Record-breaking opening day for Sugarbush, MRG to open

  • Published in Sports
View from opening day 2018 at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont. Photo: Andrew del Brocco

View from opening day 2018 at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, Vermont. Photo: Andrew del Brocco

Mad River Glen to open

Mother Nature was kind to The Valley and its ski slopes this year and Sugarbush’s opening weekend was its busiest official opening day on record.  And although there’s no way to count the tracks of those who skinned Mad River Glen this weekend, it was likely one of the busiest days for poaching that Fayston ski area.

The early season snow also means Mad River Glen is opening for Thanksgiving weekend with the vast majority of its terrain on the upper mountain open as well as General Stark’s Pub. The mountain will be open Saturday and Sunday with lifts operating from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This early opening is made possible in part by the efforts of the Preserve Our Paradise fundraiser, which has raised $4 million for Mad River Glen, according to marketing director Eric Friedman.

Friedman said some of those funds had allowed the ski area to culvert what had been water bars and that eliminated the need to wait for enough snow to fill in the dips.

Waiting for the lift on opening day at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, VT. Photo: Andrew del Brocco
Waiting for the lift on opening day at Sugarbush Resort in Warren, VT. Photo: Andrew del Brocco

VALLEY HOUSE LIFT

Sugarbush opened with the Valley House lift operating and crowds were lined up as far uphill as the platform where the zipline launches. Fayston resident Andrew DelBrocco, who hit opening day with Erin Wylie, of Westford, Massachusetts, reported that the snow was plentiful and the bumps on Moonshine were plentiful.

Early season snowmaking plus Mother Nature’s bounty had Sugarbush hosting the Swiss Alpine Ski National Team for a training session on November 20 ahead of the Audi FIS Women's Ski World Cup at Killington this weekend.

The Swiss team trained for giant slalom on Spring Fling and Snowball at Lincoln Peak, accessed via the Valley House Quad. Those trails were closed to the public until 10:30 a.m.

Depending on conditions and needs, additional training may continue today, November 21, on Spring Fling.

The storm that sweetened the ski slopes meant a snow day for local students on Friday, November 16, when Sugarbush dropped the ropes for pass holders and Mad River Glen saw heavy foot traffic.

Opening day at Sugarbush Resort. Photo: Erin Wylie
Opening day at Sugarbush Resort. Photo: Erin Wylie