Jay, Vermont While the odds seemed to not be in their favor, there are various ways ski resorts can offer lift-service skiing and riding in June.

The first is to be in a snowy environment at a high elevation, with places like Arapahoe Basin and Timberline Lodge coming to mind. The second possible way to pull this off is by producing a lot of snow with snowguns, as Killington has done for the past three years.

The third option is to preserve snow by covering it. Tarping snow is fairly common in Europe, but ski resorts in the U.S. have begun covering snow with tarps and/or hay to preserve it for summer terrain skiing events. For example, Hyland Hills and Trollhaugen have used these tactics for rail jam events. This past weekend, Jay Peak became the latest to successfully use this technique.

In May, Jay Peak Resort announced they were preserving some snow for a terrain park session on June 22nd. They hid the snow under the hay, which mostly blocks the sun from what’s under it, leaving a portion of snow still available for the event.

King of the World moves back in May.

On Saturday, Jay Peak Resort hosted its annual Solstice Sessions event. This is typically a live music festival to commemorate the beginning of the summer.

What differed this year from prior concerts was that they built a terrain park with some leftover snow.

Jay Peak Parks put in various rails and boxes across the snow patch, allowing terrain park skiers and riders to fine-tune their skills. The crew at Jay Peak Parks did great work to make sure that there were ample features for varying skill levels.

Tickets were $50 for a one-hour session and $100 for the full day (four hours). The slushy snow patch was serviced by the Stateside Magic Carpet from 12-4 pm, although many people decided to hike up. These tickets included access to the concerts.

The main event that day went to their Solstice Sessions concerts at the nearby Stateside Amphitheater. The show featured sets from DJ LOCAL DORK, HIGH BREAKS, DOPAPOD, and LAZY BIRD. In addition, they had a ramp for skateboarders.

Image Credit: Harrison Johnson

So the million-dollar question is: Does this mean that Jay Peak was the last mountain in the Northeast to have lift-serviced skiing operations this season? I think it’s ultimately subject to interpretation. Killington was the first and last in New England to have chairlift serviced operations this past ski season. However, they got beat out by Ski Ward, who had a snow surface skiable from a magic carpet in October, and Jay Peak had this event to make it the last in the region to have skiing. I think having consistent operations (i.e., running the lifts a couple of days a week during early/late season) is the key to being considered the first to open/last to close. Still, I also get the other side of the argument.

Regardless of your opinion on that debate, Jay Peak is definitely one of the major players in New England spring skiing (even before this event occurred), and they had skiing and riding in June this year. They are calling this the inaugural summer Solstice skiing event, so avid skiers and riders at Jay could be skiing in June for years to come.

Image Credits: Jay Peak Resort, Harrison Johnson

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