Friday, March 13, 2015

welcome, daylight

I had checked the weather report and I could have sworn that it said that Sunday was going to be a carbon copy of Saturday.  Now, I knew things would start out a little chillier because of the spring-forward time change (hooray! love it! favorite day of the year!  more light later!) but I figured it would warm up quickly in the sunshine, so I wore the same layers as Saturday.  Traffic was very light heading up the canyon, which was no doubt due in large part to the time change, and I scored a good parking spot near the front of the Wildcat base lot.  When I got out of the car to put on my boots, it seemed a couple of degrees cooler than Saturday and, with the sun still behind the mountains, it was pretty chilly.

It was chilly on the shady Collins chairlift ride too and I - and almost everyone else - immediately moved over to Sugarloaf to ski in the sunshine.  Surprisingly, it wasn't much warmer in the sun.  I did several runs on Sugarloaf, sticking to the groomers because I quickly learned that anything ungroomed that had been in the sun on Saturday was frozen solid now.  The groomers were pretty hard too: the worst of them was Extrovert which had people falling and sliding all over it, unused to skiing on snow where you have to dig your edges in.  I skied it, recalling my habits as an East Coast skier, and blew right past everyone else - and I am not a fast skier.
A nearly-empty Devil's Castle

After a little while I switched over to Supreme where the cold temperatures persisted.  My feet actually got pretty cold so I opted for an early lunch around 11:30 a.m. and ended up staying in Alf's for over a half hour while my toes warmed up.  I went back up Sugarloaf and traversed into Devil's Castle.  There were only three other people in there with me so it was like having the place to myself. I skied it a little better than I had on Saturday and went out far skier's right through some trees I'd never been in before; I wasn't sure where I was for a while although I ended up coming out by Funland.  The afternoon was spent doing laps on Supreme (Challenger, Sleepy Hollow, Upper Big Dipper, Rock N Roll) and waiting for the sun to soften the snow.  But it never softened.  I finally attempted one run in Catherine's Area which was not that successful: anything that had been in the sun Saturday was quite crusty; anything in the trees was soft; and the run-out, which had ended up as huge, soft, corn-snow bumps on Saturday afternoon, was rock hard, even well into the afternoon.  I finally started getting bored with skiing the same trails over and over again and skied out slightly earlier than I had on Saturday, ending up at the car around 3 p.m.

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