The January thaw in New England is so classic and predictable it hurts. From around January 6th to the 15th, a majority of NE resorts had been experiencing many days with temps above 40 degrees and penetrating rainfall that had been washing away bases left and right. Some of the larger resorts with more snowmaking capabilities have surely fared better as they have been able to build their bases in anticipation of a thaw, but not everyone else is so fortunate. Mad River Glen in particular has had to close midweek skiing due to lack of base, and is only planning to open on weekends until further notice. Of course, they don’t utilize snowmaking in any capacity but I also can’t recall a January in which their base was this low. Jay Peak, a resort known for its cold temps, high snow totals, and even 80% snowmaking coverage, is currently only opening 32 of 78 trails. Magic Mountain in southern VT is also feeling the pain of the thaw with only a handful of trails open.
There is hope yet though, as a 10-day outlook on January 15th shows low pressure and cold temperatures moving in to close out the month. This appears to be a large scale movement too, as resorts from southern VT to northern ME will all benefit.
Fear not, New England powderhounds. Our snow will return and take us out of this annual thaw that rears its ugly head each winter. Continue to pray for snow, have faith in the almighty Ullr who is sure to reward us for our patience, and all will be well again on the right coast.
And remember to be thankful that you aren’t skiing in California this winter.