It was time to get back and roll back to MRG. After so many days skiing locally on small molehills, skiing on groomed fake snow (17 in a row), after 40 ski days and over 9 months after my last visit to this place.
It was time to get back to the roots (and not necessarily roots buried under the powder snow)… a place where you’re simply skiing the mountain, not homogenized stuff. It was specially true this season as most of you know that I’ve sacrificed my traveling ways to let my daughter ski racing. I don’t regret my choice as she is going to become an even better ripper chick (never enough of those).
I needed to deal with some business in Montreal on Monday, but I got a late start as our kitchen pipes were frozen in Ottawa. It was -28c in town when I brought my daughters to school. I wouldn’t leave until that afternoon and arrived at Lucky’s beautiful home in the Eastern Townships at 10:30pm. Man, that house was designed by a great architect. So we woke up at 5:30am and soon after we driving fresh tracks towards the Vermont border. Hitting MRG on Roll Back the Clock days is pretty much annual thing since 2002, Lucky has been with me on every trips except the first one. The only exceptions were last season when the area was closed and got postponed to April 1st or when I was skiing Big Sky in the middle of my Bozeman to Salt Lake 2006 trip.
The last few trips Lucky has pulled his kids from school, other great young rippers, to make the 2 hours trek through backroads from Quebec through Northern Vermont, today was no exception. The crowds was slowly flowing in the parking when we arrived.
Looked like it was going to be a great day, not amazing, but great. No need for a snow report to tell that.
There was a couple of inches nice cold fluff, but the base was pretty hard as it had been pretty cold the last few days. So from first tracks on the road to one of the first tracks down Fall-Dice. There were some surprises hidden under the new snow, so you had to be careful out there not to be tripped up. Definitely left the map for the second run off the single which had better powder conditions, we were going to repeat before the day was over. Also headed over to the Double to sample of my favorites on that side of the mountain. Fresh tracks, but again, you had to be careful in the woods. Fresh tracks in Birdland, the chair was running too. That beginning chair is seldom open on weekdays.
It got busy in the afternoon, as it would seem that some folks that only ski a couple days a year with vintage equipment were turning out. You don’t need to be hardcore to enjoy skiing for $3.50. I brought two pairs over the border, I used the oldest today, which I didn’t regret my choice except for that last turn on the bottom which is pretty much the only place on the mountain with fake snow and was siding with dull edges. The rest of MRG is as real as you can get. Real snow, no masking the good or bad of a ski season. Always fun.
We divided our time about 50-50 between on-map and off-map skiing. Map skiing included Fall-dice, Panther, stuff around Quacky, Glades to finish up driving through Lynx-Beaver on a solo run and catching up with Lucky for one finally repeat of a beautiful untouched side of Catamount Bowl for last run.
Yeah. we skied powder but there was a bunch of stuff hidden under the snow. Base underneath was fairly hard also, not bottomless or real soft depending how off-piste your were. I agree with skimore’s TR on Harvey Road view of the conditions at MRG, although some extra snow fell since he skied. Great fun as always, but not as good as Lucky expected (I’ve been skiing local all season, so I didn’t really have an opinion).
It was definitely great to Get Back…as stated so well by one of the songs heard blasting at single midstation.
Best quote of the day:
Lucky turns to his jibber (colour mismatched with the retro MRG look) looking 15 year old son and comments about his choice of food.
Lucky: You always eat junk.
Kid: No, it’s only when I ski.
Lucky: You ski 5 times a week!!!
I’m having some technical difficulties with my Suunto, so I’ll edit the post once I can download the logs.