Admin wrote:I'm sure that others skied more southerly hills that got more of a direct hit from the storm (...) Bueller? Bueller?
I wasn't planning to post, but since you asked. (don't miss the shocker at the bottom of this TR)
One week after leaving the Alps, I figured that it was time to begin my decompression from Ischgl -- a place that could swallow all seven Wasatch ski areas with plenty of room to spare -- and transition back to reality by ripping the Band-Aid off in one clean pull.
At my house in NJ, we received a perfectly rightside-up (hardly a given in the northeast) foot of snow: three inches of slop topped off by nine or more inches of pixie dust, so after shoveling our driveway and sidewalk for 1.5 hours, I got on the road for Shawnee, one hour directly west of us. They only got six inches, but it's a far more civilized place on weekends than the alternatives with similar drive times (Mountain Creek, Camelback).
I arrived to a nice surprise at the base lodge, freshly-baked cookies -- take as many as you like.
Then headed over to the Tomahawk HSQ, which covers the reported 700 verts in three quick minutes.
Shawnee is a classic feeder hill with a very mild pitch: best suited for novices and lower intermediates. I can speak from prior experience that it's absolutely perfect for outings with my son. I especially like watching kids well below five years who've already graduated to poles.
For more advanced skiers, you kinda have to make your own fun and while there was nice cut-up snow on the sides of the trails (I'm pretty sure that they groomed the overnight snow), yesterday was a bit challenging because the north-facing hill was getting hit with consistent 20 mph winds, also from the north. This tended to slow you down a bit.
During my time in Austria, I was reminded that Europeans -- many of whom don't get to see the sun much in their home countries -- love to drink, smoke, eat, and fraternize outside when the skies are blue, no matter how cold it is, Americans OTOH need a certain level of warmth to do that. It was 19F at the base, so the deck was empty.
And now we've come to the money shot. This is hanging in the guest services area and is not a fake front page. It actually happened. Talk amongst yourselves: