With a storm in Boston on Thursday, and the prospect of another on Sunday, it seemed like another good weekend for skiing. Went this time to Cardigan, another mountain from my childhood, but my first time skiing. Had some excitement on the approach road, due to the fact that I don’t yet have snow tires on the Fit. Chris and Greg got out to push, but I ended up having to back down the hill and get another running start. Of course, I couldn’t stop to pick them up on the way back, so they had to run about a quarter mile uphill, to where I was able to stop on the flat. Neither was happy, and Greg will probably never let me live that down.
With the driving drama over, we met the other guys in the parking lot, and skinned up the Alexandria trail. Felt much stronger than last week, and led a fair bit of the way. Dan’s dog Tucker was actually leading, but I was breaking trail for the skiers. I wish Laika was dog enough to come on trips like this, but she’s just too small to do well on a long hike, as much as she might like it. Ella would do well though, if she were controllable. The snow field on the top of Firescrew was a little crusty, but still had some fun on the rocks, and enjoyed a tremendous view of the whole Whites (Moosilauke, Franconia Ridge, Washington, Osceloa and Tripyramid). I’m not quite an experienced enough with powder to really rip, but I had a ton of fun, and got some good face plants in. At least it doesn’t hurt to fall. After coming all the way down, we also did a quick run on the Kimball. Dinner at the Tilt’n Diner, and then back to Boston to batten down for the next storm. I wonder if I’ll be able to maintain this op-tempo…
The snow has been falling all week at Jay Peak, and I decided it was time to enjoy some of it. It just happened to be the VT Telefest, so I loaded my little car with four other tele skiers, including two newbies, and headed north. They were all undergrads from Olin, so we talked about robots, anarchist conventions, and ascetic eroticism on the drive. It’s always a gamble going on a trip with strangers, but the shared interest in the outdoors tends to ensure good people.
After a sweet powder day, and some useful lessons, we went to Moosilauke on Sunday. Despite living near the mountain, and climbing it innumerable times in the summer, I’d never skied it. Met Steve Flanders in the parking lot, which brought back good memories of carousing with him in the past. Skinned up the Snapper trail, which was a little too rocky for good downhill travel. Made a blind left turn onto the old Snapper trail, henceforth dubbed Whippersnapper, which was steeper and untracked. Had some excellent turns, drank a slushy PBR with lunch, and then bootpacked back up for a run down the Carriage Road. That was less steep, but allowed for some good speed. Instead of skinning out to the access road, we followed Greg’s crazy intuition that there was a shortcut requiring less uphill. After a stream crossing, some serious ‘shwacking up a hillside, and a briar patch, I learned not to necessarily trust Greg’s judgement. We did make it out, but the shortcut didn’t end up being so short. After a beer and steak sandwich at the Woodstock Inn, it was back to Boston for another week of work. God bless the weekend.