Powder - Powder-Powder!
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 17:00What a difference a day makes! Two days ago it was springtime; temperatures in the 50s and many of us thinking Robins and dandelions must be just around the corner. Not really, but you get my drift. Warm weather, then rain, then freeezing temperatures and then yesterday's inevitable hard pack, frozen granular (really frozen!). Jump in my truck this morning and the ride to work that normally takes 45 minutes takes 1 and 1/4 hours...today is looking good! By 7:30 we hear that the mountain had received 4 inches of powder....4 inches? There had to be a couple more than that just between the base of the Gondola and the parking lot, but why quibble...it's been snowing for several hours and there is no end in sight. Finally get my morning duties pretty much finished by a little after 9:00 and I head for the Gondola with images of first tracks in my mind. I may not be the first person up the hill, but I 'm sure I'll find a trail that's pretty much untouched. The 4 inches has grown to 6 or more by the time I reach Loon Peak summit (keep it coming). Looking around I wonder if everyone at Plymouth State has finished exams. There isn't a huge crowd on the hill, but enough to remind me of the "snow days" in my younger years. After a brief visit with the Loon Ambassadors and Ski Patrol folks at the summit hut, it's time to start down and I am not disappointed. Though first tracks initially elude me, there are enough untouched porions of Upper Picked Rock to let me cruise through some virgin stretches; almost first tracks. Grand Junction seemed to be pretty popular with a lot of skiers and riders, so I stayed left at the top of Seven Brothers and headed for the base. Good decision....there had only been 1 or 2 people ahead of me and most of the trail was untouched. A smooth field of white powder and me. I don't know what floating on a cloud would be like but this has to be close. Quiet and smooth with an occassional wisp of white blowing by my face. Simply put, an unforgettable day that makes you forget the less than perfect days that do happen from time to time each season. See you on the hill - Bud