TR - Blue Mountain, Ontario, 2015-03-28

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TR - Blue Mountain, Ontario, 2015-03-28

Postby admafw » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:04 pm

Blue Mountain is the largest ski area in Ontario. The general layout is that most runs start with a gradual run down to a steep/steeper/"this is serious" headwall section (about a third of the run) and then gradually reduce in slope to a flat out run towards the lifts. The "mountain" spreads across the Niagara escarpment, averaging 600'-700' of vertical over 42 runs with the easier runs to the south and the shorter/steeper runs to the north. It's situated 2 hrs north of Toronto, with scenic views of Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) & the town of Collingwood (which I believe is an Indian name meaning "where the mountain meets the water meets the condo.")

It was a bluebird day, plenty sunny but cold and exposed to the north wind coming off the bay. Unfortunately, it had the worst conditions I've skied this year. Not their fault, it just happened to be 2 days after a post thaw-freeze. The rain 2 days before followed by the deep cold had turned the natural snow I've been used all winter to into a base of ice with the groomers shaving the top 1" into hard corduroy.

Intrawest has spent money here and the multiple 6 person detachable chairs mean you get lots of laps. Overall, I got the same vertical/mileage as skiing in VT, QC & NH a week before, it just took me 3 times the runs. Conditions meant it was tense skiing. Early runs on the hard corduroy were tentative - no trust on the headwalls for how much grip was beneath the feet. By lunch the high skier traffic generated icy patches on anything with a pitch. Steeps on the blues were a mix of ice patches and piles of granular snow. The blacks started getting stupid. It may help to explain why so many Canadian ski racers from the flat lands of Ontario have done so well over the years skiing the Hahnenkamm at Kitzbuhel.

Looking East towards Georgian Bay...

blue mtn (Large).JPG
The top of Ontario's Beast
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