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Nice and Naughty

When a season kicks off as strong as this one has, experienced skiers and riders know to grab the turns when they are nice, because there is likely to be a payback period. Thankfully, the little naughties we've seen so far have been relatively minor and "good for the base." 

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Sweet Start

Early season turns tend to be limited to snowmaking runs and terrain opens as quickly as we can cover it. Mother Nature usually jumps in during December and we can start opening natural snow trails. This winter is different, though. 

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Heavy Lifting

When a sweet stretch of snow comes to an end, there is a common let-down and hope for a quick return to tasty turns. November set some impressive records and it was difficult to see the unfrozen precipitation dripping off the trees earlier this week.

Despite forecasts that suggested no real snow was going to follow the warm-up, we've seen several inches since Tuesday and conditions have bounced back pretty quickly. While the snowmakers and groomers are certainly doing their part, the rebound snow has been impressive. Typical of this part in the season, unexpected micro-storms are common, due to Lake Champlain being unfrozen, prevailing west-to-east winds and our mountains' heavy orographic lifting.

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Snow Fall

Yes, as hard as it is to fathom, it is still autumn. With the best November turns that anyone can remember, we can be forgiven for thinking it is mid-winter already. One of our long-term guests remarked today that we've had a season's worth of great days in the first 2 weeks. This is maybe a stretch, but the quantity and quality have been remarkable, especially for late fall.

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Open and Loading

Boom ... the wait is over! We're opening this Friday with Valley House Quad and hoping to greatly expand terrain and lifts for the weekend. Expect ungroomed terrain on Friday, with fresh corduroy planned for Saturday.

Winter was right on time this November, with lots of cold air for good snowmaking. Mother Nature has been adding significant accumulation to the mix too. We've gotten over a foot recently and there is more in the forecast. Opening Day may be a powder day, which is always a great way to kick off the season.

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Making Fun

Do you hear that quiet "sssscccchhhhhhhhhhhh" in the air? Music to your ears, too? Yes, Mother Nature's Helper got fired up last night! It might look like we're making snow, but at the core, that's the sound of fun being made. 

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Fall Back

Our early winter kept delivering October snow last week, with decent accumulations at higher elevations. While we are ready to roll right into the cold, November is fickle, the mercury is heading up and we're seeing warm temps to start the month. This has reset the snowmaking countdown, but we're still shooting for a November 17th Opening Day.

While fall is back for a few more days at least, it's time to enjoy the stark beauty of stick season. This is the best time of year for scouting ski and bike terrain, as the vegetation and foliage have settled down and you can see much more widely in the woods.

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Quick Change

The switch from peak foliage to winter can be a gentle slide, like last year, where it stayed warm and sunny into the beginning of November. That is not the progression we are currently experiencing. 

This fall has plunged into cold wet weather quickly, with a couple shots of snow and extended cool temps next week. While not a guarantee, this bodes well for snowmaking starting on-time November 1st and for meeting Opening Day plans for November 17th.

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Fall Flip

Thank you to the entire Sugarbush community for a great weekend of peak foliage, friendly adventures, celebrity celebrations and hearty harvest feasts. Hearing the old stories from some of the original folks who helped get the mountain rolling back in the day was a real highlight.

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Fresh Frame

While it is easy to appreciate the beauty of the Mad River Valley, particularly during this most colorful season, sometimes it takes a new perspective to remember just how special this place is. On Tuesday, we hosted a group of writers and photographers from TGR, Outside, Singletracks and others, showing them around the Valley's trails and highlighting a few special spots, like the Mad Taco and a sneak peak at the new Lawson's brewery complex. 

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Moving Balance

With leaves already changing minute to minute, the equinox falls on this Saturday, officially kicking off autumn in the northern hemisphere. Our most colorful moments are starting. 

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Highs to Lows

We're reveling in one last stretch of summery weather before this week's low temps become our high temps next week. The juxtaposition of seasons is wild, we are still swimming comfortably in the river now and it commonly snows for the first time about month or so from now.

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Fall Zone

We've been expecting summer's grasp to weaken for a couple weeks, but another heat wave has continued to keep things muggy. That's all changing today, with cooler air moving in right now. From highs in the 90's this week to the distinct possibility of frost on the summits Saturday night, we're ready for the fall zone. 

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Tipping Time

This week's late summer heat wave finally broke last night and deliciously cool air poured into the Valley on the tail end of the thunderstorms. We went from full sweat standing still yesterday to needing a light coat this morning. While the weekend looks super pleasant, the seasonal tipping time is close. 

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