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What Is It With February? Trapp Family XC Tour And Beer, XC Clothing That Works, Funny Keep-Warm Tips, Safety Survey, Mystery Celeb, Doing The Chutes At DV, Weather Next Week.

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism, but February. Spring is too far away to comfort even by anticipation, and winter long ago lost the charm of novelty. This is the very three a.m. of the calendar.” Joseph Wood Krutch

“Why does February feel like one big Tuesday?” Todd Stocker

“While it is February one can taste the full joys of anticipation. Spring stands at the gate with her finger on the latch. ” Patience Strong

February is the border between winter and spring.”   Terri Guillemets

“Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?” William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing

“Late February, and the air’s so balmy
snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled
into early blooming. Then, the inevitable blizzard
will come, blighting our harbingers of spring,
and the numbed yards will go back undercover.” Gail Mazur, “The Idea of Florida During a Winter Thaw,” The Common, 1995

“Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was, and so soft the air.” William Morris, “February: Bellerophon in Lycia,” The Earthly Paradise: A Poem, 1870

February is the bridge we cross over into spring.  It’s the month that hosts the mid-point of winter. You can feel the change happening in the longer hours of sunshine and the odd day that reaches far above average temperatures. To some, February’s end brings spring in the mountains, enjoying the snowpack with suntan lotion on nose and your extra layer tied around your waist or balled up in your pocket.  To others, the burning need to get in some more swings and turns gets amped up: Gotta do it now because it’s all on a downhill calendar. Take that trip out West; it’s high season.  To still others, the season’s end is just a couple of weekends away.

So, what is it with February? We’re halfway done, but there’s a whole other half ahead. Fifty percent of the season is about to unfold. And, in completely different ways than the first half. More sun, longer days, changing snow conditions. According to this season’s winter weather predictions, the forecasts were more or less on target. The West (minus California) has hit snow base records; the East continues to a be a swirl of snowy days, rain, warm temps, freezes, and repeat, exactly the “mixed, wet and wild” prediction that NOAA forecast. 

The end of February signals one more big vacation week ahead to look forward to for the season. Spring Break brings the last waltz for a lot folks who don’t live close to resorts, who live near resorts whose snow bases are thin, who have boats to uncover, tennis leagues to form, bike rides to plan.

But wait.

February might be the middle, but March, ah, March, is the impish one, the spoiler with more days to work with, more volatility in the air, more history of being mischievous. Hope for a sudden, out of nowhere and strong Nor’easter to cover every ski hill from West Virginia to Maine, and you might get your wish. Yes, we can see Spring on the horizon in February, but no one can tell what March is up to, and that’s coming up next.

This Week

Nose cone fashion statement? Credit: Harriet Wallis

We rejoin our Incidents & Accidents series with the recounting of yet another hit-from-behind story.  The lessons learned, however, might be a little more nuanced than the ones we’ve seen previously. Thanks to Arlene Condon Maginn for the report.

SeniorsSkiing.com is asking its readers to complete a survey provided by the Snowsports Safety Foundation, a non-profit that is seeking input on safety matters at ski resorts.  Please offer your perspectives and opinions; this is a good cause.  The survey is quite short, the questions are clear; shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

George and Jon at Alta.

Of all people, co-publisher Jon Weisberg bumped into the 103-year-old George Jedenoff, the legendary skier who is the senior-most senior skier of all.  Check out Jon’s story about skiing with George at Alta this week.

Correspondent Pat McCloskey rips up the notion that Deer Valley is overly intermediate. Check out his story about handling the Daly Chutes at DV.  The video is pretty cool, too.

New England-based correspondent Tamsin Venn visited the Trapp Family Lodge, toured up to a remote cabin, and returned to the Trapp Bierhall, all in one day. If you love Nordic skiing, or you want a break from Alpine, consider a cross-country vacation at either Trapp Family Lodge, or any other resort that caters to xc. For a listing of those, check out XCSkiResorts.com.

Northern VT mountain-scape on the way to the Slayton Lodge. Credit: Tamsin Venn

This week’s Mystery Glimpse is another relatively easy one.  Name the famous television celeb on a visit with her family to the Mittersill Alpine Resort, Franconia, NH.  We also reveal the name of the artist whose watercolor adorns the walls of the New England Ski Museum’s North Conway Branch.  Not a Wyeth, but sorta close.

Utah-based correspondent Harriet Wallis has some fun with her “recipes” for handling cold noses and feet.  Practical advice from some inventive senior skiers.

SeniorsSkiing.com’s cross-country editor and publisher of XCSkiResorts.com Roger Lohr offers his advice on the latest xc clothing to wear. As in, don’t wear your parka.  There’s more.

Finally, Herb Stevens checks in with his view of what’s happening in the atmosphere. As we mentioned above, you can never tell what will happen in March, and Herb has a nascent Nor’easter on his scope for the end of the first week.  Stay tuned. Click here for the outlook.

Thanks for reading SeniorsSkiing.com.  Thanks for contributing to our February Fundraiser; premiums will be going out soon.

Tell your friends about us and remember, there are more of us every day and we aren’t going away.


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