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Bountiful Snow Leads to Powder Fever Across Mountains of Vermont

A lucky skier checks into the white room on Opening Day at Mad River Glen on Saturday. (Photo by Jeb Wallace Brodeur)
Skiers line up for their first chairlift ride of the season at Burke Mountain on Friday's Opening Day. (Photo courtesy Burke Mountain).
A snowboarder is all smiles while shredding the 19 inches of fresh powder at Stratton Mountain Resort. (Photo courtesy Stratton Mountain Resort)
Magic Mountain donned a 13-inch-thick blanket of fresh snow in preparation for its Dec. 7 opening. (Photo courtesy Geoff Hatheway/Magic Mountain)
Skiers and riders have enjoyed phenomenal conditions at Mount Snow Resort thanks to the recent snowstorm. (Photo courtesy Meghan Wilcock/Mount Snow Resort)
Stratton Mountain Resort reported 19 inches of new snow as of Tuesday morning, setting up truly stellar conditions for skiing and riding. (Courtesy Stratton Mountain Resort)
Mount Snow Resort reported 14 inches of new snow as of Monday morning, with more still coming down. (Photo courtesy Meghan Wilcock/Mount Snow Resort)
Mount Snow Resort reported 14 inches of new snow as of Monday morning, with more still coming down. (Photo courtesy Meghan Wilcock/Mount Snow Resort)

The powder stoke on social media spoke volumes: This past weekend's Vermont ski area openings were far more than just lifts coming to life with limited terrain available.

No, these were truly epic.

Pico Mountain enjoyed its earliest opening in 20 years Saturday, with 96 percent of its terrain in play for skiing and riding.

"It's Day One and we're just shy of being 100% open by only 2 trails," read a post on Pico's facebook page on Saturday. "We think this may be the best Opening Day ever."

Pico's ability to open up with nearly all its trails available came in part from the more than $2 million in snowmaking upgrades made on the mountain this offseason - with an assist from Mother Nature.

"Our new snowmaking pipeline has a lot to do with it, but so does the great early season storms," read another post Sunday morning.

Mad River Glen also boasted a wealth of open terrain for its opening Saturday, thanks to upward of a foot of fresh snow in the preceding 72 hours.

"Opening day today, 12-14" since Thursday has allowed us to open the main mountain with 70% of our terrain!" MRG said on its Facebook page.

The MRG team used a subsequent post to thank not only its passholders and regulars for coming out, but also its employees who helped deliver such stellar conditions on Day One.

"The best part of opening weekend is how it brings everyone back together to enjoy the outdoors here in Vermont," read the post. "A big thank you to the Ski Patrol and Mountain Operations teams for making this opening day one to remember."

Magic Mountain opened Saturday with "32 trails to start ... and lots of powder. Some woods in play, too," according to its snow report. 

Burke Mountain opened Friday with 10 trails available for skiing and riding.

"We're having a blast on opening day," read a post on Burke's Facebook page.

The recent snowfall and cold temps helped other areas that had already opened ramp up their terrain offerings. Mount Snow Resort offered 460 total acres for skiing and riding on 56 trails as of Monday morning.

Stratton Mountain Resort expanded its open terrain to 57 trails as of Sunday morning, when its Nordic Center also opened for the first time this season for fat biking and snowshoeing.

More than three feet of new snow in the past week set Killington Resort up with 94 open trails over more than 350 acres as of Monday.

Other strong alpine trail counts could be found Monday across Vermont: Sugarbush Resort (50 trails); Okemo Mountain Resort (50 trails); Stowe Mountain Resort (46 trails); Smugglers' Notch Resort (28 trails); Jay Peak Resort (25 trails); Bolton Valley Resort (24 trails).

Some Vermont ski areas were closed Monday with plans to reopen by the coming weekend: Bromley Mountain, Burke Mountain, Mad River Glen, Magic Mountain, Pico Mountain and Suicide Six.

Check the Ski Vermont Conditions Page for all the latest news on ski and ride conditions across the state.

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