We had a nice weekend at Stratton. The open trails were well covered. The blue and green trails had excellent packed powder coverage. The steeper trails had loose snow over 'styrofoam like' hard pack. It was a lot louder on the steeper trails than on the green and blue trails. It was single digits to mid teens all weekend and they were blowing snow on vast swaths of the mountain. Except for the gondola mid-morning, the lifts were ski right on.
Today was a great day at Stratton. There was at least 6 inches when we got to the mountain at 8. It was about 12F and so windy that the gondola was on hold. It snowed hard until about 11 adding another 4-6". The open trails were perfection all morning. After lunch the snow slowed down and the trails became bumpy, yet the skiing was still great. Despite the wind hold gondola, there were no lines at the open lifts - Am EX, Ursa, Shooting Star, South American. Pick of the day was the upper mountain before 10AM and Shred Wood glades all day.
Saturday- good packed powder conditions on most trails and glades. The high traffic areas were skied off by 1pm. The low angle trails and glades were pretty decent all day.
Sunday-started snowing at around 930. The mountain was empty and conditions improved to excellent by about noon when the snowfall became heavier. It was very windy so parts of some trails were scoured by the wind and other parts were boot top deep. By mid-afternoon it was fresh tracks everwhere. Our tracks were filled ever run. It was a top ten day for me.
Monday-it is still snowing and very windy right now at 7am. It looks like the storm total is 12 to 16 inches.
There was knee deep blower snow on most of the trails. There was also windblown powder in spots as the wind was a steady 40 mph on mostly the north side of the mountain. It snowed until we left around 3pm. The lower parts did have sun at times, but it was still snowing. Stratton had 4 lifts major lifts operating - AmEx HS6 out of the base, the Tamarack triple out of the base, The Ursa HS6 served the upper mountain and the Sunriser HS6 in the Sun Bowl. We were able to claim fresh tracks and slightly fresh tracks until about 10am. There were still fresh tracks to be had in the woods and in the low access areas of the mountain for most of the day.
Made a strategic MAX Pass decision to ski Stratton yesterday. The trickiest part of going MAX Pass only, is when to use which tickets. My thought was that Stratton would have a nice enough early season snow surface and it would be a good place to ski myself into ski shape on my first day out.
In that regard, Stratton didn't disappoint. The trails that were open had really nice coverage, the surface was fast but not too firm, the sun was out and the place was empty. The Gondola and two other chairs were open and I followed the sun across the mountain. It was a good day 1.
"This is pure snow! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?"
Agree that the MAX pass only decision definitely calls for strategic use of the early season days at Stratton & Okemo so that I can save the Killington, Gore & Whiteface days for when the skiing gets better.
Stratton has the best early conditions in years. This past weekend included a few inches of snow on Saturday and sunny and cold (-5 at the top) on Sunday. Most of the main face is open and they were blowing snow in the Sunbowl. Conditions were mostly packed powder with some hard pack on the high traffic areas. Every open lift was ski right on except the Gondola. The trails were not crowded.