These are the days you might dream about in the winter when it's zero degrees and you're planning to hit the mountain.
It reached about 60 degrees at the base of Mad River Glen on Saturday. The sun was bright and warm. The snow corned up nicely everywhere we went. And a modest crowd of skiers was soaking up every second of it!
After we did a warm-up on groomed trails from the top of the Single Chair, we ventured over to the Sunnyside Double. It was mid-morning and we knew things had been in the sun there already. We wanted to enjoy those trails before they got extra soft. The highlights over here were the wall-to-wall bumps on Slalom Hill and the soft and smoothly groomed Lark. (Mad River Glen groomed eight novice and intermediate trails overnight.)
There is still terrific snow coverage on the mountain! The ski area says they've received more than 240 inches of snow this season. There were some rocks and dirt patches to avoid here and there. But some trails didn't have anything to avoid. Even the icy patches that had formed recently became soft and edgeable by midday.
Back on the Single Chair, we did more soft-served bumps on Catamount Bowl and the bumps continued for the length of the Antelope trail. Antelope meanders away from the main ski area a bit and makes for a long, peaceful ski. Good stuff!
On another run, we found Fall Line to be super-fun! There was so much snow! We swooshed around the moguls there and continued to do so on Creamery and Upper and Lower Glade.
There were more soft moguls than you could shake a ski pole at.
The Skimeister skied a bit in the woods and found the snow was soft and sticky. It was best to enjoy the trails that had received skier traffic.
Another entertaining part of the day was the pond-skimming competition near the Basebox (the base lodge). Some competitors were in costume, others in shorts and t-shirts. They gathered speed on the Race Hill before hitting the surface of the man-made pond — and hoping that their skis would carry them across without getting wet. We saw some great successes, and some wet wipeouts!
In the afternoon, the festivities continued on the deck of the Basebox. People sat back on benches and soaked up the sunshine. And soaked up some beer while a band started to play outdoors. This sunny deck is one of the best in Vermont on a spring day like today.
It's hard to believe it's mid-April and we have such good snow coverage. What a way to spend a springtime Saturday!
IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL IT'S OVER: Mad River Glen plans to open two lifts and 39 trails again on Sunday, April 14. Depending on the weather, the ski area may reopen Friday, April 19, to Sunday, April 21. If they do, they will break their record for their longest season ever.
Mad River Glen, Vermont, At a Glance
- Location: Waitsfield, Vermont
- Vertical Drop: 2,037 feet
- Summit: 3,637 feet
- Trails: 53
- Easy: 20%
- Intermediate: 35%
- Advanced/Expert: 45%
- Glades: Lots of gladed areas
- Lifts: 5
- 1 Single
- 3 Doubles
- 1 Handle tow
- Acreage: 115 of trails; 800 of tree skiing access
- Snowmaking: 15%
- America’s only cooperatively owned ski area
- Reminder: Mad River Glen does not allow snowboarding