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Winter 2012 Skiing @ Sunapee and Jay Peak

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Published on Mar 26, 2012

Despite the unusually mild weather with very little natural snow, we were able to get some good skiing in this winter. All 4 of us went to Mt. Sunapee on Superbowl Sunday and enjoyed a fairly uncrowded day. Mt. Sunapee usually has very good snow, but this year has been tough for all ski areas and the conditions were just OK with mostly man-made snow and very little natural snow.

In the first part of February vacation, the boys and I headed for extreme northern Vermont, 10 minutes from the Canadian border, to ski a fairly advanced mountain that is notoriously snowy. Deb decided not to join us on this trip. We got a great deal on a Ski & Stay package at the Boston Ski Show that offered us an opportunity to stay slopeside in a brand new hotel at the base of the mountain that opened in January of this year. They also built an indoor water park that we wanted to check out as well. The hotel was great - the boys said they want to go back next year because the "beds were the most comfortable beds they have ever slept in".

We skied on Monday afternoon, all day Tuesday, and part of Wednesday. We got a little fresh snow on Monday afternoon, enjoyed beautiful blue skies on Tuesday, and skied in 4" of fresh powder on Wednesday morning. Jay Peak is well known for it's huge amount of natural snow that it gets every year, mostly due to the local weather phenomenon known as the "Jay Cloud" that seems to come out of nowhere and dump snow all over the mountain.

We also took a ride in one of the Snow Cats that groom the mountain every night. The 3 of us piled into the cab of this huge machine and during our short ride, asked the operator a million questions. He was a really nice guy that started working at Jay Peak about 15 years ago. He started off on the snow-making crew and eventually trained to run the groomer. He works the first night shift from 4pm to midnight and the second night shift finishes up the mountain from 12 midnight to 8am. He said that even this big machine will slide a little on the steep faces, despite its huge tracks and wide stance. He also told of us the really cold, snowy nights when it's so cold up on the mountain, that the big diesel exhaust pipe on the machine freezes over solid and gets caked with ice. In the off-season, after the mountain closes, he goes back to doing carpentry with his father and brother.

All in all, Jay Peak is an awesome place that is worth the trip. We definitely want to go back next year. By the way, in the 3 days after we left the mountain, 50" of fresh snow fell at Jay Peak...


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