Icy and Windy with Lots of Rocks Showing

Fall Line

“Packed powder,” the recording says into your phone at 6:45 a.m., so you throw your gear into the car and head up. Once you hit the hill, however, it looks more like bulletproof blue ice, and you curse-again-snow-report euphemisms that obscure the cold, hard facts. Oddly enough, Mad River Glen, the Vermont resort that tends to view snowmaking and grooming as a modern-day crutch, feels your pain and now invites customers to critique the resort’s daily snow reports-and post their own (madriverglen.com). But remember, this is Mad River, home of some of the world’s most loyal skiers. Recent visitors to the website were, if anything, more forgiving of the snow conditions than management. Then again, they could have been management.