Advances in ski technology have allowed ski areas to extend their seasons into the shoulders of winter like never before. As long as it is cold enough at night to make snow and there are no prolonged rainy spells, mountains can pile up the snow on at least some of their terrain.Those with access to unlimited water can just pump it out in crystal form using snow guns that have been engineered to be very efficient.
Where it was unheard of to be open for skiing in November, it is now becoming much more common. For example, Karl Stone of Ski New Hampshire tells me that at least seven of the 33 alpine and cross country areas in his state plan to open this month. Of course the cross-country areas, for the most part, rely on natural snow, but places like Bretton Woods, Mt. Sunapee, and Waterville now have the capability to make their own in such volume they can offer surprisingly good surfaces much earlier in the year than ever before.
Over in Vermont, Killington has always made a big deal out of being the first to open. In the past it has been more of a publicity stunt than real skiing, but over the past few years they and others have been able to offer quality skiing on limited trails in November. And, it is usually offered at a substantial discount. Of the 39 ski resorts and cross country facilities in Vermont, many of them will be operational around Thanksgiving. That being said, it is “buyer beware” time. Do not expect mid-season depth and full trail edge width but for those with a hankering to get in a few early runs, the opportunity is there.
The Boston Ski Show:
The 32nd Annual Boston Ski and Snowboard Expo will be held Nov. 14-17 at the World Trade Center on Boston Harbor. With the 2014 Winter Olympic games to be held in Russia this year, this show will feature U.S. Olympians past and present to be on hand.
One of the featured attractions will be the jaw-dropping aerial performances by Olympic skier Ryan St. Onge and Flying Aces co-founder Fuzz Fedderson soaring above the throngs of Expo visitors as they execute intricate airborne maneuvers on skis and snowboards.
Approximately 60 resorts and roughly 40 Travel an Tourism companies from around the world will be represented here. This is one of the largest ski Expos in the country. This is the “can’t miss” marketing opportunity for most major resorts. There will be ticket deals and vacation packages offered at the booths operated by resorts that will include hundreds of giveaways. This is a chance for the average skier to see what is going on this coming year in resorts you might want to visit.
In addition, all of the big equipment manufacturers will be there as well. As of this time, 34 different ski and snowboard companies will be displaying their wares. Skis, boots, poles, ski wear and accessories will all be on display. Here is your chance to ask questions of the manufacturers representatives and touch and compare the equipment.
If that isn’t enough, there will be over 60 other exhibitors such as Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, Killington Mountain School, Sky Zone Indoor, New England Ski Museum, Mtn. Dew Vertical Challenge and others.
At the Ski Vermont pavilion you will be able to sample some of the famous Long Trail Beer,
There will be Eliteam Fitness Challenge presented by Loon Mtn. The Fall Brawl skateboard contest will be run on the Waterville Valley street course. Wachusett Mountain will have a Kids Snowpark and Learning center. Burton Riglet will also have a learn to snowboard Park as well. There will be cross country ski demonstrations put on by the Cross Country Ski Areas Association
East Coast Alpine will again this year be having a huge pre-season sale on all kinds of ski equipment. Some left over from last year and much of it brand new for the 2013-14 season. All of the major equipment manufacturers will be there to present their newest offerings.
As usual there will be music presentations at Live at Frank’s Place.