Rating the 2016-2017 Season Versus the Last 10 Years

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  • NJSkiNJSki advanced
    Posts: 244
    I wonder how the ski areas are doing financially this year? I agree about it being inconsistent, and the cost of extra snowmaking, but, the holiday weeks/weekends seemed to be big money makers as opposed to washouts.
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    edited March 17 Posts: 236
    ski_it said:

    It can't be a good year if I have more days than Riverc0il. But he he has more pow days for sure.

    Of my ski days this season, they were almost all powder days and the majority of those are the boot to knee deep variety and quite a few deeper than that. So maybe not a lot of days for me this season, but the days I have skied have been amazing. Another foot of fresh at Smuggs yesterday on top of what they already had from the previous two days, absolutely unreal.

    And so few people enjoying it. I could understand Wednesday, maybe people were still digging out... but Thursday also dead and nearly ski on the lifts? After the biggest storm since VDay 07? I wonder if people will even come out this weekend? Or maybe getting drunk tonight is more important than cleaning up the leftovers...

    I'd be out there again today but I am pretty sore from the past two days. rickbolger says "how quickly we forget" but if you look back to my previous comments before the store, I believe I previously stated the season was already well above average due to the quality of good days in between the melt downs. 

    I guess this season can be summed up in that it was an almost epic season (with many epic days) for those that ski when it is good and don't ski or don't care to ski when it is bad and an atrocious season for those who are locked into weekends/holidays (though Christmas week was stellar) and want consistent snow all the time and don't care or aren't passionate about powder skiing, and for those that value quantity at a consistent but not epic level.
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    edited March 17 Posts: 956
    Now hold on a second, "mediocre" and "lame" may be understatements, "atrocious" is far too harsh!  Yes we had thunderstorms, tornadoes, 70 degrees and hurricanes...BUT we didn't have locusts.  THAT would be atrocious.

    Seriously now, even as someone who fits in to the "mostly weekends" I really don't want to complain, I've had close to 20 days so far here and there east and west, plus four days XC in New Jersey so no complaints.  Just comparing.

    And BTW I would be passionate about powder, if I had the skills to ski it!  
    ;))
  • bubblecufferbubblecuffer advanced
    Posts: 240
    I skied at Sunday River last Friday and then Wachusett yesterday.  Both experiences were stellar and considering it is mid March, I'd suggest this season's finale may end up being among the best in recent memory.  The only noteworthy warming in New England this week will be Tuesday, otherwise, cool and dry until next weekend.  This is going to lend itself to a nice extended season as the boiler plate underneath has yet to be scratched, and won't be scratched until significant warming occurs.

    I'd be happy to post a trip report and pictures from Sunday River and Wachusett if folks find it valuable. 
  • slathamslatham intermediate
    edited March 29 Posts: 86

    The problem with applying a generic rating this year is two fold:1) The good skiing was very "episodic" and more so than usual - there were times it was very good and even exceptional (think Stella), and there were times it was very bad, even exceptionally bad (think Feb meltdown); and 2) it varied greatly from the Catskills (more bad, less good) to Northern New England (more good, less bad). And of course the rating is very personal based on your actual on snow experience, as always.

    From a personal perspective, this was one of my best. I am currently tied with my all time high number of days of 28, all on East Coast (and I hope not done yet). I was able to hit good to great skiing over Thanksgiving, mid-Dec, Christmas, late Jan, early Feb, Presidents, Stella, and last weekend at Stowe. 8 legit 6"+ powder days.

    From a Southern Vermont perspective I would give this winter a solid 7. It would be higher if we didn't have the Feb melt, and it could still go higher if this weekend delivers (even though I won't get it) and April skiing turns out to be good.

    Although episodic, and the Feb melt hurt, one factor that is huge this year and is not often the case is that there has been good skiing starting in November and going right into (and likely through) April. Most winters, even some of the higher rated winters, often start late so early season is marginal and all we remember is that from Feb on it rocked.

  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 236
    Another +4-6" incoming this weekend. Maybe we'll get spring skiing eventually? In the meantime, here comes yet another powder day.


    \:D/
  • Posts: 1,798
    I would now consider this season a bit above average because of the amount of snowfall, but the extended thaw keeps it from the top of the list.
    - Sam
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    Posts: 956
    At this point I semi-retract my previous comments.  I have no clue how to rate this season.  


    ~:> ~:> ~:>
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,554
    Well, I take the highs of this season and average them with the lows. At this point I rate it as dead average (i.e. 6).  Let the discussion continue, but come June 1, we can each put in a number between 3 and 9 and the average will be where I place this season.  I can say for sure it is not 1 or 2, nor is it 10 or 11.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,554
    Seems like the April storm bumps the season for me to slightly above average - perhaps a 5.
  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    Posts: 103
    Wow another powder weekend for northern areas as we move into mid-April. Wish I could have been up at Jay! The pics were amazing. Also heard great reports from Cannon, Sunday River, Wildcat and others. This season keeps on giving. Has to be moving into top 3-4 of the past 10.
  • Posts: 1,798
    As of now I'd say this year is #3
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,554
    As we reach the end of April, the season, the fat lady is getting ready (for everyone but Killington).

    Talking to some Stowe regulars yesterday, they said that this might have been the best season ever.  Even after the late February melt-down, the stick at the top of Mansfield never went below 60".

    Given the strong April, I'm bumping the season to 4th at this point.  For the economics of the industry, a great April doesn't do much for the bottom line and it doesn't erase my memories of the bad January and the horrific late Feb./early March.
  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    edited April 28 Posts: 103
    I put this season at #3 out of the past 10. (I would also flip your existing #2 & #3 spots).

    #1: 2010-11
    #2: 2013-14
    #3: 2016-17
    #4: 2012-13

    That rating is based on my own experiences, but I have to assume this year was one of the best ever for ski area profits.  There were a few days were Loon, Cannon, Bretton Woods and others maxed out all of their parking by ~9am. It's the first time I've ever seen Loon directing people to park downtown Lincoln and take shuttles to the mountain. 
  • rickbolgerrickbolger expert
    edited April 28 Posts: 956

     bad January and the horrific late Feb./early March.
    how quickly people forget!  Mad River Glen was CLOSED mid season!!!

    Looks like a lot of the hyper-positive impressions are from folks who spend a lot of time a lot further north than I do.

    If this were a Colorado-centric group we'd be calling it best all-time.  A-Basin east wall opened a month ahead of normal.  This morning they have 5" fresh from overnight snow and it is 21 degrees F.  
    :-O :-O :-O :-O :-O
  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    Posts: 103

     bad January and the horrific late Feb./early March.
    how quickly people forget!  Mad River Glen was CLOSED mid season!!!

    Looks like a lot of the hyper-positive impressions are from folks who spend a lot of time a lot further north than I do.
    I didn't forget....I write it all down. And that's typical for MRG (maybe get some snowmaking?)

    Cannon was great. Sunday River was great. Loon was great. Early March was not horrific at all. The spring​ skiing has been some of the best ever. AND IT'S STILL GOING!

  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 236
    I lost a few vouchers at MRG because I didn't get there as often as I wanted to because of a few bad stretches. Still doesn't change the rest of the season for me... when it was good, it was epic. I'll go with third best in the past ten years.
  • lotsoskiinglotsoskiing expert
    Posts: 563
    I'd put it #6 in the last 10. It had its highlights, but on balance a second-rate winter in New England.

    Now in the Sierras it's a whole different gig...
  • Posts: 1,798
    I'd put it at third place based on the large amount of snowfall and how great conditions were in general. Jay Peak is still skiing on natural snow in glades and on some trails!
    - Sam
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited May 4 Posts: 1,554
    Summary as of 4/28/2017
    -----
    Cannonball 3
    Lotsoskiing 6
    NE13 3
    joshua_segal 4
    riverc0il 3
    slatham 4 (added 5/4/2017)
    ---
    Average 3.84 (rounding to 4)

    I'll update if necessary between now and Killington's closing and post the final "standings" then..
  • riverc0ilriverc0il advanced
    Posts: 236
    Regardless of where you rate the winter subjectively, from an objective perspective... you really have to be impressed with the snow totals this season. I'm not sure how far south you have to go to find a resort that had an average or below average snow total and many areas were 10-30% above average. Cannon is 40% over average. 
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,554
    riverc0il said:

    Regardless of where you rate the winter subjectively, from an objective perspective... you really have to be impressed with the snow totals this season. I'm not sure how far south you have to go to find a resort that had an average or below average snow total and many areas were 10-30% above average. Cannon is 40% over average. 

    My Stowe friends tell me the stick at the top of Mansfield was at 60" earlier this week.  As we have said, it has been a season of extremes.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    edited May 4 Posts: 1,554
    With Killington alone, the season summary:
    Disappointed that only 5 people weighed in (6 as of 5/4).

    2010-1: Good snow Xmas, MLK and pres. week. No January thaw to speak of.
    2012-3: While there was little snow in December and January, February and March were epic. The snow that did happen in December was right before Christmas week which was timely from an economic point-of-view. Same was true of the January snow with respect to MLK weekend. Although there was minimal early snowfall, there was a lot of good snowmaking weather in December. There were two nasty January thaws, but great mid-winter skiing right into April. Ski areas closing with 100% full-width open trails.
    2013-2014: The fact is, the season had a promising start, but two major meltdowns really put a damper on the season. Mad River Glen was all but shut down for a couple of weeks in January. January was unusually cold. We had a great Feb. vacation week, ending in a thaw that pretty much "firmed up" the surfaces followed by a major cold snap. The skiing in March was epic from Killington north and pretty good elsewhere. Superb skiing continued in April. Those in the Mid-Atlantic states might rate this season as #1.
    2016-7: Early season: Excellent, but only at Killington; Snowfall: Average to average plus; Economics: Excellent Christmas week both weather-wise and snow; MLK Weekend was excellent despite a generally poor January; February: Thru the 15th: epic; Presidents day thru Mar. 10 - gruesome, remainder of the season: Awesome
    2008-9: Early ice storm, superb Jan./Feb.
    2014-5: Early season: - No October skiing, but great from mid-November to mid-December; Christmas: Rain - pretty well killed the business for the week; January including MLK Weekend: Bad - not much snow, not much business; February: Unbelievably great snow, but record cold weather kept the crowds away; Late season was great with Killington going until Memorial Day.
    2007-8: Lots of rain and temp swings
    2009-10: slow start to season, early ending
    2006-7: Bad start; bad finish; good middle
    2011-2: After October blockbuster storm, almost no natural snow all season. While the skiing was adequate on snowmaking trails, natural snow glade skiing and other aspects of the sport that involved natural snow, never materialized
    2015-6: After a flurry of mid-October skiing at Killington and Sunday River, things went dead for 3 weeks or so. December was one of the warmest in history with almost no snowmaking opportunities.  Much of ski country did not even open until after Christmas. The absence of natural snow has minimized glade skiing. Mad River was open a grand total of 45 days and 1/3 of those were Practice Slope only.  Killington ran until May 29 despite receiving only 1/3 of its normal snow total. Most areas closed 2 to 3 weeks earlier than usual.  A few old timers remember seasons this bad but not in the last 10 years.
  • slathamslatham intermediate
    Posts: 86

    I'd like to add my 2cents to 2014-15. First off, at Bromley we had 6" of powder on MLK day after a good weekend (save Sunday afternoon as snow started as rain). FROM THE POINT UNTIL EARLY MARCH IT NEVER RAINED OR THAWED!!! 7-8 weeks with nothing but cold and snow, even if the total snow amounts were not huge, it was snow on snow on snow. I skied woods numerous times at Magic in February that were Rocky Mountain light and knee to thigh deep. That stretch of weather is just so rare in these parts.......

    I would agree that even with all the thaws and rain this year has to be in the top 5, maybe 4. Not 3. Even though for me personally when I got on the snow it was epic and turned into a record season.

  • CannonballCannonball advanced
    Posts: 103
    My ratings are mostly based on personal experience. However, I do try to be objective about the season vs just how much free time I had.  I know that Joshua and others base some of their rating on how profitable the season was (which is a fair rating).  So it's useful to know the that the Mt Washington Chamber of Commerce is saying the winter 2016-17 was the 4th best in the last 40 years.
  • joshua_segaljoshua_segal expert
    Posts: 1,554

    My ratings are mostly based on personal experience. However, I do try to be objective about the season vs just how much free time I had.  I know that Joshua and others base some of their rating on how profitable the season was (which is a fair rating).  So it's useful to know the that the Mt Washington Chamber of Commerce is saying the winter 2016-17 was the 4th best in the last 40 years.

    When seasons are profitable, it usually bodes well for more new lifts and new terrain for the next season, so yes,  I do look at profitability.  But as someone who pretty much skis every day in every condition, most of January and Presidents Day thru the first weekend in March was most influential in my not placing the season higher.
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