Just got back from skiing Stratton today with skisox34 (Ryan).
What we were expecting after the thaw:
1. Frozen granular and icy patches everywhere
2. Numerous trail closings
3. Overall bad conditions
4. Expected to ski til 1 at latest, cause thought it would be bad
What we actually got:
1. Midwinter groomed conditions with excellent edge to edge coverage. Snow conditions a mix of packed powder and loose granular
2. Barely any icy spots or frozen granular
3. Relatively comfortable temps
4. Most of the mountain open - and the closed trails being refurbished
5. Skied till nearly 3 - got in 27 runs and 32, 200 feet of vertical, most of this year!
To say that we were shocked with how good it was is an understatement! This was a serious thaw with temps there near 50, pouring rain, and high winds, and snow eating fog on Monday. Today was like it had never happened! Seriously!
I give Stratton mega kudos to recovering shockingly fast from a bad weather event. They were making snow on a few trails off of URSA later in the day - but believe it or not, the snowmaking was not really necessary.
A few trails were being refurbished and opened later - such as upper Kidderbrook. Upper Kidderbrook to Freefall was crusing corduroy heaven once it opened, super fast and fun.
If other mountains are doing what Stratton did, this weekend should be just fine.
Stratton definetly has the best grooming in the East, if not the entire country. They have truley mastered the technique of tilling the hard pack snow after rain events and makes the granular soften up. I'm sure today the snow is even better because of yesterday's snowfall, but the temperatures are brutal to withstand. In some places the highs at the bases may not see positive numbers.
Just got back from Stratton, conditions were to be as expected, but most of the snow that fell went in the woods, they did make alot of snow and it was packed hard powder conditions because of the temps, but very carvable. In some places on the sides of the trails had piles of soft snow. Under the Gondola line which was not running the snow was piled up there to, though I did see some rocks showing through. But all and all it was good, just to damn cold! We could only ski until 3 because it was so windy, -40 at the top when we left, -25 before, this is wind chill temps. The only reason I went was for my friend which was his first day,
We choose Okemo over Stratton today. While Stratton had new snow we figured the wind would blow it into the woods, but the glades would still be too icy. Like everywhere Okemo was cold (0 - 6) and windy. We were disappointed in the grooming, just barely edgable. I'm surprised people think Stratton does better grooming. But these few reports would indicate that, at least for these few days. The main reason we went there was we thought they'd have a bump trail back in shape. None were on the main face. They were making snow big time on two Jackson Gore mogul trails. We didn't go over there since their report indicated those trails were on hold. We ended early.
Posted: Jan 30, 2010 - 3:27 AM GMT
Edited: Jan 30, 2010 - 3:27 AM GMT
Interesting how a few changes to the SJ membership changes things. In the following thread http://www.snowjournal.com/page.php?cid=topic14923&start=2 we collective rated Stratton 16th of 16 among VT's 1000 foot plus vertical drop mountains and the kind of positive review of Stratton in this thread would have been improbable.