After a two week hiatus, I was back on skis with a bad cold. Morgane had a slalom at Mont Cascades today and I was bringing her to the hill and the new camera to the hill. I was still feeling sick from the flu and was taking it easy due to my earlier health episode. Looks like January 2012 is turning out to be a record month; record month for the Ski Mad World readership, but also on the least days skied of any Winter month since the 2000-2001 season.
This was Morgane’s first slalom of the season, having skipped the first one due to school exams two Saturdays ago. A much warmer day than her last race at Calabogie. I brought the new camera to play with: a digital camera (yes, I finally got one to replace my stolen one in Buenos Aires). As the forecast was calling for a bright sunny morning and a warm -6c, I thought it would have been the perfect occasion.
When received a mixed bag in term of precipitation the previous day; snow, sleet, freezing rain. Arrived at the World Cup Lodge in front of Exhibition at 8am and the small parking lot was, as expected, packed. Some people were parking on the side of the road until someone came in and announced the once the plow was coming and people might be ticketed.
As Morgane was inspecting, I was figuring out the new camera and making a few runs on Exhibition. The conditions were like skiing on broken glass on the freshly waxed ceramic floor; hard to get a clean edge on tiny broken up ice chunks covering a blue-ice base. Perfect conditions to run a race; the course never really deteriorated. Morgane had a good run and made the flip for the second run, so she would be amongst the first skiers out of the start. There were a few crashes or mishaps among the competitors. I took many pictures, mostly of the kids within my daughter’s ski team. After taking pictures of her, I tried to time it so I would be in the chair when the others went down, as the slalom course went under the lift. I timed it perfectly for one kid, I was with his dad (and ex-fellow Master racer), unfortunately his ski was in the way when the chair passed right over him where the course traversed under. What are the odd of repeating that perfect timing, only to have the perfect picture ruined by a ski?
A few more DNFs in the afternoon. The sky started getting gray and light snow started falling at the end of the day. I went to checkout the main side of Mont Cascades at the end of the race and maybe take some pictures for you folks, but the battery was dead. Exhibition side was fairly quiet as it was mostly only racers skiing here. The other side was a complete different universe: ski lessons everywhere, beginners and first timers, boarders plus the random families. All the loose snow (broken glasses ice crystals) was all snowplowed out of the way by either the beginner or a zamboni. After waiting for the quad and ride with the frequent stop, I decided one run was enough and I headed back. Another wait for the old double (I believe this is the old black double on the Grand Prix side of Tremblant) in which they were loading every second chair only. At the top of the World Cup side, I went down the twisting and I believe natural snow Hogan trail. There was some thin cover and the odd patches of ice…it was fun to ski, but it was time to call it a day.