Crowded, frozen granular, overcast. On the surface, pretty crappy conditions. Somehow we managed to have a great time.
Either the hordes of beginner and low-level intermediates hadn't gotten the message that it's been a difficult start to the ski season, or they decided to come out en masse anyway. With all traffic funneling down to a single route below the mid-mountain lodge, the lower mountain was a killing field.
But the crowds, the marginal snow conditions and the limited terrain didn't really matter. We ski the east, we can handle ice. We know this mountain, we will find the best skiing. And we did.
We lapped the Little Whiteface chair to avoid the lower mountain. We skied the soft bumps under the guns on Victoria. We zipped down Essex and Northway when Excelsior was crowded and scraped.
The snowmaking and grooming crews did their usual great job putting the mountain back together. And with a colder, snowier forecast ahead, their job won't exactly get easier but it will get a lot more productive.
Bottom line: What could be better than being in a place you love, doing the thing you love with the people you love?