Right now, skiing in Maine is as good as it’s been in years. Slammed by a series of snowstorms that buried both the coast and the mountains, all of Maine has at least two feet of snow on the ground.

It’s fortuitous timing, as ski areas and winter recreation facilities head into the Presidents Day vacation week – traditionally one of the two biggest weeks of the season for most resorts. Virtually all of Maine’s ski areas, big and small, are headed into the holiday with nearly 100 percent of their terrain open, carpeted with packed powder (read: snow) rather than frozen granular (read: ice).

The snow is a cooling salve on the pain of last season, a lousy winter typified by warm temperatures and below-average snowfall. Sugarloaf, for example, already has logged more natural snow for 2016-17 than it received in the entirety of last season. It also has already opened the summit snowfields for the first time in two years.

Sunday River didn’t just beat last season – Director of Communications Darcy Lambert reported that “this is hands-down the best February in terms of natural snowfall that Sunday River has seen in over a decade.”

Last year’s conditions led to a lower number of skier visits than usual statewide, with the Ski Maine Association putting the number at about 1.2 million. This year the state is on track to beat that.

And we’re on track for a reprieve from our seemingly regularly scheduled snowstorms. Forecasts are calling for the next week to be warm, sunny and calm – perfect for getting out to play in the snow.

Skiers who missed the chance to bag powder days during the recent nor’easters would be wise to head to Black Mountain in Rumford, which is typically closed during the week. Because of this, the trails – and especially the glades – hold onto untracked powder quite a bit longer. Black Mountain is open every day during this vacation week, so a sick day on Tuesday or Wednesday might be in order.

Greenwood’s Mount Abram, which is usually open only Thursday to Sunday, also will be open during the vacation week.

Hermon Mountain, which is usually only open in the afternoon and evening during the week, has extended its hours for the holiday week – it will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

All of Maine’s resorts are planning festivities for the week, with Boyne Resorts-owned Sunday River and Sugarloaf boasting the busiest schedules.

The former has live apres ski music at the Foggy Goggle every day from 3 to 6 p.m., and night skiing at South Ridge and North Peak from 4 to 8 p.m.

The latter has a heavier focus on kid-friendly events, with arts and crafts, movie nights and food-focused events throughout the week. One notable exception is a presentation from Patrick Scanlan, Carrabassett Valley Academy’s new Alpine leadership coach, on Thursday afternoon at the new Competition Center. Scanlan will be discussing the recent explosion in popularity of backcountry skiing, a topic of particular interest to many readers of this column.

Those looking for a laugh can keep their eyes open for comedian Bob Marley, who is performing at Shawnee Peak on Monday, at Sugarloaf on Wednesday and Thursday, and at Sunday River on Saturday.

The nor’easters hammering Maine have been a particular boon for Nordic areas, many of which suffered through last season’s drought without the benefit of manmade snow. Like the Alpine resorts, most of the state’s cross-country networks now boast 100 percent open terrain. While the Rangeley Lakes region suffers through Saddleback’s persistent closure, the Rangeley Lakes Trails Center is reporting “epic midwinter conditions,” with packed powder and powder surfaces on over 30 kilometers of trails.

For Nordic skiers looking to explore the nation’s newest national monument, the National Park Service is reporting great conditions in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. To reach the trails, follow the road to the North Entrance – the road has been plowed and there’s parking at the monument entrance. The Old River Road Loop Trail and K Comp Trail to Bowlin and Stair Falls have both been groomed, and a single set of tracks to Haskell Rock Pitch has been packed and set.

Perhaps the best thing to come from this active snow pattern – two storms with light, airy snow followed by wetter, heavier stuff – is that it sets up a spectacular base for later this season. Lots of the snow on the ground will hang on as the temperatures warm, and we could be looking at a season that extends through April and into May.

Josh Christie is a freelance writer living in Portland. Along with his brother, Jake, he writes about great Maine destinations for outdoors enthusiasts. Josh can be reached at:

[email protected]

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