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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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Don’t Panic…Breath deeply and everything is going to be all right.

Crazy about skiing? Don’t Panic!!! TGT (Tuckerman Group Therapy) is here to help.

This long weekend wasn’t for the people that we’re afraid of crowds.

Canada Day in Ottawa with Will and Kate show joining the celebrations. It’s generally crazy on this day without the young Royalty. I left Ottawa as I was hearing talk of 500,000 people near Parliament Hill.

Let’s go skiing!!!

I found an amazing picture of the crowd on the hill, but I didn’t get the permission to use it. So you’ll have to imagine a bunch of people elbow to elbow in red and white clothes.
From CBC News

An estimated 300,000 people, many of whom began gathering on the Hill in Ottawa hours before the ceremonies’ post-noon start, were in the downtown core of the city as well as on Parliament Hill as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continued the second day of their nine-day tour of Canada.

So off I went driving toward the border with two pairs of skis. Before leaving I was examining my ski edges. Found the skis I had last month a bit long, especially if I need to make tight turns. The old B1s were the right length, but there were all beaten up. I settled for my old slalom Atomic SL11 race skis as a second pair. I was somewhat concern as I still have good edges on them and didn’t want to risk hurting them on this day. Arrived at the Snowway’s Home Office at 10pm without any hasssle by US Customs. A couple of fireworks popping in the night keep me from having a great sleep.

Riverc0il wanted to get at trailhead earlier than last month, but also didn’t to set an alarm. It resulted in only a 15 minutes head start over last month, however this time we ended in the auxiliary parking lot. Snowcrazy from T4T showed up about one minute later. Never meet him, but who else would ski in July right? We know that ChickWhoRips and her friend Ron were also probably heading of us for July turns. As we started up the trail, there was a large group of skiers/boarders geared up for 4th of July celebration turns. Oh my, it’s going that snowpatch is going crowded like Parliament Hill. Don’t Panic!!!

MadPat walking toward the main lot and trailhead. Did I forget something? I forgot my gloves, windbreaker and camera in Ottawa. I want to thank The Snowway of the used of the pictures.

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As the crowd of hikers and skiers headed up the Tuckerman Ravne Trail. At one point, there was a traffic jam on the trail. A Moose was right next to us. Eventually it moved away and we continued up. This was my 4th time up for July turns, it was by far the busiest…and not only the hottest. Water supplies was starting to be a concern. Forecast was calling for 80F in the Valley. The good news was that there was no bugs.

Trail jam.
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The gang of skiers/boarders cold off and took a dive at the 2nd bridge. We continued on. Many people were at Hojo, we took a small break and continued on. Some of the group arrived at the same time as us. ChickwhoRips and Ron decided to leave before the circus rolled onto Lunch Rocks. They managed 3 runs before the crowds showed up. Snowcrazy was attacking small patches like a snow crazy guy would do. Going after the small leftover under Chute then the Headwall. Three turns max on Headwall.

Getting closer to the answer.
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MadPat and July Snow leftovers
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Skiable snow with snowcrazy

Main attraction
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Ron was making turns before people started arriving en masse, but it didn’t stop the unlookers from taking pictures or video (found this Youtube by Conniedoe):

Decided to hike the Tuckerman’s Ravine trail to the top of Mt Washington on July 2, 2011. While hiking up I passed a woman with skis on her back and asked her which event she was training for – she laughed at me, saying how she was just a crazy ski-person, wanting to ski in July. I told her I was jealous and continued on my hike, surprised there was anything left to afford a ski-run. Later, while hiking up along the bowl I saw both her and her man-friend (Husband? Boyfriend? Buddy?) climbing to the top of the short run. A couple minutes later they came down in front of a crowd of cheering hikers. Every year, the things I find while hiking this mountain continue to surprise me. I can’t wait for more!

Yep, that reflect the thoughts that people were having.

The Tuckerman Ravine Trail towards the summit was open and many hikers were amazed to find snow, let alone people willing to ski it. Skiing the longest and steepest snow left in US east of Colorado.

Riverc0il and I booted up on top of the snow. It was tricking crossing over the stream and rocks in ski boots. Riverc0il forgot his helmet and hasn’t skied without a helmet in numerous years…Don’t Panic!!! I, on the hand, had a helmet today. We had to hike up onto the snow. Few skiers were there at one time. The snow got whiter with every runs. Although there were only 2-3 skiers/boarders making, waiting or hiking for turns – there were enough of us to keep the tourists happy. I feel like I was in a zoo or in a circus with all these people taking pictures of us. Many of the group took turns just enjoying this beautiful day and cooking some food. A real 4th of July BBQ with flags and red, white and blue.

Hiking up onto the snow:
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Madpat setting to crank
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Party atmosphere
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River and I continued are turns. Runs were approximately 138 vertical feet or about 40 at 40 degree in metric with less place for error. I had finally chosen my slalom skis for this day. They were heavy and I couldn’t tie them to across my backpack due to their width and thickness, so I had to carry them in an A frame. At 157cm length, it wasn’t a problem, however they were heavier than most of my longer skis.

One traverse and turn at the top of the patch and you could already crank them. YEAH!!!!! We repeated this a few times. As the hours passed, we didn’t want to give up. Some shirt started coming off and girls were going down in bikini tops. A snowboarder chick noticed that small moguls were forming with all the runs and awesome carving we were going. Some from that party crossed under the snowpatch and traversed next to the waterfall (I would have Panic…you don’t know when this is going to crash down), throwing snow balls. I tried climbing the trail in ski boots like most people, but it was way easier to bootpack on the snow even if it was frozen solid at some places. It funny, at one point someone asked if it was okay to take a picture of me. After my run, I realized that the person looked familiar. Back at the top I asked him where he was from? He responded Ottawa. Turns out this person raced Masters with us a few years ago. Everything is somewhat connected and it’s coming together. But I still looking for an answer.

Solid turns being made today:

Cranking…

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Riverc0il Stepping up

Traversing the top and ready to drop
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Sun came out.
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Where is snowmonster?
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Riverc0il had a good day
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After my 4th run, I was about to stop. The hell with it, this is too much fun. One last run until…next times in August? 😉 Another great run, what a wonderful day. An extra last turn on the edge of the snow 10 feet above a drop to the rocks which made THAT run exactly “42” vertical meters.

42 meters…that was ‘it’ all the time. It was right there. 42 meters of snow. RELAX, there was no need to Panic. That was the answer after all…


The Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything is … 42!!!

Last run baby!!! FORTY-TWO METERS
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FOURTH of July weekend
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Calling a day, calling it a month
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Thanks for reading…until next time
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Thanks again to Riverc0il from The Snowway for his hospitality and pictures.

Read his TR: Tuckerman Ravine: Because It’s Still There

Snowcrazy’s TR on Time for Tuckerman: Tux wrapup! 7/2/11

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