Finale for 20-21 season

Summary

A number of touring centers decided on Wednesday or Thursday that the combination of warm temperatures and some rain expected didn’t warrant trying to stay open for one last weekend.

There’s still a wee bit of groomed trail skiing to eke out at places like Mt van Hoevenberg, Craftsbury, Jackson, and Prospect Mountain. Nonetheless the season is effectively over except for backcountry skiers willing to head to the far north and higher elevations.

While some cooler weather will come in for the first part of next week, there won’t be any chance of snow. Rain forecast for later next week along with temps above freezing day and night across the entire northeast.

Conditions

BETA report as of Thursday says backcountry trails still have cover and are skiable in spring conditions, with some possible bare spots on south-facing slopes. Up to 5′ of snowpack above 4000′.

Some touring centers had a pretty good year and posted the number of days they were open. I’ll try to capture the last gasps of this season and begin looking to summarize in April.

Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for details, and shake your head over the grim state of the snowpack as of today:

Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 26 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 26 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Thanks for reading, and hope you got some good skiing in.

Skiability update 3/24

It’s a bad sign when you hit a ‘404- page not found‘ instead of getting the ski conditions page at touring center website. You think it’s a sign they’re offseason?

Did a quick update to skiability conditions, and it’s as bad as I thought- warm weather and some rain this late in March pretty much kills the incentive to groom. Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ for a look. Now it’s time for mud and making maple syrup.

The main part of the season was pretty good, and I hope the people who maintain the trails and centers that make it possible made it through economically intact. For most skiers it’s time to clean the skis and give them a coat of base wax for storage.

One or two more updates still to come on conditions, then I’ll be winding down the season with some assessments before the blog goes into quiet for summer. Thanks for reading.

March 22-28: cocktails and umbrellas

This post contains section links to Conditions and Forecast.

Summary

It’s now a matter of the bigger the snowpack, the longer the skiing lasts. There’s a few nights this week where low temps in the north and mountains will be below freezing, but the northeast will be pretty warm for late March.

Where the snow is ample and has had a chance to degrade to corn snow or been groomed into submission rather than compacting to ice, the skiing in sun and warm temps in the early part of this week will be wonderful.

Conditions

Early this week, nighttime temps will set up the snow for faster and icier conditions in the early mornings. Snow will soften by mid-day. As the week goes on the snow will soften earlier and bare spots will grow. Expectation of rain on Friday could be the last straw for touring center operators, if not a wipeout for the snowpack.

And the signs are already there. Some or all the following will declare their ski season over this week: Grafton Trails, Lapland Lake, Minnewaska, Mountaintop, Rikert, Stump Sprouts, Woodstock Inn and Resort. Trail systems below 2000′ or with a base less than 18″ will have a hard time making it through the weekend with an intact base. Backcountry trails at altitude could have some skiing for a bit longer.

In terms of groomed trail systems, Prospect Mountain and Great Glen in NH are possibles for getting past the weekend, but will they make to to April? Stay tuned. Hit up ‘State of the touring centers‘ or in the menu above for reported conditions. Check ‘Word’ for details on opening days.

Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 22 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked
Snow depth northeast US, Mar. 22 2021 (NWS) , with ski centers marked

Forecast

Cocktail weather, then come the umbrellas.

Warm and dry spring weather during the first part of the week, turning windier and wetter before getting cooler on the weekend.

During most of the week our downstate high temps will be mostly in the upper-60s and even above 70 in NYC; up north temps will be in the 50s and 60s.

Slightly cooler on the weekend, when the north country will have highs in the 40s, with higher elevations staying in the 30s. Downstate and low-lying areas will be in the 50s and 60s. Breezy Friday and Saturday, with winds 10-20mph

Possible showers or rain arrive on Wednesday with spotty clearing Thursday. Rain likely again on Friday for the entire northeast, with some respite Saturday before showers and rain return again on Sunday.

8-14 day prediction indicates precipitation likely to be in the normal range for this time of year, with a good chance that high temperatures will be above normal.