After last week’s powder turns on a small mole hill (with some awesome drops – I have to admit). I opted for a big hill with awesome terrain. The challenges yesterday were definitely present at MRG yesterday. I had a few things that kept me back in Ottawa on Saturday, so I decided to make this drive from Ottawa this morning.
Brutal…long drive. still way better distant vertical ratio* (see last week’s post) than last week. I left fairly late due to the fact that I needed to take my mom’s car instead (a last minute change) and decided that I was going to go for a cheap halfday instead as one of the goals of the trip was to pick up some skis for Santa. 😯
Brutal…memory. Crossing the border (remember, I’ve been awake for a while and driving for about 3 hours) I was asked a bunch of questions plus who’s this car belonged to (had to explain why I had my mom’s car). From the usual, what do you do for a living to the morning quiz. When was the last time you crossed into the US? last weekend. To go where? SnowRidge NY to go skiing. And the previous time you crossed? Euhhh, 2 weekends before to go to Jay Peak to ski. And the previous? mmmh….oh yeah, Sunday River in mid-October to go skiing. Can you see the pattern? Talk about exercising your brain. 🙄
Driving prior to crossing the gap, noticing the snow level to be lower than back home in Ottawa, however Ottawa ski hills were still at a 1-3 run count…normal artificial skiing here…Brutal.
Got at MRG, took my time to get dress and eat my lunch. Putting on the new boots…Brutal. Decided to get the old XXXs out again for maybe one last time. Trail count for the day: 37.
Took it easy on the first run with a start on Antelope…also checking out some of the trails from the bottom. Hard packed powder and was edgeable even with dull skis. Choose to do the same thing on Sunnyside. I believe I ended up on Slalom Hill. The combination intersection at Panther-Slalom-etc was better than I expected this being December. Not too many things to avoid. Back up the single and started mixing things up, one run on the single then one on the double. CatBowl had some nice snow on the side then headed toward Lynx-Beaver. Hard to believe that they are some many small pins trees on that trails, in winter, all these are covered. So there was some negotiating down through the trees, some rocks and stuff here. Had to kept your eyes open in Fall-line, negotiating your way down. Paradise top entrance was closed, here it was all about finding the best route down in a more extreme Fall Line kind of way.
After 5 runs (3 single – 2 double), I had to go to the Stark’s Nest. My feet were frozen, plus the face was titling, good time to warm up. Brutal boots…(I would have freezed my feet in my old old boots I was using the previous 3 outings). I did one more run on the single, but the cold and high wind made in pretty ….(you guest it)…brutal. So at a 4-2 count, did the next 3 runs on the double. Some tiny powder pocket could be found plus the general trail conditions involved less negotiating. The major plus however was they wasn’t a strong cross wind hitting the lift, so it made the ride warmer. Ending my day in the neighbourhood of Gazelle_Panther_Slalom.
To conclude, today at MRG you could find just about anything (except t-shirt weather). The groomed stuff was the pretty hard on the hill. Negotiating through stumps and ice flow to get you warmed up. Nice soft snow, some of it wind blown powder on some side trails (not talking deep woods folks). Mini skating rink on the mid-lower flatter sunnyside trails. And some artificial snow powder from MRG two powerful guns. It was the type of day in which you don’t take any pictures, not because skiing is so good, but because you don’t want to freeze your hands day. Not that it matters, I don’t have a camera anymore.
I have a day off today and I’m in Vermont, but I’m waiting for UPS to deliver Santa’s skis for one of my daughters. At least if fairly warm in this apartment. 😉
Originally posted on Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:25 am on firsttracksonline