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Mrv 1/21-1/22/19

Zand

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,486
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Spencer, MA
Decided early yesterday morning I definitely didn't want to spend a whole day at Sugarbush where the highs were probably going to be stuck in the negative double digits and winds were gusting over 50 MPH. I knew most of it would be on windhold and that I wouldn't be out very much anyway. Left home around 8:45 intending on arriving at 12:30, but 89 was a disaster and it was after 1 when I arrived to a temp of -9 and diamond dust falling from the sky. I knew windholds would rule the day but Valley House was running and there's some damn good stuff off that lift.

First run was into the woods between Stein's and the Mall. Stein's was wiped clean by the wind at the top, so was glad to get into the woods where the snow was plentiful but VERY sticky. Snow at that temperature might as well be glue and of course I don't have any kind of wax that would help nullify the sticky snow. At some point along the run my hand jammed into my pole from one of the sudden stops. Also had to ski without goggles because they managed to freeze on the ride up the chair. Lastly, my boots got a little warm sensitive before I went out because about halfway down they felt like a snake trying to kill a dog. So with a hand that couldn't grip a pole, eyelashes covered in ice, and feet being turned into mashed potatoes, it was time for a break after 1 run.

After my feet stopped aching I went back out for run #2. I rearranged my facemask situation to try to keep my goggles from freezing. It worked for the most part as I headed down and went into Eden. Snow was more skied in so the stickiness wasn't as apparent and had a great run. Unfortunately, I skied it pretty hard and ended up fogging up my goggles so once again had to go in after 1 run.

Third run I made the wonderful decision to leave the facemask inside and see if I could handle a couple runs without it. By the time I got to the top of the lift I was ready to put a gun to my head. But at least my goggles didn't freeze. Skied the woods between Twist and the Mall which were like the first run, just not as steep so a bit more skiable. At the bottom I noticed the chair had gone on windhold and decided it was time to cut my losses and head to the bar. I'd say it was a waste of an Ikon day but chances are I won't end up using all my SB days so shouldn't end up mattering (although I'd love to use them all).

Today was MRG day on my VT 4 Pass and I was pretty stoked because they were closed yesterday and I'd surely find all kinds of untracked stuff. However, when I arrived the words almost everyone was saying was "wind slab". Hmm...surely avoidable, right? Was on one of the first chairs up the Single and Chute looked oh so sweet underneath and totally untouched. Started my day down it and very quickly started to learn what "wind slab" meant. All of that fresh looking snow you would be right on top of as you skied it, then when you turn it crumbles away beneath you. Not to mention between the slabs things were scraped pretty clean. Sometimes it was hard to tell what was hardpack and what was slab. But it made the first tracks very awkward. Ducked into Upper Glade hoping it was more sheltered from the wind but it was more of the same. Plus my boots were doing the boa constrictor thing so inside I went after 1 run. Did enjoy a nice french toast breakfast while I was in there.

Decided I'd stick to the groomers for the 2nd run as they were beautifully soft. Naturally couldn't make it past Cat Bowl without getting curious about how much fun the wind slab was down there. Ended up on Grand Canyon further down which was very scraped from the wind...more so than any other run.

Headed up the double to see if it was any better on that side (and at least be warmer in the sun). Quacky was a little better but still pretty slabby. Connected some nice groomers together for the run to the bottom but that became a chilly affair.

Noticed some people on Paradise when I was on the double so figured why not. Headed up, traversed in, and saw that it was pretty well tracked and that made the snow easier to ski. The base is incredible up there right now...if we can get a snowstorm with normal temperatures and then not get a giant freeze or rainstorm after we'd be in great shape. But if course if that ever actually happened here no one would ever need to move to Colorado or Utah. Anyway it was a fun run, a few icefalls that were tricky due to the snow being blown off but lots of nice soft turns. Not too slabby...err...shabby.

Decided to take lunch then as I realized that things were getting better as they got skied in, so figured I'd eat early and then ski hard the rest of the day. Alternated between Chute/Liftline and Paradise the next few runs. Chute and Liftline were much better with all the traffic, the powder was skiable and it was easier to see where the crappy spots were. Even started to develop some sweet soft bump lines. Paradise got a little more scrapped up later in the day. Threw in a run down Lynx/Beaver which had seen less traffic and therefore was pretty slabby but got better near the bottom.

Wrapped up the day with a Slalom Hill run. Was hoping it would also have some nice soft bumps as it tends to on days like today, but there was a lot of ice underfoot that got uncovered through the day. Being after 3:00 my legs weren't having any of that. Lower Periwinkle has more scraped up bumps.

Ended up with a grand total of 12 runs between the two days. Not what I had in mind when I was driving up to ski 18" of fresh snow but there were some goods to be had later on in the day today. Tomorrow should be the best day with warming temps and the dense snow skied in. Not sure when I'll be back out...hoping things hold up after Thursday but that rain will probably freeze everything up.

Gonna have nightmares about wind slabs tonight.
 

jimk

Active member
Joined
Sep 1, 2012
Messages
1,241
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Location
Wash DC area
I give you a lot of credit! You just got back from Utah and you’re back out there testing your skiing mettle against some of Vermont’s hardiest meteorology.
 

speden

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Nov 18, 2008
Messages
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Oh man, that sounds cold... Kudos for getting out there.
 

Zand

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
3,486
Points
48
Location
Spencer, MA
I give you a lot of credit! You just got back from Utah and you’re back out there testing your skiing mettle against some of Vermont’s hardiest meteorology.

That Utah trip was all eastern conditions though. Hardpack and crusty the first 3 days other than a few soft shots in certain areas. Powder day the last day but had some east coast moisture to it and even changed to graupel for a while lol...couldn't even make that part up. Only thing I had to get back used to was the cold and the idea it can be raining 36 hours after it's -20.
 
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