Wednesday, December 30, 2009

*** Update*** Squaw Valley USA

The Squaw Valley ski area has seen its share of snow this season.

simply put
  • So far over 13' of snow
  • December total 127 inches
  • Base depths measure 50-70” at elevation 8,000 ft (Squaw’s peak elevation is 9050 ft).
  • Squaw Valley has already received over a third of its average annual snowfall = 450”

Internet sidewalk find

Helmet cam video from Freeskier

Ski Loveland live HD feed

This is fantastic.  Might be dark at night and whiteout during snow, but still a job well done.

Hit this LINK for the live Chair One cam at Loveland.

resort website:

Learn to ski or snowboard in Maine for FREE

Every January is Learn a Snow Sport Month.

This year Maine is on the list of 32 states participating with deals and events for newbies.

Next week (Jan 4–10) the state has 7 ski areas with packages of FREE lessons and rentals. There is a limited supply available.  Use the Ski Maine website to enter yourself, family member, or friend with this LINK.

Learn a Snow Sport Month is an initiative supported by SnowSports Industries America (SIA), Professional Ski Instructors of America –American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI), National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and Cross Country Ski Areas Association (CCSAA) .

These are the Ski Maine areas invovled.
The Ski Guru is a fan of introducing new people to the snow!
Spread the word.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Late night Snow Reporting 12/28/09

Always been a fan of making the phone calls for local intel when it comes to snow.

First call 10:46 pm ET
The Belfry 05471
reporter = no answer

Until moral improves...

...the snow will continue.

Another dose for Lake Tahoe and surrounding ski areas.

Sometimes The Ski Guru prefers Intellicast radar.

Word is flights are cheap to Tahoe around MLK weekend. Check Expedia or Kayak.

Deal Grabber from The Beast

The Ski Guru does not really feel comfortable calling K~town "The Beast" and does not like that moniker.

The Ski Guru is a big fan of the Deal Grabber launched last year. What is out there right now could be a winning ticket for Friday 1/8/10.
On sale Thurs, Dec. 31, 2009 from 8:00 am - 11:59 pm

100 tickets available for each day
For Monday 1/4/10 through Friday 1/8/10
$60 per ticket per day
Execute - supplies are limited. A normal midweek adult ticket is $77 - when you walk up to window.

Good deal Killington.

Off we go!

A couple weeks ago The Ski Guru was talking about Sniper Snow in the Northern Greens. The ski areas from Whiteface (4") to Jiminy Peak (3") have received snow today.

Click SnoCountry for NE updates.
This snow could float the Northeast into 2010.

image from

Think Snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wanted: Local Lange Boot Girls!

The Ski Guru loves Freeskier Magazine for things like this. In recent years their Local Lange Boot Girl contest has become a rite of passage as snow flies and the lifts start spinning across ski country. Each year since inception the contest has grown in popularity and competitiveness.

For decades Lange has been using woman to market their boots. Historically this was accomplished via posters hung in ski shops and base lodges. No complaints from either sex that skis on this strategy. Seems the woman like it as much as the boys. Obviously this type of stuff is not for everyone, but I am willing to wager that most who ski view the Lange Boot Girls as a positive thing.

That is enough about the past. Why should it matter how much it snowed eight years ago unless you are sitting at a bar drinking beers, telling stories, and it is raining outside. Skiing focuses on the present and the future. How much snow are we going to get? Which area do you want to ski at this weekend? Where are they dropping the ropes? You get the idea. Presently the current Local Lange Boot Girl champion is getting ready to pass the title to the lucky winner of the 09/10 contest. But she is still holding the boots. The Ski Guru was able to catch up with her and the result is the following question and answer session that sheds a few flakes on what makes her turn.

Snow for New England

The Ski Guru loves watching storms. This one could give New England skiing a MAJOR shot in the arm.

Queue the Imperial March...

image from

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Is it your Birthday?

The Ski Guru wants to spread the word that you can get a FREE lift ticket if so...

Check this LINK for details.

Think Snow

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New England – current state of conditions & outlook

The Ski Guru progress report for New England.

Let us be honest, there is still a long way to go before we are calling in sick and snorkeling our way down the slopes. Nonetheless, the situation has taken a considerable u-turn in the past two weeks. Intermittent, and in certain locations substantial, lake affect snows have given the mountains a good starting point. Couple with a mass of cold air that has allowed the major players in the snowmaking game to crack up the compressors and we have new terrain opening at a break neck pace.

Base depths are growing with less than a week to go before winter officially arrives in 2009. The locals who do not fear core shots to their bases have been packing out the lines. We are one good snowstorm away from top-notch skiing and riding conditions.

The current scenario heading into the holiday period reminds me of mid Dec 2003. Back then New England snow lovers were jubilant because two major winter weather systems blanketed the mountains with feet of fresh powder. I also recall the blast of warm water that we got shortly thereafter, right before Christmas Day which ruined the fluff and more than a few vacations. Not looking for that kind of repeat performance this year…

Here is a quick breakdown of the current leaders in New England.

• Most new snow - 3" @ Jay Peak
• Most open trails - 62 @ Okemo
• Most open acres - 290 @ Bretton Woods
• Deepest base depth - 45" @ Jiminy Peak
• Most spinning lifts - a handfull tied at seven

For all the latest conditions check out SnoCountry. There should be a lot of additional areas opening soon! Also of note, Killington is projecting over 65 trials this weekend, with terrain opening on Needles Eye and Bear Mountian. For the scope from the resort (deals, news, events, etc) check out this LINK.

More Good News = Two major snow events are creeping into the forecast for both this weekend and Christmas. Keep the fingers crossed. With a base in place the next big storm is going to put most areas in the 90% or better range for open terrain. Check out the report on AccuWeather.

Think Snow!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting ready for the Olympics

Tis the season and The Ski Guru feels like given. Why not learn how to snowboard in 2010?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sierra Mountian Snows

Saturday = Left coast Snow Update

The Lake Tahoe region ski mountains and the areas within a few hundred miles of it (eg - Kirkwood & Mammoth Mountain) are getting killed again with another HUGE Snow Event!

radar image form

Kirkwood, CA Video from 12/12/09

Personally The Ski Guru is keeping a close eye on Tahoe, will be out there for MLK weekend!

Think Snow!


The Ski Guru found this clip, ouch! Major loss of control. Thank goodness for snow fences.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Powder Alert - Sugarbush decked with SNOW!

Less than 20 hours ago The Ski Guru was telling you about how Sugarbush was able to open an additional 6 runs because of the new snow they had received. I further insinuated that everyone at the resort was smiling while thinking about the season ahead. As I type this I doubt that even the most optimistic among them could have possibly imagined what is going to happen.

Castlerock, the mountains most famous expert terrain, is opening tomorrow (12/12) at 10 am. The lift line for the double will be long. There may still be a rock or two exposed, but the skiing will be off the hook. Check this LINK for all the details you need to know.

The area has benefited from what one of my friends up there like to refer to as “Sniper Snow”. More specifically that is defined as localized bursts of accumulation that the Northern Greens are often subject to as cold air plows over Lake Champlain, picks up moister from the unfrozen water, and dumps snow on the mountains as it tills over the peaks heading east.

This is real and it does happen. If you are looking to make some turns this weekend the Mad River Valley is a great destination to put in your sight (pun intended). The neighbor area, Mad River Glen, is also opening with a plethora of powder. Go up and get some!

Here is a LINK to some of today’s photos of the fresh POW POW POW!

Keep thinking Snow!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sugarbush, Vermont (news and notes)

Now that the flakes have settled after the first major snowfall for New England this season the emails hitting The Ski Guru's inbox are picking up. Got one from Sugarbush today and it reported that the resorts several mountain peaks recorded 14” of snow in the last 72 hours. Attah Bush = good start!

As a direct result of said snow 6 new trails were opened, bringing the total to 17. More importantly everyone at the resort is smiling and thinking to the season ahead, as evident by the video snow report. Hit this LINK to that report, or just deal with a few highlights I have selected.

LIFT TICKETS: Current lift ticket rate is only $39 (including youth, seniors, SugarDirect Card holders and SugarCard holders). We're holding this special rate through Friday. Kids six and under always ski/ride free.

LIFT SCHEDULE: The Super Bravo and Heaven's Gate lifts open at 9:00 AM. PLEASE NOTE: While the Super Bravo chair typically opens at 8:00 AM on the weekends, it will not spin until 9:00 AM this weekend. We're looking to give our snowmakers as much time on the hill when we have perfect temps. The last ride up the hill on Super Bravo will be at 4:00 PM; 3:45 for HG.

Looking down the road: Perfect snowmaking temps are in the forecast for the foreseeable future and our snowmakers will be going at it non-stop. The Gate House side of Lincoln Peak could be open by the weekend of December 19th, just a day after we open Mt. Ellen.

Q: Does last minute holiday shopping have you stressed?

A: If you know a skier/boarder that loves the Bush, or needs a reason to be introduced to it, pick them up a gift card. They can be purchased online via the Adventure Center or call 800.53.SUGAR.

Here is another little tidbit on a guy who used to make turns at Sugarbush and has a trail named after him there.

Stein Eriksen update, he had a bad injury, but is back in action.

Think Snow!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jay Peak, Vermont

Inbox - The Ski Guru got an email from the powder capital of the East today. It had a simple four letter word as the subject = SNOW. Yes it was in all capitals. Yes they are getting some white stuff, finally!

As of 4:30 pm ET the mountain was reporting 10” on the ground and the flakes were still falling. There is more in the forecast. An interesting blurb in the body of the email read,

Near whiteout conditions, actually.
So no good pics, unfortunately.
But the point is, it’s snowing.
A lot.

I am always asking for pictures. Above is the best excuse I have seen yet for a lack of digital proof. Love it…

In other news and notes, Jay Peak was busy this off season.

$$$Update$$$ - got this photo from Jay Peak, little blurred by snow flakes, but you get the idea. Folks, the new Tram Lodge!

The resorts website is improved. The offering at this point is one of the stronger in the industry. Well at least in my opinion, but I do look at quite a few of them, so I feel qualified to make such a statement. Give it run through, curious to hear what others think.

The real story though is the unveiling of the brand new luxury Tram House Lodge. It is now operational and sits right next to the Tram in the base area, which probably had something to do with the name. This is without a doubt the largest capital improvement and most significant game changer from all the areas in New England this season.

***Deal Alert***

Below I have posted the resort’s press release on the new structure. Plus a Christmas Deal that is as good as it gets. Especially for those of you with kids in need of day care, and a lady who may prefer the spa to the slopes. If you act fast you might still be able to grab a reservation! (info to book below)

Jay, VT— Probably the best last minute ski vacation deal west of the Rockies is being offered this year by Vermont’s Jay Peak Resort, which is opening its new, slope-side Tram Haus Lodge at discounted, ‘soft-launch’ rates, available for a limited time from December 25 to 31.

The introductory rates start at $225 per person (15% off regular holiday rates), per night, for a luxe mountainside studio suite, and includes lift ticket, breakfast, dinner, indoor heated parking, fitness center/spa access, and all-day daycare. The cozy, light filled suites feature slope-side lift access, dramatic mountain or valley views, fireplaces, kitchens, and flat panel TVs. Two floors of the lodge will be open, offering 42 studio, one, and two bedroom suites.

The new lodge features three unique dining options: Aroma’s Café for coffee, sandwiches and light fare, The Tower Bar featuring small plates, beer, wine and spirits, and Alice’s Table, a unique restaurant featuring big views and locally inspired cuisine.

For more information on last-minute package specials for a December 25-31 vacation at Jay Peak, call 800-451-4449 or 802-988-2611 (in Vermont), and reference the special code HOLIDAY.

Go Jay - Think Snow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lake Tahoe is getting Destroyed with SNOW

***Deal Alert***

Heavenly is still selling season passes for $369.00 - which is a deal. Check this LINK for details. Only 5 days left to get involved at time of entry.

Snow report:
10" today, 34" in last 48 hours = POWDER

Here is a video from Heavenly.

Ski Tahoe Powder!

Stratton VT blew a ton of snow and opened

The Ski Guru always enjoys a Good Report!

Stratton is open and selling lift tickets for the 09/10 season. Those lift tickets might be pricey, but there are plenty of ways to save on their website.

“The skiing is excellent. Edge to edge. Top to bottom, there’s a ton of snow out there,” noted Stratton Snow Reporter Chris Estes. “You ski down and hear the roar of the snow guns in the distance. It makes it feel like mid winter.”

Forecast = more snow on the way. Looking for 5" to 8" in the next 36 hours or so… Projecting to have 30+ trails open this weekend.

picture from Stratton

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Birds of Prey Downhill!

Fact: The best downhill course on the World Cup circuit.

The Ski Guru has been saying for years that skiing is a very ambiguous and interpretative thing. Some people think they are good, and talk about it. Others know they are good, and shy away from talking about it. Let us acknowledge the majority - weekend/vacation warriors.

The camera always draws to those with charisma, marketability, and exceptional skill sets. More appropriately those with the ability and will power to do what everyone else is not. I have made turns with many of these types. Honestly, all of the aforementioned will tell you that the downhill is the holy grail of skiing (if they have a clue).

Of all the races on the men's World Cup tour, there is but one in the United States. And it is truly special. The Birds of Prey returns to Beaver Creek, December 4-6.

The course was designed by Olympic downhill gold medalist Bernhard Russy of Switzerland. It features all that which makes downhill ski racing the most exciting sport on planet earth. Turns at race car speeds on pitches steeper than the side of a high rise, the Birds of Prey launches skiers the length of football fields.

With respect and love to all alpine and freestyle comps (amen to slopestyle!), special recognition must be made for downhill. The discipline rewards the most primal attributes. Its competitors are the fastest, strongest, and bravest. This is survival of the fittest, Darwinism on snow. The consequences of error can be both career and life threatening.

For more of the above (source of vid and quote) check out this LINK from the Ski Channel.

For additional information try these:
Official Website
Blog on the competition

Tune in and enjoy the racing. Pulling for the USA field, especially those from New England!

Think Snow ~ Go Fast!

Glen Plake: Chairlift Insight

The Ski Guru has a friend that just sent this video from OR. Iconic skier Glen Plake is kicking off this seasons "Down Home Tour" at Mount Bachelor.

The clip below offers up his thoughts on eating meat, road kill, and hot tubs. He also talks about the tour. Enjoy!

Poll question: Who is the guy in the blue head sock next to Plake?

Think Snow!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All pent up in Fayston, VT

The Ski Guru loves seeing stuff like this. When the only game in town is Mad River Glen and they have a whopping two fan guns to lay down the fresh man made white stuff, well I guess this is what happens.

December 1, 2009: Lifty Tom Hite catching a little air under Tower Three of the Single.

Here is a shot of some tracks on the Practice Slope...are we really talking about practice?

I guess some respect is in order. Here is a snap of the upper mountain.

Cool stuff, thin cover = big balls.

Danny, be the snow...
photos from MRG Facebook

Social Media and Ski Area Marketing

The Ski Guru thought this was an interesting take from the CEO of Vail Resorts, Rob Katz...who is the same guy that gave up his substantial salary last season to save lifties and lodge workers jobs who need the 10 bucks an hour to eat.

LINK to Video

Pretty good stuff for bloggers and others who are following the snow biz online. Gotta say though - this is hardley an Earth shattering revelation. It all really comes down to Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, correct?

Think Snow!

North Face Gear Contest

Folks - The Ski Guru saw this contest on the World Wide Web. Enter before 12/24/09 to win a $5,000 credit to stock up on whatever North Face Gear you want.

This holiday season, The North Face® is awarding Gear for a Year to 10 lucky winners. Jackets, insulated layers, sleeping bags, tents, shorts, hats, gloves, shoes, socks... we'll give you $5,000 to build your fantasy collection. Enter now online or visit The North Face store near you between November 9 and December 24.

Link to Contest

Get some!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pattitude takes center stage (again) tonight!

Warning: This entry from The Ski Guru has nothing to do with skiing/riding.

Back during the legendary run the New England Patriots went on - en route to the franchise's 1st Superbowl victory during the 2001 NFL season - I came up with this definition. Over time it has become common jargon within the Ski Guru's circle of friends and acquaintances.

Recently updated for republication (eg - tonight's game vs the Saints)

One Entry Found for Pattitude

Main Entry: Pat·ti·tude
Pronunciation: 'pa-t&-"tüd, -"tyüd
Function: noun
Etymology: American, from Bostonian pattitudine, literally, NFL World Champions, from Late Pat Patriot -- more at

1 : the arrangement of 11 men, the parts of a team or Champion: DYNASTY
2 : a position or posture assumed for a specific purpose (a threatening pattitude)
3 : a football position similar to the 3 point stance in which the raised leg is bent at the knee with beer in hand
4 a : a mental position with regard to a fact or state b : a feeling or emotion toward a fact or state, i.e. NFL World Champions
5 : the position of an airborne football determined by the relationship between its receiver and defender (as the horizon or a particular spectator)
6 : a constant state of readiness to respond in a characteristic way to a stimulus (as a turnover, field goal, penalty, bomb, long run from scrimmage, or touchdown)
7 a : a negative or hostile state of mind toward the New Orleans Saints and their fans b : a cocky or arrogant manner one develops once a NFL Dynasty is established
8 : a lifestyle of New England Patriot fans

Enjoy the game.

Go Patriots!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate Change Conspiracy?

The Ski Guru ran across a very interesting take on Climate Change, or as it is put in the write up “'Anthropogenic Global Warming”. It is a good read, no matter what side of the climate change debate/discussion you fall on. Probably worth following how this one plays out...


Call me old school, but I remember when this dialog was about greenhouse gasses and the ozone holes over Antarctica - mind you things that could be measured by instruments and seen from the space shuttle. (Read – stop using Aquanet on those bangs 80's ladies). At least those statistics seemed quantifiable.

Seriously though, as a society in general we are all so quick to bash the world’s financial institutions, governments, even health care. Basically anything anyone feels could be hoodwinking the masses - for the same type of things (in link).

Why not scientists? They have agendas, and rumor on the chairlifts is that Al Gore is their leader.

The SG's recommendation = Plant a tree already. They only get in your way when you look at them while skiing/riding!

Think Snow

Monday, November 23, 2009

Front Running in the Powder department = The Pacific Northwest

If you have not been paying attention The Ski Guru thinks now is a good time to start. The mountains in the PNW have picked up unprecedented snows so far this November. A few weeks ago I saw this article on the Powder Magazine website that raved about an 80 inch dump at Mount Baker in Washington (cool photos).

I reached out to a friend out at Mount Bachelor in OR to get the scoop. The resort opened to the public with lift serviced skiing and riding this weekend. The base this morning was up to a solid 39” after receiving 20” of fresh snow since Friday. The forecasts are calling for a mix of sunshine and snow showers through Thanksgiving weekend. Not a bad pick for some turns in if you can manage it into your schedule.

Here is a video clip the resort put together for opening day…enjoy.

Think Snow!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stick & Mud Season has a grip on New England

It does not make The Ski Guru happy but cannot be denied that Mother Nature is on a best efforts campaign to drive the Marketing and Mountain Operation crews across the region batty. There was a promising window in October that allowed areas to blow the mice out of the snowmaking pipes and lay down some manmade white stuff. It even got augmented with a few natural flakes. Areas were twisting the lifts early and folks were optimistic. Nonetheless, we have had temperatures the past few weeks that were more akin to early October than late November.

Long story short - the weather has basically made it impossible (and uneconomical) for most of the New England resorts to offer up terrain for the Thanksgiving dinner table. At the time of this entry there are only three options, all with very limited terrain. But keep tabs on Snow Country, as things will change.

Open Areas in New England

· Killington, VT (new website & branding)
· Bretton Woods, NH
· Sunday River, ME

The good news is that long range forecasts are predicting cold nights for the last week of November and into December. There is even chatter about a snow event on Thursday night. Check this Accuweather link for the story.

Stay tuned, we will have our turns.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The sun gets up early.

The Ski Guru knows you need to as well if you want to make tracks in powder. More coming soon, will be at full speed in mid December...

Get the gear tuned.

photo ~ sunrise from Moonlight Basin, MT

PS ~ this lead entry could be my submission for the worst writting of the season contest.