Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Stowe’

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

stowe_rd_20140601

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

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

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


No snow on Madonna


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

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

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


Toll Road and the green runs


Snow…that we didn’t ski

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


Nosedive : Patch One of Four


Patches Two and Three

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

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


MTL_Ripper getting started on Nosedive


Nice background view of Spruce and Madonna


VT_Ski and the Notch


MTL_Ripper milking with VT_Ski looking on


“Let’s do this again”


VT_Ski going some snow maintenance


Threading the line


The last meter

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

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


Lower Sunrise


MTL_Ripper heading for the Upper Sunrise 1 & 0.5 patches


VT_Ski on Sunrise with Toll Road in the background


The edge still had 2-3 Feet depth


VT_Ski trying to extend the snow patch


MTL_Ripper


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


VT_Ski raising corn with MadPat looking on


Bluebird


MadPat’s turn


Wait for it


Straying


Adding a few extra meters


Last tracks from white to green

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

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


Vermont Ski Museum in Stowe


MadPat loves old skis


MTL_Ripper’s old board

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


The Last Patch


Stowe Gondola side and Mt.Mansfield

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

20140601_stw
Log

20140601_stw_d
Log Detail

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ontario Spring Break was here and I had taken the week off. After one day family ski day St.Bruno (near Montreal) where we initiated Tara (2.5 yrs old) to the great sport of skiing, Tuesday was Parents’ Day.

We left our kids with Grand’ma in Montreal and treated ourselves with a beautiful day of skiing at Stowe, one of our favorites ski areas in the East.

Focus: Spruce ….

I wanted to return to Stowe and ski Spruce Peak before that whole area got “improved” 😡 next year with the removal of the old double and added snowmaking. Unfortunately, I always overlooked this part of Stowe because of the lack of expert runs. Yes, the lift was slow, but the conditions were well worth the wait. Whirlaway is fun and twisted, great coverage with minimal rocks and branches. Smugglers was also great. He did repeat those runs a few times.


Spruce Chair


Spruce Chair


Smuggs from top of Spruce

Mansfield:

After the great skiing off the old double, we took the gondola and headed for the gondola. Chin Clip was a huge disappointment, conditions were hardpacked and wind-blown, a far cry from the fun stuff at Spruce. Most runs were (or looked) windblown and icy. We didn’t stay here for long, it’s was getting late.

What’s next? Goat, Starr?

Although there are many runs that I love at Stowe, the other focus of the trip was to ski the Bruce trail. We started skiing down it sometimes past 3pm. What a great run, long and narrow with a few drops. Conditions were better than Spruce (virtually no rocks and branches, only a few bare spots at the end (before the cross-country center)). The snow had more of a Spring texture to it. We had to push and climb for a while before we were able to get back to the “resort”. 4:03PM – Finally made it to the Toll Road chair (or whatever it’s called). “Sorry, we are closed, the liftee told us” 😥 We finally had to hop on the shuttle to get back to the lot.

A great day. Best conditions skied: Spruce and Bruce.

Next day destination: Mad River Glen.


Bottom of Spruce and Mansfield


Nosedive


Bruce Trail

MadPat’s Stowe – March 2005 photo gallery

Text originally posted on Mon Mar 21, 2005 4:40 pm on firsttracksonline

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: