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It’s not only about the skiing, it’s about the adventure and the variety of the experiences.

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June turns : I’ve ridden the lift and ski numerous days at Killington in 1990s. I’ve also ridden lifts in British Columbia in 1988 and most recently in California and Oregon. I’ve even driven up Mount Washington on a couple of occasions or hiked to the Tuckerman Ravine. Heck last year, I’ve even skied a huge patch of snow in the Laurentians at Mont Avila.

How about car-assisted June patch skiing? Okay this isn’t as hardcore as some maggots chasing California patches, but it all belongs to the same passion and madness.

Toll Roads and Autoroad in the North East: Whiteface, Washington and Stowe. Today marked the first time I made the drive up Mt. Mansfield. Toll Road accessed skiing in Vermont? Is there such a thing? VT_Ski invited me to come see and ski.


No snow on Madonna


We skied on this road the last time we were at Smugglers’ Notch a few months ago

MTL_Ripper joined me for this adventure in the really Green Mountains. Back to Stowe after skiing tons of vertical in late April; that will not be the case today. Driving to Stowe from Montreal is so much nicer and shorter through the Notch, but the beautiful June weekend border crossing plus the Sunday sightseeing, garage sale and church going drivers conspired against us.

Prior to crossing the Notch, we passed Smugglers’ Notch will didn’t seem to have any significant visible snow patches. I was slightly concern at this point, however once on the outside side, MTL_Ripper could see a few patches including one huge pile at the bottom. There was no other skiers in sight at the Toll Road gate and we thought that we had missed our rendez-vous. That is when VT_Ski arrived.


Toll Road and the green runs


Snow…that we didn’t ski

The Toll Road is a classic ski trail which people used to earned-their-turns and ski prior to lifts being installed. Unlike some of the old trails, the road is now actually a long flat green in the current Stowe Trail Network, but isn’t that flat when you are driving switchbacks surrounded by trees. VT_Ski started pointing out patches as we slowly drove up. Some of the patches were small, some flat. The goal was to start at the top then drive our way down.


Nosedive : Patch One of Four


Patches Two and Three

The Nosedive Patch was first : Third part. We parked next to the trail and surveyed the land. There seemed to be a series of three patches. We couldn’t see the length of the third patch located between the last two corners on this historically trail, but it was definitely the longest and most interesting one. Unfortunately when we got to the top of it, the actual end of this patch had just been out of our initial view and wasn’t much longer.

There were reported that snow-covered the entire length between both corners; now it was less than half. Regardless of the shortness of it, we clicked it and did some surreal June turns on a 17-meter vertical slope numerous times. The sun was hot and water was popular. A few hikers smiled when they saw that some people were actually skiing. There was another patch lower down passed the last corner, but we decided to focus on the prime one.


MTL_Ripper getting started on Nosedive


Nice background view of Spruce and Madonna


VT_Ski and the Notch


MTL_Ripper milking with VT_Ski looking on


“Let’s do this again”


VT_Ski going some snow maintenance


Threading the line


The last meter

As we skied, the snow at the end was getting thinner and thinner. After 8-9 runs, we decided to checkout the other major patch we noticed driving up.

The Sunrise patch. This time we were directly visible from the people driving up. This snow patch had roughly the same vertical with perfect cream cheese corn, mellower and longer. You could see the water slipping on the edge of the patch. They were also a few annoying mosquitoes and small black flies. The thickness varied from left to right with up to 2-3 ft on the trail downhill edge. What can you do or so little snow? You can have fun!!! Traverse unto the parallel patch to maximize skiable snow. A few snowboard tricks. Snow spraying. And last, but not least, I added an extra 7-meter vertical by skiing on green grass and making it within 2-meter vert from the car. We did 7 runs on Sunrise which made us at about 200 meters for the day. It was time to head down and celebrate our day with a beer from our Vermont friend at the bottom. Thanks VT_Ski!!!


Lower Sunrise


MTL_Ripper heading for the Upper Sunrise 1 & 0.5 patches


VT_Ski on Sunrise with Toll Road in the background


The edge still had 2-3 Feet depth


VT_Ski trying to extend the snow patch


MTL_Ripper


There was a parallel patch. I was truly Mad and skied from Patch 1 to Patch 0.5


VT_Ski raising corn with MadPat looking on


Bluebird


MadPat’s turn


Wait for it


Straying


Adding a few extra meters


Last tracks from white to green

We headed into beautiful town of Stowe and dropped by the Vermont Ski Museum plus I had to pick up a gift for myself. MTL_Ripper was totally stoked by seeing his old snowboard on the Museum wall.

Before heading back across the Notch, we spotted the bottom patch at the bottom, which was the remaining part of the big air. It was short and steep. It would have been fun, but it was already late and time to headback. Looks like that patch while survived into July and be the last surviving ski season snow patch in Vermont. Okay, so what I’ll I do for July turns?


Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe


MadPat loves old skis


MTL_Ripper’s old board

On a more serious note: Take your time to drive through the Notch; it’s beautiful plus someone our a motorcycle missed a tour and crashed. You don’t need to be in the Alps to noticed serious mountain road accident.


The Last Patch


Stowe Gondola side and Mt.Mansfield

MadPat’s Gallery:
Stowe VT – June 1, 2014

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Log

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Log Detail

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Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:20 am

It was raining all weekend in the Great Wet North, so I decide to head South and get some of those Spring activities down in places where the weather was dryer.

A beautiful day in the Valley, but our heads were in the clouds. More later…films pics are probably going to ready in 2010, however I wasn’t the only one with a camera that day.

Great fun to be repeated some day with greater sleep and rest to fully appreciate the possibilities.

Pictures in the short picture summary courtesy of Famous Internet Skiers:

gpetrics wrote:

come on pat… could you shoot for 2009?
ok so here’s my end of the deal:

june 1st?…..

check.

skis?….

check.

check.

steeps?….

check.

“Where’s waldo” skier picture?…

check.

beautiful scenery?….

check.

skiing?….

CHECK!

pat (i love this picture)

(foggy) K_C

steep K_C

Greg


awf getting STEEP and in a TIGHT spot

**************
Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:39 pm

Thanks G for putting those up…

Bullet form TR (approx dates and times):

May 26: Road opened. Great skiing, unfortunately I wasn’t available last weekend for the road opening. Great TR from that weekend. I’ve been waiting to go skee via Otto for maybe 3-4 years; ever since seeing TRs from Lftgly and GPetrics with Salida on the snowfields and GG.

May 29: Weather was becoming very sketchy. Rain, rain and rain in the forecast. I had an unofficial discussion about a possible Mt. Wash trip under the rain at Jay with Gpetrics. He’s also looking at the forecast. Awf was also looking to tag up and to head up the road on T4T. I also spoke to my none-internet ski friends.

May 31: Weather was calling for 50% chance of rain and t-storm. I could live with the rain, but I was more concerned with the t-storm. I was debating into maybe pushing the trip one week later, but also remembering that everything up there was gone quick last year. Looking at best opportunity, another forecast are slightly less negative. I decide to bail at 2pm ish…until updated forecast dropped the chance of showers to 40%. The forecast was getting better as we were getting closer. Finally decided to go for it after all. Icelandic gave his advice on T4T. G looks at it…called me back and we set meeting time. Message left for AWF.

May 31 – 19:02: We left Ottawa with the entire family. Wife had to be in Montreal the next day; she was going to leave alone if I decided to bail.

May 31 – 22:01: Girls were finally in bed. I got my stuff ready and watched the hockey game.

May 31 – 23:01: In bed and set the alarm for 4am. 😯 😯

June 1 – 4:45: Departed from mom’s house in Montreal in the rain.

5:02: Left the island of Montreal in the pouring rain. Drove above the limit to make up time and be able arrive at rendez-vous point at 8:30am.

6:17: Heavy cloud cover, but no rain as I’m questioned by US border guard.

7:15: St.Johnsbury: time to put some gas.

8:19: Made it at Otto Rhode’s lot.

8:30: Awf and Danimal (from T4T) showed up. Inform him that Gpetrics and K_C would be there. Cool…We’ll try to fit into G’s car.

8:44: Gpetrics and K_C joined us and we decided to pack everything in their truck.

9:01: $48US divided by 5 is what this is costing us. Gpetrics tell us to listen to the first minutes of the Auto Audio guide. DESTINY INDEED!!!

9:28: We are driving into the clouds.


Cloudy above the rockpile.

9:34: K_C’s head was almost cut off by a few pairs of skis thanks to Gpetrics sharp turn into the Lot of the Clouds.

9:41: Got our boots on and added some more layers. It’s didn’t feel like June. Isn’t this GREAT!!! 😛

9:45: Hiked over rocks in ski boots to reach the snowfields. GPetrics and Awf mentioned how much snow was lost in one week.

9:59: First turns in June. We lost Gpetrics in the heavy fog as he blasted into warp speed. I guess we follow the “white”?

10:00: 160m vertical. Snowfields were steeper than I thought.


After Snowfield descent, we needed to get back up.

10:10: Hiked back up.


Snowfield on June 1st 2008.

10:15: Pat was going to be sick. Reasons: a) out-of-shape; b) lack of sleep; c) hungry; d) altitude; e) white out conditions/vertigo; f) all of the above. Needed to sit down, breath, drink and eat.

10:20: Felt a bit better.

10:30: Finally I was back at the top.

10:40: Repeated 2 more times. Pat was okay. Awf was taking pictures, Pat skis blind and saw him at the last second. The hike back up was getting easier and took Pat 15 minutes this time.


Good, we were able to find the car.

12:00: Back at the car, Pat got his helmet. We were heading off to the Great Gulf. Where the hell was it? Where were we? Ah, here’s the road!!! G and A talked about the stuff they did in GG the previous weekend.


Walking in the Fog.


Foggy Rockpile version of Abbey Road. I believe that GPetrics was walking bare feet.


Skis, Trains and Automobile.

Not easy walking over dead orks.


Snow: The Gathering

12:45: Top of Turket Chute. Evaluation of the ski route. GPetrics and Awf were ready to go for it. Awf talked about a 5-6 feet choke. K_C and Pat hesitated. Danimal wasn’t sure. Pat volunteered to show Airplane to Danimal.

13:02: GPetrics, Awf and K_C skied it and dove through the choke. Pat walked off into to fog trying to find Airplane with Danimal.


A lame action shot of GPetrics compared to what his official photographer has been giving us.


G Squeezing in the Turkey Chute


AWF’s turn.

13:15: Airplane found. Danimal found it steep; Pat told this bad timing story about someone dying on Chute. Sorry. 😦 I measured the top part of the slope at 43 degrees.

13:25: Pat was the guinea pig. Snow was fine, however it was slick in some places. Made some short turns to control speed on the hard surface upper steeps. Danimal made some nice teleturns, skipping over some obstacles toward the bottom.


Danimal at the bottom of Airplane.

13:35: Pat and Danimal stopped not far from the Lake. We decided to stop before bushwaking. That was a great 298m vertical descent.

13:55: After a 20 minutes wait for the others (they were going to try to connect with Airplane from Turkey. I guess, it didn’t connect?) Were we alone? We had a great foggy view with no sign of the others, so we started hiking back up the 1000ft couloir.

14:05: I saw the others skiing down. We found out that they had hike out of Turkey. They stopped about 100 meters above us.


AWF and G going up Airplane.


K_C and Danimal.

14:15: Hiked on a different boot ladder until the mid-steep part. The traversing of a 40 degree slope was a bit nerve raking. Wished I had an ice axe like the rest of our party. I ended up climbing on all four.

15:05: Back at the top of Airplane, Gpetrics and Awf were talking about a short run down Space Walk. I decided against it. I was tempted, but I was still thinking about the long way back to Ottawa afterward.

15:40: K_C, Danimal and Pat waited for them for a while then we started heading back toward the car. Weather and wind were much colder and stronger now.

16:05: Two guys hiked over towards us looking for Airplane??? WTF??? Isn’t it a bit late? A short time later, G and Awf caught up to us. Geez, the two guys asked them about Turkey Chute.

16:35: After 55 minutes of hiking over boulders in ski boots with wind trying to throw you down, we were back at the car. 7 hours on the mountain. Pat and Danimal skied about 800 meters today in 4 runs. K_C (5 runs), G and A accumulated more than 1000m (6 runs).

16:40: Packed the car again. It’s was realllllly windy. Awf and Pat decided against removing ski boots now.


Windy group picture at the car.

16:55: We started driving down. We noticed that the rest of the valley had clear skies, only the top of the Presidentials were in the clouds.

17:15: Arrived at the bottom, we parted ways: Hanover, Boston and Ottawa. Pat told himself that a day skiing trip are a bit much when hiking is involved. Plus I needed to get back here in getting shape.

18:30: Pat tried to eat a hot pizza bought near Jeffersonville while driving.

21:00: Crossed border, the pouring rain started shortly after…all the way to Montreal.

June 2, 1:00: Final arrived in Ottawa with the family and kids after picking them up in Montreal. Lucky my wife was there for the last 2 hours of driving.

June 2, 2:00: Stuff more-or-less unpacked. Finally I got to bed.

June 2, 9:00: Backed at work

June 3: Film at Camera shop

June 8, 23:17: Full TR completed.

June 10, 20:58: Pat gets back to continuing his Chilean TRs from last Summer.

June 11: Pics ready for Bday.

October 16, 2008: Pics posted with TR!!! 😉

******

The following pictures (our hike out of Airplane) are a courtesy of danimal and can be found on the Eastern Snowfields: June 1, 2008 TR from T4T started by Gotstowe86 which we meet on the Snowfields.

On the bootpack for the slog out.

The group for the day in the fog

Awf and gp nearing the top of airplane.

Awf in the mist

KC hanging on

MadPat Popping out!

20080601_mtw
Graph of the wonderful foggy day.

That’s all folks!!!


MadPat’s Gallery :
Mount Washington NH – June 1, 2008

Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:47 pm
Post originally started on Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:20 am on firsttracksonline and 11:45 am on timefortuckerman

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