Happy boarders at Mount Sunapee. (Mount Sunapee)
One of the absolute best reasons to rise and shine early for your trip to the mountains is the sweet reward of laying down some tracks in freshly groomed corduroy. The zip of your edges into those fine lines makes the first turns of the day often the most satisfying. While finding a powder day is never guaranteed, these resorts are known for their grooming finesse. So grab your coffee, boots and boards and head out for first chair.
Mount Sunapee runs all four of their grooming machines during two eight-hour shifts every day. The first shift grooms from 4:00pm until midnight and the second shift grooms from midnight until 8:00am. When combined, their grooming team has over 124 years of experience.
While Utah is famous for its featherlight powder, Deer Valley is also known for its impeccably perfect grooming. Its Mountain Operations team has long held the belief that if it isn’t a bottomless powder day, you may as well be carving down the most velvety groomer you’ve skied in your life. Deer Valley’s team deploys a crew of 50 people every night, who spend 17 consecutive hours over the course of two shifts to manicure the mountain’s groomed runs and prepare them for the next day of skiing.
Odds are great that if you hit any one of Bretton Woods' 62 trails, the grooming will be impeccable. Look for great first tracks on West Mountain's Waumbeck and Starr King, or start your day off right with a zoom down McIntire's Ride for a short but steep thrill.
Sunday River is famous for its crisp, straight, Zen garden-like corduroy. It’s reliable. It’s grippy. It’s a way of life that Sunday River fans have come to know, love, and expect, day after day. And it’s entirely due to a small, dedicated crew of totally awesome guys and some really big machines.
The grooming is in keeping with Beaver Creek’s first-class reputation, and you can even ensure you’re the first ones to slide down the mountain for the day. Enjoy panoramic mountain views while carving your way down a pristine canvas of groomed corduroy. With First Tracks, your adventure begins at 7:30 a.m. at the base of Centennial Express lift. Ski the mountain’s flawlessly curated slopes and then relax over breakfast—all before the resort opens for the day.