I know Harvey has wanted to get more Magic related events here, so I'm starting this thread to provide ongoing reports of conditions at what is, IMHO, the best lift-served terrain in S. VT.
Sunday afternoon (1/11/15) was a gem. Temps rose into the 20s and the sun came out so Sunshine Corner could represent:
Only the East side was open and not much of that; best way down was Magic Carpet -> Wand -> Showoff or Hocus Pocus. Not that coverage was a problem, because nearly everything has a decent base, but it's locked in hard and there's not enough fresh on top in most places to keep you from rattling the fillings out of your head. But the grooming was overall pretty good and everything was nicely edgeable. I did get a report from some boarders who poached the West side and ventured into Wardrobe. Apparently in the trees there is a dense, hard base, with a lighter layer on top, a breakable crust on top of that, with some fluff on the crust. They were able to stay (mostly) on top but for two plankers the breakable crust would have been deadly. Not to mention that you have to *get* there and Wizard was not groomed which makes it a rough ride.
I expect that with a bit more snow today and some more grooming they should be able to open more terrain for the holiday weekend. If temps aren't too bitter I should get out again Thurs/Fri and will report back.
Thanks,Magic is on my list for this season. I see on reports that very limited is open but was wondering about what's truly skiable. I'll keep an eye out for your future reports. Looking forward too them.
Cold temps and minimal fresh kept me off the mountain most of last week. But Monday (MLK 2015) saw milder weather and a couple of inches of heavy snow with almost no loss in snow pack from the storm Sunday.
As often happens there, the official "open" trail count was extremely deceiving with only 11 officially open trails, all of which are on the east side. Ironically, the sketchiest parts were on the supposedly easiest ways down with a daunting combination of refrozen boilerplate, blue ice and death cookies for beginning skiers on sections of Magic Carpet and Wand. The best of the day for me on officially open terrain was the Medium / Caramba combo and Upper Your Sleeve / Vertigo. Plenty of snow, particularly around the edges just watch out for the huge section of blue ice in the middle of Medium. Overall a very enjoyable day with almost no one on the mountain at the end of a holiday weekend
Now, about that "official" qualifier. Ropes were up all over the mountain and were ignored by many of the regulars. Twilight Zone, Goniff's, Broomstick -> Black, Talisman, Sorcerer and some lines in the trees all got skied (a lot based on the number of tracks) and I got multiple reports from the hooligans responsible for said poaching that the cover and conditions were excellent. Not okay, not good: excellent. Which begs the question of why the ropes were up.
There are a number of factors which lead to this situation, and it occurs far too often at Magic. At least part of the problem is the leadership of the ski patrol there. He seems to have lost the joy for the sport and is rarely seen actually on skis and I can't say I've ever seen him smile. He has refused to drop ropes before opening bell on powder days, apparently preferring to berate skiers who ducked those ropes in their enthusiasm to get first tracks.
And there are some questionable management decisions. One reason that the west side was closed is due to an excavator parked on the chute of Wizard, an obvious safety hazard that is a legitimate reason to have that trail closed. But how did anyone think it was okay to position that equipment there for a holiday weekend? Whatever work was needed should have been scheduled, completed and cleaned up well in advance to be able to double the mountain's trail count and expand the available terrain.
Over in that "other forum" in which I frequent it was also pointed out that a considerable number of trees were down in Twilight Zone, creating hazards which needed to be addressed before the trail could be opened. Fair enough, although all the skiers who skied it reported it wasn't a real issue. And there was no sign that anyone was going to actually get in there and clean anything up. I hope to be shockingly surprised next time I'm there to see that there's been any work in there.
Bottom line: don't base your decision to go/not go to Magic on the trail count or their own ski report. With the next snowfall everything will be in play and it's game on.
It's been far too long for an update and we thank everyone for patiently waiting on the news. A lot has happened within the last month, outside and in many more changes have taken place. Having your support makes the difference and having an open line of communication to you is what you deserve.
Let’s start with the Black Chair. As everyone knows the Black Chair was in question for most of season due to a few issues. After moving through several meetings with the state and engineers, we created an action plan to fix the issues. Work was started and in the fall lots has been done to help push the chair in the right direction. We are now to the point where we have a schedule for the final few weeks of work to begin on the 28th of this month. With a few weeks of our people going through each chair and the shiv trains the Black Chair will be back on track by the end of the season.
Snowmaking has had its share of ups and downs to follow. There have been a few issues with the infrastructure on the hill, but thanks in part to our mountain ops team and the help of a few faithful folks things are getting into shape. The East side of the mountain is now near 100% open and groomed. As repairs finish this upcoming week on water lines on Wizard the Westward expansion is coming. Talisman is slotted to be the first trail for snowmaking after the repairs are completed.
We have a busy schedule ahead of us with the Ski the East Junior Qualifier taking place on the 31st of this month. This event will be the start to our competition kick with two more freeride events coming in February along with races each weekend. Winterfest will be held on the 21st with the torchlight parade, silent auction and the Black Magic Challenge taking place!
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
The latest storm brought a few inches of fresh during the day Saturday (1/24/15). Amazing how good it is with that extra bit of softness. Almost everything was open and everything was skiable. A dense, edgeable Styrofoam-like base has everything sketchy locked in, so rocks, logs, trees, etc. are pretty much a non-issue. Even Broomstick was not as treacherous as usual. Black Line, Heart of Magician, Upper Wizard -> Talisman & Sorcerer, Twilight Zone, Witch -> Goniff were all open and the skiing was good. Red Line, Slide Of Hans, Lower Wizard were not open and *allegedly* the skiing was good. With the storm coming in Monday, even if it only produces a fraction of what is predicted, the whole mountain will be in play including all of the woods. Currently expecting a powder day opening on Wednesday.
This is our update for Monday 1/26, we will planning to open Wednesday 1/28 for a powder day. From the latest report at 7:45 this morning: Today and tonight will bring 3-4", with snow showers in the morning amounting to near 1". That puts Tuesday just out of our powder day program. Tuesday afternoon is slotted to provide us with 6-10" and will push Wednesday in powder day conditions. We will monitor the snow accumulation on the mountain for tomorrow, if there is snow and power we will be ready for Tuesday. Check in with the snow report for the most up to date information.
"You just need to go at that shit wide open, hang on, and own it." —Camp
Is the red chair the only one operational right now? That doesn't bode well for short liftlines Wednesday.
There will be no lift lines on Wednesday other than the one for first chair at 9am. I fully expect to ski onto Red all day, pretty much the same as every day. They actually put up the ropes at the lift this weekend which consists of maybe 20-30 feet to create two lanes and a singles line. It was a completely overoptimistic effort as there were zero lines to control all weekend.
In the years I've skied there I would estimate a total of ten days when there was a line with more than a couple of minutes wait and those were during holiday periods that coincided with big snowfalls. Never on a non-holiday weekday powder day except for the initial lineup for first chair. Two (3?) seasons ago we had an epic Thursday powder day (back when the operating schedule was Fri-Mon) with well over a foot of fresh on a great base. I was about 12 chairs back and my first run was the top of Black Magic, the only time I've ever skied it. The guy in first chair (known as DoWork on that "other" forum) got there first and took the left line. My friend and I hit the right side and it was one of the best runs I've ever had. Super steep, bottomless, floating all the way down Black.
Even on that day there were not nearly enough people lined up to fill all the chairs on Red. The difference between the first person on the mountain and the last was no more than 10 minutes.