I was fairly well set on skiing Black Mountain in Maine today. With generally poor conditions throughout New England, I thought it was another good opportunity to continue to work on The List during a holiday weekend. Fifteen dollar lift tickets, no crowds, and 100% open were all strong factors. But before leaving, I checked the Jay Peak Snow Report (not that one) which was reporting 5-7″ in the past 24 hours and 9-13″ in the past 48 (with upper mountain lift holds). Boom?
The Jet was the only upper mountain lift spinning when I arrived. I started off disappointed about that but soon changed my tune to one of opportunity: Tramside was ripe for earned assistance pillaging. But without the Bonnie spinning, the holiday crowds spilled forth and dragged their skis over grass, dirt, and rock to queue up for the Jet, extending the line back to Mont L’Entrepide. Two runs later, the Singles line at Jay was rivaling the Single line at Mad River Glen on a powder day and it was time to fetch my skins: it might not have been any faster but it sure wasn’t going to be any slower.
It was just as well; I later learned that the Jet shut down for the afternoon soon after I used it a final time for vertical assistance before skinning far away from Stateside. Bust.
My travels took me far and wide at Jay today. You could say I went from “beyond” to beyond, if you know what I mean. I have invoked the “Powder Day” tag for this post but it may have been the hardest earned powder day I’ve had in a while. There seemed to be a few inches here and there, but I had a really hard time snuffing out 5-7″ any where, let alone any two day totals of more than a foot.
But I eventually found six to seven inches of untracked. It seems that the incredible wind picked clean most of the mountain, including most of the trees. The snow either evaporated or was deposited a long ways away from Jay Peak. I really feel for the difficulty in determining an official snow total for the entire resort and I applaud the use of a range. But Jay seems to have reported centimeters rather than inches on this storm.
But I was happy nonetheless to eventually find what there was to be found and to be skiing on natural snow again following the thaw. Not many places in the northeast are offering quality turns on quality snow this weekend and that was more than enough to make me happy. However, I suspect most of Jay Peak’s guests today were feeling more Bust than Boom.