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Posts Tagged ‘Sonic Youth’


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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October Rituals!!!

For kids: its Halloween, dressing up and candy.
For some: Its spectacular foliage, picking up the leaves and getting ready for Winter.
For hunters: its game time for Moose.

Skiers also have their own rituals :

– Ski porn and ski shows.
– First flakes and first snow.
– Race to see which ski area will be the first to spin lifts in the country (A-Basin or Loveland) and in the East (Killington or Sunday River).
– Hunt for Snow enough to ski on.
– And number 97 for a Mad Skier!!!

Hunt for White October!!! At least a bit of October white to turn on !!!

October 2013 was no different: After a warm first half of the month in Eastern North America, diehard skiers were looking at the first sign of slidable snow (natural or fake). Things got back to normal with some seasonable temperature in the second half of the month. The first real snowmaking window opened on Tuesday with Killington and Sunday River turning on the guns for a October opening.

Killington was fighting to regain its past reputation as first to open/October skiing with its 3rd October in a row.

Sunday River was pulling all the stops to open again this October for the 6 out of 8 times, having only missed 2012.

Both ski area seemed to have the attitude to hunt for it: Killington have refound that attitude it had lost for a few years while Sunday River wasn’t going to throw in the towel and play second fiddle to the Beast in Vermont. In the afternoon of Thursday October 24, Killington turned on its lifts for skiers while Sunday River announced they were opening the Saturday. Like last October 13, Kmart reserved its first full day for passholders on that Friday. Some people didn’t care, as they found about one foot of natural snow in higher elevations.

Meanwhile in Maine things soured; Sunday River made this announcement on Friday before I left for Montreal:

We’re still aiming to open tomorrow, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse. As such, we’re going to make the call tomorrow at 6:30 a.m. as to whether or now we can open, and here are the reasons why:

It’s much warmer than any of us expected, snowmaking has stopped, temperatures do not look favorable moving forward, leaving each and every one of us thinking: we’ll be damned if we go back on our word to you about tomorrow being opening day. If there was ever a testament to the dedication of our teams to you, it was illustrated just 20 minutes ago by 20 plus men boarding the Locke Mountain Triple. They weren’t going up to ski first tracks, they were going up there to physically move snow in time for tomorrow’s opening day. None of us are ready to admit defeat, but there’s a chance that we may.

So what does this mean? It means that despite our snowmaking efforts since Tuesday, we’ve made significant process, however there will be walking to the mid-station in addition to downloading to the base. It means that we’ll continue to make snow when we can, but it’s going to take a miracle to make the amount of snow most of you are used to expecting. It means that the coverage is variable, so when we say for advanced skiers and snowboarders only, we really really mean it. It means that opening day conditions are nowhere near our standards, despite even our best efforts. And finally, it means that even if we’re able to open tomorrow, we need to set some expectations.

So…if you’re looking for tremendous conditions and ample snow coverage—get ready for the most honest snow report assessment maybe, like, ever—this weekend isn’t for you. If you want to come up, check things out, ski a little, and check out our progress, come on up and say hello.

Keep thinking cold thoughts and we’ll continue to too. Tomorrow’s update will be here at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.


Sonic Youth : ‘Cross the Breeze

Decision

We waited until 6:30am’s green light to head on the road for the first time this season. We had considered heading to Killington which is the same distance from Montreal (actually 3km less), but I prefer the drive to Maine and T2 run versus Rime. As we noticed with the last minute…hold on by Sunday River, things can change fast on the margins of a ski season. Sunday River had hoped to 2 runs initially and barely managed one and Killington would offer 5 runs on that Saturday.


White birds on the edge of the border – not willing to venture into Mordor


Restaurant on the edge of Wilderness


Gateway into Mordor

Drive

There was an early pre-dawn red fiery sky over the distant hills mixed with dark clouds to the East: we were driving at great speed towards it on the Eastern Townships Autoroute with Pink Floyd’s Animals shouting in the speakers, like two snow hobbits seeking white in Mordor.

A short time after we crossed the border into the extreme northeast corner of Vermont and New Hampshire, we were into the wilderness. Not many skiers in these parts in October : the odd store had a bunch of killed animals on the walls, not skis. As we got crossed one last notch, we could see white on the mountain tops.


Pink Floyd : Dogs


There are different way to travel to Mordor : drive


Or fly to the international airport


Need supplies? Drive-in


MTL_Ripper looking at supplies for our trip


Supplies in the Wilderness


Reading material : 40% Porn, 40% Guns and weather almanach. Wait? No, this ain’t ski porn!? This isn’t the FamousInternetSkiers Calendar????


These aren’t snow guns?


Are we going skiing? No skis mounted on the wall here.


Whippets : finally the first ski related item


Traces of white in the mountains


First glimpse of skiable white

Barker Parking Lot

We found an empty spot close to the lodge as a few skiers were already leaving. They had their first few runs of the season and were happy. From experience over the last opening at Sunday River two years ago, I remembered that the conditions generally got better as the snow was being skied.

Sunday River’s open as soon as possible, no time or need to groomed it, it’s the skiers job to massage the snow. It makes for some challenges and it keep skiers on their toes.


Going for the White October


Snow!!!


Still needs more snow for top to bottom


Midstation wait as chair suddenly stopped almost 10 minutes


Good news…no walking required to reach the midstation


Not much sign of skiing from the chair

The rode up the slow Locke Mountain Triple; it was being particularly slow as people kept downloading as were riding. Some snowguns were still functioning towards the bottom, but they were being turned off as we were riding up. The temperature was clearly moving above freezing. There was no blazed donut skiing this year.

The surface was irregular, but not firm. The conditions got sketchy and thin as you moved below the pitch. Sketchier than previous visits (2009 and 2011) with a few streams to jump to reach the midstation: almost wondering how close to the freezing mark?


Warning signs


Start shack for the season


MTL_Ripper heading towards the first pitch

People didn’t care, they were just happy that Sunday River managed to pull it off. The mountain crew had to manually move the snow around to make skiing possible today. After the previous day bloom message, conditions were much better than expected. Absolutely no walking was required. Kudos for the mountain crew’s hard work.

As in previous experience, the skiing got better as the snow was moved around by skier traffic and I found my legs. The bumped up pitch by the mounds snowguns was fun to ski.


MadPat in the first pitch


MTL_Ripper

As MTL_Ripper mentioned, there is no easy start to the season. He was adjusting from an injury while people’s eyes were trying to adjust to his 3D drawing on his white jacket – you would think that the liftees around were stoners being tripped out by it. It was a great conversation piece.

The mountain crew were making snow on a few other upper trails, but as mentioned in their message, the weather window wasn’t as great as anticipated and they didn’t manage to get Upper Sunday Punch open.


You need 3D Googles to look at MTL_Ripper’s jacket


Sunday River was initially hoping to have Upper Sunday Punch open

It would be great if Sunday River could get a temporary snackbar instead next to the midstation. Although we were getting pretty hungry, but we kept skiing. It started snowing as we were making our last runs; we downloaded off with about one hour left: greatly satisfied of our day. I would have skied more, but they will be always next time.

MTL_Ripper needed to find an actual drinkable coffee, the last one found in the wilderness was pretty bad.


Second drop – trail isn’t full width


The bottom was a bit sketchier

No lineup and long wait to get up or off the mountain this year. The email might have scared a few people away? One run lasting 180 meters vertical down a black diamond run; that ain’t bad for October. It always a surreal moment when you walk off a lift and its warm with no snow in sight.

Thank you again Sunday River for making regularly making October possible for us, Mad rippers.


Snowing at midstation


Downloading the seasons away : back to Fall


Main Lodge and limited white on trails. It won’t be long until all trails will be white.

20131026_sr
SkiLog – Partial graph. Ran out of space due to my Summer ski days still loaded in watch

MadPat’s Gallery :
Sunday River ME – October 26, 2013

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