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Burke: 1/3/08 (A Cold One)


Staff member
Jun 4, 2004
NEK by Birth
Date: January 3, 2008

Resort: Burke Mountain

Conditions: MG to perfection.

Weather: Bitterly cold with temps barely above 0 F. Light wind out of the W made for some cold windchills.

2007-2008 Trip Report #: 22

This is going to be a short report. It was a diehard afternoon. I heard that temps at the mountain were -20F last night...so first chair was out of the question if not insane. I had to run some errands, so I got the mountain at 1pm intending to do a few quick runs, use the lodges as needed, and go home. Groomers were the plan to save my legs for the weekend.

I did debate between Sherburne and MidBurke, because I felt it was probably too cold for the top. But curiosity killed the cat and I wanted to drive up to MidBurke to see what was going on with the snowmaking. I found a good spot and headed in. I figured it was less crowded and it was (a whooping ten cars in the lot).

Booted up and skied to the bottom. High Meadows Pass and Bunker Hill skied well, save the ruts on BH from BMA training (Poma is still down, but will be back tomorrow). I had been out 15 minutes and was freezing...so I went inside and checked Email before heading back out for a Binney Lane spin and then to the top. Binney Lane was edge-to-edge on natural snow I believe and skiing well. The terrain was going to get boring down here and I figured I had it in me to do a few up top.

The lift ride was incredible. Every tree was coated in frost from the snowguns and cold weather. It was like Burke of my childhood days...nobody on the quad, fresh grooming, and frost on the trees. The skies were the deepest blue. Wow.

East Bowl served up some great groomed turns. Best it has been groomed all season. I stormed past two of the handful of skiers on the mountain (a crowd on this run!). It was a fast run down...and my face got real cold quickly. I headed in the lodge again, warmed up, surfed the internet, and headed back out for two more.

I made a beeline for Powderhorn and found fresh corduroy still on the sides of the trail. Again, best it has been groomed this season. The chute was in great shape...it appeared that they did a good job working it over. I jumped onto Dipper Doodle and again more great fresh grooming. I got going a bit too fast though and ended up sliding a bit too far left...in part because the sun was setting and it was getting dark, so I could not see the changes in the fall line as well...but I will admit that the driver was in part to blame for this little skid :wink:

Well, it was cold out there, but I figured one more. I talked to Quito, the liftie, and learned that the Poma was spinning tomorrow and that some locals were camping out tonight at the summit in an igloo that they had built today (!) :eek: Better them than me....I like winter camping, but not on a night like this one....

I wanted a west run because of the low light. Upper Bear Den looked good, so I hit it and took the rolls and the little drop off in good form. They did a good job pushing the snow around on that trail. I had intended to do cut across the Meadows to the Willoughby/Lower Bear Den, but I figured I had to do my constitutional down Ledges. I found fresh grooming and drifted snow in the Meadows. Almost covered...and I also found that they groomed down the right side of the knoll to the Poma/Willoughby crossover.

My legs were geared for groomers today, so charging down the headwall was a bit more difficult, but about 1/3 the way down I got a good rhythm and found good snow. It is in great shape...all natural drifted pow and chowder.

I hopped out of it and onto Lower Bear Den, briefly considering Middle Fox's, but my legs were just not up for it, so I cut across to McHarg's and found incredible fresh grooming. This run has also been a gem this year...with lots of good snow, good grooming, and no crowds. A great alternative to the Lower Warren's Way/Lower Fox's runs.

Snowmaking wrapped up work on Dashney Mile and Gap. Guns are still going on Upper Warren's Way ad now on Middle Fox's. Looks good for tomorrow.

Also, the crew is making so much snow and it is so cold and dry, that the snowmaking plumes are going pretty high into the air above the mountain. So much so that it is visible via SATELLITE...and mistaken by the local weather guy as "mountain snowshowers!" :lol:
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