Ski season takes the Northshire

MANCHESTER — With many Northshire ski mountains kicking-off the winter season over Thanksgiving weekend, outdoor recreation buffs have begun to enjoy the snowy slopes.

The Stratton Mountain Resort marked a successful opening weekend, beginning on Nov. 22, with 19 trails and over 100 skiable acres of open terrain available. According to the resort, skiers and riders were claiming some of the best early season conditions they've seen at Stratton.

The resort ushered in ski season with a Village Stroll and tree lighting ceremony, a Coca-Cola family movie night (featuring a screening of Elf), and their annual Gobble Gobble Wobble 5K race.

Bromley Mountain, which opened on Nov. 24, marked the beginning of their winter season with new airline-style variable lift ticket pricing for skiers and riders.

Discounts of 30 to 50 percent off of the walk-up ticket window price represent the resort's largest lift ticket savings ever offered, and provide substantial savings in exchange for a non-refundable and non- transferrable advance sale ticket purchased online, according to the mountain.

Similar to airfares, lift ticket rates may expire, sell out or be priced higher the closer you get to your visit, and advance tickets are limited, according to Michael Van Eyck, assistant general manager of Bromley Mountain in southern Vermont.

Though Magic Mountain is not anticipated to open its ski slopes until Dec. 16, the mountain did open for tubing over Thanksgiving weekend. Since then, Magic has been testing out the new snowmaking equipment installed after Act 250 permits were granted in August.

Recently the Mountain announced a partnership with Salomon, making it the first southern Vermont ski area to offer a full-service equipment demo and rental center featuring the Salomon QST line.

Additionally, Magic will offer new programs out of its Learning Center to introduce skiers to uphill travel and guided gladed, sidecountry and backcountry tours. Uphill Clinics will be offered on January 20, February 10, and March 10.

"What Magic is doing should be a pretty big deal here in Vermont," said Greg Maino, Communications and Events Director of the Catamount Trail Association. "They are embracing uphilling to the point where they are willing to add equipment to their rental fleet and start building resort programs that promote and capitalize on this new and growing experience."

Three race series events will call Magic home as early as this December, including the Winter Wild series which will kick off on Sunday, Dec. 17. Called "an uphill event with a twist," the series was recognized in 2010 by the New Hampshire Governor's Council on Physical Activity for significantly contributing to healthy lifestyles. Also returning to Magic is the NE Rando Series on January 6.

"Long before other resorts hopped on the `uphilling' bandwagon, Magic was a pioneer over ten years ago, publishing a formal pro-skinning policy," said Jonathan Sheffitz, NE Rando Series founder and director. "Magic has been hosting the NE Rando Race Series since 2008-09, once the oldest such race in existence anywhere in North America."

A special promotion with the WMAC Dion Snowshoe Series race the next day will combine athletes' cumulative times from both events for special prizes, and other expos, demo days, and special events are anticipated throughout the season.

"Magic is now a growing recreational resource to our community and customers," said Magic's President Geoff Hatheway. "No doubt we're a bit unconventional and counter-cultural here, so we enthusiastically embrace unique ways to get up and down this challenging mountain which enhances Magic's spirited, sport-centric vibe. New Alpine Touring and snowshoe events and offerings fits with that mindset, and our volunteer community has been so helpful in making these unique opportunities happen."

Reach Cherise Madigan at, or by phone at 802-490-6471.


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