For years I have been dreaming of those days of youth when I could take off on a whim, with the rumor and hope of predicted "epic" storms, where feet of snow are left on the mountain. Being a Dad and running my own business those days have been just that, a dream, and as I go to bed its all forgotten the next morning because of responsibilities and priorities. Normally when it snows in the North Jersey area I have to stay and take care of customers, unable to enjoy the fresh snow in the mountains.
"Never Say Die" is how the saying goes.....the stars looked to be aligning, snow in the mountains, clear at home, GREEN light from better half!!!
The adventure is a GO......
Day one of chasing powder started on Saturday 2/21 at Plattekill. I have already posted a TR on this, but I will provide a quick synopsis. I received my powder alert from Plattekill 10pm Friday night and made a last second decision to head out early and solo. 14 to 16" of fresh snow greeted me, no crowds and boot to mid shin on every run.
We call it Bushwhacker......Plattekill calls it Blockbuster....
With thighs burning from great turns at my favorite hidden gem, I start laying the ground work for the next phase of my selfish search for snow. I already have the go ahead to leave for Mad River Glen on Monday evening, but as I lay in bed thinking, hey why not leave in the morning and ski a half day at Magic on my way up. I'm already leaving, why not just leave earlier?? Sounds like a perfect plan to me, besides they just got another 8 to 10" on top of the 12 or so the day before. Luckily she understood my quest. I have heard rumors of this mountain, and the only way to confirm them was to go and see for myself.
Magic Mountain Monday 2/23
I arrived at Magic and immediately could see that this mountain went straight up, hummm the rumors may be true.
Rumors confirmed, this is going to be a good day!!!
This lift reminded me a lot of my favorite chair, chair 9 in Telluride, you think your at the top but it just keeps going.....
Sorry all I took where lift shots.
The snow was fantastic and I was truly surprised by the terrain, steep, fun, and knee deep in spots, especially in the trees. It was blowing quite hard and apparently I picked the perfect day to ski Magic, as most of the other areas lifts were closed to their peaks due to the severity of the wind. I didn't yet realize how these wind delays were working in my favor. As I mentioned earlier, the stars were aligning just right
I left Magic smiling and will most definitely be back, with one catch, the snow must be there to ski this mountain.
The one bad decision I made was leaving the parking lot and taking the advice of the girl behind the coffee counter....."oh just head up Rt100, easy drive". Rt100 was blizzard conditions, especially through Killington as traffic moved slowly. Once it was dark it was white knuckle driving, very slick, It probably added an extra hour as I headed north towards yet more powder and Mad River Glen.
I have never skied MRG and it has always been one of the places I know I should have been to already. I made it to the Hyde Away Inn just down the road from MRG @7pm, and was to late to find an available room?? Monday night and no rooms, could it be the snow?? The one above the bar was not an option, very very noisy. I found a room just up the street at the Mad River Barn, quiet clean reasonable room with breakfast. I stayed at the Hyde Away for drinks and dinner and good conversation at the bar. Apparently I wasn't the only powder seeker on an adventure. I learned while enjoying several "Single Chair" pints, that the single chair never opened on Monday due to high winds, remember that wind delay? There is fresh snow waiting up top.....
Ah yes the gods are truly shining on me now, this is to good to be true, I am never this lucky, something has to go wrong it always does, oh wait they brought me the wrong dinner, which I loved and ate anyway, and they took it off my bill, this is getting weird, this can't be right. Met a nice fella named John, one of guys sitting at the bar chasing those glorious powder days of past like myself.
Tossed and turned most of the night, anxious of the next day and if I could ski it...."ski it if you can".
A quick breakfast and a $5 voucher from the Inn keeper ($34 lift ticket everything is working out perfectly), and off to Mad River Glen, three minutes up the road.
Pulling into the parking lot all I can say is WOW, now this is a ski mountain. Reports put the snow totals at somewhere in the 22 to 27" range. I would have to agree, I have hit nirvana in my quest for powder.
The lift line for the single looked to be approximately 90% locals if not more, so I knew this must be good if they are all out.
It was a cold ride up, still windy, and about 20 degrees all day, but that's a good thing with lots of snow
FAT (board) TUESDAY....Mardi Gras.....and LOTS of SNOW on "Chute"
I met up with my friend from the bar, John, and we skied non stop all morning. Huge powder day smiles were everywhere on everyone, not a word needed to be spoken, just a smile and a nod. I actually got a "YEAHHHHHH" from the chair while floating down lift line with snow flying. Even at 45 I was still able to find my legs from the good ole days and put some turns together. It was so quiet and fluffy!! Plenty of face shots. It was the kind of day to just point em down hill through the trees of untracked lines knowing the snow depth would keep you in control. Paradise was sick!! thigh to waist deep and so many HUGE piles and soft snow to bounce off of. Mad River Glen is now my favorite place to ski, just a cool groovy spot.
Entrance to Paradise (I think?).....huge piles below the drop off.....
Chute later in the morning......
Not sure if I will ever be able to pull it off with this much success again. Without a doubt MRG was truly EPIC, one of my top 10 days ever, and I have lived in Crested Butte and ski Telluride annually with many big snow days. Maybe I am just getting old, well that's a give in, but I finally lived the dream of days gone by and became a Powder Hound once again, (hunting it out and skiing it) . Thanks for putting up with my long winded report.
Saturday 2/21 Plattekill ski area 14 to 16"..... Powder Day
Monday 2/23 half day Magic Mtn 10" on top of 16".....Powder Day
Tuesday 2/24 Mad River Glen 27" and waist deep in the trees....Powder Day
3 Mountains with a lot in common, cool groovy throw back skiers mountains, no nonsense, no frills, great terrain, and lots of snow!!
Edited by boom2it - 2/26/2009 at 02:22 am
Edited by boom2it - 2/26/2009 at 02:25 am
Edited by boom2it - 2/26/2009 at 02:06 pm