It’s All Downhill

There is much rejoicing in New England’s ski country

The scene at Gunstock Mountain.

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At 7:50 a.m. on Friday, Mount Snow in Vermont tweeted a photo of a fairly sizable group of skiers and snowboarders already lined up to ride the chairlifts that would open at 8 a.m.

At 9:52 a.m., Loon Mountain in New Hampshire announced that it had reached capacity in its parking lots, although lift tickets were still available and shuttle buses from area lodging locations were still running.

At 10:02 a.m., Katie Fogel at Jiminy Peak in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts reported this: “Conditions are powder and packed powder today and the conditions are awesome! We opened one of our most popular trails today — Jericho.”


At 10:05 a.m., Greg Keeler at Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire sent this message: “We’re likely going to have one of the busiest days in recent Cannon history.”

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And at 10:15 a.m., this came in from Rachel Wilkinson at Shawnee Peak in Maine: “We’re 100 percent open at Shawnee Peak. 18-20 inches received. Epic day!”

There was euphoria Friday all across New England’s ski country following a storm that dropped as much as 2 feet of snow, paving the way for a true powder day that had skiers and snowboarders flocking to the slopes.

“This morning’s numbers are above the six-year average we use to gauge visits,” said Jennifer Karnan of Gunstock Mountain in New Hampshire. “We were directing guests to our farthest parking lot by 9 a.m. today, which usually doesn’t happen until 10. We’re expecting record numbers for tomorrow.”

Wachusett Mountain in Princeton, Mass., was at capacity by 10 a.m., according to marketing and special events manager Audra Kirtland.


“The timing of this snowstorm was the perfect gift for the holiday weekend,” she said. “We received 12 inches of natural snow yesterday into last night, allowing time for the roads to clear by time everyone headed out this morning. People were eager to get back on the slopes after last year’s dismal snowfall totals.”

Princeton, MA., 12/30/16, The large snow all was great for the ski resorts, and Wachusett Mountain ski resort was filled to the brim. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff)
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Large crowds enjoyed first-rate conditions at Wachusett in Princeton, Mass., on Friday.

People waited in line for shuttles that took them to Wachusett’s slopes Friday.
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
People waited in line for shuttles that took them to Wachusett’s slopes Friday.

In Vermont, the storm allowed for a 15 percent increase in open skiing terrain in the Green Mountain State, according to Ski Vermont’s Sarah Wojcik, and allowed several resorts to reach fully open status.

The best part was more snow was falling.

“The real story is that it is snowing harder now than it did yesterday, with [about] 3 inches already down this morning,” said Sugarbush representative John Atkinson.

And at Stowe: “It has really been snowing hard this morning,” said Scott Braaten. “We had some snowfall rates up to 2 inches per hour. As of 11 a.m., our storm total is 9-11 inches and climbing.”


But enough words. See for yourself in the photos below, provided by New England ski area representatives at the Globe’s request.


Cannon Mountain


Shawnee Peak

Gunstock Mountain


Lost Valley

Jay Peak

Jiminy Peak

Sunday River

Smugglers’ Notch

Black Mountain (Maine)

Mt. Abram

And from social media ...

Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15.