In this week’s SnoCast, the weather calms down… briefly. After a hyper-active 1-2 weeks behind us, some light shots of snow will continue to add to an already outstanding season.
When visiting a ski resort for the first time, most people check out the trail map to plan their day. But whereas 30 years ago it was a paper map, today it is likely to be on a smartphone or computer.
Those in the market for 2018-19 season passes at Vermont resorts still have time to save big, thanks to fall deadlines on some of the best deals in the business.
It’s just as fun to go up the mountain as it is to go down thanks to Vermont resort’s well maintained and sprawling trail networks. Thousands of acres of wilderness offer both challenging and meandering trails with beautiful views and the ability to choose between half-day hikes complete with summit dining, to overnight hikes and the opportunity to connect with Vermont’s iconic Long Trail system and the longest hiking foot path in the world, the Appalachian Trail.
Warm weather visitors to Vermont will find a plethora of activities at its mountain resorts to discover what the green mountain state is all about. From golf, mountain biking, and disc golf to expanded music, event and dining options make exploring Vermont the perfect summer getaway.
Visit Vermont during the tour to try some great Vermont products and enjoy Vermont's slopes. (Ski Vermont)
Skiers and snowboarders will once again be able to snack, sip and ski their way through Vermont’s favorite local food and drink vendors this year with the return of Ski Vermont’s Specialty Food Days Tour. This slope side tour will kick off Jan. 26 at Jay Peak, visiting fifteen resorts over the course of ten weeks.
Mammoth's ski and ride season lasted 270 days last year. (Mammoth)
Skiers and riders love to talk about the weather, and where to find the perfect storm of great snow and value tops the SnoCountry.com news for 2017.
Stowe's true alpine village at Spruce Peak. (Martha Wilson)
Soaring spaces and massive wooden beams set the scene at the Stowe’s state-of-the-art Adventure Center, just opened for its first winter in 2017. For family fun and adventure, Spruce Peak Village has everything a family needs for a Vermont winter getaway.
Fresh powder can be found across much of the Northeast. (Stowe Mountain Resort)
The Northeast and Great Lakes regions are settled in a weather pattern that allows for more snowfall and cold temperatures. The West sees some snowfall return and possibly a pattern change.
Now is a great time to bring the family to Sugarbush. (Sugarbush)
Vermont’s resorts have prepared a slew of deals to get skiers and snowboarders to the hill this December. Start off the holiday season with discounted vacation packages, learn-to-turn programs and more.
With both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, everyone can relax and unwind after a hard day on the slopes. (Airbnb)
A perusal of Airbnb shows the concept of direct online rentals has caught on in ski towns nationwide. Airbnb rentals are popular for the savings and convenience they can afford and in some places supplement limited mountain or town accommodations.
Monkeying around at Sugarbush. (Sugarbush)
Adventure seekers can get their thrills in this summer when they visit one of Vermont’s resort adventure parks. Summer is calling and Vermont ski resorts have an adventure for everyone to embark on.
Vail Resorts is working to keep Northstar snowy. (Vail Resorts/Facebook)
Vail Resorts will aggressively pursue a comprehensive sustainability commitment, called “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint.” This undertaking commits to zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030 and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.
The Epic Pass now offers unlimited, unrestricted access to Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame class of 2016. (Mary Jo Tarallo/Facebook)
Among the inductees were President of the National Ski Areas Association Michael Berry; skiing film legends Dan and John Egan; ski jumping Olympian and coach Jeff Hastings; and Copper Mountain conceiver Chuck Lewis. Also joining the class are athlete and author Ellen Post Foster; freestyle icon Marion Post Caldwell; National Ski Patrol visionary Gretchen Rous Besser; and ski marketing and trade-show impresario Bernie Weichsel.
The new inductees bring the total to 428 Honored Members in the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
“Each member of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 was a remarkable leader, as either an athlete or sport builder,” said U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Chairman Tom Kelly. “So much of what all of us enjoy in our sport today has emanated from these outstanding honored members of the Hall of Fame.”
HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2016
Michael Berry, Colorado: Michael has been President of the National Ski Areas Association since 1993. Under his leadership, the NSAA significantly increased annual visits to resorts throughout North America. Michael’s vision helped create continuity and a sustainable growth model for resorts.
Dan and John Egan, Vermont | New Hampshire: The Egan brothers have starred in more Warren Miller films than anyone worldwide. As pioneering explorers and ambassadors they traveled the globe to put “extreme” in skiing. This dynamic duo set the standard for what is possible in big-mountain skiing.
Jeff Hastings, New Hampshire: Jeff impacted Olympic ski jumping as a competitor and coach. His fourth-place Olympic performance in 1984 in Sarajevo holds as a record in modern U.S. ski jumping. He has continued his work teaching, judging and commentating competitions and advocating for jumping and Nordic combined.
Chuck Lewis, Colorado: A competitor at heart, Chuck is known within the industry for his vision and passion. His dedication and meticulous planning helped to conceive Copper Mountain and a trail design and layout philosophy widely accepted and used to this day.
Ellen Post Foster, D.C.: Ellen touched both the freestyle skiing world as an athlete and the Professional Ski Instructors of America as a model instructor and visionary. Her efforts and passion for snowsport motivated countless youth skiers to hit the slopes. Her contributions continue as an author and advocate of skiing education.
Marion Post Caldwell, D.C.: As a freestyle skiing icon, Marion dominated the sport in the 1970s. Women’s overall champ in ’76 and ’77 and being named Freestyle Skier of the Year are among her accomplishments. She brought skiing to the world stage as an ambassador and pioneer of the sport.
Gretchen Rous Besser, Vermont: While her unprecedented career as a ski patroller and first aid instructor are impressive, her impact as an historian, international liaison and visionary in the world of skiing sets her apart. She generously shares her passion and vast knowledge to better industry organizations worldwide.
Bernie Weichsel, Massachusetts: Known globally throughout the industry, Bernie has done it all. As an advocate, he created an organized freestyle competition circuit. His innovative SKI USA worldwide promotions continue to bring thousands of international skiers to U.S. slopes and his consumer ski and snowboard expos attract tens of thousands of visitors each year.
The mission of the U. S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame is to honor athletes and sport builders for their lifelong national and international achievements in the sport. The National Ski Association of America, now known as USSA, was established in 1905 in Ishpeming, MI, the birthplace of organized skiing. The Hall of Fame Museum, established in 1954, resides in Ishpeming as well.
A national voting panel selects the incoming class in the fall of each year. The class of 2016 will be enshrined next September at the Museum in Ishpeming.
Sunny riding ahead for Stowe. (Stowe/Facebook)
On the heels of the news that Vail Resorts will be buying Stowe, buyers of the Epic Pass can now count Vermont as one of their destinations next winter. Vermont and the Northeast will be watching how this new pass offering will play out amidst the many other options for skiers and riders looking to maximize their time on the snow.
Lou Batori skis perfectly together. (Mike Terrell)
“He’s the Energizer Bunny of skiing.”
That was my first thought when Crystal Mountain Resort spokesman Brian Lawson contacted me recently to say that Lou Batori, legendary centenarian skier, had taken a few runs during the warm spell in late February.
At 106-years-old he sets records every time he takes a run. Batori is considered the oldest living skier in the world. The Hungarian Skier recently called him “Yoda of the skis” in salute to their native son’s latest accomplishment.
Batori first learned to ski in Hungary at the age of 10 on handmade wooden hickory skis equipped with leather straps for bindings. He continued to ski in New York and New England when his family immigrated to the United States a few years later and in Michigan when he moved here after he retired in 1973.
I had the pleasure of taking a few runs with Lou a couple of years ago on an April morning at Crystal. Skiing with a Centurion was almost a mystical experience. Standing on top of the ski hill recalling ski history he said, “I rode the first chairlift in the east at Stowe Mountain in 1940, the year it was constructed. That was a while ago.” I knew I was in for a treat. That was three years before I was born. Needless to say it was a treat I’ll never forget.
Dressed in a white jumpsuit with a 100+ patch stitched on the arm and a sleek Giro silver helmet you would never have guessed his age. He headed gracefully, skis together, down a corduroy carpet of snow making perfect turns.
“A run, a weekend of skiing justifies my existence,” he said with a grin as we paused for the mid-morning break in the cafeteria. “It’s funny, but when a person asks me why I ski, I immediately know they are not a skier. A skier wouldn’t have to ask that question.”
He credits grooming and the new gear with extending his skiing years.
“Today’s grooming leaves the slopes in immaculate condition. I don’t have to worry about changing slope conditions, and the new equipment is much lighter, more efficient and easier to use. Boots have improved immensely, and to me, they are the most important part or your equipment. If your feet aren’t happy you won’t enjoy skiing,” Batori chuckled.
He was featured in a 2011 CBS Sunday Morning segment when he turned 100 and still skied.
Despite not liking the word “inspiration,” Batori is an inspiration to all of us to get out enjoy life and make as many turns as possible down life’s endless slopes.
Stowe Mountain Resort is swimming in fresh snow, along with most other ski areas in the northeast after the most recent Nor'easter. Thirty-four inches and counting as of Wednesday afternoon. (Stowe Mountain Resort/Twitter).
After a crazy blizzard in the Northeast and a spring-like stretch for the West, here’s what to expect by region March 15-20.
Plenty of great skiing at Stratton. (Stratton)
Known as the snowiest month of the season, March brings heaps of snow and warmer temperatures for skiers and riders in Vermont. Add to that a mix of great deals and events at Vermont’s mountains and March is sure to be a month that you don’t want to miss.
Vail's purchase of Stowe will mean more pass options for Eastern skiers. (Stowe)