Sunday, March 10, 2013

Then you go and do something like this...


Early to mid Feb and I would have told you we had another bust on our hands this year.  Probably not as bad as last year but still pretty bad.  Just couldn't seem to hold anything together, no consistency with the good weather we were getting.  Then late Feb / early March happened.

The last 2 weeks or so have been one of the better stretches of conditions I can remember in the last few years.  The snow piled up and then it stayed cold.  Lots of resorts started picking up those little refresher events in the 1-4in range which don't get a lot of attention but in my opinion those make for some of the best days you can snag.  May sound weird but I would take 3-4in that no one really knew was coming over a 12in day throwing elbows with every other GoPro owning yahoo in a 100mi radius every time.  Well maybe not every time.

We didn't have any fresh snow for yesterday but we got the next best thing.  A deep solid base, abundant sunshine and somehow absolutely no crust.  That is a combo I'm not sure I've ever gotten to enjoy before and it was awesome for it to all come together on a meetup day we've been trying to pull off all season.

I've seen this view from the base maybe twice in 10+ years

Full roster included Shaun, D-bone, Amanda and Clint.  We made second Tram and early on we knew we were in for an amazing day.  The sun was out from the get go but we thought for sure we'd be dealing with some pretty crusty conditions until the solar gain picked up a bit.  But first run down Green Beret was already pretty soft and there were still even some spots with sugary pow here and there in the shade.  Didn't make any sense.

All morning was just repeated awesome.  You couldn't go wrong.  We went to all our usual spots and everything was riding amazing.  Soft buttery bumps as far as the eye could see.  With a bit of luck we were able to avoid the crowds for much of the morning.

unfortunately no one makes 5 person chairs, just imagine Clint in here.

After lunch we took the Tram ride from hell.  I kind of forgot that Spring skiing brings out the douche factor and we got sandwiched between two groups trying to one-up each other's idiocy.  They were highly successful.  We scoped out the face after lunch but the snow pack was a bit lacking.  Clint summed it up accurately, "It's navigable but I wouldn't call it skiing.".  So we skirted off the shoulder and got back to following the afternoon sun around trying to stay with the soft snow.  Not before I snapped some pics, one of which was pretty ok.

My last few days out have been season saving for sure.  Tons of good riding that has left me whupped several times.  Would have been nice if it was late Jan / early Feb but we'll have to take what we can get.  Extended forecast looks like we will soon be into a solid freeze/thaw cycle.  Hopefully get a few more good spring days in and then before you know it we'll be rolling on dirt again.  Speaking of which where the hell is my fork Niner!?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I went in to this weekend thinking things would be decent at best and as the sun sets on Sunday I'm trying to recover from my two best days of the season.

Cannon got missed entirely on Wed when most other spots in the Whites picked up 12+ but they have managed to pick up onesy-twosy events here and there since with 2in into Saturday and 4in into Sunday.  Got a late text from Clint Friday night and we met up Saturday to see what we could find.

Clint has spent a decent amount of time at Cannon but has yet to really be shown around so we had some work to do.  Showed him some easy to miss tree shots on Cannon proper, got in a Hardscrabble top to bottom, and showed him the harder to find spots on Mittersill.

not hard to find but still rode well all day

We were riding hard all day and all of it was good.  Highlight was probably our venture out to Stinger.  First time out there in 2 years and it was oh so sweet.  Gonna go on record that Stinger is my favorite line in the Notch.  So much FLOW.  Late in the day we decided to see if anyone had peeked into 2nd Shift.  Surprisingly it looked like everyone had skipped it that day.  It could use a bit more snow because of how steep it is but it was a good time.  It sapped the little energy we had left and we called it a day shortly after.

tele-shred intrigues me but looks very tiring

After a few beers and a bouncy house? Clint and I started heading south.  As we left it started snowing hard and I got a feeling that this was gonna be one of those sneaky Notch events.  Even though I was pretty shredded I started sending texts to see who was going to be on mountain Sunday.  The usual suspects chimed right in and the plan was made for first chair.


We went right for it and were the first group heading to Mittersill after 4in overnight.  Firsties in the Tube, Tuckerbrook and Troll/Meadowbrook.  One of the best runs of the year.  Maybe even one of the best overall of the last few.

  each one of the 13 turns was quite nice

Hiked back and lapped Mittersill a bit and got some great turns on Bunny.  Usually that one doesn't last but it was riding amazing and no one was hitting it for some reason.

Karen was nice enough to offer a pickup at the end of Tuckerbrook so we ended the day with a full run.  The bottom half was riding great.  Super fun and soft.  We even ran into the complementary folks completely lost halfway down.  They had parked at Coppermine skinned their way over to Tuckerbrook, somehow managed to get split up and had no idea where their other party member was or exactly how to get back to their car.  Nice work guys!  AND we even also got to see the standard issue group of three 20 somethings at the end of Tuckerbrook coming to the realization that they didn't know where they were and they were going to need a ride back to Cannon.  I miss this stuff!

As long as we avoid any big thaws, March is going to be real good in the Notch.  I even got word that they opened Tramline today.  It was too late by the time I heard and I was too tired to get over there but I think that is the first time its been open in 3 years?  That also means Gunsight should be in.  GAME ON!