Hey Rocky! Watch me pull an epic two foot powder day with refills out of my hat!
Guess I gotta get a new hat…..
Mount Abram is the lesser known ski area that you see from Route 26 before proceeding to Sunday River where you will pay $79.00 to ski brutally groomed scraped down cruisers with no elbow room or character and wait twenty minutes for a lift. That little area? Only one thousand vertical feet? Only 44 trails? Only two double chair lifts and no high speed quads? Yes! This is Mount Abram.
The Rocky & Bullwinkle themed ski area has a family and local community vibe. It only runs Thursday through Sunday and holidays but does offer night skiing on select days of the season. The area features a tubing area and cross country skiing trails. The practical lodge is well staffed with friendly employees and a burger, fries, and soda will only set you back an Alexander Hamilton and some change. Tickets are only $49.00 full price ($37 on Liftopia in our case) and the mid-week value is exceptional with two-fer Thursdays and Car Load Fridays ($79.00).
With epic powder forecasted for Maine and high winds forecasted for the entire region, plans were hatched to ski a lesser known area in Maine that was guaranteed to spin their lifts. Even if Mount Abram’s summit double was taken off line, Mount Abram has a t-bar that nearly goes to the summit on back up duty. It was a brilliant plan based on the forecast.
But the forecast did not pan out. With exception of Saddleback, the Maine areas got a good snow storm over the course of three days. But Saddleback and Cannon were the only two ski areas to receive epic powder dumps. Mount Abram got about fourteen inches from Friday through Saturday. It was more than enough to open up all of their terrain. Terrain that we learned was quite exceptional. If limited in quantity of terrain, Mount Abram surely makes up the different in quality.
Another season comes to a close with the annual suffer fest to Tuckerman Ravine. This year finds the Ravine with more snow than usual with the Sluice patch extending nearly to the ravine floor for almost two hundred vertical feet per run. Snow conditions were a sensational spring corn quality and turns were buttery compared to the usual teeth rattling glacial ice.
En route to the Ravine on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, I came within spitting distance of a large moose. While hiking up the trail, I noticed a group up ahead pull off to the side of the trail and started taking pictures where the Raymond Path splits from the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. I assumed I was about to pass some tourists taking pictures of a trail sign. But as I rounded the bend, I came up short and noticed the cow was walking straight down the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. I side stepped to the edge of the trail and let her pass.
Met up with Rog and his friend who were already making turns in the bowl. The usual crowd of stunned and surprised hikers gathered along the snow patch to watch us make our July turns. After taking six laps, I called it a day and called it a season.
The Author Skiing the Tuckerman Ravine Snow Patch on July 6th:
Thankfully for powder hounds, Burke Mountain stuck to their scheduled first day of operation. Even though two feet of snow was added to Burke’s slopes this past week and skiers have been coming down with that rare illness known as powderitis, Burke held true to their first day. Massive powder reports from the more well known mountains and Burke’s perception as being off the beaten path and not a major mountain combined to make for an amazing powder day without much competition. Powder hounds killed it in Burke’s glades all day while most skiers were bumping elbows in long lines to fight over a few left over well hidden scraps at ski resorts along the spine of the Green Mountains.
Today was simply sensational. Boot deep untracked was found on every single run right through closing time with the first few runs featuring untracked snow almost top to bottom before the main trails and glades started getting chewed up. By noon time, the main routes and trails had a fairly choppy and bumpy packed snow but the glades and trees skied extremely well all day.
It was not supposed to happen like this. Jay was supposed to open next week. If we were lucky, Jay would have had The Jet and Haynes covered with man made snow and groomed to less than desirable so called perfection. Instead, Jay got two feet of snow during the week before Thanksgiving and decided to open a week early. Thanks Jay!
The surreal feeling experienced while skiing through the trees during mid-November in what looks like and feels like mid-January conditions is not something I could ever get used to. Though I would certainly love to have enough such experiences that mid-November days become just as routine as the bi-weekly six inch refreshes that Jay usually receives during the winter.
Last week I ascended Jay Peak to the summit via earned turns on approximately 2-8″ of consolidated base depth. What remained of that initial shot of natural snow after the rains preceding this most recent storm is any ones guess. At the time of this writing, Jay has either under reported snow totals or have yet to find the magical “Jay Inch” measuring location. Sinking my pole more than halfway into the snow, many places in the trees were easily two or more feet deep. But the trees always receive blow in so that is not an accurate measurement. A more accurate measurement would be the minimum boot deep untracked found on the trails as the area opened for the first time this season.
Met up with Nhski and from_the_NEK for a mid-week assault on Jay Peak as yet another major April snow storm slammed into New England with more on the way. I am quickly getting used to this and hope I will not suffer too much withdrawal when Spring finally returns with a vengeance to wash all this wonderful whiteness away.
Jay Peak’s web page is reporting 10 inches within 24 hours and 20 inches within 48 hours which does not match up to what we skied today. It was excellent but it was not 20 inches even in the untracked that was not skied the previous day. I would estimate closer to between sixteen and eighteen for the two day storm total. Not shabby for April regardless of how you measure it.
But that total was over the course of two days, so on lines that had been tracked the previous day, we only found about ten inches untracked in the morning. Despite light crowds, I felt that the untracked went quick as any one out there knew where to find the goods. I would not expect much untracked for Saturday but the snow is really good. Warm weather was getting the best of snow near the bottom of the mountain with some exceptionally wet and heavy snow down low. Things were still powdery on the upper sections of the mountain, but even after a foot and a half, Spring and April are letting their presence be known.