Stoke Exchange
The Adventure Market Update

Winter Wonders

Thursday, February 2, 2012

All season, there have been news media stories of uncommon warmth and low snow, and interviews with frustrated skiers and snowboarders wondering where winter is. Apparently, these reporters are not aware of what's been happening at Sugarbush and in northern Vermont. They certainly have not been talking to anyone who skis or rides here regularly.    

Sugar Sherpas rip!
Sugar Sherpa Devon at Lincoln Peak this Tuesday. Winter wonderland video here. 

While the Wednesday warm-up continued a weekly trend, we've also had flakes falling every day since Sunday. Looking around at the natural snow trails and glades, coverage may be a bit thin, but what's there is coating most of the rocks and understory in a nice consolidated base. We are set up very well for when the usually big storms of February and March start kicking.

After a few days of soft turns, with lots of fresh powder on Monday and Tuesday, ungroomed terrain conditions are a little on the crispy side, while the groomers are still super sweet. Did I mention that we are 100% open?

Now is a great time to refresh your skis or board with a tune-up at the Farmhouse. Clean sharp edges and a flat base with a good mid-winter pattern can make a huge difference in how much fun you have on the mountain, even in powder. Frankly, well-tuned gear is safer too.

Liftline on Monday
Liftline on Monday. The Junior Castlerock Challenge, part of the Ski the East Freeride Tour, is Saturday!

This weekend is packed with events, including the JR Castlerock Challenge and the Main Event on Saturday. The Main Event is at Lincoln Peak this year, just above Valley House Lodge. There are some HUGE jumps and cool features being built. Be sure to check it out!

The Main Event
Big air at last year's Main Event.

On Sunday, we will be hosting the US Ski Mountaineering Association Dynafit Randonnee Race from Mad River Glen to Sugarbush. This event benefits the Green Mountain Club. Check out some video from last year's event.

Coach John Guardino getting a deep one on Birdland this Tuesday.

The course starts at the bottom of MRG climbs to the top on Lower Antelope and Antelope trails, goes across the Long Trail to Mount Ellen, down Lower FIS into Slide Brook, up to Village Run and Gate House, down Castlerock Connection/ Runout, up Header to finish on Coffee Run at the Valley House.

There are youth, recreational and pro categories, with prizes from Dynafit, Scarpa and Patagonia. Our Mountaineering Blazers will be competing again. Come cheer them on!

Leadership training with John Egan
Building snow caves with John Egan this week, part of the Abundance Leadership series.

When we talk about how good conditions really are at Sugarbush, some folks have expressed disbelief. How could it be? Regular natural snow combined with a great snowmaking and grooming have worked their magic. There is really only one way to find out though. You have to go to know.  We hope to see you soon.

John Atkinson

p.s. Winter's wonders aren't all snow-based either. The delight is often in the details.   

Winter scene

Fire on the mountain!


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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.



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