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While the Utah and California mountains get pummeled by winter storms, East Coast ski resorts continue to endure warm temperatures, rain, and a downright sad lack of snow. It’s gotten so bad in part of Vermont that Mad River Glen has ceased lift operations this week.
The resort announced this weekend that it would close through Thursday, after which it plans to reopen its bunny slope through next weekend and will adjust its operating plan for the rest of the slopes accordingly.
“Regretfully, we’ll be suspending lift operations once more this week starting on Monday, January 9th,” MRG shared on its website. “Currently, both the Practice Slope and Callie’s Corner will reopen on Thursday, January 12th from 9 am until 3:30 pm but we will continue to monitor condition changes and adjust operating plans as needed.”
Contrary to popular belief, MRG does have a snowmaking system and doesn’t need only natural snow to operate, but warm temperatures have limited its ability to fire up its snow guns. The ski area has seen 45 inches total since opening day on Dec. 10. The good news is that current temps are in the 20s and snowmaking is taking place and will continue as the weather allows. The next chance for snow is later this week and through the weekend. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.
Not that this is terribly unusual for this scrappy, independent ski area. While the resort typically averages about 230 inches of snow a year, it knows that it’s ultimately at the often-bipolar whims of Mother Nature. Those around for the ski area’s 2017-’18 ski season might recall that things started out similar, but the story certainly didn’t end there, with skiers making turns well into April. Alas, there is hope.
Elsewhere in the region, Jay Peak, a little under two hours north of MRG, is faring better during this difficult season thanks to the notorious Jay Cloud—the resort’s own micro system. Jay has recorded 106 inches of snow this season, with 22 of 81 trails and 8 lifts open. Sugarbush, a few miles south of MRG, has seen 60 inches of snow, but with a Alterra Mountain Company-fueled snowmaking system, has 42 trails open—almost 50 percent of its total runs.