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MAY

What do I mean by “May continue skiing”?

a) Ski area might open this weekend
b) Ski area might go beyond this weekend
c) Skiing into May
d) Lifts aren’t an end to all means.
e) All of the above

People always wonder; Where is their skiing in May? May skiing is greatly very possible even if you live in the East. Never in the last 11 years that I have kept track on the Eastern Closings has there hasn’t at least one ski area spinning their lift for the skiing public. Next weekend will not be the exception, currently 8 ski areas are planning to spin, but as it is always this time of the season, you can’t take it granted. Although we had a terrible snow year, the cold of the last week has slowed down the melting. Cold weather is supposed to continue for the next few days.

Frequency of number of ski areas spinning in May:
7 or more ski areas : 3 times
6 ski areas : 1 time
5 ski areas : 1 time
4 ski areas : 3 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:

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / Daily until May:
2016 : 8 7 / 1 MSS, Jay Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Wildcat, Comi*
2015 : 9 / 2 Wachusett, Sunday River, Miller, Sugarloaf, Wildcat, Sugarbush, Jay, MSS, Killington
2014 : 6 / 3 Comi, MSS, Jay, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf
2013 : 4 / 2 MSS, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf, Killington
2012 : 1 / 0 MSS
2011 : 7 / 2 MSS, Miller, Jay, Sugarbush, Killington, Sugarloaf, Saddleback
2010 : 3 Jay, Sugarloaf & MSS
2009 : 5 Jay, Killington, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf & MSS
2008 : 4 Jay, Sugarbush, Sugarloaf & MSS
2007 : 4 Killington, Sugarbush, Wildcat & MSS
2006 : 2 Bretton Woods & Killington

We have the familiar actors in the May skiing skimming pool. A few ski areas closed last weekend (Stowe, Ste-Anne, Le Valinouet, Lac Vert and Val d’Irène), most of them had a closing fixed date and Val d’Irène even decided added an extra day passed that date. Some had enough coverage, especially in Eastern Quebec, could have continued their season, but there are other factors to take into account.

Ski areas that have spinning in May since 2006 including this coming weekend:
Mont St-Sauveur QC : 10 times (91%) – last 10 years in a row
Killington VT : 8 times (73%) – last 4 years
Sugarbush VT : 8 times (73%) – last 4 years
Sugarloaf ME : 8 times (64%) – 8 of the last 10 years
Jay VT : 7 times (73%) – last 3 years
Wildcat NH : 3 2 times (27 18%)*
Sunday River ME : 2 times (18%)– last 2 years
Comi QC : 2 times (18%)– 2 of the last 3 years
Miller QC : 2 times (18%)
Bretton Woods NH : 1 time (9%)
Wachusett MA : 1 time (9%)
Saddleback ME : 1 time (9%)

By Provinces/States:
Quebec : 10 times (91%)
Vermont : 10 times (91%)
Maine : 8 times (73%)
New Hampshire : 4 3 times (36 27%)*
Massachusetts : 1 time (9%)

Only Killington will be open daily to the public until May 1, after it’s going to be Friday and weekends only for the rest of the season. With the exception of St-Sauveur, Killington and Mont Comi, all remaining areas have clearly stated that next weekend will definitely be their last weekend of the season.

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.

LIST OF 8 7 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND (only Killington open daily)*

Wildcat NH – May 1 (tentative weekend only)*
Sunday River ME – May 1 (tentative weekend only)**
Jay VT – May 1 (tentative weekend only)**
Sugarbush VT – May 1 (tentative weekend only)**
Sugarloaf ME – May 1  (tentative weekend only)**
Comi  QC – May 1 (weekend only)

Killington VT – into May (daily until May 1 then Friday-Sunday only)
St-Sauveur QC – May 14 15 (weekends only)**

* Update: April 26: Wildcat is done for the season
** Update: April 28: All remaining have confirmed for the weekend.

If you include the Midwest, Lutsen is adding an extra weekend and is eyeing on May 1 also.

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

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THIRD WEEKEND OF APRIL

A grey Monday morning update.

The Freeze Frame Winter weather which included some fresh snow in some parts slowed down the closures over the past week. Some mentioned it was one of the best days of the season, unfortunately we still saw a number of Eastern ski areas calling it a season, some either had no choice coverage wise, decided to cut their season’s loses or just keep to the schedule closing date, especially like Le Massif and other places Eastern Quebec.

Many of the big guns of the US East are holding on hope to make it to May regardless of a poor snow totals this season, so much that Maine’s Sugarloaf and Sunday River blew some snow in April. The snow situation is better as we move further North and East.

Many of the smaller Quebec areas in the East are winding down their season with weekend opening only and one finally weekend coming up; this is nothing out of the ordinary for them. As we moved in mid-April, the Eastern skiers, with a few exceptions, needs to drive far in order to ski if their aren’t located in the Montreal-Quebec City-Boston triangle.

Twenty-seven ski areas are hoping to open this coming weekend, almost half are East of Quebec City, however if you want to ride a lift midweek you’ll have to settled with only 9 areas, 6 of them being in the US (Tremblant, MSS, Le Relais, Jay, Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington, Wildcat and Sugarloaf).

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / New York & New England
2016 : 27 / 8
2015 : 39 / 22
2014 : : 38 / 15
2013 : 25 / 12
2012 : 10 / 6

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.

LIST OF 27 26 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND (9 open daily)**

QUEBEC : 17 16**

Western Québec : 6 5**
Vallée Bleue – TBD (tentative weekend only)**
Mont Vidéo – April 16 (tentative Saturday only)
Val St-Côme – April 17 (tentative weekend only)
Camp Fortune – April 17 (tentative Friday* and weekend only)
Tremblant – April 17
St-Sauveur – May 14 (tentative)

Eastern Québec : 11
Chalco – April 17 (weekend only)
Gallix – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Massif du Sud – April 17 (weekend only)
Édouard – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Val d’Irène – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Le Relais – April 17
Le Valinouet – April 24 (Friday-Sunday only)
Ste.Anne – April 24 (Friday* and weekend only)
Lac Vert – April 30 (tentative weekend only)
Miller – late April 17 or May (weekend only)*
Comi – May (weekend only)

ONTARIO & LABRADOR : 2
Blue ON – April 17 (Wednesday-Sunday only)
Smokey Mountain NL – late April (tentative Friday-Sunday)

EASTERN US : 8
Wildcat NH – TBD (weekend only)
Whiteface NY – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Sugarloaf ME – April 17 and possibly more
Stowe VT – April 24
Jay VT – late April
Sugarbush VT – May 1 (tentative)
Sunday River ME – May 1 (weekend and Monday Holiday only)
Killington VT – May

* Updates : April 13
** Updates : April 15 – Vallée Bleue is done for the season

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

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SECOND WEEKEND OF APRIL

Freeze Frame on the Spring skiing which will allowed the coverage to last a bit longer if the ski resorts wants to. The dilemma is strong for many, either extended for a bit longer or cut your losses and shutdown the season.

The cold temps made the skiing brutally firm and slick in the low snow regions, while the colder areas in the North and Eastern Quebec are still close to Winter mode. They might be 46 ski areas across the East, but only 11 are still open daily (Québec: 4, Ontario: 1, New England: 7).

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / New York & New England
2016 : 46 / 11
2015 : 82 / 38
2014 : : 89 / 35
2013 : 47 / 25
2012 : 20 / 11

New England is at the same level as the Heatwave Spring of 2012 with only 11 ski areas still open; Eastern Québec ski areas are still on track on their regular schedule: Almost half of the ski areas that will operate make it to April’s second weekend are located are located here. The economic and migration of skiers from South of the St.Lawrence Valley is bringing skiers to places like Le Massif, Tremblant and Ste. Anne. Tremblant decided this week to add an extra weekend to their season by closing on April 17.

Maine’s Sunday River and Sugarloaf try to cope with the situation and take advantage of well below freezing temperatures this week by turning on their snow guns. I don’t recall this happening before, but it’s been a terrible year that will go down in the record book. That being said, 6 ski areas have openly stated that they were aiming for May. Oh yeah, I forgot, there is snow in the forecast in the East.

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.

LIST OF 46 42 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND (11 open daily)**

QUEBEC : 32 28**

Western Québec : 12 11*

Belle-Neige – TBD (tentative weekend only)*
Vallée Bleue – TBD (tentative weekend only)
Ste-Marie – April 10 (Friday-Sunday weekend only)*
Vidéo – April 10 (weekend only)
Orford – April 10 (tentative weekend only)*
Owl’s Head – April 10 (tentative weekend only)
La Réserve – April 10 (tentative weekend only)*
Montcalm – April 10 (weekend only)
Val St-Côme – April 10 (weekend only)
Camp Fortune – April 17 (tentative weekend only)
Tremblant – April 17
St-Sauveur – May 14 (tentative)

Eastern Québec : 20 17**
Béchervaise – TBD (tentative weekend only)*
Cap Chat – TBD (tentative weekend only)**
Chalco – April 10 (weekend only)
Gallix – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Ti-Basse – April 10 (weekend only)
Stoneham – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Orignal – April 10 (tentative weekend only)**
Le Massif – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Pin Rouge – April 10 (tentative Sunday weekend only)**
St-Mathieu – April 10 (weekend only)
Val Neigette – April 10 17 (tentative weekend only)**
Massif du Sud – April 17 (tentative Friday-Sunday only)
Édouard – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Val d’Irène – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only)
Le Relais – TBD April 17*
Le Valinouet – April 24
Ste.Anne – April 24
Lac Vert – April 30 (tentative weekend only)
Miller – late April or May (weekend only)
Comi – May (tentative Wednesday-Sunday only)

ONTARIO & LABRADOR : 3
Blue ON – April 10 17 or tentatively more**
Loch Lomond ON – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Smokey Mountain NL – late April (tentative Thursday-Sunday)

EASTERN US : 11
Wildcat NH – TBD
Whiteface NY – April 10 (weekend only)
Cannon NH – April 10 (weekend only)
Loon NH – April 10
Stratton VT – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Sugarloaf ME – April 17 and possibly more
Stowe VT – April 24
Jay VT – late April
Sugarbush VT – May 1
Sunday River ME – May 1
Killington VT – May

* Update: April 6
** Update: April 8

Ski Mad World’s weekly Eastern Closing 2016 post:
Let’s move Past EASTer & Go Easterner – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Part 1

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The Ski Mad World blog has had difficulty time with its only contributor, meaning moi, which was the pretty much the same situation as the 2015-16 Easter ski season. My skiing life is still active, it is just that my personal life has been going through some challenges. My online presence on this blog or elsewhere has virtually non-existent over the last two season.

Unlike last season, the 2015-16 Eastern Ski Season has had worst difficulties from its own contributor Mother Nature: too warm, too many thaws, rain, when it was snowing it was immediately followed by rain. With the exception of a few places that offered lift assisted skiing in October; it took a long time to get the season started.

If last December was the new November then this March was definitely the new April.

Last season Winter had a slow start; this season didn’t even really start in some cases. Snowmaking can just do so much, but when we have periods of record-breaking temperatures across the East, it’s hard to make snow. The local skiing around Ottawa has pretty good compared to ski areas South of the St. Lawrence Valley (Eastern Townships and Northeastern US).

This look at Ottawa’s Rideau Canal skateway tells the tale.

Last season:
– record-breaking in its 45th year: 59 uninterrupted skating days. February was – coldest on record since they started keeping track of temps over 150 years ago.
– terrible ski year in most of North America, but definitely not the East.

This season:
– shortest with only 18 days since opening on January 23rd. The runner-up for worst season was 26 days in 2001-02.
– February and December were amongst the warmest on record in this part of the World.
– terrible ski year in most of the East, but definitely not the West.
– El Niño

One of the bizarre things Ottawa witnessed weather wise is that during the record warm February, the city received a Valentine’s Day storm of 51cm, biggest single day snowfall (beating the 49cm received in March 2008). Unfortunately this snow event was limited to the North and didn’t have the effect of the V-Day storm of 2007 when it marked a turnaround for the season for most of the East. Everything South was falling as mostly rain.

Other terrible signs of a season to forget:

Mad River Glen was only open for 45 days, most of them being on the small Practice Slope. Like the 100″ of snow received, those days are less than half of what is to be expected at MRG. They closed on March 13.
Mont Sutton closed on March 27. Since the beginning of the ski area in 1960-61, that date was the second earliest closing date and only the third time the ski area closed in the month of March in its history. The earliest day was March 25, 2012, year of the mid-March heatwave.
Mont Chilly opened in late February and is still hoping for next weekend.

These three ski areas heavily rely on Natural Snow; the first two are definitely South of the St. Lawrence Valley. The line between good natural snow-covered and bad is strongly contrasted especially when comparing Eastern Québec’s Charlevoix, Saguenay and Gaspé Peninsula regions of Québec. Most of the ski areas still in operation in those regions are 100% open.

The localization and economic of this year ski numbers have moved North to the Laurentians and farther East at places like Le Massif which just one of the busiest Easter weekend in years. Since January ski resorts like Le Massif and Tremblant received a greater number of Americans mainly due to the lack of Winter in the main Eastern US ski areas.

FIRST WEEKEND OF APRIL

Only 76 ski areas might open this weekend from North Carolina to Labrador, 45 being North (Laurentians, Québec City, Charlevoix, Saguenay, North Shore, Labrador) or East (Gaspé) of the St. Lawrence Valley which I believe is unprecedented. As I’m writing this, the Chic Chocs are getting another storm. The situation with closing dates in Eastern Québec hasn’t change yet, they often close with an abondance of snow. The question is, will a small number Southern skiing change the dynamic and provide a bit more incentive to last one or two weekends longer?

Numbers from previous seasons: Total / New York & New England
2016 : 76 / 19
2015^: 82 / 38 (2nd weekend of April)
2014^: : 89 / 35 (2nd weekend of April)
2013 : 107 / 48
2012 : 29 / 11

Clearly the NE has never had such a small share of ski options for the first weekend in April. The end of 2012 was particular bad with its mid-March Winter Hating Heatwave which affected most of the East. This time it wasn’t limited to a particular event, but more to a part of the Eastern continent; the northern and east areas in Québec were a couple of degrees colder, enough to make a difference between snow and rain; snowmaking or not. The fact that the Easter was is generally an April target to aim is already past; many ski areas might have cut their lost and shutdown.

Although cold weather is moving in, it’s going to be too late for a number of ski areas. If you want to get some skiing done;

a) Go sooner rather than later

b) Be prepare to drive further.

c) Both

Remember, the ski season is never over, it just moves elsewhere.

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.

LIST OF 76 69 SKI AREAS TENTATIVELY OPEN THIS WEEKEND**

QUEBEC 48 45**

Laurentians and Launaudière

Avalanche – April 3 (weekend only)
Avila – April 3 (weekend only)**
Belle-Neige – TBD
Blanc – April 3
Chanteclerc – April 10 3 (weekend only)**
Garceau – April 10 (tentative)
Habitant – April 3
La Réserve – April 10
Montcalm – April 10 (weekend only)
St-Sauveur – May 8 14 (tentative)**
Tremblant – April 10
Vallée Bleue – April 3 or more (weekend only)
Val St-Côme – April 10

Eastern Townships:

Adstock – April 3
Bromont – TBD  April 3*
Orford – April 10 (tentative)
Owl’s Head – April 10 (tentative weekend only)

Quebec City area and north of St.Lawrence from Mauricie to the North Shore

Vallée du Parc – TBD April 3**
La Tuque – April 3
Le Relais – TBD
Ste.Anne – April 24
Stoneham – April 10
Orignal – April 10 (weekend only)
Massif du Sud – April 17 (tentative Friday-Sunday only)
Le Massif – April 10
Grand Fonds – April 3
Édouard – April 17
Le Valinouet – TBD April 24**
Bélu – NA**
Lac Vert – TBD (Friday-Sunday only)
Chalco – TBD (weekend only)
Gallix – April 10 (Friday-Sunday only)
Ti-Basse – April 10 (Thursday-Sunday only)

Gaspé Peninsula

Béchervaise – April 3 or more (weekend only)**
Cap Chat – TBD (weekend only)
Castor – TBD (Wednesday, Friday-Sunday only)
Comi – May (tentative Wednesday-Sunday only)
Miller – TBD
Pin Rouge – April 17 (Friday-Sunday only tentative)
St-Mathieu – April 10 (weekend only)
Val Neigette – April 3 10 (weekend only – tentative)**
Val d’Irène – April 17 (Friday-Monday only)

Outaouais and Abitibi

Camp Fortune – April 10 or more
Cascades – April 3? (weekend only)
Mont Chilly – April 3? (not impossible weekend only)
Ste-Marie – April 3? (Friday-Sunday only)
Kanasuta – April 2 (Saturday only)
Vidéo – April 10 (weekend only)

ONTARIO : 4 3*
Blue – TBD
Calabogie Peaks – TBD
Kamiskotia – NA*
Loch Lomond – April 3 or more (Friday-Sunday only)

NEW BRUNSWICK : 1
Farlagne – April 3 (weekend only)

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR : 3
Marble – April 3 (tentative)
Smokey Mountain – late April (tentative)
White Hills – April 3

NEW YORK : 3 2**
Bristol – April 3** April 1 last day
Gore – April 3 (weekend only)
Whiteface – April 10

VERMONT : 8
Jay – TBD
Killington – TBD
Okemo – April 3
Smugglers – April 3
Snow – April 3
Stowe – April 24
Stratton – April 10
Sugarbush – TBD

NEW HAMPSHIRE : 6 5*
Bretton Woods – April 3
Cannon – April 10
Loon – April 10
Sunapee – April 3 (weekend only tentative)*
Waterville – April 3 (Friday-Sunday only)
Wildcat – TBD

MAINE : 2
Sugarloaf – TBD
Sunday River – May 1

NORTH CAROLINA : 1 *
Appalachian – April 2 (tentative)

*Updates: March 31
**Updates: April 1

source : LaPresse 29 mars, 2016, André Dubuc : Stations de ski: un hiver à oublier pour l’Estrie

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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

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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 »

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