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Times you've skied in sketch conditions

skiNEwhere

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I started writing this up in the lessons and pointers thread but I think this falls under a separate category.

Last season, I had my Soul 7's at Sugarbush on March 5th. I forgot how liberal of the trail opening policy Sugarbush has.... I went on the run directly underneath the north ridge expressway. Straight up ice moguls that I was unable to dig an edge into. I grew up skiing the east coast so I am no stranger to hardpack, but this was incredibly difficult.

I'd like to think to myself that there was probably good reason there didn't appear to be any recent tracks. And also that it was a good thing the lift wasn't spinning since I was directly under the lift line.

I purchased some Armada Tracer 98's (180 length) and finally have some boots that fit right (27.5 vs the 29.5's I've been rocking the last 4 years). I am curious to see if this combo would handle better on the super hardpack.

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Mapnut

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Back around 1970 my brother and I went to Sugarloaf after a major ice storm. There were no internet condition updates in those days and we were hoping that Sugarloaf had got snow. Nope. When we got there the entire mountain was closed! They told us Saddleback had managed to open two trails, so we went on over there. There were two blue runs alongside the Cupsuptic T-bar which they had gone over with a "powder-maker", in other words, converted glare ice to ice cubes. It was like skiing on sharp ball bearings. We took two runs and quit, intimidated by the thought of what might happen if we fell.
 

Smellytele

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Way too many times and places. They all blend in together. Ice, rain, -30, wind strong enough to lift you off the ground, so foggy that you can't tell what is up and what is down.
 

ss20

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Ovation at Killington after any freeze-thaw is pretty gnarly. You fall, you slide.
 

Whitey

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Way too many times and places. They all blend in together. Ice, rain, -30, wind strong enough to lift you off the ground, so foggy that you can't tell what is up and what is down.

What Tele said. Born and raised northeast skier. Too many times to single out any 1 day. That which doesn't kill you only serves to make you stronger. . .
 

tnt1234

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Mt. Trembant a few years ago.....

Dynamite trail - open.....half way down you get to the steepest headwall. There was a sign that read "This trail not recommended for skiing"......huh? There is no bail out at this point in the trail....very odd place, and very odd phrase to find half way down the trail! Maybe it was a translation thing.....

Anyway, it wasn't terrible. Just steep as hell with very little coverage.

Same trip, next morning, expected to wake up to snow. But it turned to frozen rain instead. Whole mountain was glazed over, think crust....get tot the top of the mountain, and head over to some trail or the other....I forget which. Ski patrol stopped us and kind of quizzed us about our ability before letting us down the steeper trails. It was by far the craziest glaze I ever skied.

It was thick enough to support you if you just glided on the top, but utterly un-edgable! You have to kind of jump and crack through the glaze, then your ankles were ice breakers, and again, you couldn't turn!

Awful. Exhausting. A bit terrifying when you were skimming over the top, building speed, wondering if you could break through and turn.....
 

kingslug

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Sunshine Bowl at Vail..had to walk out of it, sideways. Pure death coral. Or any day after a rain freeze on Clairs at Hunter..or better yet, 44.
 

crank

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Killington mid 70's, don't remember the trail but one steep section was the kind of solid boiler plate ice you don't really see anymore. It was also wall to wall with nary a scrap of edgeble anything anywhere. The only one of our group who made it down without a fall/slide for life maneuver was the best skier of our group and he was smart enough to take his skis off and walk around through the woods.

Kicking Horse, was there during a pineapple express and skied a couple feet of fresh, super thick glop up on top. Tiring but not dangerous. Made the mistake of skiing to bottom instead of downloading via gondola and had a thick breakable crust to pick our way carefully down for many, many vertical feet. Not fun.

I never ski directly after a rain/freeze cycle. Have driven home from VT more than once without skiing.
 
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benski

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Snow ridge last year, after a lake effect I tried getting an edge on the edge of a gully. Apparently lake effect snow is too light to stick to steep terrain so I ended up skidding on dirt and roots.
 

CoolMike

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I actually had to climb through the woods to get off at trail once at Sugarbush. I don't know ME as well as LP and it had rained a few days before. The groomed runs were icy but fine / carve-able. I came off of a flat groomed trail onto a slightly steeper trial (could have been hammerhead or encore perhaps?). The ice was as bad as I've ever seen. I couldn't believe the trail was open. My usual MO in this situation is to ride over towards the edge and use the scrapped up snow on the edge of the trail to ride down. When I got near the edge the ice was even worse - thick, wet, blue ice. I was lucky I wasn't riding too fast because I had to stop right at the very edge of the woods where finally I bit into the hard-pack snow just a foot or two from the trees. The only option in my opinion was to unbind and walk through the woods backed to a nearby groomed trail. It was slow going as there was an uphill element to the walk and my snowboard boots weren't easily breaking through the crust.

We later learned that over at LP someone died on Sleeper due to similar trail conditions. There is no way this trail should have been open.

All of the other sketchy times I've had on the slope have been my own damn fault (going too fast, failing to see another skier or an obstacle, ducking a rope, etc). This one was scary to me because of the near tree collision and how it unavoidable the situation was.
 

Cornhead

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Snow ridge last year, after a lake effect I tried getting an edge on the edge of a gully. Apparently lake effect snow is too light to stick to steep terrain so I ended up skidding on dirt and roots.
Ha, I remember that, I thought wtf is he doing? That edge of the ravine you went down is practically vertical, glad you didn't get hurt. That's close to the spot where on opening day 2013 a guy popped off that ledge, did a 180, grinded on a tree branch, and disappeared. I asked the two boards standing near the edge if he stuck the landing, they said no. Luckily there was 50" where he landed, as long as you didn't land upside down, it'd be tough to get hurt.

I skied around and when I got to him he was looking for his ski. I told him I'd help, but I could barely stand up. He laughed and said that's OK, I'll get it in the Spring if I don't find it. Incredible day. The day we were there didn't suck either. I remember people hooting at me as I skied under the chair. If not two feet, pretty close.

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Jully

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Not me, but I know of someone who skied in some conditions so sketchy that they had to throw their skis down the Kitchen Wall at Stowe. Can safely say no one else here has ever faced something that sketchy before.
 

SIKSKIER

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When you ski at Cannon 50 times a year for 40+ years I would say I've been in those conditions hundreds of times.What doesnt kill you makes you stronger right?So far!
 

JimG.

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What Tele said. Born and raised northeast skier. Too many times to single out any 1 day. That which doesn't kill you only serves to make you stronger. . .

Glad there are others who basically think it's normal.
 

Siliconebobsquarepants

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Totally Self Inflicted ! ....Tucks 40f bluebird day Only decided to take two water bottles...I'll fill up at Hojo's. Yeah? . Hung out a wile on the deck with my group watching runs down Hillmans. I passed up the water pump and kept going as there was a nice wind blowing so I didn't feel warm . Got to the bowl and decided on Left Gully after going up 50yds the wind completely died . After struggling with the boot path set by some tall people (steps were a stretch for me ) I was baking on the 30min crawl . The last third of the climb I noticed a girl in a blue jacket not moving near the exit at the top . As I got closer I saw someone trying to encourage her to make it up. She was terrified and just froze. The way out at the top had to be near 55 degrees , you had 2 slots to grab and side step up 50ft or so . Meanwhile a log jamb was developing behind me , someone suggested try going straight up. I couldn't see above me as there was a rock blocking my view. Another 50ft and things turned to ice ! !@##$%%6. Fortunately someone below had crampons ,pulled out of line and made a new path 20ft to my right. A bit relived to see a way out as I down climbed to get to the new track my legs cramped up to the point I couldn't move! After an eternity I was able to make it up and get my skis on , three turns and Bam locked up again !@@#$$. I found a god sent boulder that was flat and spent half an hour recuperating. I had a pretty good run but locked up again near the bottom . Went and got some water and had a descent run to the parking lot . It was still my best Ski day despite a stupid decision .
 

bdfreetuna

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Drapers drop at whiteface. Race ready=Frozen pond on the side of a hill!

Upper Thruway and Mountain Run were pretty brutal last time I was there (*until the 50" of snow fell starting that day).

Mountain Run in particular, I took my wife down it with me, one of those runs where you basically point and shoot and expect to skid out of control for at least a while. Every time you stop, look up at the wife for safety. She did alright. I think we had a drink at the bar after that, then the snow started :D
 
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