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ever had a whole ski area to yourself

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Over Misty mountains far through caverns deep.... Off through lord of the rings country up a road from hell...40km of gravel, more than half of which was no bigger than my car, I reached Mt. Olympus. The car park contained just a bulldozer and a patrollers pickup..... On reaching the daylodge I did find 30 other skiers, but they had been there all week and didn't want to play. So I had all of Mt. Olympus to play with 400m (1400 ft) of vert to play with. OK the snow was wind deposited or wind scoured, but lots of fun nevertheless . Most of the day was spend lounging in the lodge drinking coffee and admiring the viewsand contemplating the drive home!

[ July 12, 2002, 05:09 AM: Message edited by: tom@cham ]
post #2 of 17
Yes, this year at Mt. Hood Meadows, 4/14/02. The conditions were solid coral with about 1" of wind blown new. The only run with snow acceptable to the average skier was North Canyon and that had death cookies throughout.

When we arrived the P-lot had about 200 cars. When we bought tickets it had no more than 150, by the time we reached the top of the first chairlift (Mt. Hood Express) it could not have had more than 50. There was a mass exodus from the mountain between 9:00 and 10:00 am.

We skied almost the entire day without anyone, except my wife and I, on any run. We did see a few skiers usually on North Canyon and far off, but only rarely.

We spent the day skiing the coral steeps, asteroid fields, death cookies and the patches of fresh linking everything together. A big workout and great technical day. There is a post here on Epic about that day. I think some other PNWet Bears went up that day but didn't stick around.

I rated that day a 10, best day ever. Of course, I rate every day skiing (exception for rain days) as a 10, best day ever. After all what is the alternative? Not skiing? Heresy!!!

post #3 of 17
two years ago at ski roundtop in PA my friends and i pretty much had the whole place to our selves. We were off school that day and it was pouring down raining. We had a blast though, we could do whatever we wanted. I'll never forget that day.
post #4 of 17
Mt. Ashland, winter of 1976. It was a drought year leaving the mountain with icy snow and many rocks. One day the temperature dropped to -20 with a wind-chills (on the old scale) to -60. My friend, Dave, & I went up around noon and decided to brave the elements. We would make a few runs then go in to warm our faces. Every once in a while somebody would come out to ski and head immediately in leaving the mountain to us. The lift attendants at the chair didn't even bother to come out of their hut to help us load & soon were not visible behind their frosted windows. The ski patrol would come out to ask us to ski certain runs for them to see if we saw anything. But for most of the day we didn't see anyone else. It felt like an episode from 'The Twilight Zone'.
post #5 of 17
Yes. For a couple of hours at Fernie, during the Olympics, when the Canadian team had their hockey game against the US.
post #6 of 17
I wish.
post #7 of 17
Yup - and, amazingly enough, it was Cairngorm, Scotland, late April some time in the mid-80s.

I was in a group travelling up from England and all snow gates were closed at the usual places as an unseasonally large amount of the white stuff descended. Our courier intelligently transferred us off our coach and on to the last train, which stopped at the village where we were staying.

Next morning - a Saturday - the roads were still shut, with our coach on the wrong side of the snow gate, so we hopped on another train and then caught the local ski bus up the hill....

... to find almost nobody at all, tons and tons of fresh, untracked spring snow and a cloudless blue sky! This fantastic state of affairs lasted till lunchtime when folk began filtering through after the snow gates opened.

It was without question one of my best ski days ever!
post #8 of 17
Just you and the reindeer, eh? [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 17
The second time ever skiing for me. December 2000. The wife and I went to Snowshoe for a couple of days. We got there about 4-5 PM. I found an afternoon snow report laying around and the 2PM report had said it was somewhere around 50 degrees F and raining. (Someone told me it thunderstormed for two days closing the lifts at one point due to lightning.) In the few hours since then the temperature had dropped to 10 - 15 F and about 6 inches of snow had fallen. We quickly changed and headed for the night skiing. By the time we got there it was about 5 F and anyone who had braved the rain was now getting chased off by the cold and wind.

I skied for a few hours with maybe 5 or 10 other people. Most of the fresh snow had gotten chopped up a bit but there was still some fresh to be had. For me it was a minor breakthrough. In my previous skiing, I merely got down the intermediate slopes. With the fresh snow and empty slopes I was able to get better in a hurry and boost my confidence.
post #10 of 17
Yeah, all the time at the Wisp. During the week if I'm not the only one out there I'm with the rest of the instructors. Not many others come during the week. It's paradise!
post #11 of 17
Once my wife and I had the hill to ourselves. While riding the lift up, we looked up and noticed one of the clamps holding our chair on the cable was off and the other was loose! After nervously rattling over a dozen towers, we pointed out the problem to the liftee as we approached the top. His eyes bugged out, he slowed the chair to a crawl, and assured us several times "don't worry, you're not going to fall!" At the top we got off, and they shut down the lift with everyone still on it.

We got bored of watching them goof with the chair after 15 minutes or so, and with everyone who'd gotten off ahead of us near the bottom of the hill by now, we had a wonderfully private leisurely run. As we ambled back to the car and drove off, we waved to everyone still motionless on the chair.

Sometimes, you win!
post #12 of 17
Incredible, JR!

My first day ever on skis was kind of like that. Spent a couple of hours on the bunny slope, then the guys I was with said, "you're ok, let's go to the top." This was Schweitzer, in Idaho.

On the way up, wind started to Rage. By the time we reached the top, it was nearly a whiteout. It took us 2 hours to get down. At times we thought we were moving, but only found out we were almost standing still. The guys I was with had been skiing for about 15 years. They couldn't believe it. When we got down, everyone was gone. They had closed the mountain and given everyone a free pass for another day. Dragging me along slowed things down immensely, I'm sure.

I wouldn't call that skiing though.

One other day about 5 years later, I was a much better skier , it was late February, and a warm winter, and it was raining. No one at 49 Degrees North in Chewelah, Washington. Handful of cars. We skied all day. Went in for lunch, soaked clear through to the skin, leaving puddles on the floor, and back out after. I learned more that day than any other, I think.
Buy decent rain gear!!
Being wet isn't so bad if you have the mountain to yourself.
The snow is still white and slippery.
post #13 of 17
Yes, it's happened to me a handful of times over the past 17 seasons. The most interesting time for me happened at Timberline a couple of seasons ago.
It was Labor Day, the last ski day of the season for Timberline. It had been drizzling all day, dramatically reducing the number of skiers from the day before. I had been pumping out high-speed runs all day because I didn't have to worry about hitting anyone. By the last half hour, I was the only skier on the entire mountain. Every round trip the lifties would shake their heads and ask me why in the world I continued to ski. I just told them I was having too much fun to stop--it never occurred to me not to ski. Heck, I was skiing my legs off and didn't have to hike to do it! I'll do that any chance I can....
(I remember wondering at the time how many other people could possibly be enjoying the rush of high-speed skiing on the North American continent during that half hour on September 4th, 2000. Yeah, I've already been told many times that I'm not well.....)
post #14 of 17
Wow - I wonder if this fits. Season 97/98 I was at Snowbird with an Aussie friend. We got into Little Cottonwood early, and as we were about 1/2 way up there was a slide behind us, closing the road. Slide - hmmmmm - maybe because of all the snow that morning? I didn't see anyone all day, but certainly heard the "WHOPEEEE BIRDS" all day long echoing out of the trees....
post #15 of 17
I went to Middlebury College (Vermont) in the late 60's. Used to ski at the Middlebury Snowbowl on weekday afternoons. It was a 15 minute drive and easy to hitch a ride. Season ticket for a Midd student was $45 until they replaced the Poma lifts with Double chairs - then it went up to $72. I got PhysEd credits for going skiing! There were usually about 50 people at the whole place, and I knew at least 35 of them!

Mad River was a bit more crowded - maybe 120 people. And it took almost 40 minutes to get there. But, as a member of the 'Middlebury Mountain Club', you could ski there on weekdays from 1 - 4 PM for $4!

It's never been the same since!
post #16 of 17
12/31/00 -Pico Montain, VT. Snowing real hard. Probably got about 24". It was tough going, visibility wise, so many people packed it in. You had to bend your knees and get in as low as a stance as you could to see. Then, we hit the glades. There were about five of us, we owned the mountain that day. I can remember how quiet it was. You were like , I really hope I don't get hurt, because I'd be afraid I would not be found.
post #17 of 17
Tom - great pics. Don't know if I am going to be able to handle going up that road, might have to let someone else drive and keep my eyes closed. It is reassuring to see the bank of snow on the edge of the right, might help prevent you taking the quick way down. Good thing there were not many there, car park does not look very big, or maybe the bulldozer hasn't got around to clearing it yet.

Skiing in NZ is certainly a varied experience, from hidden unspoilt undeveloped gems like Craigieburn to the commercialised Coronet Peak. They all offer something unique, you just have to be in the right frame of mind when you visit each area. ie. don't get disappointed that you cannot buy a latte at Craigieburn, just enjoy the remoteness and isolation with your own homemade thermos of coffee.
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