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

Vermont Season Passes: Epic, M.A.X. And Beyond

Vermont Season Passes: Epic, M.A.X. And Beyond

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.

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World’s Oldest Skier Still Skiing In Midwest

World’s Oldest Skier Still Skiing In Midwest

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.

Lou Batori waits for a chairlift.

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.

Lou Batori waits for a chairlift.

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.

Lou Batori waits for a chairlift.

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.  

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Spring in the West; Winter in the Northeast

SnoCountry SnoCast: Spring in the West; Winter in the Northeast

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.

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Don't Miss March Deals At Vermont Resorts

Don't Miss March Deals At Vermont Resorts

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. 

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Stowe Will Be Epic: Vail Resorts Buys Stowe For $50 Million

Stowe Will Be Epic: Vail Resorts Buys Stowe For $50 Million

Vail's purchase of Stowe will mean more pass options for Eastern skiers. (Stowe)

Northeast skiers and riders can look forward to adding an Epic Pass to their season pass options next year, as Vail Resorts has announced the purchase of Stowe Mountain Resort for $50 million.

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Spa Treatments Relax, Rejuvenate Body And Soul

Spa Treatments Relax, Rejuvenate Body And Soul

The ultra-relaxing, body-balancing Signature Massage at Mirror Lake Inn will warm, ease, and relax sore, tense muscles. (Mirror Lake Inn)

A massage at the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid left me so relaxed that I survived an Olympic bobsled run later that day.

 

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Hit The Slopes With Presidents Week Deals Across Northeast

Hit The Slopes With Presidents Week Deals Across Northeast

Smart Stowe kids know where to find the deals. (Stowe) 

If you haven’t already, now is the time to plan your Presidents week getaway to the mountains. Many families have the week off from school, and resorts are ready with many kid-friendly deals and activities to keep everyone smiling.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Calmer West, Colder and more active East

SnoCountry SnoCast: Calmer West, Colder and more active East

Jay Peak picked up some fresh snow earlier this week. The first sign as we turn to a colder, more active pattern in the Eastern U.S. (Jay Peak/Instagram)

What a ride it’s been the past week with continued record snowfall for the Western mountains and a messy mix of snow, sleet, and (ick) ice for some of the East. The weather pattern is changing for all regions this week. Let’s dig into this week’s SnoCast. 


The changes we can expect this week (Jan. 25-31) feature a much more tranquil scene for the Western U.S. Meanwhile, for the Eastern U.S., a colder pattern will take over again, with potential for patchy snowfall with any storm system that develops. For all areas, even in a warmer than usual Canada, there will be fair conditions to make snow, if needed. In the image below, you're looking at the higher elevation temperature map into this weekend - notice the blue areas indicate colder than normal air, and red indicates warmer than normal.

 January 29 temperatures as compared to average. Blue is colder, red is warmer.

Here’s what to expect by region for Jan. 18-23:

West: After record snowfall at so many locations through the month of January, high pressure will generally dominate the Western weather this week. This will generally mean that snow will be limited, but that’s OK at this point, as some ski areas are having a tough time turning the lifts after so much snow fell. Just check out this image tweeted out by Kirkwood in California earlier this week.

Snow at Kirkwood

Good news is that the weather ahead should allow some great stretches of sunshine and bluebird days to look forward to. Any snow that does fall in the West this week will generally be very light and spread out over several days, and mainly squeezed out at the highest peaks. Totals could range anywhere from 2-6 inches from Thursday through the weekend for Colorado and Utah peaks, and between 1-4 inches for most other mountain tops. A quick front will dip into the Pacific Northwest Sunday night-Monday allowing for some better snow in the northern peaks of the Washington Cascades

East: In the east, following mild temps and snow melt the past two weeks, the tables are turning (and the lifts will be, too!). A large atmospheric trough will build in, allowing colder air to settle in for most of the Great Lakes region, and down the Eastern seaboard. Cold is, of course, the first thing we need to set the stage for snow.

I’d keep my eye on a couple of things. A quick moving, weak low pressure system Wednesday-Thursday treks from the Midwest, northeastward into Quebec. This will bring a mix of snow, sleet, and perhaps some chilly rain to some of our Midwest ski areas, New York’s Adirondacks, and New England ski areas. Behind this system is when much colder air is ushered in by a persistent west/northwest wind. That wind and leftover moisture should allow upslope snowfall Friday and Saturday against the Adirondacks, Green and White Mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, and perhasps into Maine’s peaks, too.

A cold front dips into northern New England Sunday, which will bring a few more inches of fresh snow once again. Best bets: Whiteface, Jay Peak, Stowe. Here’s the snowfall forecast through Friday evening, keeping in mind another 3-6 inches may fall in the Northern mountains over the weekend.

Snowfall forecast through Friday evening, Jan. 27.

Canada: After some fresh snow earlier this week in Quebec (~20 cm at Le Massif), we head into a warm stretch for much of Canada this week. Much warmer than average temperatures will prevail over most of the country for this forecast period we’re talking about. Check out the forecast model image below by the “European” ECMWF forecast model. The orange and red colors indicate above normal temperatures, which covers most of the country.

Much warmer than normal temperatures will prevail in Canada this week.

Despite this fact, temps will still be cold enough to support snow. With a large trough/active pattern over the Eastern country, I'd expect some light snow in the Quebec mountains through the weekend, perhaps 5-10 cm. Also in the West, a small area of exception to the warmer temps will likely be across the far southwest of the country in British Columbia. Expect new snow over the weekend as coastal moisture streams into British Columbia, allowing some wet snow for these ski areas, likely between 25-35 cm.

Happy skiing and riding! 'Til next week!

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SnoCountry SnoCast: Active West; Warmth in the East

SnoCountry SnoCast: Active West; Warmth in the East

Stowe Mountain Resort boasts 5-6 inches of new snow in their most recent storm system. While the pattern doesn't favor "huge" storms in the East, there are still great conditions to be had. (Stowe Mountain Resort/Facebook)

In this week’s SnoCast, we dig into yet another active stretch for the western U.S. and continue to hope for a much colder change in pattern for the East.

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Stowe Partners With The Chill Foundation

Stowe Partners With The Chill Foundation

Stowe will host The Chill youth development snowboard program this season. (The Chill Foundation/Facebook)

Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort and The Chill Foundation launch a new partnership this winter that will bring area youth to Stowe for Chill’s six-week youth development program. Each week, Chill will bring participants to the mountain to learn to ride and also learn important life skills that they can use both on and off the mountain.

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Don't Forget Fido: Dog-Friendly Ski Lodges

Don't Forget Fido: Dog-Friendly Ski Lodges

Furry friends enjoy the snow and fresh air on a snowshoe trail at Stowe. (Stowe Mountain Lodge)

For many of us, our dogs are part of our family, and many resorts across the country welcome our four-legged friends with enthusiasm. Rather than leaving the pup behind, enjoy the company of wagging tails on the trails.

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SnoCountry SnoCast: West Had A Snowy Turn, Now Colder In The East

SnoCountry SnoCast: West Had A Snowy Turn, Now Colder In The East

After a nice shot of snow to the higher mountain tops out west over the past week, a change in weather pattern will bring colder air and (some) snow to the northeast in this week’s SnoCast. 

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Climb On: Rock Climbing Mountain Adventures

Climb On: Rock Climbing Mountain Adventures

The Stowe Rocks climbing center is fun for every age. (Stowe Mountain Resort)

In the snow covered months, some of us may have the inclination to huck a few cliffs along the edges our favorite mountains. Come summer, it's time to approach those mountains from a different angle, with climbing ropes and harnesses. Whether it's with guide up the rock face of a local route or auto-belayed on a man-made wall, climbing offers adventure and summer fun in the mountains.   

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East Coast Skiing: Six States, Six Great Places To Hit The Slopes

East Coast Skiing: Six States, Six Great Places To Hit The Slopes

Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort is one of the premier ski destinations in the region. (Stowe Photo)

 

From coast to coast, skiers have access to almost unlimited options throughout the United States for indulging their snowy ambitions. While the states of the mountainous West often grab the winter tourism headlines, the East Coast offers a unique skiing experience of its own.

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Last-Minute Independence Day Mountain Resort Getaways

Last-Minute Independence Day Mountain Resort Getaways

Red, white and blue cowboy at the Fourth of July parade. (Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association/Facebook) 

If you're looking for more than your average backyard barbecue, head to the mountains this Independence Day weekend to combine stunning vistas and summer activities with a celebration worthy of the nation's birthday.

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Vermont's Snowmaking Saves The Season

Vermont's Snowmaking Saves The Season

Okemo's snowmaking covers 98 percent of its trails. (Okemo)

The Vermont Ski Areas Association, along with alpine and Nordic members, associate members and marketing partners gathered at Sugarbush Resort for the 47th Annual Meeting. The group paid tribute to Vermont’s statewide snowmaking firepower that made all the difference for terrain coverage in the face of a challenging winter season, bringing the final skier visit tally to 3,221,187.

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Northeast's Best Private Ski Clubs Offer Much For Your Money

Hermitage Club, VtLooking to ditch lugging your gear and long lift lines on the weekends? You invest a lot in making skiing a lifestyle, whether it’s with your buddies or the groms, so why not make the most of that time and money for a first class, no hassle experience?

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Historic Stone Hut Atop Stowe's Mount Mansfield Destroyed By Fire

Stone hut StoweThe historic, popular Stone Hut on Mount Mansfield was destroyed by fire Thursday morning, according to local media reports.

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SummerStowe Opens With ZipTour, Treetop Adventure On Mt. Mansfield

Stowe Zip TourStowe Mountain Resort has launched SummerStowe, a multi-million dollar investment program in summer recreation. The newest mountain experiences are now open on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. 

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Legendary Stowe Derby Celebrates 70th Anniversary Feb. 22; Fat Bike Race Added

Stowe DerbyIt all began as a bet in 1945 between two amazing skiers - Austrian Sepp Ruschp who was hired to come to America and head the new ski school at Stowe and Erling Strom, world famous mountaineer from Norway – to see who could make it from the top of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, to the historic village of Stowe on one pair of skis.

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