Wednesday Evening, a return visit to Camp Fortune, this time for a Slalom on Slalom. This is a bit of a change-up on the previous years calendar. Prior to the start of the season, we decided to scheduled the first two races at Fortune in case of a bad start to the Winter. Camp Fortune’s Slalom trail is generally the first race trail to be open in the region. It wasn’t really an issue with the great start to the Winter, over one meter of snow had fallen in the last month.
Although the weather was great, we were heading into the first big thaw of the season with well above the season temps and rain starting overnight. I needed to pickup some poles for my daughter in Chelsea prior to heading to the hill. It was +1c where I arrived in the parking lot compared to the -25c the previous Wednesday. Similar to the contrast we are having this Wednesday night (January 30) with warm temps and rain and last Wednesday’s -28c. It was so cold last week that the race was cancelled by Mont Cascades, however tonight race at Fortune was happening, garbage bags optional. It’s been a season of contrast.
Again, real nice carving conditions. I started skiing just prior to the 7:30pm start. Watched the people race and did a few turns. It started snowing pretty hard a short time after which was a surprise to me: I hadn’t looked at the detailed forecast. The end of the race was rushed as a light transformer above Slalom blew and the area wanted to turn off the lights and power. The snow at the bottom of Slalom was borderline from being rain. At the end of the race, I asked Steve, a colleague from work and racer if he wanted to go towards Skyline for a few runs prior to heading to the bar. He needed to pick up something at the start first: the patrol had closed off the Slalom trail as the light were already off. Patrol warmed us to be careful and ski slowly. This reminded me of my High School days where we would go night skiing and ski on closed trails. The visibility wasn’t bad; I skied at my normal speed. Up the slow Pineault chair then down Sparks. At lower elevation bottom of Skyline the precipitation was more of a light drizzle than snow. We did one run down the steep groomed Chute, the tight turns made me puff a bit more. Great carving snow with well tuned skis. It was a pleasure and would have loved to repeat that run a few times. However we headed back across to the Valley and the bar for the prizes and announcements after one full run on Skyline.
This evening was more worthwhile as a ski-outing for myself. Skied 9 runs for 1100 meters compared to the lowly 3 runs and 460 meters done the previous Wednesday. I wasn’t the only one out this evening by looking at the amount of cars in the parking lot; at the time I arrived, I was parked 5 minutes away from the Valley Lodge.
Ben won for the Men and Carmen for the Women. There was different father and daughter duo this week, the daughter managed to get the fastest time for girls by over 5 seconds, but only finished one run. Her time was amongst the 10 fastests time of the evening: her dad was less than a second ahead. Next generation of Masters racers are charging hard.