While there are still some pockets of snow to play in at Killington and a few other spots in northern New England, it really is time to plunge into and enjoy the change to warmth. And with that change comes chaos at Avie’s Ski / Sport as gear for summer and winter get swapped about the store. Despite the chaos, it’s a good time to pop in and see what’s up. …more
Yes, it’s snowing this morning up at Jay Peak. But I’m not at Jay, I’m several hundreds of miles south along the coast of Connecticut and Rhode Island. Much as I hate to admit it, I am thinking of putting away the skis for this year. Time to ready kayaks, tennis rackets, fly rods, road bike, and the other gear that will get me through the summer.
As tempting as it is to simply shut the closet door and banish the skis to darkness in the corner for the next seven months, I know I need to give them the treatment they deserve before their hibernation settles in. That means repair the base, hone the edges, and lay down a coat of wax. …more
Today is the 21st of March. Yesterday, by the calendar, was the first day of spring. Today, on my drive in to work, I noticed the osprey atop her nest on Route 1 at Silver Spring Cove in Narragansett. When the ospreys are back on the nests here along coastal Rhode Island, to me, that marks the start of spring.
The snow is still great up north. Ask anyone who was on the bus trip to Okemo this past Sunday. Ski and ride season isn’t quite over yet. Keep hitting the slopes as much as you can for as long as you can. Temperatures are continuing to run cold up north, so take advantage while it lasts.
But if you really need to call it quits for the season, there’s a few things you should consider. …more
The 50 or so lucky folks who took part in Avie’s Ski / Sport Customer Appreciation, Final Ski & Ride Trip of the Season, had lots to appreciate.
Fast and firm snow under cloudy skies started the day. The packed-powder groomers took an edge so nicely that everyone with an urge to carve at any speed could do so with grace and ease. It was a fun and fast paced morning.
And then, the clouds not only parted, they disappeared. Completely. Under warming temperatures and aquiline blue skies, the Avie’s faithful had a spring fling in soft snow and thinning crowds. Not a whisker of a breeze topped off an afternoon that could only be described as delightful. From the top of the mountain, I was surprised you couldn’t see Watch Hill and the ocean. It was truly that clear of a sky.
The ride home was filled with blissful exhaustion and bright smiles, sore muscles and more bright smiles. Ted made the rounds, giving away everything from socks to hats, key chains to frisbees. Soupy and cheese, cookies, and other morsels made the rounds. There was nothing to disappoint.
While the bus trip season from Avie’s may be over, the skiing and riding certainly is not. Anyone who pointed skis or snowboard downhill on the mountain can attest to that. I will say it was some of the best conditions I have experienced this season. Okemo deserves a tip of the hat for keeping their slopes in such great condition. All I can say is get out there and go at it again. And again. And yet again if you can.
It was a fantastic finale and a very, very fond farewell. Ted and all of us at Avie’s want to say Thank You for letting us share the final trip of the season with you.
Mount Snow was offering $17 lift tickets today, Friday the 17th of March. So I went to Vermont to go skiing. I went to Stratton. I figured it would be less busy. I was right. And Stratton let skiers and riders start having fun on the slopes at 8AM instead of 9AM. I made a good choice.
But will YOU make a good choice? What choice you ask? The choice of whether or not to go on the Avie’s bus trip this Sunday, March 19th, to Okemo.
I tell folks “the best decision is an informed decision.” So I am going to give you some informing.
Stratton had almost all of their trails open. And the condition of all of them was fantastic, whether they were groomed or not. They even had a few trails open that hadn’t been open at all this year because they don’t make snow on those trails. The cover was a bit sparse in places, but they were totally skiable. Because of that, I got to ski 2 trails I have never been on before, and one I forgot existed because it hasn’t been open in 2 years. My favorite was Standard, the one running down the gondola lift line. Steep enough to get up enough speed to kick up massive sprays of snow from top to bottom. So fun.
Everything was wall-to-wall packed powder. Because of that the snow was a little slower than usual, but it was nice seeing everyone going down slope with big banners and swooshes of powder being kicked up all over the place. First thing in the morning, when the sun was just peaking up over the tops of some of the slopes, the sky all pink and orange hued, the view of skiers and riders kicking backlit snow plumes into the air was just beautiful to behold. That in itself was worth the drive.
Okemo is just next door to Stratton. They got the same approximate 2 feet of snow. And almost all their trails are open. And they too are wall-to-wall packed powder. Temperatures are staying cool so the snow is going nowhere except back on the slopes each night when the groomers are out doing their grooming thing.
I hear there are precious few seats left on the Okemo trip, so don’t hem and haw over your decision. You got the goods. Make that decision. It should be an easy one. If I see you Sunday morning on the trip to Okemo, you made the right decision. And you won’t regret it.
Wow! What a storm that was! Ok, wasn’t really, but that’s Ok. We had less to shovel, and less ice to slip on this morning. It’s all good. Except all that promised snow didn’t happen. Such a bummer.
Until you look north, where it’s still snowing this morning. Take a look at the leading image to this post, looking up Mountain Road at Okemo, and see below for a peek up Lower Chief, taken from one of their mountain cams about 7:30AM today. Almost 2 feet of snow in total. Looks mighty tasty from my seat at the keyboard. Wish I was there.
Wait a minute, I can be there! This Sunday! All I have to do is get to Avie’s and sign up for the bus trip going to Okemo this Sunday. And it’s the Customer Appreciation Trip when Ted gives away all sorts of interesting, fun, and useful ski and ride bling. I better get there quick and sign up before the bus fills.
Wait a minute, I work there and will be going regardless. YOU better get there and sign up before the bus fills and YOU get left behind, chipping ice off your sidewalk instead of playing in one of the best snowfalls this season.
And if it isn’t already tempting enough—though being on a trip with Ted and the rest of the shop employees should be enough—Okemo has another 3 to 6-inches of snow on tap for delivery Saturday. Ted special ordered the extra snow just for this trip, just so you know.
You don’t have to dig out, because there’s nothing to dig out of down here. So just get down to Avie’s today and get on the list of soon to be very happy skiers and riders taking advantage of not only great conditions, but a great deal getting there.
See you Sunday morning. I want to see the giant smile on your face at the end of the day Sunday. You will be sure to see mine.
We have a major winter storm on the horizon. In fact, blizzard watches and warnings are posted for much of the New England region. Survivalists will freak out and run to the grocery store to stock up on food, batteries, and other necessities. Skiers and riders will run out for a bar of wax so they can be sure to have their gear ready to go after the storm. …more
I just got back from a trip into the northern realms of Vermont for a bit of skiing. While riding the lifts and enjoying the tug of gravity on the way back down, a few things gelled in my mind that I would like to pass along for you to contemplate.
First, it seems that the ski areas in lower Vermont, meaning Killington and south, actually have a bigger base than up north. Or maybe it’s just a different kind of base. But my observations suggest that there is more skiable snow on the trails in lower Vermont.
Spent Monday on the slopes at Smuggler’s Notch in upper Vermont. This was my first time on this mountain, though likely not my last. The view from the top of Madonna Mountain is worth the drive. The skiing is too.
Yes, the lifts are fixed-grip doubles that take their time getting to the top. But since there were no lines at the lifts it wasn’t a nuisance or a bother. And it was a sunny, windless day in the low to mid-30s so it really was a pleasant ride back to the top. …more
It’s tough for some of us to think about skiing or riding when the temperature in Westerly is creeping near the 70ºF mark. In February. And there isn’t a speck of snow left on the ground. In fact, daffodils and a few other early bloomers are poking greenery up through the not frozen ground. Many are thinking spring is sprung and skiing and riding is done for another season. But the ospreys aren’t back just yet, and for me that’s the true marker of the start of spring.
I got to spend a couple days on the slopes in Vermont with my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Rob. We hit Killington and then Okemo. I thought I would share a few thoughts, especially for those thinking the season is over. It’s not. …more