During the heart of winter, it’s common for me to field questions about my weekend winter activities. But this time of year, when I tell people on Monday mornings at the water cooler that I spent the last two days skiing, they look at me in disbelief.
The weekend before last at Saddleback and Sugarloaf in Maine, I skied on fresh snow and mid-winter conditions. Spring celebration festivities like pond skimming were a little on the chilly side this year, but the snow conditions were perfect. It was so chilly that headbands were a must for Sugarloaf’s Reggae Festival.
Most ski resorts in New England close in late March or early April. Usually, running out of snow coincides with their customer base transitioning to spring activities. This winter was unusual in a wonderful way with lots of snow, but many ski areas still closed their operations because people stop skiing when the snow in their backyard melts despite having great snow coverage at the mountain. There are a few areas that are open in the Northeast (Jay, Killington, Sugarbush and Sugarloaf), but most of them close up shop.
This past Sunday, I snowshoed up a ski mountain– now closed for the season– with my alpine skis and boots on my back. The sky was blue and the sun was bright with perfect spring corn snow for the ski down.
Then as quickly as Sunday passed, I hiked to the top of Gap Mountain in Troy, New Hampshire, on Monday afternoon where there was not even a patch of leftover snow. The ground was dry. And suddenly I started counting down the days to come back and pick blueberries.
Snow snow, no snow, and then (in a couple months) blueberries!