Last week I posted about my plans to head out on a ten day, ten mountain road trip throughout New England. Just four women, loads of gear, and a desire to ski ourselves into puddle of fleece, Gore-Tex, and merino wool.
And now, at last, it’s here. Today is Day One.
Here we are, getting ready to go:
The first stop: Mount Snow, an hour and change down the road.
To be honest, I’ve long had a bad feeling about Mount Snow. About 15 years ago, I had a pair of skis stolen from the lock-up room at a nearby inn. It wasn’t even at the mountain, but the whole thing somehow tainted my Mount Snow experience. I know, ridiculous. it wasn’t even the mountain’s fault. But there it is.
Today it was time to let bygones be bygones. Forgive and forget. Lay this 15 year old grudge to rest.
I can’t think of a better way to do that than with a great ski day. And that’s exactly what we had.
Yes, it was c-o-l-d. The temps when we left this morning: about 9. And on the hill, with the wind chill, -19°F . But did we let that stop us? No. We Divas are a hardy sort. Nothing was going to get in the way of our fun.
As the most southerly large ski resort in Vermont, Mount Snow gets a lot of skiers coming up from the south. They just sort of pass the state line and stop. So there are often plenty of people from New York, Connecticut, and the Mid Atlantic. During holidays and weekends, it can be awfully busy. Luckily, we scheduled it for the day after Martin Luther King Day. So it was pretty empty.
Here are some Mount Snow stats:
Total Acreage: 588
Base Elevation: 1,900’
Summit Elevation: 3,600’
Vertical Drop: 1,700’
Total Lifts: 20
Tree Terrain Acreage: Available on all four mountain faces.
Ability Level: 15% green circle, 70% blue square, 15% black diamond
Things have changed a lot since the last time I skied here. Peak Resorts acquired the mountain in 2007 and invested nearly $10 million into upgrading its snowmaking system, installing 253 high output/high efficiency fan guns throughout the resort – the most fan guns in North America. This is very important, considering the fickle New England weather.
But we were lucky. Ullr dropped a few inches of freshies on the mountain, so we had pretty nice conditions.
And even though it was cold, we were pretty well protected. Mount Snow has a lift you can fall in love with: the Bluebird Express. This is a 6-pack chair that has a plastic enclosure, or bubble, to keep out the wind. In short, it has all the advantages of a gondola, without making you take off your skis. It was amazing. With the wind chill in the negative digits, it made a world of difference riding up the lift.
Here’s a pic of us in the bubble (that’s me in the face mask. Yes, it was that cold):
We skied the groomers off the Bluebird and Canyon Express lifts, the bumps off the Challenger.
We shredded all the gnar there was at Mount Snow (except for Rip Cord, which looked pretty nasty).
Tomorrow we move on to Sugarbush. And the forecasted high temp: 3 degrees.
You gotta be tough to ski in New England.
The Safari is off to a good start.