Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Happy New Year to all our Sugarbush friends! I think the hornets predicted it perfectly. I must admit that a few weeks ago I was doubtful, but when the snow began just before the holidays and kept on coming, I became a believer. I cannot recall a better December. We were the first in the Northeast to be 100% open and that was prior to the big storm that hit right after Christmas. We have now received 131 inches of snow this winter. Since (as you probably know) February and March are historically the snowiest months here at Sugarbush, we are hoping to exceed our fifty-year average snowfall total of 269 inches this year.
While everyone was enjoying great conditions and our many holiday activities, we experienced a special treat. The moose that was first spotted on Castlerock on December 23rd made another appearance at the top of the Gate House lift on December 28th. He ran down Sunrise and stopped by the top of the lift, then meandered into the woods and stood there just a few feet from the trail. Patrol immediately isolated the area to keep guests at a safe distance, and we all watched him feed and rub his rack against a tree. In a short while, he wandered back onto the plaza, walked slowly up to Casterock Connection, and eventually made his way down until he turned up in The Orchard (the woods to a skier's right of Birch Run). It was an elderly bull moose and really a sight to see. He was definitely the largest moose I have ever seen, and his rack was enormous. While it was a thrill to see something as majestic as this moose, it is important to remember to give these animals a very wide berth if you encounter them in the forest. After seeing this bull on Friday, on Sunday morning we witnessed a cow moose wander onto Walt's Trail over at Mt. Ellen. As a safety precaution, Patrol closed Walt's and Semi Tough until she made her way up into the forest.
Our holidays here at Sugarbush had a lot more going on than just moose sightings though. In addition to fabulous snow conditions, many special events entertained all members of the family and culminated with a really beautiful fireworks display on New Year's Eve.
As we enter the new year, I would like to remind everyone of our First Timer to Life Timer program at Ski & Ride. This is a great opportunity to let your non-skiing friends know about. For only $255, they get equipment rental plus three two-hour lessons and a season pass upon completion of the program. So far, we have had 86 people complete this First Timer program. It is wonderful to watch their enthusiasm after the third day of lessons and it is great to know that they have become devotees of the sport we all so enjoy.
Let me close this message by thanking everyone who visited us over the holidays. It was our best Christmas week ever. We had a record number of skiers here on Friday, December 28th. With our new lodges and vast mountain terrain, Sugarbush handled the crowds well. For those who endured the holiday traffic coming and going, once you got on the lift I hope that you found the experience as enjoyable as I did.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you very often throughout winter and I am hoping that February and March give us their historical cumulative snowfalls.
PS. I just heard about another moose sighting this morning at the top of Gate House. Since I didn't see him personally, I am not sure whether it was the same one or a different one. Our lift ops supervisor, John Parsons, thought that it was a different moose. Perhaps it is the winter of the moose as well as the hornets!