I had the pleasure of spending Tuesday and Wednesday up at Stratton doing some skiing. It was the annual “Demo Days” dealer event where we get to visit ski and snowboard dealers, see what’s new for the upcoming season. i agree it is a very trying and difficult job, but someone has to do it. I don’t mind taking a shot “for the team” every once in a while.
While I’m not ready to divulge what’s new and what’s not just yet, I am going to give you an update on conditions up north, and a couple of insights about gear that I tried that is already on the market and ready for you to play with.
Tuesday was a snow day. It snowed almost all of the day. Hard at times with a quick peek of sun here and there. It snowed hard enough that there was untracked powder to ski late in the day. Under that fluffy powder was machine-groomed packed powder. So conditions were ideal for trying out gear on what I call typical New England conditions. Groomers early in the day and a bit of powder late in the day. For Day 1, conditions were great.
Wednesday turned out to be better than expected. The “r” word had been in the forecast, but it never materialized. Instead the temperature went into the mid-to-high 30s, even at the summit, providing soft, buttery snow that was a lot like spring skiing. Every ski feels good in those conditions, until you of course you hit the big lumps and bumps of late day. Then there is a bit of a challenge to be met.
The bottom line is that conditions up north are really, really good. There is a good base on the mountain, and it’s not just glacier ice like last year. it’s honest-to-goodness packed powder. Because it snowed a bunch Tuesday, the warmth of Wednesday didn’t cause much loss of snow. It got windy on Wednesday, drying out and preserving the snow. And it’s snowing buckets up there today, with as much as a foot of white stuff anticipated.
So go skiing. Get out and ride. Get on the Avie’s bus trip this weekend to Loon in New Hampshire. Definitely get on the Avie’s trip to Killington next Wednesday the 15th. Both mountains will be in prime condition, and Killington on a Wednesday is a treat you don’t want to miss. Especially with the snow being this tasty.
And now for the gear. There are some skis at Avie’s just waiting for you to come by and take them out to play in the snow. The conditions on the slopes right now are ideal for a “flat” ski set up. I put several through the paces. The Armada Invictus (Invicta for you women) loved groomers, loved the fresh stuff, smeared the soft stuff and smashed the late day crud. Invictus Ti especially liked smashing crud. Nordica Enforcer (Belle for the women). Repeat what was said above. But include that Enforcer really loved smashing the late day crud. It enforced the thought that crud should not be an impediment to late day fun. Nordica NRGy series. Same, same. But floated the fresh and fluffy so very gracefully. Fischer Ranger, Volkl Keno and Yumi, Blizzard Brahma and Black Pearl. Yes, yes, yes to all of them for playing hard and playing well in the conditions up north, in Vermont, at Stratton, right now.
Some of the skis mentioned above may not be around next season. If you’ve been procrastinating getting that new pair of skis you’ve got your eyes on, don’t wait too long. That’s all I’ll say for now.
Except……get out and hit the slopes. Conditions are great and getting greater as the snow continues to pile up.