Vermont is the undisputed snowfall champ this season. Jay Peak Resort leads the way with 357 total inches as of April 13, 2015, far outpacing western resorts in accumulated snow, and at 100 percent open, the resort doesn’t plan to close until May. Other resorts in Vermont have similar stories of record snowfall. Killington Resort, supplementing their nearly 200 inches of natural snow with efficient snowmaking, has snowpack of up to 30 feet – enough to plan to keep the mountain open for skiing and riding until June.
Statewide in Vermont, resorts have seen an average of about 240 inches of snow this season and with winter’s grip holding fast through March, much of that snow is still on the ground softening up under spring sun. The US National Weather Service snow stake at the top of the highest mountain in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, home of Stowe Mountain Resort, read 7 ½ feet as of April 9, 2015, a record amount for the season and far above the seasonal average.
Snowfall records in the East are no surprise in 2015. The city of Boston saw the snowiest season on record with over 100 inches of snow falling this winter, and while the city struggled with snow removal, southern Vermont resorts reveled in the same storms that brought snow solidly through the month of February.
“During the month of February alone, 76 inches of snow fell – an all-time record for that month,” said Dave Meeker of Mount Snow Resort. “In fact, all of that snow fell within a 21 day period from February 2nd through 22nd.” Mount Snow has received 193” of natural snow this season, which is the most since the 2000/2001 season. Nearby Stratton Mountain Resort also saw over 70” of snow during the snowy month of February, far outpacing previous years’ accumulations.
In northern Vermont, Q Burke Mountain Resort saw the snowiest season in three years and Bolton Valley boasts the highest snowfall on record since 2010, with 276” accumulated snowfall for the 2014-15 ski season.
Many resorts also credit the consistent wintery weather for the great trail conditions and hefty snowpack in April. “The consistently cold temperatures kept the snow from melting and maintained surface conditions that were amazing throughout the winter season,” said Bonnie MacPherson of Okemo Mountain Resort.
The abundant snowfall also allowed for more terrain choices throughout the season. Sugarbush Resort’s Castlerock peak, expert terrain that receives no snowmaking and little grooming, has been open to the public for 118 days and remains open as of April 13, 2015.
The consistent temperatures and great snowfall also had skiers and riders at Smugglers’ Notch Resort enjoying plenty of terrain choices this season, including the longest run of open days in recent history for Smugglers’ extensive glade terrain. “Some of Smugglers’ notable glades including the East’s only triple black diamond, the Black Hole, and numerous glades in the Madonna Bowl, all saw consistently good conditions even with the season’s end approaching,” said Karen Boushie of Smugglers’ Notch. “The season’s definitely wrapping up on a high note.”
As of mid-April, many of Vermont’s smaller ski and snowboard areas have closed for the season, but closing days saw many at 100% open and with plenty of snow on the ground.