After loosing the first to open battle to Killington, Sunday River responded by offering significantly better terrain at a cheaper price for the Veteran’s Day weekend. While Killington offers two trails off North Ridge with hiking to download and a top to bottom route that “may require walking”, Sunday River has three and a half unique top to bottom runs in addition to a connector trail. Unfortunately for Sunday River, the snow condition quality did not match the route count quantity.
What is a Jay Day? It is one of those days when everything goes right. When you change your plans after assessing the situation and score some great turns. It doesn’t have to be the deepest day. It doesn’t have to be a foot of blower. It is one of those days at Jay that you don’t easily forget.
I left home this morning looking for more than a ski day. I was looking for perspective and I wasn’t expecting to find it. Halfway through a stay-cation intended to refresh and rejuvenate, I was feeling deep ennui. Something wasn’t right, my mind was out of sorts. Given that the previous two ski days didn’t help, I assumed this trip to Jay was just going through the motions. What else would I do all day?
Killington opened for the season today, and this time everyone was invited. This was my first early season experience since the installation of the Peak Walkway which is a game changer for Killington. With Killington’s renewed sense of identity, it will be difficult for any other mountain in the northeast to open sooner.
I took advantage of a 2 for 1 offer, taking a half dozen runs for nineteen fiddy. Uploading was provided by the K1 which unceremoniously dumped me out on the Great Northern gauntlet. Snow guns were everywhere creating an impenetrable cloud of near blindness.
After two false starts, my season finally begins. The allure of an epic 26 hour road trip to West Virginia was considerable (especially after seeing the incredible reports). But with snow on the way, guns prepped to blow, and a potential storm on the horizon, I decided to stay put. Driving halfway to Florida for skiing would have been quite an adventure but I couldn’t justify it with things looking so good locally.
Instead of driving all day Saturday to ski Sunday, I drove on Sunday to ski on Sunday, returning to my own bed at night. And tomorrow, I’ll do the same but with lift assistance. The next day, I’ll recuperate and watch the storm come in and then repeat the process with better results.
If the density of skiers at Cannon is any indicator, demand is seriously exceeding supply. Much like last year, Cannon opened with one crowded route via Middle Cannon to Gremlin. Unlike last year, Thanksgiving leftovers were still available for turn earning.
Despite bringing both alpine and touring setups, I concluded it would be a lift serviced day. I thought the natural snow would be manky given the warm temperature. So I boarded the Peabody Quad for a few runs down the gauntlet.
While riding the Quad, I looked around and reflected on how Cannon continues to be my mountain. I’ll ruminate in a future post about what factors induce love of particular mountains. I won’t be spoiling anything by stating the nuanced connection is both irrational and emotional.