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Stowe 12.23.2012

Huck_It_Baby

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Date(s) Skied: 12.23.2012

Resort or Ski Area: Stowe

Conditions: Powder/PP...and maybe some crust, ice and hardpack

Trip Report:

Woke up a bit late thanks to the flu which has been kicking my butt for days. I sit down on the computer to check the snow report and it says 8-12 @ Stowe!!!

I went from feeling like hell and not moving to BATTLE READY in under 20 seconds. Really kicked it into high gear to get myself out the door. Drove entirely too fast on the way to the mountain. I won't report my speeds but someone should have pulled me over.

Finally on the Quad at 8:58 and felt like a gaper. Tons of snow. Easily a foot of fresh in many places even though it was already getting tracked by 9:30. Stowe crowd really loves their powder. Frenzied!

Most lift rides I skied right on...never more than a 3 minute wait in singles line.

Trees on the upper 1/2 of the mountain were amazing! Many places I was just sinking down so deep 1/2 expecting to hit roots or something but no. Just buttery slash turns and tree taps. Places over 2 feet of untracked were to be found. Goat glades, Nose dive, Tres Amigos, etc. I was even making fairly comfortable turns on the lower mountain off trail. Things are really filling in.

I stayed on the quad most of the day except for 2 runs off the gondola. I pushed out past the north boundary a little and found a couple good turns then skied down a creek bed. Needed more snow though. The creeks aren't quiet frozen. Still flowing water and open spots.

After bush whacking a bit I came back out onto a rather desolate Chin Clip. I look uphill and the only person out was a patroler. He comes skiing up to me kinda like he has something to say and looks as me for a second. We exchange "hey how's it going" and then he asks if I'm alone which I replied yes to. I thought he was going to says something about being the in trees alone or sking out of bounds but he just kind of has this awkward silence. Then he's like "this trail gets better just around the corner it's not skied off" (Maybe not exact words). So I say nice "lets do it" but he explains he has to stop 1/2 down to do something. so we both take off and I throttle it high speed launching some bumps to be on my way.

It may not come off like it in this report but I tell you it was a weird exchange.

Anyway. Before this season I had been to Stowe a few times and every time the gondola and quad have been on wind holds. Now that I live up in NVt I'm really getting so much opportunity to explore. I keep finding little shots through the trees that I want to tell Alpinezone all about but I have to hold my tongue. I bet some of you know places I am just now discovering. It's magical.

I'm back down in the valley near Lake Champlain now and it's snowing hard as I write this. It was a good day.

I think Powder cured my flu.

These photos don't do today any justice but here they are anyway.

Stowe4.jpg
Stowe5.jpg
Stowe2.jpg

Stowe1.jpg

Stowe3.jpg
 
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bdfreetuna

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Looks awesome (similarly snowy and woodsy to the day I had.. lol.. I'm sure you had more variety of woods to choose from at Stowe though). I haven't been to Stowe in 10+ years mostly due to distance and $92 ticket prices which I have a hard time stomaching plus the gas money and long drive on top of that. Also I involuntarily took 6 years off skiing which didn't exactly help.

My plan for Stowe this winter is to spend 2 days there during prime season. Maybe spring. Cheap motel + 2 day pass. Spend day 1 learning the mountain over again, because it's been too long. Spend day 2 focusing on skiing Mansfield summit and possibly also the top of Spruce. I've never explored Stowe summit-country before so this is going to be a mission and also based on my best guess or whoever might want to go do this with me. I think that's why it's better in the spring so the conditions will be soft and it will be easier to hike my way up into uncharted terrain.

Also been too long since I've been to Smuggs (probably 12 years). Do you ski up there at all?

Your 3rd pic is great. I followed some "singletrack" at Ellen today looked just like that.
 

riverc0il

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Nice. I was across the notch at Smuggs. They reported 10" which sounds about right down low but much much more up top. Really great day. Some trees looked ready to go but I want one more layer on top before I go in. I've skied early season woods before enough to know open slopes are better this time of year. But I was scoring untracked on slopes well past noon time at Smuggs, doubt that was happening at Stowe, so I can understand the urge to explore. For my preferences, the next storm should open off map woods up.
 

deadheadskier

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Looks awesome (similarly snowy and woodsy to the day I had.. lol.. I'm sure you had more variety of woods to choose from at Stowe though). I haven't been to Stowe in 10+ years mostly due to distance and $92 ticket prices which I have a hard time stomaching plus the gas money and long drive on top of that. Also I involuntarily took 6 years off skiing which didn't exactly help.

My plan for Stowe this winter is to spend 2 days there during prime season. Maybe spring. Cheap motel + 2 day pass. Spend day 1 learning the mountain over again, because it's been too long. Spend day 2 focusing on skiing Mansfield summit and possibly also the top of Spruce. I've never explored Stowe summit-country before so this is going to be a mission and also based on my best guess or whoever might want to go do this with me. I think that's why it's better in the spring so the conditions will be soft and it will be easier to hike my way up into uncharted terrain.

Also been too long since I've been to Smuggs (probably 12 years). Do you ski up there at all?

Your 3rd pic is great. I followed some "singletrack" at Ellen today looked just like that.

You should look into joining the Connecticut Ski Council.

Check out the deals on the Stowe tix in March. 4 day pass for $122 when the walk up 1 day is $92.

http://www.skiclub.com/documents/Aware 13.pdf

Expense is definitely a deterrent for many people skiing Stowe, but there are definitely deals to be had.
 

thetrailboss

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Nice. I've had those days when you think that you're too sick to go and then you just gotta go. Nice pics. Looks like things are shaping up nicely. I hear that there is a storm that is going to hit VT this week. Fingers crossed for you.

And did you lose your skis off the Kitchen Wall? ;)
 

Huck_It_Baby

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I've never explored Stowe summit-country before so this is going to be a mission and also based on my best guess or whoever might want to go do this with me.

Also been too long since I've been to Smuggs (probably 12 years). Do you ski up there at all?

I'll be exploring the summit as much as possible this winter. I've been hiking all the routes up to the top for the last few months before it started snowing so I am somewhat familiar with the territory. I'll be happy to share the knowledge with you if you come up.

I haven't done Smuggs yet but am about to start hitting it. Bolton too. Stowe is pricey as you mentioned and gets tracked out faster.
 

Huck_It_Baby

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Some trees looked ready to go but I want one more layer on top before I go in. I've skied early season woods before enough to know open slopes are better this time of year.

I say you should have gone in! Natural base has been pretty great for December. At least lower angle glades are ripe. Storm coming tonight/Tmw/Friday so everything should fill in nicely and be up to your standards =)
 

riverc0il

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I say you should have gone in! Natural base has been pretty great for December. At least lower angle glades are ripe. Storm coming tonight/Tmw/Friday so everything should fill in nicely and be up to your standards =)
I did some off map tree skiing at MRG on Monday. My assessment was correct, not ready. I hit a rock/stump not completely covered and bit it. I was skiing cautiously in a generally well maintained area with open spacing and also an area I have hiked in the fall when assisting with maintenance (officially sanctioned) so I knew the area. I still bit it on an obstacle not completely covered. I stand by my assessment that off map trees really are not 100% ready yet and extremely cautious skiing is warranted at this time for most areas with all but the deepest and bottomless depth. But the point is moot because everything is going to be good to go by Friday and certainly no later than Sunday.
 

Huck_It_Baby

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I did some off map tree skiing at MRG on Monday. My assessment was correct, not ready. I hit a rock/stump not completely covered and bit it. I was skiing cautiously in a generally well maintained area with open spacing and also an area I have hiked in the fall when assisting with maintenance (officially sanctioned) so I knew the area. I still bit it on an obstacle not completely covered. I stand by my assessment that off map trees really are not 100% ready yet and extremely cautious skiing is warranted at this time for most areas with all but the deepest and bottomless depth. But the point is moot because everything is going to be good to go by Friday and certainly no later than Sunday.

Comparing MRG to Mansfield right now is like apples and oranges. Mansfield has a has so much more snow and has been cold. There is plenty of snow for the trees on upper 1/2 and in low angle stuff on the lower 1/2 of the mountain.

Caution is warranted for sure anywhere at anytime but I think you might be pleasantly surprised further north than MRG. I just came down the West side of Mansfield and didn't hit any rocks, stumps or logs. Creeks still haven't frozen up though.
 

riverc0il

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This back and forth is moot at this point, but as I noted in my original response to your post, I skied Smuggs on the same day that you were at Stowe on Sunday and I wasn't tempted to go into off map woods based on my assessment... so I know what was available further north than MRG last weekend. Again, moot point at this time as everything is wide open at this point (minus the lower elevation creeks as you noted, def too early in the winter and too soon after the last gully washer).
 
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