March 3 weekend (update)

Friday night:

Fahnestock received 10 – 12” of snow! Yay- the bad news is there’s a lot of debris and the power is out at the park buildings. They may be able to open tomorrow afternoon.

High Point has received six inches of snow and will be open Saturday.

Mohonk ski trails are open

Mountain Trails received 24” and is open

Pineridge is assessing whether to open. Received rain and 12” new snow.

Prospect Mountain reports five+ inches of snow Friday, with more on the way.

Notchview received 7” compacted to 5. Will be open Saturday.

Stump Sprouts received 4” at last report, expects 8 – 10” total. Will assess grooming potential Saturday. Call ahead.

Osceola’s gotten four inches so far, on top of a solid base. Expecting a total of 6 – 10”

crocus buds emerging from snow
Skiing’s on!


March 3 weekend conditions outlook


Hold on, we’re not quite ready to sing the end of the season for downstaters; a storm coming from the west will dump anywhere from a couple of inches of rain/snow mix to over a foot of snow, from the lower Hudson valley up through upstate New York from the Great Lakes to Albany, with smaller amounts as it crosses to VT and New England. See the updated infographic below.

crocus buds emerging from snow
Not looking forward to mud season

Prospect Mountain reports seven inches of snow Friday morning, with more on the way. Osceola’s gotten four inches so far, on top of a solid base.

Areas of southern Adirondacks, Tug Hill plateau, and southern VT have been getting by and are looking forward a good snowfall on Friday. Looks like the fat lady has to stay offstage for one more weekend at least.

State of the touring centers:

Day trip range*:

palapa on barren beach
Keep driving or get ready for biking

Early start day trip, or a 36-hour getaway*:

Maple Corner Farm, Blandford MA
3+ hr hr drive (southwestern MA I-90 corridor)
2/19/18 report

Prospect Mountain, Woodford VT
3-1/2 hr drive (southern VT)
2/23/18 report
3 – 4″ new snow
Base 1 – 3″
Open (and hoping for snow on Friday)

Notchview Reservation, Windsor MA
3-1/2 hr drive (Berkshires, Rt 9 corridor)
2/24/18 report
Closed for skiing, too muddy for bikes

Northfield Mountain Cross Country Ski Area, Northfield MA
3-1/2 hr drive (Berkshires, northwestern MA)
2/23/18 report

Stump Sprouts Ski Touring and Guest Lodge, Charlemont MA
3-1/2 hr drive (Berkshires, off Rt 2)
Closed for wintersports

Brattleboro Outing Club, Brattleboro VT
3-1/2 hr drive (southern VT)
Base 0 – 6″
27KM Open
4 KM Groomed

Weston Ski Track, Weston MA
3-1/2 hr drive (Boston area)
3/1/18 report
1 KM open

If you can stay a night or two*:

Gore Mountain Nordic Center, Johnsburg NY
4 hr drive (southern Adirondacks)
3/1/18 report
Base 5 – 12″, loose granular
4 KM open

Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center, Northville NY
4 hr drive (Albany region)
3/1/18 report
Base 3 – 10″, spring conditions and looking for snow Friday
14 KM  Classic
14 KM  Skating

Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center, Grafton VT
4 hr drive (southern VT)
2/23/18 report
Base 1″(!)
11 KM Open
4 KM trackset

Timber Creek Cross Country Ski Center, West Dover VT
4 hr drive (southern VT)
3/1/18 report
Base 2 – 10″
70% open (?) Call for info. Hoping for snow Friday

Viking Nordic Center, Londonderry VT
4 hr drive (southern VT)
2/24/18 report
Closed. Hoping for snow Friday

Garnet Hill Lodge XC Ski Center, North River NY
4-1/2 hr drive (southern Adirondacks)
3/1/18 report
Closed for skiing. Hoping for snow Friday and next week.

Okemo Valley Nordic Center, Okemo VT
4-1/2 hr drive (central VT)
3/1/18 report
6 KM Skating (2 of 12 trails)

Wild Wings Ski Touring Center, Peru VT
4-1/2 hr drive (southern VT)
3/1/18 report
Base 3 – 18″, spring conditions
10 KM trackset

Cascade Cross Country Center, Lake Placid NY
5 hr drive (High Peaks region)
3/1/18 report
Base 5 – 6″
3 KM Classic
3 KM Skating

Olympic Sports Complex at Mt Van Hoevenberg, Lake Placid NY
5 hr drive (High Peaks region)
3/1/18 report
Base 12″
1 KM Open (mini loop)

Osceola Tug Hill Cross Country Ski Center, NY
5 hr drive (northern NY)
2/23/18 report
Base 4 – 6″, lost half the base b/c overnight temps were above freezing, some challenging icy spots today; expect several inches of snow Friday
40 KM Classic
40 KM Skating

Mountaintop Inn & Resort, Chittenden VT
5 hr drive (central VT)
3/1//18 report
3.5 KM Open
1 KM groomed for skiing

Rikert Nordic Center, Ripton VT
5 hr drive (central VT)
3/1/18 report
11 KM Open
5 KM Groomed

(* All drive time estimates based on leaving uptown Manhattan. Current conditions reports from,, ski area website reports, and some general detective work)

The infographic:

That is some angry looking snowstorm…

Snow forecast for Friday March 2 2018 1pm

.. and it will help put the ski areas back in business for the weekend. There’s another storm possible next week too. But with temps staying above freezing most nights the snow won’t last long. The fat lady is warming up, waiting for her chance to sing out the end of the season:


Post-olympic slumber for XC?

Hope not.

Am I done with hero-worshipping Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall? Not quite yet.

Nerdy but kind of awesome:

Following day press conference with Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins (via KTUU)- skip to about 9′ in. The winners of the team sprint discuss Kikkan’s balance of life and skiing, performance and the value of a supportive team and mentors.

The athletes seem so much more human here than in the fancier settings. Randall in particular gets a chance to speak of her experiences without a lot of prompting.

Fun facts and quotes:

  • They really did stay awake or wake up at 3am in Afton MN to watch the team sprint live.
  • Randall’s aunt and uncle were Olympians.
  • Diggins: “I still have Bill Koch’s poster above my bed back home.”
  • Randall: “Not all Olympic sports can be done by the regular person, but everybody can cross-country ski”
  • Diggins: “Focusing on the outcome isn’t what gets you the medal. We had to ski smart, clean races with good tactical moves. We focused on process instead of the outcome.”
  • Randall on returning to skiing as a new mom: “I had to kind of rebuild [fitness after giving birth]. Knowing that this opportunity [to rejoin the ski team] was out there really pushed me to come back”
  • Randall: “Having a son makes appreciate what I get to do as a ski racer so much more… win or lose he was going to be happy to see me and I think that kind of freed me to do my job and have fun.”

Best recap of the team sprint final:

I’m a sucker for this kind of feel-good moment:

I think every father hopes, as Jessie’s dad does, that his kids will be better than they are.

The ad above was done months ahead of the Olympics. Apparently there’s a ton of stuff prepped for use just in case. If you look at the race suits you can tell the competition scenes are from a couple of old World Cup races.

But within a day, Comcast spliced in race shots from the team sprint, as seen in this Adweek video (which also features the finish and immediate post-race reactions).

Skiing for the rest of us:

Post-race article by Cross Country Skier:

  • “This will really be a game changer in the United States for skiing,” [Clay Diggins, Jessie’s father] added. “For Norway it would be another medal. And look at them and the support they have. In America, now this changes everything.”
  • “I’ve been walking on air ever since,” said [Bill Koch, the only other American to win a medal in cross-country skiing] over Facetime. “I’m so ready to pass the torch. The first thing I did was go out for a ski. I was so happy. I was laughing and crying at the same time while I was skiing. I was doing a bunch of wicked intervals. Doing Klaebo technique up the steep uphills. I was so amped!”

Riffing on Kikkan Randall’s comment that everybody can participate in an Olympic sport like cross-country skiing, and also on Jessie Diggins’ statement that the two didn’t focus on the outcome, there was a conversation on NBC Sports about keeping the fun in athletics for longer than is typical in the US:

Jimmy Roberts’ NBC Olympics Daily- day 14 show (subscription or cable service logon required).

About a third of the way in, Roberts and guests from the Aspen Institute and NRK (Norwegian broadcasting) discuss how keeping competition and selection to out of sports until age 13 or so helps late-bloomers and prevents early burn-out.

Excerpted and edited quotes:

  • Tom Farrey, Aspen Institute Sport and Society Program: “Norway has arguably the best sports system in the world, reconceptualized since a gold-less 1988. They don’t keep scores up to age 13, to maintain sport as a development system for all levels.
    “In US, sports is designed by parents who do not truly understand athletic development, or how to sync that up with child development.”
  • Andreas Stabrun Smith, NRK: “[the mother of ] Simen Kruger (gold medal in skiathlon) said he became a good athlete only after 15 or 16. He was just enjoying the skiing.” (Kruger is now 24 years old)

Here’s to the ‘losers’ (bless ’em all):

Washington Post Article. Gold medalist Dario Cologna was a true sportsman and gentleman to congratulate those coming in last in the 15k.

Looking for prodigies:

Americans seem to want the achievement, but like a movie they’d prefer a brief series of short edits to illustrate the process. Maybe what you get out of internalizing and processing the process is what’s important. “The journey is the reward” or destination, or something to that effect.

We can’t all be fast, but we can have fun while internalizing the process of doing something ‘smart and clean, with good moves’.