Across America, there are news headlines screaming about the early closure of ski season this year. This is due to the unseasonably early spring weather that has made its way to the mountaintops.
However, it appears that only part of the United States is affected. In some parts of the U.S., including the East Coast, there are several ski resorts still going strong and predict they will not be closing before the end of June—or later.
New England has mixed ski resort closures
Boston.com reports closures throughout New England and says, “Just a few days ago, half the trails in Vermont and New Hampshire were open; now only about a quarter remain. This time last year, 85 percent of the terrain was still skiable.”
Their report says Mount Snow in southern Vermont will shut down this year “about three weeks earlier than usual.” This means that they are down about “20 percent from last season.” In addition, Shawnee Peak will be closed after March 25, meaning Vermont (the third largest ski industry in the U.S.) will close five resorts by April, 1 and possibly cancel the Stratton Mountain ski race.
Currently, Magic Mountain, Okemo, and Bolton in Vermont, Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Mass., Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, N.Y., and Ragged Mountain Danbury, N.H. are closed. Stowe Mountain Resort in northern Vermont, on the other hand, is speculating that they will be open until the end of April with full snow coverage.
Appalachia Mountains ski resort cancellations
The unseasonably early spring weather has definitely closed any of the ski resorts associated with the Appalachian Mountains south of New England. From Pennsylvania all the way to Virginia, the news was the same. By March 17, Wintergreen Resort near Charlottesville, Va., and Ski Beech in North Carolina shut their doors.
According to WYFF4.com, four out of six ski resorts in North Carolina are already closed. In spite of this, Cataloochee will stay open tentatively until March 25.
Some Midwest and Great Plains resorts have no hope
In Wisconsin, Granite Peak Ski Area closed on March 18. On March 23, the TravelWisconsin.com skiing map showed that the snow season was officially closed statewide. Again, the WausauDailyHerald.com was quick to point out that this was, “three weeks earlier than planned.”
What about ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains?
Interestingly, the warm weather ski resort closures do not seem to be affecting states connected to the Rocky Mountains. At SkinnySki, they have recent trail reports from Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington that promise excellent to good ski conditions in the region.
So far, LVRJ.com reports that Lake Tahoe, Calif., and Mount Charleston, Nev., have had their ski season saved at the end of winter. In particular, “Since mid-February … the snow has piled up, with a current base of 43 inches and season-long snowfall set to come in just under its usual 140 inches.” This good luck has extended itself across most ski resorts in Utah all the way to Brian Head Resort in the south.
Sadly, there is one ski resort in Colorado did not have the same fortune as their fellow Rockies ski resorts. While most East Coast ski resorts closed in March, the Arapahoe Basin ski resort will be closing in June 2012 this year instead of July.
What will become of these ski resorts?
Although many resorts are sad that their ski season was cut short, this does not mean that all is lost. As it turns out, many of the owners state in articles about closures that their summer and spring activities include turning their mountainsides into golf courses. Instead of worrying about warm weather ruining winter, ski resort owners take the phrase “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade” seriously and start selling ice cream.
If you are worried that you will spend all day driving to a resort that turns out to be closed, use Twitter archiving services like Twinitor.com to search for “ski resort closed.” This way, you will have updates from other Twitter users warning you about an early closures—before you pack your gear.
Of course, the best way to verify if a ski resort is closed or not is to call them directly.
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Maryam Louise is a life-long advocate of wintertime sports and outdoor living through her experiences in year-round farming, camping, and hunting in Western Kentucky. In her lifetime, she has also traveled to many of the world’s greatest snowy mountain peaks in Yemen, Iran, Switzerland, and California.
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