Stowe, VT 03APR2010

Today was a really gorgeous day, and we headed to Stowe with Stephen, Helena, and Johannes to get in on some spring… or perhaps even summer skiing with the way the temperatures went.  We arrived at the Spruce Peak base at around 10:30 A.M. and the temperatures were in the 60s F.  We spent the morning at Spruce, and as far as I could tell, I think it was just snowmaking terrain available over there.  There was still a good amount of terrain to choose from though, with just one race taking place – it looked like there was a slalom running on slalom hill.  A big treat was being able to ski the entirety of Main Street from the summit, since it often seems to be occupied by racing when we’re there.  Everyone had fun blasting the corn on some of Main Street’s steeper pitches; it must be quite an experience to hit those at super G speeds during the races.  Coverage was fine, with a few areas opening up to ground, but they were marked or obvious.  The very bottom of the Spruce terrain was definitely getting slushy in the warming temperatures, and we found our skis sticking a bit in a few spots, but in general we found that the corn was skiing fine even without waxing.

By later in the noontime hour we broke for lunch at the Great Room Grill, and then headed over to Mansfield for the afternoon.  We never made it over to the Quad area, but instead stuck to the Gondola.  I suspect options over on the Chin Clip side were limited, since they had a rope right near the top of the gondola preventing access to that side.  We skied parts of Perry Merrill, Gondolier, and Cliff Trail/Nosedive.  That first steep pitch of Perry Merril actually had some nice bumps.  Although I couldn’t see it, coverage must be getting thin on a section of Lower Gondolier, because they had it roped and everyone had to head back to Perry Merrill.  Everyone seemed to enjoy Lower Nosedive, it had lots of soft bumps, and jumps off to the sides, and coverage was great.  Off to the skier’s right of Nosedive, I even found some areas where the snow hadn’t quite softened.  That was amazing considering the temperatures, and certainly speaks to the snow-preserving power of Nosedive.

I’ve heard that this is the last weekend for the Gondola and Spruce Peak before they become hike/traverse only.  There’s enough snow to keep some trails open in both spots, but options would start to get pretty limited anyway.  When we left around 4:00 P.M., the temperature was 80 F at the Spruce Peak base, and 84 F lower down in the valley toward Stowe.  I’ve attached a few shots from today below: