New England resorts bracing for another season that could be, by far, the worst in years

April and May are typically two of the better times of the year for ski areas. Low mountain temps melt away earlier than usual and, along with warmer weather conditions, the snow melts later….

New England resorts bracing for another season that could be, by far, the worst in years

April and May are typically two of the better times of the year for ski areas. Low mountain temps melt away earlier than usual and, along with warmer weather conditions, the snow melts later. But with the current winter ending in early April, skiers and snowboarders are on their way to the mountain this week.

Although it’s tempting to think of a snowpack of several feet in the winter as full strength, ski areas expect that they will run into problems next year after this year’s underwhelming experience. With less snow from this winter, skiers and riders will be relying on less-dependable sources of snow. Ski resorts are required to buy snowmaking equipment from the town in which they’re located and at least 18 inches of the white stuff is needed to turn a snowbase into one that can support life on the slopes.

Usually, the snow makes for a great boon to local businesses. But this year, in addition to the forecasted lack of snow and frequent temperature fluctuations, things have already notched one other in this sleepy valley. At the beginning of May, Canada froze out a US request to send its snowplows through the Gorda Glacier to help fill up this year’s thinned-out snowpack.

Canadian officials said the request was denied because the US denies Canadians entry to certain areas, a claim that has since been denied by officials in several of the resort destinations in Vermont and New Hampshire.

At the French Peaks ski area in Skiemeadow, Vt., owner Jane Crawford, 73, said the season has been so bad that she expects the thinning snow will cost her business almost a third of her yearly estimated revenue. Crawford predicts the lack of snow will likely cause the valley to lose “100 years” of snowmaking.

New Hampshire skiers and riders are no doubt hoping for snow soon. This winter has not been good, judging by the words of friend-of-the-tribune WGBH news anchor and Boston native Wes Mattingly, who called the region’s snow removal effort, “one of the most pathetic and abusive things I’ve ever witnessed.” The abundance of snow sweeping across the East this season might just put these locals out of work.

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