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Wachusett Conditions and get togethers


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i was at wachusett sat and sun for a couple of hours each afternoon.  not super busy which was good, not the best coverage, but where they had made snow, it was a nice spring like soft cover of about 8" in most places...sundowner, conifer and ralphs all skied pretty similarly in terms of snow...the narrow runoff at ralphs isnt the best with kids, but it does the trick.  Looks like they will be blowing more snow as the temps cooperate which is good.

I'm somewhat concerned about the viability of a full ski season if things get worse with covid.  Both days there was blatant disregard of the mask wearing rules at the base and on the lifts and i hope that the people heading up there realize that if it continues there may likely be another abrupt end to the season...i just dont get it and dont trust the kids at the lifts, etc. to enforce anything, so it will be interesting.

spoke with some folks and they mentioned that they will be opening the lodge during the season  with limited capacity...sounded like they plan on having the restaurant open along with the ski shop and a few other services, but haven't set that up yet.

Please follow the rules, lets not end our ski season early because of some nonsense about mask wearing, i mean we do something essentially like wearing a mask in the winter anyways, no reason not to do it all the time this season.

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Great to meet you today.  Will be back tomorrow and will try not to say inappropriate things to your teen.

Skied this morning with @hrstrat57 for 2 ½ hours.  Great start to the season.  Some lift issues at first, but the skiing was great.

It may be small and not steep, but they are snow making and grooming magicians!  Starting this in honor of one of my favorite threads on epicski.com.  It was started in 2006 and has been going st

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I have just heard that Wachusett will not be opening their lodge for the rest of this season, pending State guidance changing for the better.

They do have access to the indoor bathrooms via an attendant at the door.  Plus porta potties outside.

Freezing, windy days are going to be challenging.

This could actually add to things that will assure a longer season as it leaves less room for error.

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  • 2 weeks later...

went out for some turns on sunday.  snow that we received definitely helped get things back on track.  firm snow with a solid across the open trails with a nice top layer of groomed. they will be blowing a lot this week to start opening up more trails.  not too busy given the conditions.

liking the new tag line they have: "dont be the reason we end our season" - wear a mask folks so that we can ski all year!

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On 12/7/2020 at 11:15 AM, Puck it said:

Baker will shut it down even if masks are worn just my opinion.

could be the case, but id rather have it done on the state level than due to some covidiots not following the rules and wachusett independently doing something.  its really not much to ask...

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It was reduced today to 40% indoor capacity from 50%.  I don't see outdoor activities being on Baker's list.  The Mass ski industry has been involved since May, led by Jon Schaefer one of the owners of Berkshire East.  I think it's all about lodges, and they've already shown a willingness to close the lodge, although as of yesterday they were letting people in the lodge.

 

It's all a crap shoot now, get it while you can.  Today was still the same trails.  Conifer and Ralph's.  Decent conditions.  Blowing snow the whole time I was there.  

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Not sure he’ll shut it down as long as folks behave. Crowley’s are a big part of central Massachusetts economy employing a lot of people in multiple businesses.

I’m hoping I get my two shots in time to make a few turns. I’m not overly concerned about covid19 on the mountain it’s the mandatory pit stops (1 1/2 hour drive) that has me grounded. Agree with SMJ, for folks skiing in the Commonwealth it’s definitely Carpe Diem time.

 

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just for all the nay-sayers - I hope you all pull your heads out of your assess and wear the goddamned masks and play by the rules - we are actively making funeral arrangement for my FIL who died on Monday after being hospitalized with covid pneumonia and intubated for 2.5 weeks. I have to listen to my two kids cry every night because they will never see their gramps again and my wife who talked to him at least once every single day for the last 25 years we have been married. I know everyone thinks the masks are stupid and everyone has Covid fatigue but they work, but only if everyone wears them all the time. I am sure that my inlaws tried to be diligent but it's obvious by the end result that they were not. My MIL is recovering from Covid as well - she wasn't nearly as sick as him than god, but now is playing the why not meet too game.

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On 12/9/2020 at 1:46 PM, hrstrat57 said:

Not sure he’ll shut it down as long as folks behave. Crowley’s are a big part of central Massachusetts economy employing a lot of people in multiple businesses.

I’m hoping I get my two shots in time to make a few turns. I’m not overly concerned about covid19 on the mountain it’s the mandatory pit stops (1 1/2 hour drive) that has me grounded. Agree with SMJ, for folks skiing in the Commonwealth it’s definitely Carpe Diem time.

 

I hope you get to make some turns this year too.

89 deaths in Mass yesterday.  It had been 10 or maybe 20 a day.  Granted they're mostly people over 80, but another lockdown certainly doesn't seem unlikely.

 

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Wachusett ski'd very well yesterday.  Conifer was pick of the day...nice soft snow (thanks to 50 degree temps) made for great top to bottom carving. With the snow forecast this week along with cold temps, i can see them making a bunch more snow and opening up more of the mountain.

 

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Got in about seven runs this morning at the mighty Wa.

Arrived at about 8:45 and ended up parked in row 10 or 11 of the main lot.

The line to pick up pre-purchased lift tickets took close to a half hour to get through, and it was the most crowded, on top of other people experience of the day. (This was my biggest complaint.) There were A LOT of people there this morning... I should have expected it, being a Friday after the first big storm of the year, but it was quite a bit.

Their Achilles heel seems to be lift capacity at the moment, in part thanks to running at about half - 3/4 capacity. Most chairs going up had 2 or 3 people on them for the most part. It just takes longer to chew through the line that way.

Particularly on the Polar Express quad (summit lift). The singles line was stretching all the way up to where Conifer and Smith Walton come back together by the base.

The only trail off the summit open was Conifer, though 10th is getting close under the guns. The one positive about the reduced lift capacity is that the trails never felt crowded. Sure, I had to maneuver around people occasionally on Conifer, but it was not the disaster you might expect with it being the only trail open off the top.

The snow was decent, but very wet. I don't know if that was a result of snowmaking, grooming, or it getting pounded by skiers during the storm yesterday, but the snow definitely had a heavier, wetter feel to it than I was expecting.

After a couple times standing in the stupidly long singles line, I went over to the Monadnock quad and took a run there, that line was <10 minutes.

Snow on that side of the hill was fine, similar to conifer, still with some nice groomed patches on the edges (right around 10:30 or so) that felt nice.

I took a break afterwards sitting on one of the picnic tables on the deck to loosen my boots and stretch out a bit.

After my break, I went over to the other side of the hill and did a few laps off of that chair.

The snow on Ralph's was better than the snow on Challenger, so I did that a few more times.

On one of my lift rides, I bumped into someone with an Alpine Zone sticker on their helmet and it was nice to catch up with another forum person (even if it was a different forum).

Overall, a good start to the season, but it confirmed my thought that I won't be skiing any weekend days this year.

I can only imagine how much of a madhouse it is going to be there tomorrow.

-w

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On 12/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, SkiMangoJazz said:

I'll probably skin up and then ski lift served afterwards.  Orangish/Red coat, Blue Stockli Edge 88 skis.

 

I think I might have actually rode up the summit lift with you on my first lift ride. I didn't think to ask if you were the same person.

I was the tall guy on Blizzard Brahmas in a blue jacket...

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14 hours ago, WJenness said:

I think I might have actually rode up the summit lift with you on my first lift ride. I didn't think to ask if you were the same person.

I was the tall guy on Blizzard Brahmas in a blue jacket...

Nope, after skiing down from the skin up there were too many people already lined up at the lifts and the ticket window so I went home.   

 

How was it?

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I wentearly afternoon Friday and Saturday. Both days were sold out, and honestly if that's the max capacity they will run this year I'm pretty excited...was able to park in the first row both days.

Fridays conditions were great...the combo of natural and manmade from this week really hit the mark. Couldn't go wrong across the mountain.

They opened up a few more trails today, but those definitely need more work. Pick of the day for me was the ungroomed part of tenth as there were still plenty of leftovers from the storm. Groomed part was very firm...not worth it almost. 

If you have a pass this year it's really going to work in your favor. I found that despite both days being sold out, the only time there were "long" lift lines was at the beginning of a new block. But within 30 min all lines were just a few people or groups deep. 

They're continuing to make copious amounts of snow and wouldn't be surprised to see most of the mountain open in the next week or two if the weather cooperates.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

was out there yesterday (1/5); mountain was pretty empty until 4p, and then buses showed up along with the race league....long lines from 4-4:30 (15+min) as the mob dispersed through the mountain. 

Snow off minuteman lift was great. it feels like they may have opened up the smith and 10th a bit too early after the big snow we had as its manmade over a block of ice...the block of ice showed by 1p.

Pick of the day for me was hitchcock

ill probably be out there this weekend.

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