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Burke 3/29/2014

dlague

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Q Burke Mountain

Conditions: Firm up top until noonish, soft up top later, soft spring like at base all day

Trip Report:

Using our Fox 44 cards we sought to get this trip is before the season ended. Our initial concern was the wet weather the day before and temps dropping to freezing or near freezing by morning so we opted for a little later start and got there around 9:30. The lodge and parking lot was pretty empty and there were no lift lines to speak of.

We made our way from Sherburne Lodge up the Quad to traverse that flat run out to Mid Burke Express. I wish there was something they could to to make that stretch a little better. It is only a once or twice per day thing so not a big deal since the whole day is spent skiing the upper pod. Once to the Summit, we notice that the conditions were pretty hard and as we headed down Deer Run, the edges (sharpened two weeks ago) were not helping a whole lot and we decided to proceed with caution. The bottom section was much better and ran really well. It is a very simple trail but I like to run it and crank the turns. Towards the bottom we took Y-Knot and the snow there was already soft and the bumps a bit tricky because the snow seemed to thick. We thought we should try a tree run a little higher up to get something not quite so soft. We ended up skiing cruisers (Willoughby, PowderHorn, Bear Den, Fox's Folly, Warrens Way, Rerun, and Upper Dipper) until lunch. The only issue i had was the section where Big Dipper was closed due to races. They left a relatively narrow section at the bottom of Upper Dipper that dumped us onto Powderhorn, that narrow section was really scraped off (or frozen PP) if you came too fast it caught you off guard. While the kids and my wife went to the Tamarack for lunch I too a final run down Doug's Drop over to McHarg's Cut-off. While the bumps on Doug's Drop were just right (not too firm and not too soft) and skied very well (few dark spots), McHarg's Cut-off was really soft and the bump pattern kind of odd. I could not find rhythm there. Speaking of rhythm, Rerun under the chair was nicely setup with smaller bumps and the bump rhythm was really easy to turn on.

After lunch we decided to try Throbulator which was great at the very top but about mid way down the snow started to soften up a lot and the untracked snow of the side was thick and I found it hard to ski in (my wife sunk in it like quicksand). There were a few bare spots but nothing to really worry about. We then tried Caveman which was about the same where it started of with the right conditions but further down it soften up almost to much for my liking. I liked the bump pattern on Caveman a little better. After those two runs it was time to say good-bye to Mid Burke Lodge with a visit to the bar and a toast to memories of the past! My graduation party for LSC was held there!

After a couple of adult beverages we lapped Fox's Folly, Upper Warrens Way and Warrens Way several times. It was fast and skied really nice. That is one of my favorite cruising combo's there. Our last run was down the Willoughby trails then back to SherBurne Lodge.

Over all, it was just about as good of a spring skiing day as we could wish for. Clouds keep the snow fairly fast and coverage was perfect everywhere.

I noticed that they close off the MTB section
photo 1.JPG

Rerun
photo 2.jpg

McHarg's Cut-off
photo 3.jpg

Throbulator
photo 4.jpg

Throbulator
photo 5.jpg
 

dlague

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Farewell to Mid Burke Lodge (MBL)????

photo 2.JPG

A toast to MBL

photo 3.JPG

Great View
photo 4.JPG

Upper Warren and Warren's Way
photo 5.jpg
 

VTKilarney

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Great trip report. We didn't start skiing until nearly 1:00 PM, so we experienced soft snow throughout the hill that day.

Getting from the Sherburne Express to the Mid-Burke chair is maddening. What makes it so annoying is that it seems as if they could bring in a bulldozer and make it painless without having to move too much earth. The problem, however, is that the snowmaking pond is smack dab in the middle of the easiest route between the two chairs. So it may be that there is no way to fix the problem. Nonetheless, I really hope they figure something out. Since we often transition from one pod to the other and my wife likes to ski High Meadow Pass from time to time, we really notice it.

Also, the Dippers weren't so hot once they opened them back up. The race left a difficult combination of corn snow and hard pack. I shed a couple of tears when I saw how much salt was poured onto the snow. I know that it's good for the racers, but just the thought of putting any kind of melting agent onto a perfectly good trail sent shivers down my spine.
 

from_the_NEK

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Getting from the Sherburne Express to the Mid-Burke chair is maddening. What makes it so annoying is that it seems as if they could bring in a bulldozer and make it painless without having to move too much earth. The problem, however, is that the snowmaking pond is smack dab in the middle of the easiest route between the two chairs. So it may be that there is no way to fix the problem. Nonetheless, I really hope they figure something out.

At this point there really isn't much they can do. Unfortunately, when they replaced the old lower mountain double with the Sherburne HSQ, they moved the terminal down 150' (horizontal) and 30-35' (vertical). This was still a fine location for getting to the Willoughby Quad. Additionally, they even "improved" the connection by cutting the Midway trail. However, that small move downhill from the old double location ended up being short sighted.

When the plans for the new Mid Burke Express came out, it was obvious the traverse between lifts was going to be a pain. They did blast out the small hill that was between the Mid Burke Lodge and the snowmaking pond. Additionally, they added fill between the Willoughby quad and the where that hill used to be to eliminate the small sag that was there. Technically, there is a 1% grade between the Willoughby quad and the MBE.

I’ve found the best way to connect the two lifts is to take that little path through the trees onto Lower Willoughby rather than taking Midway. The way Midway wraps around, you can’t carry much speed and you have to keep an eye uphill as you merge with Lower Willoughby. By cutting through the trees, you preserve a lot of vertical and you can get better speed going into the flat traverse. Whatever you do just go straight (no turning) on that last pitch of Lower Willoughby. I can make it all the way to the MBE this way under fast snow conditions without poling. Most of the time, I still end up skating 20-30 yards, but that is better than 200 yards.
 

dlague

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Also, the Dippers weren't so hot once they opened them back up. The race left a difficult combination of corn snow and hard pack. I shed a couple of tears when I saw how much salt was poured onto the snow. I know that it's good for the racers, but just the thought of putting any kind of melting agent onto a perfectly good trail sent shivers down my spine.

Race programs in the spring seems counter intuitive due to the salt for refreeze for sure! I would have liked to ski that trail but was not the case this weekend! Too bad about difficult combination of corn snow and hard pack - it is generally a great cruising run with opportunities to catch a little air where Deer Run crosses.
 

thetrailboss

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At this point there really isn't much they can do. Unfortunately, when they replaced the old lower mountain double with the Sherburne HSQ, they moved the terminal down 150' (horizontal) and 30-35' (vertical). This was still a fine location for getting to the Willoughby Quad. Additionally, they even "improved" the connection by cutting the Midway trail. However, that small move downhill from the old double location ended up being short sighted.

When the plans for the new Mid Burke Express came out, it was obvious the traverse between lifts was going to be a pain. They did blast out the small hill that was between the Mid Burke Lodge and the snowmaking pond. Additionally, they added fill between the Willoughby quad and the where that hill used to be to eliminate the small sag that was there. Technically, there is a 1% grade between the Willoughby quad and the MBE.

I’ve found the best way to connect the two lifts is to take that little path through the trees onto Lower Willoughby rather than taking Midway. The way Midway wraps around, you can’t carry much speed and you have to keep an eye uphill as you merge with Lower Willoughby. By cutting through the trees, you preserve a lot of vertical and you can get better speed going into the flat traverse. Whatever you do just go straight (no turning) on that last pitch of Lower Willoughby. I can make it all the way to the MBE this way under fast snow conditions without poling. Most of the time, I still end up skating 20-30 yards, but that is better than 200 yards.

Ginn anticipated putting the new HSQ right where the Willoughby Quad was...or something like that.

I watched them in 2011 excavate that portion of the base area. Trying to even get it close to flat was a tall order.
 

VTKilarney

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It's a catch-22. If the Mid-Burke HSQ was put where the Willoughby quad was located, you would still have those nasty runouts from the east side. It's also easier to get to the East Bowl from the location of the new HSQ.

What's so frustrating with the connection between the Sherburne Express and the Mid-Burke HSQ is that they are so close to being an easy connection. If that snowmaking pond was not there it would be no big deal. If Burke wants to make the Sherburne lodge the main lodge, the really need to figure something better out.

I also take the path through the trees, and it's usually not too bad - but in spring conditions the problem stuck out like a sore thumb.

My other pet peeve are the people (including racers) who leave their skis lying on the ground in front of the Mid Burke lodge. To avoid skating from the trails on the east side of the mountain, you need to cut as close to the lodge as possible. I don't get wound up if skis are left on the ground in an out of the way place, but to put them smack dab in the middle of where people want to ski is a jerk move. A couple of times this week I had to make a left turn around those skis before the right turn to the Mid-Burke HSQ.

As nostalgic as people are for the Mid-Burke Lodge, I have a feeling that if it was removed they could make much better connections from the east side trails to the Mid-Burke HSQ. I also wish that they dug down a little bit when putting in the base of the Mid-Burke HSQ. A few more feet lower would have made a lot of difference.

What Burke really needs, IMHO, is a lift servicing the east side. It's hard to justify when there are no lines for the existing lifts, but as someone who likes to ski the East Bowl trail, I would love to see something over on that side of the mountain.
 
Last edited:

thetrailboss

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My other pet peeve are the people (including racers) who leave their skis lying on the ground in front of the Mid Burke lodge. To avoid skating from the trails on the east side of the mountain, you need to cut as close to the lodge as possible. I don't get wound up if skis are left on the ground in an out of the way place, but to put them smack dab in the middle of where people want to ski is a jerk move. A couple of times this week I had to make a left turn around those skis before the right turn to the Mid-Burke HSQ.

Whoa boy this sounds like another thread we had a few weeks ago! :lol:
 

dlague

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My other pet peeve are the people (including racers) who leave their skis lying on the ground in front of the Mid Burke lodge. To avoid skating from the trails on the east side of the mountain, you need to cut as close to the lodge as possible. I don't get wound up if skis are left on the ground in an out of the way place, but to put them smack dab in the middle of where people want to ski is a jerk move. A couple of times this week I had to make a left turn around those skis before the right turn to the Mid-Burke HSQ.

I agree in this case about the skis all over! This is an example where skiing around it almost causes enough speed loss that you have to skate past them. They were definitely in the way! Should have taken a picture for the other thread about this!

As nostalgic as people are for the Mid-Burke Lodge, I have a feeling that if it was removed they could make much better connections from the east side trails to the Mid-Burke HSQ. I also wish that they dug down a little bit when putting in the base of the Mid-Burke HSQ. A few more feet lower would have made a lot of difference.

Then again with the building gone the line becomes very easy from East Bowl for sure!
 

VTKilarney

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Whoa boy this sounds like another thread we had a few weeks ago! :lol:

I actually don't mind skis being left on the ground. I only mind when they block something or create a longer path for somebody. If there was order to how they were laid down, I'd have no problem at all.
 

Masskier

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At this point there really isn't much they can do. Unfortunately, when they replaced the old lower mountain double with the Sherburne HSQ, they moved the terminal down 150' (horizontal) and 30-35' (vertical). This was still a fine location for getting to the Willoughby Quad. Additionally, they even "improved" the connection by cutting the Midway trail. However, that small move downhill from the old double location ended up being short sighted.

When the plans for the new Mid Burke Express came out, it was obvious the traverse between lifts was going to be a pain. They did blast out the small hill that was between the Mid Burke Lodge and the snowmaking pond. Additionally, they added fill between the Willoughby quad and the where that hill used to be to eliminate the small sag that was there. Technically, there is a 1% grade between the Willoughby quad and the MBE.

I’ve found the best way to connect the two lifts is to take that little path through the trees onto Lower Willoughby rather than taking Midway. The way Midway wraps around, you can’t carry much speed and you have to keep an eye uphill as you merge with Lower Willoughby. By cutting through the trees, you preserve a lot of vertical and you can get better speed going into the flat traverse. Whatever you do just go straight (no turning) on that last pitch of Lower Willoughby. I can make it all the way to the MBE this way under fast snow conditions without poling. Most of the time, I still end up skating 20-30 yards, but that is better than 200 yards.

they can't do much, but they are suppose to improve the grade a little this summer, but agree that the best way is to cut through the trees and get as much speed you can off of lower willoughby.
 
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