Posts Tagged ‘Powder’

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.


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.

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.


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

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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.



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


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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You can’t let days like this go by, especially in October.

When will there be another occasion like this? ❓ ❓ ❓

Being October, I will put a baseball analogy to this trip.

How long will it take for Red Sox or White Sox to win the World Series again?

How long will it take for the EXPOS to win a World Series?


S**t, need to get myself in gear.

a) Ski stuff, somewhere around here. Readjust the DINs on my bindings.

b) Show tires, not much time…I promised a ride for someone at work tomorrow.

c) Ski driving partner. Already called, he can’t make it on Friday. It’s a PD day for schools in the Townships. Left a message with the other partner in Montreal. Don’t necessarily need a partner, but it’s helps split the cost.

d) At least, I secured a place to sleep tomorrow night (if they open Friday) at my friend in Bromont. That should cut 45-60 minutes to the drive from Montreal. So it’s a 3 hours drive tomorrow evening to get to his place.

e) Snow tires … don’t necessarily need them, but it would be nice just in case. My friend in Bromont said that it was still snowing and there was a new 6 inches on the ground.

f) One small detail. I have to ask for my Friday off (in case). Open on Friday would definitely be much better and probably less skied out.

g) Schedule to work on Sunday. Wife will not be happy if I’m not at home for two days then I go to work all day Sunday. Need to change that also.

h) Later at 10pm at night… Wife says that she would LIKE to have the car on Saturday 🙄 . My daughter has music lesson + birthday party. Ah yes, I need to be back in Ottawa before Sunday morning.


Asked my mother in Montreal if I could borrow her car and asked her to get the snow tires on.

Took the Voyageur/Greyhound to Montreal that Thursday evening. No skiing partner, regardless I was determined. Some people might call it committed. 😯

Montreal-Wildcat: 340km (230 miles) and 3:30 hours drive.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005: Driving to the Whites.

It was interesting to see the snow variations on the ground during the drive. First sight of snow started in the fields around Farnham (40km east of Mtl). I could see the Bromont, Sutton, Glen, Orford and Jay Peak ski runs all white. This really looked like winter, except for the red leaves on the trees.

Snow didn’t last… to my surprise there wasn’t any snow on the ground from a few miles past the US border until the White Mountains.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005: the Whites.

Arrived at the Wildcat parking lot at 9:30am – first chair at 10:00. I was there at around 10:15am.



Tomcat triple was the only lift open. 1500′ vertical of pure natural snow skiing, much better that the usually early season eastern skiing. The mountain was charging $30 for lift tick.

Trails open at opening were: Middle/Lower Polecat, Tomcat, Catnap, Middle/lower Lynx. However poaching was definitely happening. Maybe one-two hours later, Tomcat Schuss official opened. I did one of my early runs here. Lost a ski for no apparent reason, but continued skiing for maybe 30-40 ft. Tried to retrieve my ski by walking up. I sank down by 3 feet, boy was this hard. I always had mid to full pole in snowdepth.

Around lunch, the patrol was about to official open the skiing on the right side of the mountain (Cat Track, Middle/lower Wildcat, Middle Catapult, Bobcat, Cheetah). I decided to ski down a steep line; Black Cat. Let’s say that there was a lot of snow, because this run looks like it was full obstacles (i guess this one was not open). Made it down (I was puffing)… continued down Alley Cat (lower mountain intermediate). AHHH – huge waterbars every 30feet… What a rough ride. The worst part of it, I screwed up skiing Catapult and ended again on that same Alley Cat trail.

What a beautiful view of Mount Washington, regardless that the cloud level was at around 5000ft (top of Tuckerman).

Some people were climbing the extra 500ft vertical to reach the summit. I had such a fun time that I decided to sleep in Gorham and ski the next day. You could get the following day ticket for $25!!! Good deal indeed!!! A full day skiing: 10:15 – 3:30 virtually without a break or lunch. The mountain definitely became quiet after 1:30pm. I did 15 runs, I was going to feel it the next day.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005. All Natural.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005: Sherbourne Trail across the Notch.

Day 1 / Friday October 28, 2005.



Wildcat was charging $39, but it’s was still a bargain if you ask me. Of course, I had paid $25 for it the previous day.

More people and the worst line-up were about 5 minutes at around noon.

I got to the chairlift at 9:15am, the plan was no lunch and end early, because I needed to end back to take the Greyhound back to Ottawa from Montreal.

Extra runs official opened (?): Feline, Cougar, Alley Cat (no more waterbars), Lower Catapult, Wildcat Pitch, Wild Kitten, Catenary (incl Lower). Basically, virtually everything was skiable. Ally’s Folly was great, some people skied Hairball and Mountain Jag Glade regardless of the creeks.

The high traffic areas started to ice up (ie. Middle Wildcat). When the skier density increased, I decide to climb to the top via Upper Catamount. It probably took me between 30-45 minutes, I was happy that part of that climb was groomed, the first 15 minutes were really hard. Today was definitely the most spectacular day. A blue sky day, Mount Washington white and bright. WOW!!!

Did my top to bottom run on the classic Wildcat trail, what a fun trail. Lose powder, wind-blown at some spots, but definitely worth the climb. Finished my day at 3pm with approximately 10 runs.

What about the snow compared to the previous day? I estimate that under the Triple the snow compacted by about one foot at mid-mountain between early Friday and late Saturday. How much snow will there be in the next few days?

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005: Mount Washington.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005: Wildcat ski area.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005: View from the Wildcat Summit. Mount Washington and MadPat.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005: Top of Wildcat trail with Mount Washington.

Day 2 / Saturday October 29, 2005: Wildcat base.



1) First of all, I want to thank the management of Wildcat for making this possible. =D>

Maybe they did it for the publicity, but it’s sure beat all the signals we’ve been hearing in the East lately.

2) You know you’re having a good day when you skip lunch TWO days in a row. \:D/

MadPat’s Wildcat – October 2005 photo gallery

Originally text posted on Sun Oct 30, 2005 3:25 pm on firsttracksonline

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What a beautiful day ❗ ❗ ❗

It didn’t start off that way, unless you’re a duck. Forecast, rain, rain, heavy rain at times, rain. Leaving from Montreal in the pouring rain, raining all the way to MSA (3 hours drive). The parking lot was virtually deserted at 10:30am, 20 cars under the pouring rain.

Geez 😕 , my stuff was barely dry from the last time I skied in the rain (MRG on April 2th). The snow report called for 29 trails open (most of the sleeper – bump south side runs were on hold). Skiing the south side would’ve brought a more or less long walk in the rain back to the gondola. I am not sure they ever soften up to be opened. Hard to see, the top of the mountain was covered in a dark cloud.

Surprise, Surprise. It was snowing on top, not wet snow, winter snow. 😛 Most of the runs on the North side are shorter and groomers. The skiing was typical great early december skiing. Slightly below freezing temps, dark, frozen base covered with 2 or 3 inches of fluff. As the day went by, the snow started falling harder. It’s was fresh tracks every runs.

Unfortunately 😥 , they advanced the lift closure to 3pm (instead of 3:30). No use running a lift for a few of us diehards. The last run of the day was done on the south side, I tried to find my way to see what was opened, however it was a total white-out on top. Once I got in mid-mountain, it’s was pouring rain and you can tell by the wet snow on the trail that it didn’t snow here all day. Back to the car, I was very wet, but very happy.

I have had a similar trip in desert fresh tracks days when it’s raining all over. Among the most memorable, I would included some April visit to Sugarbush (late), Cannon (early) or Sunday River (May 1st?).

Ste.Anne is closed midweek, but will open for a last Hourrah next weekend. 8)

Originally posted on Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:57 am on firsttracksonline


MT-STE-ANNE – 23 avril 2005 – plutôt décembre???

Pluie battante de Montréal à Québec, rien de très encourageant. Il me semble que j’ai skié souvent dans une pluie battante cette hiver, mon stock de ski avait à peine sècher de ma journée mémorable 😕 du 2 avril à MRG.

Arrivée à la station, le stationnement était desert, une vingtaine d’auto maximum sous la pluie. Le rapport de ski parlait de 29 pistes, mais plusieurs devaient ouvrir graduellement (La Crête, la Super S…). On devait marcher pour se rendre à la gondole.

Au sommet, White-out, hiver et tout blanc. Au lieu de la pluie, c’était de la neige, de la neige pour les plus téméraires. Les conditions de neige étaient fresh tracks à chaque descentes sur un fond dur. Il va sans dire que le fond n’a pas ramolie de la journée, la neige a également pas arrêter de la journée, au contraire, il neigeait de plus en plus fort. 😀

J’ai skié la plupart des pistes du côté nord, sublîme. 8) Je n’ai pas voulu voir ce que le sud avait l’air (je n’aurais pas vu dans le brouillard de toute façon). Malheusement la station ont devancé la fermeture à 15heures (faute de monde, j’imagine 😕 et allait fermer pour dimanche étant donné que les conditions météorologiques allait amener des températures plus chaudes avec précipitations).

La dernière descente (ce que j’ai pû voir 😆 ) fut par la Pichard. Au milieu de celle-ci, la limite pluie-neige a eu l’effet d’une douche. 😮

Belle journée dans l’ensemble. Est-ce ma dernier journée de ski de l’année ❓ ❓ ❓ (je ne peux pas skier la semaine prochaine et mon employeur va décider mon sort ensuite). Si c’est le cas, ça sera ma fin de saison la plus hâtive depuis que je comptabilise mes journées (1981-82, exception de la saison 1983 qui fut écourtée par une blessure en 1983). On est très loin des fins de saison à la fête de reine ou en juin. 😥

En tout cas, ça aussi été ma saison avec le plus de sorties. 😕 Je me croise les doigts pour continuer encore quelques fois.

Initialement affiché le lundi 25 avril 2005 – 11:27 sur zoneski

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