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The latest news, deals, and events from ski resorts throughout North America.

Catskill Thunder Gondola Debuts At Belleayre

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Loading the new Belleayre gondi. (Belleayre/Facebook)

Skiers and snowboarders loading Belleayre's new 60-cabin Catskill Thunder gondola can now make it from the lower mountain's Discovery Lodge to the summit in seven minutes. The eight-person cabin can move about 2,000 people per hour, at a maximum speed of 1,000 feet per minute.

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Holiday Valley Boasts Improved Snowmaking, New Trails And Groomers

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Cruising towards the lodge at Holiday Valley. (Holiday Valley)

Western New York’s Holiday Valley has added to its automated snowmaking system, purchased two groomers, expanded the beginner’s area and accomplished a host of other projects for the 2017-18 winter season. 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Northern Pattern Shift

Whiteface

Whiteface Mountain on Thanksgiving week. (Twitter/Whiteface)

A changing weather pattern across the West will alter storm tracks across Canada, while several cold shots hit the East.

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Windham Invests In Keeping Winters Cold

Windham-Facebook

Looking forward to a white winter at Windham. (Windham/Facebook) 

New York’s Windham will be making and grooming snow more efficiently than ever with an increasingly automated snowmaking system and environmentally friendly grooming fleet, thanks to $2 million investments this year.

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Stella Drops Epic Powder Across Northeast

Stella Drops Epic Powder Across Northeast

Sunday River enjoyed a bluebird day in the wake of Stella. (Sunday River/Facebook) 

Northeast skiers and riders got their snorkels out in force this week, with Winter Storm Stella dropping as much as four feet of snow on the slopes. Winter is back and there’s going to be plenty of snow still to be found as we head in to the second half of March.


Here’s the rundown of snow totals from Stella as of 4 p.m. Wednesday for resorts that received two feet or more of new snow. Be sure to check SnoCountry’s latest snow totals to find the goods.

Jay Peak powder

Bolton Valley, Vermont picked up a whopping 45

Hunter Mountain, New York: 43”

Whiteface Stella

McCauley Mountain, New York: 36”

Stowe Stella

Belleayre, New York: 32”

Windham Stella

Big Boulder, Pennsylvania: 30”

Elk Mountain, Pennsylvania: 30”

Jack Frost, Pennsylvania: 30”

Middlebury Snow Bowl, Vermont: 28”

Smugglers' Notch Stella

Sugarloaf Stella

Sugarbush, Vermont: 27”

Mad River Glen, Vermont: 26"

Killington, Vermont: 26”

Mountain Creek, New Jersey powder seekers find 26” of new snow.

Pico Mountain, Vermont: 26”

Camelback, Pennsylvania: 24"

Woods Valley, New York: 24”

Bretton Woods Stella



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Buy Next Year’s Northeast Season Pass, Ski Now For Free

Buy Next Year’s Northeast Season Pass, Ski Now For Free

Ski now with your next year's season pass at Loon Mountain. (Loon/Facebook)

With Winter Storm Stella bringing March snow across the Northeast, skiers and riders aren’t ready to put away those boards just yet. Many resorts are now offering 2017-18 season passes at their lowest prices, and each of these resorts are also throwing in free lift access for the rest of the season.

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Whiteface, Gore, Belleayre To Go 100 Percent Renewable

Whiteface, Gore, Belleayre To Go 100 Percent Renewable

Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are the first Eastern resorts to partner with The Climate Reality Project I AM PRO SNOW Project. (Whiteface/Facebook)

On the heels of announcements for $28 million in investments at Whiteface, Gore and Belleayre, the three New York-owned ski resorts have pledged to be powered by 100 percent renewal energy by 2030, joining The Climate Reality Project I AM PRO SNOW 100% Committed campaign.

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$8 Million In Upgrades Coming To Belleayre

$8 Million In Upgrades Coming To Belleayre

Belleayre Mountain is just hours from New York City. (Ryan Lennox)

On the heels of last months’ announcement that New York will be investing in Gore and Whiteface, the state now plans to invest an additional $8 million for upgrades at Belleayre Mountain.

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Okemo's Got A Deal For Northeast States

Okemo's Got A Deal For Northeast States

Okemo puts skiers and riders in a savings “state” of mind. (Okemo)

Everyone likes to get a good deal on skiing and snowboarding, and Vermont's Okemo Mountain Resort is offering substantial savings for residents of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania when they visit on specific midweek days this winter.


Okemo’s Wonderful Wednesday and Sunday Solutions lift-access deals have been so well received by Vermont and New Hampshire residents, Okemo has extended similar state-specific offers for the residents of some other neighboring northeastern states as well.

Vermont and New Hampshire residents who can show proof of full-time residency can continue to take advantage of special lift access pricing on Sundays (excluding Feb. 19) and Wednesdays (excluding Feb. 22). They can ski or ride from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sunday mornings for $39. Young adults and seniors pay $36, and juniors and super seniors pay $32. Sunday afternoon lift access, from 12:30 to 4 p.m., is $34 for all ages. Lift access on Wonderful Wednesdays is just $45 for all ages and the half-day rate (starting at 12:30 p.m.) is $34 for all ages.

Okemo Superpipe

Full-time residents of New York and Pennsylvania who visit Okemo on Tuesdays for the remainder of the season (excluding Feb. 21), can purchase a full day’s lift access for just $59.

Full-time residents of Connecticut and New Jersey who visit Okemo on Wednesdays for the remainder of the season (excluding Feb. 22), can purchase a full day’s lift access for $59.

Full-time residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island who visit Okemo on Thursdays for the remainder of the season (excluding Feb. 23), can purchase a full day’s lift access for $59.

This special price is valid for all ages. Proof of residency in the form of a valid driver’s license must be presented at the time of purchase. Minors must be accompanied by an adult with proof of residency.

Okemo also offers lift access discounts for full-time college students, active members of the military and as part of ski-and-stay lodging packages. 

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Major Investments Announced For New York’s Whiteface and Gore

Major Investments Announced For New York’s Whiteface and Gore

New project will create state-of-the-art skiing, lodging, dining and retail and year-round activities at Gore and Whiteface Mountains. (ORDA)

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the state will invest up to $20 million for major upgrades at Whiteface and Gore Mountains to attract more visitors and build on Northern New York’s bourgeoning winter tourism industry.

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Insider’s Guide to Whiteface

Insider’s Guide to Whiteface

The First Tracks program offers a free guided morning run. (Whiteface/ORDA)

New York's Whiteface Lake Placid boasts the greatest vertical drop of any resort east of the Rocky Mountains as well as the culture and mystique of having hosted two Olympic Games. The deep-rooted traditions and the Adirondack charm will make Whiteface a favorite.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

SnoCountry SnoCast: Extremely Active West, Colder Turn In The East

Mammoth Mountain boasts 24-46" in just 24 hours as of Wednesday. A steady plume of moisture means rounds of big time snow out west. (Mammoth Mountain/Facebook)

Happy Wednesday, all. It’s the best time of the week, SnoCast time! Let’s dig into this week’s forecast and find out where the best conditions will be for hitting the slopes. 

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Let It Snow

SnoCountry SnoCast: Let It Snow

Let's fill these chairs! Jay Peak Resort boasts a foot of fresh snow in the past 72 hours.  (Jay Peak Resort/Facebook)  

So far, I like the look of December. Now that it’s cold enough, several systems will help build up our snow totals and keep smiles on your faces! Let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast.


December promises to bring more cold and snow. Check out how the snow cover has improved over the past week. We're building up the snow all over the place- (check latest snow reports here). A sure sign winter is off to a solid start. Snow depth over the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia still dominate the maps, and will (again) have some of the most snow in this week's outlook.

Snow cover across the US and parts of Canada

Here's the forecast breakdown by region for the next several days:

West: Coming off a pretty cold couple of days and fresh new snow at so many mountains, another storm system will bring big snow through the end of the week (especially the higher peaks) for the mountains of California Thursday, then press northward to Oregon, Washington,and Idaho through the end of the week.This area already has some of the country's deepest snow depth- check local avalanche conditions (it's that deep). Generally 4-8” for many northwest mountain bases, but look for higher totals 1-2 feet through Saturday over the higher Cascades in Washington and Oregon, and also in the high terrain of the Sierra, perhaps near Tahoe.

That system and energy eventually presses into Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado through the weekend, leaving behind several inches of fresh snow for the weekend for many ski areas. With a fast west to east flowing jet stream up above, systems will be quick, and dump snow, but timing will be a big challenge, so forecasts beyond the weekend are going to be "iffy." Check the forecast often for early next week's outlook. 

National Weather Service forecase snowfall map through Friday, December 9 for the western US.

Midwest/Northeast: The Northeast continues to build up the base with shots of snow. A cold front drops in from Canada Friday, allowing cold air to fill in. This will help generate lake effect snow off the great lakes (good news for the Adirondacks in New York), and will also help generate a light snow in New England’s mountains through the end of the week. A few inches of upslope snow will create a soft coat on what’s already on the ground.

Watch for another system early next week (Monday, Dec, 12) as a stronger storm moves into the Great Lakes region/Northeast. This one could bring higher totals for our slopes.

National Weather Service forecast snowfall map through Dec. 9 for Eastern U.S. (NWS)

Canada: So far this season, most of the love from Mother Nature has been over western Canada. Some of the deepest snow in north America lives over B.C., including at Cypress, Mt Seymour, and Whistler. To the east, pleasant changes in the forecast. Recent mild temperatures over Ontario and Quebec will be replaced by much colder weather in the days ahead. Snow showers for eastern Canada through the end of this week as low pressure pulls away through Hudson Bay. Look for a more potent system early next week (Monday, Dec 12) over eastern Canada, which will likely bring higher totals to the ski areas of Quebec and Ontario. Also, colder air will help aid in snow making.

Upper atmosphere pattern for late week shows troughing/colder air returning to eastern Canada and northeast. This should stay into next week

This colder pattern in eastern Canada and the eastern U.S. will set the stage for storms to drop the goods. If you buy the European model ensemble output for the Northeast/Canada, we shouldn't have any bare ground left by early next week. Forecast image below shows snowfall from today (Dec. 7) through Tuesday, Dec. 13. While actual totals will (no doubt) end up being different, this paints a nice chance of almost all areas here getting snow on the ground. 

 snowfall from Dec. 7 through Dec. 13

'Til next week's edition of SnoCast! Let it snow!  

And a special thanks for contributions each week from Lyndon State College students, Scott Myerson, Amanda Stone and Christopher Kurdek!

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Treats, No Tricks In This Week's Forecast

SnoCountry SnoCast: Treats, No Tricks In This Week's Forecast

At least 100 guns on top to bottom Northern Lights, Borealis, Aludra, Lights Out, Lower Downdraft, and Paradigm at Maine's Sunday River. (Sunday River/Facebook)

As we transition into November in this week’s SnoCast, winter weather is making a more frequent appearance at our mountain tops. We’ll get shots of chilly air and snow at many mountains, both in the east and the west, so let’s dig in.

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Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase Welcomes Winter

Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase Welcomes Winter

The BrewCentralNY.com Beer Garden has tastings from regional breweries for only $5 for five samples. (Mitch Wojnarowicz/Brew Central)

After more than five decades of bringing together skiers and riders with mountain resorts and snowsports retailers, the Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase returns Nov. 4-6 to Albany at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center.

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Find Finest Fall Foliage With Scenic Gondola Rides

Find Finest Fall Foliage With Scenic Gondola Rides

Upstate New York specializes in fall colors, and best place to see them is atop Whiteface (Whiteface/Facebook)

For skiers and snowboarders, the first sign of winter comes when the leaves start to color up as the days get shorter and the temps begin to drop.

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Mother Nature Keeps Big Tupper Closed For Season

Big TupperThe Adirondack’s Big Tupper announced last week they had to throw in the towel on skiing this winter. In a year that has found many Northeast resorts relying heavily on man-made snow, the volunteer-run ski area with no snowmaking capabilities has made the tough decision to not open.

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Vertical Express For Multiple Sclerosis Hits The Slopes

 

Vertical Express for MS (Can Do Multiple Sclerosis)Vertical Express for Can Do MS, the only national event series that combines skiing and fundraising to empower people with multiple sclerosis (MS), kicks off Feb. 6 with seven ski resort events across the country. This event supports lifestyle empowerment programs for people with MS and their support partners. 

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Hunter Mountain Legacy Handed To New Owners; Resort Impact Has Been Enormous

Orville and Izzy SlutskyThe “Snow Making Capital of the World,” Hunter Mountain in the Catskils of New York, has announced its sale to Peak Resorts, owners of a dozen resorts in the Northeast and Midwest. Hunter's impact has been enormous on the nation's skiing development.

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Peak Resorts To Acquire New York's Iconic Hunter Mountain For $36.8 Million

Hunter MountainPeak Resorts, Inc. announced Monday it has entered into an agreement to purchase Hunter Mountain in the Catskill Mountains for $35 million plus the assumption of two capital leases estimated at approximately $1.8 million. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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