Stoke Exchange

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Stoke Exchange

Challenge Is

As we enter the ides of March 2020, the saying "When the going gets tough ..." seems to reverberate. Both global events and local conditions have recently added challenges to our lives. 

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Stoke Dividends

The Sugarbush community is full of people who share incredible levels of stoke, but there is one group that consistently outperforms the rest, the High Fives Foundation and their partners at VT Adaptive Ski and Sport. Last Thursday was a wild weather day, with rain changing to snow, high winds and dropping temps. Visibility was challenging, the turns were less than consistent and the wind was shutting down lifts.

Still, the High Fives and VT Adaptive teams were whooping it up on every run like it was a sunny powder day. Perspective can be a powerful teacher and trying to see the world through different eyes often brings new wisdom. Smiles yield large dividends for both investors and investees, more than doubling the initial inputs on a regular basis.   

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Mid-Winter's Day Dream

When you close your eyes and the visions that come are not as good as the reality you just left, you may have been here. We've been floating in a dreamy mid-winter reverie, with fresh snow every few days and brilliant sunshine in between the storms. 

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Adding Up

A sweet storm cycle that started last week has continued to drop new snow almost every day and we're excitedly adding up the fresh inches. As you may know, we typically get more snow after February 15th than we do before. With 121" on the books for Winter 2019-2020 already, here's hoping for 150" before the lifts shut down in May.  

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Storm Cycles

We're on the cusp of a potentially sweet, long duration storm cycle. Snow has already started to fall and there are 14-26" in the forecast through Friday night and the weekend looks sunny and cold. With this in mind, the Stoke is going out early this week. First to make sure you have time to get here for the fun and second to make sure tomorrow is dedicated to capturing blizzard pics and video to share. If you can make it for the late mid-week, storm turns are among the best, as each run can be fresher than the last, especially with 1-2" an hour predicted for Friday. 

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Cold Fire

After a sweet stretch of snow earlier this week, the sun has been pouring cold fire on us for the last couple days. The combination of fresh accumulations and bright blue skies is hard to beat and our smiles reflect the beauty that seemly fills the air.

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Winter Wanders

Winter has wandered a few times this season, but seems to have returned for a good stretch. The new snow last week brought back a lot of natural snow trails and conditions are quite good on-piste. Another shot of precipitation is predicted for the weekend and we're heading in the right direction. With the return of snow, we've been wandering again too. The hike to Castlerock is a great adventure and one of the best ways to experience this legendary locale. 

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Community Spirit

Before we get started, it is snowing again, the mountain looks beautiful and we have another storm coming this weekend. Now, onto this week's Stoke ... One of the things that has kept me in the Mad River Valley and at Sugarbush for so long is the awesome community and our unshakeable optimism, even in the face of tough challenges. Last weekend's warmup/meltdown was one of those problem periods, but it did not dampen our spirits. 

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Aqueous Sunshine

The story of this winter has been one of ups and downs. Just when conditions become super, we get a souper soaker, sorry, base consolidation event. We've gotten lucky with the warm-ups though and most of them have been less dramatic than predicted. The rebounds have been strong too, with quick cover replacing the refrozen. This week has been incredible, with lots of powerful squalls filling in the gaps and letting us get to 100% open. 

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Starting Strong

As we head into this new year, we're feeling grateful for everything that 2019 brought us and excited to start 2020 with a strong push. Looking outside, Mother Nature and our snowmakers have been conspiring to quickly rebound after last week's warmup.  

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Snowspeak

While the theory hasn't been proven yet, there is evidence that the more words for snow a culture has, the more advanced it is. With this in mind, we've been working on our snowspeak vocabulary.

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Merry MEllen

Merry MEllen and happy Solstice! With Mount Ellen (aka the MEllen, Sugarbush North, etc) and winter officially arriving on Saturday, we're deep in celebration season.

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Reconstruction Functions

If you missed the skiing and riding late last week, we apologize for these images. The lake effect machine turned on and it didn't stop snowing for several days, culminating in a powdery paradise through the weekend.

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Snow Day

Sometimes, it's the sneaky storms that get you, like today. We had been enjoying sunshine and good training conditions this week, with a little snow to keep things nice too. Temps were decent for snowmaking, but nothing new had opened until this morning. A few flurries overnight turned into 3-5" and all the little previous accumulations added up to a decent base.

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Mountains of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for today, including fresh snow, lots of friends and family, spinning lifts and a great mountain to play on. 

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Over Time

Good day, fellow Sugarbushers. The news of our sale to Alterra yesterday has been reverberating through the community. Win was visibly emotional during the employee presentation and received a heartfelt round of applause from the assembled group for his contributions and commitment to the mountain and the Mad River Valley. 

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Soft Fall

Snow is softly falling this afternoon at all elevations, watching the flakes float is still magical. Snowmaking started yesterday and with even colder temps ahead, we're aiming for a new Gate House-first opening plan.

The Halloween storm thoroughly stripped the remaining foliage from the trees and we are in full peak stick season. The views are long and the underlying terrain is well revealed. Speaking of storms, check the forecast. Winter appears to arrive in force. Is five days out too early to mention a potential 10"? Probably. 

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Ode to Stick Season

Now that we've passed peak foliage (and what a peak it was!), we get to a period that does not get proper respect. Of the two extra seasons we get in VT, mud and stick, I generally prefer stick. Sure, new spring growth and warmer days are exciting, plus the skiing is generally better in April than October, but crisp blue sky mid-fall days and the potential for snoliage are pretty compelling. 

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Fall Flames

The cool flames of fall are burning brightly in the Mad River Valley, lighting the ridges and hillsides with broad splashes of color. Upper elevations are approaching peak, while the valley floor still has some nice mixed greens. 

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