We headed over from Newport, VT, which took us about 1hr 20min. Most of the roads in the heart of the NE Kingdom do not have the best plow jobs. Some majored route #'s were still snowpacked from the snow a few days ago. Anyways, pulled into the parking lot on Monday AM which was nearly completely empty. As we went into the lodge (see photo below), there was literally not a skier there. This was 30-40 min after the mtn opened. At the ticket window, the seller jokingly said "we saved you guys a seat!". It was two for one day - so just $16.50 each!
All trails except the Notch, Glades, and Sanguinary (closed for snowmaking) were open and groomed. The grooming was perfect, that soft buttery kind of groomed snow. There were just 3 skiers that were there ahead of us. During the day, we saw no more than 20 skiers. Nobody ever passed us on the trails, nor did we pass anybody.
The trails are quite fun, twisty, and of good length for this 1000' vertical mountain. There are a few good drops but nothing terribly steep. The views of the Notch and hotel were nice. The two triples were running but not the summit double. I can hardly imagine a time when that double would also need to be run, as I doubt they would ever have a massive crowd here. The beginner triple is about 100' of vertical and replaced a T-bar several years ago.
After skiing, we visited the hotel, and saw the room where the first votes in the nation are cast every 4 years. The corny picture of me at the podium is below. Also on the way back, on Rte 105 in NE'rn Vermont, in one of those unincorporated townships that still exist, saw two moose!
The trail at the Balsams are really nice. Every time I have been there they have done an excellent job. If you ever get a chance, I recommend going back when Notch is open - it's a nice long, narrow and quite twisty trail (akin most to Balance Rock from Wachusett, but even narrower).
To make the same conclusion that you did, I have never seen the double run since the massive improvements to the mountain. The best part of these were the reallignment and regrading of Bungy for the triple. This decreased the grade from about 20% down to 10%, much easier for beginers! It is such a sad sight to see such a well-kept old lift no longer used.
Quote: "Also on the way back, on Rte 105 in NE'rn Vermont, in one of those unincorporated townships that still exist, saw two moose!"
Nice report, Jeremy. But I have a question that's a bit off topic. What's the plural of moose? Is it moose, meese, mooses? Or do I have to say "I saw a moose and then I saw another one."