Ask the Local

Dear Local: I have two unrelated questions that only you can answer:
1) Can you recommend a good shoe repair shop in Cambridge?
2) When does the ski season officially end?

Wayne Taitt, NF

Wayne –
I’ll take the easy one first – Try Cappy’s Shoe Repair in Harvard Square (0 Brattle Street, 617-491-0455). I have no idea why this space hasn’t been turned into another trendy clothing store or Starbuck’s, but it’s been there longer than I have. (Hey, the street number is zero!) Cheap, friendly, fast service. And, if you’re like me and hate to shine your own shoes, they’ll do it for you for $5.

As for the skiing, the answer is, it depends-how far are you willing to drive? Wachusett Mountain (, 978-464-2300), here in Massachusetts and only 45 minutes from Boston, is closing on April 8th. One of my favorite, close mountains is Cannon (, 603-823-8800), just 2 hours north on Rte. 93, is projected to close in “mid-April”, although my guess would be a little later, given the sick amount of snow we’ve had this year. If you’re interested in Maine, and a 4-hour drive, you can get to Sugarloaf/USA (, 800-THE-LOAF), which is projecting a closing date of April 26th. Finally, the Granddaddy of them all is Killington in central Vermont (, 802-422-3261). With the snowfall this year, and their heavy commitment to snowmaking, they are saying they will be open until “late June.”

Of course, if you’re a serious skier on the east coast, the annual Spring rite of passage is to ski Tuckerman Ravine, on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Skiing Tuckerman involves a 3 1/2 hour drive, followed by a moderate 2-3 hour hike to the base of the bowl, followed by a 30-45 minute hike up for each run. On the way down you will also be heckled by the other skiers assembled and drinking beers on the Lunch Rocks. Trust me, though-it’s worth it; you will be rewarded by a great day and a lifetime of bragging rights. Check the avalanche report before you go (yes, I am serious-people have died;

So enjoy, Wayne, and let me know how it turns out.