Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally, An Amazing Skiing Weekend

A week ago, the weather forecast for the week was depressing. What had originally been a possible snow storm seemed to be moving to the north, which would allow warm air to infiltrate the area. The temperatures for late in the week were supposed to approach 50F and the precipitation would fall as rain. We haven't had a decent snow storm at the mountain in a long time, it seems. Yes, every trail was open, but the moguls were firm, there was lots of ice, and it was a struggle to find nice snow.

But, as the week progressed, the forecast started to change. And, starting mid-week, the mountain started to get snow. A significant storm on Friday delivered about 9" of snow, on top of a few inches in the prior days. And Saturday was a lot of fun, despite two falls that I took. Early in the morning, I was waiting for my students to finish a moderate tree run when I failed to notice some bamboo wands in the snow. The wands are used to mark a skiing hazard. I skied into a 4 foot deep ditch and my upper body slammed onto the snow on the other side of the ditch. I hit my right shoulder pretty hard and it's still sore today. And, later in the day, I actually skied right into a tree on a very easy tree run. It happened so quickly that I'm not sure how it happened. I am a little sore from that as well, but not injured. I was moving slowly when it happened.

And this weekend, I arrived at the mountain rested and feeling strong. Because of this, my confidence was a lot better than the previous weekend. I still felt confident after my run-in with the tree.

Sunday was a complete surprise. When I left Sugarbush on Saturday, it was still snowing, but the forecast showed the snow would end shortly. Instead, we got orographic or "upslope" snow all night long, and we had another foot of super-light fluffy powder on the mountain. I managed to take two runs with some friends before work and the new snow was amazing. As soon as I had my group, we headed for the trees and we did some really fun runs. In the afternoon, I joined up with my friend Jay and we headed for some more remote and difficult trees. We started with a run called Bear Claw that I usually only ski a couple times a year, when conditions are great. We weren't disappointed and we had an amazing run through steep trees. After one more moderate tree run, it was clear that my students were tired. I wanted them to take a hot chocolate break and call it a day. However, there seems to be some sort of chemistry between my group of all girls and two of the boys in the other group. I had one student who was completely exhausted, so I took her inside while Jay took 11 students out for one more tree run. That's a lot of students to watch over, but Jay knows what he's doing and they had a great final run.

I'm tired today and a little beat up from some incidents on the mountain this weekend. However, after waiting all season for snow like this, I really have no complaints at all. Yesterday was the kind of day that skiers dream about and then remember forever.

1 comment:

Jeff Farbaniec said...

We didn't get quite the powder bomb you guys got, but with new snow Weds night through Friday, this weekend at Gore was the best of the season. What a relief and what a joy to finally have some real snow to ski in!