It was quite the memorable 2012-13 ski and ride season with some of the best conditions ever taking us into early April!
And, as always around here, it takes a community of faithful winter-lovers to make it happen. There were times early on when our patience was surely tested, but in the end, our collective belief in Magic gave us many rewards. The operations crew first battled the lack of natural snow and inconsistent temperatures in December as they worked furiously to overcome sporadic snowmaking conditions to open Christmas Week. Then, when it did finally snow over Christmas Week with an epic 18″ powder day, it was followed by the shutdown of the Red Chair during New Year’s. Extremely Painful.
Many questioned how Magic would respond to adversity. We faced it head-on, openly and with the urgency of now. Parts were flown in and the crew busted their butts to get Ol’ Red back up and running for the next weekend while also making snow. Skiers began to return immediately but, then after MLK weekend, winter decided to take a bit of a hiatus. Two separate 50 degree+ January thaw weeks virtually wiped out all snow except for the man-made variety. When cold weather returned at the start of February, late nights were again in store for all snowmakers as Magic continued to lay down more snow than ever before in the last 15 years to cover key east side and west side terrain. And, with the high-performance Yellow Cat “back in the house”, the grooming team kept the trails in unbelievable shape for the rest of the winter.
Mother Nature also started to lend a hand with a February 8th-9th storm dropping 14″ and powder days were here again! And the pow days kept coming…into March! With both the Red and Black chairs spinning and almost all the trails open for February, March and into April, the skiers and riders kept coming–many for the first time. While the parking lots were filling up, the lines were minimal and the slopes were still un-crowded thanks to the beauty of dual top-to-bottom non-high speed lifts. Magic’s gnarliest trails (Black Magic, Upper Magician, Red Line, Goniff, Slide of Hans) and boundary-to-boundary glades were all in play!
First-timers couldn’t believe Magic’s terrain and they fell in love with the people and vibe of the place. They saw something real, natural, challenging and friendly–and many decided to return, over and over again. So much so that even after a less than stellar start, the year ended up being one for the record books! But, most importantly, the fun meter was high both on and off the slopes. The kids race and freeride programs were larger than ever with more medals won at races and great showings at extreme skiing events like Magic’s Southern Vermont Freeskiing Challenge. The Black Line Tavern was hopping with apres ski music and events like the Share the Magic Party, 50 Years+ Retro Day, WinterFest, Get Your Irish Up Big Air Funfest, Spring Fling and Costume Day among others. New friends were made and old friendships were deepened.
Sometimes the trials and tribulations reveal a lot more about the character of a place than the successes. The early season tested every one–both mountain staff and patrons. But with a commitment to make it right and do every thing possible to get back in the game quickly, Magic showed what can be accomplished when a community sticks together through adversity. While we may be small in number versus the mega-resorts, this ski community is big where it counts–in heart and soul.
So as we prepare for the opening of TimberQuest’s high trees obstacle courses this Memorial Day Weekend, we also begin an important off-season program of maintenance, repair and improvements. In 2013-14 Magic will have more snowmaking earlier, new glades cleared, both Red and Black lifts operating from Day One, and, quite simply, more mountain for all to enjoy. And, we will do it together with the help of all those who buy Magic season passes, Magic Cards and tickets, and our army of volunteers on fall work weekends. And a special thanks goes out to our new and growing list of Magic Faithful Club members who will be providing additional capital for projects they approve from Magic management–for example, new energy efficient snow guns–which will help insure an authentic Vermont ski area is here to enjoy not only next season, but for future generations.
I don’t know about you, but it’s nice not to have your world pre-packaged all the time. Lots of businesses make a living on giving you exactly the same experience over and over again, and we are led to believe this is what we really want and need. But if we allow some room for the spontaneous, the different, the unexpected, isn’t life a bit more interesting? I imagine (because I haven’t done it) it’s the difference between going on a cruise ship vacation versus heading out on a sailboat around the islands. Both get you to a beautiful spot, but there’s a bit more adventure and serendipity setting your own course.
This is one of the characteristics of Magic that strikes a chord. It’s a ski area where the spontaneous is allowed to happen. Like other areas, we do our best to plan events throughout the winter that can be fun to participate in and watch, but Magic has always bred skiers and riders who have created their own “happenings”–on the slopes and off. There is a long list of odd occurrences here (“Moustache Day” anyone?), and spring-time certainly sows creativity.
So don’t be surprised to see a Masquerade Party up on the hill this Saturday. We hear it’s happening, but one never knows. So bring your own and enjoy some local color as we raise a glass to the spontaneous spirit that makes Magic special.
Celebrating the coming of Spring is a right of passage at Magic. In many ways, Spring Fling weekend is something to look forward to, but it has its melancholy side as we all realize the ski season is winding down and we may not see many of our “winter friends” much longer.
With New England weather patterns, you never know what you are going to get. Last year, Spring Fling was moved to March 17th and was literally the last day of the season as we jumped from snow patch to snow patch in 70 degree weather. This year, thankfully, it serves as a prelude to an entirely new part of the ski season. In fact, the conditions are more mid-winter than spring-like and so there is a celebratory atmosphere not just in embracing the friendships and memories of a great winter season, but in anticipation of more good turns to come into April!
The vagaries of conditions and weather give each Spring Fling its own unique feeling and vibe. And, my preference aligns with this year’s which will be absent any water sports and mud-filled parking lots…this year, it’s another beginning, not an ending.
Okay, so Magic was founded by a Swiss fellow named Hans Thorner. But, for St. Patrick’s Day, or weekend for that matter, we are all Irish–even Magic!
I’m sure we will hear the wail of the bagpipes and see the wearin’ of the tartans and green from our “faithful” on the slopes during the day. But Magic also has a few tricks up it sleeve to help us celebrate together. First, there’s a new “Get Your Irish Up!” Big-Air contest from 4-6pm for any one to enter and all to watch from the base area and BLT deck during apres ski time. Hunter Wallace will be playing during the jumping contest and after awards are handed out, the CRB Band will take over from 7-10pm at the Black Line Tavern. So Saturday we’ll be getting a good “jump” on St Patrick’s Day.
Second, we have our annual “Feel the Magic” NE Series Rando Race skinning up and skiing down Magic (repeat two more times!) on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day. For those not as committed to people-power, we will have the lifts operating (reminder that our spring hours are now 9-5pm on the weekends–good news for those staying late for the band on Saturday night! And, as we all get another day of spring skiing on the slopes of Magic, we will have a fine old St. Patrick’s Day Party starting early with our Bloody Mary Bar and picking up steam at 3:00 with live music and plenty of Guinness and Harp. It’s another great excuse to squeeze in a third day of skiing and riding on Monday…
Spring skiing is always a fun time of year and typically St. Patrick’s Day is the unofficial kick off. Last year, spring came way too early. This year, it seems to be arriving about on time–although despite the heavy r*** Tuesday, I still believe we may have another snow event coming before March is over. Either way, this weekend Magic is saying, “Ski me, I’m Irish!”.
After a winter that wasn’t last year, this season is turning in to what could be titled “The Endless Winter”. Similar to that classic surfer movie circa 1966, it feels like this winter could just go on and on as we keep grabbing on to more days of beautiful powder and packed powder turns. Magic was basically 100% open this weekend as we held the Ski The East Freeride Tour Challenge on Black Magic and the ropes were dropped on Upper Magician! Magic has received over 44 inches of snow in the last 3 weeks and I think there will be some more to come. March is such a fun time to hit the slopes and what better, more “chill” place to do it than at Magic. Like the surfing culture in “The Endless Summer”, skiing and riding here is such an adrenaline rush, yet it comes with a relaxing and laid-back vibe.
So, summer can wait its turn this year. We have our Endless Winter going on and it’s one we hope to ride straight into April…
It’s time to rev up those tubes, because Magic’s Alakazam Tube Park is back in action for the 2013 season! MLK weekend jump starts our winter tubing season and the action is sure to be fast and furious as the temperatures are going to be cold, so the tracks will be slick.
Tubing is fun for the whole family, providing an opportunity for any one who may not ski or snowboard to come enjoy the great outdoors of Vermont and Magic. (It is also a nice diversion for the youngsters after a long day on the slopes so Mom and Dad can enjoy some relaxation at Black line Tavern–all while viewing the activity from the comforts of the lodge…).
Magic’s tube park is centrally located at the base so it is easy to get to and view from the lodge. And, an all day ticket starting at 11am is still only $25–$20 after 4pm on Saturdays. Tubing also makes a fun party and many Magic tubers get group rates for birthday parties and other celebrations (with the option to get some food catered as well).
So the tubes are warmed up and ready-to-go, all we need are some drivers! As always, please follow all safety procedures–one person to a tube, drag feet, wait until lane is clear before going down, etc. We want everyone to have fun, but we also want you to be safe.
Dear Magic Customers and Friends:
I want to advise you all as to the progress on the lift front the past two days. On Monday we pursued five different leads throughout the country for the necessary part on the Red Chair, and were able to get it shipped from Detroit to Boston on New Year’s Eve with the part eventually arriving at Magic at 2:30 AM yesterday. We arranged for a mechanical engineer in Springfield, VT to come in on New Year’s day. He worked all day removing the faulty parts, milling news fasteners, and installing the new part on the shaft. The shaft and braking mechanism are being installed this morning. The lift inspector will review the installation as soon as it is completed, and thereafter he has required that we load test the lift. A load test consists of putting weight on every chair by filling barrels of water on each chair and then executing a complete battery of tests. As part of the test, an electrical engineer will be on site making any necessary adjustments to the electrical and safety systems.
On the Black chair we arranged for a cable inspection which occurred yesterday with a positive result. Also, the lift inspector approved a process to be performed on each grip which will allow the chairs to swing freely (a requirement for the lift to pass inspection). With approval of that process the work on that task has begun on every chair.
Snowmaking also continued through the night at both the Beginner Tow Handle area and Tube Park to create enough base depth for the tow lifts to operate properly and last us though March. Now that there is enough machine-made snow, the lift tracks can be groomed out today and angled properly for safety purposes so they can be inspected this week as well.
This is obviously a great deal to accomplish in a short period of time, but we have the experts, the inspector and personnel in place to accomplish it. All hands are on deck in an effort to get the Red Chair, Beginner Handle Tow and Tube Park tow prepared to run on Saturday. I will update you all as to the progress on the above tasks as they move forward. If there are any questions, feel free to contact me.
Pretty simple request, but not always delivered. This time Santa brought a whole bag full…18 inches+ of the white fluffy stuff and the skiing and riding has been fabulous at Magic. The stoke is strong this week and perhaps there is more on the way for the weekend. So let’s keep thinking, dancing, skiing and riding snow!
Here’s a video from Andrew Weyl of some of the adventures from linked from our snow report page.
We would much rather be talking about a blizzard of snow than a blizzard of stories and news coverage in December. But such has been the temporary non-winter weather pattern we’ve seen which puts us opening on Friday December 22nd, before the long Holiday break. It does appear the warm weather pattern has been broken; there’s talk of some natural snow next weekend again; and the operations crew will be pounding the snowmaking at every opportunity–mostly at night when temps dip below 30 degrees.
December has been good to Magic in terms of media coverage with features in the December issues of Mountain News and Skiing Heritage, and within Boston Globe articles about the ski industry. While these articles make interesting reading, hitting the slopes come Christmas time is what we are really interested in! Think cold, think snow! We look forward to seeing you on the slopes and at our Rockpocalypse Concert on 12/21, or at the Black Line Tavern this weekend, but, until then, here’s a sampling of Magic coverage:
Through the Magic Store, you can buy lift tickets and save money over the ticket booth price if you plan ahead. The further out you plan, the more you can generally save! But even if it’s a day before, our online store makes it easy to save. Because we want skiing and riding to be as affordable as possible. But if you buy a ticket for a specific date, remember you have to use the ticket on that date. Happy ticket hunting at the Magic Store!
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