Destinations for skiing and snowboarding across Vermont are calling the start to the 2017-2018 season one of the best in recent memory. After a white Christmas, some saw even more snow Tuesday.
"We’re really taking advantage of this so far," said skier Kyle Bake of Medford, Massachusetts, who was skiing at Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort with friends from the Boston area.
"It’s definitely a great start," added Matt Boucher of Belmont, Massachusetts. "There’s not a lot of Decembers where there’s this much snow."
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After plenty of natural snow, plus favorable conditions for snowmaking, Sugarbush said it already has its full trail count open.
"It is unusual," observed Win Smith, the president of Sugarbush. "Every winter’s different, but to be 100 percent with the conditions we have is really spectacular."
However, dangerously low temperatures are rolling in during the important Christmas vacation week.
Those temperatures are forecasted to be in the single digits or even negative territory across Vermont: the kind of cold that could keep some skiers and riders at home.
"That’s a challenge, but you know, people say there’s never a bad day of skiing, just bad equipment," Smith said.
Smith advised wearing added layers of high-tech materials and going inside to the lodge between runs, and to remain vigilant for signs of frostbite.
"You’ve just got to layer up," Boucher said of equipping oneself to ski or ride in extreme cold. "[Use] hand and feet warmers, [take] frequent breaks."
Boucher was wearing goggles and a mask that made sure none of his face or neck was exposed to the air Tuesday.
"I was born and raised in the center of Canada, so this is still a little warmer than I’m used to, so it’s all right," Bake said, noting he will not be kept indoors, even when Vermont plunges into the deep freeze.
In what is one measure of how much stronger of a start this season is than last year, Sugarbush said it has 25 percent more trails open today than it did one year ago.