By Lisa Loomis
Last week's snow bonanza gave Mad River Glen skiers a taste of the season to come and helped Sugarbush get Mount Ellen ready to open for the season tomorrow, December 18.
Mad River Glen Facebook friends and regular website visitors got the word last Friday, December 11, that the Fayston mountain would open on Saturday, December 12. Mad River Glen suspended operations after the weekend and will reopen along with Mount Ellen on December 18.
At Mad River Glen, last weekend's snow was reported to be light and fluffy and the slopes completely mogul-less. The cover was thin in spots, according to those who skied, but Mad River Glen was geared back up for re-opening tomorrow.
At Sugarbush, Mt. Ellen opens for the season with both natural and manmade snow. While light snowfall in November pushed Lincoln Peak's opening to December 6, last week's heavy snows and ideal snowmaking temps have brought the resort's snowpack up to seasonal levels. Mt. Ellen's on-schedule opening means Sugarbush will have close to 90 percent of its terrain open by the holidays, according to communications director JJ Toland.
"We picked up over two feet of natural snow between Wednesday and Saturday of last week. All of that combined with our around-the-clock snowmaking efforts have allowed us to open a bunch of new terrain," said Toland.
Last week's snowfall allowed Sugarbush to open Castlerock Peak. The recent run of single-digit temps has also allowed the resort to ramp up its snowmaking to near-full capacity. Sugarbush plans to open the Gate House and Village lifts this weekend.
For the latest Sugarbush information, including this Saturday's Demo Day at Lincoln Peak, visit sugarbush.com. For Mad River Glen information, visit MadRiverGlen.com.