I was surprised by the crunchy sun damage on the sun facing aspects - no sun today even though it was forecast. Surprised as the temps have been cold. And discouraged as my early morning pokes all came up as no repeats. It’s hard to commit to a Top 2 Bottom poke with conditions like today as it might be: 1. Run of the day, 2. OKish, or 3. Two thousand feet of I-want-to-go-home whininess. Hoping I would pick the Goldilocks run, I headed to Exterminator.
When I arrived, early, as I’d forgotten how fast you can get out of the city on a weekend, the lodge was packed. Packed with junior hopefuls hoping they could cliff jump bigger than the other hopefuls and win a prize. But, they disappeared to compete, and when I got to Exterminator, I was alone. Well, Patrol was cleaning the rope line monitored by Foster the Dog. The Terminator was a little tough, but best of the day so far, and on the long run close to the trees I was able to get the ski juice flowing. OK, found one run, and even if I have to lap it all day, it could be a good day.
It was 13 degrees made colder by the unfortunate fog that moved around the peaks. The snow was full of crunchy chunks that alternated with soft, patchy bumps. Exterminator’s just-around-the-cornerness from yesterday’s sun made all the difference. So I repeated it. And then Northway. Paradise Bowl, Bruce’s Bowl and Low Chair Bumps. Wohoooo. Funny/odd/interesting how a subtle direction difference in which way a face faces (face faces, guess that’s their job) can make the difference from crunchy and unskiable to lumpy and fun. Similarly aspected Employee Housing demanded a repeat. Although, I wonder how the mountain can demand anything. It might be my steep adrenaline demanding brain. Found a tiny sign on a lone tree spared by the Employee House avalanches. Anyone know what KT3 means? The sign must be old as it’s barely readable (“Kick Turns? Three” it also said).
And so it went. And I went home. Satisfied by unexpected big Top-2-Bottom runs.
So, I learned something about the weekend crowd. As we skied Exterminator, Bruce’s, Paradise, and EH, there was no one there. On a weekday, that’s where many people would be. On the weekend they’re all on the groomers or in the lodge, as they were both packed. Good for me….
As I parked today it was passive aggressively suggested that my quick, performance snow tire clad, AWD, car was a mid-life crisis car because I passed a slow dawdling Lexus driver. If that’s the case, I’ve been in mid-life crisis mode since I was 19. All my cars have been the best performing, best ski car I could find. And, since I was in high school, my passion was steep, narrow, high performance skiing. And I still is. Midlife crisis is for people that gave up on their passions and dreams and then try to recreate them. I’ve never given up. Even though I’ll be joining the social security crowd soon, I’m keeping the dream alive. Don’t stop setting those goals and reaching for them. I’m gonna enjoy being a crotchety old man. An old man that doesn’t get down on others for being faster, steeper, and pushing the limits. Even as we succumb to the hazards of time.
Ski hard, ski often
Leftovers tomorrow morning will give way to sunday snow showers. Monday looks good for tracking up sunday’s new snow. Light snow continues tuesday and wednesday.