A Look Back on the 2017-18 Season
“It ain’t over till it’s over!” Thanks to nearly 4 feet of snow since March 1st, Yogi Berra’s famous quote has been the rallying cry this winter at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area which has just announced it is extending its ski season until April 15th – one of the resort’s latest closings ever.
After originally planning to close April 1st, Wachusett first extended its season to April 8th. Then after a colder-than-average April and base depths still ranging up to nearly 50 inches on some trails, mountain officials chose to extend the season one more week becoming the only ski area in Massachusetts and rivalling some of the larger resorts in northern New England to still be in operation. (This weekend Wachusett is scheduled to re-open from 8 am – 4 pm on April 14 and 15 — weather permitting. Discounted tickets are available and an outdoor deck party with a BBQ and live music is scheduled both days. The forecast looks good for Saturday but everyone is advised to check www.wachusett.com for the latest updates, especially for Sunday).
The season extension seemed unlikely last February 21st when temperatures topped out at 71 degrees and it appeared that winter was coming to a premature end. In a winter filled with ups and downs, Wachusett season pass holders can now rejoice in the fact they have enjoyed a five-month season. The 2017-18 season at Wachusett had 3 chapters – cold early, warm and rainy in the middle and snow at the end.
After opening on November 12th – the mountain’s earliest ever – expectations were high to start the season. Cold weather in the beginning of the season was both a blessing and a curse for Wachusett Mountain. The blessing was in terms of providing ideal temperatures for taking advantage of the mountain’s powerful snowmaking capabilities and allowing it to open all three quad chairlifts on the first day of the season. The curse was in terms of single-digit temperatures during the Christmas holiday week and early January which prevented skiers and snowboarders from coming out to enjoy the snow. The coldest day of the entire season ( -5 degrees) came on January 1st.
During late January and most of February, Wachusett faced unseasonably warm temperatures and more than 20 days with rain. The mountain maintained full operations throughout that period but the weather melted some of the snow and much of the spirit of skiers and snowboarders during the crucial middle six weeks of the season. Once March hit, everything changed with 45 inches of snow since March 1 (including 38 inches during a seven-day period alone). The last third of the season accounted for nearly half of the entire winter’s total snowfall.
“We are so appreciative of our customers’ loyal support this winter and are thrilled to extend the season,” said Wachusett President Jeff Crowley. “We’re glad the winter is ending on a positive note for everyone.”