By Lisa Loomis

The first major winter storm of the season left skiers happy and trails well covered. Mad River Glen is opening today, December 6, with the Single Chair and Sunnyside Double open.

Sugarbush opened the Castlerock lift on December 5, the earliest that lift has opened in many a year.

"No one up here can remember the last time Castlerock opened this early in December," said Sugarbush communications director J.J. Toland.

At Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, both resorts received 20 inches of snow between Monday and Tuesday and both saw snow continue to accumulate through the week.

At Sugarbush all the trails that are lift served are open, Toland said.


"This weekend the Gate House lift and Village Double and all the terrain they serve will open. Mount Ellen will open on December 21. In addition to this dump, we've had the best run of snowmaking weather that anyone can remember. The temps have been in the single digits at night and the guns have been running," he said.

At Mad River Glen, marketing director Eric Friedman said people began hiking the mountain for a few purloined early season runs on Monday afternoon and have been continuing their hikes since then. He expected opening day on December 6 to provide some of the finest skiing ever available on opening day.

Schools were closed on Monday, December 3, due to the storm and many other events, meetings and happenings were cancelled. The snow fell heavily during the day on Monday, falling at a rate of close to an inch an hour at some points.


With the fresh snow, Blueberry Lake Cross Country Center and Oles' Cross Country Center are also open. Both Warren-based cross country ski touring centers opened on Monday, December 3.

With alpine and Nordic skiing underway for the season, look for the opening of the VAST snowmobile trails next weekend, December 16.