We woke up early and drove in some very unpromising rain for what we hoped would be spring skiing in the middle of January on Mount Ellen. There was no disappointment there!
We started the morning on Inverness for a quick warm up before going up the Green Mountain Quad. From there we blasted down Which Way at an unnecessary amount of speed (the mountain was more or less empty all day) to the Northridge lift. I was lucky enough to get one of the few runs in on Bravo since they closed it up a little before 11. The Bravo woods were in great condition, probably due to the pitch (Semi Tough was fun, but loads of hollow snow/mashed potatoes) and we took a couple of runs through there. From there we made our way to the summit where fog had encased the entire cap. Visability might have been 20-25 feet tops. A spin on Rim Run was somewhat calming and relaxing to just feel the soft snow under your skis. Exterminator skied extremely well and had some VW Bug sized bumps in a few spots. I must have done 2-3 runs here, loving every bit of it.
However, it was the next ride up that an amazing discovery was made- FIS (known in our group as Fuck Icy Shit) got a new name- Fuck, I can't See! Regardless, the bumps on FIS were INCREDIBLE. Consistently spaced, soft, and even though I couldn't see more than 3-4 bumps ahead of me at any given time, it was all about the feel and flow of rhythym. I must've done this run 4 more times in the fog over the course of the day. I made one run down lower FIS because I enjoy it so much, but the run out was painful. The trail itself was a mixture of conditions- soft snow, good bumps, sticky snow, mashers, but it was the run out back to the base that took forever with sticky snow, which made turning somewhat difficult- same story in the trees. Probably should have done this run earlier in the morning. Woods conditions detiorated thoughout the day as well, but upper FIS held on and was a go-to when we were wondering- what next?
After a quick beer at the Glen House, I lapped Tumbler, the Cliffs, Hammer Head, and Encore to get the bumpage in.
Overall, the day was incredible and worth the gamble on conditions. The trails that were groomed held up great, and the natural snow trails were fantastic.
The chairlift is a free rollercoaster!
Don't know what you got till you're there. I like reading about gambles that paid off.
-Love and Sunshine
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