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Unorthodox Seven Springs-TR

post #1 of 2
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Snow finally arrived on the Laurel Ridge and the natural snow terrain is barely skiable but skiable none the less. If it were not for this fact perhaps I won’t have forked over the $48.00 for the lift ticket. As usual, the staff at 7S had the best of it Thursday afternoon and Friday. I arrived early Saturday, there were still untracked lines which were wind and gravity pack. The groomers were smooth and the single digit temps left both piste and off pisted surfaces cold and slow. I always like to start from the North Face parking lot and head to the backside before the Gunnar triple gets overloaded. We shot off down through trees to skiers right of the old Sunset Slope. This face is always wind blown and the surface peaked with dabs of peanut brittle and slow, soft snow. We made our own lines down to the North Face and over to Giant Steps Triple.

Our day’s mission is now set; ski as much natural snow as possible. Off the chair we cruise a groomed black to the mid entrance of Turtle Neck Glades. The snow is OK and we even found some untracked lines closest to the trees. Out of the Glade we traverse the flat back toward the lift and look for nachos on the lower face down to the Gunnar Triple and we go back up again.

Off Gunnar over to the Lost Girl to the Top of Turtle Neck Glades, this face is steeper and the underbrush was sticking through. It was time for some pruning! The snow was soft and the underbrush was pliant but we decided that once was enough. We spent the next couple of runs looking for thin nachos at trail’s edge and in the spaces without snow making towers. All the while I had my 158 cm Rossi 9S World Cups. This little stick continues to amaze with its versatility and eagerness to perform. I decided to head back to the car to swap out a new set of K2 Recons.

On the way back we ducked down the Alpine Meadow Glades to see what was left of the forest. Our first approach was from the Blitzen chair line and diagonally skied a line toward the new terrain park. The trees were thinned out but well covered and the bottom right in front of the lift was cleared and a new lane cut back to Helens. The next lap we entered the top of the glades from Alpine Pass Trail. To our dismay about half of the glades and the old rope tow grade are now open slope complete with snow making. The new Terrain Park occupies the old Alpine Meadows Slope and the old Sundown Slope and chair lift line.

Finally I make it back to the car and grab the K2s. I won them in a raffle at Stowe in December ’04 but didn’t take delivery on them until April ’05. I broke my elbow so last season I got out maybe 3 times and skied hard pack, ice and rocks. I wasn’t going to risk the bases then but today I just had to give ‘em a whirl. Back to the trails to repeat the previous 5 runs minus upper Turtle Neck Glades. Even though the Recons were longer, they’re 174, and with 78 mm under boot they still could dial a quick turn but, you had to be more patient into and through the fall line. They’re smooth and agile but not as quick as the 9S.

It’s time for lunch so we stop back at the car to get the Rossi’s then head to lunch on the front side. After a quick chili fix we scoot over to the Tyrol chair and do some quick laps in Yak-Yak. We decide to head back to North Face.

Eventually we ski the upper Gunnar chair lift line and pursue a line back to the Giant Steps Triple. We finished the afternoon seeking the last of the now thin packed nachos before retiring with some high speed GS cruising across the entire North Face Slope. These last runs the only top to bottom machine made trails we skied that day.
post #2 of 2
Skied 7 Springs last Friday, Sat, Sun, and this AM. Conditions are excellent and getting progressively better each day. Finally!
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