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Century Celebration - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Despite below zero temps earlier this week, we seem to have finally begun crossing into spring. Looking back on the season, several notable occurrences jump out, but one of the sweetest is Castlerock celebrating 100 continuous days of operation today. With the snowpack still near peak levels and no heavy meltdowns in the forecast, chances are good for a couple more weeks of our choicest natural snow terrain. 

Castlerock opening day. Dec 11th, 2014.
Castlerock opening day. Dec 11th, 2014.

We are harvesting some sweet spring corn now, but there were still pockets of powder up until yesterday. More snow is expected to fall tonight and temps should keep it dry through the weekend in the north-facing upper elevations. 

Spring is springing, but winter still wants to stay.
Spring is springing, but winter still wants to stay. 3/24/2015

The spring event season is rolling fast and this Saturday marks the return of Pond Skimming, Sugarbush's most famous vernal passage. Chez Henri is commemorating their 50th anniversary starting today and running through Sunday, with parties, movies, races, contests and lots of great food and beverages

Pond Skimming is this Saturday!
Pond Skimming is this Saturday!

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Vernal Equilux - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The other day, I was pondering the upcoming vernal equinox, the official beginning of spring. The root "nox" means night, which seemed a little glass-half-empty, especially after a long cold winter. Why is the focus on dark instead of light?

Winter is hanging tough at Sugarbush. Yesterday's powder.
Winter is hanging tough at Sugarbush. Yesterday's powder.

From there, it was just a quick jump to "equilux" and what feels like a much brighter celebration. If you agree, feel free to share a little spring light tomorrow. Cold days persist, but the sun is much stronger now and even late arctic blasts tend to bend before its higher heating power.

Beautiful morning!
Beautiful morning! Hello, Sun.

Winter may be passing, but we've got more than a month of great turns ahead. We'll likely get a few more chances for powder runs too. Saturday's warm-up temps in the base should barely pass the freezing point, so any precip that falls will probably be mostly snow on the mountain. The forecast says no real accumulation, but spring storms often have extra energy. The 8 inches we got this week was not in any meteorologist's report. 

MEllen ball.
MEllen ball.

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Mountain Mantras - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The sweet 2015 dry snow run was interrupted by a few warm days this week, but conditions are still way above average and cover remains strong. The last thaw was during the December holiday week, more than 2 months ago. An inch of snow and few nice squalls this morning have made conditions better than they should be after a melt-freeze cycle. 

You have to go to know.
You have to go to know. Today's fresh inch.

The warm days were a reminder that winter is not forever and that change is inevitable. Mountain mantras like these can help make peace with the transitions and maximize what is left of our favorite season.

Make syrup while the sun is shining.
Make syrup while the sun is shining. Sugaring Time Festival is this weekend!

Remember, the most important turn of the day is your smile.
The most important turn of the day is your smile.

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March Music - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sugarbush is nearly at 200" of snow for the season and to put us over the top, hopefully March provides its traditional lion's share of powder. While the amount of snow we have gotten already is impressive, the cold temps have really kept this incredible winter waltz turning.

Egan dancing with a drift in Slide Brook yesterday.
Egan drumming a drift in Slide Brook yesterday.

The powdery promenade has us cutting rugs all over the place, yielding turns in rarely-filled lines. If you've been aspiring to hit new places, better get to them soon, the mountain music may pause at any time.

The 18th Annual Castlerock Challenge is this Saturday!
The 18th Annual Castlerock Challenge is this Saturday!

The 18th Annual Castlerock Challenge legendary Liftline course is in good condition, with plenty of rock and roll to keep competitors honest. Check out the best spectating spots on Hi/Low and Troll Rds. 

Coach Ethan practicing his ice dancing.
Coach Ethan ice dancing, with a lot of planning and safety prep.

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Wind Fall - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The past week has been a little below average for this winter's frenetic flaking, with just 9" instead of our usual foot to 2 feet. You wouldn't necessarily notice it though, because the wind has been moving snow around the mountain, refreshing lines without new accumulations. If you know where to look, the string of powder runs has continued unabated. 

Yesterday in Slide Brook.
Yesterday. Coach Bob Dillon finding the goods blowing in the wind.

Consistently cold temps have kept the snowpack free from crusts and icy layers, yielding incredible cruising conditions everywhere the groomers have been. These trails don't seem to degrade much during the day either, just tip your boards on edge and carve right up to last chair.

Wide wale is always in fashion.
Wide wale is always in fashion.

Weekend events are going full bore, with Vermont Specialty Food Day in the Valley House Mushroom on Saturday, then the High Fives Fat-Ski-A-Thon at Mt. Ellen and the Mt. Dew Vertical Challenge at Lincoln Peak on Sunday. We'll have 3 live bands playing apres on Saturday too, including the Big Basin Band in the Castlerock Pub from 3PM - 6PM.  

Join us on Sunday for the High Fives Fat Ski-A-Thon!
Join us on Sunday for the High Fives Fat Ski-A-Thon!

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John Atkinson

About John Atkinson

Follow our own 'John of all Trades' as he explores and documents adventures in and around Sugarbush Resort and the Mad River Valley.

802-583-6534
jatkinson@sugarbush.com   

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