Friday, April 3, 2015

froze up

A cold front moved through Saturday evening, dropping temperatures overnight and freezing the slush solid for Sunday.  It was definitely cooler for the morning's start and we could hear the skis rasping and grinding on the snow as we rode up Collins.  Daunted by the prospect of skiing on that frozen corduroy, we went immediately to Sugarloaf for several runs but although the sun was out and the sky cloudless, the snow underfoot was clearly not softening as fast as it had Saturday.

There didn't seem to be all that many people out skiing, but all those who were there were skiing on Sugarloaf.  And when we moved back to Collins for a couple runs, we understood why: the trails off Collins, even the groomers, were still rock hard and really quite horrible.  We only did one run there, skidding through the turns on our edgeless skis, then rode the chair back up and went straight across to Supreme.  We were happy to note very few people skiing there.  When we got up to the top, we paused at the top of Upper Big Dipper to take a look: even though that trail had not been groomed - and consisted of scraped-off ice interspersed with hard mounds of frozen slush - there still were a couple of people trying to pick their way down.  Not us, no way.  Unfortunately, since No. 9 Express, Sleepy Hollow and Challenger were all in the same ungroomed and frozen shape as Upper Big Dipper, the only trail off the top was the cat track, down to Lower Big Dipper or Rock N Roll, so everyone skied that, making the cat track quite congested.  We did a number of runs, however, alternating Lower Big Dipper or Rock N Roll, which were finally starting to soften and skiing pretty well.

After lunch, we went back to give Collins another try.  We ended up staying there as those trails were getting softer with each run.  We noticed one major plus: for some reason the snow was not getting sticky like it had been Saturday.  (Another plus:  I pulled the orthodics out of my boots, replacing them with some old over-the-counter insole, and that seemed to fix my boot issues.)  By 3 p.m., however, my knees and legs had had enough of pushing the soft, heavy snow around and we skied out to sit in the sun on the truck's tailgate and have a couple beers.  We weren't the only ones with that idea: there were some other skiers a row over grilling up burgers and dogs on a hibachi as the sun shone down on the quickly-melting snow.

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