Mary Jane, CO Opening Day 12/22/99

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Mary Jane, CO Opening Day 12/22/99

Postby jkamien » Tue Apr 18, 2000 8:19 am

<I>(Note from the Administrator: This report was originally posted on 12/27/99. Due to our move to new servers, the date and time attributed to this post is incorrect.)</I> <BR> <BR>Colorado had really picked up considerable snow during the week before Xmas! <BR> <BR>I read in the Tuesday paper that Winter Park was due to open up my beloved Mary Jane on Wednesday. Winter Park (and the Summit County <BR>areas as well) had picked up about 2 feet in the prior 7-9 days, mostly through 3-6" snow showers and squalls that have just seemed to <BR>keep on coming. Opening Day at The Jane I figured was an event not to be missed. After an altogether frustrating number of errands to be <BR>run before I reached I-70, I finally arrived in the Challenger lot at about 10:30. Ten minutes later I settled onto MJ's Summit Express quad. <BR> <BR>I really missed most of the untracked since I got such a late start. However, boot-top chowder (cut-up powder) reigned all over the place. First run was supposed to be Sterling, but they had a rope across the worm-hole entrance I normally use to get to it. Not having any Supernatural Boulderite guides with me, I continued in the same general direction, until I hit what I'm guessing was Lower Sterling. EXCELLENT!! Left sideline was untracked. Drop off the edge and S-T-O-P!!! Both skis buried in about thigh deep snow, pointing straight down. OK, shake 'em loose and try again. Yah, dats bettah! Delightful snow, although I, myself, was just not relaxed and <BR>fighting a bit too much. Next run, I met another guy (George) in the Singles line who was skiing alone and he suggested Gandy Dancer. This trail had little powder bumps that were really fun. Although I could tell that there were rocks lurking just under the surface, they never caused concern or problems. The next run down Gandy Dancer, I began to relax and hit a groove, just calmly linking turns through the <BR>cut-up chow. YES YES YES, I was happy with my decision to "ski today, work tomorrow", rather than the other way around! <BR> <BR>George said he was beat and had to go in. Did I mention it was cold? Low teens, and snowing lightly all day. My tootsies were frozen and I <BR>considered going in with him, but having just gotten it together on the previous run, I decided to stay out. Besides, the triple chair <BR>that descends for about 1000 vertical on the skier's right of Mary Jane (Sunnyside) had been turning all day, and the rumour was that it'd open around noon. <BR> <BR>Sure enough, I arrived at the MJ summit and saw riders on that chair! Yee-haa, trails opened for the first time this year! The powder here <BR>was much less travelled, and I got into several thigh-deep stretches. It really wasn't steep enough to ski snow that deep there, and if I <BR>wanted to turn, I often came to a dead stop. I wandered down the groomed trail that had about 3-4" on top, singing a song out loud and <BR>laughing. <BR> <BR>I noticed at the chair bottom that one of the steeper slopes on the Sunnyside was open. I hit that next, after a detour to straight-run <BR>the thigh deep. Man, what a feeling! Like a slow, snow escalator. I was looking for a handrail. <BR> <BR>I really hit a groove on that stuff and was getting more and more psyched. I stayed here for another run and it was the best of the <BR>day. As I approached the bottom of the lift, feeling just great, real smooth, and carefree, I picked up speed to carry me to the lift's <BR>line. My tips hit a dip I did not see and pitched forward *HARD*. Neither ski released (I think), but the moment I hit that dip, I felt <BR>as if something had whacked my right calf muscle with an iron pipe or something. I even looked around when I was getting up for what had <BR>hit me. <BR> <BR>Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! <BR> <BR>A pretty-bad muscle pull, tear strain ended my day, and a crippled old man slowly did the skiing equivalent of limping down the traverse <BR>back to my truck. <BR> <BR>With some luck this injury will heal quickly.
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