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Easter weekend at Stowe (long, with pics)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I was going to call the Gapril Phools Bumphest my last day on skis for the 06 / 07 season. The snow was melting out pretty quickly here in New England. But then Stowe claimed that they got about 20" during the week, so I decided to extend the season a little bit.

Saturday was a great day. Overcast, but soft snow everywhere. Two or three inches had fallen Friday night, so everything had a nice layer of frosting on it. Practically nobody there; just skated onto the lift almost every time. Found some nice bumps on Hayride, Nosedive, National, Chin Clip, Centerline... Nice, round and soft. Just the way I like them! (The only way I like my bumps, actually).

I skied National from the top for the first time ever Saturday afternoon. There was some vegetation poking through, but it looked like there was plenty of soft snow around to turn and avoid the debris poking through the snow. So I pushed off and immediately discovered the "soft snow" was loosely clinging to blue ice. I started a mini-slide with my first turn and discovered that all my planned turn spots were now really steep shiny blue ice. : I made two or three really ugly "turns" (more like "please stay upright" prayers) and then hit the payoff of some sweeeeetttt powder bumps.

Hayride was half steep cruising and half steep powdery bumps. Hard to say which side was more fun. Liftline was much the same; skied that three or four times sampling various lines on it. Nosedive (one of my fave trails anywhere) didn't disappoint either. A little scratchy in the bump troughs through the "S" turn up-top, but then it was sweet powdery bumps to the bottom. Did a few runs off the gondola, but everybody in New England with a speed suit was over there for the Sugar Slalom. Did a few runs down the bumps of Chin Clip, then headed back to the quad.

All-in-all, I racked up about 35, 40,000 vertical on Saturday. It adds up fast when every lift ride gets you another 2,000 feet! I started at 7:45 and was incapable of making another turn by 3:00. The high-speed quad broke down for about 30 minutes at one point; I was literally next-in-line to get on when they shut it down. Took one or two laps off the deathly-slow Lookout Double, but that was better then being stuck on the quad for 30 minutes!

Woke up Easter Sunday morning to an inch of snow on my car. Still snowing, too. I was staying in Stowe, so I thought maaayyyyybbbbbeeeeee I'll get lucky with a powder day. Drove up to the mountain and was initially depressed when the parking lot looked full. But then I remembered they were starting the gondola extra-early for sunrise-Easter service up top (sun? what sun?) and there was almost nobody at the quad when I got in line at 7:15. (They start the quad at 7:30). Rode on up, got off and realized that yes, it was a powder day. : Boot-top deep, easy. Flew down Hayride; there was one other track in Hayride (I guess from a patroller?). Hit a pocket of a half-dozen turns or so of knee-deep. Just perfect fluff -- no resistance at all. Just flew through it. Absolutely unreal.

Hopped back on the quad and skied Liftline, which had gotten pretty tracked up already. Still found a few turns worth of untracked though, so I did my part to groom it out. Back up again to hit the bumps on Nosedive. Incomprehensibly, hardly anybody had gone in there, so I was skiing bumps that were completely submerged in powder.

Decided that there wasn't going to be any better day to try Goat (another one of Stowe's Front Four). It was closed from the top, but there's a connector from Liftline that connects to Goat about 1/3rd of the way down. So I took that and was immediately greeted with some shiny blue ice when I popped out on Goat. : Hopped over the ice -- airborne, great, not really how I meant to try this! But I landed on some nice, super soft, BIG bumps. It wasn't as steep as I thought it was going to be, but I've been told the "scary" part is in the upper third (which was closed). I didn't exactly zipper-line my way down, but I think I skied it pretty well. I can't imagine skiing those bumps on anything but a powder day, so I definitely chose the right day to try it.

Skied some more bumps on Hayride and Nosedive, but then my legs gave out around 1:00, so I came on home. I'm sure there was untracked left in the trees, but it was gone on the open trails.

Probably racked up around 25,000 more vertical on Sunday. Skied 2.5 of Stowe's Front Four over the weekend. Starr (the only Front Four trail I haven't skied) was closed, but from the looks of the tracks going underneath the ropes, that wasn't stopping many people!

So in proof that somebody in New England owns a camera... The line at the quad at 7:15, Sunday morning

Entrance to Liftline and National, gondola trails in the background:

It hadn't stopped snowing Sunday morning either:

Tracks on liftline:

Bumps on Goat:

post #2 of 10
Nice, Kevin!
post #3 of 10
Great report! Goat looks quite succulent. Late season rates kick in tomorrow. Will be keeping my fingers crossed for this potential big storm on the way this week. I'd love to ski Stowe in peak form.
post #4 of 10
Dang! And I wasted my airline miles for a plane ticket to bumpphest!

Glad you guys are getting some more of the sweet stuff!
post #5 of 10
Kevin, I'm jealous man...great stuff!!
post #6 of 10
Very nice very nice. Wish I was there.
post #7 of 10
That looks awesome!! Great TR.
post #8 of 10
good one. Yup Goat looks OK actually although you didn't show the ice mentioned. That's a great trail. Nice when you can find Stowe so uncrowded and in relatively good shape.
post #9 of 10
Thanks for the pics (and report) -- really nice to see. Man, this was a great weekend for VT!
post #10 of 10

Thats me in the front left, black jacket brown pants! What a great day that was. Went up for sunrise service and it dumped! I had skied for over an hour on the gondy then got first chair. Nice TR!
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