Up the lift at Magic Mountain

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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LONDONDERRY, Vt. (WCAX) - This week’s nor’easter turned around what many skiers and riders say was a less-than-stellar year.

As a journalist, you never want to make yourself part of the story, but when Mother Nature drops three feet of snow at one of your favorite mountains, you have to make an exception. I hopped on to the red double chair at Magic Mountain as Irish tunes were blasting and the lift ops guy was working through his lunch break.

Geoff Hathaway, Magic’s president of operations, agreed to tag along. It’s the only chair that gets you to the top. “It’s been a crazy winter,” Hathaway said.

With views of Stratton and Bromley off in the distance, the ride is always worth it, regardless of conditions. This year, like ski resorts across the Northeast, with intermittent snowfall and mild temperatures, manmade snow was crucial to keeping the trails open. “We just stopped making snow and I think that brought good karma -- because then it dumped,” Hathaway said.

At the top, Hathaway and I parted ways. But because of the nor’easter, he says there will still be plenty of time to meet up again this season. “This snow is certainly going to help us last into the second week in April,” he said.

As boarders buckled in, I took a quick look at the map. The mountain is 100% open. After one little ripper showed me how it’s done, I was feeling in the zone -- the Twilight Zone. It’s a steep double black diamond bump trail where Tim White of Connecticut caught my eye. “The majority of the season has been a lot of ice. Very frustrating. Just had enough of it and then we got this and it turned it around. This is what we wait for,” White said.

“A lot of snow,” said Carla Jackson. The New Jersey native comes skiing up north every year, but this weekend is her first trip of the season. “I’ve been skiing here since I was a kid. It is like coming back home.”

Garett Delgrande’s brother owns a house nearby. He describes the season with two words. “Dump warm, dump warm, and then you catch the good days when you can.

Reporter Adam Sullivan: And today’s a good day?

Garett Delgrande: Awesome day,

Skier visits at Magic are actually expected to surpass last year. With its old-school family vibe, the resort is known for generating a dedicated fan base.

And as returned to the base of the mountain, I was mesmerized by Carmen Menendez’s telemark turns. the West Windsor woman is a pass holder. “It’s got a little bit of every kind of skiing that you want. And we love it here,” Menendez said.