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ECLIPSE CHASE: Chasing the Eclipse in New England to Ski Into Darkness

The lure of totality is as addicting as powder for those of you that have witnessed a full eclipse. It was a tough call leaving Utah Saturday night with 20 plus inches of dry fluff to experience totality from a ski area in New England. The big decision was between Jay Peak in Vermont or Sugarloaf in Maine. We just rode deep powder at Snowbird and jumped on a flight Saturday night to Boston. 

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The last total eclipse in New England was in 1959 and the next one won't happen until 2079. Those stats made the decision a bit easier to pass on the powder in Rockies on Sunday. Resorts in Quebec (Sutton, Orford) to northern Vermont (Stowe, Jay Peak, Sugarbush, Smug etc.), New York (Titus) to Maine (Sugarloaf, Saddleback) will all be in totality Monday afternoon. The last Eclipse in the US was in 2017 and brought totality to the Tetons in August. Skiing into darkness was a lure that we could not pass on. 

17 Ski areas are in the path of totality today on the east coast where clear skies are likely to favor eastern Vermont, New Hampshire, Quebec, and all of Maine. Some high clouds are on the models to approach New York State or the extreme western areas of Vermont prior to the eclipse. Powderchasers chased to Maine. Most of these resorts also just nabbed 1-2 feet of snow in the past 5 days:

Below is the path of totality seen from the GOES east satellite:

I left Portland at 3:45 AM and arrived at Sugarloaf at 6:45, and there was already a line of cars going up the road. The first two parking lots were already full, so I ended up parking in the third lot, not far from the base area. By 8:45 AM, the resort had reached parking capacity - this place was packed with eclipse chasers.

As I made my way up to the summit, I could feel the excitement in the air. Most of the folks had never witnessed a total solar eclipse before. When totality hit, the entire summit of several hundred people went absolutely crazy. It was insanely loud, with everyone screaming "Totality!" The 360 degree sunset during totality was breathtaking.

The most remarkable thing was that as soon as the sun reappeared on the other side of the moon, people immediately started skiing down the mountain, myself included. It was surreal to be carving turns with the eclipse still ongoing. The conditions were soft, with the resort having received two feet of snow in the prior week.

As I skied down, I could see people at the bottom still using their eclipse glasses to watch the partial phases. I told one guy, "Can you still see it?" and he replied, "Oh yeah, it's still going on!" Here I was skiing down while the eclipse was still happening overhead - an experience I'll never forget... what an incredible day!

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