Although the big storm that was promised last week did not arrive, the Cascades
did receive approximately 6 inches throughout the week. The Summit was
reporting 3-4 inches Saturday night. With hopes of catching some freshies, Greg
and I headed to Alpental. It was snowing lightly and the temperature was around
30 when we arrived. As usual, they had the lifts running early so we were able
to hop on at 8:45.
Before Chair #2 opened Greg and I took one run down Debbie's Gold and through
the woods above the Cascade Traverse. Although you could tell that the base was
still very hardpacked the coverage was MUCH better than last weekend. We found
some nice pow in near the Traverse and on Dom. Greg provided the first laugh of
the day when he double-ejected trying to abuse a fir.
If you look closely you can see Greg's left ski in front of the fallen tree.
Our first excursion on Chair #2 followed. Greg and I were both surprised by the
lack of snow compared to the last two years. For the first time we saw rocks
and cliffs in spots. The Edelweiss Bowl had some coverage but also a lot of ice
underneath. Greg referred to it as "good cop, bad cop". You would be riding
some nice snow when, all of a sudden, you would hit ice and/or a heavy snow
spot. That, coupled with the poor visibility, messed with our form.
Nevertheless, Greg did a good job of finding the freshies and providing the
laughs. He found a rock that was a potentially nice launching pad (about a 5-6
foot drop). Before I could take out the camera he took off, ejected from one
ski when the rock grabbed it and went a barrelin' ass down the landing. From
that point on I made him promise me not to do that without letting me get the
camera first. Of course, he didn't fall for the camera after that. :-(
All that was open on the Alpental backside was Edelweiss and International. The
top of International was skied off and hard going but the bottom was fun.
Visibility made it difficult to rip but still fun.
Greg making a nice jump turn on Lower International. On big ol' 205s no less!
Although it wasn't pretty, Greg and I did a good job of thrashing (mostly
ourselves). I thought Greg was in great form considering he hadn't skied in
over a month. I don't really have an excuse but I was beginning to feel better
in the afternoon. We are both concerned about being prepared to keep up for the
Vermonters in a few weeks. Hopefully the snow gods bring us a nice storm so we
can get more than 1 day in before they arrive.