special thanks to everyone who shoveled snow onto the trail last week! as the sign at the top of the single said, mrg wouldn't have been open today without the help. i would have helped out last sunday, but i destroyed my elbow after one run and packed it up before i could do my part.
the morning dawned with bright sun shine, blue skies, and very comfortable temperatures. the weather forecast was calling for a 90% chance of rain showers, but the morning was shaping up to be every skier's wet snow dream. i boarded the single at 9:15 A.M. with a big grin on my face that continued throughout the day.
i began with a groomer run down upper antelope which held out well. only one major bare patch near the top with about 5 feet of snow on either side. snow was wet and frozen gran with lots occasional thin spots. ice flows were edgable! switched over to catamount to see how bad cat bowl was. definitely deserved the rope! HUGE bare spot near the top of the bowl.
back up the single for a run down chute which still had decent cover but the cliff area near the top was pretty darn thin and careful turns needed to be made down lower on chute where ice flows and dirt presented fun obstacles to deal with. back up for fall line which sported some incredible snow! sah-weet! some thin cover but mostly a hoot. back up again hoping that lynx was still open but it wasn't, so i headed back to the single. just before entering onto catamount, none other than patrick
blows right past me! we had PM'd yesterday about meeting up at 9am, but that never happened. i figured we would eventually bump into each other. great to meet and ski with you patrick! skiing is always so much better when you have another accomplished skier to share some turns with.
we tracked down chute for more bumps then back up for another shot at fall line which was still holding up well with exception of the top part before the paradise split which has a few folks side stepping for dear life, heh! we missed the single chair cut back and dumped into creamery which was fun dodging the thin cover and the regen zones! sweet. the run out on bunny wasn't half as bad as i had expected based on the "be prepared to walk" warnings. in reality, only one section was particularly nasty and did not require walking so long as you were willing to link a few random patches of snow/ice and/or ski over some moss. approaching the bottom of bunny, patrick and i spotted a patroller. the thought had occured to me to ask around and see if mark renson
was on duty today. patrick indicated he thought the guy might be mark and sure enough it was! great to meet you mark!
i suspected the next run up the single would be my last for the day. the clouds were getting a little darker and expected rain storms to pay general stark mountain a visit sooner rather than latter. just as we were appraoching the mid-station, i felt one drop of rain. "here it comes!!!" instant soaking down poor with no warning. i was completely soaked by the time we reached stark's nest, my jacket had even soaked through and it was feeling pretty miserable. definitely was going to be my last run and i really wanted to give paradise one last rip for the season. and despite the rain and nastiness of being completely dreanched, i found paradise to be awesome! the most technical run i have skied this season and it was certainly the wettest! route finding skills were at a premium as we picked our way down some rediculously thin cover with occasional goodies and nice lines. nearing the bottom, the snow was pretty much running out and lines were tough to find. open water ran everywhere! even under the snow as many undermined areas were starting to open up. i love this style of technical thin cover route finding stuff. sometimes we picked wisely, other times we were placed in situations that required some creativity.
despite having so much fun, i was soaked and cold without a change of clothes, i was definitely done for the day. after another run out on bunny, we headed back to the base box and hung out for a while partaking in some lunch. patrick stuck around for a few more runs and the share holders meeting and i decided to hit the road.
mad river glen is closed for the season now. i was very happy to have been able to utilize all three of my mad cards, although last sunday's attempt only saw one run. somedays, one run up the single is enough to satisfy though. even though today was less than three hours of skiing, it satisfied quite well. nice meeting you patrick and mark!
- And our snow was still there...
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- Classic shot of the Basebox
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- Nothing left on Liftline, roped!
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- Bottom section of Chute holding up really well!
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- Cliff section of Chute looking bare but skiable
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