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Green Up - Sugarbush Stoke Exchange

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Many thanks to all our friends, passholders and guests for a great 2013-2014 winter!

Last weekend was bittersweet, with lots of smiling faces and fun runs, but always with the looming reality that the end was close at hand. Unloading at the top of the last liftride was poignant ... ready for seasonal changes, but also wanting to hold on to winter just a little longer.

This may be preaching to the choir, but skiing and riding are the greatest sports that humans have ever invented. We can go faster, jump higher and smile wider than any other mode of adventuring.

Looks like mid-April, not mid-May.
Looks like mid-April, not mid-May.

The epitome of it all, powder turns, are simply an insurmountable experience. Once you've tasted this fresh fruit, nothing else is as sweet and we can confidently say this as multi-sport connoisseurs.

We really look forward to summer fun too and appreciate everything that the Mad River Valley offers in the coming months. However, when push comes to love, deep snow and mountains always win.

We ended with 159 days of consistent top-to-bottom turns, with freestyle features in the ground from first chair to last chair. Our snowmakers, groomers and Sugarbush Parks teams deserve major praise for all their dedicated work.

While we were below average for total snow, we had some nice powder days starting in February and the long-lasting cold has preserved the base much longer than normal. 

The last turns were some of the best of the season.
The last turns were some of the best of the season. 

Frankly, few can remember another time this amount of snow has hung around so late. Usually, we have full leaves and flowers in the lowest reaches of the Valley by mid-to-late April, but things are just starting to wake down there. 

This past weekend, we had the most trails we've ever had in May, including a natural snow trail. Several diehards were even making turns in the upper mountain woods. New snow actually fell on Sunday, and it felt more like winter than spring.

The weather does look like it is turning a corner this week, though. Temps are finally pushing into the 60's and 70's, although the snow will likely linger in the mountains for a few more weeks.

Greening up at the Sugarbush Golf Club.
Greening up at the Sugarbush Golf Club.

The other foliage season.
The other foliage season, spring leaf-out.

Air Stein's.
Air Stein's.

Many thanks to Patrol for all their hard work. They are shoveling snow onto Ripcord to keep the dream alive.
Many thanks to Patrol for all their hard work. They were shoveling snow onto Ripcord to keep the dream alive.

Wow.
Wow. 

Coach Joey nailing his final rail of 2013-2014.
Coach Joey nailing his final rail of 2013-2014.

Into the unknown. Heaven's Gate on Sunday.
Into the unknown. Heaven's Gate.

Wall-to-wall on Ripcord.
Wall-to-wall on Ripcord.

Leaves are just starting to show below the mountains.
Leaves are just starting to show below the mountains. 

In transition.
In transition.

The lower elevation trails should dry enough this week to start opening them.
Some Mad River Riders' trails should dry enough to open this week. 

The fun nevers stops at Sugarbush and we have already begun transitioning to warm weather adventures. The Golf Club is open seven days a week, the low elevation trails will soon be open and the famous Waitsfield Farmers' Market kicks off on Saturday, May 17th.

While we love winter more than anything, spring, summer and fall in the Mad River Valley are truly special. From the verdant mountaintops to the clear waters of the brooks and streams, you'll understand why many people say, "We came because of winter, but stayed because of summer."    

John Atkinson
Chairman, Sugarbush Stoke Exchange
Staff PhotographerSnow ReporterCoach 

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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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