After a one month hiatus due to work, I was getting back on boards this weekend.
Not sure where I was going? St-So, Jay or Loaf were the only three lift served ski options in the East. So it was … St-So, Jay, Loaf, Saint, J, Loaf, St, J, Lo, seins, J.Lo..les seins à J.Lo??? Oups!!! It’s a place also well revered, but for it’s Spring skiing. Definitively not the Tetons Mountains and not St-Sauveur.
After almost a 3 hour drive from Ottawa to Lucky’s house in the Eastern Townships, the choice was now clear. I was going to put a Loaf on my lift served season. The plan didn’t necessarily include Lucky, he had his own decision to make as he was torn between the Daks and coming along with MadPat. I told him I was heading for Sugarloaf, he had two bags ready according to his final decision. At 6:30am, he was driving my car (I wanted to save myself from driving to Maine then back to Ottawa that night).
Driving in the highest portions of the straight Highway 212, we couldn’t see anything. The forecast called for a chance of rain. As we approached the mountain, the top half of the mountain was covered in clouds. Is the snow surfaces going to be frozen? What is the temperature going to be like? It’s always hard to decide on Spring days like these. Which jackets, hats, gloves, skis? Decisions, decisions…more or less a continuation from the previous day.
Sugarloaf was down to the SuperQuad with 6 trails (but they count Upper and Lower Skidder as two). Let’s just say, three different options from the top of the first. The Spillway East Double chair was done FOREVER!!! R.I.P. First ride up in the clouds at 9:xx,. First turns on run skiers’ right, Kings’ Landing. Perfect corn!!! Not frozen, not sloppy. As we hit the shape left bend in the trail and…WOW…we blustered out of the clouds. That was impressive. Clouds were moving in and out. As one point, the clouds blanketed the summit. Spectacular, I wished I had my camera. At that point, Lucky mentioned that he had his and dug it out for a picture. 😀
Next run was down the steeper Hayburner, fast big radius corn turns. Next run, bumps on Skidder. We varied the bottom, either through the groomed runout or through the remaining snowpark. No walking required compared to late April last year. Wall to wall covered on 98% of the runs. We repeated a few times. The corn was being eaten up real good, it was getting lumpy and not as smooth. We had tested the sheltered T Line prior to lunch where I was going to trade my jacket for a vest.
After lunch, we had some corn, but it needed some butter. After a short walk we skied NG and it was soooo smooth. First tracks in smooth butter. A few repeats, some corn and a final push further. The next run was suppose to be our last, but it was butter on and white dynamite. Lucky skinned it to access it from the top. Made it back in time for one final run, bushwacked on snow and didn’t remove on skis for our 17th runs on NG. What a day!!! Sunshine most of the day. Sugarloaf was closing the following day. Now the question is, what will we do next weekend?
A couple of facts and numbers:
Trail official open: Candy Side, Hayburner, Kings Landing, Skidder (U and L), Pinch
Trail official closed which looked great (might or might not have been skied): Competition Hill, Narrow Gauge, T Line, Gondola Line, White Nitro.
Lift tickets: $39
Biggest vertical lift still open (550m)
Runs skied: 17 (most runs since Sutton (19) in late February)
Vertical skied: 9459m (biggest day since Tremblant back in April 2008)
Travel time from Lucky’s house: 2:12
Number of highway traveled the most: 212
Number of kilometers from Bromont to Stratton Maine: 212