Monday, April 6, 2015

Sugarbush, VT: 04/03/2015

Daniel ripping the soft bumps on Ripcord, Sugarbush VT, Friday 04/03/2015.

The Saratoga Skier and Hiker, first-hand accounts of adventures in the Adirondacks and beyond, and Gore Mountain ski blog.

I guess we've now made a family tradition out of heading up to Sugarbush for a day of late season skiing. Last year we skied on Daniel's 10th birthday in early March, this year we pegged the Good Friday holiday to use our free lift ticket vouchers from the local screening of Warren Miller's No Turning Back. As Friday approached, we fretted over the changing forecast (showers, clouds, sun, all of the above), but we pulled into the parking lot with bright blue skies and temperatures that screamed "Spring's here!"

April at Sugarbush

Mild overnight temperatures meant that the snow was soft top to bottom right from the get-go, so we headed for the Heaven's Gate chair to take advantage of the soft spring bumps on Ripcord, Paradise, Spillsville and Stein's Run. I've always loved Paradise for its natural snow conditions and interesting twists and drops, but it can become an icy beast mid-winter. Friday it more than lived up to its name.


Sylvie and Daniel skiing Paradise

Daniel and I declared a No Lunch Policy to be in effect for us, so while Beth and Sylvie headed in for a break, we men headed for Castle Rock and a run down Rumble, a steep, narrow rollercoaster of a trail. It's been a few years since I last skied Rumble, and Friday's hero snow reminded me why it's on my short list of the best trails in the east.

Daniel skiing Rumble's narrow drops

We rounded out our afternoon with more of the same. Somehow we had missed out on spring skiing the past two seasons, so we made up for lost time getting our fill of the soft spring moguls.

Sylvie and Daniel on Stein's Run

The kids skiing Spillsville

Late afternoon on Ripcord

We caught one of the very last chairs up Heaven’s Gate, so by the time we got to the bottom it was well past 4 o’clock and even the kids’ legs were spent from all the spring bumps. I’m sure we’ll get out a few more times this spring, but if I had to end my season now, I’d be more than satisfied.

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