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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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After a two-day Spring Break in the Green Mountains (Sutton and Mad River Glen), we were back in town for one last weekend of racing for adults and kids. Back-to-back Edelweiss Masters Final and the Final final race in the kids season at Calabogie before everyone get back to school and work.

A very short night for St. Patrick’s Day and Dual race at Calabogie Peaks. Tuning skis to fix Morgane’s race ski from that rock “hidden under powder” damage and a long drive for a very early arrival at the hill. It’s hard getting at the hill for 7:30am when you have more than a one hour drive. Let’s just say that I was pushing it … a bit. At one point, I remember passing a familiar minivan on Highway 17…good, we won’t be last from the club to make it to Calabogie. 🙂


Early morning look at the Dual Slalom Course

It was a cold morning for late March which was a good thing for the race. So it was the usual hurry up to get at the hill and wait type of day. Tara, Mrs. MadPat and I hooped on the chair just prior to 9am and started skiing corduroys run after run!!! We started skiing the long green Ole K&P which is the further run west then started moving right to left on the map skiing afterwards Fiddlers, Buckshot and Shanahan’s. My face and feet were slightly frozen.


Tara and Caroline


Tara going skiing moose imitation

At 10am we headed down towards Face of Tiger; I felt like I was skiing on pre-edge skis. The race start was set below the face. When I found out they was the race start was going to be detailed, I informed Caroline and Tara to continue skiing for a few more runs, because it was going to be awhile before Morgane’s turn. I wanted to set up for some picture of the kids.

The short delay, became longer and longer. We found out that there were a number of athletes that hadn’t preregistered or shown up, so organizers had to sort out the pairing in order to make sure racers skied against someone about the same caliber or not alone. All U14, U16 and U18 were invited to this special end of the year Dual.


Morgane’s first run


Stephen taking off


Adam letting his hand down


Filip heading towards the finish


Nick off the jump

Each skiers would be getting 1 run in each course paired up and race head-to-head in the same competition in a dual format. After over one hour delay to the start, the race was on. I’ve participated in a couple of Dual races in the 1980s and they are always spectaculars. It can be a bit nerve-racking for parents. Morgane started off strong in dual and was running neck-and-neck at one point, then she feel behind and landed hard after second jump, lost both skis and crashed hard with a face plant on the bullet proof snow. 😦

DIN setting!!! The DIN setting is a touchy issue, especially after she broke her leg in a crash when her ski didn’t release. She didn’t have any issues of skis popping off this season, but she didn’t race on Dual jumps either.

I increased the DINs for her second run. The course was getting rough in a few places, especially the gate at the biggest jump and landing area, many skiers crashed or lost their skis. She was more tentative and wasn’t as fast out of the start blocks on her second run. She completed her run and I was proud of her and her season, especially coming back from a major injury. By the time that all the kids got their two runs in, it was already 1pm. The fastest 8 per age categories would move on the elimination round.


The Start


Maddie and the coaches at the start


Shinning icy Face of Tiger and start of the Dual : Maddie on the right


Morgane’s second run


Xavier ahead, but…


…he would get a rerun.


A previous skier was hurt at the finish and Xavier is charging towards him. Xavier would make the Final 8 for the U14’s in the afternoon.


Chris’s first of 8 runs in the day. We would eventually get a bronze once it was all over.


Simon (left) would just make the Final 8 (U16) with this run


Lunch


A close team : Xavier, Morgane and Maddie

Once lunch was over, everyone gather to hear who would get to race in the afternoon. The matching was fastest against 8, 2 vs 7, etc. Two runs, the fastest combined time win and moves to the next round. Got it? Now the time for the maths. Let see…

8 skiers
x 3 categories
x 2 boys and girls
x 2 runs
96 runs in the first elimination round.
48 runs for the top 4.
48 runs for the Final and 3rd place.
Total amount of runs : 192

Rounding it up at one run every 30 seconds makes for a total of 96 minutes, but that is very generous considering the re-runs, race stoppages and rides back to the top. In fact, they were 16 skiers in the U18 category racers either, so…


At the start before the Elimination Round


Maddie (left) is in a tight race in the Quarter Finals


Xavier in the Elimination Round

It was about 2:30pm when they got started and Calabogie doesn’t have any night skiing. To speed things up, the top 4 were getting ski-doo rides up the slope along the 21-25 seconds course. By the time everything was over, the chair was closed. The two 4 racers in the day would have done 8 runs in the course for a total of under 3 minutes in their day, but make no mistake, ski racing is tiring and the were some close calls and a few crashes. The course was pretty beaten up with 192 runs, but it would have been so much worse if it wouldn’t frozen solid in the morning and the temps would have closer to a typical St. Patrick’s Day.


Few racers still racing – coaches and racers waiting for it to end


Snowmobile rides for the racers


Chris racing in the Semi-Finals


B Final, to determine who will get the Bronze. Both skiers are tired at this point. Chris lose his pole at the gate above the jump.


Chris skiing without pole and glove.


Second run of the B Final. Eight run for both of them. The margin was tight, skiers tired. Chris was slightly ahead when his competitor crashed.

The family got a bunch of runs in, Morgane stayed at the start to encourage some of her teammates that made the elimination round. As for myself, I got 6 before the race and only 3 more in the next 6 hours. I might not have gotten many runs, but a did get many pictures from the kids from the team.

The St.Patrick Après-Ski was back in a Kanata restaurant with the kids and some of the kids and parents from the U12 Championship race at Ste-Marie. Celebrating an excellence an excellent season and the last of the early early morning wake up calls.


End of the day and the race season


U16 Podium

20130317_calabogie
Days’ Log

MadPat’s Gallery :
Calabogie Peaks – March 17, 2013 – U14 & U16 Dual

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