Midweek offers lucky skiers and riders more uncrowded slopes
Jan 20, 2014 | 4297 views | 0 0 comments | 316 316 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Here’s reality: Not everyone works Mondays through Fridays. Some folks work nights. Some work weekends. In fact, one of my friends worked for years as a captain of a large ship where he worked six week blocks overseas and then flew home for six-week breaks.

These folks can ski midweek.

Years ago, living in a resort in Colorado I found that skiers on vacation often arrived and departed on weekends which meant that Mondays were often the busiest day of the week and ski week parties were often Thursday nights. Weekends were quiet!

In the East, with the exception of Christmas Week and Presidents Week the majority of ski traffic occurs weekends. That’s our reality. Midweek? Years ago ski weeks were popular but, by and large, that business has largely diminished if not been extinguished.

It’s quiet midweek. Shhhh.

The lack of liftlines makes midweek skiing enticing. A few weeks past I took my wife Cheryl to Stratton midweek. The parking was fabulous. The lodge was quiet. And the skiing was fabulous. We had no liftlines! And it was very pleasant to easily find a place to sit on our lunch break.

We loved skiing midweek.

On the other hand, last season, at a different mountain, midweek, I heard a few folks grumbling. They did not understand why certain lifts were closed. They did not seem to understand that midweek resorts may limit services to reduce expenses.

Regularly skiing midweek in the course of my work as a travel writer I understand the realities of skiing midweek. I know, too, that reduced services are not atypical for many resorts. As a comparison, buses that run constantly on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts during high season, for instance, run less frequently during the off season. On Block Island in Rhode Island early last spring we saw that ferry service was limited. This is the reality, I guess, of vacation travel during less congested times.

Sometimes we have to take the bad with the good. In truth, reduced services can bug folks. I’m no different: I just get reality. Sitting in the lodge with my wife midweek, though, a few weeks past, we grinned. We didn’t have to fight for a table. We didn’t have the loud noise. We enjoyed a lack of liftlines. And we certainly didn’t miss the crowds so typical of a Saturday in New England.

The skiing was fabulous. We enjoyed fresh corduroy all day. In a broader sense lift ticket prices are also typically reduced midweek. That’s nice! And, for those with the time and interest, midweek season passes, too, are typically much more affordable. Sitting in base lodges midweek I’ve seen an extraordinary number of folks who have purchased midweek season passes. Some are young retirees. Some are business types who have told me that with flexible schedules they can regularly ski midweek to avoid crowds and work weekends. The lifts also capture college students on break or taking a midweek break. Some skiers are simply people who use vacation time to ski midweek to avoid crowds.

“I’d rather use a few days of vacation time and ski midweek,” noted one fellow from southern New England. “I hate weekend crowds! Midweek the tickets are more affordable. And I found a motel room that’s about half the price I’d pay on a weekend. It’s a win-win. I mean I hate that they don’t operate all the lifts. But it’s still worth skiing midweek.”

Here’s the thing: Not everyone can ski midweek. That’s why it’s so appealing! Families with young children typically can’t take their children out of school. Some folks also have to work Mondays through Fridays. I get it. For years my wife and I had to ski weekends. We worked schedules that simply did not allow us to ski midweek. So we skied weekends and holiday weeks with the masses.

But not everyone has to ski weekends.

Sitting in the lodge at Mount Snow, midweek last winter, I also saw a number of folks who took advantage of a midweek break. In fact, one of my publishers who joined me that day commented on the friendly nature of the crowd. Everyone seemed, well, happy. I think a lack of lift lines helped! I think great snow helped! I think the lack of crowds really helped!

Skiers sometimes ask what makes a great ski escape?

We need snow for a great escape. Great snow makes for great skiing. And, unless we hike for our turns, we need lifts. Ideally, though, most of us hate crowds. In my case I also I hate crowded parking lots. I hate lift lines. I hate crowded base lodges. And I hate loud, noisy, base facilities. Midweek these things are virtually eliminated.

Midweek ski escapes? Sweet!

Know too, the opportunity to ski fresh powder and fresh groomed snow is elevated midweek. It’s true. There are simply more opportunities for powder midweek then weekends. It’s just basic math. And, with fewer people on the slopes, it’s more pleasant.

It’s kind of funny - maybe I’m just waxing poetic – but in the end, midweek skiing can offer an unusual opportunity for midweek fun. My wife and I enjoyed a special midweek, one-day, mini-vacation at Stratton. It was a special, memorable day. And, somehow, maybe because it was quieter, maybe because there were fewer people, it seemed, well, special.

Some of you may also have flexibility with your escapes. You may be able to use a vacation day and ski midweek. You may be able to work weekends. Or, some of you may be retired and able to ski midweek.

Fortunately not everyone can ski midweek.

This winter, whether you ski weekends, holidays or whether you have a rare opportunity to ski midweek, we hope you too will enjoy a special adventure. Whatever that day, savor your adventure, from the first run to the last run.

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