Monday, March 13, 2017

french fries and soft snow

We're in a bit of a quiet spot right now weather-wise, with the last storm having moved out days ago and nothing but calm ahead, probably until past mid-month.  That's okay: there's a lot of snow out there and we like spring skiing conditions too.  And spring conditions it was: mostly sunny, temperatures starting out at 28 F and rising to into the 40s (at the base) as the day went on.  The bus wasn't packed and the parking lot was not even a third full when we got up to Alta.

Although the air was warm, the first couple of runs on Collins were fairly crisp.  Alta prefers to send its groomers out immediately after the lifts stop.  This isn't an issue in the winter, when the snow stays cold and dry.  But in the spring, the afternoon snow tends to be wet and slushy in the afternoon sun.  Sending the groomers out then makes the slush into corduroy, which then freezes up overnight.  (Our home mountain back east, Sunday River, would wait until 10 p.m. or later to send out their groomers: the snow had set up by then and the machines would be able to chop it up into something skiable.)

We moved over to Sugarloaf then, which gets better morning sun and tends to soften up quicker in the spring.  I was debuting new boots and even though they still need to be tweaked, I was skiing much better than I have been, with the new boots making my skis respond to what I asked of them.  The snow was decent over there and we stayed on Sugarloaf for the morning.  We did a bunch of laps on Extrovert, once venturing towards Chartreuse before bailing out - off-piste was still a little stiff at that point.

Poised to send it above Extrovert (there was 
no actual sending of it)

With the sun shining brightly, and people enjoying it out on the deck at Alf's, we were able to score what we consider "our" table.  I also scored a small order of fries; we've been very good about bringing our own lunches this winter - and saving a fair amount of money that way - but I just couldn't go a whole ski season without fries from Alf's.  Right out of the fryer, they were delicious.

We skied Supreme for the afternoon, again sticking to the groomers and not venturing into the hinterlands.  Challenger, Sleepy Hollow, Big Dipper and Rock N' Roll were all very, very soft, with the mashed potato-consistency snow bumping up more with every run.  Back east, spring conditions mean corn snow, but you don't seem to find that too often out here - because our snow has such a low water content, would be my guess.  Our spring conditions are mashed potato clumps, soft enough but dense and heavy on the legs.  Our legs managed to make it until just about 3 p.m.

No comments:

Post a Comment