I went up to Stratton yesterday for another day on the snow. My next couple of weeks are a bit hectic, and I wanted to capture another day on the slopes when I could. So I did.
Everyone must have slept in post-Super Bowl. When I arrived at the Sun Bowl parking lot at about 8:30 AM I was the fourth car. At the summit a short time later, I pointed down Upper Tamarack for my first run, and noticed only one set of tracks on the trail. No doubt that was ski patrol.
A Changing Snowscape
A lot had changed since I was at Stratton this past Thursday. This time around there was much more glacier ice present. And the patches of glacier were more extensive in size than last week. Conditions were fast-and-firm once again, but a bit more crusty and icy. And less trails were groomed. A few that were groomed, like Upper Kidderbrook, were covered with a teeth rattling blanket of chunks the size of ice cubes. Snow coverage was thinner than the past week as well.
I guess that’s to be expected given that no significant snowfall has occurred in some time. You can only redistribute the same snow so many ways. Since some gets kicked off trail at the edges each and every day, it’s a cumulative loss. That said, the trails not groomed with ice cubes were fast and fun.
A pesky “ice fog” hovered over the summit the entire time I was there. That made for some challenging, if not difficult visuals. I did a few more runs up top then settled into hitting trails on the lower mountain. By late morning the snow was softening just a bit on the lower mountain. That made for some easy cruising and fun carves. I made multiple laps on Sunrise Supertrail enjoying that soft snow. Then about noon the nasty summit cloud descended to the base. Adding insult to injury a nice light misty mix of water and ice came with it.
I did a few more runs hoping the cloud would get legs and walk back uphill. It didn’t so I called it a day.
Snow On The Way!!
The forecast is calling for precipitation up north over the next couple of days, though a question mark remains about what form it might take.
The good news is that even if a mix starts things off, it sounds like it will end with a nice blanket of snow. And predictions are for another snow event to crop up this weekend, leaving another nice blanket of snow. Let’s hope the forecasters are on target with white instead of nasty wet.
Even better news is that New Hampshire slopes, Loon Mountain for instance, is forecasted to get all white stuff from both the first and second set of storms. So if you have been pondering getting on the Avie’s Ski / Sports trip this coming Sunday, January 9th, you may want to commit.
While ski mountains have been struggling to keep it together this snow-starved season, there is some good skiing and riding to be had if you go. And by weeks end things should be better still. Get out on the hill and have some fun.