Originally published in 2018.
More than a half century ago, the rock group Chicago released a song called “25 or 6 to 4.’’ To most listeners the numbers meant nothing. Here, then, are some numbers that will be meaningless unless you are a skier and a cold-weather-loving skier at that: minus-10, 1,700 and 200.
In the warmth of the ski lodge, beside a crackling fire, let’s unpack those numbers. Minus-10 was the temperature at the base of Mount Cranmore in North Conway the morning of New Year’s Day this year. Now let’s consider 1,700: That was the number of skiers who bought passes two days earlier. And the figure 200? It’s the number of people who bought ski passes at Cranmore that frigid holiday Monday, when otherwise a healthy crowd might have been expected.
My calculation: Some 1,500 people missed out on a terrific ski day — one of the best of the year, and not only because the year was only hours old when, at around 1:30 in the afternoon, I strapped on my boards, took the Skimobile Express to the very top and had my pick of 149 acres of skiing on trails with a base of as much as 32 inches. That’s 48 trails open for skiing and riding, some of the nicest packed powder you could ever want … and no crowds.