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Hey PASRs! It's Sally here with a check-in from the Green Mountains! I saw Salty's excellent trip report from CBK and I was inspired to see if I could do a sort of Greatest Hits Report of what's been going on up here, ski-wise. I do genuinely miss skiing at Blue; miss the night-skiing, miss the lot. I even smoke more weed than Doug now. Anyway, here's the haps from up north: I have a lightly-used VT Gold Pass; it’s the catch-22 of working in the ski industry: All the perks you could want and no time to use ‘em. I do ski at Magic whenever I get a chance. Love that place for leaving intermediate trails ungroomed for us mere mortals and plodding intermediates. S6 tends to roll up the carpets early in the season, so when we close, I hope to get out for some spring skiing. Ascutney Outdoors, for whom I was doing a shite-ton of volunteer social media and PR work, has turned out to be full of assholes, and I'm glad their stupid rope tow keeps un-fraying. (The first time it happened, I was still doing PR for them and I had to announce the shut-down. I posted: "Rope Tow this weekend? 'FRAID NOT!" ) Anyhoo, I asked those jerkfaces if I could reduce the number of hours I was volunteering for them. They told me it wasn’t that much work and probably I was lazy and inefficient, then they kicked me off the board. I felt like Fredo in The Godfather II. I didn't get in their fucking rowboat, though. ^Trash. Fuck them.^ Presidents’ week we were booked solid and jammin’ in the ski school. Then a young instructor called out for the day and it screwed up the schedule completely. Then I saw him skiing. I said “Mike, did you seriously call out so you could come ski. HERE!?” He said yes. Because he’s a dumbass. I told our mountain manager, who said, like a really nice-but-angry Jabba The Hut: “BRING HIM TO ME.” I bet Mike felt a lot like Fredo in that moment, too. We haven’t seen him since, come to think of it… Here’s my interaction with every tenth customer: ME: “Do you know how to use the wicket?” CUSTOMER: “Yes, of course. <<eye roll>>.” (Three seconds pass) CUSTOMER: “Can I… uh, have another ticket? <<Shows me a crumpled lift ticket stuck awkwardly to itself and the wicket, but NOT attached to the customer’s jacket.>> I showed up at a night-time snowshoe that takes place every Thursday night. Everyone was on xc skis or snow-trekkers (Altai Hoks or BD Glide Lites). They said it was no problem, they’d wait for me. I was like, I’m not that slow, why would they have to wait for me? Then we got to the top of a big pasture and stood chatting and enjoying the beautiful night sky. When it was time to go down, the skiers/trekkers all said BYE! and shushed off through the fresh powder. I was like “@#$%^&*“ snowshoes!!!”. So now I have me some BD Glide Lite 147s with AT bindings on them. Getting them mounted today; will report back. That's about it. I tried snowboarding and fell a lot and it sucked. And my cat's still a jerk. Hope the spring skiing in PA is awesome! Best wishes to everyone! Sally out!
Had an awesome day at Okemo yesterday. Man, being able to ski on weekdays is like discovering Narnia. It's a magical wonderland full of great skiing, low crowds, and really nice people who are happy and relaxed. I met some hilarious retirees who have their own "stash" in the woods somewhere; evidently they bring up a grill and chairs and coolers early in the season and then just carry in supplies as needed. The snow is amazing: soft packed powder everywhere you go and the day turned out to be sunny, though the wind was a bit brutal at times. I bought an Okemo midweek season pass for next year for $279, which also includes Sunapee. I'm not sure what I'll be doing for work, but I plan to keep it flexible as much as possible and try to work weekends. I'm thinking also of getting a season pass at Whaleback, because then if I wanted to ski weekends I'd be on the Freedom Pass which includes days at a lot of smaller areas (and Magic Mountain) that may be fun on weekends, and I'd also get half-off discounts at places like Killington and a few other bigger resorts. Have to do adult stuff today (real estate, health insurance. Blah!) but am going to ski Whaleback tonight from 4 to 8. Night skiing in New England!
Well, midwinter has arrived in Vermont and I enjoyed two days of great powder skiing with no crowds thanks to the mid-week arrival of the storm. Snow was well underway both days, so I parked at the Jackson Gore side to avoid the steep pitch of the main Okemo approach road. Front wheel drive isn't going to cut it up here, not even with my beloved Blizzaks. I feel there is a Subaru in my future. Tuesday saw the more significant snowfall, and the snow was beautiful and untracked, or very lightly tracked, for quite a few runs. After that, it begin to form into push-piles, which were fun but exhausting. I loved the chance to learn to ski "moguls" a bit on blue runs. Though weirdly the piles tended to form more like giant, vertical furrows rather than discrete bumps. That was a challenge; I decided the most fun option was to hop back and forth over the furrow, so it was like one really long mogul, The snow kept dumping until about 5pm, so each run was different every time you did it. I'm no good at skiing powder/3D snow, but I was very psyched for the opportunity to practice. It's hard to stay forward--that was my main challenge. And also being patient with my turns and not trying to shove carvery turns everywhere. Gentle pivots seemed to work best. I started out each day on the J-G side, doing Moondance, then worked my way over to the Solitude chair and worked all the blue trails over there. Didn't spend much time taking the 6-pack to the summit. Visibility was sketchy the times I was up there, and I was having the most fun over at Solitude. Plus Epic Restaurant there has the best $10 lunch you can get at a ski resort: life-altering chicken and waffles. There weren't any crowds at all, but things really thinned out after about noon. I think people were just tired. Wednesday was more of the same, though with conditions a bit more packed down on some trails, which was nice in a way in that it took a lot less energy to ski, but wasn't near as much fun as the day prior. I stayed in Ludlow Tuesday night, because I didn't want to have to drive the 40 minutes back and forth to Quechee in the storm.(The nearer resorts, Quechee and Suicide Six, are not open during the week these days, so a drive was required), Homestyle Hostel on Main street, Ludlow is a really great place: highly recommend if you need an inexpensive dorm bed. Met a guy who quit his job in November and was on Day 74 so far this year. While grabbing a quick bite of dinner at Kilarney's, their regular pub trivia quiz started up. The guy sitting next to me at the bar asked if I wanted to form a team, so we called ourselves "Strangers at a Bar" and recruited anyone who happened to be near us. We ended up with a solid roster and won most of the rounds. After the teams turned in our answer sheets, I looked over at the judge, who was scoring them, and said to my bar neighbor: "See that guy? He's grading. I never have to do that again. Ever!" That was a good feeling.