Sugarbush Resort had a classic New England ski season. A warm November, December, January, and February led to significant snowmaking efforts that successfully kept the majority of their terrain open.
According to an article written in the Valley Reporter by Corinne Chiarchiaro, who is the Marketing Coordinator at Sugarbush, 189,359,136 gallons of water were pumped this season to make sure they had sufficient coverage during the freeze-thaw cycles, which is nearly a million more gallons than the previous record-breaking year.
Then March happened. They received 62 inches of snowfall, which was an all-time record for the month of March. Their previous record was during 2013-14.
They wrapped up their season this past weekend. The May 7th closing date was their latest conclusion to a season in at least two decades. Based on this historic footnote, I decided to make the trip up there on Sunday to get some morning turns.
Four trails were open during my visit: Snowball, Spring Fling, Stein’s Run, and Coffee Run. This setup ultimately skied as two top-to-bottom runs.
In terms of whether all of them were groomed though, inside the comments section of the social media post above was an interesting caveat by Sugarbush:
“Audible: Stein’s won’t be groomed tonight after our winch cat decided to call in sick. Bump city on Stein’s tomorrow!”
Most of my runs were taken on the Snowball to Spring Fling route. Snowball, an intermediate cruiser, was a bit of a journey. While there was enough snow to make it skiable without having to hike down, there were definitely some thin patches that led to some narrow skiing. This is definitely what you’re signing up for when you’re skiing in May though. The lack of snow allowed for some fun grass/mud patches to slide through.
Spring Fling was a lot better than what I was expecting. There was a deep snowpack on a wide portion of the trail. The skier’s right had the moguls, while the rest of the trail was groomed and eventually bumped up.
Then there was Steins Run. The top featured Volkswagen-sized bumps that make it earn its mark as a double black diamond trail. It would have been interesting to ski it when it’s groomed, but I feel like skiing the bumps is the proper Steins Run experience. This then leads to Coffee Run, a runout that had a few fun rollers and jumps.
I left around 1 p.m. to get back home to watch the Celtics give me a giant migraine again, but Sugarbush kept the lifts spinning till 5 p.m. With 162 ski days in the book, this season was among Sugarbush’s longest ever.
Lots of big offseason projects are on tap for Sugarbush this offseason, with more snowmaking improvements and a new employee housing facility on tap. The 2024 offseason could see the replacement of the Heaven’s Gate Triple chairlift with a new fixed-grip quad, so many changes are on the horizon.
Congratulations to Sugarbush for a record-breaking season!