrain is for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders only. Be aware of spring conditions and thin cover; ski or ride with care.

The Superstar Express Quad will spin 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

K-1 Lodge is open Friday through Sunday too offering tickets, rentals and guest services from Killington Sports (lower level). Food and beverage service will be available at K-1 Cafe, with Mahogany Ridge and Roaring Brook Umbrella Bars open for all your apres ski needs.

The Superstar Express Quad will run 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Fridays and 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through May and hopefully into June (closed Mon-Thur). We also plan to be open Memorial Day, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Stay tuned right here for updates.

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The Big Question ???

The question I’ve gotten from some people is… “Wow, there is still skiing?” As demonstrated from this blog, most ski areas don’t even come close to opening in May, but there is always someone somewhere spinning in May.

“Yes, but it’s mid-May? Isn’t that exceptional?”

Let’s see, the last three seasons had MSS and Kmart go beyond the mid-May.

The 2015 Eastern ski season had Killington and Mont St-Sauveur open last weekend, the later closing on Mothers’ Day; last year we had 3 resorts still open with Jay Peak closing on Mothers’ Day. Last season St-Sauveur and Killington gave us an extra weekend respectively closing on May 19 and 18. It was the same sorry in 2013 with MSS closing again on May 19 and Kmart closing on May 26, their latest closing day since 2003, just falling short from their openly aimed June objective.

“Yes, but those are exceptions, right?

I read from your past blog posts that they were only one season between 2006 and 2012 where someone in the East was open until May 15. (In 2011 Jay and MSS closed respectively on May 15 & 22)”

I guess we can call this period the dark ages of late-season skiing in the East. The perennial late-season extender Killington stepped away from their traditional on last to close mantra. During the 2006-2012 period, Killington didn’t surpassed its rivals for “last closure” once and its average last closing day for those seasons was April 28: Falling to make it to May in 3 times in 7 years. It was also the first time that the once mighty Beast had fail to offer skiing in May since 1974. During this dark period, Killington’s had 3 of the 4 earliest closures since 1969, making it worst time for Killington late-season fans in two generations.

Mid-May ski areas since 2006 :
2015 : Killington (June?)
2014 : St-Sauveur (May 19) and Killington (May 18)
2013 : Killington (May 26) and St-Sauveur (May 19)
2012 : none
2011 : St-Sauveur (May 22) and Jay (May 15)
2010 : none
2009 : none
2008 : none
2007 : none
2006 : none

And How Late Can It Go???

Prior to 2006 (ie. Kmart dark ages), Killington made it to mid-May in every year between 1977 and 2005 : 27 out of 28 seasons. They closed on May 12 in 2004. Even better, in half of those years, Killington closing day occurred 14 times in June.

Killington has written down June 1 as their end of season goal, but has fallen the last time they officially mentioned the month of June as their goal? Is this year the year that they make to June again? In the last millennium Killington was synonymous with the longest season and June skiing when from 1982 to 1997 their stopped spinning into June for 13 out of 16 years. The last time Killington closed in June was back in 2002: it definitely feels like it was in the past millennium.

Flashback to brighter days : Killington VT : Thursday June 11, 1992

Welcome back to the Beast !!! May you continue spinning into June !!!

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: beyond May 17 and tentatively June? – Killington

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4
May be on Mothers’ Day, Maybe June? – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 5

Read Full Post »

The Good and the not so good weathersituationoutlook of the season’s May skiing.

The Good:

The great Winter and cold Spring helped more Eastern ski areas spin into May in at least a decade. We counted 9 ski areas with spinning lifts last weekend. From Massachusetts’ Wachusetts reopening for one day passing through Maine’s Sunday River annual free skiing event Ski Maynia and all the way to one last weekend spinning the lift with 100% open terrain on natural snow in remote Eastern Quebec’s Mont Miller: it was an excellent weekend of Spring skiing in the 9 remaining open ski areas across the East. It was announced prior to the weekend than it was going the last chair of the season of 6 of them (Wachusetts, Sunday River, Mont Miller, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush, Wildcat). Three ski resorts, Jay Peak, Mont St-Sauveur and Jay Peak, pledged to reopen this coming weekend or at least try.

2015 : 9 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Sunday River, Miller, Wachusetts)
2014 : 6 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Comi)
2013 : 4 (MSS, Killington, Sugarloaf, Sugarbush)
2012 : 1 (MSS)
2011 : 7 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Saddleback, Miller?)
2010 : 3 (MSS, Jay, Sugarloaf)
2009 : 5 (MSS, Killington, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf)
2008 : 4 (MSS, Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf)
2007 : 4 (MSS, Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat)
2006 : 2 (Bretton Woods, Killington)

As you can below, there is always some skiing happening in the East in May and generally always found in Vermont and Quebec.

Recent history of May lift spinners:
EAST : 10 times/10
QC : 9 times/10
St-Sauveur : 9
Miller : 2?*
Comi : 1
VT : 9 times/10
Killington : 7
Sugarbush: 7
Jay : 6
ME : 7 times/10
Sugarloaf : 7
Sunday River : 1
Saddleback : 1
NH : 3 times/10
Wildcat : 2
Bretton Woods : 1
MA : 1 time/10
Wachusetts : 1

* I wasn’t able to confirm that Miller opened in May 2011

The not so good news for snowlovers outlook:

The weekend warm weather has continued into this week and forecast calls it to the reach 30c (mid 80F) before this heatwave is over with a slight chance of T-Storms. The snow will continue melting fast. That lead Jay Peak to called it a season and not reopen for skiing for one final time on Mothers’ Day weekend. So instead of three areas to choose from like on 2014’s Mothers’ Day weekend, the choice is now down to two: Mont St-Sauveur and Killington. So it’s down to two, the same two for the last three seasons. St-Sauveur and Killington are saying they’ll be open this weekend, but things can change fast this time of the season.

LIST OF 2 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND
Open DAILY : 0

Jay Peak VT – May 10 (weekend only -tentative)

St-Sauveur QC – May 10 (weekend only – tentative on weather forecast)
Lift : L’étoile
Trail : West Hill 70
Time : 11am to 5pm
Cost : $20CDN lift tickets

Killington VT – June 1 tentative (Fri-Sun only then weekends, Memorial day and June 1)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trails : Superstar, Skye Lark, Bittersweet
Time : 8am (9am Fri) to 5pm
Cost : $54US lift tickets – Deals : with pass from another mountain (25% off weekends and 50% midweek).

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How late will it go? Will be the last weekend at MSS or will they add an extra weekend like last May? Killington has written down June 1 as their end of season goal, but has fallen the last time they officially mentioned the month of June as their goal? Is this year the year that they make to June again? In the last millennium Killington was synonymous with the longest season and June skiing when from 1982 to 1997 their stopped spinning into June for 13 out of 16 years. The last time Killington closed in June was back in 2002: it definitely feels like it was in the past millennium.

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 : tentatively June at Killington?

* I wasn’t able to confirm definitely that Sugarloaf was open an extra day in 2009 and 2010.

Killington is looking to get back to their traditional place, as first to open and last to close. If they close in June as hoped, they’ll have been the last to close in third time in the last 4 years.

Last to close in the East since 2006:
St-Sauveur QC : 7 times (tied three times) – last day in the East in 7 out of past 8 seasons.
Killington VT : 2 (tied once)
Bretton Woods NH : 1
Sugarbush VT : 1 (tied)
Sugarloaf ME : 1 (tied)
Wildcat NH : 1 (tied)

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2015 post:
Early Easter, late Spring : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 1
Melting…snow and list are melting : Eastern Closing Thread 2014-15 – Part 2
Falling temperatures, snow and options – Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 3
May or May not? Eastern Closing Thread 2015 – Week 4

Read Full Post »

It’s not only about the skiing, it’s about the adventure and the variety of the experiences.

stowe_rd_20140601

June turns : I’ve ridden the lift and ski numerous days at Killington in 1990s. I’ve also ridden lifts in British Columbia in 1988 and most recently in California and Oregon. I’ve even driven up Mount Washington on a couple of occasions or hiked to the Tuckerman Ravine. Heck last year, I’ve even skied a huge patch of snow in the Laurentians at Mont Avila.

How about car-assisted June patch skiing? Okay this isn’t as hardcore as some maggots chasing California patches, but it all belongs to the same passion and madness.

Toll Roads and Autoroad in the North East: Whiteface, Washington and Stowe. Today marked the first time I made the drive up Mt. Mansfield. Toll Road accessed skiing in Vermont? Is there such a thing? VT_Ski invited me to come see and ski.


No snow on Madonna


We skied on this road the last time we were at Smugglers’ Notch a few months ago

MTL_Ripper joined me for this adventure in the really Green Mountains. Back to Stowe after skiing tons of vertical in late April; that will not be the case today. Driving to Stowe from Montreal is so much nicer and shorter through the Notch, but the beautiful June weekend border crossing plus the Sunday sightseeing, garage sale and church going drivers conspired against us.

Prior to crossing the Notch, we passed Smugglers’ Notch will didn’t seem to have any significant visible snow patches. I was slightly concern at this point, however once on the outside side, MTL_Ripper could see a few patches including one huge pile at the bottom. There was no other skiers in sight at the Toll Road gate and we thought that we had missed our rendez-vous. That is when VT_Ski arrived.


Toll Road and the green runs


Snow…that we didn’t ski

The Toll Road is a classic ski trail which people used to earned-their-turns and ski prior to lifts being installed. Unlike some of the old trails, the road is now actually a long flat green in the current Stowe Trail Network, but isn’t that flat when you are driving switchbacks surrounded by trees. VT_Ski started pointing out patches as we slowly drove up. Some of the patches were small, some flat. The goal was to start at the top then drive our way down.


Nosedive : Patch One of Four


Patches Two and Three

The Nosedive Patch was first : Third part. We parked next to the trail and surveyed the land. There seemed to be a series of three patches. We couldn’t see the length of the third patch located between the last two corners on this historically trail, but it was definitely the longest and most interesting one. Unfortunately when we got to the top of it, the actual end of this patch had just been out of our initial view and wasn’t much longer.

There were reported that snow-covered the entire length between both corners; now it was less than half. Regardless of the shortness of it, we clicked it and did some surreal June turns on a 17-meter vertical slope numerous times. The sun was hot and water was popular. A few hikers smiled when they saw that some people were actually skiing. There was another patch lower down passed the last corner, but we decided to focus on the prime one.


MTL_Ripper getting started on Nosedive


Nice background view of Spruce and Madonna


VT_Ski and the Notch


MTL_Ripper milking with VT_Ski looking on


“Let’s do this again”


VT_Ski going some snow maintenance


Threading the line


The last meter

As we skied, the snow at the end was getting thinner and thinner. After 8-9 runs, we decided to checkout the other major patch we noticed driving up.

The Sunrise patch. This time we were directly visible from the people driving up. This snow patch had roughly the same vertical with perfect cream cheese corn, mellower and longer. You could see the water slipping on the edge of the patch. They were also a few annoying mosquitoes and small black flies. The thickness varied from left to right with up to 2-3 ft on the trail downhill edge. What can you do or so little snow? You can have fun!!! Traverse unto the parallel patch to maximize skiable snow. A few snowboard tricks. Snow spraying. And last, but not least, I added an extra 7-meter vertical by skiing on green grass and making it within 2-meter vert from the car. We did 7 runs on Sunrise which made us at about 200 meters for the day. It was time to head down and celebrate our day with a beer from our Vermont friend at the bottom. Thanks VT_Ski!!!


Lower Sunrise


MTL_Ripper heading for the Upper Sunrise 1 & 0.5 patches


VT_Ski on Sunrise with Toll Road in the background


The edge still had 2-3 Feet depth


VT_Ski trying to extend the snow patch


MTL_Ripper


There was a parallel patch. I was truly Mad and skied from Patch 1 to Patch 0.5


VT_Ski raising corn with MadPat looking on


Bluebird


MadPat’s turn


Wait for it


Straying


Adding a few extra meters


Last tracks from white to green

We headed into beautiful town of Stowe and dropped by the Vermont Ski Museum plus I had to pick up a gift for myself. MTL_Ripper was totally stoked by seeing his old snowboard on the Museum wall.

Before heading back across the Notch, we spotted the bottom patch at the bottom, which was the remaining part of the big air. It was short and steep. It would have been fun, but it was already late and time to headback. Looks like that patch while survived into July and be the last surviving ski season snow patch in Vermont. Okay, so what I’ll I do for July turns?


Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe


MadPat loves old skis


MTL_Ripper’s old board

On a more serious note: Take your time to drive through the Notch; it’s beautiful plus someone our a motorcycle missed a tour and crashed. You don’t need to be in the Alps to noticed serious mountain road accident.


The Last Patch


Stowe Gondola side and Mt.Mansfield

MadPat’s Gallery:
Stowe VT – June 1, 2014

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Log

20140601_stw_d
Log Detail

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Mont Aviwhat??? Avila. Là! Over there, not far from my last turns in May and current popular Waterpark at Mont St-Sauveur.

When everybody thought that Eastern “commercial (not free)” skiing was done with the closing of Killington on May 26 and that no Eastern ski areas snowpatches had survived the month of June; Voilà Avila!!!

Over the 96 months ski-streak (I’m including my Summer 2005 non-snow experience on sand and grass), I’ve had a variety of experiences, but none in the same category as this last one.

Plan A : Avila wasn’t it for June or July. There were many left over snow options in early June. I was initially hoping to get to repeat June turns at Killington for a first time since 1997, but the weather killed that plan and Killington hopes to spin into June.

Plan B : I heard about Beartooth Basin on the Wyoming/Montana border. The only Summer-only (just a few weeks really) ski area that I know of in North America that look to be all about the vibe. It was only 3100km from Ottawa and the worst part of it, it wasn’t out of the question due to the novelty of it. Although I loved my Timberline-Bachelor-Crystal-Rainier experience in 2012 or Mammoth in 2006 and 2010 experiences and wouldn’t mind returning in similar conditions: Ullr wasn’t as kind in these areas in 2013.

Plan C : Consistency of Tuckerman Ravine is always an option. Numerous June and July visits in 2007, 08, 09 and 11 proved it then Health concerns raised its ugly head again. The Plan was set and made: leaving Ottawa and picking up MTLRipper in Montreal then join Riverc0il and Snowmonster for a day at Tuck then I was struck down. All of a sudden I was at home battling side-effects on newly prescribed medication. I wasn’t necessarily worried about Tuckerman Ravine’s snow conditions, but more about my physical or mental state to tackle the long drive and hike in my current state.

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So I was down to Plan D: Desperation.

The Akamp Camp had been a jibbing snowcamp that has been held on the lower slope of Mont Avila. This year was the 6th edition for the camp which was initially held in early July, but was moved to late June a couple of years ago.

The snow had been stockpiled in a huge mound in late April (when Avila closed) and covered with hay. I drove by Avila on one of my MayDay at MSS and witnessed the huge haystack.

Organized by Axis Boutique, this year’s camp was being extended to 5-days. They had 2x times more snow, some GoPro loaners and some real pros. They were hoping to get a lift tied in, but it wasn’t worth it financially. There had a few features, salt and a groomer smooth stuff up every morning.

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30 juin 2013
No snow at Mont St-Sauveur, only waterslides.

30 juin 2013
Snow

Sunday June 30:

I hadn’t skied Avila since my university team days back in 1992 and wandered over from MSS in 1995 when Caroline and I skied MSS-Avila on the joint pass. Let’s just say it was a long time ago. Avila and Mont St-Sauveur share the ownership and ridge. This week the Mont St-Sauveur’s park was in wet liquid form while Avila had the frozen type going.

The camp was supposed to end around 5pm on Sunday. I showed up at 4pm to explore the site. I walked up along the park and taking pictures of the boarders and skiers going their stuff. After talking to a few people, I was informed that the camp was being extended an extra day on Monday, which was also happens to be Canada Day, due to the amount of snow left. They were charging a one day only price of $100/day for this weekend (I have no issue with that – a lot of work is involved to make this possible) versus $500 for the 5 days. The camp attracted about 50-60 people every day.

I explained my dilemma and asked if they had any objections if I made a few turns? One requirement was that the Patrol, the girl who had a “Parc Aquatique MSS First Aid” t-shirt packing her car and about to leave had to be present. Once she was gone, they wouldn’t let anyone ski. 😦 I rushed to see her and she asked if it was okay with her. “Sure, go ahead. I can wait”. At that moment, I ran to the car and grabbed my gear. Hiking fast to the top in my saddles and switching fast into my ski boots.

Standing at the top of the snow, they were 3 main options : the big jump, the small jump next to the pipe and handrail down the staircase. I skied between the jump and the staircase. The slope mellowed out towards the boxes and rails and was pretty dirty. Dirt and mud from the torrential rain on Friday probably didn’t help. I quickly hiked up after my first run and did it one more time. I was sucking wind at the top and needed water which was in the car. I grabbed my stuff and sandals and ski down calling it a day and a month. Only 15 minutes, but I didn’t want to push my good fortune with the organizers and patrol plus I was starving and needed a drink. I probably just missed Bri7 from Zoneski which I meet at MSS in May : he was going after his own summer turns a short time after I left.

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

20130630_avila
June 30 Log

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Monday July 1:

After spending time with friends and dealing with mandatory stuff in Montreal, I was back in the Mont St-Sauveur Valley for 3pm. The camp was charging $60 for this unplanned extra day. There were a few more people riding as I wasn’t as late as the previous day. The weather was a gray 21c again today with a smog alert over a large part of the province due to the forest fires in the Northern Quebec.

Localized on the end of the slight pitch on the Piedmont trail, the vertical was 28-30 meters, not much less than Tuckerman in July and nowhere as steep. However the length of the “snowfield” was longer.

I got a green light from Max to make a some turns again today and park next to the few cars at the small plateau at the bottom of the park. I thanked him and made a financially contribution to the camp. I had water this time and less hurried. I enjoyed looking at the jibbers due their stuff. People generally did the jumps at the top and didn’t bother getting to the dirty snow and rails at the bottom unless they were heading for a break at the bottom. I did one last run after the last boarder left and skied off the snow all the way to the car 30 feet away. Max gave me a nice cold Molson Canadian!!! It was Canada Day after all.

1 juillet 2013
July View from the Avila parking lot

1 juillet 2013
Parking spot

1 juillet 2013

1 juillet 2013
Last run

1 juillet 2013
Happy Canada Day and July Turns Beer

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July 1 Log

2 runs in less than 15 minutes (including walk from the parking lot and putting my ski boots at the top) for a total combine vertical of 52 meters in June and 6 runs in under 1 hour with a whopping 159 meters in July. Some may ask if this was the craziest/pathetic month of my ski streak? Not sure? I’ve skied only one run on the ski trail has flat as a road in the pouring rain in Pucon, Chile in August 2008. I flew to ski WROD in Colorado in October back in 2007. Climbing to Tuckerman Ravine in the rain in July 2007. What do you call that crazy drive through Hurricane Sandy to ski powder in West Virginia last October? One thing for sure, it was the easiest accessible summer snow I’ve ever skied.

Now I need to book an appointment to get my brain examined. QUICK where are my meds???


Psycho Therapy – The Ramones
Posted by LiebermannRamone3

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Avila QC – 30 juin / 1 juillet 2013

Monday Mad Addict’s Attic:
Mont Avila, circa 1980
The trail named have changed (Piedmont on the old map isn’t the same). The park was next to chairlift A.

Read Full Post »

Middle of June and thinking about possible turns for the month and July. I had skipped a few occasions on heading to the Presidential due to certain obligations.

Being an abnormal snow year in the East, skiing was getting from pathetic to impossible real fast. From the reports I’ve seen from Tuckerman, mid-June turns looked more like July.

I wasn’t sure that Tuckerman July turns would be possible. I had a few ideas in mind for July snow, but they were more pathetic than the next. Would it really be skiing? As I started thinking outside the box I received an email from Mr. Bestsnow.net mentioning that PNW had another incredible year and looked like Mt. Bachelor might reopen for the June/July 1 weekend. He informed that it was good enough for him to consider flying there. I knew the season had been good and was aware that Crystal was still spinning on weekends as long as it was possible. Then there was Timberline on Mt. Hood and the mountains in the Cascade that would still have snow.

I had mentioned before that a trip only to freeski on timberline wasn’t necessarily worth the expenses, especially that I have skied there a couple of days once back in August / September 2006 as part of our excellent two weeks family vacation exploring the PNW. As I started thinking of the possibility and the fact that my season really sucked, I thought to myself, if I can get an airline ticket, I would go.

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June 27:

Getting out of the heat and riding the train to the Ottawa airport with skis; sense of déjà vu from last summer in Europe. Standing next to me at the Air Canada counter is an ex-CEO from a place I worked, he seemed to look at me as if he recognized me, wondering WTF was I going with my skis in June and why I’m not at work? I’m leaving on a trip away from work, what he is going here? As I’m charged 56$ for my regular bag plus my ski bag. I remember not long ago when you would even have to pay and they gave you more than pretzels to eat on the plane. Not on this 5-hour flight to Vancouver.

Another familiar face with ski boots is a local ski coach from another hill which my daughter trained with them one day in 2011. Ryan was now coach with the regional ski team and was heading on an earlier flight than the rest of the team to Mt. Hood. The team, amongst the best local racers, which Morgane competes against, were heading to Mt. Hood for 2 weeks of training. In September the team is going to train in Chile. Pretty much year-round training on and off snow. We had time to chat between flight to Vancouver and Portland, Oregon.

As in 2006, a spectacular view on the Dash 8 flight from Vancouver to Portland which included Seattle, Mts Rainier and St. Helens. As headed down to Portland, we could see Mt. Hood in the distance in the clear blue sky.

Back when I was with the family in 2006, I didn’t get to spend much time in Portland. Once I checked at the downtown Motel 6, which happens to be across the street from the hotel we stayed in 2006, I hope on the light rail system at around 9pm, which is free in the downtown core. Walked around for a few hours, went to biggest new and used Powell Book store I’ve never been to. Back to my room at past midnight which happens to be 3am in the East. It’s going to be a short night, especially that the lifts at Timberline open at 7am. Lift closed at 2pm, but I needed to be back in town at 3pm, so I would have to stop skiing before that.


Flying into Vancouver BC


Mount Rainier


Mounts St. Helens and Adams


Mount Hood


Portland at night


Record store


Bookstore

June 28:

I think the wake-up call was at 5:45am. It took me a while to get out of bed, of the room and on-the-road. No time for breakfast on the road as I’m racing towards the mountain. In the parking lot, I saw some people when skinning and hiking. I was debating what I was going to wear for way too long. It doesn’t matter, the scenery is beautiful. A quick special breakfast bagel at the Wy’ay Lodge cafeteria. Got my $58 liftticket as it was they were making my breakfast. Eat it as I was hiking through the lot in front of the Timberline Lodge and slowly sliding towards to massive line for the Magic Mile chair.


The morning commute


Morning Liftline chaos 1 : Magic Mile


View from Magic Mile


View from Magic Mile with Palmer in-sight. Courses below Palmer instead of snow tongues surrounded by moraines

As I was walking in the lot, buses of kids were still arriving. However these kids were jibbers, not racers. Snow coverage was wall to wall at the bottom slopes above the hotel. As I got on the lift at 9:30 am, I was somewhat surprised as the lower mountain below the Palmer midstation was a series of moraine walled snow tongues the last time I skied here in late Summer 2006. The sun was hot and snow was soft. The lineup at Palmer was slightly better.


Morning Liftline chaos 2 : Palmer. With Mt. Jefferson in the background


Liftline chaos 3 : Palmer Mid-Station

Mt. Hood is definitely summer skiing central. There was a queue also at the midstation, full of race kids and a few bigger racers like Ted Ligety. Each team was assigned a line on the hill, similar as the busy summer ski camp I saw in the Alps last summer. Some teams trained on upper Palmer, left or right of the lift. Some were also on the lower half of Palmer or along the Magic Mile.


Lane distribution – NCO team has lane 17


Courses on Upper Palmer


Ted Ligety is a popular guy

I mixed it up, either by making full runs of Palmer or riding the upper part of the snow field. There were a few lines I could ski, but it was limited within the boundaries. There were 40 lanes reserved on the hill. The snow below Palmer towards was the Magic soft mile, in term of snow and slope. As noon approached, lineups to the lifts disappeared as coaches were unsetting the courses and racers made their last free runs before non-skiing afternoon activities.


Funky clouds on Mt. Hood as seen from Lower Palmer


Notice the dots as across the snowfield

Snowpark served by rope-tows below the midstation on Palmer was still pretty busy. Chatted again with the local coaches as they were packing up for their first day. I was also needed to get ready to leave, I was picking up Tony at the Portland Airport at 3pm. In 3 hours of skiing, I managed 7 runs. The morning started off bluebird with a hanging cloud on the summit of Mt. Hood, however it started to get overcast on my last runs. Weather was moving in for the weekend, forecast called for rain.


Clouds moving in


Timberline Lodge

So to Portland and back pass Mt. Hood on our 3-hour drive to Central Oregon and the town of Bend. Tomorrow is Friday June 29 and Mt. Bachelor is reopening one last weekend. The plan is to come back to Mt. Hood and Timberland Lodge on our last evening in the PNW on the following Monday.


Driving to Bend

MadPat’s Galleries
YOW to PDX / Portland : June 27
Portland, Timberline / Mt. Hood, Bend : June 28

20120628_timberline
Log: Notice the wait time at the lifts

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