Not just faceshots. Full on, can’t see a thing, Whiteroom.
Simultaneously both euphoric and terrifying when it happens in the trees.
Three feet of fresh fell on top of barely covered ground. The euphoria was tempered by the knowledge (understood and physically felt) that roots, rocks, and deadfall lie deep beneath the surface. Three feet was almost enough to bury it all over again.
But it is hard to care about what lies beneath when you can’t even see where you are skiing.
Four times in a row. Four times knee to thigh deep untracked down Burke’s widest and most prominent run, rarely ever a good option for untracked powder due to grooming and race training. While the local guys went straight for the trees, I lapped some of the deepest and best untracked powder turns I’ve skied in years in plain sight of the Quad.
I will never understand the urge to rush the trees when a normally groomed trail is just begging for deep and smooth tracks. Isn’t that why we went into the woods in the first place? Because we couldn’t find good snow and untracked powder on the trails? I hollered and screamed at the top of my lungs in plain sight of the lift, yet no one riding that lift seemed to be following me down the most obvious run into the best snow on the mountain.
A Cannon Day: It is good for what ails you.
Fourteen hours ago, it seemed like this powder day was not to be. I got up, took out the dog, and sat down looking out the window, dead eyes. I felt absolutely wasted. I had not been feeling well for days and the cold hit hard Saturday and Sunday. I knew that a foot of fresh was awaiting, but my body said “no way”. I sat there for half an hour watching the minutes tick away. I had to make a go decision soon to make first chair. I chugged some water, tossed some medicine in my bag, and got moving. I might not be able to ski much but I sure as heck was going to try.
I can report that I have found the cure for the common cold and it is a powder day at Cannon. Once I got going, I felt better every run. As per my usual plan of attack at Cannon, I started on Zoomer and found about eight inches over scratch on the groomers. Untracked on top of groomer is my favorite powder condition (since I get to ski it so rarely) but powder on top of scratch is not so hot. Lower angle Rocket had the best snow of this variety. But the better and deeper action was in the trees as I found in Lakeview and Echo.
An overperforming storm combined with New Year’s Day hangovers and holiday crowds heading home to make for an epic first day of the New Year. Despite the forecast only calling for about four inches, the Jay Cloud delivered a solid foot with deeper drifts. While I was going to bed early and setting my alarm for 5:15am, a lot of other skiers were partying late and planning to sleep in. The vacationing holiday crowds were leaving early and who knows where the powder hounds were.
I went right at it with boot deep untracked down Can Am and then onto the Jet where I found more untracked boot deep in the trees for my second and third runs. Top to bottom boot deep untracked on a third run during a holiday weekend is something else. Despite knowing the reasons, I still couldn’t help but wonder how it was possible, how was this happening?
Today was the busiest that I have ever seen Cannon. The crowded trifecta happened including a foot of new snow, excessive storm hype all week (including over forecasting expected totals), and a holiday vacation week. Additionally, the storm ended and the roads were cleared well before sunrise making an easy drive for metro area powder hounds to Cannon. The untracked went faster than I have ever seen it go at Cannon. According to someone I talked with on a chairlift, Cannon, Loon, and Bretton Woods were all turning cars away due to no remaining parking spaces.