It was 8:45 AM Tuesday March 3rd and I was on the Ursa lift at Stratton on my way to the summit. I had just skied over from the Sunbowl. I got on early because the young lady at the Sunrise lift was, evidently, just stretching her arms. But it looked to me like she was waving a willowy “Come on over.” So I did. She laughed when I explained. Then she waved me onto a chair.
Looking uphill from my chair on the Ursa lift I could clearly see that I could not clearly see the summit. A thick blanket of fog cloaked the upper quarter of the mountain. Ugh.
As far as fog goes though, this one was pretty okay. It didn’t put a frozen glaze over my goggle lens, not even a wet mist. It did make the snow a bit one-dimensional as I took my first plunge down the “Get My Drift” trail. But as I said, as far as foggy mountain skiing goes, this was pretty okay.
The surface was a little crusty right at the summit, but softened rapidly with my descent. Once below the fog line visibility improved and the light on the surface not quite as one-dimensional. Temperatures back at the base were warm, despite not much sun.
By ten or ten-thirty in the morning the fog had dissipated and the sun was shining brightly. Temperatures soared with the sunlight. I had my helmet vents wide open, jacket unzipped and underarm vents zipped wide open as well. The snow was soft top-to-bottom. It was spring skiing at its best.
By late morning things were a bit sloppy back at base areas, and there was a growing abundance of those very annoying “sticky strips” as I call them. You know, those patches of snow that are waterlogged and grab the bottom of the ski or snowboard and try to jerk you to a stop. Very annoying. Very.
But the skiing was delicious. Big fat sloppy turns in the soft snow from summit to base. Exhausting, but so much fun.
While we are seeing a bit of warm up at the moment, temperatures drop for the weekend, with a bit of snow tossed in up north on Friday. There is still plenty of skiing and riding to be had.
Avie’s Ski / Sports is at Killington today, and those lucky folks will see a repeat of what I got to experience yesterday. There will be some very happy, very tired skiers and riders on the return trip.
This Sunday Avie’s Ski / Sports heads off to Loon Mountain in New Hampshire. Take this opportunity this weekend to get in a few more turns before you turn away from winter and look towards the coming of summer.
And don’t forget that Sunday March 15th is the Avie’s Ski / Sport “Customer Appreciation” trip. Ted and all the shop staff join in on this trip north to Mount Snow. Coffee, donuts, and snacks of all sorts—a few even healthy—are available. Ted plays “Santa” passing out lots of fun “give away” items he has collected over the season. Socks, hats, scarves, and only Ted knows what else, make for a fun and entertaining trip.
Get out and go skiing and riding while the turns are soft and sweet. I hope to see you on March 15th on the trip to Mount Snow.