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2000-2001: the good old days?

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jamesdeluxe
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 2:36 PM GMT

While looking through the NY Times archives this morning, I found this article about the NE's last truly outstanding season.

Snow Outlasts Skiers On Slopes in Northeast

By JANE GOTTLIEB
Published: April 14, 2001

Snow is a terrible thing to waste.

After struggling through winters when the snow never came and winters when it came and retreated by Lincoln's Birthday, the Northeast ski industry has been hit with an entirely new form of torment: snow that will not quit even though the skiers have.

''You can't win,'' said June Brinkman, director for marketing and sales at the Hunter Mountain Ski Bowl. ''Last spring was nuclear spring. Starting March 1, we lost trails like crazy.

''This year, we're working on a 15-foot base. We haven't made snow since the third week of February. But we're not getting the skiers. They're renting houses in the Hamptons. They've put away their skis.''

With New York City enjoying spring weather, most ski areas that draw heavily from metropolitan New York will be calling it a season by Sunday, though the mountains of New York, Vermont and Massachusetts remain sealed in acres of snow with the potential to provide two more months of blissful skiing conditions.

Today, the snow at Hunter lay smooth like a new floor covering. It coated the woods instead of leaving off abruptly at the trail's edge, a sure sign that it had fallen from the sky and not been shot from a machine. In another April anomaly, the 40-to-110-inch base was sufficient to keep all 47 trails open. There were no bare spots; no slush. The sun shone. It was almost too much to bear.

''This is a nightmare,'' said Bill Keyser, 48, a Hunter regular from Lake Katrine in Ulster County who gazed wistfully from the Catskill Mountain summit. ''They're going to shut us down. I've skied here 30 years and I've never seen snowpack this deep. We should be skiing into May.''

The book is closing on what will be remembered as a spectacular season, when the snow arrived early, skipped the usual thaws and freezes and kept piling up long past the point anyone had a right to expect.

In the Green Mountains of Vermont, where Killington Resort reported 120 inches in March alone and Mount Snow racked up 44 inches in 10 days, snow banks still meet the rooftops. Street signs and ground-floor windows remain hidden.

But the skiers of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have proved fickle, turning their attention to gardens and golfing.

''It's hard to imagine that the snow is still good when we're going out in T-shirts and shorts,'' said Nancy Held, a mother of three from Fairfield, Conn., who skied a good deal in southern Vermont over the winter.

''It's getting warm enough where we have to start moving on our lawn. We have to start picking up the debris from the winter and putting fertilizer and seed down.''

And so goes to ruin one of New England's most precious crops. Mount Snow, Vermont's southernmost resort, closes Sunday, though decks are still collapsing under the weight of snow and snow plows are still seeking out places to put it all. Even in March, a bonanza month for snow, requests for house rentals slowed down, bed and breakfasts closed and the mountain's usually bursting parking lot has been half empty.

''It's been many, many, many years since we've had this much good snow this late,'' Sharon Ray, who runs a welcome center for the Mount Snow Area Chamber of Commerce, said earlier this month. ''But it's just the local people and season pass holders who are skiing. Tourists aren't coming.''

The bounty has inspired a few southern New England areas -- Sugarbush and Okemo Mountain Resorts in Vermont and Jiminy Peak in Massachusetts -- to hold on a bit longer.

But only Killington, upholding its tradition of running later than any other resort, will keep going until the snow leaves. Blessed with 315 inches this season, with up to 9 feet still covering the ground, the mountain's operators hope to stay open well into May or even June. Even there, interest is wearing out among the people who live off the snow as well as those who usually live to cut through it.

''Just last week we were expecting a northeaster,'' said Patrick Ruben, 29, the executive chef of the Birch Ridge Inn near Killington. ''It missed us and if it had hit, there would have been another three feet of snow. Everybody who moved to the area because of the snow and whose livelihoods depend on it was saying, 'Not another storm!' They're tired of it.''

In New York's Adirondacks, snow cover forced the postponement of the trout season and an annual bass tournament. Near Lake Placid, Whiteface Mountain, buried under eight feet of snow, decided to remain open weekends into next month. But that is partly because there is not much else for people there to do.

''At this point in the game there are not a lot of other jobs our maintenance staff can get into,'' said Bruce McCulley, the assistant manager.

But at Hunter, the roughly 500 skiers still coming each day are not enough to justify keeping the 400 employees on the payroll, said Ms. Brinkman, who repeats this many times a day to the die-hards who call, send e-mail and visit, begging for compassion.

There is more than enough discontent to go around. ''We had to shut down a trail last weekend,'' Ms. Brinkman said. ''A bear came out of his den and was totally confused. He was looking for something green to eat and all he saw was white, and everyone was watching him as he slipped on the hard-packed snow. He certainly feels it is time to move on.''




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NY Ski Magazine: mag.NYSkiBlog.com
snoshredder21
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 2:53 PM GMT

hey it was 01-02, not too long ago, it could be like that again

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NJSchoolOfArchitecture
uppernotmaster
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 3:04 PM GMT

& you can all thank me for being the "sacrificial lamb" that year.

I tore my ACL in January. Then it snowed, snowed, & snowed some more.

The day of my surgery I had to call the hospital to see if they'd still be able to get there to preform my operation due to the pending blizzard.
I think we ended up with like a 40" storm total @ my place in VT.

My friends never remind of that year. Thanks for bringing it up yet again James.
MikeTrainor
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Danvers, MA



Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 3:24 PM GMT

I remember that year in college I had the ASC college pass and skied every weekend plus at least one weekday every other week. I also remember being up at SugarBush and getting a huge dump late in March, overall a great year!
4aprice
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 5:14 PM GMT

You have to feel sorry for the ski resorts but on the flip side thats why I love to ski in the spring(March/April). The 2004/2005 season I skied Camelback PA closing day (last wkend in March). You could have skied in the woods there was so much natural snow on the mountain. I've always felt that once you got by Presidents week the crowds just go away. Nothing beats deep snow, blue skys, no lines and tanning on the chair and apres ski on the deck. While I like to help the ski areas anyway I can I'm reluctent to tell most people what their missing.

Alex

Lake Hopatcong, NJ
joshua segal
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 5:34 PM GMT

That season, there were huge whales at the top of many trails at many areas that were intended to be groomed into the late season barespots. Most melted away without being used.

April 4 at Sugarloaf that year goes down in my memory as one of the 10 best days of skiing in my lifetime. The snowfields were fully open, bumps for all abilities. The temperature was warm, but cool enough that the snow didn't get heavy.

Everybody who loves (or used to love) May at Killington had high hopes for June skiing that year. Unfortunately, an extended heat wave in early May took away almost 14 feet of base on Superstar and they failed to make it, even to Memorial Day.

To James Deluxe: Thanks for opening this thread and bringing back some good memories.

__________
Joshua Segal
Jimme
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 5:56 PM GMT

Quote:
& you can all thank me for being the "sacrificial lamb" that year.

I tore my ACL in January. Then it snowed, snowed, & snowed some more.

The day of my surgery I had to call the hospital to see if they'd still be able to get there to preform my operation due to the pending blizzard.
I think we ended up with like a 40" storm total @ my place in VT.

My friends never remind of that year. Thanks for bringing it up yet again James.


After 20 years off skis I started again and thought that I was an EPIC year! Broke my leg March 25th and had to sit out the Spring skiing too. Who knows if we'll see a Winter like that again, but at least I got to enjoy most of it.

__________
"I am where I am today, because this is where I got myself."
nelsap
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Saratoga Springs, NY


Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 7:20 PM GMT

All that snow must have been due to global warming

Jeremy

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Jeremy Davis
professor
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Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 8:00 PM GMT

The Middlebury College Snowbowl hosted the NCAA's that year. They had so much fresh snow that they had to plow the snow OFF the trail in order to set up a skiable race course/
riverc0il
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Ashland, NH



Posted: Sep 26, 2006 - 9:30 PM GMT

i was unemployed during the latter half of the winter of 00-01. i skied a wonderful four times that season. often times i am glad i can not remember that season much because i don't know what i am currently missing!

__________
TheSnowWay.com
Betsy
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Burlington Area, VT



Posted: Sep 27, 2006 - 12:44 PM GMT

That was the year I skied Burke on closing day (Apr 1 I belive) and there was over a 5' base. That was a great year....

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