Weirdest Ski Winter on Record?

Written by Greg and Heather Burke • May 02, 2016

What a strange ski season it has been. Fall started cold in New England and the Alps of Europe, but then it was the West that got dumped on from December on.

Stevens Pass in Washington and Purgatory at Durango Colorado had record skier visit seasons. The Western US received plenty of snow, making up for the previous season snow drought. Meanwhile, The East was balmy.

Mad River Glen had one of the shortest seasons ever, only open for 45 days this ski season. Christmas was 70-degrees on the East coast, better beach weather than skiing. There were no big Nor Easters, just rain. Sugarbush reported half their usual snow this season 2015-16. Lucky me to have skied the Bush on a rare 10 inch powder day in February. Many East Coast resorts didn’t make Easter weekend, March 27, due to mild weather and lack of snow all winter.

Who is still skiing? May Day, May 1, marked the closing day for Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Jay Peak and Sugarbush. Killington vows to keep skiing Friday through Sunday on Memorial Day like they did last year. The Beast of the East is holding firmly to their first to last chair reputation and the longest ski season in the East.

Aspen Highlands extended their famous Closing Day til May 1, Ajax reopens for Memorial Day skiing. A Basin, Mammoth, Mt Bachelor and Snowbird are all still skiing with deep base depths.

In other news, Saddleback in Maine never opened, the ski area is up for sale, they came close to a deal in January, but it didn’t happen – nor did skiing at this Rangeley ski area. Stay tuned.

Other ski controversy surrounds Jay Peak and Burke Mountain, these Vermont sister ski resorts benefited from huge development, hotels, lifts, a waterpark from the millions of dollars raised from foreign investment EB5 funds. But then the SEC stepped in April 2016 to say $200 million of the $400 million raised was unaccounted for. Uh-oh… The Hotel Burke that was due to open December 2015 was the first flag to financial misappropriations. Since the investigation, Burke Mountain has dropped the queer Q from its name, I never liked the branding QBurke, what an ego trip for the Quiros family to move their ski area to the back of the alphabet.

My skis are stored, time to launch the bike, the boat and switch the flip to water skiing. I got my 49 days this season #skiyourage. My best days were skiing Aspen Highlands, Steamboat, Vail, Kitzbühel Austria and my last powder turns at Big Sky Montana. Yours?

Stay well, ski often. Check back for ski news and to plan your next ski trip to Austria, Colorado or Canada.

See you on the water!