Snowstorm A Boon For Ski Resorts

Mar 15, 2017

Although the blizzard warning has been canceled, a winter storm warnings and advisories remain in effect across Vermont and New York’s North Country.  One to three feet has already fallen throughout the region — and that’s good news for winter skiing enthusiasts.

The National Weather Service regional snowfall report posted early Wednesday morning shows a range of snowfall depths across the region.  Plattsburgh had received 20 inches, Lake Placid 32, South Burlington 25.9, and Jay, Vt. 34 inches of snow.  

Vermont Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Director Erika Bornemann reports between one and three feet of snow accumulation so far across the state.   “This was a very classic kind-of January-February storm more than March. March we get really concerned about heavy snow loading. Travel was very difficult to dangerous yesterday and overnight. And we have to commend the road crews and emergency responders.  We would still recommend caution for travelers today and we’re also encouraging folks to clean snow away from vents, making sure that we don’t have carbon monoxide building up in the homes.  You want to make sure those are clear. That’s very, very important.”

Ski resorts are practically giddy.  The Olympic Regional Development Authority manages Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, New York and in the midst of the storm was sending photos of accumulating snow.  Spokesman Jon Lundin calls the storm absolutely incredible.   “I can’t remember a storm like Stella dumping 40 or more inches at Whiteface and more than 32 inches at Gore and Belleayre.  And to have this amount of snow on top of the snow that we made in early March the trails couldn’t be in better shape for this time of year. (What’s the quality of the snow that’s just fallen?) There’s very little moisture in this snow. This is Westie snow. This is western style snow where it’s just a very, very light snow, so not a lot of moisture in it, a lot of air.  And if you enjoy skiing powder or riding powder this is the kind of snow that you want to be in.”

“It’s so fluffy. It’s just amazing. I mean this is champagne powder like you dream about.”  Bonnie MacPherson, Director of Public Relations at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vermont, says the mountain received at least 18 inches of snow.    “It’s just amazing. It’s light. It’s airy. This is the best of the best.”

MacPherson adds that this snowfall may significantly extend the ski season.   “Surprisingly enough March is the snowiest month of the year traditionally. You know we were a little put off with the start of the month not really delivering and so much warm weather going into March and we weren’t sure it was going to really happen. And so we were continuing snowmaking which usually by the end of February you really sort of taper off with that but after such a great ski season we didn’t want it to end that quickly so we were really focused on a lot of snowmaking. And this just is such a bonus.  We’re shooting for mid-April as the end of the season.”

Additional snow is forecast for the weekend across the region.