New England is made iconic in many ways including winding roads, covered bridges, and stunning foliage. What really stands out to most New Englanders is the infamous weather patterns. A snow day followed by a seventy degree day, or major rain events in January define the inconsistent weather we all experience here. The question is, how does the ski industry hold up even when snowfall is not guaranteed? With modern advancements in snowmaking, grooming, and mountain location can drastically improve the overall snow conditions on any given day.
There was once a time when resorts depended solely on Mother Nature to drop the white powder that we all know and love. Luckily with modern advancements in snowmaking, resorts are opening earlier and staying open later than ever before. It is common to see resorts like Killington and Sunday River to open as early as before Halloween and stay open until mid to late May.
Killington, VT opening day 10/18/19
Pat’s Peak in Henniker NH offers one of the most state of the art snowmaking systems in all of New England. With 450 hydrants, 370 snow guns, and miles of snowmaking pipes, Pat’s Peak offers 100 percent snowmaking covering the entire mountain.
The mountain has been committed to offering great quality snow since the late 60’s and continues to make improvements every season. What does this mean for your average skier or rider in the surrounding area? Even if there is no snow in sight in your hometown, chances are that Pat’s Peak is offering some of the best conditions in all of New England.
Pat’s Peak has been committed to offering great quality snow since the late 60’s
What better feeling is there than showing up early to your favorite resort to find perfectly groomed corduroy? There is no surprise to find out that hours of work go into the grooming and maintenance of trails at most major ski resorts. Beginning right after the lifts close, the grooming shift begins.
re-surfacing a trail after a fresh snowstorm can create perfect packed powder turns that leave perfect figure 8’s down the trail. New England is known for its firm and fast conditions (Ice Coast). This can cause trails to become rock solid and create difficult conditions for most to enjoy. Luckily, groomers can do a lot to soften conditions by tilling the surface to break up the hard snow.
Grooming staff are usually very meticulous and take a lot of pride in their work. Some mountains are so confident with their grooming that they offer a money back guarantee if their trails are not up to standard.
Get a better look at what goes into the grooming process here.
The western half of the continental United States has long been known to have the best in snow quality and quantity. Even though most of New England does not boast hundreds of inches of snow a year, there are a few mountains that get just as many fresh pow days. Only a few hours away from Boston, these following mountains will consistently offer some of the best conditions in the country, let alone the northeast.
JAY PEAK, VT
Annual Snowfall: 355 inches (29.6 feet)
Location: Jay, Vermont
Skiable Area: 385 acres
Annual Snowfall: 189 inches (15.75 feet)
Location: Carrabassett Valley, ME
Skiable Area: 1,240 Acres
Annual Snowfall: 250 inches (250 feet)
Location: Killington: Vermont
Skiable Acres: 1,509