Thursday, March 14, 2013

one of the best

Sunday was a very different day from foggy Saturday: bright, sunny and warm (but not too warm).  We got up there about twenty minutes later than our winter normal; this time of year, when the snow gets so soft in the afternoons and then sets up overnight, the conditions are sometimes less than ideal first thing in the morning.  Temperatures were already in the 30s and we could hear the guns going off all over the place as patrol scrambled to open what they hadn't been able to get to the day before.

Spectacular day, spectacular scenery

Following the sun, we took Collins up and then did a couple of runs off the Sugarloaf chair before moving over to Supreme.  We headed into Catherine's Area and it was evident immediately that I was going to have a much better day, whether due to good visibility or the fact that I wasn't psyching myself out.  Catherine's was in great shape, tracked out but soft, even in the wind-buffed areas. 

A in Catherine's Area

From the Supreme chair, we could keep an eye on Devil's Castle and watched the skiers streaming in as soon as patrol dropped the rope.  We gave them some time to pack down the traverse and then headed over ourselves.  The first half got skied out quickly but we took the lower traverse over nearly to the Apron where not so many people had ventured.  Because the cliffs above block the sun, the snow here was simply fantastic: light, soft and deep.  Even on my Volkls I felt like I was skiing it well and H, on his new skis, just flew through the powder.  We came out and went right back to the chairlift to do it again.  It was just as good the second time.

Side-stepping up into Devil's Castle

After lunch, H went back to the Castle for another go while I went to Supreme, knowing my legs weren't in the mood for that long traverse again.  Since the plan was to meet back up at the chair, I kept doing laps, once through Catherine's, then alternating bumps runs (99 Express, etc.) with flyers until I found H.  We didn't sync up for a while although we kept shouting at each other from the chair.  Just before 3 p.m., he got one last run in through Catherine's; I was a few minutes behind him and didn't get in before patrol closed it, to my regret.  We connected at that point and did one more run on Supreme, getting nearly the last chair before it closed at 3:30, then moved over to Sugarloaf and caught one of its last chairs as well.  We skied down through Collins face (none of that tow-rope nonsense!), finishing around 4 p.m.  The sun was still shining and there was much merriment on GMD patio and we felt a celebratory PBR was in order to toast what was absolutely one of the best days of the season.

Cliffs above Devil's Castle

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