Sometime during the halfway point of my third run down F.I.S. at Sugarbush yesterday, I recalled that due to the injury and other variables, Saturday was my first day of the season pumping out big bumps on a steep slope. Also at about the same time, I realized I needed to save some leg for Tuckerman Ravine the next day. But I am never one to save up potential energy for potential good skiing when I already AM experiencing good skiing. So three more F.I.S. runs later…
I got the days backwards this weekend. I figured Sunday would be warmer and the Ravine would experience less freezing over night so I thought it would be the better day for the Ravine despite tiring my legs out on Saturday at da’ Bush. Turns out it was too hot on Sunday so I should have reversed days. Not that the skiing in the Ravine was not fantastic, but hot days are not fun for lugging forty pounds of skiing equipment a few miles.
The parking lot was slammed more than the previous week’s Inferno Race, likely due to perfect weather this weekend and less than acceptable snow conditions the previous weekend. I tossed the skins in my bag based on a report indicating traction on the upper third of the TRT would have been helpful. Glad I did, as my fair weather hiking sneakers did not like hiking up the snow. I switched over to skins about 100 verts above the second bridge and only needed to take off the skis once until reaching HoJo’s, woo hoo! Better traction and less weight for around a quarter of the hike to HoJo’s is cool by me. Next weekend I would not have bothered.
HoJo’s was jumping with lots of people and dogs. I immediately reconsidered plans for Right or Left Gully and looked towards Hillman’s where I saw only three climbers. People make me nervous, especially in large numbers. Also, it would be nice not to hike down to the Sherbie, which is usually the final factor that sways my decision towards Hillman’s Highway.
The Boot Ladder was perfect! Best boot ladder I have climbed to date, which was set well featuring switch backs on some of the steeper sections. It was well made and well executed. Another snow boarder I chatted with also thought the boot ladder was top notch. I bonked as per usual at the Right/Left split, I can not seem to lick that last 200-300 verts of the climb. 1000 verts on a climb seems to do me in, which is seriously starting to annoy me. My legs felt fine during the climb, but I had no wind left even after a short rest. My lungs are screwed up for someone my age.
Turns were sah-weet!!! Just past perfect corn which was starting to get a little mushy in places. Lower down in the gully, some bumps were beginning to form. The entrance to the gully had really nicely spaced and consistent bumps, but the gully was getting tight and chocked with trees down low. The brook at the bottom of the gully is likely to open up sometime this coming week requiring a water crossing. Tons of snow still up there though! Two dudes dropped dodges when I first got to the base of Hillman’s which looked sweet but not much room for error (okay, when is there room for error on Dodge’s?).
Sherbie was open for a legit one third! The Avi Report over stated the walking and keeping speed in check. I had to take off my skis twice for two short walks and walked my skis over some grass twice, but other than that it was nice snow and decent coverage but thinning out quick. Probably will not last until next weekend.
It was WAY too hot today to be comfortable. I try to take into consideration elevation changes in temperature, but sometimes it just doesn’t effect the temps all that much.