So fun. Today was fantastic. This year I have skied:
- 1 Day at Grindelwald (Switzerland)
- 1 Day at Mt. Baker
- 1 Day at Crystal Mountain
- 2 Days at Whistler
- 1 Day at Alpine Meadows
- 1 Day at Squaw Valley
- 1 Day at Mammoth
And by far the best day skiing of the year was a $25 Tuesday at Blue Knob. There is an apparent inverse relationship between money spent on skiing and the quality of the skiing. I didn't take many photos, but:
Drive up there would have been hairy without the 4WD. Even with it there were a couple of near white-outs when the winds gusted across the snow-covered fields. Took me about 2:50 from the 'Burgh, which means about an extra half-hour from my house to there. Their website stated a 9 AM opening time*, but the lifts lift didn't start turning until 10ish. In the morning, wind was brutal and cold up top, but on the lower part of the lift things were relatively calm and comfortable. I got fourth tracks on the mid-way station offload ramp.
Everywhere had maybe 6-10 inches on it. In a few places, though, the new snow was on top of something much firmer. For instance, I think everyone on the hill skied Extravert exactly once after discovering the powder-and-ice situation there. OTOH, I'd never seen Extravert open before. Or Lower Route 66 or Edgeset or Lower Shortway or Ditch Glades or... I'd always wanted to see what Blue Knob was like when it was, you know, basically all open.
For some reason all other glades were closed, even those up top, which seemed cruel. Naturally a few anarchists skied there anyway (the glades up top), but still.
Most of the powder was tracked out by noon. In the afternoon, though, Stembogen and High Hopes continued (IMHO) to ski well and I lapped these two quite a bit. I think I'd forgotten that skiing sometimes happens on something other than "firm conditions". Sometime around 1:30 the sun came out and it was a beautiful bluebird afternoon; snow stayed soft at least until I left at 4.
Things I had never seen before today:
- A woman skiing in a dress (it may have been a skirt).
- A dude smoking while *actually skiing*.
- An inordinate number of skiers/boarders who assumed the second-in-line position and then refused to get on the lift. It kept happening, different people every time. Maybe someone from Altoona or Johnstown can explain.
- A Colorado license plate at a PA ski resort.
If Blue Knob ever starts skiing like this consistently, they're going to have to schedule a second daily flight to Johnstown Vanity Airport just to handle all the ski tourists. Here's hoping my March trip to Utah can be somewhere near as good.
PS, Helmets rule, eastern US skiing's way better than western, and I don't like how there are so many idiots on the Internet.
* The 9 AM open time is still on their website, but it also says the date is 2/17. Blue Knob!