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Original Issue


A late roundup of snow conditions in America from a picked group of local skiers

CO=corn snow; GR=granular; PO=powder; IC=icy condition; HP=hard-packed snow; W=wet; HB=hard base; SB=soft base; NS=new snow; BC=breakable crust; BS=bare spots: CL=trail or slope closed; DC=dangerous condition; UC=unbreakable crust.


Most ski areas are still looking for more snow, although there are some exceptions. Spotty snowfalls blessed southern Vermont and New Hampshire. In the West, Reno and Alta are hip deep in powder but for most of the others, the season has already started

NEW ENGLAND: BIG BROMLEY, VT.: Earliest opening in history last weekend started the seasonal surge. 2 PO surface on 13-15 HP brought out record crowds with 2,600 skiers on the slopes last Sunday, and plenty of good snow for all. Only drawback—waiting time on lifts hit maximum of 25 minutes, unusual for this high-capacity area. Continued below-freezing daytime temps. Will maintain fine snow cover.

STOWE, VT.: Opening date set Dec. 18 but early birds worked out on Mt. Mansfield T-bar last weekend. 15 PO maximum at bottom, 24 on top. Conditions fair-good with best action so far on venerable Toll Road, Tyrol and Standard.

MAD RIVER GLEN, VT.: 5 NS on 25-30 old, good, but chair lift will not open until Dec. 18.

NORTH CONWAY, N.H.: Skimobile opened last Sunday. Good on upper part with 6 packed PO.

JIMINY PEAK, MASS.: 0-8 PO so far but 10 more inches are needed before T-bar will operate.

FRANCONIA, N.H.: 3 PO on 12-24, good-excellent. Everything open this weekend and daily operation begins Dec. 17.

NEW YORK: BELLEAYRE: Area put out no advance snow report but 2,000 skiers came last weekend anyhow. 0-6 packed PO and temps, down to 6 provided fair conditions which will become good with six more inches.

WHITEFACE MT.: 2 PO on 6, good. Daily operating schedule starts Dec. 11.

QUEBEC: LAC BEAUPORT: With just one more snowfall, expected momentarily, the T-bar will start churning. 5 PO now, 20°.

MONT TREMBLANT: Both chair lifts expected to open this Sunday and some more snow would help. 15-18 PO on north side and Sissy Schuss is skiable. Base of south side still bare. Recent temps. 10 low, 24 high.

MICHIGAN: BOYNE MT.: Chair lift set to spin Dec. 10 but no skiable snow so far. 4 NS with ineffectual flurries still spitting.

WISCONSIN: RIB MT.: Area hopes to roll Dec. 12 but must have 4-5 more inches. New T-bar ready now, but need good fall of snow for safe skiing.

SOUTH DAKOTA: TERRY PEAK: 5 plus PO but many BS. New double chair has targeted Dec. 18 for debut, contingent upon more snow. Hopefuls say latter is on the way.

COLORADO: ASPEN: All lifts will operate daily from Dec. 11 on. 2 PO on 30 HB at halfway point, 12 HB at bottom. Excellent on upper.

ARAPAHOE: Prophets say above-normal snowfall expected for next 30 days. 6 PO on 15 HB so far. Daytime temps. averaging 25. With more snow, present moderate crowds will increase quickly.

WYOMING: JACKSON: 4 NS on top but only an inch at bottom. It will take a foot of snow at least to open this area.

UTAH: ALTA: Local tub thumpers have long claimed Alta as snow capital of North America and they have a point as usual. Excellent skiing over entire area with 10 PO on 18 HB and more snow expected this weekend. Upper Germania area is close to perfection. Heavy powder most areas is rough on the nonexperts. No waiting on lifts so far but big crowds anticipated.

IDAHO: SUN VALLEY: Nothing doing until official opening Dec. 18. 20-30 soft PO on top of Baldy but recent temps. in 50s have cut lower cover to 2 inches. 12-15 more PO would be a big help.

NEVADA: RENO: Plenty of action here with excellent skiing on all areas. At 9,560-ft. level on top there is 60 packed PO on 24 HB and 35 packed PO at 8,300-ft. level—superb snow conditions. Daytime temps. around 45, moderate crowds so far and you don't need chains for a change driving in.

NEW MEXICO: SANTA FE: Will open for business on Dec. 18.

CALIFORNIA: SQUAW VALLEY: Lifts have been running since Thanksgiving and there is excellent skiing from top of mountain down to Tower 20. 6 PO on 48 base. Also enough cover to ski all the way down to the lodge. Daytime temps. have been around 25-30. Crowds have been small, around 300 on weekends, and probably won't increase until Christmas nears.

MT. BALDY: Three twin chair lifts standing idle until another foot comes in. At present there is 2 HB on north and south exposures with ground frozen and ready for the big white blanket. Day temps. in 50s; at night, 30s.

OREGON: MT. HOOD: 2 NS on 20 with conditions good. Temps. around 35. 50 min. wait for lift ride but the crowds are pouring in anyway. At Govt. Camp, 3 W and heavy with nothing operating. Needed—10-12 more.

WASHINGTON: MT. BAKER: The season is a month late in starting with conditions poor at best so far. 2 W on 17 very, very old. Part of base dates back to last spring and is poor for skiing. Only Austin Pass rope tow is operating. Chinook wind blowing hard and light W snowfalls continue. Take chains because last three miles of road have snow surface.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: GROUSE MT.: Snow is unskiable so far with W surfaces. Eager beavers are skiing on 4 HB over flat trails and roads.