Mad River Glen, VT 2/3-2/4

Resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding in eastern US and Canada, including our famous reader-submitted No-Bull Snow Reports.

Mad River Glen, VT 2/3-2/4

Postby Mark Renson » Mon Feb 05, 2001 7:48 pm

Ladies & Gentlemen, These Are The BEST of Times ! If you didn't notice, that's what I wrote on the signboard at the top of The Single, this morning. To anyone out there who is stuck skiing in the Tetons, Tahoe or Colorado, I give you the following: My Condolences. <BR> Everyone, there is an astounding amount of snow in Northern Vermont .... and it's still only early February. I am amazed at the amount of snow at the very top of Antelope next to the top of The Single. Nearly every time I casually look into the woods from on-piste, I spot an accessible line that I never saw before and chances are, it turns out to be very skiable - <BR>we're skiing at WILL !! <BR> I ran into some minor snow squalls on I-89 in New Hampsha' but it never turned on in earnest until Vermont at the same latitude as Granville Gulf - a place that I normally think of as the demarcation line between Northern <BR>Vermont and Baja Vermont. At the MRG parking lot snowfields, I made some tracks with my pick-up <BR>in the fresh snow in my pickup- a harbinger of things to come. <BR> Saturday morning, I arrived at the Patrol HQ at 6:43AM, prepared to shovel and earn a Milk Run in the 8-10" new powder on top of a big base. The shovel happened, but the Milk Run didn't. This did not mean that it was a <BR>disapointing day. <BR> I went to the Double and waited for the lift to fire up. I witnessed a pinhead make some sweet telemark turns in the untracked powder - nothing like watching the "Comman Man" make powder turns (or Comman Woman, or Common Sheep, whatever). <BR> I hopped on The Double and we signed up for trail check assignments at the top. I was gnasshing my teeth as other patrollers were scratching their heads .... ggrrrrRRooOOOWWWWlll - awww geeeeeEEEEEZZZZZ !! I was salivating for Gazelle Woods and Penny rushed ahead of me and signed up for it - that B**ch (just kidding, Penny; I'm glad to see you got it, but woulda' been gladder if I got it). My consolation was Panther (yum, yum). At the top, there was some scratchiness underneath which was disappointing, but into the 2nd headwall, the partying begam for the weekend with good knee-thigh deep freshies all the way through Slalom Hill to the entrance of Birdland. Into Birdland I went and into the sweeeeeeet untracked on the left side of the novice Robin - a move which always seems <BR>to pay off. Then it was one of my favorite short, simple but fun routines and that was carefully negotiating the steep S-Turn headwall and into the Periwinkle Bowl, bagging sweet untracked all the way down to the base of <BR>the Double and hootin' and hollerin' for those on the lift <BR> I repeated the process, opting for the sweet untracked in Gazelle Woods which Penny and I agreed was the "On-Piste Trail of The Year", thus far this season. It is difficult to recap exactly what I did that morning except that it involved short tree shots, great on-piste skiing and lotsa' knee deep. "Knee Deep" has become Standard Operating Procedure at MRG this season. <BR> I found great stuff in Ski School Glades which had been unskiable the prior 3 seasons due to the '98 Ice Storm. I headed for some woods between the lower part of Porcupine and Grand Canyon and did not find anything great (kinda' laid an egg) and then soloed the woods between ~!@#$%^&*( and +_)(* &^%$#@ which I should not have done, but I know that it is heavily travelled, so it was not a bad thing to do. Great user friendly bumps and untracked was found in addition to the usual. Afterwards, I did another <BR>Ski School run into a "mid" run and then into a line that I had helped cut in Nov '99. Knee deep <BR>untracked and chowder. <BR> In the latter part of the morning, after finding ecsatacy on the Sunnyside Double, I decided to pay my respects to The Single. I had lust surging through my veins. First, I got greedy and went for something at the spur <BR>of the moment. Unfortunately, I kissed a frog, thigh I did find some sweet snow, but got some pine needles stuck in my teeth. Then, I went for it. A few weeks ago, Ben Bloom and I noticed some distant tracks at a place that I had been unaware of from a vantage point on my favorite woods run (code name: TNF) and I could not resist. I cruised into the well hidden entrance <BR>on my own. First of all, I would like to say that I do not recommend soloing into isolated woods, especially if you have never did it before. <BR> ... well, I did it ... and instead of kissing a toad, I wound up making it with Raquel Welch. This run ROCKED. I skied rather tentatively, but still got some tremendous untracked knee-thigh deep amongst the few tracks there. With the sunlight pouring through the woods making tree shadows, it was tough to pick out the few tracks needed as reference points in order for me <BR>to navigate. But that only heightened the adventure made spicier by the solitude and higher element of risk. I did not exit to the on-piste where I thought I would land .... instead, I descended even farther, findingsolitude, mystery and untracked knee deep. At 1,250 feet lower (per J. Appleton's map) than I had started I unexpectedly wound up on a traverse back to civilization. Very cool. <BR> I forgot what I did afterwards other than finding shots of knee deep in short woods shots near the on-piste trails and finding great untracked and some chowder. On a ride up the lift in late afternoon (before 3PM, mind <BR>you), I was talking to "Stuart" who revealed to me that he had bought a share. So, I took him for a complementary tour of some woods that he had <BR>never skied to check up on Danny, Laurie, Keith and Mr. Kincade. I was tired at the top of the 5 foot drop-off at the entrance and then noticed <BR>that there was a handicap ramp to the left which had never existed before (it's that astounding snowpack). I went for the whose option and got the goods afterwards. Great bumps and "the usual" was found. I was astounded at the increase in coverage compared to my first trip there 6 weeks ago. <BR> I then did a fun cruise to revive my - man I was hurtin' before going to sweep. Sweep run was good 'ol Cat-Lynx-Beaver. Soft, World Class user friendly bumps were found on Lynx. I little bit of scratchiness was found on Beaver until things went back to the good stuff above that tree island and then into Devil's Elbow and down through the lower right jug handle. <BR> Afterwards, the beers flowed and many of us signed up for the torchlight. I did this in order to get another run. For the parade, we were all given some bamboo with flares at each end and a reeb before we went up the lift <BR>and down the Practice Slope. Afterwards, I had a dinner of tortilla chips, a few pieces of cheese and some beers before I shuffled over to the HSC and collapsed. <BR> Sunday, I did manage to grab something to eat at 8AM to complement my nourishing diet for the weekend. <BR> For trail check, I got Catamount and then Paradise. I ran into Marta and Hillary who were doing their routine of skinning up 2,800 feet from the Battleground for the morning as preparation for her 2nd tour of duty with <BR>Ruedi. You might have remembered Marta and Hill from an earned turns day at MRG in mid-December. Somehow, the conversation switched to code name <BR>TNF, which Marta was unaware of. I promised to show it to her later on. <BR> I then ran into Marta and she held me to my promise. When we got to the entrance, she blurted out "oh, I know about this" This meant that we had to go to my new find from the prior day. This run was even better .... MAN, it was awesome as we were consistently bagging thigh deep. On top of this, we were finding lines that were different from the prior day - same <BR>entrance and general area, but different variations. These are the BEST of <BR>times !! <BR> After the 1,250 foot descent, Marta needed to rest her recoveing knee, so we went for a crusier down Fox-Vixen-Chipmunk. It was a monstrous high speed cruiser. Conditions are so great, that I actually felt comfortable at high speeds, for a change. I'm rarely crazy about crusing on groomed slopes, but this was an exception. With conditions like we've been having, I can almost like anything out there. <BR> I looked for Mike Taub, who I eventually found, so Mike & I went for it ..... "it" being that "new" treasure for a 3rd time. Mike & I nailed yet another variation. I was really on top of my game, skiing better than I ever have. Man, I went full throttle and really ripped turns and was high as a kite at the bottom after 1,250 feet. I cannot figure out which was the best of the 3 - the adventure of the first, the powder of the second or the intensity of the third. <BR> Up we went for another run. Mike had never been to the 20th, so I felt obliged to show him. However, I was also mindful of the fact that he had to meet up with Mallory his daughter. Navigating the traverse into the <BR>20th was a bot puzzling as the deep snowpack made things look slightly different. I wanted to go further out to explore some of the lines that <BR>Ben Bloom & I found on 12/31 and found some tracks heading into that direction. Instead, it was a succor line that lead to some bushwacking and then back to the Mainline. I just could not find the key to the door. Instead, we found just skiing on the Mainline which was a bit of a <BR>disappointment - WHOA, are we SPOILED these days or what ? Oh man, these are the BEST of times !! We did find good chowder and some untracked. On one untracked shot, I hooked a ski and then splattered into a tree well,which ate up a little time. I was still all good. But then again, that's just Standard Operating Procedure, these days ! <BR> Mike & I parted and I went to dry out the inside of my jacket which was soaked from the sweat. I had skied harder than I ever had on this weekend. It was darn near frenetic. <BR> For sweep, I was fried. I had not eaten since the morning and I was getting fatigued. For sweep, I prayed that I would get Upper Antelope, <BR>which I got. AFterwards, it was Ferret-Upper Glades for me which was fine as I had regained some energy and the surfaces were improving under the falling snow. At the bottom of Upper Glade, I was contemplating trading Lower Glade for Bunny. Instead, I had run into Linc, who was skiing with his arm in a cast due to a rough encounter with a tree the following day. To his credit, he was seen skiing down Slalom Hill in a cast (in addition to a bump on his head) earlier in the day - heck, just skiing down a cruiser was remarkable. But I could not trade off - I didn't even dare ask. I was rewarded at the bottom of Lower Glade with some sweet untracked on the right side.
Remember: Friends Don't Let Friends Ski On McTrails
Mark Renson
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:10 pm
Location: Hudson, Massachusetts

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