Friday, January 30, 2009

Vacay at Cannon 1/29

Big Dump Wednesday = Thursday Vacation Day.

I would like to thank Bill for convincing me Wednesday that a vacation day Thursday was mandatory. It was a good call. I don't take enough vacation time and now is as good a time as any to start.

Cannon was working with somewhere over a foot of snow from Wed...most of the powder on trail was skied off during the day so we headed into the woods early to find the deep stuff. We took a few runs over at Mittersill (along with everyone else in New England!...I haven't seen that many people hiking to Mittersill in a long time, kind of depressing). Luckily most of the traffic was staying on Barrens or Lift Line while we stuck to the lesser known goodies.

Got some great turns in Golden Birches and Stinger, so much fun floating around in the trees in that much snow.

Got a ride in the payload of a pickup back to the Tuckerbrook Chair from some locals after Stinger...saved us a bunch of time and we were able to head over to Kinsman towards the end of the day. Jim found the traverse over to lower Gunsight and we decided to head over. The run got mixed reviews from the group. Traverse was long and somewhat annoying to navigate but once we arrived the snow was DEEP and basically untouched. It was a bit heavy though and we were all tired from a full day. It was a bit of a struggle linking more than 5 turns or so but I don't regret it.

Resting the legs Friday at work and then its back out on Saturday to rack up some more vert.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Irish Red Bread

Beer Bread is like my new 'thang'. And why not? It's ridiculously easy to make and delicious. This time around I used one of my Squamy Commie Reds (i.e. Irish Red) with a bread kit by Rabbit Creek that my mom got me for Christmas...Thanks Mom! And for the record my mom bought the kit before she had heard about my first batch of beer bread, but she's always ahead of the game so that isn't too surprising.

This bread came out real hearty. The kit included a bag with the flour mix and another bag full of course grains that you mixed in. I like how the beer reacts a bit when mixed with the foams quite a bit at first then settles down as you mix it in.

I melted some butter on top like I did with the last batch, that is definitely the way to go. Adds a nice flavor to the end product. It smelled great baking and came out perfectly.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cannon 1/24 - 1/25

Chalk up another great weekend at Cannon.

Exploration was the theme. Not a whole lot of new snow and temps were cold and the wind was blowing. On trail conditions were fast but it was a tad hard getting an edge to bite so we eventually decided to try our luck a bit more off piste.

Saturday we decided to venture down Tuckerbrook for the first time this season and duck out on one of the glades before making it all the way out to Franconia. We opted for Stinger (not Slider like I said in my Twitter post) and it was...lets say interesting. Lots of snow, but not quite enough to fill in that particular terrain.

Affectionately known as the 'Junkyard'

It looked great, basically untouched, but there were lots of little air pockets and tree wells where there wasnt enough base down to fill things in and there were lots of places you could get a tip snared and come to a complete stop. Luckily everyone avoided any major issues. I got snagged once but I was going slow enough at the time that things were ok.

Things filled in a bit nicer a little further down and we were able to get some nice sections in where you could link more turns without worrying about falling into a pile of hidden christmas trees. Bill got some nice sequence shots of me towards the bottom. By this point I was operating on 1.5 poles. Due to an errant pole plant higher up my pole sank to about half shaft, got caught on something and snapped off as I kept skiing. Good thing they were only $25.

1.5 is all I need

A bit after this sequence I ran into some issues with what I thought was a big powder puff. Turns out it was a large mound of mostly solid earth. Weird things happen when you hit something solid expecting it to be soft fluffy powder that you blow right through. I am having trouble finding the words to describe the sensations so I'll just go with this:

Believe it or not I skied out of this

No pics from Sunday, but more exploring was had. We spent a bit of time trying to find the entrance to some lines lookers right of the Tramline. We are sure there is some sweet stuff in there, we have pictures to prove it and we have been studying them in depth trying to find possible entrances. Its only a matter of time...stay tuned for a post in another week or two that will more than likely have a report on said lines.

We were very fortunate to get some sweet recon info from Bill about a stash that none of us had ridden to date. He gave great directions and we were able to find it without issue. You may notice that I am leaving out details about location and you can be sure that I am doing that on purpose. It is apparent that very few people know about this locale and we are definitely going to keep it A list for as long as possible. Suffice it to say, it was awesome and there was snow to be had even with the last dump being a week ago.

Cannon just doesn't seem to get old.

Mod Squad '09

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cannon 1/10 - 1/11

What a weekend.

I finally feel like the ski season is really going. First few days on snow were good but we hadn't really gotten in any days that had me feeling whupped at the end of the day due to lots of pow slashing. This weekend we finally got that day in and now I can't wait to get some more snow coming into New England so we can keep this ball rolling.

Saturday was very cold on the mountain, frostbite warnings and all, but it was a blue bird day with lots of sun, which is rare at Cannon so it made the day enjoyable. We were able to navigate around some of the ice and find decent snow in spots.

You don't often get a view of Lafayette like this, so we stopped to take it in.

But the real story of the weekend was Sunday. We had been hearing rumors all day Saturday of a storm system coming our way but most of us had heard it was supposed to stay south with the North Country maybe getting an inch or two. We planned on getting up early to see what was coming down and then make plans accordingly. I woke up at 6am to scope things out and found 3-4 on the ground with snow coming down hard.

Driveway cleared and ready to go while the rest of Ashland sleeps

I rallied the troops and we were able to get on the road by 7am and on mountain by 7:45. Which in hindsight is pretty amazing because the Echo was getting first tracks on I-93 thanks to the state presumably cutting back on plowing due to our 'fiscal crisis'.

We were in the first half dozen on the scene

We got first chair and immediately headed for the front five. This run was probably one of the best I have had in years as far as on trail open powder fields go. Usually we have to hug the sides of trails to find the good snow...but this time you could take huge sweeping GS turns in the middle of the trail and be cruising through 6-7 inches of powder, it was amazing. We chose Avalanche on the front and we chose wisely. The steepness made the snow feel even deeper.

We then proceeded to run laps all over the mountain. Regroups were short, we didn't want to waste any time. We ducked a rope off the top to ski Taft heading down to Upper and Middle Hard...some of the best runs of the day. Jomo and I got the seasons first taste of the Tube. Top 1/3 needs more snow but the middle and bottom were very fun. We also got into Lost Boys a new glade off Upper Cannon which was really interesting, but it needed a tiny bit more snow.

First run at Mittersill has been notched as well and the conditions there were also really good, and we didnt get over there until later in the day. I suppose technically it could use one more dump of 6-8 to be really set, but things were fine to get down without doing any damage to gear and we were even able to find some really good stashes.

The day was indeed epic, and I am sure I will be feeling that epicness in my lower back tomorrow morning...but I am also sure that it was completely worth it.

I think Jomo and Bill have some pics of actual riding, I will post them when I get them.

Second run of the day on Vista

The 'crew' before our Mittersill run. Me, Amanda, Dustin, Irwin, Tumble, Jomo (pic taken by Bill)

I love this pic

I got caught trying to rehydrate with some snowflakes after an epic run