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July lift served…. Oh yeah!!!!

The question has I went on to bed on this warm Ottawa night was….which skis do I take tomorrow? Not my good race skis, but it’s a race??? Old race slalom? Older all-mountains? Snow is going to be dirty. Hope they ain’t too many bugs. Ski ya tomorrow.


Picnic tables near the beaches


Rope tow

I ended up bringing 3 pairs of skis. The Akamp had been a jibbing snowcamp that has been held on the lower slope of Mont Avila. The 8th edition started with a few events: JR Games which was a slopestyle competition and a Banked Slalom. The camp has been running for the last few seasons and is either held during 4-5 days in late June or early July. The snow from the Mont Avila snowpark is stockpiled in a huge mound at the end of the season and covered with hay. I had experience the Akamp snow or leftover snow in 2013 and 2014.

Today was the first day with Mogulskier and I signing up for the Axis banked slalom. For the first year, you could use a ride up on a lift. Here is what Mogulskier had to say about the experience: “interesting rope tow installed with a scaffold ramp to start-it was really fast, probably faster than a detachable lift really neat set up. Lots of brown snow up higher, many features set up for the week-long A Kamp. I managed 2nd place overall, MadPat beat me by a tenth we came in at 15.6-8 seconds, it was fun and quick/short. Got lots of laps in outside of the event, a really enjoyable afternoon/evening on snow.”

My advantage were longer poles…the difference was all in the pushing through the dirty snow prior to the first bank turn. I didn’t know my time until I reached the start for my season run. I finally opted for my long Rossignol B2 which were fairly beaten up. We had a few practice runs and the rope-tow definitely ease the work on this hot Summer day. They also had other activities for the kids registered to the camp, like trampoline and skate half-pipe. Our registration got us a drink and a delicious stove over pizza.


Skateboarders


Liftlines (chair and rope tow)


Racing action: Don’t eat the dirty snow


Snowboard racing


One of the three Fat Bikes registered for the race


View on the Mont Avila Lodge


Finish line and Rope tow setup

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: MadPat and the Rope tow. As my tiny wet glove got wet, the grip became harder as the rope started sliding through my hands. Later on I would go gloveless.


The mud from above the snow made the some dirty, however the snow was much better lower down.


Mogulskier’s daffy


Air


Mogulskier’s carving


Al finally showed up


Mogulskier and Al

Initially the race was supposed to be done by teams, but not sure what happened between the concept and the race, probably a lower anticipated turnout. Alex was suppose to show up for the race and ski with us, but we showed up after the rope-tow was turned off. He still managed to hike up for some turns, Mogulskier joined him will I enjoyed my first first place medal and rewarding beer.


Beer


Gold


Ottawa trio


Goodbye


Parting shot

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Avila QC – 4 juillet 2015

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MSS: Disconnected patches

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: MadPat adding some extra weight. Probably the beer.

After leaving St-Sauveur on May 22, the snow depth looked deep enough that it would survive into June even if the hill was closing the following day. A source had told me that it was still continuous snow from the lift to the top of the pitch on Sunday May 29. On that day South of the border Killington was still offering lift-served skiing, although they was some walking required. K was even hoping to offer some skiing on June 1, however the continued heatwave squashed those plans.


Mogulskier’s Stealth approach


Out of sight

I could have gone to Killington to earn my June turns on the Superstar patches with a number of likeminded snownuts, but I was somewhat afraid of the response I would get from the Customs Officers: drugs testing or locked up in an asylum. So I decided to keep my skiiing shenanigans closer to home this time. Forecast was calling for heavy rain at time on Thursday June 2, but the weather was perfect the Friday June 3, plus I had a partner in crime with Mogulskier. We meet up in front of a very green Mont St-Sauveur, however approaching the mountain you could definitely see some snow was still present higher up on part of Hill 70 and Nordique. The question on the amount was hard to see from a distance; it just looked like a bunch disconnected patches.


Snow!!!


Crest of the final pitch


Middle flats

Near the base of Hill 70, workers were getting things ready for the Summer activities and Waterpark, so we decided to use a stealth approach in a less obvious location. We joined Hill 70 just above the final pitch and witness our first patch of snow. Snow was semi-continuous on the middle flats on looker’s right close to the trees and shade. Someone had definitely been around as the two box features were moved a few feet from the last open day to the remaining snow area. Bri7 had mentioned that the patch was still continuous on Sunday with 2-3 choking point, this was clearly no longer the case. As we moved above the mid part, there was a wet grass/mud field. Through the trees onto the next trail there was the appearance of an important Nordique patch.


Upper pitch with two distinct patches


Mogulskier on lower patch


Lower patch’s snowbridge

Picture by Mogulskier
Picture by Mogulskier: Upper patch

The next important patch was on the upper pitch, however there was a cut/snow bridge on the verge of collapse where a stream. Once we arrived at the clearing at the top of the triple, there was no longer any remaining snow. We dropped on gear and celebrated the verge of my first descent of Quebec June skiing with a couple of bottle of beer. As for Mogulskier, he had skied Mont St-Sauveur with the lift running back in June 1997. We hiked over to take a look at the upper pitch of Nordique and the patch looked more impressive through the trees. It was only one narrow cross trail patch, so not necessarily enough to fight the adversity. The adversity had found us and it was black flies. We quickly chugged what was left of our beer and jumped into our ski boots still attached to our skis.


Where the snow that we saw on Nordique?


Nordique’s snow patch partially hidden

Funny, I was so focus on carrying a pair of bottles that I had forgotten my ski poles. D’oh!!! We hurried down from our spot before bug lunch, connecting the patch as best we could via grass and mug skiing. That included the perhaps ill-adverse skiing over the snow bridge. The upper patch was definitely the steepest if you didn’t mind the few yards of grass skiing. The main patch was definitely the middle of the trail, a few hundred feet of partially suncupped hard snow. Although it was hot, the snow didn’t have the cream cheese fell. The main patch curled over the crest of the pitch with one tiny patch in the middle of the pitch and ended on fresh ankle-deep grass. Fresh tracks top to bottom with only one portage. Woyou!!!!

After reaching our car, we drove off to look at possibility our next mission on the neighbouring ski area in a few weeks time.


Maximum vertical


Upper patch


Connecting patches


Pretty much continuous


Timelapse video of Mogulskier

Fresh tracks


Top to bottom


Next mission?

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 3 juin 2016

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Another May weekend, what else to do, but enjoy the cool snow and warm breeze while skiing in a t-shirt?

After last weekend double destination at the last two ski resorts open in the East, it was time to focus on the more local area for me.

Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca

Saturday May 14:

Definitely less driving this weekend: Mont St-Sauveur is under 50 miles from Montréal and 100 miles from Ottawa. MSS was having an end-of-the-year party with a band, the popular exterior bar, BBQ, $1 hot-dogs, inflatable jumping structures for the kids and it was also the last weekend to take advantage of the Waterpark season pass special of $59 for the season-pass. This would explain why there were 25 people in line in front of me at the Customer Service desk.


Mogulskier hitting the bumps on the final West Hill 70 pitch


Planetskier carving outside the bumps lines


Mogulskier on Hill 70

It was also “May repeat” from the previous weekend, everyone was out for what was initially the last weekend (which was changed the previous day) of skiing. A repeat in the warm t-shirt weather, the Ottawa crew was here, the two Dan, Danmelon and MTL_Ripper, Mogulskier, a few people from Zoneski and a few bloggers like Tom from Estski and Jari the Planetskier. The previous Friday I meet Jari at Killington, this time he made the trip from Boston (not Finland) to ski at MSS and Québec which he had never skied. His other option for weekend turns was Iceland, but MSS wasn’t as an expensive option.


Nordique was official closed, but that didn’t really stop anyone


The entrance of Nordique wouldn’t last the day, but coverage was 100% on everything about the finally pitch which was roped off.

I don’t recall the last time I saw so much coverage in mid-May at MSS? Snow was pushed all the way to the lodge’s patio. The official trail count was one, Hill 70 West, but part of 70 East was covered and skied. The main difference in one week was the official closing of the Nordique trail, however it didn’t stop anyone from skiing it. The coverage was thin and became non-existent at the entrance of the trail plus the final pitch was roped off with undermined snow at bottom and ended on pavement with two parked groomers. A few bump lines were seeded, a box and rail setup on Hill 70: Fun for all. The surface was pretty firm due to the salting of the Hill 70, Nordique was soft while the finally roped pitch was nice and firm, you really had to work your skis.

Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca
MadPat and Mogulskier at the top of a closed Nordique trail
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Clouds moving in above Nordique


Planetskier on Nordique


Bottom pitch on Nordique which skied really nicely, thank you very much.

Besides Jari from Finland, MSS had a 3-time gold medalist at Olympic and World Championships in Moguls. There were also a few plates from New England and New York. So MSS didn’t just drag out the nuts; although a few of them continued to ski when the rain came. The rain stopped just in time for last chair.


Mini-bar crowded, patio empty during pouring rain

MSS is very steep … in history. Dartmouth College raced here for the 1st or 2nd intercollegiate race against McGill in the 1930s. After the day of skiing, I showed the Laurentian Ski Museum in town where we got totally drenched … again.

Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca
The crew enjoying Après-ski beer
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Hardcore bumpers hiking for turns after 5pm


St-Sauveur church in the village

Sunday May 15:

The forecast for Sunday was may rain or may snow. Snow flakes failing from the sky, it is somewhat ironic considering that it was a sub par winter. Killington received 6% of the yearly snowfall on this “event”. Part of the Ottawa crew were considering a May repeat on Sunday, but as the weather was less than favourable. But like the weather was less favorable for Sunny Spring skiing, MSS didn’t open due to the risk of rain…again. As for Jari, we returned to ski Killington on this wintery day.

Saturday May 21:

Three-day ski weekend on both side of the border, Killington was going Friday-Sunday as always this May, while St-Sauveur were opening an extra day on Victoria Day Monday (Saturday-Monday). My plan was skiing Sunday and Monday and may again at Killington the following Monday May 30.


Waterpark is going to be open soon, but we’re still skiing


Like skiing in Summer

Sunday May 22:

Mogulskier was already skiing when I showed up, his kids and wife were at the MSS’s F.U.N park. Another week of temperature hovering around the 30c did a dent on the snowpack, especially the closed Nordique which was official closed the weekend before with excellent coverage on 3/4 of the trail. The trail was reduced a series on disconnected patches, however the snow was Hill 70 tight. But the coverage was showing a side of weakness in the middle of the Hill 70 pitch; as the day passed, water puddles and bare spots in the moguls field started growing. I don’t recall seeing this on Hill 70 in May in previous year. It’s a sign that the end is near. There was definitely not the number of skiers of the previous weekends, maybe they were spread out over last 3 opening days? Part of the Ottawa crew were there and other regular. It was getting really hot at noon with made it really difficult. As Mogulskier left for Dad duties in the park, the clouds started to move in and we even got a small drizzle for 15 minutes to cool us off. The pitch of Hill 70 was ugly, tomorrow is definitely the last day of the season for St-Sauveur.


There is still a few lines for Mogulskier.


Middle of Hill 70 pitch was getting uglier as the weekend passed. This section of the trail was bare on the last day.


Still enough snow for June on the middle of 70?


Wayne on the final pitch


The last hour crew

Monday May 23: May repeat, Maybe not, May June?

Alex sent me an email Sunday night and asked me if I was going back, was I going to repeat or not? After some consideration, I decided to spend Holiday Monday at home with the family. That being said, I hope that K makes it to June. In fact I hope MSS and K … and a bunch of others make it as long as possible. The more the merrier. I may go to Killington if they are open on Memorial day, meanwhile for MSS, today was definitely the last day of ski operation, even if the snowdepth at some places on Hill 70 will may survive into June. June turns at MSS, I may go for that.


The end


Bye Bye

MadPat’s Galleries:
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 14 mai 2016
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 22 mai 2016

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Two left!!! One in Québec and the other in Vermont.

The same two that started the (and my) 2015-16 season over 6 months ago. My last visit at Killington was in early December, prior to that were my last two days at Mont St-Sauveur in October and November.


Killington like a beacon on the horizon

There was also at long last the meeting of two geography based ski bloggers, Ski Mad World and PlanetSkier…or should we say Ski Mad Planet and World Mad Skier?

Jari from Finland was in Eastern North America for a business meeting and for anyone that has followed his blog, it was pretty clear that he would have been eager to get some turns no matter how far or complicated it was.  As mentioned on the Dual May Days for Mothers’ Day – Eastern Closing Thread 2016 – Week 6 post, Killington and Mont St-Sauveur were the only two ski areas in the East still spinning lifts, actually no one was spinning midweek.


Getting closer: Skyelark, Superstar and Cascades (closed) under Killington Peak


Two open trails: Thin Skyelark and Fat Superstar


Bottom of Superstar


Wall-to-wall bumps


Superstar Glacier


Deep Superstar Headwall

Friday morning: Killington

The only ski area open today was Killington and that’s where I was going. Two runs on the menu for this warm +18c temperature and a sunny blue bird sky. A tale of two runs, Skyelark and Superstar. One was thin and levelled to a thin layer and the other was fat and bumpy. They groomed the middle of Superstar and everything to the sides was bumped up. I had time to test out the two runs before Jari arrived.


Jari on Skyelark


MadPat at one of the Skyelark chokes
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Jari taking an alternative route to another choke on the trail


Skyelark


The final pitch on Skyelark at the end of the day…now it’s really Thin

Skyelark was on its last miles with a thin base which would become none existing as the day went on. What was left of the snow was a firm thin layer and bare spots are a few chokes on the coverage. If you didn’t want to risk damaging your skis, it might be better to stay on Superstar. Some walking was required if you wanted to access the trail from the top, but most people reached the trail at the cutoff below the Superstar headwall. As the day went on, the trail sketchy areas before even more troublesome for nice ski bases.


Superstar

Superstar was everything that Skyelark wasn’t; it was deep, bumpy and corny. Based on the height of snow, they still had a few weekend of skiing planned. You never know with Mother Nature, but the cold Spring helped preserved the stockpiling of snow. Incredible, but this season is probably one of the worst on snow accumulation in this millenium. 75″ inches of snowfall (they would an extra 5% of their annual snowfall on May 15) and the base depth on Superstar was double that number on most of the trail. The mount above the headwall was huge and the middle of the trail snow level was close to lift height. There was some good coverage left on the Canyon area, Cascades looked particularly inviting.


Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca

It was top to bottom coverage on Superstar and as the day went by, there were the groomed centre made way to top to bottom, wall to wall moguls. Once at the bottom, there was side of snow and parking tailgating, but we continued riding the Superstar Express Quad which zoomed us up 1199′ (365m) vertical. Jari and I were hurting, broken rids ridding a horse to go skiing a few months ago in Morocco and myself the broken ankle in early season that didn’t like the moguls. Or maybe it was just me, I recall that skiing the bumps was easier in the 1990s. 🙂 I might be skiing like 20 years, but the tailgating in the parking lot and on the side of the lift was serious.


Lower Superstar


Canadian and Finnish skibloggers in Vermont
Picture by Jari from http://planetskier.blogspot.ca


Driving towards next destination

Saturday: Mont St-Sauveur


Snow on the two open run: Hill 70, Nordique as well as other runs


Open terrain

St-Sauveur was opening for the public on Saturday. For the last few late season, they’ve have hosted “Summer” race camps midweek and early morning weekend on Hill 70 and Nordique. Like Killington, MSS had two runs going, however coverage were groomed and equally deep on both runs. The only terrain that was bumped was on the East Hill 70 pitch which was an added bonus on the terrain. The MSS crew build a few bump lines plus the usual box and rail on the flatter part of 70. As I skied, I ran into the Ottawa crew having fun in the bumps as well as the regardless late season suspects. The usual early and late season closing lift was running on approximately 607′ (185m) vertical and everyone was having a great day skiing in t-shirt or shorts.


Wall to wall Hill 70, East and West


Deep base on Nordique


Nordique


Nordique’s bottom pitch

A good part of Hill 70 and Nordique had be salted for the race camps, so most of the base was firm and consistent. Sharp edges were definitely a plus, but there was also softer corn snow accumulated outside the race area. The finally pitch of Nordique was as fun as always to ski even if it was firm. The +21c didn’t really soften it up.

The base depth on Hill 70 and Nordique were a few meters deep. Mont St-Sauveur was getting ready for to open their summer park schedule to open on May 21, ski season was suppose to end on May 15, but with the important depth of snow left, MSS decided to give skiers an extra weekend closing on May 23. Interesting enough, MSS received more snow than Killington which isn’t common: 103″ (262cm) versus 75″(190cm) (81″ currently, 206cm). Even it was also a very warm winter north of the border, the few degrees difference was often the difference between snow and rain. Not to be outdone and new this season, Mont St-Sauveur converted a shipping container into a bar next to the snow. Ingenious!!! Snow + Sun + Warm + May + Beer = What Spring Skiing is about.


Bottom pitch of West and East Hill 70


East Hill 70 bump field


Ottawa Crew

Sunday: Sun only in name.

Friday and Saturday were the real Sundays, this day was more a wet day. Mont St-Sauveur didn’t bother to open due to the weather and skiers at Killington in the cold and wet conditions. As common this time of the season, MSS didn’t bother spinning when few would bother buying lift tickets in the wet & cold May day. Some flurries even fell over the Great White North. Meanwhile south of the border, Killington spun for a few diehards “wet” skiers. Snow isn’t going to melt much in the first few days this week, as freezing (or close to freezing temps) are forecasted overnight.

However it was a beautiful first half of the weekend, hopefully it wasn’t the last Spring skiing of the season. Nothing can be taken for granted this time of the season: despite deep snow at the last two ski resorts still running lifts in the East, the end is near. Amazing May skiing was had by all you did, like the sun and the warm weather, showed up on the first part of the weekend.

As it stands now, MSS & Killington last days so far is respectively May 7 & 8. This is pretty respectable on a terrible snow year.


Growing lake


Snow + Sun + Bar


Heading home

MadPat’s Galleries:
Killington VT, May 6, 2016
Mont St-Sauveur QC – 7 mai 2016

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Sun
Hot
Sunglasses
Beer & BBQ
A band playing
Shorts, Bikinis, underwear and topless skiing
Corn
…and some bumps

This is what Spring skiing is about. Mother Nature gave us warm weather, sunshine and corn weekend. While some people were enjoying their Summer activities in the cities which includes patio drinking, cycling and try to forget about snow, for others it was just another really to go skiing and soak in the rays.


Skyline Parking


View from Skyline Deck with band, BBQ and beer on the left side next to chair

Here is a report of CTV News in Ottawa : Temperatures soar in the capital
http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/temperatures-soar-in-the-capital-1.2862873#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=yJMiHId

My teenaged daughter questioned my sanity. “It’s going to be 21c today, why would you want to be skiing? My reply was, “Exactly, it going to 21c, why not go skiing?” It’s on days like these that you see who the real skiers are.

Slow Sunday morning, it was 11:30, it was SUN and +17c. Barely twenty minutes later, I arrived at a packed Skyline parking. Camp Fortune was the closest skiing from home, the next closest options were Tremblant, St-Sauveur and Whiteface between 2 and 3 hours away.

The Valley was closed, Skyline was where it was happening, amongst the best concentration of Spring skiing on a 590’ vertical around, similar to the old lost Gray Rocks used to offer.

Today was a day where all the hardcore weren’t going to miss. If the locals weren’t at Tremblant, they were here. As the afternoon went on, I started to meet more and more people I knew.

The mountain had been groomed, but it was definitely corning up when I started skiing. Skiing from from left to right.


Chute, Middle Canadian and Bud Clark from Lower Canadian


Lower Canadian


Camille on the edge on Chute


Aaron’s Cornapolooza

Sparks : the longest and easier trail offered. It was a great place to get started. Corn was already deep.

Bud Clark : close to wall-to-wall coverage, but a few thin spot poking out. Deep corn lower down.

Canadian : Steeper than Bud, a fun steep pitch and some slightly firm snow on the side. Bumps were popping out as the afternoon progressed. Middle Canadian had a few large patches, but it was roped off. It still made for some beautiful nice turns on some of the firmer undisturbed corn snow.

Chute : The steep drop which can be terrifying for some racing kids when it’s solid ice at -21c. Today was +21c and keep you on the edge. The more on the edge, there was a nice small drop to jump off from.

Lower Canadian : the wide part concluding the 3 runs above. There was a few rocks poking through and you had to negotiate a puddle that became biggest has the snow melted.


Heggtveit

Heggtveit : The long steep bumped run that was used for the Canadian Moguls Championships for a few weeks ago. It started off fairly smooth after this was groomed, but like the other steep runs, it bumped up in a few places. The edge of the built up snow was particular a lot of fun. The run needed probably another few hours to become a real mogul field par excellence. Still tons of snow left on Heggtveit, probably a few weeks left for those that want to earn their turns.


Swan Dive with Chute, Canadian, Bud Clark and Sparks in the distance

Swan Dive : Officially closed, but that didn’t stop some brave skiers to try to hope from snowpatch to snowpatch on this steep natural run. It might be the last day of the season.

The tiny Skyline lodge was empty expect for those wanting to buy the $20 lift tickets and using the washroom. People taking a break were sitting outside on the bench and picnic tables setup at the bottom. People smiling in the lift line. The band was playing that you could hear from the top of the lift, burgers were flipping and the beer was flowing. People stayed outside until long after the lift stopped turning, the last beer was served and the last burger was flipped. This is what Spring skiing is really all about.

There was a glimmer of hope for a repeat weekend, but Camp Fortune decided to call it a season after the rain on Monday. Now it’s earned your turns season locally or head to closer open ski hill 2 hours away at Mont St-Sauveur which will continue spinning on weekends until May 14.


Ottawa hardcore (Carmen, Rog, Ben, Aaron) from Japan, Dubai, Europe, South America to Camp Fortune


End of season

MadPat’s Gallery:
Camp Fortune QC – April 17, 2016

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What gift is associated with a 20th wedding anniversary? Corn!

My wife and I had planned to spend the day together on this, our 20th wedding anniversary.

Late : Late planning. Initially we would have loved to celebration at our Honeymoon destination: Whistler. As it is often the case with kids, work, school, the logistics, it became to complicated when you don’t get your act together until late in the game.

Late : Late change of plans. Instead of a day at the museum and restaurant, we decided to go skiing instead of staying in Ottawa. Forecast was calling for a beautiful sunny day, so we decided “Why Not go skiing on Wednesday”.

Late : Late departure from Ottawa as we waited for the time kids left for school. Plus no need to rush, corn is better served later in the day.


Summit: Follies, Upper Paron’s (closed), Cloudspin (closed), Skyward

Late : Extremely late to start using my Ski-Ride Foxcard which was worth a couple of hundred dollars Canadian with the current exchange rate. I would generally start using late in the season, but this was really late for a season was less than stellar, many ski areas on the card had already closed for the season (Titus, Middlebury, Bolton, Burke, MRG, Suicide Six).


Lowtide under the Summit Quad

As I’ve been saying on the status of the Eastern ski areas this Spring, conditions and winter has definitely less “winterish” by a few degrees and more rain…but it’s also colder further north resulting in snow or snowmaking conditions in the Laurentians, the Gatineaus (Ottawa), Quebec City and further East. This was my first ski day south of the St. Lawrence River as the season, the distance and the exchange rate didn’t make much sense to go South. Whiteface was reporting 103″ (261cm) this season.  I don’t recall seeing such a low tide winter since maybe 1980.


Northway


Follies and Lake Placid


There was an easy to avoid choke on the top of Skyward


All smiles

The forecast was calling for mostly sunny, with a high near 55F and the “Why Not Wednesday” promotion ($48 lifticket with Coke product) probably explained why they were so many car for a midweek late season day. We got on the Gondola shortly after noon as it was a late start, we proceeded to start with Northway. The run hadn’t softened up and was still firm, so we headed up the Summit Quad for the next few runs. The Follies and Skyward were the only options down, we started with Follies and had a mixed of corn and thin cover. Skyward was much better as it was just softening up. The coverage was great until you reach the Niagara upper pitch where there was only a narrow ribbon of snow in the shade. The coverage was more wall-to-wall on Victoria. We rode on a chair with and bumped into the co-owner of High Peaks Cyclery throughout the afternoon as she was going laps milking as many turns as she could before the end of the season whenever that will be. We had a chat on the season, Adirondack backcountry and the Alps’ Haute Route which she did this Winter.


Skyward and Little Whiteface


Niagara’s Thin Cover


Corn on Approach


Corn on Mountain Run

The front side of Little Whiteface was deserted and awesome, the lower mountain was slushy and relatively crowed for the conditions. Although it was still March, the mountain skied like mid-April. Whiteface was still giving the public some lessons and all the beginners on the hill where staying on the lower mountain. We skied through the park where the snow and slope were better. There was also bumped line on the lower mountain which I had never seen.


Mountain Run


Boule’s Deck

Whiteface had official 40 runs 5 lifts open, but none of them included the chairs on Little Whiteface, so it forced us to lap on the Gondola if we wanted to the ski Mountain Run, Wilderness, Upper Upper Parkway and Upper Thruway where the corn was awesome. The snow on some part of the hill was collapsing once you reached Lower Thruway and you could hear the water underneath. The Boule’s Deck was busy with people eating and drinking.


Heart


You can hear the running water under the snowpack


Last part of Thruway

Ah yes, the 5 lifts… Summit quad, Gondola, Facelift and…the beginner terrain Mixing Bowl and Bear lifts. As I finish writing this, I’m not sure how Whiteface will look THIS weekend, more than 2 weeks later. Lucky it’s been cold since, but temperatures for the next few days are going to be in the “short-weather” range.


Bump line on Lower Valley pitch 🙂


Washout at the bottom of Bear


Corn and Sun


A beautiful anniversary day


Dinner in Lake Placid

MadPat’s Gallery:
Whiteface NY – March 30, 2016

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Riverc0il going one turn beyond in the patchskiing madness

Music….

Madness – One Step Beyond

Last year I made some turns under the influence prescription drugs. Well, guess what? I’m still sick. If you thought the Stowe June 1 patches were crazy, you haven’t seen nothing yet. As mention on the another blog “Patchskiing is usually post-season skiing, sort of like the “playoffs” of skiing.” Well, this July and it was the World Cup that played out on a (snow)field!!!

Before getting to our main match-up, we’ll see how the countries are doing for July skiing:

Argentina went into extra time against Switzerland
France easily beat Germany
Chile humiliated Brazil
Austria over Italy
– New Zealand edged over Australia
– South Africa and Lesotho in a draw
– Norway dominated The Netherlands


My last Eastern US July skiing experience in 2011

I was interested on the East Can-Am National Holiday match-up : Canada versus United States; Avila versus Tuckerman. Tuckerman was eliminated before July last season.

1 juillet 2013
The 2013 Eastern Canada July skiing experience

This time I went for a back-to-back ski extreme experiences (i.e. extreme in madness):
– Temperature in the 90F range one day to 90mph wind gust the next;
– From shorts and topless to “I need an extra jacket” weather;
– Driving with heavy storm warnings, torrential rain, T-storm and fireworks;
– Highway construction and orange cones everywhere;
– Avoiding wildlife at 75mph like the giant moose standing in middle of the interstate. Plus a fox and maybe even a grey wolf running across the car.
– Safety was an issue even before I started skiing, especially that I wasn’t even carrying a gun. This is New Hampshire, with the odd grey wolf and firearm carrying citizen.


July 1 : Storm watch


Like the previous outing on July 1 and the previous evening, July 5 also had some weird weather happening: Sun and torrential rain at once.


Canada Day Fireworks in Ottawa

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*))
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“What?
There isn’t any snow?
Are you mad?” I answered “Yes!”

That was the main reaction by the US Gun-carrying Custom Officer when he questioned me about my plans for US soil. Other reactions of disbelief from fellow hikers on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail where they saw us with our skis? “Are you training for Alaska? Where are you going to find the snow?”


View of Tuckerman Ravine on July 5, 2014!!! Where is the snow???

I didn’t get a reaction in Canada: it was just child play. People were climbing the hill in bathing suits to go tubing and didn’t notice us with our skis. I was even told before my July 1 trek if 40+ celsius with humidex wasn’t too hot to go skiing? No, it was one more reason to find some snow. Definitely cooler than playing World Cup football in the Brazilian tropical heat.


July 1 : Climbing the hill to go tubing


Full parking lot at the hill

Both adventures were greeted with some disappointment at the speed in which the snow had melted since the last pictures were taken of both places.

C.S.V.S : Continuous Safe Vertical Snow? 6-meters in hot humid conditions versus 16-meters in cold (for Summer) with very strong winds. Three skiers versus a crazy nuts with US flag, skis, beer, a BBQ and a unicycle next to Chute???


Found a parking spot

CANADA DAY : July 1 at Avila

At the last of the AKAMP at Avila last July 1, the snow covered a 28-meter stretch. The camp finished two days ago and the remains were down to a few detached snowpatches disconnected by mud. A 6-meter vertical slope on a surviving roll. The week’s heavy hot humid weather took a heavy toll, today the humidex was close to 106F for Month #106, but it felt just cooler over the snow, but not enough to keep the bugs away. The honour of first July turns were given to Bri7’s 4-yr old daughter. We joined each made a few turn(s) afterward. For the last run, I stretch the vertical to 19-meters by skiing through the mud and connecting to the next patch. I hiked the final 4-meter descent to the car and ended the evening watching fireworks … in some heavy rain at one point.


Looking down


“Bri7’s young daughter”


A sweating topless Bri7


MadPat skiing the steep line


“Friends at the daycare won’t believe me”


Dad


and daughter


Taken from the next snowpatch : Bri7 and the fast reducing continuous snowpatch

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Day’s log


July 5 snow in Tuckerman

THE DAY-AFTER JULY 4 : July 5 in Tuckerman Ravine

Tuckerman was down to baby Sluice and baby Chute. The Canadian snow was less than 5-minutes from the highway exit and required less than 40-minutes adventure from the car, ski and back versus the slow 3-hour plus hike and over 7-hour day in the US. Driving to the patch versus hiking. The hardest thing came down to the heat versus the hike. At least the wind and cool air kept the bugs away during the long hike day.


View of slide damage next to Hillman’s Highway


Little Headwall waterfall


Patriotic skiers observing what is left of Sluice with Riverc0il accessing the situation at the top


Riverc0il next to the severely undermined Sluice

The previous days heat and evening heavy rain wasn’t kind to the snow: Water was flowing over the rocks and into numerous streams. Although baby Sluice undermined our safe July attempts, the yellow arrow pointed to our safer salvation over to Baby Chute. The hike side-hill along the ravine over rocks, plants and running water was fairly sketchy. The only other danger was crashing and rolling over the boulders at the bottom like my skiing partner from July 2008. It would seem that someone wanted to cartwheel over the boulders again this year to say that he skied extra vertical.


Yellow Arrow pointing to our salvation


Baby Chute with someone earlier tracks


Migration towards Chute


Riverc0il hiking across the Bowl in ski boots


The Gathering


View of Sluice and the steep Tuckerman Ravine trail from skier’s vantage point

The patriotic group from our last July visit in 2011 joined The Snowway’s Riverc0il and MadPat to ski the 50feet vertical heart-shaped steep snow patch. Flag, Beer and BBQ were back, but no bikinis this July. It was more, I need to add a layer or two. We were offered beer and food, but we had to rush back down to be at Pinkham Notch at 4pm. We managed to make it on time and I got 4-5 runs in.


Still steep : no bikinis on this day


Riverc0il going for it


National Holiday in the US : someone got to ride with a flag


MadPat hoping mad


Patriotic ride


Riverc0il with BBQ in the background

Who won the match-up? The one that had the most fun. I know Riverc0il’s got the most turns in at 15. Most people did between 5-10 turns

The World Cup is over… in the East. It is time to hop on a plane if you want to continue this game into August!!! Or go find a patch of snow at the local arena. I’ll try to ski you in August!!!


Getting corny : One last run for the season or simply July?


The end


Food at the BBQ. An offer that we had to turn down


Farewell Patch with gathering on the left


Stopped to eat at a NEK institution : Miss Lyndonville Diner


One moment torrential rain…


followed by beautiful skies

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Day’s log

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Detailed skiing log

Riverc0il’s The Snowway post : Tuckerman Ravine: Because I Need To

MadPat’s Galleries:Mont Avila QC – 1er juillet 2014
Tuckerman Ravine NH – July 5, 2014

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