Does our current lack of snow have you down? Don’t fret — yet.
Despite what the general public among us might believe, ski season BEGINS in February. No ifs. Buts. Or whatever other adverse term you want to employ. Begins.
OK, so the hype begins in October or November, and builds to a crescendo come the holiday season, but there is nothing better than skiing in the heart of February, March and, yes, April.
Oh, the weather? Right. Yes, it’s been mild here in the Commonwealth, which is to assume adverse conditions from Bar Harbor to Yawgoo.
Except, that’s not so. Let’s consider this single case study.
I’m not talking about the upper reaches of the Green or White Mountain states, either. Try Central Mass., where Wachusett Mountain is in the best shape I’ve ever skied it.
That’s much in thanks to the ski area’s new X2 snowmaking project, which has transformed the mountain back into a Winter Wonderland, one season after moderate winter temperatures created challenges the place couldn’t afford.
“Our customers have told us, we already have some of the best snowmaking they’ve seen and now it will be even better,” Wachusett President Jeff Crowley said. “We have taken a bold and unprecedented approach to ensure we have the best and most snow in New England. We have just invested over $2 million on snowmaking improvements — one of biggest snowmaking improvements ever.”
It’s no joke. Whereas most snowmaking can leave a smooth, sometimes icy surface, Wachusett’s new project leaves a powdery substance, making the carves float on the snow, leaving tracks in lieu of slipping through them.
The X2 included doubled the mountain’s pumping capacity from 4,000 to 8,000 gallons per minute. It allowed more snow to be made overnight when temps are colder, rather than making snow while guests are skiing, and it also added over 40 Computer Controlled HKD Tower Guns on popular trail Ralph’s Run, monitoring temperature and humidity make adjustments automatically to increase output and improve quality.
To be honest, it’s a heck of an improvement from the last time I skied Wachusett, some three or four years ago. And yes, it will go into March. Maybe April.
So, don’t worry about the temps. OK?
“It’s something we’ve wanted to do, but last year really emphasized the need,” Wachusett spokesperson Tom Meyers told me. “This new snowmaking project will certainly allow us to make up.”
It has. As far as snowmaking goes, it’s among the best I’ve ever skied.
So, let’s now freak out. OK?
See you in May.