Cooling off at Bromley. (Bromley/Facebook)
Pisten Bully representative Josh Nelson hands over keys to Cranmore's Ben Wilcox, Tyler Fairbank, Brian Fairbank, Rick Oaks, Glen Harmon and John Mersereau. (Cranmore/Facebook)
At a belated ceremony at New Hampshire’s Cranmore Mountain Resort, PistenBully New England Regional Sales Representative, Josh Nelson, handed over the keys to the first 600E+ in the East.
Thanks to a mix of natural and man-made snow, Sunday opens Nov. 23. (Sunday River)
A mild fall kept many Northeast skiers and riders fearing we might face another winter like last year, but the temps have dropped, snow has arrived and opening days are happening across the region.
A 2.3kW solar installation at Aspen Highlands ski patrol headquarters. (Aspen Skiing Company)
During the past couple of decades, a majority American ski and snowboard resorts have come to embrace that climate change is a reality – and a threat to their futures.
Evidence of resorts engaging the principles and practices that reduce fossil fuel use and carbon footprint can be found at many venues and in many ways. Low-energy snowmaking is spreading, as is on-mountain recycling, car pooling priority parking and biofuel use.
Here’s SnoCountry’s sampling of some of the green projects at U.S. resorts:
Sugarloaf. The northern Maine resort has gone all in to reduce its footprint, including revegetation to reduce erosion and composting at area restaurants that produces “black gold” soil used on the Sugarloaf Golf Course.
Cranmore. New Hampshire resort added its first electric/diesel groomer snowcat to supplement a fleet that has been burning biodiesel for a decade. New condo project will heat and cool with efficient electric pump systems.
Crystal Mountain. The Michigan resort got recognition for carbon-reducing LED lighting in parking lots, and its high-speed Crystal Clipper chair that runs solely on wind power credits.
Stevens Pass. All the lift cables at the Washington mountain are lubricated by non-petroleum castor oil, and management actively seeks out “green” vendors for its food and beverage services. Snowmobiles burn low-sulfur diesel, and operate as much as possible during off-hours.
Squaw Valley. Can’t buy bottled water at the California resort; instead, you can fill up water bottles at refill stations for free.
Aspen-Snowmass. The Colorado resort complex chose a political route in addition to e-efforts. Partnering with Protect Our Winters, all employees wear the organization’s patch, and resort officials lobby hard for local, regional and national climate change awareness and action.
The National Ski Areas Association lists 200 U.S. resorts that have signed on to its Sustainable Slopes program – and more than a dozen have received money for “green” projects through the program.
Tahoe’s Freakers Ball will have DJs, gogo dancers, laser lights, plus $10,000 in cash and prizes costume contest. (MontBleu Resort Casino Spa/Facebook)
While the snow starts to fall on the high ground – and the snow guns get fired up – there’s still a couple of non-winter celebrations to enjoy at mountain resorts, including favorite Halloween.
A number of resorts across the nation put up the haunted houses, game booths and scary rides in October to get the nerves on edge for the big night, Oct. 30.
Here’s SnoCountry’s list of a few hair-raising, scream-filled events at ski and snowboard resorts:
Lake Tahoe. The 38th annual Freaker's Ball, Lake Tahoe’s largest, oldest and most extravagant Halloween party, brings the wild with a four-ring costume circus under one room on Saturday, Oct. 29, at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa.
Nashoba Valley. The popular Witch’s Woods is open Thursdays through Sundays through Halloween at the eastern Massachusetts mountain. Admission ticket gets a ride on Haunted Hayride, entry into three haunted houses, and unlimited time in the Jack O’Lantern Jamboree and Horrorwood Chamber of Chills.
Cranmore. The Ghoullog has been going on in the Artist Falls Lodge for 10 years. Four “haunts” challenge with “chases through dark woods,” plus nighttime rides on a swing, zipline and Mountain Coaster. Runs weekend evenings through Nov. 5.
Bretton Woods. On Halloween weekend, the northern New Hampshire resort opens its Wicked Woods center for Halloween activities. Scheduled are costume parties for both young and old, game booths and annual Trunk or Treat Family Celebration.
Mammoth. Bring scooters, skateboards, roller blades or roller skates for an evening on Oct. 28 at Mammoth RecZone in Mammoth Lakes. Plenty of carnival games to play while circling the rink.
Copper Mountain. The Colorado resort combines Halloween scary fun with a fundraiser for a local infant with a brain tumor. Entrance fees donated to family – plus cover candy, games and freaky fun.
Hit high speeds on alpine coaster at base of Snowbird (Snowbird/Facebook)
Since the mid-1990s, summertime alpine coasters have sprung at winter resorts all over the country. The wind-in-your-face speeds, high-speed turns and mountain vistas mimic the sights and sounds what skiers and snowboarders feel during the snowy times.
Cranmore Resort has announced plans for a $50 million condominium and base area redevelopment that will provide ski–in, ski–out ownership at the base of Cranmore and in the heart of North Conway, one of America’s most dynamic ski towns.
As we celebrate the long-awaited return of winter in New Hampshire, the flakes are falling on more than just the ski slopes. For the full mountain resort experience, savor a jaunt through the woods on a traditional horse drawn sleigh ride, get your adrenaline rush on a zipline, or control your own speed on a mountain coaster.
As the kids make their way back to school, resorts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire are making preparations for the upcoming foliage season. Leaf peepers and thrill seekers still have plenty of time to enjoy the mountains as we wait for the snow to fly.
After a day of hiking the high peaks or kayaking a mountain river, a well-earned beverage is in order. Across the Northeast this summer you can find local ales worthy of a pilgrimage all of their own. Can you say road trip?
Ski and snowboard areas across the Northeast are gearing up with special deals for those who want to learn this winter. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month in January is a time when the snow sports industry offers attractive and affordable beginner programs for children and adults who can learn from a pro.
After all the great early snowfall this season, right now is the time to plan your last-minute holiday getaway. Although many lodging options may have been booked up months in advance, there’s still room at the inn for that perfect mountain winter retreat.
New Hampshire’s Cranmore Mountain will host Pink Friday on June 27 with discounted Mountain Adventure Passes to benefit the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
It’s been said that if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. It is against that backdrop that Cranmore in New Hampshire and Camelback in Pennsylvania, will embark on significant capital projects that both can be termed transformational in nature.
The first major snowstorm of the 2013-14 winter season rolled through the Northeast this past weekend, dropping up to two feet of snow on ski areas from Pennsylvania through Maine.
“A lot of resorts in the Northeast have been investing capital in new snowmaking technology,” Mount Sunapee’s Bruce McCloy told SnoCountry.com. “This is a win, win, win proposition.
You just might fall in love with some of the deals awaiting you and your loved one in the mountains all across America. Here’s a sampling:
It’s almost 2013. Time to bring out the party favors and noisemakers to welcome in the new and usher out the old. Ski resorts nationwide are celebrating and inviting you and your family to join in.
Snow, cold temperatures and the hiss of snowmaking have returned to the Northeast this week as two of the largest resorts in New England have opened for the season.
Herbert Schneider arrived with his family at Cranmore Ski Area in North Conway, N.H., in 1939 when he was 15 years old. The skiing and community legend has died of natural causes at the age of 92.