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Posts Tagged ‘Powder’


Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot

Everybody’s talking ’bout the stormy weather
And what’s a man do to but work out whether it’s true?
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Time to get it
Before you let it
Get to you

Everybody’s coming from the winter vacation
Looking for a ride to your secret location
It better work out
I hope it works out my way
‘Cause it’s getting kind of quiet in my city’s head
Takes a teen age riot to get me out of bed right now

Lionel, Powderfreak, JoshFox and all the others were talking about the upcoming stormy weather. The finally long awaited storm for the snow starved Northeast mountains.
Is it true or will everyone be disappointed again?
Looking at a map and trying to figure out where it will hit and where I can go?
I can’t choke now on a trip to Vermont.

Got to Mad River Glen and everyone was there.
Looking to ride in a secret location.
Not the smartest thing to do when you’re solo and run into trouble.
Trying to get my head quiet from my problems.
Still a challenge to get out of the bed right now!!!

((*
*))
((*

So I finally managed to motivate myself to get out-of-town and drive to Vermont. It looked like a serious storm was going to hit on Valentine’s Day and I started dreaming about the last Valentine’s Day storm back in 2007. I only had a 24hr window as I had to be back to Edelweiss for 7am on Saturday morning. I hadn’t made my decision on where to ski, so the 5-hour drive made me contemplate my choices. Initially the storm epicentre had a southern track of Southern Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine into the Gaspé Peninsula. Saddleback seemed like an excellent choice at first, however the logistics and time didn’t really make it feasible. I still hadn’t use my Foxcard vouchers, so I focused on Burke, Cannon, Smuggs or Mad River Glen. The shorter drive back made me narrow in on Smuggs and Mad.


Next morning

Arrived at the Skiing Youth couple’s home (aka FISHQ) in Stowe at 11pm Thursday night. White knuckle driving south of St-Jean; snow-covered highway, blowing winds and snow drift on the road. The drive between Burlington and Stowe was easier and found the place to crash by memory. Everyone was sleeping as they had set the alarm for dawn patrol before heading to work. I got up, but return on the couch and fell asleep, woke up late and ran out of the house to drive to Mad.


Squeezed in the upper lot

It was a snowy drive to General Stark mountain with the odd car and truck in the ditch on Highway 17. As I got closer; people were parked along the highway. I had to drive up to the small upper lot above the Practice Slope where I managed to shove my car as the main parking lot was full. I heard that a short time after an 18-wheeler jacked-knife and blocked the highway. One poor snowboarder had driven over the mountain pass to go to Sugarbush, but couldn’t make it further than MadRiverGlen.


Mad River Glen Video Snow Report 2 14 2014

Got ready at the car and proceeded to ski down a powder covered Practice Slope. The sight at the top of the final pitch made me stop in my “fresh” tracks: HOLY MASSES!!! I don’t recall ever seeing so many people at Mad River? I skied down to get my lift ticket and opted for a quick lap on the Practice Slope again.


Holy Masses!!!

Where did these people come from? I had never seen so many people at Mad.
a) People starved for a storm?
b) Valentine’s Day special with $14 for kissing couples?
c) Snowday at local schools?
d) Ramp skis demo day?
e) 50% off tickets for Ski The Point day people?
f) It was Friday?
g) Friday before a Holiday weekend?
h) Friday before one week school break in Mass?
i) All of the above!!!


Sunnyside double

Both liftlines were long, so I opted to ride the Sunnyside double first. I waited 18 minutes to ride the 1400′ vertical double. I missed skiing off the double which resulted on a descent via Partridge and Slalom Hill. The sign at the top was correct…the new snow-covered a firm base amongst other things.

Sunnyside sign:

(Soooo very) Firm Base ! – Under Fluff
Rocks – Ice + Thin Cover in Spots – But …..
MOSTLY POW!!!
What’s the Point (of not being happy today?)


Deserted Partridge – Hurrah for low capacity lifts


Singles only!!!

That is a perfect summary of the conditions of my first run off the double. For the next run, I braved the line for the single. The snow was getting more intense: 34 minutes later I was on the chair. As I missed a secret stash off the double, I decided to head for one off the top. I guess it was the euphoria playing tricks with my judgment as I headed into the woods solo. They were a few traps under a few feet of powder snow and got caught. I lost a ski in the deep powder in the middle of the tight woods and continued almost in a small tree well. Don’t Panic!!! First I needed to breath and relax, push off from the tree and start climbing and digging into the snow to find my ski. I have skied here numbers of times in big storms with Lucky Luke and never had any difficulties. I eventually found the piste and skied on the powdered covered trails down and back to the long single lineup.


Secret location


The Chute from Midstation

It was already 12:15, this was the type of day where you didn’t want to stop. I eat a granola bar in the liftline and called it lunch. I reached the top shortly before 1pm and processed to head for Paradise. You knew from the height of the waterfall that it hadn’t been a stellar season so far. Paradise had some sharp rocks and ice flows buried under the snow which wasn’t necessarily paradise for my skis. When there isn’t a lot of fresh snow, you can avoid the obstacles. Anyway, it wasn’t the best run of the day: the fact that it’s one of the marquee runs of the East, it attracts too many skiers.


Top of the single


Looking down Paradise


Waterfall on Paradise

Even if the wait was longer, I opted to return to the single. The long wait permitted me to catch my breath and rest my legs. Skiing short groomers versus today’s long descents in a mixed of heavy snow, fluff, bumps and firm base was taxing. During the next half-hour wait, it really started puking: full storm for Fall Line. The conditions were getting better and it was a real creamery and it continued down the Glades. Best run of the day so far. Although I didn’t want to stop to eat, it was already passed 2pm and I hadn’t really eaten much at all today besides yogurt and granola bars. One quick stop inside the Basebox for a cheeseburger and water then back inline.


Now it is Puking

Although the lineups were so long, the mountain was deserted thanks to the low capacity lifts. Unfortunately this ride up the single was going to be the last one of the day. Opted to head down Lynx and Beaver…the conditions kept getting better.

It was 3:40 and I wanted to get on for last ride up the single. As I needed to ride the Practice Slope double to access my car, I opted to take that lift and move my car to the main parking lot and catch the last chair. The problem was that my car was stuck and I eventually decided to remove my right ski boot to maneuver out of there. I eventually managed get it unjammed. I easily found a new parking spot in the main lot, however I had to fight to get my cold right ski boot on. There was still a lineup for the single, but it was alas passed 4pm and the line was closed.

I wasn’t defeated, I headed for the Practice Double for my best 3 runs on that lift EVER!!! Unfortunately the lift closed at 4:15 and skied down over the boardwalk, across the snow-covered Highway 17 all the way to the car. My car as well as other vehicles were stuck and needed some muscle power assistance to get out on the road.

What a day!!! This Valentine’s Day kept getting better all day long. It was going to be a long drive back to Ottawa.


Ski-in and ski-out – but couldn’t drive out

End of day snow conditions

POWDER-POWDER-POWDER!!!
The Valentine’s Day storm that we have all been waiting is still raging. As of the closing bell we have seen a total of 16-19″ of snow from the storm and it is still DUMPING REALLY HARD! This on top of the 7-10″ from earlier in the week gives us well over 2′ since Monday! MRG is now officially “off the hook” and just in time for what is shaping up to be a historic President’s Week holiday. If you have been waiting to ski MRG with optimum conditions your long wait is officially over! Snow is expected to continue overnight so the skiing should just keep getting better and better! Be sure to check out the latest weather forecasts from the Single Chair Weather Blog which really nailed this storm quite some time ago – nice work Josh! This weekend we will spin all 5 lifts with skiing on 100% of our legendary terrain with POWDER skiing surfaces. The groomers will be out in force overnight tacking down all this bounty so there will be some sweet groomers out there too for those of you into that kind of thing! This is what we have been waiting for folks so come on up and… Ski It If You Can!

20140214_mrg
Flatline = waits, lunch+wait, car stuck & getting frozen boot on again.


PJ Harvey – This is Love

MadPat’s Gallery:
Mad River Glen – February 14, 2014

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After a brutal cold -23c Saturday in Ottawa, it was time for a +23cm powder day at Edelweiss.

Unfortunately I couldn’t go skiing on the cold part of the weekend 🙂 as it was that time of the year for Christmas shows and kids. So one week after my last outing on groomed awesomeness…it was time for a rare real local powder day.

Not sure how much snow had fallen on Ottawa when we left, I just know that it was deep trackless driving on my street. We arrived shortly after 8:30am and the lift had open earlier than announced. I hurried up and joined the team. As we got to the lift, it might have been the first I’ve seen the GM ski. We joked that he had the lift turned on and was skiing since 3am.

The kids were training their stances and balance in light champagne powder. No gates on a powder day. Give them some mileage and work on some different conditions. Morgane was also out with the team to get some practice runs.

The guns were blazing on Yodeler, but Ullr wasn’t being out gun by machine; it started really puking in the afternoon.

In one week, Edelweiss had added Trou du Diable, Pitch and Rue principale to Easy Street and Chemin des bois. The patrol dropped the rope on the steeper Yodeler and the short Chute. They were also busy trying to bust people for skiing closed runs like Zoomer.

I started skiing with my old Atomic slalom skis as the kids all had they race skis, but I had issues with one binding which popped off a few times. Not sure what was wrong there? The afternoon was spent on my fatter skis with a touring binding.

It was a big day, 24 runs at Edelweiss. The day started ungroomed and trackless; definitely one of my deepest days locally. The only people at the hill in the morning where the racing plus those in instructor training or coach taking the course. In the afternoon the mounds of loose snow were building up as the snow was being tracked up fast.

It is an awesome start to the season, just hoping it continues that way.

20131215_edelweiss

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White Grass received a couple inches of snow last night. Of course it wasn’t like one year ago when Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast and dumped a record snowfall in West Virginia.

The proof that you don’t necessarily need to go skiing on Baffin Island to make it a memorable adventure.

Here is video made by my traveling partner MattChuck2. The action sequences were shot at White Grass on November 1, 2012.

Matt Chuck2’s blog :
Skiing Sandy – Timberline & Whitegrass, West Virginia

Ski Mad World:
Frankenstorm Trick and Treat, West Virginia style – Part 1: Timberline, Oct 31, 2012
Frankenstorm Trick and Treat, West Virginia style – Part 2 : White Grass, Nov 1, 2012

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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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Day 4 of the season and my season only started 8 days ago. Here’s another TR from the nostalgia file…one from 10 years ago: the 2002-03 season.

With a new baby at home, the season started late, but I was catching up. After a late start at Whiteface on Sunday, January 5, I skied the first Masters’ race of the season at Fortune then Saturday was the first ski lessons with the Edelweiss Ski School for Morgane. Although she started skiing at 2 1/2, we wanted to register her into a ski program so we would reserve time for her and not get carried away time-wise by her new sister.

It was Canadian Week at Sugarloaf; they offered Canadians deals on lodging and lift tickets on this mid-January midweek for us crazies. As soon as I graduated from university and its ski team, I was no longer able or had any desire to ski anything with less than a 2000’ vertical. I started seeking out specials within 3 hours from Montreal (300km from Champlain Bridge); although I no longer live in Montreal, I’m still seeking out skiing deals ten years later.

mtl-loaf
source : Google Map – Montréal (A), Bromont (B), Sugarloaf (C)

Like the previous Sugarloaf Canadian Week visit in 2002, Lucky Luke was in for some Maine turns at the Loaf; much better than going to work. I don’t remember if I slept at my mom’s in Montreal or headed straight for Lucky’s place in Bromont in the Eastern Townships on the Sunday night. We had a bunch of cassettes and 2 pairs of skis each for the slightly less than 3 hours road trip from Bromont. Once off the autoroute and after a few turns, we ended up on one of the straightest non-flat highways that I know: Quebec Highway 212. Once we crossed into Maine at Woburn, we kept our eyes open for moose on that last 30 -minute stretch between the Quebec-Maine border and Sugarloaf. Lucky had already been unlucky once, crashing into a deer while going to a ski race ten years previously (R.I.P. Ford Tempo). I wanted to be sure it didn’t happen again, especially with a moose. Not sure if we saw any moose or deer on that day, but my average over the years on this stretch of road or the one heading towards Sunday River is pretty high.

I love skiing at Sugarloaf, I love the topography. A nice cone with fall-line skiing which gets steeper as you get higher. On that day, like on many of my trips, I had my good skis (the 183cm Atomic Beta Race 10:22, a pure GS ski) and my rock skis (10-year old, 205cm straight yellow Rossignol 7Ss). Started off the morning with the good pair, the rock skis were staying in the car for now.

The sky was gray and the place was fairly deserted. I guess it’s not surprising for a non-Holiday Monday at Sugarloaf in mid-January. There was a small layer of fresh snow on the beautiful corduroy base. Lucky and I were running laps all over the mountain. We started off with runs off the 1750’ Sugarloaf SuperQuad, hitting runs like Hayburner, King’s Landing, Comp Hill and Narrow Gauge, slowly moving further to the right to the 1500’ slower Spillway double. Always thought it was pretty impressive to have two double chairs running side-by-side using the same towers. Unlike the previous year, the King Pine quad was closed, basically the only lifts running were Spillway and the HSQ. Concentrated on turns on Spillway, Sluice…then throwing us down the steep White Nitro pitch and hitting the runway down the narrower trails like Wedge and Bubblecuffer.

As we accumulated the runs, the snow was also accumulating. We decided to keep the fast skis and keep carving some nice high-speed turns in the fresh layer of snow. Shadowing each other, loading the skis to an explosive acceleration at every long radius turns over the roll of the narrow trails. The perception of these lower trails is very different when you’re running at warp speed with the twists, rolls and blurred trees on each side. No time to stop during these fast laps, we only stopped for lunch. In the afternoon, we continued racing down trails in what was now a blizzard. Loving to ski high-speed turns in a snow storm: not something I’ve been in a habit to do, but the skis were skiing awesome on that day. It wasn’t only a powder GS day, it was a memorable day which I can recall 10 years after. Although the Spillway double was a relatively slow lift, we skied 24 runs which would be somewhere between 36000 and 42000 vertical feet on that day.. I remember Lucky saying we skied Everest and a half!!! In the previous year, we skied much slower, more varied terrain, more lifts for a total of 31k.

Drive Home and the next Big Eastern Mountain Outing Deals

The drive back to Bromont wasn’t as fast. We drove back in the full-out storm and dark, it took us over 5 hours to make it back to Bromont: double the morning travel time. We thought of staying the night, but Lucky had to work the next day. I left for Montreal that morning for a stop at Dafran in Montreal to pick up and pay for my new pair of slalom skis for the next Masters’ Race. It was my first pair of Slalom under 201cm in 20 years: some short 157cm Atomic SL11s.

What a great day, the next ski deals in our January Calendar were Whiteface’s Superbowl Super Sunday on the 26th followed by Mad River Glen’s Roll back the Clock day on the 28th. Lucky Luke was definitely in for MRG, however this time I was going to leave my GS skis at home. The new slalom when going to left in Ottawa also.

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So like I mentioned in the last TR from Camp Fortune…I was eyeing this storm. Not sure if or when I should go.

I left late from home as I was planning into getting the storm goods and make my first or one of my rare excursions outside the locals. The initial plan was to leave in the snow towards Montreal then leave to “Destination TBD” for a Thursday-Friday powder skiing trip. Actually the real initial plan was to hit Stowe for 2-3 days early in the week, but with the potential big storm coming plus the work issues, I decided to wait and keep my options open. Although the Catskills seemed to be the bullseye for this storm, NoVT wasn’t going bad either. Reports talked about 2-3 feet. What was I going to do? Talk of rain across VT except above 2000ft. Decision, decision. :-k (…) I was tired and burning a day off for uncertainty, I decided to not leave for Montreal and to work the next day.

I was getting eye cramps by looking at the forecast for Thursday. Vermont was being rained on at lower elevations. The Rain-Snow line seemed to leave Adirondacks, upper Maine and Canada alone : Storm was moving East. In the end, I was debating into a possible for trip to Saddleback or Le Massif. A few of us were trading emails : Vermont-New York-Laurentians-Maine-Charlevoix. :-k I looked at the snow reports; Le Massif had received 70cm on this day plus was announcing 25cm for Friday. I sent an email at the only Quebec City hardcore skier I knew, Wolverine, and asked her what she was going on Friday? Her reply was, “I’m going to Le Massif”.

I wasn’t feeling too well at the end of the day and started worry about being sick. I took a generous amounts of echinacea prior to my departure for Montreal. Just as I’m leaving, I received an email from Bendude asking me where I was going. “GREAT, I’m IN!!!” was his response. I was also happy, I had someone to help in the Friday drive ahead, especially that I had to come back to Ottawa that evening.

Bendude’s picking me up at my mom’s at 4:30am. It was puking when I left Ottawa, snowing hard, snow-covered highway following plows until I was about 70km outside Ottawa. At that point, I managed to drive at a reasonable speed and not the 30-40mph I had been driving so far. The drive to my mom’s place in Montreal took 20% more time than usual.

Four hours sleep : it was a short night.

I had a feeling that today could be an Epic day. The drive to Quebec City was cccrrraaaazzzyyy… Very strong winds. Ice pellet on the surrounding fields would sometimes crash on the car by millions and make a terrible noise with each strong gust of wind. I’ve never seen anything like it. At one point, Bendude thought we would see a cow fly across our windshield like in that Tornado Chaser movie with Helen Hunt. 😯

Twister (1996)

It was snowing once we got to Quebec City: we picked up Wolverine along the way. Snow accumulation on the road didn’t really start to pick up until we reached the Charlevoix region. Once we arrived at Le Massif, I was shocked!!! There were hundreds of cars on a Friday and it wasn’t even 9am.


Picture by MadPat : Full storm in a full parking lot

The skiing was pretty good. Unfortunately it wasn’t epic as the snow numbers would indicate: High traffic, strong winds made some runs bare without serious amount of fresh snow that we were expecting. We found a frozen layer under 10cm of light fluff which contained the potential Epicness of this day. However there was no denying it, that the base was greatly helped with this massive dump at Le Massif.

We headed for the Camp Boulé sector to ski in the woods. Most trails were already pretty tracked up. The woods aren’t necessarily cleaned up and open to skiing, so we had to be careful in more ways than one. I had the old XXXs, Wolverine was on some Fat-Ypus and Bendude on something larger…a snowboard. On our 4th run we skied the La Fortin glade, probably the nicest trail so far that morning. We headed afterward toward the newest part of the mountain next to La Charlevoix and the old famed “42”.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : MadPat at the side entrance of La Charlevoix

Photo gracieusté de Bendude
Picture by Bendude : Bendude and the St.Lawrence River

La Charlevoix is rarely open, but it was today. When this was trail was cut for the National Team, it massacred the trail 42 as this was a remote long and unique steep trail. La Charlevoix is in the similar league and the huge boulevards with Cloudspin/Skyward at Whiteface. It’s a downhill course, but one thing that remained the same is the steepness. The 42 still exists, but only in parts and is only a shadow of its former self. As we were admiring the view, we could see the strong waves on the mighty St.Lawrence down below. One thing I noticed were all the small trees growing and taking over part of the hill again. Wonder what does this mean? The top part of the trail didn’t have the annoying crust, the snow wasn’t super deep, but it made for some real steep and fun turns. The bottom flats had a good crust. The run was good enough that we did it a second time. After our 8th run, Bendude and I were pretty hungry as our breakfast was taken a long time ago.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : MadPat in La Charlevoix

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine

Once lunch was done, we went to the new “wilderness” area on top of Mont Ligori where you can either hike or skin up. A few woods in this area have been “gladed”. After our 20-30 minute hike, there was maybe 20 people at the top of the 2-3 runs. Today is really a hard day to get away from people…this run (and Le Charlevoix) were the highlights of my day. Steep powder and woods. We lost Bendude as we thought he had gone ahead. We had given ourselves at meeting time at the car, because Bendude had to be back in Montreal for the evening. The snow really started picking up in the afternoon.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Climbing towards Mont Ligori

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Busy on Mont Ligori

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Steep woods

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Mont Ligori skiing

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Searching for Bendude

One thing is incredible is that even with a new equipment (jacket, helmet and poles), a few people came up to me to say “Hi”. It must be the ZZ top beard.

So the only thing that was Epic about this day was the crazy …drive to Quebec City. Best fun…Charlevoix’s pitch and Mont Ligori. This snow was very good for base building as it was pretty compact and not wet.

We each had a camera, I only took two pics from the parking lot. Wolverine took a few action shoots, but you’ll have to wait until I have more time to put them up. Leaving on Spring Break this weekend.

Photo gracieusté de Wolverine
Picture by Wolverine : Happy MadPat’s ZZ Top smile

MadPat’s Gallery :
Le Massif QC – 26 février 2010

Originally posted on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:48 am on firsttracksonline

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Days of a few firsts.

First time at this ski area. I’m pretty sure the following was a first. Daytrip where the distance in kilometers (one way or both) was greater than the vertical of the ski area. 250km vs 130m approximately. Leaving the locals which have greater vertical than this Tug I’ve been hearing about for years. The local scene was white, but wasn’t happening.

If it wouldn’t been for the snow that he had all week, but the storm brewing south of the border… then I saw skimore’s post last Friday. This got me thinking:

Tug got 18 last night and

This Afternoon: Snow showers and areas of blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 21. West wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 32 to 38 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow and widespread blowing snow. The snow could be heavy at times. Low around 12. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 15 to 21 inches possible.

Saturday: Snow showers, mainly before 10am. High near 27. Wind chill values as low as -3. West wind between 10 and 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.

I decided to PM skimore, he had invited me down a couple years ago and I was always curious. I could only afford being away for one day, daytrip destination only. As I was giving 40-60 odds of me actually making the trip, I kept staring at the computer screen that showed a strong lake effect instead of working. Too busy, but I had to get out. Then I was pretty much decided, skimore mentioned a friend that what part of his Chic Choc party last April and that he lived somewhere in Eastern Ontario. The friend in question was Taiga from TTips which lives in Ottawa only 2 miles from my home.

Taiga and I agreed at a 5am pickup time. The distance from Ottawa to Tug is something like 220km. The snow level was pretty low at the border which is the St.Lawrence River. Across the border, I had no idea where I was going, lucky Taiga had been to Tug before. After a few minutes, he tells me that he might have missed the turnoff…back we go, heading back from where we came from then we turned. Again, we turned too early and we are heading in the right direction, but the road would then turn west…back on our steps. #-o Looking on a Blackberry and trying to find the proper route…we found a interconnecting road and rejoined Highway 812, where we were suppose to be in the first place. Great, I was lost, no maps will travel.

As we are driving, the snow banks were getting higher. Wow…then in Lowville we made the wrong turn at the Fork in the road. 🙄 We weren’t too far that there was a huge sign mentioned the ski area was 2 miles to the right. 8-[ The plan had been to meet skimore as we wanted to skin up before the lifts opened, however we got there only 20 minutes before the scheduled opening of the lift. We hurried indoor, got changed and heading to wait in line. It would seem all these people know each other. Waiting for the lift to open, I was looking at the main run…not one track. Wow, it was beautiful. :drool: Taiga noticed skimore toward the top of the hill skinning. The lift took a while to get going, so skimore managed a first tracks before the people started arriving on the top. Most of the people assault that wide run next to the liftline. It was fun, however the pitch was a bit flat for this amount of new snow. We repeated this one more time and then saw skimore at the top. He said that this was too flat and that we needed to follow him. I don’t know where he brought us? Faceshots, pillows, not sure if this was an official trail or if we turned away from the ski area. At one point, there was this drop, the slope wasn’t getting steeper, it was a sharp drop. I was somewhat concern with all the trees and branches around, but it didn’t seem to be much of a problem as skimore and friends charged down. This terrain is steep and intense (although short), not many place this small have terrain like this in their off-piste. We headed back further and further skiing through some nasty prickly branches, like skiing through bard wire, you don’t want a face shot here. 😕 At the bottom of the drop, we were to negotiate a creek crossing. Back on top, back in the woods. I thought we were back at the same place, but skimore mentioned that this place wasn’t. I didn’t know where we were. Lost again, no maps, will travel.

A well deserved lunch at the bar, we headed back up with some skins as we were going to head toward a closed part of the hill. Trackless in the woods and on the trails, but not as steep. We decided to headback to where we were in the morning. We were a fairly big group, but we started to split up. Taiga and I got loss with skimore one more time. For the next run, I was toasted and wanted to ski the official trails. This is a fun local area, not much of a challenge…until you get lost.

Thanks to skimore for being a wonderful guide and lending a set of skis and skins. Not a ton of vertical and a lot of pushing, but I was done.

Powderqueen wrote:

I hope they got some pix to post.

It’s been my experience, when the skiing is real good, you don’t stop for pics. This is the only thing that skimore got (posted in the other FTO TR):

This is what some of the terrain looks like (taken last year by skimore): short and sick…sweet. :mrgreen:

Don’t ask me where this place is, because I don’t know, I was lost the whole time. O:)

Finally to end this TR, this quote from the ski area’s snow report says it all:

This report is effective 5pm Saturday, December 12, 2009.

It looks like winter is finally here. [b]We received a total of 38″ of snow on Friday and the skiing and riding today were absolutely fantastic. If you weren’t here today you don’t know what you missed.

Thanks LAKE ONTARIO !!

Originally posted on Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:34 am on firsttracksonline

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Termas and Las Trancas : September 1-5 : part 2

Posted : Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:13 pm

September 4 – We are finally going skiing 🙂

OH YEAH!!!! \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

Snow in Las Trancas. Well, I believe we noticed that the previous night going to the SnowPub, although I don’t recall for sure. Maybe it was because of what we drank OR is it because I’m writing this TR over 9 months later? 🙄

So we are really stoked to finally go skiing. The ski area is only 7km away. As we exit town next to the shops we get stopped by locals that tell us in Spanish that we need chains and pointing to a sign at the side of the road next to the Police station. The locals are trying to get us to rent chains and are surrounding the car. Andy talks to them calmly and tell them that we’re okay. The locals don’t really understand us and inglès and we don’t really understand what they are saying. Brendan is freaking as the locals starts going towards the wheels to install the chains. After a few tense moments, Andy simply tell them that we’ll try getting to the hill and we’ll come back if we can’t. Not sure if the local understood us as we finally drove off.

The road was snow-covered and pretty muddy. We were okay as long as we had momentum…crap, cars in chains are pretty slow. After a few passes with wheels spinning and snow and mud flying, we get to the parking lot.

First up the slow double at the resort to the base. Wind is still pretty strong and the Dono Oto double is still close with two top t-bars. The triple is open with 7 minutes wait then off to the poma which has a cluster of skiers as a lineup similar to France. 😯 Yep, it’s the only top lift open and there is a bunch of ski teams on the Hill training for the next few days FIS races. After a 20 minutes wait, we’re off. 🙂 We did laps off the poma for the first three out of four runs. Great fun to start off the day. Also skied to the bottom of the triple twice in the morning.


Picture waiting in the poma line.


One of our first few runs, Pat not skiing on the map. Didn’t ski much on the trails today 🙂 (photo by Andy or Brendan)


Next run by Brendan (photo by Andy)

On the first of those longer off-piste runs in trackless terrain, both Powderquest guides show up and mentioned “I can’t believe we got snaked by Ontarians.” 😀

The snow was somewhat windblown, but surfaces were amazing. On our 6th runs and last before lunch we headed in between some trails on this massif terrain, ended trying to find the best way down. This run ended up in the woods, however the snow below was pretty wet and heavy. Pretty hard to ski.


Changing location and skiing our way away from the tracked stuff and about to snake the Powderquest guides.


Is this good Pat? (photo by Andy)


Pat says…OH YEAH!!! (photo by Andy)

As we are about to head back up the lower double, we saw the coaches from the previous day/night. Talked about the great stuff were skiing. They are having fun themselves, they’re letting they kids free ski instead of going gates on this beautiful day. It’s a beautiful day indeed.

As we eat lunch outside the lodge, we happen chat up the CASA guide and her one girl group. WTF??? I can’t believe that the other guy that was with her isn’t even skiing. Apparently he partied too much the night before. The day was Priceless and this guy is missing it while paying for a CASA tour. #-o

We run into the Canucks coaches again and eventually take them and their kids out-of-bounds with us. You should have seen their smiles, another priceless moments. That was reward enough. 😀


Lunch break. View of the mountains behind the lodge.


Pat, Andy and Brendan taking a break.

***********
Posted : Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:53 pm

Here are pictures from our last run.

***********
For our last run, we opted for another long run to the car. We got an extra lift higher up, although the higher lift was still closed. We climbed over the small ridge of rock in order to start our last run higher and access a nice 800 meter vertical mostly off-piste. (see graph)


Top t-bar still closed.


Andy and the terrain for our last run.


Where is Brendan? Yes, this place is huge.


It’s almost 5pm and Andy is skiing fresh tracks (photo by Brendan).


Still a long way down to reach the car below treeline. (Photo by Andy or Brendan).


Brendan’s turn (Photo by Andy).


Trail curves below treeline and the Resort base is in sight.

***********
Posted : Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:05 pm

What a day. \:D/

There is a certain in ski forum etiquette which prohibit me to post off-piste details on the internet. :mrgreen: Sorry folks. As you can see from our pictures and the map, we skied on a few limited lifts, but terrain wasn't limiting. Basic used the Poma (H) on every runs and the Triple (C) every few runs. It was definitely my best ski day in September, to date!!! 😈


Map with lifts used in purple. Basically last the other main lift were closed due to wind. T-Bar H opened in PM.


Suunto S6 log.

***********
Posted : Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:31 am

September 4: Après-ski or Drive 800km?

Our initial plan was to ski in Portillo tomorrow morning which is something like a short 800km away. We had a nonrefundable reservation for September 5-8 which included skiing, lodging and meals. But when you’re in South America (or elsewhere for that matter), you have to be flexible, especially that Termas had received 30cm of snow the previous day and Portillo hadn’t received any snow in 20 days. Hard choice, n’est pas? :-k

At the Chil’In, some other skiers walked in and arrived from Pucon, the place that Brendan was looking to go at. Found out that it’s was closed and they received mostly rain apparently. You cannot be stress when in South America, you just have to stay put and wait it out, because you never know and cannot guarantee what will happen. I guess it’s the TISA factor; This Is South America!!! This is one of the important lessons learned from the Powderquest guides staying at the Chil’In.

So what did we do? We started our Après-ski at the Chil’In and finished at the SnowPub down the street. OH YEAH !!! 😯 😯 😯 #-o

So good that we decided to ski here tomorrow regardless of our paid ticket in Portillo. This is too good. \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

As we walked in the SnowPub, we are greeted by a bunch of people we know, just like Norm on Cheers. Some of them were surprised that we’re still in town. We told, “f*ck Portillo, we are skiing here mañana.” 🙂

Canucks coaches were there at one table, banned TGR guy that isn’t SNR and friend skiing on BROs were there talking to the CASA lady guide and her girl client at another table. Don’t recall seeing the MRG skibum patrol.or the other CASA customer. As we shout at each other, we were all pretty much on a buzz from our awesome day. Coaches pay us back for bringing them and their kids off-piste. After a few beer, shooters and great discussions, we leave the smoky pub probably a bit late. The girl customer is totally wasted, coaches are probably going to have a rough day working on the hill, TGR guy shout out that he’s looking forward to read THIS TR!!! 😳 😳 Sorry man, life is busy, hope you like it?

It’s late in this story and now, I’m going to bed.

SEE YOU ON THE SLOPES TOMORROW!!!

**********
Posted : Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:34 pm

September 5: ski hard, party harder later, much later!!!

September 5th and it’s ain’t Portillo. Plan is to get to the mountain early, ski a few runs and then drive forever until we reach Portillo. Sounds fine, si?

Unfortunately the SnowPub nightlife conspired against some of us. 😕 That morning the Powderquests were talking to the Chil’In owner about their plan for a huge tour. We vacated the room and paid our tab for meals, lodging and maybe a few drinks. 😐

Once on the mountain, we parked at the lower parking and got on the lift at 10:30ish. No wind issues today, we didn’t notice any lift closure. Once at the second and main base of the mountain, the old double, Dono Oto IS OPEN!!! :drool:


Brendan and Andy are stoked: Doto is open!!!

We get on that old rustic lift; I wonder if this lift would be able to pass inspection and run in North America? Below us on the lower mountain, a FIS slalom race is taking place. As we climb higher away and passed the midstation, we’re getting excited with anticipation. We're going to be able to access part of type of terrain we were hitting yesterday but much higher and longer runs with one lift.


Girls getting ready to race that means less competition for the lift and terrain.


This is a long lift, 2.5km and 700m vertical gain.


Scenery from the lift.


Scenery looking up to the right.


View of the part of the ski area from the top of the old double.

In order to respect the ski forum etiquette, I’ll limit with words to only mention the spectacular scenery in front us, amazing natural wind grooming powder runs in untracked fresh snow every run, cliff and cornice dropping, truly amazing.

*******
Posted : Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:32 am

Tony Crocker wrote:

I wonder if this lift would be able to pass inspection and run in North America?

Powdr Corp would have no problem running it at Mt. Bachelor. 😆

Are you sure? 😉

Yep, that chair didn't have a backrest. I believe it was mine. :mrgreen: Seat and back rest are tiny metal sheet. People skiing a resort in the US wouldn't put up with a chair is this. Long and slow double. I love it. TISA factor again. I would be a shame if they would replace with a HSQ. As long is this place is off-radar, is going to be good (unless they isn't any snow).

Tony Crocker wrote:

These pictures were a bit better in conveying overall scale.

There are a few others coming. 8)

*********
Posted : Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:21 pm

In order to respect the ski forum etiquette, I’ll limit with words to only mention the spectacular scenery in front us, amazing natural wind grooming powder runs in untracked fresh snow every run, cliff and cornice dropping, truly amazing.

That doesn't mean I cannot post any pics from it. :drool:

Isn't there something about a picture is worth a 1000 words? 😉


Brendan and Pat wait for Andy to get set with camera. (Photo by Andy).

After waiting for Andy to set up, he missed the cornice dropped. ](*,)


Brendan skiing off somewhere. Andy is taking pictures lower down.


After the cornice, Brendan jump off the lip (Photo by Andy).


My turns…:-) (Photo by Andy).


Andy’s turns (Photo by Brendan).


Open spaces: Closing in on Andy or is it Brendan?


Not bad at all. I believe that is Brendan?

*********
Posted : Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:46 pm

We repeated this loop as much as we could with keeping in mind our drive to Portillo ahead. 😦 This repeat would include the cornice, we didn't miss capturing it (from two different angle) this time!!! :mrgreen:


Brendan dropping in with one of many volcanos in the background.


Brendan from Angle #2 (Photo by Andy).

As we’re skiing the [censored], we noticed our ski patrol/ski bum for the summer friend from Vermont. He was skinning up with his teles. We noticed that he had some issues yesterday with the lift attendant checking lift tickets. What he would do was skin up to the higher lift in order to bypass people checking for lift passes and ski free. Not only Free the Hell, Free the Ski!!! I guess that when there’s a crowd, the attendants crackdown on poachers. The true ultimate skibum living in a tent and paying the least possible. LONG LIVE VERMONT!!! I'll probably see you at MRG next winter (which I did). Mark Renson would probably know him. :mrgreen:


Fortune and MRG ski patrols.

After 4 runs in [censored], we bumped into the coaches. We decide to take the faster Triple-Poma combo and ski the long run back down to the resort and the car. We didn’t ski touch the upper t-bars as it was getting already pretty late for us.

It was 2:15 when we got to the bottom. We only did 5 runs, but what memorable runs. I stand corrected, THIS is my best lifetime September ski day. 🙂

Here are two more terrain pics for Tony. 😉


View from some on-piste terrain while riding Doto Oto.


A look to left at the top of the Doto Oto.


Riding legend: lifts in purple used on this last day.


Graph of the day.

**********
Posted : Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:23 pm

September 5: ski hard, party harder later, much later!!!

The long drive ahead…

We needed to get back our gear from the Hostal and drive 800km. Once we left Las Trancas at about 4pm, we made only two stops along the way: a grocery store in Chilean and restaurant on the side of the Trans American Highway in order to get something to eat in the car, I guess you can call it supper. 🙄 It’s amazing that a tiny restaurant in the middle of nowhere has wireless internet. Everything went according to plan, except getting lost as we passed Santiago. 🙄 We heard the road up to Portillo was crazy. I personally found the Valle Nevado much crazier, however people drive much faster including traitor-trailers. The highway is an international connection between Chile and Argentina, regardless of the steepness and the dangerous curves.

We got in Portillo at 12:30am and parked our go-kart next to a Porsche close to the hotel entrance. We find out that tonight’s is the Portillo staff party. Once we’re checked in, we move our stuff in the tiny room in the Inca Lodge. As we walk in, there are a bunch of girls that tell us to be “Quiet.” 😯 :-$ Trying to sleep around midnight at the Inca, what are they thinking? 🙄 Anyway, we head in to the party. Party in Chile really get started at 1am. Portillo is very different experience and vibe. I’m the first to stubble in my room pass 4am. I’m suppose to meet Tony, yes “the” Tony, in a few hours, around 10:30. Are we here to ski or party? Did I mentioned earlier in this TR that I’m too old for this. 😕 😳


Getting set to leave Las Trancas: Recreating the Chilean Roof rack.


On the road again in our tiny circus car. Note the rope of our roof rack inside the car. (Photo by Brendan).


Fancy cars at midnight next to Portillo Hotel entrance. Porsche and our ultimate ski car (Photo by Andy).

To be continued in Chilean Adventure (the novel- Part 3) Aug/Sep 07 – Portillo, eventually. Currently Part 3 is limited to the last 3 paragraph above and was never continued. In April 2012, the Chilean Adventure remains an unfinished novel. I plan to finish it at one point

Termas Chillán Ski & Spa Resort feature on Mad Attic

MadPat’s Gallery:
Setiembre 4-5 – Termas de Chillan

Part 1: Chilean Adventure (the novel) – 2 weeks in Aug/Sept 2007 – Part 1 – Santiago & Valle Nevado
Part 2A: Chilean Adventure (the novel) Aug/Sep 07 – Part 2a – El Colorado/LaParva
Part 2B: Chilean Adventure (the novel) Aug/Sep 07 – Part 2b – Termas 1

Originally started on Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:13 pm and on Sat Jul 19, 2008 4:23 pm on firsttracksonline

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What a wonderful Sunday it was. Another April Powder Day, who would have though that we would get two Powder weekends in a row after that very Spring like April Fools. Yes, it fooled us all right.

The proof…no pics on a powder day.

These have been the best series (non-Spring) days I’ve seen in April.

Options for that Sunday were initially between Saddleback (free) and Whiteface. The advantages were that the latter could be done as a day trip from Ottawa. This was pretty important considering that the previous two weekends had me traveling toward Montreal for the weekend and that I will probably need to go through Montreal once my day drive option from Ottawa are over.

My daughter Morgane and I drove down from Ottawa (3 hours) and meet up with Lucky Luke, his friend Eric and SuperNat, my friend and Morgane’s godmother. They were coming down from Montreal (less than 2 hours away). They also had rain all the way to Whiteface while we had snow for the last hour from Malone to Lake Placid. A storm was forecasted, this looked like it was going to be a good day. 😛 Plus I had seen that the Slides were open the previous day. I think the last time I saw them open while at WF was in April 2002. [-o<

Lucky Luke and Eric were ready and stepped out for a run on the Cloudsplitter gondola. We were altogether for the next run. Started with the classic twisting (although much wider than before) Excelsior. Nothing hard about this run, soft soft soft and powder snow. Morgane isn’t necessarily a fan of blue runs, but she loved this one. Onto the Summit Quad. Visibility wasn’t good, it was snowing hard. It was great. We went down Skyward (top entrance a bit sketchy) and ended up taking a new (for the map) trail at the bottom of Lower Skyward, Blazer’s Bluff. BB is steep drop off the side of the Skyward. Lucky jumped in, Morgane made a one turn then tumbled in 😕 , but was okay. WOW…this is a great!!!

When everybody was warmed up, Lucky, Eric and SuperNat headed toward to the Slides while Morgane and I wanted to try Upper Cloudspin, but it was closed from the top. We ended entering UC on Lower Switchback. Fresh powder again. 😮 Morgane and I got at the bottom of the Summit Quad maybe a few minutes prior to the Slides expedition.

On the next run, I traded spots with SuperNat and headed with Lucky and Eric in The Slides. The last time I skied them, it was on warm and clear April day, unlike today. You couldn’t sense the steepest of the Slides, you could only see 20-30 feet at a time. Slide #4 was closed, Slides #3 sounded sketchy, so #2 it was. Slide #2 is narrower than the wideopen #1 and pretty bumped up. Loose powder and bumps. Once you merged with Slide #1 toward the bottom, you have to negotiate a series cliffs/frozen or melting waterfalls. Stopping in the middle of these and looking up, you realize that this is pretty unique terrain for a lift-serviced stuff. \:D/

After lunch, Morgane and I skied Northway off Little WF which was fabulous (always love this trail) before meeting up with the group at the Summit Quad. We were able to hit the Slides one last time, last time of the year. Like the signed said: “The Slides closed, Better Luck Next Year”. :mrgreen:

We skied the Slides a few times during the day. Lucky (4 times), while SuperNat and Eric (3 times) took one run each with Morgane. I skied them twice on this day, which was okay, as I was the only one in our group that had skied them before.

Morgane wanted to ski something different off the top, the open other open option was The Follies (top Paron’s Run was closed) then Excelsior. She loved the zigzags and narrow trail even if it’s relatively flat.

At around 2:30pm, SuperNat and Eric called it a day, Morgane stopped skiing at 3:10pm. Her hands were frozen. She had changed her wet mittens for lighter DRYER gloves after lunch. Lucky and I ended back to the top using Facelift and Summit Quads. On this day, we virtually didn’t ski anything else than the Summit, the snow and mid and lower mountain was wet powder. The bottom was a mixed of frozen slush base and with wet snow. We were wet and it was really snowing hard. Temps was hovering around freezing.

Here is the Whiteface snow report reflects what we had … 16 inches fell during Sunday. \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/

I guess if this report could have emoticons, it would. :mrgreen:

So I am typing todays report! Over 30 inches will fall with this storm of historic proportions in April! This is going to be off the hook! We are closed Monday-Thursday this week, super high winds will be in town Mon and tues with the storm dying down on Wednesday. We will be reopening for Friday Saturday and Sunday April 20, 21, and 22. This will be fantastic!

I skied all over the mountain today and the summit it is a whole different world I have never seen it so fabulous in April ever in my life. The slides opened today and once again I totally chickened out. Someday I will get my nerve up. I love the trail to the slides it is so majical and gorgeous it is my favorite trail on the mountain. But I go in turn around and come out. I am still freaked out at the very thought of skiing over a frozen waterfall of slide one.

While I was the huge chicken, many people were enjoying 2 fabulous days hittin’ the slides.

Powder Powder everywhere,,,,,,,,,,,,if I had my podcast I would seriously be singing my off-key POWDER song for you. on second thought it is probably better for you that it is not working. Really thinking about this my podcast could have been sabotaged by my coworkers that hate my off-key powder day song.

See you on Friday, hunker down for the next couple of days rest up and be ready to rip!!!!!!!

See you at Whiteface,

Bridget “oh please of please never let winter end”; Hinman

A great day all around, but it wasn’t over? 😯

As Lucky, Eric and Natalie left East toward the I-87 and Montreal in a snowstorm, Morgane and I headed West on Highway 86 toward Lake Placid which would eventually lead us north to Ottawa. Maybe 2 miles from the parking lot in Wilmington Notch, I was told that two SUVs collided which resulted into the road being blocked. 😕

Over one hour waiting in the pouring snow. At around 6pm a firefighter told us that the road wouldn’t be freed until at least another hour. I figured that on a normal day without snow, I had another 3 hours to drive to get home in Ottawa plus my daughter was getting hungry.
#-o

From local news on WNBZ

Several other road and highway mishaps occurred during the storm, including a two-car, head-on accident on Route 86 in Wilmington Notch. The Lake Placid Fire Department sent two trucks and 23 members to assist Wilmington Fire and Rescue at 4:51 p.m. Sunday.
One person had to be extricated from their vehicle. But State Police in Wilmington reported no injuries from the crash.

Also newspaper story about the conditions on that Sunday.

Heavy snow causes power outages in upstate New York – Press Republican on April 16th

At this point, I made a decision, the notch is really the only easy access across the Adirondack at this time and it was shut, so I decided to head toward Montreal. Much snow had fallen in the last 1-2 hours, the drive was mostly on fresh tracks on route 9N. The drive here and on I-87 was at about 40mph (60kmh). Many cars were off the road. After supper at Plattsburgh, we ended up waiting 40 minutes at the border, also got the second degree from the border guard because I didn’t have any ID for my daughter (I had forgotten for once).
😳 8-[ 😡

Once in Quebec, the road hadn’t been plowed at all in this snowstorm and over 6 inches of snow, which means driving 20mph (30kmh) all the way to Montreal. 😡 😡 😡 Arrived at my mom?s house passed 11pm, totally exhausted.

THE WORST PART???

There was no way I was going to be able to drive 125 miles (200 km) on a Monday morning and bring my daughter to school and get to work a day after a snowstorm (maybe 6-8 inches feel on Montreal). It was raining hard this morning. I was thinking, great we’ll go to Mont Sutton and ski some fresh powder!!! SuperNat was ready to join us and skip work, but no, Sutton was closed due to a power outage. How about Bromont and St-Sauveur, both closed due to weather. Jay? I wasn’t going to risk crossing the border again. So on this Monday, I had to use a Vacation Day not to go skiing after a snowstorm. The question was, Will anybody believe me at work???

Hoping to go back at Whiteface on Sunday with Morgane, however this time forecast is for sunny and 66F (19c). I guess it will be really Spring skiing this time. 8)

Edit: I forgot to mentioned that the mountain was virtually deserted except in the Slides (which isn’t exactly a ton of people).

Log of the Day

Originally posted on Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:13 pm on
firsttracksonline

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First day of the 2006-07 season.
13th month in a row.

Question: Why have my only three days in October lifetime (2 days last year at Wildcat) probably been better than a pile of lifetime November days?

Answer: Powder and Fresh Tracks versus white ribbon of hard pack with a few thousand skiers.

The last snow event last weekend wasn’t an option for me due to previous engagement in Ottawa. However I was going to Montreal on Tuesday evening to see Dweezil and hoping [-o< for powderfreak’s forecast would come true. It didn’t seem like a sure thing, it was fairly warm and rainy.

I was also trying to confirm if Lucky Luke was going to take a day off from work also so that we could take that long-planned beer together. This was going to be my best opportunity for October turns without having to come back through Montreal for a possible event next weekend.

Lucky Luke gave me the call at 8am that morning and said that we should go at Jay and bypassing Sutton partially based on the area pics and webcam. After being stuck in traffic in Montreal, I finally arrived in Bromont roughly one hour later after I left the island.

I quickly transferred my gear into Luc’s van. I decided to only take my old Rossi 7SKs circa 1993 for the first time in 3 year with my old boots and leaving my B1s and current boots in the car. It was snowing at Lucky’s house (higher elevation), but mostly raining at the autoroute level. Flakes were flying once we got out of the autoroute (30 km) further east and started driving south. We were getting ready for the worst once we hit the border with only flakes falling and the ground still green (you have to understand the history behind our ski trips together across the border).

Border guard: “Where are you going?”
Lucky Luke: “Jay”
Bg: “Why?”
LL: “Hiking or/and skiing”

That’s it, the van is going to be turned inside out with sniffer dogs and we’re going to get tested for drugs and maybe something worst like strip searched with the plastic glove treatment. 😕

No, he believed us!!! I guess we do look like two crazed skiers and not two stoners (although the look can sometimes be mistaken by some). How can there be snow only 10 minutes away?

There wasn’t really any snow until we reached the Stateside parking lot. We parked near the Ski Patrol building. Luc said; ” Hey, this is where they put my foot in a box once.”

We were stoked. The runs were white, but not much snow. BUT we were going to ski, that wasn’t going to suck. Someone else arrived at the same time as us and didn’t need to get changed so after a talk, he started climbing.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Stateside (l to r: Derricks, Haynes, UN, Jet and Kitzbuhel)
Picture by Lucky Luke: the playground

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : MadPat stoked, happy....and getting dressed.
Picture by Lucky Luke: MadPat stoked, happy….and getting dressed.

SNOW REPORT:

The HIKE:

We were all set to go, Luc with his trekkers and skins, me with my hiking boots. 🙄

We started climbing Paradise Meadows (snow level increased from maybe 2 to 8 inches. Once we got at the bottom Northway, we saw the guy we had seen in the parking making some nice tele turns on the pitch. He had cheated, he got a ride up with someone.

Lucky “Super Quad” Luke was climbing much faster than I, so he climb to the top of the pitch and made a few turns while I was still climbing. We also saw two snowboarders make some turns on the same pitch. As I climbing Northway, Luc asked me: “Would you have liked if I would have lent you my snowshoes that are in the van?” 🙄 Now he tell me after climbing for maybe 30 minutes.

The Northway pitch had probably 8-10 inches. The climb continued after a small break near the entrance of Hell’s Wood. At that point I fetched my goggles in my backpack, reorganized my skis and taking a few pictures. The snow and the wind were blowing pretty hard at times and visibility wasn’t great. We could also hear the snowguns blowing in the distance, probably at the Tram Base.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Pat climbing
Picture by Lucky Luke: Pat climbing

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Lucky
Picture by Lucky Luke: Lucky

After a short talk, we decided to turn toward Montrealer at the top of Stateside. There were a couple of 2 feet drift here.

Note to Santa: Trekkers and Skins would have been very useful on days like today.

At the top of Stateside, we met someone who had already made 4 runs toward the summit and had just moved over to Stateside for a last run. He mentioned that the snow was deep up there (I didn’t hear any amount). We had a quick lunch in first class settings (winter…wow 😀 ). The hike up took me about 90 minutes, the climb would have been much quicker with snowshoes or skins.

Picture by MadPat: October 25, 2006 : Lucky on the Jet Triple.
Picture by MadPat: Lucky on the Jet Triple

The SKIING:

First run (or Luc’s second) was down Haynes. The snow was wet (perfect snowman snow), not unlike a certain powder day in Whistler in the first week of April 1996. I had the same old skis and old boots back then.

Picture by MadPat: October 25, 2006 : Lucky skiing down Haynes.
Picture by MadPat: Lucky skiing down Haynes.

Oh boy…how do we turn these 201 again in wet powder? I fell a few times in the first hundred feet. I don’t recall falling this much in a month for years, let alone a single run. 😕 However the next few turns, everything came back to me…. Retrostyle. 8) Luc was flying with his old Nordica. We skied 300 vertical meters (990 ft) all the way to the bottom of Haynes and before Mont L’Entrepide trail (which is a larger extension and flatter). It also had less snow. We were yelling like a bunch of maniacs.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Haynes: First Run of the 2006-07.
Picture by Lucky Luke: MadPat’s First Run of the 2006-07.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Haynes: Pat trying to find the bottom.
Picture by Lucky Luke: Pat trying to find the bottom.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Pat in style (Haynes)
Picture by Lucky Luke: Pat in style (Haynes)

“Super Quad” Luke started skinning straight up on Haynes while I started making a bootpack. Snowdepths on the upper third of Stateside probably varied around 1-2 feet. Let’s just say that it’s not easy climbing when suddenly your leg sinks down to your knee. This time Luc skied down Derrick Hot Shot while I was climbing. Only to stop before Willard (bottom half) and started joining me in my hike for a last run. The waterbars we’re somewhat filled in at the top, but you still had to be careful.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Lucky Luke; it's a tough job but the rewards were great
Picture by Lucky Luke: Lucky Luke; it’s a tough job but the rewards were great

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Luke exhausted but happy
Picture by Lucky Luke: Luke exhausted but happy

The last run was Derrick to Willard. Like for Haynes, conditions were amazing for October on the upper part, I only felt my skis touch the rocks once or twice. Conditions were definitely more marginal once you reached the Willard level with much less snow. Willard had a better coverage due to its sheltered twisting aspect compare to the larger Entrepide trail. I managed to make it back to the van with my skis (didn’t do much damage) while Luc removed his at the bottom of the run.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Luc on Derricks
Picture by Lucky Luke: Luc on Derricks

Picture by MadPat: October 25, 2006 : MadPat skiing Derricks.
Picture by MadPat: MadPat skiing Derricks.

Picture by MadPat: October 25, 2006 : Luc heading toward the car.
Picture by MadPat: October 25, 2006 : Luc heading toward the car

We had that long promised beer together while the Red Hot Chili Peppers were blasting through the speakers (what is it with our trip and the Peppers?). To celebrate a wonderful day and a great friendship. Cheers.

The music continued all the way back to Bromont. Once back in my car, it’s was time to listen to some Zappa again after the previous night 3 hour show and think that this was a great 24 hours.

Picture by Lucky Luke: October 25, 2006 : Cheers
Picture by Lucky Luke: the long awaited beer trying to figure out women’s psychology (I know it would take at least 4x 24pack of beer, but heck, we tried)

MadPat’s Jay Peak Vt – October 2006 photo gallery

Originally posted on Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:46 pm on firsttracksonline

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