Stowe, VT 07MAR2010

Like yesterday, today was another warm, sunny day, and we headed off to Stowe in the afternoon for our weekly program.  I was very curious to see if spring conditions would develop to a greater extent than the spotty softening we’d found at Bolton yesterday, but with Spruce Peak’s southern exposure, I was confident that we could at least find a decent amount of corn snow over there.  During our drive up to Stowe, the midday views of all the snow-covered alpine areas in the surrounding peaks were very impressive.  There’s a nice-looking snowfield atop Hunger Mountain, and obvious lines were popping out in various spots up and down the Worcester Range.  Hopefully people are getting out and hitting these spots.

I was supposed to have two snowboarders in my group for the day, so I started off the afternoon on my board in preparation for riding with them.  Before group began, I went off with Ty and Dylan for a run off the Sunny Spruce Quad, and we hit Fredie’s Chute.  The snow was already plenty soft, so the turns were great.  With its southern exposure and ledgy areas though, there are already a few bare spots starting to open up on.  Seeing that the snow conditions were already excellent in terms of softening, I was planning to work on bumps for the afternoon with the kids.  So, when my snowboarders didn’t show up and I was left with a group of exclusively skiers, I quickly switched to skis.  A couple of fantastic carves on West Slope had me enjoying my board, but I find skis far superior in the bumps.

With just three skiers in tow, two of them being Ty and Dylan, we were off to find ourselves some soft bumps.  We worked our way over toward the Sensation Quad and did a run on Whirlaway.  Whirlaway is a favorite of James, one of our other students, but since he was out for the day, the other guys ripped it up in his honor.  We next took on Upper Smuggler’s, and for the first time this spring they got to hit the final, very steep section of Upper Smuggler’s that has often been closed this season due to low snow depths.  It’s another southern exposure trail, so a couple of bare spots were appearing, but coverage was almost perfect and the boys had a lot of fun.  As it turned out, they hadn’t had their butts kicked quite hard enough, so I decided that we should do a run on Chin Clip.

We headed down Chin Clip just as the sun was leaving it and things were starting to tighten up, but we still caught good snow.  Coverage was perfect as far as I saw, and the endless bumps were huge; it was classic Chin Clip.  We ran into a group of three Telemark skiers during our descent, and they were very impressed with how the boys were playing in the bumps.  When they asked how I was able to keep up, I told them that I spend a lot of time on my Telemark skis; then, when I get on my alpines I feel like a super hero.  At least that’s what my quads tell me, and they seem to know what they’re talking about.

A few pictures from the day have been added below: