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Soft Opening

Winter kicked up several notches this week, with a sweet storm that is still dropping flakes and some truly cold temps forecast for the next 3-4 days. This combo is allowing us to quickly open new terrain at Lincoln Peak and to get ready for Mt Ellen's opening on December 22.  

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Recovery Return

Yesterday's warm weather and rain was a common early season setback, but it didn't erase all the natural snow, let alone the more durable machine-made layers. Looking ahead, we've got considerably colder temps and a few short shots of snow in the forecast. 

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Divided Sky

From deep winter cold and productive mountain squalls to sunny warm days and high-blowing winds, we've been in an active weather pattern recently. Today's forecast is illustrative of this trend, starting bright and calm with temps in the 40s and ending with clouds, temps in the teens and snow. 

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Top Turkey

With Thanksgiving only a few hours away, we're counting our blessings and carving tasty turns. Today marks a big jump in open terrain too, with top to bottom trails at Lincoln Peak. 

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Change Is

Some like to say that change is good or bad, but the most important thing to know is that change happens regardless of our perceptions. Change is. 

The big change this week is we're letting passholders get a sneak peek on the season tomorrow and Friday at 9AM is the official Opening Day for everyone. A nice run of record cold temps last week and continued cold have allowed to move up opening and make a ton of snow at both Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. 

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Conversion Conditions

Wintery temps have dominated this week and we've been converting large quantities of water and air into snow as fast and far as we can. I've seen 25 seasons start at Sugarbush and it seems like snow production is happening more quickly than ever before. 

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Temp Time

In case you missed it last Friday, we got our first real snow in the mountains, with a few inches falling at the summits. Even though October snow is usually ephemeral, there is something special about waking up to that initial fresh coating.  

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Peak Stick

This has been a very warm October, with summery temps even into this week. The heat did seem to delay the colors a bit, but it couldn't stop the change and we had some very bright trees and hillsides to peep for the last few weeks. As usual though, the transformation between peak foliage and peak stick seasons is the fastest one of the whole year. 

Not many people know about peak stick season yet, that's because it is a new phrase coined by Chef Adam of the Common Man. As an obviously under-appreciated time of the year, we're rolling with it and expect a very busy stick season. Make your reservations now. ;)

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Count Up

While we saw the first flakes and a rime icing at the summits Monday into Tuesday, we are enjoying another stretch of warmer than average temps and blue skies this week. The post-peak pleasantries have kept the views brightly colorful though and outdoor adventures are still great fun. 

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Peak Streak

After Community Day and the conclusion of summer mountain activities, there is a distinct turn towards winter in our work. But as the leaves light up the hillsides, autumn's apex continues. Outdoor adventures are still peaking in the Mad River Valley and even though the snowguns are set to run in less than 20 days, we're excited for a lot more fall fun. 

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Color Full

Although we are enjoying continued warm summery weather, autumn's culmination is here. Some have noted that the foliage seems muted this year, and there are certainly cool pockets, but even so, the colors are full in many places and there are plenty of sweet spots. The extended late heat saved a lot of gardens and farms, allowing corn, tomatoes and other crops to fully ripen, after June's cool rains delayed sprouting and early growth. Good blossoming in May and a sunny finish has also meant that the apple crop is legendary this year. Be sure to sample some of the harvest.   

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Leaf Line

The late hot spell has finally snapped, providing a nice cap to a summer that wasn't all that warm. We've still got a sweet forecast for the next 10 days or more, with some ideal early fall weather and only a couple chances for precipitation. One of those chances is early Saturday morning when temps are supposed to bottom out in the mid-30's in the Valley. Any self-respecting skier or rider knows what this might mean. The bathing suits are still drying on the rack and we're already looking at a little taste of winter at the summits.

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Fall In

Despite the continuing heat wave, summer officially ends today. The fall colors are right on time though and developing minute to minute. 

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Aug-tober

While the leaves won't peak for a few more weeks, the current mix of late summer weather and advance fall foliage is a pinnacle all its own. Meandering through the Mad River Valley right now is a treat for the senses, complete with vivid visuals, creaking crickets, autumnal aromas and full flavors. 

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Summer's Ghosts

The spiritual end of summer is Labor Day, but the ghosts of warm weather, wildflowers and garden harvests are still sneaking around. The rivers, ponds and lakes haven't even gotten super cold yet. Well, they aren't any colder than they normally are. Some of the shady tributaries still feel like snowmelt in the middle of August. 

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Tipping Point

Based on the amount of early foliage we have already and a steady supply of chilly mornings, summer seems to be quickly turning towards autumn in the mountains. We've got frost warnings for tonight and the summits may see their first rime coating since April. 

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Show Time

With lots of sunshine, pleasant humidity and prime conditions, our summer show is culminating right now. Soon, we will only have a quick September encore before fall returns to the stage. 

Aside from all the current fun, we are also hard at work prepping for the winter run. For all the latest updates on lifts and the new RFID gates, click over to What's New in 2017.

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Delicate Flowers

For me, much of this summer has been centered around helping and watching our two daughters grow into big strong girls. These "delicate flowers" prefer their feet in the dirt and faces in the sunshine. Mom is a great role model and they have spent time at Sugarbush adventure camps learning new skills from the women coaches. Even at only 3 and 5 years old, they are tough and capable in ways that continue to amaze us. 

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Summer Song

Sets of wildflower waves break in the fields, tall grasses are going to seed and precocious foliage accents the hillsides. The golden glow of late summer's song is upon us.

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August Company

August is good company for the soul, full of heavy garden harvests, fruitful foraging, prime summer adventures and the clear knowledge that September's changes are just around the corner. A few trees have even started changing, early heralds of autumn.

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