Posts Tagged ‘June’

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


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


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


MadPat’s turn

Wait for it


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


Log Detail

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Mont Aviwhat??? Avila. Là! Over there, not far from my last turns in May and current popular Waterpark at Mont St-Sauveur.

When everybody thought that Eastern “commercial (not free)” skiing was done with the closing of Killington on May 26 and that no Eastern ski areas snowpatches had survived the month of June; Voilà Avila!!!

Over the 96 months ski-streak (I’m including my Summer 2005 non-snow experience on sand and grass), I’ve had a variety of experiences, but none in the same category as this last one.

Plan A : Avila wasn’t it for June or July. There were many left over snow options in early June. I was initially hoping to get to repeat June turns at Killington for a first time since 1997, but the weather killed that plan and Killington hopes to spin into June.

Plan B : I heard about Beartooth Basin on the Wyoming/Montana border. The only Summer-only (just a few weeks really) ski area that I know of in North America that look to be all about the vibe. It was only 3100km from Ottawa and the worst part of it, it wasn’t out of the question due to the novelty of it. Although I loved my Timberline-Bachelor-Crystal-Rainier experience in 2012 or Mammoth in 2006 and 2010 experiences and wouldn’t mind returning in similar conditions: Ullr wasn’t as kind in these areas in 2013.

Plan C : Consistency of Tuckerman Ravine is always an option. Numerous June and July visits in 2007, 08, 09 and 11 proved it then Health concerns raised its ugly head again. The Plan was set and made: leaving Ottawa and picking up MTLRipper in Montreal then join Riverc0il and Snowmonster for a day at Tuck then I was struck down. All of a sudden I was at home battling side-effects on newly prescribed medication. I wasn’t necessarily worried about Tuckerman Ravine’s snow conditions, but more about my physical or mental state to tackle the long drive and hike in my current state.


So I was down to Plan D: Desperation.

The Akamp Camp had been a jibbing snowcamp that has been held on the lower slope of Mont Avila. This year was the 6th edition for the camp which was initially held in early July, but was moved to late June a couple of years ago.

The snow had been stockpiled in a huge mound in late April (when Avila closed) and covered with hay. I drove by Avila on one of my MayDay at MSS and witnessed the huge haystack.

Organized by Axis Boutique, this year’s camp was being extended to 5-days. They had 2x times more snow, some GoPro loaners and some real pros. They were hoping to get a lift tied in, but it wasn’t worth it financially. There had a few features, salt and a groomer smooth stuff up every morning.


30 juin 2013
No snow at Mont St-Sauveur, only waterslides.

30 juin 2013

Sunday June 30:

I hadn’t skied Avila since my university team days back in 1992 and wandered over from MSS in 1995 when Caroline and I skied MSS-Avila on the joint pass. Let’s just say it was a long time ago. Avila and Mont St-Sauveur share the ownership and ridge. This week the Mont St-Sauveur’s park was in wet liquid form while Avila had the frozen type going.

The camp was supposed to end around 5pm on Sunday. I showed up at 4pm to explore the site. I walked up along the park and taking pictures of the boarders and skiers going their stuff. After talking to a few people, I was informed that the camp was being extended an extra day on Monday, which was also happens to be Canada Day, due to the amount of snow left. They were charging a one day only price of $100/day for this weekend (I have no issue with that – a lot of work is involved to make this possible) versus $500 for the 5 days. The camp attracted about 50-60 people every day.

I explained my dilemma and asked if they had any objections if I made a few turns? One requirement was that the Patrol, the girl who had a “Parc Aquatique MSS First Aid” t-shirt packing her car and about to leave had to be present. Once she was gone, they wouldn’t let anyone ski. 😦 I rushed to see her and she asked if it was okay with her. “Sure, go ahead. I can wait”. At that moment, I ran to the car and grabbed my gear. Hiking fast to the top in my saddles and switching fast into my ski boots.

Standing at the top of the snow, they were 3 main options : the big jump, the small jump next to the pipe and handrail down the staircase. I skied between the jump and the staircase. The slope mellowed out towards the boxes and rails and was pretty dirty. Dirt and mud from the torrential rain on Friday probably didn’t help. I quickly hiked up after my first run and did it one more time. I was sucking wind at the top and needed water which was in the car. I grabbed my stuff and sandals and ski down calling it a day and a month. Only 15 minutes, but I didn’t want to push my good fortune with the organizers and patrol plus I was starving and needed a drink. I probably just missed Bri7 from Zoneski which I meet at MSS in May : he was going after his own summer turns a short time after I left.

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

30 juin 2013

June 30 Log


Monday July 1:

After spending time with friends and dealing with mandatory stuff in Montreal, I was back in the Mont St-Sauveur Valley for 3pm. The camp was charging $60 for this unplanned extra day. There were a few more people riding as I wasn’t as late as the previous day. The weather was a gray 21c again today with a smog alert over a large part of the province due to the forest fires in the Northern Quebec.

Localized on the end of the slight pitch on the Piedmont trail, the vertical was 28-30 meters, not much less than Tuckerman in July and nowhere as steep. However the length of the “snowfield” was longer.

I got a green light from Max to make a some turns again today and park next to the few cars at the small plateau at the bottom of the park. I thanked him and made a financially contribution to the camp. I had water this time and less hurried. I enjoyed looking at the jibbers due their stuff. People generally did the jumps at the top and didn’t bother getting to the dirty snow and rails at the bottom unless they were heading for a break at the bottom. I did one last run after the last boarder left and skied off the snow all the way to the car 30 feet away. Max gave me a nice cold Molson Canadian!!! It was Canada Day after all.

1 juillet 2013
July View from the Avila parking lot

1 juillet 2013
Parking spot

1 juillet 2013

1 juillet 2013
Last run

1 juillet 2013
Happy Canada Day and July Turns Beer

July 1 Log

2 runs in less than 15 minutes (including walk from the parking lot and putting my ski boots at the top) for a total combine vertical of 52 meters in June and 6 runs in under 1 hour with a whopping 159 meters in July. Some may ask if this was the craziest/pathetic month of my ski streak? Not sure? I’ve skied only one run on the ski trail has flat as a road in the pouring rain in Pucon, Chile in August 2008. I flew to ski WROD in Colorado in October back in 2007. Climbing to Tuckerman Ravine in the rain in July 2007. What do you call that crazy drive through Hurricane Sandy to ski powder in West Virginia last October? One thing for sure, it was the easiest accessible summer snow I’ve ever skied.

Now I need to book an appointment to get my brain examined. QUICK where are my meds???

Psycho Therapy – The Ramones
Posted by LiebermannRamone3

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mont Avila QC – 30 juin / 1 juillet 2013

Monday Mad Addict’s Attic:
Mont Avila, circa 1980
The trail named have changed (Piedmont on the old map isn’t the same). The park was next to chairlift A.

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Middle of June and thinking about possible turns for the month and July. I had skipped a few occasions on heading to the Presidential due to certain obligations.

Being an abnormal snow year in the East, skiing was getting from pathetic to impossible real fast. From the reports I’ve seen from Tuckerman, mid-June turns looked more like July.

I wasn’t sure that Tuckerman July turns would be possible. I had a few ideas in mind for July snow, but they were more pathetic than the next. Would it really be skiing? As I started thinking outside the box I received an email from Mr. Bestsnow.net mentioning that PNW had another incredible year and looked like Mt. Bachelor might reopen for the June/July 1 weekend. He informed that it was good enough for him to consider flying there. I knew the season had been good and was aware that Crystal was still spinning on weekends as long as it was possible. Then there was Timberline on Mt. Hood and the mountains in the Cascade that would still have snow.

I had mentioned before that a trip only to freeski on timberline wasn’t necessarily worth the expenses, especially that I have skied there a couple of days once back in August / September 2006 as part of our excellent two weeks family vacation exploring the PNW. As I started thinking of the possibility and the fact that my season really sucked, I thought to myself, if I can get an airline ticket, I would go.


June 27:

Getting out of the heat and riding the train to the Ottawa airport with skis; sense of déjà vu from last summer in Europe. Standing next to me at the Air Canada counter is an ex-CEO from a place I worked, he seemed to look at me as if he recognized me, wondering WTF was I going with my skis in June and why I’m not at work? I’m leaving on a trip away from work, what he is going here? As I’m charged 56$ for my regular bag plus my ski bag. I remember not long ago when you would even have to pay and they gave you more than pretzels to eat on the plane. Not on this 5-hour flight to Vancouver.

Another familiar face with ski boots is a local ski coach from another hill which my daughter trained with them one day in 2011. Ryan was now coach with the regional ski team and was heading on an earlier flight than the rest of the team to Mt. Hood. The team, amongst the best local racers, which Morgane competes against, were heading to Mt. Hood for 2 weeks of training. In September the team is going to train in Chile. Pretty much year-round training on and off snow. We had time to chat between flight to Vancouver and Portland, Oregon.

As in 2006, a spectacular view on the Dash 8 flight from Vancouver to Portland which included Seattle, Mts Rainier and St. Helens. As headed down to Portland, we could see Mt. Hood in the distance in the clear blue sky.

Back when I was with the family in 2006, I didn’t get to spend much time in Portland. Once I checked at the downtown Motel 6, which happens to be across the street from the hotel we stayed in 2006, I hope on the light rail system at around 9pm, which is free in the downtown core. Walked around for a few hours, went to biggest new and used Powell Book store I’ve never been to. Back to my room at past midnight which happens to be 3am in the East. It’s going to be a short night, especially that the lifts at Timberline open at 7am. Lift closed at 2pm, but I needed to be back in town at 3pm, so I would have to stop skiing before that.

Flying into Vancouver BC

Mount Rainier

Mounts St. Helens and Adams

Mount Hood

Portland at night

Record store


June 28:

I think the wake-up call was at 5:45am. It took me a while to get out of bed, of the room and on-the-road. No time for breakfast on the road as I’m racing towards the mountain. In the parking lot, I saw some people when skinning and hiking. I was debating what I was going to wear for way too long. It doesn’t matter, the scenery is beautiful. A quick special breakfast bagel at the Wy’ay Lodge cafeteria. Got my $58 liftticket as it was they were making my breakfast. Eat it as I was hiking through the lot in front of the Timberline Lodge and slowly sliding towards to massive line for the Magic Mile chair.

The morning commute

Morning Liftline chaos 1 : Magic Mile

View from Magic Mile

View from Magic Mile with Palmer in-sight. Courses below Palmer instead of snow tongues surrounded by moraines

As I was walking in the lot, buses of kids were still arriving. However these kids were jibbers, not racers. Snow coverage was wall to wall at the bottom slopes above the hotel. As I got on the lift at 9:30 am, I was somewhat surprised as the lower mountain below the Palmer midstation was a series of moraine walled snow tongues the last time I skied here in late Summer 2006. The sun was hot and snow was soft. The lineup at Palmer was slightly better.

Morning Liftline chaos 2 : Palmer. With Mt. Jefferson in the background

Liftline chaos 3 : Palmer Mid-Station

Mt. Hood is definitely summer skiing central. There was a queue also at the midstation, full of race kids and a few bigger racers like Ted Ligety. Each team was assigned a line on the hill, similar as the busy summer ski camp I saw in the Alps last summer. Some teams trained on upper Palmer, left or right of the lift. Some were also on the lower half of Palmer or along the Magic Mile.

Lane distribution – NCO team has lane 17

Courses on Upper Palmer

Ted Ligety is a popular guy

I mixed it up, either by making full runs of Palmer or riding the upper part of the snow field. There were a few lines I could ski, but it was limited within the boundaries. There were 40 lanes reserved on the hill. The snow below Palmer towards was the Magic soft mile, in term of snow and slope. As noon approached, lineups to the lifts disappeared as coaches were unsetting the courses and racers made their last free runs before non-skiing afternoon activities.

Funky clouds on Mt. Hood as seen from Lower Palmer

Notice the dots as across the snowfield

Snowpark served by rope-tows below the midstation on Palmer was still pretty busy. Chatted again with the local coaches as they were packing up for their first day. I was also needed to get ready to leave, I was picking up Tony at the Portland Airport at 3pm. In 3 hours of skiing, I managed 7 runs. The morning started off bluebird with a hanging cloud on the summit of Mt. Hood, however it started to get overcast on my last runs. Weather was moving in for the weekend, forecast called for rain.

Clouds moving in

Timberline Lodge

So to Portland and back pass Mt. Hood on our 3-hour drive to Central Oregon and the town of Bend. Tomorrow is Friday June 29 and Mt. Bachelor is reopening one last weekend. The plan is to come back to Mt. Hood and Timberland Lodge on our last evening in the PNW on the following Monday.

Driving to Bend

MadPat’s Galleries
YOW to PDX / Portland : June 27
Portland, Timberline / Mt. Hood, Bend : June 28

Log: Notice the wait time at the lifts

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Stoked : June turns and … Birthday turns. Yeah!!!!

Skiing on my birthday. What a beautiful day. A quiet weekday. I did a day trip alone from Montreal that day.

My friend wanted to make me some crepes for my birthday and asked if I could stop over at a crazy early time in Montreal. She wouldn’t join me this time. I was 4 “S” = super stoked to Ski Superstar with the Rossi 4S skis.

My last June turns: 10 days ago on Superstar. Last birthday turns: 1988 on Horstman Glacier.

One thing both days have in common is that it rained both times. Today is totally the opposite, bright sunny bluebird day. A beautiful quiet midweek mid-June sunny ski day.

Not many car in the parking lot, people were parked on the side of the road next to the Superstar Quad. Continuous skiing, corn and bumps was the menu of the day. There was only a short walk involved at the top and to bottom to the snow or on the lift.

At the end of the day as I was getting my boots off, I chatted with a fellow skier, all of a wonderful June day. He gave me a beer and we raised a toast to a memorable day. What a day. All I can say, it was one of my best birthday ever.

At Day 34, this was going to be my last day of 1991-92 season. Kiilington would close on the coming Sunday, June 14; the longest season in the East with a start October 21, and you have to go back to 1983-84 to find a longer and latest end of the season.

A very green Skye and Killington Peaks from Rams Head parking lot. The only snow is on Superstar and a very small patch on Ovation. There wasn’t any snow on the trails on the left of Superstar (picture not posted).

Almost there, just a few more feet.

Need to carry your skis in the chairlift.

Just a short walk at the top of the Headwall.

Wow, Superstar. What amazing condition. No walking required except on and off the lift.

Just before the bottom pitch. Notice the number of cars parked at the bottom. It was a weekday in mid-june after all.

Bottom part of Superstar and end of the snow. Funny how much snow melted in 10 days.

Afterday beer from fellow hardcore skier. No T-shirt, but I got the lift ticket.

MadPat’s Gallery:
Killington, June 11, 1992

Pictures and describing text has been initially posted as part of the “Killington mostly June 11, 1992 pics” thread on Sat Jun 28, 2003 10:34 pm on firsttracksonline Link to images have long been broken

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Killington made it!!! I made it, first time skiing in June, with the exception of that BC trip in June 1988.

After 3 seasons of falling short, Killington managed to make it to June 1st for the first time since 1988, the last season late Spring operation on Killington Peak. This marked first time since they moved Spring operation onto the “new” Superstar trail in 1989 that Killington made it to June.

June has always been a special time of the year since I was a young kid. June = end of school year, beginning over Summer Holidays and MadPat’s birthday. Skiing in June has always been specially special. 😀 Did it at Blackcomb in 1988 and now finally in the East in 1992. I had hoped to make it in 1984 one week after my first ever trip down to Killington at 18, however I couldn’t find skiing partners to share the 3 hour drive with me. Same thing happened in 1985 when we skied less than one week from June, but main skiing partner was starting a summer job and the skiing in late May 1985 had been at the pathetic level. Over the years I found out that you couldn’t wait after someone else, not going wasn’t an option simply because you wouldn’t find anyone else crazy enough to join you skiing in June…this applies to anything else from skiing, traveling, concerts to movies. I didn’t have anyone to ski with me in June again, but that wasn’t going to stop me. However I didn’t up going alone, another fellow grad student would join me on this Day trip. Caroline had grown up in the Alps and was curious on June skiing in Vermont. Her year in Canada was almost over and accepted the invitation. Caroline and I had skied together once in April at Tremblant, but this time she would bring her stuff to work in the lodge.


It was a pretty gray, foggy and wet day this June 1 at Killington. Although it was Monday, it didn’t stop from showing up. I wanted to register for the June 1 Fun Slalom, however it was open to the first 200 participants to register. I was too late, I’ll know next time to leave super early. Although the skiing was free, you still had to get your lift ticket at the ski shop. The ski shop was also handing out free plastic bag for the rain. Today was definitely a totally different day from that bring warm sunny day over one week ago. It was pretty crowded with a Monday in the rain, regardless of the free skiing. In the middle of Superstar, there was the June Fun Slalom course on skier right. Looked like fun. The skiing was still top-to-bottom without removing, definitely better coverage than the previous late May years on Superstar. Although my face was wet, I still had a wide smile on my face. Looks like they can still spin at least another week…so there is hope that I get to bag myself birthday turns in 1992.

As I was taking the scenic route though Vermont back to Canada on the way home and listening Caroline’s cassettes, the sun started coming out. What a beautiful day.

Taken from one of Caroline’s cassettes:

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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?…..







“Where’s waldo” skier picture?…


beautiful scenery?….




pat (i love this picture)

(foggy) K_C

steep K_C


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!

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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It’s not over… \:D/

After a postponed trip last weekend due to the high probability of heavy rain, I was hoping this week would be better. Forecast for this weekend was rain on Saturday, 40% chance of rain on Sunday. Showers in the morning + in the late afternoon. Yikes!!! 😕 We were going to roll the dice.

A few weeks ago I was hoping to hit the snowfields and/or Great Gulf once the autoroad opened, I had never done this, unfortunately snow was rare on top in June 07. After last week canceled trip and based on some valued info, reports and comments that was given to me, I decided that the only way to get some meaningful turns to be had was in Tucks.

I left Ottawa on late Saturday afternoon. Two hours later, I picked up my friend SuperNat in Montreal which had finally decided to join me on this trip after a few flip flops. “When do you get a chance to ski in June?” she asked herself. Another 90 minutes and we were at US Customs, to our surprise, the border guard didn’t seem surprised when we mentioned that we planned to hike AND ski at Mount Washington. His answer was “Going to ski the Headwall, are you?” I guess that this man knew the attraction of this place called Tuckerman Ravine. 😯

It was getting dark and as we were driving on I-91 toward St.Johnsbury, we saw a U.R.A. (Unidentified Running Animal). It was definitely not a deer, probably not a Moose either. It seemed big and dark and ran across the Interstate, it ran like a cat? Was it a bear, we were even speculating that it might have been a Mountain Lion? We’ll never know for sure. It was foggy and once we got off the Interstate, it started to rain. This time we really saw a Moose up close on Highway 2. We arrived at the Motel in Gorham just before 11pm.


Forecast still called for showers after 2pm, regardless, we didn’t start hiking up until 9:25am. It was hard to determine what to put in the backpack clothes wise, I ended up bringing too much. No fleece, jacket or extra shirt needed, but you never know. As we started hiking up, the temps might have been around 60F at Pinkham Notch. It was muggy, it was the latest I’ve ever hike the Tuckerman Ravine Trail with skis and boots on my back. Let’s say that he weren’t setting record pace as we got passed by 2 groups of skiers (total 4-5, I believe). We arrived at Hermit Lake, we took 30-40 minutes break to eat. The temps here was 61F. At this point, we could clearly see that this was late in the season. A tiny patch in Hillman Highway (a few feet at the most), all the surrounding was very green where trees were. The Bowl, a collection of discontinued patches except a right diagonal toward Sluice.

HoJo’s and Hillman

A greener scenery of the shelter where I stayed in late May 1990

There is a little snow left in the Bowl


One of the few pictures taken of the steep steps

It took us an extra 50 minutes to get to the Bowl, I had time to take a few pictures of the steep steps up the trail as I was faster than SuperNat. The playground was getting clearer as we got closer. Nothing really left in Left Gully, a tiny crevasse patch at the bottom of Chute with no runout. The snow in the Bowl was fairly low and the only place to ski (safe and smart place) was up along Lunch Rocks. The only skiers and boarders were the ones that passed us during the hike. All of them had finished their day as we hiking up the slope at 1:20pm. I measured my first run from the top of the snow and not the Bowl all the way to the trailhead, as being 130 meters in vertical (427 feet). The slope was up to 37 degrees. The hike up took me approx. 20 minutes. As we hiked up, we could clearly hear the water rushing under the snow at the level of the waterfall. You could get a real good view of the Bowl and the crevasses and waterfall from this point of view. I took a few pics as I was waiting for Natalie to make it to the top.

Little snow left in Left

Destination June turns

Slightly below the top part, the snow was narrower and you didn’t want to get close to skier right as a huge hole was running across the cliff. After that it was the area was fairly wide open. As I got at the bottom, I started heading up again, as for Natalie, she was calling it a day. She had fun, but we had a rough week behind and ahead for her, so she didn’t want to over do it. Oh yeah, the run took about one minute, but it was fun!!! 😛 After my second run, I decide to take a breather and eat part of my lunch. Instead of leaving right away, especially that dark clouds were moving in, I decided that I had to return to the top for one last run. The snow was soft, but not too soft. The top of the snow was undermined on the edge with a tiny hole (10″ across) in the narrowness part maybe 30 feet from the top.


Looking down

View from the top looking down

MadPat’s last run somewhere on the snow

Picture courtesy of Martin S.
Picture courtesy of Martin S : Last run for MadPat with Supernat looking on

I had never seen Tuckerman Ravine with so few people, maybe 5-10 hikers made up this way during the 2 hours we were up there. I saw one person climbing up Lunch Rocks to eventually cut across the top of the snow to make to the rest of the Tuckerman Ravine hiking trail. We left the Bowl at 3:30pm and eventually left Hermit Lake at 5pm. The hike down was hard and definitely notice that I need a better system with my skis. The tail of my skis kept hitting my legs, which was extremely annoying to say the lest. I don’t think that this old backpack was conceived to carry skis, even if there are some side straps. The ski are too low and I had to readjust my skis on my pack 3 times in the 2 hour hike down. Oh yeah, the rain never happened and the sky was blue bird. We got at the bottom slightly before 7pm, I spent the best $1 I even did, I took a shower at Pinkham Notch. Then we headed back for the looong drive to Montreal with a stop for some delicious Pizza at House of Pizza in Lancaster. Finally made it to Natalie house at 1am, Natalie wished me happy birthday and I was then off to Ottawa. I eventually got to bed at 3am, happy of a beautiful day of skiing.

Data log

Zoom of the Data Log.
Vertical lines every hour starting at 13:00 to 16:00
Horizontal lines every 50 meters from 1300m to 1500m

Suunto data info:
Hiking and skiing: 9h26
Ascent/Descent: 1077m (3533ft)
Skiing: 3 runs from 360m (1181ft)
Hiking up to ski: 70 minutes
Skiing: maybe up to 3 minutes

My mom would say that we are CRAZY!!! :mrgreen: But it was way better than staying home and cleaning the house.

No regrets, this trip was definitely worth it. 8)

Lancaster NH

PS. Sorry Natalie and I took many pictures, but none of us have digital cameras. 😮 Maybe I’ll scan and post the best pics in a few weeks***.

***edit: pictures took 5 years to be posted online, they were posted on June 10, 2012.

MadPat’s Gallery:
Tuckerman Ravine – June 10, 2007

Text originally published on Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:16 am on firsttracksonline

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