There are going to be a lot more places to ski in New England beginning this weekend.
Saddleback, Mount Sunapee, Wildcat, Cannon, Bolton Valley, Waterville Valley, Cranmore, and Ragged are among the New England ski areas which announced they would be kicking off the 2021-22 seasons beginning Friday or Saturday. They will join other local resorts — including Stowe, Killington, Sugarloaf, Loon, Bretton Woods, Bromley, Sunday River, and Jay Peak — already in full swing.
Attitash Mountain Resort, which was originally scheduled to open this weekend, announced a delay earlier this week.
“Our team is working hard to make snow at every opportunity and we’re committed to providing the best early-season experience possible,” the resort posted on social media. “Please check back for updates and we will announce a new target opening date by the end of the week.”
Attitash and Crotched (planning to open Dec. 11) are the only two Vail-owned properties in the region that will not be open beginning this weekend.
Despite the warm temperatures that delayed snowmaking in many parts of the region, this year’s slate of openings is on a much more normal pace than some areas managed last year during the height of the pandemic.
“We are excited to welcome guests back to Saddleback for the start of our second winter season,” said Andy Shepard, general manager for Maine’s Saddleback, which re-opened under new ownership in 2020, following a five-year closure. “We look forward to providing families a safe outdoor venue to make some magical memories on the slopes.”
Elsewhere in the region, Gunstock, Crotched, Burke, Mad River Glen, and Pico are among those ski areas looking to open during the weekend of 11-12.
Pandemic protocols may vary depending on ski area or state. Particularly with the omnicron variant making headlines, the industry as a whole is encouraging visitors to “know before you go” by checking each resort’s web site for the latest information.
“That advice holds for this year as well,” trade group Ski New Hampshire president Jessyca Keeler said. “With the safety of guests, staff, and our communities our priority, we’ve compiled resources needed to make informed decisions this season.”
Ski New Hampshire has created a COVID-19 resource center on its website to make it easy for skiers to find important information about ski area operations: www.skinh.com/covid-19-consumer. Ski Vermont has posted its resources at skivermont.com/know-before-you-go. Maine’s Covid response can be found at www.visit-maine.com/state/ski-areas/winter-activities
Eric Wilbur can be reached at [email protected].