If you desire that artisanal ungroomed trail experience but don’t have the experience yet, here’s a way to get a hint, courtesy of the AMC NH ski chapter. It’s free as in beer, so the price couldn’t be any better.
For those of you who might not have been partaking in the fun, and also for those of you who have been venturing out doing some fun backyard skiing but want to know more about [backcountry] skiing….join us for this online evening for an introduction to bc skiing! A big thank you to Jamie Gillon for organizing it and a big big thank you to our own AMC NH ski leader JR who will be leading the discussion!
AMC New Hampshire Chapter Ski Committee (reposted to AMC-SKI group)
Lucky ducks in the White Mountains can go to Great Glen or Bretton Woods where there are a few kilometers open. Here in New York State, Mt. van Hoevenberg is sticking with 1.5k of manmade snow on a small loop.
A couple of places got some snow but not opening trails yet- Notchview in MA and Waterville Valley in NH. As for New York, Lapland Lake isn’t open but has hope:
One inch of snow overnight is beautiful but not enough for skiing. Our weather forecast shows colder temperatures and chances of additional snow over the weekend so we hope to be skiing soon.
Lapland Lake ski conditions report Dec. 7 2020
For purposes of my charting, this marks when I’ll see which areas shift out of the ‘Offseason’ mode of reporting. So far, many still have conditions posted from last spring. Hit up the link in the menu for ‘State of the touring centers’ for the usual Google map with all details. Snow depth snapshot below.
Assuming you aren’t so alarmed at the rise in case positivity across the country that travel across state lines looks inadvisable for that reason alone, modeling a vacation scenario takes the awareness of a tax accountant and the adaptability of someone who loves to fly on standby. Note: the guidance below is only as good as the information is current and may not apply to the future:
Massachusetts’ Travel Order for effective August 1 requires a 14-day quarantine for all visitors from higher-risk states, unless you can produce a negative Covid test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in the state.
Vermont has an Executive Order through Dec. 15 requiring either a 14-day quarantine OR 7 days if concluding with a negative PCR test taken at the end of that period.
New Hampshire has the following Travel Guidance as of Dec. 3: No quarantine restrictions for travelers from neighboring states; 10-day quarantine for others OR 7 days if concluding with a negative PCR test taken on day 6 or 7.
New Jersey has an FAQ article of Dec. 7 saying that travelers beyond adjoining states should get tested before and after the trip, and self-quarantine for 10-days OR 7 days if coincident with negative test results.
All the above are of course contingent on being asymptomatic for the entire period. All states recommend against any non-essential travel.
Changes to reporting
Last year I started adding some news about backcountry skiing, mainly from the Barkeater Alliance, which covers portions of the Adirondack scene. I’ll see if it’s worth it to continue and maybe test more reporting if it’s convenient. Backcountry isn’t my thing but it is the modern form of the ur-cross country skiing experience and deserves recognition.
TBH, the Northeast is so rich in places to go for any level of cross-country skiing I’m amazed more people don’t do it. In my effort to cast a wide net, it’s become a real task to run the list two or three times a week in the season.
For sanity’s sake I have to do some culling. In addition, some areas have just taken themselves out on their own. Below are the changes I made between the 2019-20 season and this one.
Granite Gorge Ski Area: Removed from the list. Will be marked on the map but not checked. They’ve never reported conditions anyway.
Mountain Meadows Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe: Out of the trail maintenance biz. Their last words: “After 32 years of grooming and running the nordic center we have decided to just work one job and focus on Base Camp Outfitters.” I wonder what they’ll do with a great domain name (xcskiing.net)
Oak Hill Farms: Will disappear from the list and map. MIA for the last couple of seasons, their site’s unsecured and blank.
Stratton Mountain Nordic Center: Will be marked on the map but not checked. They didn’t really report conditions anyway.
Weston (Leo J. Martin ski track): Removed from the list. Will be marked on the map but not checked. This is really more a thing for Boston-area residents.
Windblown: Still an Inn but out of the ski biz. Their last words: “After 48 years I have decided to close the ski area. Thanks for all your good energy and many years of connecting while gliding on snow.”
Most have been around for awhile, and I’ve added them to have representative areas in various regions. For post-season assessment it helps to have comparable areas in the same topographic region.
Two of the additions are brand-new: Paul Smith’s VIC; and Osceola Ski and Sport Resort, which is just down the road from Osceola Tug Hill XC Ski Center (and still in business after the owner found some people to take over the heavy lifting).
Blueberry Hill Outdoor Center: a family-oriented outdoor center in the northern Green Mountains
Catamount Outdoor Family Center: located in the Lake Champlain area not far from Burlington VT
Osceola Ski and Sport Resort: Brand-new XC and snowshoe center
Paul Smith’s VIC: Brand-new center on existing land owned by the college
Winona State Forest: Located near Pulaski and just inshore from Lake Ontario, to get that lake-effect snow.
Woodstock Inn and Resort: A classic New England style resort located in the Connecticut River valley of mid-Vermont.