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Posts Tagged ‘Hard Pack’

Hard luck Spring Break.

Bad luck curse for Spring Breaks due to injuries and weather seemed to continue again this March. The week started with two girls and one dad being sick then it rained on Tuesday. I was hoping to make to the Saguenay for the first time, however the fact that we had to be back in town on Friday night made the possibility of this trip less likely.

Our departure for Spring Break finally took place on Thursday morning. The trip was now a combo MRG-Sutton, however after it was decided we were going to leave on Thursday morning, we opted to start it off at Sutton. I wanted Morgane on her new non-race skis for MRG, however I needed to pick them up at Stowe. It made for a morning travel from Ottawa, pickup, mounting skis then skiing unlikely. The decision was to head straight for shorter drive to Sutton and let her use of race skis. Mont Sutton and Edelweiss (MSSI) no longer had an agreement on deals with season passes, so we ended up paying full price … for a Half-day pass. Tara had a free lift ticket with her Grade 5 passport.


Chalet

It was a very late start and Morgane wasn’t fast: Tara and Caroline did one run on the beginner chair. I remember as a young kid, we used to ride that T-bar on that liftline and ski solo. The chair goes slightly higher than the old T-bar. Once they were done we all headed towards the HQS Chair II.

Trying to find a compromise for first run; we skied down l’Alouette. There was a new layer of loose powder on the hard frozen base. For the second run, we skied towards Chair IV and the upper mountain via the steeper Youppe-Youppe. This run used to be one of my favorite’s when I was 7 back in Winter 1973. Everything off the run was really rough snow, ice, grass and ungroomed covered with a nice 15cm of light layer, so it didn’t take long to figure out it was not necessarily the day to explore.


Alouette


Old wooden liftline maze at bottom of Chair II


Youppe-Youppe

Next descente was down on Miracle-Emotion(?) to Chair VII. It was mixed illusion and emotion as they was untracked snow. I could also see Morgane grining as her knees were really hurting. You could see she was in pain, but she wanted to continue to ski. As we were skiing down a nice final untracked pitch, we realized that the base wasn’t as nice and Morgane did some damage on her race skis. The rough surface made my teeth fillings hurt. After that run, both girls wanted a break for food, from the cold, frozen feet and for Morgane’s knees. It was about -10c, but it was humid: it was probably the coldest temperatures we had skied in over 3 weeks. Although we started skiing really late and barely skied 60 minutes, we went in the Chalet 840 at the top at altitude 840 meters. This is a part of Sutton I enjoy: the rustic feel of the on-mountain chalets.


Traverse towards VII


Steeper pitch


Hurting knees and no base under soft layer


Emotion pitch above VII


Rough conditions : Triple-diamonds aren’t open

Sutton has some real fun terrain, but with the hidden hazards buried, we opted for skiing Dynamique straight under Chair IV. There were so nice pockets of powder, no surprise underneath, although the base was hard and icy.

Trying to keep everyone happy, we skied down the long Alleghanys, one of the classic Eastern Townships trails that starts at the top and runs along the Mont Sutton ridge across the top of the whole ski area to finally dropped into the mellower Chair I sector. Tara and I skied the “marginal conditions” conclusion of Alleghanys while Morgane and Caroline better covered trails – this is why we needed to pick up her non-race skis. Signals got mixed and Tara and I skied one more run on Lift I before ending back to the Main Chalet for an urgent restroom break.


Chalet 840


Light powder


Dynamique


Main Chalet


Happy after a day of skiing

It was a short day, but not if you count the long drive. It was a nice little powder day, unfortunately what was underneath wasn’t. After our day skiing, we drove across the border at Richford VT to eventually eat supper in Stowe. Tomorrow, we ski Mad River Glen.


Northern Vermont driving


Stowe food

20130314_sutton

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Sutton – March 14, 2013

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Ontario Spring Break was here and I had taken the week off. After one day family ski day St.Bruno (near Montreal) where we initiated Tara (2.5 yrs old) to the great sport of skiing, Tuesday was Parents’ Day.

We left our kids with Grand’ma in Montreal and treated ourselves with a beautiful day of skiing at Stowe, one of our favorites ski areas in the East.

Focus: Spruce ….

I wanted to return to Stowe and ski Spruce Peak before that whole area got “improved” 😡 next year with the removal of the old double and added snowmaking. Unfortunately, I always overlooked this part of Stowe because of the lack of expert runs. Yes, the lift was slow, but the conditions were well worth the wait. Whirlaway is fun and twisted, great coverage with minimal rocks and branches. Smugglers was also great. He did repeat those runs a few times.


Spruce Chair


Spruce Chair


Smuggs from top of Spruce

Mansfield:

After the great skiing off the old double, we took the gondola and headed for the gondola. Chin Clip was a huge disappointment, conditions were hardpacked and wind-blown, a far cry from the fun stuff at Spruce. Most runs were (or looked) windblown and icy. We didn’t stay here for long, it’s was getting late.

What’s next? Goat, Starr?

Although there are many runs that I love at Stowe, the other focus of the trip was to ski the Bruce trail. We started skiing down it sometimes past 3pm. What a great run, long and narrow with a few drops. Conditions were better than Spruce (virtually no rocks and branches, only a few bare spots at the end (before the cross-country center)). The snow had more of a Spring texture to it. We had to push and climb for a while before we were able to get back to the “resort”. 4:03PM – Finally made it to the Toll Road chair (or whatever it’s called). “Sorry, we are closed, the liftee told us” 😥 We finally had to hop on the shuttle to get back to the lot.

A great day. Best conditions skied: Spruce and Bruce.

Next day destination: Mad River Glen.


Bottom of Spruce and Mansfield


Nosedive


Bruce Trail

MadPat’s Stowe – March 2005 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:40 pm on firsttracksonline

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Super Bowl Super Sunday at Whiteface, skiing for $25, I couldn’t miss that. Parking lot were very very full, however I don’t know where the people were, the liftlines were reasonable. The longest we waited was maybe 5 minutes at around 11am, after that, it was more like 1-3 minutes waits. 😮

Like the other reports of this weekend, it’s was warm, it felt more like April 6th in temperature and snow cover. 8)

With this in mind, conditions were great for an April day, Upper Skyward had loose granular that bumped up nicely as the day went by. The other option off the Summit was Paron’s Run (didn’t ski Follies) was also bumped up by 1PM. The whole upper mountain was soft and fun to ski. 😀

Conditions were similar on Little Whiteface (Wilderness, Mountain Run, Thruway), however there were more icy spots. 😕

Essex on Little Whiteface remained hard and icy all day. Now for the negative, IT WAS FEBRUARY, not April and the snow coverage was thin in some spots and a few bare patches could be found, edge of trails might have hidden branches or rocks as I found out on Upper Skyward. 😡

Sheets of blue ice could be found on the flatter places on the mountain, some trails will probably never open this year unless it’s starts snowing now and we get a few BIG dumps. Trails like Northway, Empire (LW) and Cloudspin were virtual bare of any coverage. The Slides??? Forget about the Slides, unless Winter comes back in a very big way. 😦

Next Super Sunday is March 6th??? Hopefully Winter comes back with snow. 🙄

Originally posted on Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:28 pm on firsttracksonline

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