Riverc0il going one turn beyond in the patchskiing madness
Madness – One Step Beyond
Last year I made some turns under the influence prescription drugs. Well, guess what? I’m still sick. If you thought the Stowe June 1 patches were crazy, you haven’t seen nothing yet. As mention on the another blog “Patchskiing is usually post-season skiing, sort of like the “playoffs” of skiing.” Well, this July and it was the World Cup that played out on a (snow)field!!!
Before getting to our main match-up, we’ll see how the countries are doing for July skiing:
– Argentina went into extra time against Switzerland
– France easily beat Germany
– Chile humiliated Brazil
– Austria over Italy
– New Zealand edged over Australia
– South Africa and Lesotho in a draw
– Norway dominated The Netherlands
My last Eastern US July skiing experience in 2011
I was interested on the East Can-Am National Holiday match-up : Canada versus United States; Avila versus Tuckerman. Tuckerman was eliminated before July last season.
The 2013 Eastern Canada July skiing experience
This time I went for a back-to-back ski extreme experiences (i.e. extreme in madness):
– Temperature in the 90F range one day to 90mph wind gust the next;
– From shorts and topless to “I need an extra jacket” weather;
– Driving with heavy storm warnings, torrential rain, T-storm and fireworks;
– Highway construction and orange cones everywhere;
– Avoiding wildlife at 75mph like the giant moose standing in middle of the interstate. Plus a fox and maybe even a grey wolf running across the car.
– Safety was an issue even before I started skiing, especially that I wasn’t even carrying a gun. This is New Hampshire, with the odd grey wolf and firearm carrying citizen.
July 1 : Storm watch
Like the previous outing on July 1 and the previous evening, July 5 also had some weird weather happening: Sun and torrential rain at once.
Canada Day Fireworks in Ottawa
There isn’t any snow?
Are you mad?” I answered “Yes!”
That was the main reaction by the US Gun-carrying Custom Officer when he questioned me about my plans for US soil. Other reactions of disbelief from fellow hikers on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail where they saw us with our skis? “Are you training for Alaska? Where are you going to find the snow?”
View of Tuckerman Ravine on July 5, 2014!!! Where is the snow???
I didn’t get a reaction in Canada: it was just child play. People were climbing the hill in bathing suits to go tubing and didn’t notice us with our skis. I was even told before my July 1 trek if 40+ celsius with humidex wasn’t too hot to go skiing? No, it was one more reason to find some snow. Definitely cooler than playing World Cup football in the Brazilian tropical heat.
July 1 : Climbing the hill to go tubing
Full parking lot at the hill
Both adventures were greeted with some disappointment at the speed in which the snow had melted since the last pictures were taken of both places.
C.S.V.S : Continuous Safe Vertical Snow? 6-meters in hot humid conditions versus 16-meters in cold (for Summer) with very strong winds. Three skiers versus a crazy nuts with US flag, skis, beer, a BBQ and a unicycle next to Chute???
Found a parking spot
CANADA DAY : July 1 at Avila
At the last of the AKAMP at Avila last July 1, the snow covered a 28-meter stretch. The camp finished two days ago and the remains were down to a few detached snowpatches disconnected by mud. A 6-meter vertical slope on a surviving roll. The week’s heavy hot humid weather took a heavy toll, today the humidex was close to 106F for Month #106, but it felt just cooler over the snow, but not enough to keep the bugs away. The honour of first July turns were given to Bri7’s 4-yr old daughter. We joined each made a few turn(s) afterward. For the last run, I stretch the vertical to 19-meters by skiing through the mud and connecting to the next patch. I hiked the final 4-meter descent to the car and ended the evening watching fireworks … in some heavy rain at one point.
“Bri7’s young daughter”
A sweating topless Bri7
MadPat skiing the steep line
“Friends at the daycare won’t believe me”
Taken from the next snowpatch : Bri7 and the fast reducing continuous snowpatch
July 5 snow in Tuckerman
THE DAY-AFTER JULY 4 : July 5 in Tuckerman Ravine
Tuckerman was down to baby Sluice and baby Chute. The Canadian snow was less than 5-minutes from the highway exit and required less than 40-minutes adventure from the car, ski and back versus the slow 3-hour plus hike and over 7-hour day in the US. Driving to the patch versus hiking. The hardest thing came down to the heat versus the hike. At least the wind and cool air kept the bugs away during the long hike day.
View of slide damage next to Hillman’s Highway
Little Headwall waterfall
Patriotic skiers observing what is left of Sluice with Riverc0il accessing the situation at the top
Riverc0il next to the severely undermined Sluice
The previous days heat and evening heavy rain wasn’t kind to the snow: Water was flowing over the rocks and into numerous streams. Although baby Sluice undermined our safe July attempts, the yellow arrow pointed to our safer salvation over to Baby Chute. The hike side-hill along the ravine over rocks, plants and running water was fairly sketchy. The only other danger was crashing and rolling over the boulders at the bottom like my skiing partner from July 2008. It would seem that someone wanted to cartwheel over the boulders again this year to say that he skied extra vertical.
Yellow Arrow pointing to our salvation
Baby Chute with someone earlier tracks
Migration towards Chute
Riverc0il hiking across the Bowl in ski boots
View of Sluice and the steep Tuckerman Ravine trail from skier’s vantage point
The patriotic group from our last July visit in 2011 joined The Snowway’s Riverc0il and MadPat to ski the 50feet vertical heart-shaped steep snow patch. Flag, Beer and BBQ were back, but no bikinis this July. It was more, I need to add a layer or two. We were offered beer and food, but we had to rush back down to be at Pinkham Notch at 4pm. We managed to make it on time and I got 4-5 runs in.
Still steep : no bikinis on this day
Riverc0il going for it
National Holiday in the US : someone got to ride with a flag
MadPat hoping mad
Riverc0il with BBQ in the background
Who won the match-up? The one that had the most fun. I know Riverc0il’s got the most turns in at 15. Most people did between 5-10 turns
The World Cup is over… in the East. It is time to hop on a plane if you want to continue this game into August!!! Or go find a patch of snow at the local arena. I’ll try to ski you in August!!!
Getting corny : One last run for the season or simply July?
Food at the BBQ. An offer that we had to turn down
Farewell Patch with gathering on the left
Stopped to eat at a NEK institution : Miss Lyndonville Diner
One moment torrential rain…
followed by beautiful skies
Detailed skiing log
Riverc0il’s The Snowway post : Tuckerman Ravine: Because I Need To
MadPat’s Galleries:Mont Avila QC – 1er juillet 2014
Tuckerman Ravine NH – July 5, 2014