Snow Report: Winter Is Almost Over

It's difficult to imagine many ski areas remaining open through the month.

Ski The Least by Garrett Quinn

Ski The Least by Garrett Quinn

The sun is setting on our miserable winter.

There are perhaps just four weekends, or less, of skiing left at most New England ski areas. The
snow pack is just not where it needs to be for most ski areas to make strong runs deep into the
spring. With unseasonably warm temperatures in the forecast for the foreseeable future, this
could go down as one of the shortest ski seasons in New England history. The upside to all this
warm weather? Skiing in shorts!

Here’s Time NECN’s Tim Kelly with the Ski The East Snowcast:

See? Not much to be optimistic about.

The State of Tuckerman Ravine

Thinking of skiing Tuckerman Ravine before the winter ends because everywhere else is
terrible? Well, Tucks isn’t all that great either. Also, be careful: The current avalanche is
rated as considerable, the third highest rating on the avalanche danger scale.

From the Mount Washington Avalanche Center:

AVALANCHE PROBLEM: Wet slabs ​and ​persistent slabs​ are the avalanche
problems today. Continued warm temperatures will reach deeper into the snowpack
and further destabilize slopes. Rain may also add weight and further weaken the
already stressed weak layers in the snowpack. Consider the small natural avalanche in
Center Bowl yesterday as confirmation of red flags created by a warming trend. A layer
of weak, sugary facets had not yet been reached by warming temperatures yesterday.
Today’s warmth and rain might awaken a larger avalanche dragon.

Sugarloaf vs. Sunday River

The greatest rivalry in North American skiing isn’t in Colorado or British Columbia or Utah. It’s in Maine. The two largest ski areas in Maine, Carrabassett Valley’s Sugarloaf and Bethel’s Sunday River, have been locked in an intense rivalry since the early 1970s. Sunday River was nothing special until Les Otten took it over and launched a decades-long expansion project that made it the second largest resort in Maine. Sugarloaf, meanwhile, was already built out and in the middle of stagnation, or worse, decline. This scenario set the stage for a long public battle between the upstart Sunday River, with its Massachusetts customer base and the established Sugarloaf, the ultimate Mainers’ mountain. The latest issue of Ski magazine has a long feature on the battle between the two titans. Read it here.

Max Pass Continues, Expands For Next Season

Not everything about this season was miserable for New England skiers. The Max Pass debuted this winter as the greatest ski bargain for New England skiers since the American Skiing Company offered the multi-mountain “All For One” pass in the early aughts. If you purchased it this year and didn’t use it much because of the terrible conditions, don’t worry. It’ll be back next year. Max Pass officials announced this week that the popular North American pass will not only be back next season, but it’s expanding to include additional mountains. For $599, holders of the 2016-17 Max Pass receive five days of skiing at each of the following resorts:

Sunday River, ME
Sugarloaf, ME
Killington, VT
Stratton, VT
Pico Mountain, VT
Loon Mountain, NH
Wachusset, MA
Snowshoe, WV
Mount Tremlant, QU
Blue Mountain, ON
Boyne Mountain, MI
Boyne Highlands, MI
Big Sky, MT
Brighton, UT
Solitude, UT
Copper Mountain, CO
Steamboat, CO
Winter Park, CO
Aleyska, AK
Crystal Mountain, WA
Summit at Snoqualmie, WA
Cypress Mountain, BC
Mt. Bachelor, OR
Boreal Mountain, CA
Lee Canyon, NV

Notice the new additions to this 2016-17 pass? Wachusett, Solitude, and Alyeska. This deal is incredible, because if you ski roughly seven times in just New England, the whole thing is paid for. Skiers need to think about the sport like buying an airline ticket: The sooner you buy a ticket, the cheaper it will be. Trust the Snow Report. This is the way to go if you’re planning on skiing more than a weekend all winter. Prices only go up as the next season approaches.

Stay Tuned To This Space For Tips On Late Season Deals

As winter comes to a close, deals with be popping up everywhere. Follow the Snow Report for the remainder of the season for the best tips on how to score major ski and snowboard deals.