Experienced skiers and riders know that the early season – especially in New England – is often a contradiction, a time when our hopes and expectations crash head-on into reality. In other words, enthusiasm may be at all-time high around the November and December holidays, but snowpack generally is not.
Prognostications from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, AccuWeather, NOAA, and even the uber-optimistic ski freak living across town have fueled our anticipation for months, but it all gets thrown out the window when we make our way to the lift line for those early-season runs. The only thing that matters in these moments is the reality we feel beneath our skis that day.
Sometimes, we connect on a home run in November but more often we are playing small ball, scratching out infield hits in December simply to keep the game rolling forward into January. How we approach the inconsistency of early-season conditions is important for a variety of reasons, mainly to keep us safe so we can enjoy those prime days that await in February and March.
NESJ caught up with Vail Resorts’ Karen Wagner, ski patrol director at Stowe Mountain Resort, and Nate Jones, ski patrol director at Attitash Mountain Resort, to get some of their thoughts about making the most of the early season.