I give Sunday River a lot of credit for continuing to blow snow during questionable windows and continuing to offer skiers and riders a chance to determine for themselves if thin coverage is excessive or not. Patch skiing resumes at Sunday River will many small sections of Lower Sunday Punch blown out making top to bottom skiing all but impossible. Well, unless you have questionable ski base quality standards such as mine.
After waking up to a dreary and wet morning following a tropical storm breaking apart the previous night, I putz around the house for a while awaiting some hint of the sunshine that was forecasted for the afternoon. Soon enough, I was en route to Sunday River for Canned Good day. Always good to help support the local food banks while simultaneously supporting my habit on the cheap.
Due to Lower Sunday Punch being blown out in places which had most skiers and riders hiking parts of Lower Sunday Punch, the mid-stations line was more than my stomach could handle so I opted for top to bottom skiing with exception of one late day mid-station run. Frequent lift slow downs and stops to accommodate down loading skiers made riding the Locke Mountain Triple a tedious experience.
T2 had really good snow that baked in the sun most of the day and slowly built up some acceptable small and soft bumps, though no good lines. Upper Sunday Punch had occasionally good turns but a lack luster middle section due to being pinched down to make room for the park. Despite the thin coverage and grass/mud skiing, Lower Sunday Punch was my run of the day.
Dropping off from the mid-station, snow was fairly firm with variable bumps which made for fast skiing using quick reflexes. After the first break in the coverage, the snow really softened and an excellent quality bump line formed which continued for a short while in the next patch after a short break. After that, it was a combination of skiing snow, mud, grass, and rocks back to the lift. I am proud to say that I only removed my skis for lunch and my last run.
Otherwise, I skied top to bottom with no walking. However, saner skiers and riders generally down hiked at least 100 yards and as much as 300 yards (depending on coverage tolerance) to get back to the lift. With Sunday River starting every day operation tomorrow, down hiking will be mandatory even for skiers and riders like myself that care little about base damage.
This was a very enjoyable afternoon of skiing and I was delighted that there were some challenging variables and the occasional bump line. After lunch, I returned to the lift without a jacket and skied the remainder of the day in a long sleeve base layer. While I really enjoy spring skiing and corn snow, I prefer to ski them in April rather than November when base building is more of a concern than cold temperatures. Bring on that system change, please! This has been a tremendously disappointing month for skiing so far.