I know you all love MC, some secretly, some so desperately that you piss on its lifts only to keep the place to yourself.
I've returned to MC this Thursday again, just to finish it off. Last week I really didn't have enough time to explore because the resort is so spread out, and frankly I don't remember where all the time went... What can I say? MC is both the same, and at the same time has changed!
They've figured that skiers' life on the Bear peak was too mellow, and spiced it up by converting the blue run (the only run immune from racing closures) to something with the rolls, banks and other shebangs that people of adventurous mind are bound to love. Really, give the gift of new snow to the fools, and they'll use it well!
Other than that the actual snow was awesome. Of course not much remaining of the recent snowfall, it's all been compacted, but nevertheless it was a very grippy and enjoyable coverage allowing one to carve strong and w/o fear of slippage. That is unless you're on the Granite peak, where I had another Deja Vu moment of discovering plenty of icy spots and almost falling on the side. IDK, but from my memories the middle peak of MC is indeed notorious for ice. Must be the microclimate, with a resort that's so wide that the side peaks are not even visible from each other, the weather is bound to vary. You can't just look up Tannersville, PA and assume that you know how it is on the JF slopes. You have to type "Mountain Creek Granite Peak", and then the Weather Channel will tell you if there is something special going on there or not.
Speaking of peak sighting, I discovered to my great surprise that Hidden Valley is back in operation. It was brightly lit in the distance. Some internet searching revealed that it's not Hidden Valley anymore, the resort was bought and is used as a non-profit venue to teach kids to ski, but it's just so cool that after installing all the upgrades they can take advantage of them this winter 100%.
Back to the MC... It's never boring here. The only fun one can have at BM is the up-and-down kind of fun. You go up, you ski down, you wait in line, you go up, have an occasional forced conversation... Here it's two-dimensional, it's explorational. Since the majority of parking is at the Vernon peak, and the South one protrudes in the distance as an irresistible magnet for snowboarders, you can actually do a small study on these birds watching how they migrate south during the day, and at 8:15pm sharp start their journey back on that long and quiet lift where they can rethink all the victories of the day. After 8:15pm the South peak becomes completely deserted and is the best place to be for a skier, for he no longer fears of being knocked down by a flying board, or tripping over a sitting penguin. Regretfully, some boarders never get to see the South peak because they arrived by a bus and have strict policies of where they get to go. Then you have to listen to their sad stories of how they once were here with their parents and could venture anywhere they wanted.
It was fun seeing busses to come. At BM you flee in fear at the first sight of those gapers, here you enjoy listening to their conversations, which can be quite entertaining. "Did you see the sparks that I've made??" - asked one after flying down a mountain bike course (yes, there is that much snow!). "I just love living and being here, I'm a teacher, and every time when it snows I'm off work and pretty much have the mountain to myself". A very high-end, educated and obedient crowd here. Both teachers and kids, mostly from NJ and NY... If they're told to stay at Vernon, they'll never go to the South. I just wish they chose freaking skis over the snowboards! Might be a tad less sparks, but a whole safer for everybody else.
I get it why some are so pissed at the Cabriolet. If you really think for a moment, it's the most reliable lift out there. Not once has it stopped or slowed down. It's just a beast running non-stop, and it's fast. There is definitely something to be pissed about. How can a mountain in NJ have something that's so good while others have to endure up to 4 stops at a time on the way up on a gaper's day?! And yeah, it can take 8 people, and yes, salty, it has a dedicated permanent line for singles.
I've been pondering about where to go this Sunday all Thursday long. If it was not for the Subaru fest, I'd most likely come back to MC. It's entertaining in some twisted way, and I still have one set of cards left. But too bad, I'm leaning toward giving those Subarus and gourmet coffee a try, so will see MC again at the end of Feb.