Enjoy Your Retirement, Reuel!

May 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Enjoy Your Retirement, Reuel!

Image

Reuel Sheldon, a Ski Butternut fixture for 30-or-so years, 25 of which he served as our Operations Manager, has retired. We’re tremendously grateful for his years of dedicated service, and the significant on-mountain improvements that have been undertaken under his watch, including expanding the clubhouse, relocating and renovating the rental shop, increasing snowmaking capacity, and replacing many older, smaller lifts with quads.

Though his absence leaves big ski boots to fill (see what I did there?), we’re happy to announce promotions of well-qualified current employees: Jeff Harvey, our current Lifts Manager, will take over Operations, and Sean Welton will lose the “Assistant” prefix to move up to Lifts Manager.

For more about Reuel and his long, impressive career at Butternut Basin / Ski Butternut, you can check out our press release here.

ICE COAST OPEN 2012

February 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Incredible Annual ICE COAST OPEN
We’re bringing winter back.
SUNDAY FEB 12, 2012

The ICE COAST OPEN is an annual slopestyle competition, open to skiers and snowboarders of all ages, that takes place in our TWISTED terrain park.

There are 7 categories to compete in:
– 12&under SKI
– 12&under SNOWBOARD
– Women SKI AND SNOWBOARD (one category)
– Intermediate SKI
– Intermediate SNOWBOARD
– Open/Pro SKI
– Open/Pro SNOWBOARD

Entry fee is $20 for all categories except Open/Pro, which has a $25 entry fee. There are $1000 in cash prizes given away, $300 to first place in each of the open/pro categories, $150 to second in each of the open/pro, and $50 to 3rd in each open/pro. Other categories win great non-cash prizes, from sponsors including Kenver LTD, The Garden, Berkshire Bike & Board, Michele’s Salon and Day Spa. Women may enter the open/pro competition or the women-only category.

All competitors must have a lift ticket or season pass, as well as a terrain park pass ($3/day or $10/season, plus required test which is linked below).

We will be offering a discounted $35 full-day lift ticket to competitors (that’s a $20 discount off our regular adult prices — enough to offset your whole entry fee in some cases).

Registration will take place on the morning of the event, Sunday Feb 12, from 8AM until 9:30AM in the lower lodge. The course will be open for practice runs from 8:30am until 9:35am (so try to get here and register early if you’d like to get some practice time in).

Fill out the required forms ahead of time and save time:
REGISTRATION FORM:
Ice Coast 2012 Registration Form
RELEASE FORM:
Ice Coast 2012 Release Form
PARK PASS APPLICATION (if you don’t already have one)

FAQs

  • I don’t want to enter, but I want to watch. Can I?

Of course! The event is open to spectators, and your cheers and support are encouraged. But there are a few rules to keep in mind: Skiers and boarders who are not competing will be permitted to enter the terrain park at the Twist entryway. You WILL NOT need a terrain park pass to enter and watch the competition, just a valid lift ticket or season pass. Certain parts of the park will be open to competitors only: Please respect all signs, ropes, and staff instructions to keep the park safe. If you do not have a ticket or don’t want to ski in, you will be allowed to hike up to the designated spectator area from the bottom of Westway. Wear good shoes: You won’t be able to hike up in ski boots.

  • Can I go inverted?

NO! Keep your tricks steezy and your head up!

  • What’s the schedule and format for the competition?

The event starts promptly at 10AM. Each competitor will have 2 judged runs. There will be a variety of terrain park elements, photos of which are up on the Terrain Parks facebook wall.

  • I’m not a competitor, but I’d like to use the park. Can I?

During the competition, the Twisted terrain park’s features will be closed to non-competitors. You will be able to enter and watch, but will not be able to ski or ride the park features. The Progression Park on Cruiser will be open to everyone all day, including during the competition. The Twisted Park will reopen to anyone with a park pass after the competition is over.

Profiles in Butternut: Morgan

January 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

From time-to-time, I intend to profile some of Ski Butternut’s awesome employees on this blog. First up, Morgan.

Meet Morgan.

Morgan is 17 years old. He is a high school senior in southern Connecticut, and a ski instructor at Ski Butternut. Like other high schoolers on staff, he primarily teaches in our full-day children’s programs on weekends and holidays when he’s not busy attending classes.

And like all our ski instructors, Morgan undergoes hours of training each season to keep up with the latest teaching methods and equipment, and to hone his own skills.

But Morgan’s ski equipment looks unlike that used by any other instructor at our mountain. As you probably noticed, in addition to the ski boots and two skis on his feet, Morgan also has skis on the bottom of his poles, called outriggers.

Morgan uses this specialized equipment because he was born with spina bifida, a disorder that results in the incomplete formation of the vertebrae of the spine. In fact, in the first two years of his life, Morgan had to undergo more than a dozen orthopedic and neurosurgeries to help correct some of the complications of spina bifida. As a result, he spent much of his early years in the hospital.

But, incredibly, just two years later, Morgan started skiing. At first, it wasn’t easy. Given his physical requirements, and his small stature, there was no proper equipment for him to use. But, determined to ski, his family improvised, and came up with clever solutions like sawing a hula hoop in half for Morgan to hold onto one part of it while an adult held on to the other.

A few years later, Morgan discovered Pat White and Butternut’s adaptive program. At Ski Butternut, we believe that everyone should be able to experience the thrills of winter sports, in spite of any disabilities or challenges they may face. With patient, extensively-trained instructors like Pat White, and the generous support of donors, our adaptive program has the expertise and specialized equipment to introduce skiing to people with a wide variety of physical and developmental disabilities, including blindness, autism, and mobility impairments.

Once under Pat’s wing, Morgan thrived. And as he grew, he was able to ‘graduate’ into more appropriate equipment, including properly-sized outriggers.

As you can see, he’s developed into an exceptional skier. With a deep, smooth, and rhythmic carve, Morgan’s technique places him amongst the best skiers on the mountain, whether on 2 skis or 4, and his hip counter-angles (legs out to the side, shoulders perpendicular to the ground) are worth emulating — all this despite the lifelong physical challenges that spina bifida presents.

And while his skis, boots, and outriggers have improved throughout the years, Morgan is still working to find the perfect equipment set-up. Spending long days on the snow requires equipment that fits and performs well; this is just as true for those of us who use 2 skis as it is for Morgan. Morgan usually wears external leg supports when walking and going about his typical daily activities, but must remove them to wear his ski boots. Along with Butternut’s expert bootfitter, Penny Spoja, Morgan is working to find a better boot solution, and is looking into ski boots that combine some of the roominess and comfort of snowboard boots with the required stiffness and support of ski boots, so that they might accommodate his braces. But ski equipment can be very expensive, and that is doubly true for adaptive stuff.

While chatting on several chairlift rides up together, Morgan told me that he feels that he can do just about anything that his peers can do, as long as the proper adaptations are made. Thoughtful and mature beyond his 17 years, we talked about the things he enjoys, and both his short- and long-term goals. I learned that in addition to alpine skiing, Morgan also skis cross country (his dad is the high school cross country ski coach, as well as a fellow Butternut instructor).

As a high school senior, Morgan has just finished applying to colleges and is waiting to hear back on their admissions decisions. He’s considering a few schools close to home in Connecticut, as well as a school or two further north (with, of course, access to bigger ski mountains). He’d also like to learn to drive a car one day, but is waiting at least until he turns 18 (much cheaper insurance), and until he has access to an automatic transmission car that he can modify with hand pedal controls, a common adaptation for drivers with physical disabilities.

When I told him about my good friend, Carl, who was a member of the US Disabled Ski Team and participated in 3 Paralympics, Morgan mentioned, with characteristic mellowness, that he aspires to ski in the Paralympics one day, too. I asked him if he has done much racing or race training. He said that he’d spent a little bit of time on the race course, but when he’s on snow, there’s one thing he loves doing more than anything else: teaching kids to ski. -rj

In Pursuit of Snow, Ancient Tradition Meets Modern Technology

January 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Pursuit of Snow, Ancient Tradition Meets Modern Technology

The northeast isn’t the only region of the United States starved for snow this year. Across the country, from Utah, to Colorado, to California, ski resorts have received just a fraction of the snowfall that they receive in a typical winter — and much less than last winter, which was an epic La Niña season from coast-to-coast.

So ski resorts have had to resort to drastic measures to bring on the winter.

Here at Ski Butternut, we’ve been running our snowmaking system at full-capacity whenever the weather permits us to do so. As a result of these efforts, we’re amongst the  first 3 mountains in all of New England that has managed to open and maintain operation on 100% of its trails (shout out to Sundown, CT and Pats Peak, NH for sharing this achievement with us). So, while we love natural snow for the beauty it brings to our mountain and the surrounding region, and for the wonders it does for our surface conditions, we can get along just fine without it.

Out west, they’re not so fortunate. Those mountains don’t have nearly the percentage of snowmaking coverage that we do, and without natural snow, many of their trails simply lie fallow, waiting for nature to do its seasonal duty.

And nature hasn’t cooperated.

So, at Park City Mountain Resort in Utah, they decided to appeal to nature for help. And they turned to the Northern Ute, a tribe that has called that area of the country home since long before the first Mexican settlers or Mormon Pioneers ever laid eyes on the majestic Wasatch mountains.

On Saturday, before an audience of skiers and boarders, members of the Northern Ute performed a traditional blessing for the snow, or as we colloquially refer to it, a “snow dance.”

But, being that this is 2012 – the age of instant-on, always-connected, text, tweet, friend, fan, follow social media – even the most traditional snow dance gets a modern touch. In order to share the blessing both near and far, Park City Mountain Resort live-streamed the event in a Hangout on Google+. I think it’s probably safe to say that this is the first time that this ritual has ever taken place in a multimedia, multi-user, interactive online environment.

And we’re hoping that just maybe the blessing traveled via the internet to Great Barrington, Massachusetts (despite the fact that our internet access is a bit unreliable around here), and that we will soon be bestowed with plentiful flakes from above.

You can see images of the ceremony, mixing the beautiful, the ornate, and the solemn with – Hey, what’s a MacBook Pro doing there?! – on Park City Mountain Resort’s page.

Butternut Time Machine

January 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The new year is a time to start fresh. It’s a time to set aside the past and look forward to the future. And it’s a time for my boss, Matt, to clean out the piles of stuff that have accumulated in his office.

Like this amazing poster.

Sean was tasked with separating the ones we can reuse from the ones that no longer serve a purpose, but I just couldn’t let this one get discarded without first having a bit of a Hot Tub Time Machine moment.

So please step into a ski area time warp with me, as we flip the calendar back to 2001, a time so prehistoric that Butternut didn’t have magic carpets or a tubing hill yet, had a snowboard-only terrain park, and “The Facebook” had not yet even been invented. Gasp!

As you can see from the poster, Summer 2001 at Butternut was a rollicking fun time, and the air was saturated with music. From May through August we hosted 14 days of concerts, featuring dozens of artists from near and far, spanning a diverse array of styles.

In May, the legendary Max Creek opened up our summer music series, along with the Reverend Tor Band and former Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten. The emphasis is from the poster. For just $20, you could enjoy many hours of music and overnight camping. Mid-station Eric, who helped build the mountain with Channing Murdock in the 1960s, and never left the mountain (nor the 60’s) after that, was certainly smiling down from above and enjoying the tunes, including the late night jam in the Upper Lodge. (Neat aside: There is a snowman-shaped memorial at the intersection of Lucifer’s Leap, Crosstown, and Hob Nob honoring Eric, Butternut’s #1 Deadhead).

June was filled with a plethora of musical options, from the rootsy jam of the Derek Trucks Band (with Rev Tor again!), to the reggae of Jamaican group Third World, and Dredi and Tamboura, to the blues of Albert Cummings, James Montgomery, and Alex Maryol, and the “honky tonk country” of the Brooklyn Cowboys (they have cowboys in Brooklyn?), The Beartown Mountain Ramblers, and the Dooley Austin Band.

In July, we celebrated Independence Day with fireworks and live music provided by Advanced Phunk (incidentally, also a course offered at Berkshire Community College in Great Barrington. Prerequisite: Introductory Soul) and Big Blue Hollar. At just $10 a carload, I wonder how many “clown cars” pulled into the lot. Keeping things local, we showcased a bunch of Berkshire-area musicians the next week, including Eric Underwood (no relation to Carrie, I believe), Genepool featuring Robby Baier (who has gone on to make music for several beer commercials), Beartown Mountain Ramblers, Meg Hutchinson, DaVinchi and the Wrong Crowd, Suitcase, Belladonna, and Fred Schane. Then we “kicked it up a notch” (sayeth the poster) and took things south, with the southern rock stylings of the Marshall Tucker Band, and Albert Cummings came back with the JD Band.

We ended the summer in late August with the 1st Annual Berkshire Jazz Festival, which is kind of a presumptuous name for the first time you do something (how do you know that it will become an annual tradition?), but it seems to have lived on or been reborn, albeit in a different place. It featured jazz greats like Houston Person, Etta Jones (who died just a few months later), The Duke Ellington Orchestra, Roy Hargrove Quintet, Terence Blanchard featuring Cassandra Wilson (she is performing as I write this at the legendary Blue Note in NYC), Dianne Reeves, Gato Barbieri, and Paul Winter Consort & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

This is quite an impressive line-up. While Butternut was a place for undiscovered artists and local gems, it was also a mecca for established veterans and even well-known legends across several genres. Many of these artists had performed all around the world before coming to Butternut, and almost all of them continue to perform today.

BUT I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. As awesome and noteworthy as the above schedule was, I’ve yet to mention our marquee event: The Berkshire Mountain Music Festival. In its fourth year in 2001, it had become so epic and out-of-this-world that it was voted THE BEST SMALL MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE NATION by Relix Magazine (Bonnaroo was voted the best large one, just to give you a sense of the kind of greatness to which we were compared). Sadly, the company that produced the festival soon found that they could not afford to run it, and it ended in 2003 (oddly, they still pay for the domain, and the website — much like this poster — remains perfectly preserved in its 2003 state). But in 2001, it had reached its apex.

It started out with a special one-day concert on August 5th. Headlined by banjo master Bela Fleck (and the Flecktones), the day also included Keb’ Mo’ (who I saw perform just a few months ago) and Martin Sexton.

And this was just the warm-up, the practice run, the green-circle-to-start-the-season, if you will.

The next weekend, all awesomeness broke loose. The 3-day Berkshire Mountain Music Festival descended upon Butternut (and spilled out into Great Barrington, or so I’ve been told), featuring dozens of bands performing on 5 stages, thousands and thousands of overnight campers, an international food court, crafts vendors galore, and bands including: Strangefolk (who performed a terrific set on the steps of a frathouse at my college two years later), Olu Dara, Yonder Mountain String Band (great show at the Mahaiwe in 2009), Steve Kimock Band, Sector 9, moe. (Yes, lowercase. Yes, period. I once had a boss who called herself a “moe-ron.”), Leftover Salmon, Percy Hill, Soulive, Jamie Janover (my one-time camp counselor and hammered dulcimer virtuoso), and many many more.

Wow, that was some summer.

Commencing time warpification back to 2012.

These days, we keep things a little mellower at the ‘Nut in the off-season, with the summer’s highlight being the Berkshires Arts Festival, not to mention many a wedding.

Did you get a chance to experience any of our music during the 2001 summer season, or attend one of the famous Berkshire Mountain Music Festivals? If so, please share your recollections with us in the comments section.

-rj.

A Taste of Great Barrington: Aegean Breeze

December 26, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Taste of Great Barrington: Aegean Breeze

Though Great Barrington is a small town, we’ve got a surprising number of excellent restaurants (check out the chart on our website), and a diverse array of cuisine from all around the world. And since we’re surrounded by farms, lots of restaurants participate in the Berkshire Grown program, and even many of our bars serve grass-fed beef, locally grown lettuce, and fresh-baked breads.

From time-to-time, I’ll feature one of our fine dining establishments here on our blog. Today, I’ll feature Aegean Breeze, which offers a special deal for Ski Butternut guests: Show your Ski Butternut season pass or current day’s lift ticket, and they’ll take 10% off the price of your food.

AEGEAN BREEZE

Aegean Breeze is Great Barrington’s Greek restaurant. Run by a 3-generation family, with dad, George, in the chef’s apron, and grandma Kelli, mom Irini, and son Alex serving in a variety of roles. They serve a wide variety of authentic Mediterranean food, and they make you feel like part of the family when you’re there.

For starters, I recommend the Metzedes platters (either the vegetarian or the Aegean), big shareable sampler plates brimming with dips, spreads, and finger foods.

For the main course, their specialty is whole, fresh, wild-caught fish, prepared simply with olive oil and lemon and just a touch of herbs and spices. On Thursday nights, they also serve lobsters. And their extensive list of entrees includes grilled lamb, steak, and shrimp, as well as traditional selections like moussaka and spanikopita. The wine list features wines from Greece, as well as from all around the world.

So check ’em out…and be sure to proudly show your Ski Butternut pass when you do.

The Twelve Days of Christmabutternutukkah

December 23, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Twelve Days of Christmabutternutukkah

Frankly, I think someone must’ve been very naughty this year. Last year, we made it atop the nice list, and we were rewarded with a solid early cold spell, followed by feet and feet of snow. This year, I think we got the lump of coal.

Nonetheless, it’s time to be festive, and to be thankful for what we’ve got. Even without a single major snowstorm this December, and with unseasonably warm weather all month, we’ve managed to open at least 14 of our 22 trails thanks to the valiant efforts of our skilled snowmaking team. We’ve got a pretty great park set up already (and it’ll keep getting even better). And we’re still giddy-as-Christmas-morning each time we snap into our skis and boards to take a few runs.

So, in the spirit of the season, I wish you all a very happy holiday (be it Christmas, Chanukah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or any celebration I’ve unintentionally omitted) and good things to come in the New Year. Let’s all pray for peace on earth, good will to all humankind…and feet upon feet of the fluffy white stuff.

-rj.

And now, without further ado, my 2nd Annual Festive Poem/Song:

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMABUTTERNUTUKKAH

On the first day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the second day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the third day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the fourth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the fifth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the sixth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the seventh day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the eighth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
8 Lanes of tubing
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the ninth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
9 Days of Vacation
8 Lanes of tubing
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the tenth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
10 Lucifers Leaping
9 Days of Vacation
8 Lanes of tubing
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the eleventh day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
11 Pied Pipers Piping
10 Lucifers Leaping
9 Days of Vacation
8 Lanes of tubing
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

On the twelfth day of ChristmaButternutukkah,
my true love gave to me
12 Fiddlers Fiddling
11 Pied Pipers Piping
10 Lucifers Leaping
9 Days of Vacation
8 Lanes of tubing
7 Lifties Grinning
6 Black Diamonds
5 Decades of Fun
4 Magic Carpets
3 Comfy Quad Chairs
2 Terrain Parks
and 1 Thousand Vertical Feet

The Where-the-Heck-is-Winter Giveaway!

December 21, 2011 at 10:33 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

UPDATE: WINNER!

We had nearly 100 entries, of which exactly 75% gave the correct answer. But we’ve got just one free ticket to give away, and a random drawing amongst all the correct entries gave us our winner: Congratulations LUKE B. from GREAT BARRINGTON, MA.

——-

SOLUTION!

TAKE THE PRICE IN DOLLARS OF AN ADULT NON-HOLIDAY WEEKDAY LIFT TICKET AT SKI BUTTERNUT

25

SUBTRACT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DOWNHILL TRAILS AT SKI BUTTERNUT

– 22 = 3

MULTIPLY THAT BY THE NUMBER OF VERTICAL FEET

3 * 1000 = 3000

AND DIVIDE THAT BY THE NUMBER OF TIMES THE LETTER “T” APPEARS IN OUR NAME.

3000 / 3 = 1000

WHAT NUMBER DO YOU GET?

THE ANSWER IS 1000

——-

CONTEST!

Today is WEDS DEC 21, and we’re supposedly just hours away from the winter solstice. But somebody (ahem, Mother Nature) didn’t get the message. Thanks to some very un-winter-like weather, Ski Butternut is closed today. And we know this probably has you in a bummed out mood (we’re bummed too!).

First bit of cheer-you-up news: We’ll reopen tomorrow, and then today will just be but a distant memory.

Second bit of good news: I’M GIVING AWAY A VOUCHER FOR A FREE LIFT TICKET. Well, I’m not just handing it out. You gotta work for it. But not too hard. And you gotta act fast: The contest is TODAY ONLY.

Here are the rules. Solve the trivia question below. You don’t need to have any specialized knowledge or insider information: all of the numbers you need can be found on our website.

Once you think you know the answer, email it to me (richiejay@skibutternut.com). Be sure to use the subject line “DEC GIVEAWAY.” Please include your full name, age, mailing address, and a phone number where you can be reached in the text of the email.

When the entry period is over, I will select from amongst all of the correct answers (if more than one person answers correctly), placing the names in a hat and randomly pulling a single winner.

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, THE TRIVIA QUESTION:

TAKE THE PRICE IN DOLLARS OF AN ADULT NON-HOLIDAY WEEKDAY LIFT TICKET AT SKI BUTTERNUT

SUBTRACT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DOWNHILL TRAILS AT SKI BUTTERNUT

MULTIPLY THAT BY THE NUMBER OF VERTICAL FEET

AND DIVIDE THAT BY THE NUMBER OF TIMES THE LETTER “T” APPEARS IN OUR NAME.

WHAT NUMBER DO YOU GET?

Hint: No funky decimals or fractions here. These are all nice integers, including the answer.

The rules: Only one entry per person. Minimum age to enter: 14 (kids under 14: tell your parents to enter the contest). Entry period begins as soon as this is posted and ends at 11:59PM EST WED DEC 21, 2011. Emails received after that time will not be considered. Entries must be received by email (answers in the comments on facebook or the blog will not be considered). Winner will be announced on THU DEC 22, 2011. Voucher is good for 1 adult lift ticket, any day this (2011-12) ski season. Voucher has no cash value and cannot be exchanged for any other product.

Good luck!

Be sure to send your answer, along with your name, address, phone, and age, to richiejay@skibutternut.com, with the subject line “DEC GIVEAWAY,” before 11:59PM on WED DEC 21, 2011.

SKI BUTTERNUT IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

December 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on SKI BUTTERNUT IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

And by business, I mean fun!

So, it’s a little later than we’d all like. And, yes, winter hasn’t decided to start yet. Ok, last night we had a little snow of the clear variety (referred to as “rain” in some parts of the country).

BUT TODAY WE ARE OPEN! And that’s all that really matters.

We’re running the Highline Quad, Paddy’s double, and some magic carpets. And we’re skiing on the bunny hill, Main Street, Nuthatch, Chute, Crosstown, Hob Nob, and Lower Applejack.

AND WE’RE HAVING A WICKED GOOD TIME.

The snow is a fast machine-groomed granular, great for carving perfectly arced turns.

The temperature is hovering around a balmy 40 degrees (no cold fingers and toes).

The mini terrain park on Chute is hoppin’.

And the hot chocolate is both wonderfully hot and superbly chocolatey.

AND ADULT FULL-DAY LIFT TICKETS ARE JUST $25 TODAY AND $35 THIS WEEKEND.

Our learn-to-ski-or-snowboard package for first-timers, including lift ticket, lesson, and rentals, is only $25 between now and December 23.

When the cold comes back this weekend, we’re looking forward to turning back on the snow guns, getting more snow on the trails we’ve already got open and introducing new trails as quickly as we can.

I ran into one family today that came SOUTH from New Hampshire to ski here, because their local hill hasn’t been able to open yet. (We’re sending the good vibes, and a cold wind, up to our friends at Pat’s Peak in the hopes that they get their season started ASAP).

Though some of you made the odd choice to go to work today, we hope you’ll join us on the mountain tomorrow. We can’t wait to say “Welcome Back” to everyone.

Nothing But Skiing

December 11, 2011 at 11:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Today’s (Sunday, December 11, 2011) New York Times Travel section is entirely devoted to articles about skiing.

It starts with a full-page cover photo of Lindsey Vonn, giving a wide-mouthed roar, barreling straight out of the page at full speed.

Here are some other highlights and things that I learned:

  • The 7 Park City, Utah area ski resorts are so close together, you can actually ski them all in one day with the help of a backcountry guide. A new proposal seeks to connect two of them, Canyons and Solitude, via a 2-mile-long gondola.
  • Quick Quiz: Who’s the largest ski resort owner in America? If you said Vail or Intrawest, you’re wrong. And if you said American Skiing Company, you’ve got to get your time machine fixed. The correct answer is CNL Lifestyle Properties. CN-Who? Exactly. Bonus factoid: Butternut has been owned by the same family, the Murdocks, for its entire existence, nearly 50 years.
  • The Times offers tips for getting lift tickets for less, but leaves out what we humbly suggest is a great option: Buying a season pass. Butternut’s early-bird season pass pays for itself in just 5 weekend days. Even in-season, the breakeven point is just 6 visits. If you plan on skiing for just one full holiday week here, a season pass is your best bet. (And you can skip the ticket line and go straight to the lift each day.)
  • On Lindsey Vonn’s bucket list: Skiing in an indoor ski dome, like the one in Dubai. (One remains built – but vacant – much closer to home in New Jersey.)
  • David Carr writes a surprisingly touching ode to the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the family ski vacation.
  • We’re Number 1! Squaw Valley has the only ski-in/ski-out Starbucks in America, Canyons has the only on-mountain kosher restaurant, and Alabama has only 1 ski area. And many more fun numbers.
  • If you wanted to, and you have the means, you could spend an awful lot of money to look sexy on the slopes.
  • Day tickets are now $96 a piece at all 3 Park City, Utah mountains: Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley, and Canyons.
  • Making the perfect burger above 10,000 feet is not nearly as easy as it seems.
  • Check out these AWESOME historic ski photos. Notice the old Italian Carlevaro-Savio double chairlift at Mt. Snow: Butternut had 2 of these exact lifts, and unlike most other mountains, we retained and retrofitted the iconic criss-cross lattice towers for our new quad lifts.
  • Jay Peak has gone from backwoods to upscale. It’s still in the middle of nowhere, though. (Sorry, Canada.)
  • Lake Placid, NY has one of the last of three remaining original Howard Johnson’s restaurants in the world.
  • Skiing like a girl is a very good thing.
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