Stratton - Christmas Eve

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  1. #1

    Camera Stratton - Christmas Eve

    My passes are going into the blackout period, so I wanted to get in one more day before that kicks in. I was thinking of going to Bretton Woods, but their trail count is pathetic after the rain, so I decided to give Stratton a try. It was my first time there.

    Got there in time for the lifts opening at 8:30 and it was pretty deserted. Conditions were about what you'd expect, with loose granular over icy hardpack. They did a pretty good job of loosening up the top layer so the trails didn't get scraped off too fast. It looks like they did some grooming while the snow was still soaked since you could see frozen cat tracks in the base. There were light flurries most of the day, and it was overcast and got foggy at the summit in the afternoon. Some of the trails seemed really crowded to me, but people were saying it was a small crowd for Stratton. It felt like there were only one or two trails open off each lift, and most of the black trails were closed. They have a lot of snow, but the rain opened up some sinkholes and base erosion's down to bare ground where the water drained off in streams. So the black trails seemed to be closed because they didn't have enough time to push snow around on them yet.

    Best trail today was Upper Spruce, since it was left ungroomed and covered in whales. I would have lapped that many times, but unfortunately they have ambassador trail guide people and they were telling everyone to go ski Spruce, so it was jammed. It was funny since a guide described it to me as having "soft bumps". First time I've heard whales called bumps. There were no actual moguls to be found today.

    They appear to be hurrying to get the new lift open, but it won't make it for Christmas week. It looks like that lift will really improve the flow in that area and take pressure off the gondola.

    Overall Stratton isn't my kind of place, but it was fun to check it out.

    Here are a few pics:

    trail 1.jpg

    trail 2.jpg

    Here's the fogged in summit where the new lift is going in next to the gondola.

    new lift summit.jpg

    Here's the base of the new lift.

    new lift base.jpg

  2. #2
    Thanks for the report! Our passes our blacked out until after the holidays. Hopefully, they'll take advantage of the snowmaking window before the you know what rolls in later this week.

    Nice pic of the new lift base terminal! We haven't been able to ski over there this season due to certain trails not being open until recently.
    SoVT

  3. #3
    I couldn't quite figure out the traffic flow around the base of the new lift. There's a big drainage hole behind it, which I guess people will have to ski around. Seems like overkill for drainage there, but maybe they will fill some of it in later. They had built a narrow cat track to ski behind the lift the day I was there. A patroller on the lift was saying they are close to doing load testing on the lift, so I think it should be open in another week or two.



    They weren't making much snow the day I was there. I think the temperature and humidity were a little too high. They did have some guns going on Upper Standard.
    Last edited by speden; Dec 26, 2018 at 8:53 AM.

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