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Posts Tagged ‘Mothers’ Day’

Two left!!! One in Québec and the other in Vermont.

The same two that started the (and my) 2015-16 season over 6 months ago. My last visit at Killington was in early December, prior to that were my last two days at Mont St-Sauveur in October and November.


Killington like a beacon on the horizon

There was also at long last the meeting of two geography based ski bloggers, Ski Mad World and PlanetSkier…or should we say Ski Mad Planet and World Mad Skier?

Jari from Finland was in Eastern North America for a business meeting and for anyone that has followed his blog, it was pretty clear that he would have been eager to get some turns no matter how far or complicated it was.  As mentioned on the Dual May Days for Mothers’ Day – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 6 post, Killington and Mont St-Sauveur were the only two ski areas in the East still spinning lifts, actually no one was spinning midweek.


Getting closer: Skyelark, Superstar and Cascades (closed) under Killington Peak


Two open trails: Thin Skyelark and Fat Superstar


Bottom of Superstar


Wall-to-wall bumps


Superstar Glacier


Deep Superstar Headwall

Friday morning: Killington

The only ski area open today was Killington and that’s where I was going. Two runs on the menu for this warm +18c temperature and a sunny blue bird sky. A tale of two runs, Skyelark and Superstar. One was thin and levelled to a thin layer and the other was fat and bumpy. They groomed the middle of Superstar and everything to the sides was bumped up. I had time to test out the two runs before Jari arrived.


Jari on Skyelark


MadPat at one of the Skyelark chokes
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Jari taking an alternative route to another choke on the trail


Skyelark


The final pitch on Skyelark at the end of the day…now it’s really Thin

Skyelark was on its last miles with a thin base which would become none existing as the day went on. What was left of the snow was a firm thin layer and bare spots are a few chokes on the coverage. If you didn’t want to risk damaging your skis, it might be better to stay on Superstar. Some walking was required if you wanted to access the trail from the top, but most people reached the trail at the cutoff below the Superstar headwall. As the day went on, the trail sketchy areas before even more troublesome for nice ski bases.


Superstar

Superstar was everything that Skyelark wasn’t; it was deep, bumpy and corny. Based on the height of snow, they still had a few weekend of skiing planned. You never know with Mother Nature, but the cold Spring helped preserved the stockpiling of snow. Incredible, but this season is probably one of the worst on snow accumulation in this millenium. 75″ inches of snowfall (they would an extra 5% of their annual snowfall on May 15) and the base depth on Superstar was double that number on most of the trail. The mount above the headwall was huge and the middle of the trail snow level was close to lift height. There was some good coverage left on the Canyon area, Cascades looked particularly inviting.


Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca

It was top to bottom coverage on Superstar and as the day went by, there were the groomed centre made way to top to bottom, wall to wall moguls. Once at the bottom, there was side of snow and parking tailgating, but we continued riding the Superstar Express Quad which zoomed us up 1199′ (365m) vertical. Jari and I were hurting, broken rids ridding a horse to go skiing a few months ago in Morocco and myself the broken ankle in early season that didn’t like the moguls. Or maybe it was just me, I recall that skiing the bumps was easier in the 1990s. 🙂 I might be skiing like 20 years, but the tailgating in the parking lot and on the side of the lift was serious.


Lower Superstar


Canadian and Finnish skibloggers in Vermont
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Driving towards next destination

Saturday: Mont St-Sauveur


Snow on the two open run: Hill 70, Nordique as well as other runs


Open terrain

St-Sauveur was opening for the public on Saturday. For the last few late season, they’ve have hosted “Summer” race camps midweek and early morning weekend on Hill 70 and Nordique. Like Killington, MSS had two runs going, however coverage were groomed and equally deep on both runs. The only terrain that was bumped was on the East Hill 70 pitch which was an added bonus on the terrain. The MSS crew build a few bump lines plus the usual box and rail on the flatter part of 70. As I skied, I ran into the Ottawa crew having fun in the bumps as well as the regardless late season suspects. The usual early and late season closing lift was running on approximately 607′ (185m) vertical and everyone was having a great day skiing in t-shirt or shorts.


Wall to wall Hill 70, East and West


Deep base on Nordique


Nordique


Nordique’s bottom pitch

A good part of Hill 70 and Nordique had be salted for the race camps, so most of the base was firm and consistent. Sharp edges were definitely a plus, but there was also softer corn snow accumulated outside the race area. The finally pitch of Nordique was as fun as always to ski even if it was firm. The +21c didn’t really soften it up.

The base depth on Hill 70 and Nordique were a few meters deep. Mont St-Sauveur was getting ready for to open their summer park schedule to open on May 21, ski season was suppose to end on May 15, but with the important depth of snow left, MSS decided to give skiers an extra weekend closing on May 23. Interesting enough, MSS received more snow than Killington which isn’t common: 103″ (262cm) versus 75″(190cm) (81″ currently, 206cm). Even it was also a very warm winter north of the border, the few degrees difference was often the difference between snow and rain. Not to be outdone and new this season, Mont St-Sauveur converted a shipping container into a bar next to the snow. Ingenious!!! Snow + Sun + Warm + May + Beer = What Spring Skiing is about.


Bottom pitch of West and East Hill 70


East Hill 70 bump field


Ottawa Crew

Sunday: Sun only in name.

Friday and Saturday were the real Sundays, this day was more a wet day. Mont St-Sauveur didn’t bother to open due to the weather and skiers at Killington in the cold and wet conditions. As common this time of the season, MSS didn’t bother spinning when few would bother buying lift tickets in the wet & cold May day. Some flurries even fell over the Great White North. Meanwhile south of the border, Killington spun for a few diehards “wet” skiers. Snow isn’t going to melt much in the first few days this week, as freezing (or close to freezing temps) are forecasted overnight.

However it was a beautiful first half of the weekend, hopefully it wasn’t the last Spring skiing of the season. Nothing can be taken for granted this time of the season: despite deep snow at the last two ski resorts still running lifts in the East, the end is near. Amazing May skiing was had by all you did, like the sun and the warm weather, showed up on the first part of the weekend.

As it stands now, MSS & Killington last days so far is respectively May 7 & 8. This is pretty respectable on a terrible snow year.


Growing lake


Snow + Sun + Bar


Heading home

MadPat’s Galleries:
Killington VT, May 6, 2016
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 7 mai 2016

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Choices on Mothers’ Day.

Should I go skiing or not? Will my mom or wife agreed to this?
If I choose to go skiing, which ski resort to choose? A or B?
Once the resort chosen, which ski trail? A or B?

Skiing lift served in the East come down to those questions.

After all the closing on May 1, that left us with Mont St-Sauveur and Killington still committed to reopen for next weekend. May 1 marked the last day of the season for Jay, Sugarbush, Sunday River, Sugarloaf and Mont Comi; it also marked the last day of daily lift served skiing in the East as Killington, the last to offer daily skiing, is moving to a Friday-Sunday scheduled for the rest of the season.

Two are left: Killington and St-Sauveur.
The same pair closing out the season again. After starting their season on October 18 & 19 respectively with Sunday River joining the pair; they are duelling it out for until the end.
Friday to Sunday and weekends only.

As people often ask me, there is still skiing? Skiing on Mothers’ Day isn’t even uncommon in the East as it has happened at K and MSS for fourth year in a row.

Frequency of number of ski areas spinning in second weekend in May:
3 ski areas : 2 times
2 ski areas : 3 times
1 ski area : 1 time
0 ski areas : 5 times

Previous years:

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

Numbers from previous seasons: Total:
2016 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2015 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2014 : 3 (Jay, Killington, MSS)
2013 : 2 (Killington, MSS)
2012 : 0
2011 : 3 (Jay, MSS, Sugarloaf)
2010 : 0
2009 : 0
2008 : 1 (MSS)
2007 : 0
2006 : 0

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

The ski areas trail count might differ, but it’s likely to come down to these two runs. This past weekend MSS had official the bottom pitch of East Hill 70 meaning the entire width of Hill 70 was open and skiable plus the SilverPark.

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

St-Sauveur QC – May 15 (weekend only – tentative on weather forecast)
Lift : L’étoile
Trail : Hill 70, Nordique
Time : 9am to 5pm
Cost : $20CDN for 2 hours/ $32CDN full day lift tickets (plus taxes)

Killington VT – TBD (Fri-Sun only)
Lift : Superstar Express Quad
Trails : Superstar, Skye Lark
Time : 8am (9am Fri) to 4pm (5pm on Sat)
Cost : $58US lift tickets – 50% with pass from another mountain.

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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

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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

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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

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Oh mother!!! The weather was less than stellar this past weekend; some didn’t open due to it (Sutton) or didn’t open on Sunday (Comi). Wildcat had called it a season before the weekend. So besides Mont Comi spinning on Saturday and calling it a season, we also had Sugarbush and Sugarloaf ending the season in iffy weather.

Now in the mid-range forecast, favorable weather to make some turns midweek, but no one will be spinning. At Jay Peak, there is even talked of rain or snow for Tuesday. No one will be spinning until next weekend (Friday in Kmart case) where three ski areas, the last three of the season. Long-range forecast for the three areas isn’t great (see links below), but that is still a few days away. Two for them are talking that Mothers’ Day will be their last day of the 2013-14 season. Killington is talking about going as long as possible. Not sure of the terrain. Stay tune for a potential update towards the end of the week.

How many times have these three ski areas been the last three? Pretty clear these were the odds favorites.

Mont St-Sauveur QC and weatherMay 11 (weekend only)
MSS will have potentially 2 trails (Nordique and 70), skiing from 11am to 5pm (ski camps are happening in this week and early hours this weekend). Lift ticket: $20

Jay Peak VT and weatherMay 11 (weekend only)*
Update : Jay will have 3 trails : Jet, Haynes and Interstate with the Triple and the Metro Quad.
Jay might have the most trails. Generally Jay ends the season with The Jet, however the Tramside was still open yesterday. No word if they are still going to run a lift on the Tramside for their last weekend, all will depend on the week. Jay will be charging $49 for adults and lifts were running 8:30 to 4 last weekend.

Killington VT and weatheras long as possible (Friday-Sunday only)**
Update : Kmart will have Skye Lark/Bittersweet and Superstar open.
Kmart will have the Superstar Express on Skye Peak. The official trail count is 6 if all the 10 trails will survive the week, but Superstar is definitely going on until the end, whenever that is going to be. Lift times: 9 to 5 on Friday, 8 to 5 on weekend. Price last weekend were $54 for Adults. There are also some deals like if you have a season pass from another ski area.

*Update : May 7, 6:30pm
**Update : May 8, 9:15pm

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Last Three since Spring 2006 including this season:

Mont St-Sauveur QC : 9 times out of 9.
Jay Peak VT : 6 times out of 9 (6 of the last 7 years).
Killington VT : 5 times out of 9 (last 3 years).
Sugarloaf ME : 5 times out of 9.
Sugarbush VT : 4 times out of 9 – not since 2009
Wildcat NH in 2007.
Bretton Woods NH in 2006.

Last Three per season :
2014 : Kmart + MSS + Jay (final order to be determined)
2013 : Kmart, MSS, Loaf
2012 : MSS, Jay, Kmart
2011 : MSS, Jay, Loaf
2010 : MSS + Jay + Loaf
2009 : MSS, Jay, Bush, Loaf
2008 : MSS, Loaf, Jay + Bush
2007 : MSS + Cat + Bush + Kmart
2006 : Bretton Woods, Kmart, MSS + Bush + MSA

And the next post will be, who is the last close?

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Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2014 post:
Spring skiing is just starting, but …
Where Are We At? – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 2
Late Easter, Late Spring, Late Skiing – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 3
The Day After Easter Monday – Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 Part4
May Skiing : Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 Part 5
May It, No Ski It : Eastern Closing Thread 2013-14 – Part 5 1/2

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