Who would ever think that the hottest ticket in town would be to the lift line at Yawgoo Valley Ski Area this winter? Believe it! And following close behind in demand is a session ticket to the Yawgoo Valley Tubing Park. Daily lift tickets, group program lessons, and even private lesson sessions have been selling out every day, within an hour or two of ski area operations.
And it certainly doesn’t hurt that this could possibly be the best snow conditions ever seen at Rhode Island’s only ski area. Even the old-timers can’t remember top to bottom, packed powder on not only the normal trails, but even on the outer fringe, tree and un-groomed fun stuff. Veteran ski patrol member and snow maker, Sean Klaboe of Charlestown said that the fate of the 2021 Yawgoo Valley season was decided during the beginning of the recent cold snap, when the expert snowmaking staff of Klaboe, Joel Daglieri, and Brian Skorupski ran the guns for four straight days, right through the nights. Then, helped by two substantial snow storms, the place was buried in white stuff. “We have some sections of our popular trails with a current 20-foot base, “said Klaboe. “TNT, one of our most popular runs, has not been covered for riding for five years. We have enough snow and deep enough base to take up right through March.” Both snowboarders and skiers have forged new trails in the trees, as well as a nice run under the Conan chair lift. It has been well over five years since that was possible. There are still huge sections of un-groomed, back hill sections to discover, as well as the big jumps and bumps of the newly opened Gnaria trail.
A brief description of the current trails are as follows: TNT-super fast, black diamond drop into a sloping flat to the bottom. Outback-shorter, but fast drop off into a moderate flat run. Conan Chair-fast and steady run with small banks. Yellowjacket-best trail of the area, fast and wide right to the bottom. Upper and Lower Ledges-widest trail with moderate terrain and easiest to ride. Jack Attack-charge from the lower center of the area directly into the steeps of the beginner hill. Gnaria-beginners should avoid this. Hubs Folly-second best trail with wide expanses, flats, and super fast sections. Hubs Trees-combination of deep powder and bumps can be fun.
With the 5-week program classes now wrapped up for the year, both lift lines and trail traffic will lighten up substantially. A special kid’s corner has been set up at the base of the Hubs trail, with its own beginner tow rope, and small obstacle course to ride through.
Front office staffer Ezmarelda Kenyon, suggests that with the huge demand for lift tickets, the best strategy is to find out how many passes can be sold by checking the website that day. As soon as the tickets become available, grab what you can. Due to the Corona Virus restrictions, the amount of passes changes daily, based on how many lessons and season pass holders are on the trails.
Session tickets are tough to get for the tubing park, which opened this past week. Youngsters from all over Rhode Island and neighboring states have been waiting to ride the park, which has now been fine tuned in probably the best ever icy fast conditions ever seen. “We had over 8000 hits asking about the tubing park on our website on opening day,” said Kenyon. “Tickets sold out within 20 minutes.”
If you can get first tracks on perfectly groomed, white corduroy trails, within the first hour of morning operation, you will know that it was worth the trip to the ski area. Whether you are on skis or a snowboard, this season’s conditions are simply as good as it gets. Make the effort to get there and you won’t regret it.