Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stony Pond Ski Tour: 03/26/2011

This past Saturday all of the elements came together for a great backcountry ski trip: blue skies, packed powder, a great group of friends, and a point-to-point through trip that drops nearly a thousand vertical feet. At the end, instead of taking off our skis and climbing into our cars, we all skied into Jim Hanley's and Michele Quirk's Falls Brook Yurts for an end-of-winter celebration. The full trip report and photos are posted here on the Adirondack Almanack.

Additional photos are below...

West Mountain: 03/30/2011

About a dozen of us showed up for what will probably be our final Wednesday Telemark Night at West this year. Despite temperatures that remained well above freezing all evening, snow surfaces were rather crispy and crunchy. All that may change with the possibility of yet another snow storm on Friday. There's plenty of snow already on the trails, so West will have no trouble maintaining good coverage for this weekend. Whether West remains open beyond the weekend is more a question of economics rather than snow, so check here and West's website for their closing date.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gore Mountain: 03/27/2011

Spring is currently on hold at Gore Mountain, with conditions today that felt more like mid-February than late March. There were no complaints from skiers though: bright blue skies and great snow put a smile on just about everybody's face.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just say NO to Spring!

Cold weather and recent snowfall in the mountains are helping to extend the season at some local ski areas. Here's a quick update.

West Mountain's Slush Cup and Family Fun Day is Saturday, March 26, 10am to 5pm, with pond skimming contest, cardboard sled races on the Face Slope, scavenger hunt and outdoor BBQ. Word is that West is shooting to stay open into April.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mont Tremblant, Quebec: 03/17 & 03/18/2011

Day 1: Thursday, St. Patrick's Day:

Summit fog, 8am

I've always wanted to take advantage of the First Tracks program that some ski areas offer. Apparently I'm not the only one, because all eight of my companions on a multi-day trip to Quebec's Mont Tremblant decided that First Tracks sounded like fun. I was skeptical last night that we'd all make it, but sure enough, all nine of us boarded the gondola in the fog at 7:45 this morning to head up to Mont Tremblant's summit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gore Mountain: 03/12/2011

It's too bad that the snow-to-rain event Thursday night and Friday had to bring an end to the outstanding conditions skiers had been enjoying all week, but such is the roller coaster of March. Conditions on Saturday were actually pretty good on the lower mountain, where grooming produced a surface that I'll call heavy packed snow: damp but carvable.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gore Mountain: 03/08/2011

I don't usually have the flexibility in my schedule to take a spur-of-the-moment, mid-week powder day, but I needed a day like today. Last weekend was my first non-skiing weekend since before Thanksgiving, with family committments on Saturday and a soaking rain in ski country on Sunday that made staying home - beleive it or not - a better option.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

West Mountain: 03/02/2011

Sometimes “in like a lion” means cold and snowy, a good thing, and sometimes it just means cold and windy, not such a good thing. But having missed the last two Wednesday nights due to school break and a bout of bronchitis, I wasn’t going to let a little chilly breeze get in the way of my usual mid-week ski night.

Conditions were actually better than I had expected. Rain on Monday left surfaces firm and fast to be sure, but there was enough loose and edgeable snow to make for fun, but cold, skiing.

West Mountain has their annual pond skimming contest and cardboard sled races tentatively scheduled for March 26. The long-range forecast has some temperature ups and downs, but based on early season snowmaking efforts, good natural snowfall and solid base depths on the trails as of last evening, I’d say that date should be no problem.