Sugarbush, VT 11/19/99

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Sugarbush, VT 11/19/99

Postby Benjie » Mon Apr 17, 2000 1:33 pm

<I>(Note from the Administrator: This report was originally posted on 11/19/99. Due to our move to new servers, the date and time attributed to this post is incorrect.)</I> <BR> <BR>Just like last year, my ski season started out with a powdery November day at Sugarbush. Will I never learn to take it slow for the first day? Oh, well. <BR> <BR>I don't think there's any better way to approach Sugarbush than from Route17 eastbound through New Haven, Bristol, and South Starksboro. When it'sclear (as it was today), you can see the whole range from Mt. Abraham <BR>across to Mount Ellen, and when it's snowy (as it was today), the view gets more and more enticing the closer you get. It didn't hurt to hear a Sugarbush ad on the radio as I neared the top of the App Gap confirming the news that Castlerock was still open. I think I made the drive in record time! <BR> <BR>After buying my ticket at 8:15 or so, I headed up the Super Bravo. I was desperate to get to Castlerock before the morning sun melted the snow away, but of course the rope was still across it on my first run. On my second run, I headed down Domino and managed to hit the entrance to the Castlerock lift just as the patroller was opening it up. I skied on down and boarded the lift, an old favorite of mine that I hadn't had a chance to ski for about 4 years. <BR> <BR>Well, there was still plenty of snow up there, although untracked powder wasn't exactly in abundance. It was obvious that the snow was going to warm up quickly, so I threw caution to the wind and went merrily down Lift Line. I did tolerably well for someone who'd been off skis for 6 months - well, that is, until I hit the gully at Tower 10 that's always full of untracked snow because no one's dumb enough to ski down there. Well, I am, and I ejected from my skis in the thick snow, creating a giant hole that stayed there all day as a sort of monument. <BR> <BR>As the day wore on, I found new and creative ways to fall. I don't think I've crashed this many times in a single day in years. But the snow made for soft landings, and as my legs remembered how to ski I got in some great <BR>runs. I hit every single trail on Castlerock (for a total of 7 exhausting runs), plus 4 on Heaven's Gate, one on what used to be the poma, and a few down below. By 2:00, I was more than ready to hit the road! <BR> <BR>Some random observations: <BR> <BR>- There's so much snow up there! I barely hit a rock all day. It was starting to melt, especially on Lift Line, but lots should still be open tomorrow. <BR> <BR>- Rumble is even narrower and steeper than I remembered - but it had great snow. <BR> <BR>- The Castlerock lift is faster than I remembered - or maybe I was just wishing I had more time to rest. On the other hand, the Super Bravo was awfully slow. <BR> <BR>- The trails off Heaven's Gate aren't half as good as Castlerock's, but the snow stays good a lot longer up there (higher and out of the sun). <BR> <BR>- I don't say this much, but the Skipper and Co. deserve tremendous credit for opening so much terrain this early - not to mention for keeping Castlerock the way it ought to be! <BR> <BR>Benjie
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