You can’t let days like this go by, especially in October.
When will there be another occasion like this?
Being October, I will put a baseball analogy to this trip.
How long will it take for Red Sox or White Sox to win the World Series again?
How long will it take for the EXPOS to win a World Series?
PREPARATIONS (WEDNESDAY EVENING):
S**t, need to get myself in gear.
a) Ski stuff, somewhere around here. Readjust the DINs on my bindings.
b) Show tires, not much time…I promised a ride for someone at work tomorrow.
c) Ski driving partner. Already called, he can’t make it on Friday. It’s a PD day for schools in the Townships. Left a message with the other partner in Montreal. Don’t necessarily need a partner, but it’s helps split the cost.
d) At least, I secured a place to sleep tomorrow night (if they open Friday) at my friend in Bromont. That should cut 45-60 minutes to the drive from Montreal. So it’s a 3 hours drive tomorrow evening to get to his place.
e) Snow tires … don’t necessarily need them, but it would be nice just in case. My friend in Bromont said that it was still snowing and there was a new 6 inches on the ground.
f) One small detail. I have to ask for my Friday off (in case). Open on Friday would definitely be much better and probably less skied out.
g) Schedule to work on Sunday. Wife will not be happy if I’m not at home for two days then I go to work all day Sunday. Need to change that also.
h) Later at 10pm at night… Wife says that she would LIKE to have the car on Saturday . My daughter has music lesson + birthday party. Ah yes, I need to be back in Ottawa before Sunday morning.
WHAT WAS I GOING TO DO? WHAT THIS DOING TO STOP ME?
Asked my mother in Montreal if I could borrow her car and asked her to get the snow tires on.
Took the Voyageur/Greyhound to Montreal that Thursday evening. No skiing partner, regardless I was determined. Some people might call it committed.
Montreal-Wildcat: 340km (230 miles) and 3:30 hours drive.
It was interesting to see the snow variations on the ground during the drive. First sight of snow started in the fields around Farnham (40km east of Mtl). I could see the Bromont, Sutton, Glen, Orford and Jay Peak ski runs all white. This really looked like winter, except for the red leaves on the trees.
Snow didn’t last… to my surprise there wasn’t any snow on the ground from a few miles past the US border until the White Mountains.
Arrived at the Wildcat parking lot at 9:30am – first chair at 10:00. I was there at around 10:15am.
FRIDAY OCTOBER 28:
Tomcat triple was the only lift open. 1500′ vertical of pure natural snow skiing, much better that the usually early season eastern skiing. The mountain was charging $30 for lift tick.
Trails open at opening were: Middle/Lower Polecat, Tomcat, Catnap, Middle/lower Lynx. However poaching was definitely happening. Maybe one-two hours later, Tomcat Schuss official opened. I did one of my early runs here. Lost a ski for no apparent reason, but continued skiing for maybe 30-40 ft. Tried to retrieve my ski by walking up. I sank down by 3 feet, boy was this hard. I always had mid to full pole in snowdepth.
Around lunch, the patrol was about to official open the skiing on the right side of the mountain (Cat Track, Middle/lower Wildcat, Middle Catapult, Bobcat, Cheetah). I decided to ski down a steep line; Black Cat. Let’s say that there was a lot of snow, because this run looks like it was full obstacles (i guess this one was not open). Made it down (I was puffing)… continued down Alley Cat (lower mountain intermediate). AHHH – huge waterbars every 30feet… What a rough ride. The worst part of it, I screwed up skiing Catapult and ended again on that same Alley Cat trail.
What a beautiful view of Mount Washington, regardless that the cloud level was at around 5000ft (top of Tuckerman).
Some people were climbing the extra 500ft vertical to reach the summit. I had such a fun time that I decided to sleep in Gorham and ski the next day. You could get the following day ticket for $25!!! Good deal indeed!!! A full day skiing: 10:15 – 3:30 virtually without a break or lunch. The mountain definitely became quiet after 1:30pm. I did 15 runs, I was going to feel it the next day.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 29:
Wildcat was charging $39, but it’s was still a bargain if you ask me. Of course, I had paid $25 for it the previous day.
More people and the worst line-up were about 5 minutes at around noon.
I got to the chairlift at 9:15am, the plan was no lunch and end early, because I needed to end back to take the Greyhound back to Ottawa from Montreal.
Extra runs official opened (?): Feline, Cougar, Alley Cat (no more waterbars), Lower Catapult, Wildcat Pitch, Wild Kitten, Catenary (incl Lower). Basically, virtually everything was skiable. Ally’s Folly was great, some people skied Hairball and Mountain Jag Glade regardless of the creeks.
The high traffic areas started to ice up (ie. Middle Wildcat). When the skier density increased, I decide to climb to the top via Upper Catamount. It probably took me between 30-45 minutes, I was happy that part of that climb was groomed, the first 15 minutes were really hard. Today was definitely the most spectacular day. A blue sky day, Mount Washington white and bright. WOW!!!
Did my top to bottom run on the classic Wildcat trail, what a fun trail. Lose powder, wind-blown at some spots, but definitely worth the climb. Finished my day at 3pm with approximately 10 runs.
What about the snow compared to the previous day? I estimate that under the Triple the snow compacted by about one foot at mid-mountain between early Friday and late Saturday. How much snow will there be in the next few days?
WHAT A DAY…AGAIN!!!
A FEW COMMENTS:
1) First of all, I want to thank the management of Wildcat for making this possible. =D>
Maybe they did it for the publicity, but it’s sure beat all the signals we’ve been hearing in the East lately.
2) You know you’re having a good day when you skip lunch TWO days in a row. \:D/
Originally text posted on Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:25 pm on firsttracksonline