Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Patchskiing’


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

Read Full Post »


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

((*
*))
((*

“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

20140701_avila
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

20140705_tr
Day’s log

20140705_tr_detail
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

Read Full Post »

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

stowe_rd_20140601

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

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

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


No snow on Madonna


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

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

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


Toll Road and the green runs


Snow…that we didn’t ski

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


Nosedive : Patch One of Four


Patches Two and Three

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

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


MTL_Ripper getting started on Nosedive


Nice background view of Spruce and Madonna


VT_Ski and the Notch


MTL_Ripper milking with VT_Ski looking on


“Let’s do this again”


VT_Ski going some snow maintenance


Threading the line


The last meter

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

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


Lower Sunrise


MTL_Ripper heading for the Upper Sunrise 1 & 0.5 patches


VT_Ski on Sunrise with Toll Road in the background


The edge still had 2-3 Feet depth


VT_Ski trying to extend the snow patch


MTL_Ripper


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


VT_Ski raising corn with MadPat looking on


Bluebird


MadPat’s turn


Wait for it


Straying


Adding a few extra meters


Last tracks from white to green

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

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


Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe


MadPat loves old skis


MTL_Ripper’s old board

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


The Last Patch


Stowe Gondola side and Mt.Mansfield

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

20140601_stw
Log

20140601_stw_d
Log Detail

Read Full Post »

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.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

MadPat and July Snow leftovers
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Skiable snow with snowcrazy

Main attraction
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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:
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Madpat setting to crank
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Party atmosphere
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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…

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Riverc0il Stepping up

Traversing the top and ready to drop
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Sun came out.
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Where is snowmonster?
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Riverc0il had a good day
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

FOURTH of July weekend
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Calling a day, calling it a month
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Thanks for reading…until next time
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: