Ski areas prepare for frigid MLK weekend

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:21 PM EST
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BOLTON, Vt. (WCAX) - With the Martin Luther King holiday weekend here and snow on the horizon, ski resorts are hoping for big crowds for one of their traditional busiest times.

“This is why you live in Vermont. This is what it’s all about,” said Burlington’s Tim Thornton, who was taking runs at Bolton Valley Friday. Many skiers and riders like Thornton are enjoying a day on the slopes, ahead of Saturday’s cold snap and the MLK nor’easter in the forecast. “I plan on definitely checking the conditions and if it’s safe to head out this weekend, I’d like to. Pretty unlikely -- which is why I’m here today. I’m going to try to get some runs in while the weather is driveable.”

The resort’s Michelle Ramirez admits frigid temperatures could deter some folks. “It never hinders everyone. You always really see those people who are dire snow-outdoor lovers. Even just this past Monday it was pretty cold too. We were also on a ‘cold hold,’” she said.

For many resorts, when cold temperatures are expected, a cold hold could be issued limiting access to the top of the mountain. “We definitely anticipate having a cold hold as far as bringing people up to the top of the summit. We just want to make sure we’re prioritizing the safety of our guests, so we’d just kind of limit the trails basically to the mid-mountain,” Ramirez said.

Skiiers we spoke with say there are steps you can take to make sure you’re ready for the elements. “It never hurts to wear a lot of layers. You can’t really rely on just a long sleeve shirt and your ski jacket because if you get too hot you don’t really have anything to take off. And if you’re too cold, well, you have nothing else to put on,” said Peter Busa from Connecticut.

“A nice envelope on the outside that keeps the warm air in and keeps the wind out. It keeps the wind from cutting through you,” advised Lee Leonard.

Not only is it important to wear layers, many agree that taking breaks is important also. “When it’s this cold and it’s only getting colder, I’d say a break every three to four runs. It’s not a bad idea just to let that circulation come back to your fingers and your toes,” Busa said.

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