Okay, I remember skiing Jay with a bunch of lifts open on this day many many years ago. November has been real warm. Even Pathetic!!! Wondering if the November 09 wasn’t the new October? 🙄
After such a easy October for turns, who would have thought that the options would have been pathetic at the end of November. So I had planned to be in Montreal this weekend to recuperate my new Snow tires and was thinking a few weeks back of maybe a trip to Ste-Anne for the last weekend of November. Conditions at MSA are generally pretty good at this time of the year, however Mother Nature wasn’t cooperating.
The sure thing wasn’t so sure anymore. Who would have thought that Tremblant and MSA wouldn’t open in November? Did this ever happen in the last 40 years? South of the border, not much either…the Beast is back wasn’t open, Jay, nope…the only one, well the only lift served option for November turns was Sunday, Sunday River. What about Mont St-Sauveur? Although they were the closest option, they were only open halfway up. I didn’t even know it was possible? Yeap, they were apparently using the Waterpark ramp to let skier of at the top of the pitch. Not sure what the vertical would be, but I don’t think it was much more than 100 meters.
I believe that the River was back to offering only top to mid skiing…however a storm was coming. Looked like the Northern Greens would get some white stuff. How much? Apparently enough according to Powderfreak. So it was going to be Jay on Saturday and if it was a bust, it would have been Sunday on Sunday.
So if I managed to do some lift served skiing in October, I can always hike for turns in November.😛
Noticed Yannick from Zoneski was wondering where to go, so I sent him a PM. We had just traded emails prior to my October 08 Massif trip + I meet him in the Chic Chocs last spring. Needed to go a quick trip to get some long-johns, backpack, water, ski pants and ski gloves at the MEC (DAMN THAT BUENOS AIRES TAXI DRIVER). 6:30am rendez-vous time on South Shore of Montreal. Maxwell House was joining us, not the coffee, but another boarder from ZS. I had the only car that could fit the 3 of us, so off in the “no winter tire” car we went. Don’t worry, I did this the whole season last year do to a Winter tire shortage when we bought our car prior to Christmas.
Driving by Bromont we noticed a tiny dusting of snow on the top. Then Sutton’s trails were white. The scenery was cute, now it was going to get interesting as we were getting closer to our goal. Possible disagreement in the car? Is it a mutiny? Did I hear Sutton? The captain ignored the call and continued on. Crossing into the US, we had a border guard questioning our sanity. Driving on snow-covered backcountry Vermont roads shortcuts without a road map and without winter tires. Finally on 242, we were so close. We can see snow everywhere…Only 5 minutes from the parking lot…SHIT!!! A tree had fallen across the road. It was recent, because we saw a plow a few minutes before going the other way. The tree had fallen with all the wet snow. Another car of addicted powderseekers joined us. Between the 5 of us, we were able to break and move part of the tree or major branches enough to make it through.
Once in the Stateside lot, we got ready. Snow was on the ground. Yannick and Maxwell scrapped on their boards on their backpack and put on snowshoes, I put on my old 1993 stiff ski boots and up we started climbing. There were a few other people skinning up at the same time, but they blew passed us. We had to fight strong winds and hike deep snow, no skin and AT stealing Buenos Aires Taxi Driver was going to stop me, we were so close to our goal. Just then a groomer moved passed us as we were reaching the top of Stateside. WTF???😯 😯 😯 ](*,)
On top, we took a small break. I was wondering why I didn’t bother buying a poly base layer at the MEC the day before? DBATD!!! To our great relief, the groomer didn’t groom Jet or any other runs on this side of Stateside. We spoke to a few people on top while we were eating. One person mentioned the glorious skiing towards the Peak, however the wind was real crazy up there. We got a warning about the few patches of extremely hard icy artificial snow under Haynes. Someone in their group got surprised and knock his head. The base of artificial snow on Jet was apparently more consistent. The Jet hadn’t been skied yet, however I preferred heading toward Derrick’s. There was approximately 2 feet of snow on the trail. The snow started getting heavier at the middle of the trail.
Excellent howling skiing and riding. The snow was wind bluff and well packed. It skied real well. At the bottom of Derrick before the flatter part of the mountain we heading toward UN and hike up. I believe I could hear Big Jay complaining about hiking powder etiquette. Some people were hiking on the skin tracks. That is the problem when so many people show up, there most have been 40 people on Stateside today. From the shape and comments at the top, you could see that some of these weren’t regular hike-for-turns group. Once at the top, we decided to head back down with Derrick again. Skiing all the way to the car…put a forks in me, I’m gone.
Pictures???? Blame that DAMN THAT BUENOS AIRES TAXI DRIVER.
But thanks to a little helped from my friends who mainly write on Zoneski, here is the photographic evidence thanks to Yannick and Maxwell House.
The Stateside snow lot (Photograph by Yannick)
No skins: Damn Buenos Aires cab driver (Photograph by Maxwell House)
Getting better (Photograph by Yannick)
Winter and windy at the top of Jet (Photograph by Maxwell House)
Yannick and Pat stoked (Photograph by Maxwell House)
Windbluff start (Photograph by Yannick)
Yannick riding (Photograph by Maxwell House)
MadPat turning (Photograph by Maxwell House)
MadPat climbing UN (Photograph by Yannick)
Still climbing UN (Photograph by Yannick)
Maxwell laughing at me? (Photograph by Yannick)
Maxwell riding in Round 2 (Photograph by Yannick)
Calling it a day (Photograph by Maxwell House)
Part of this report was originally posted on Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:33 pm on firsttracksonline