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May 2005, Week 5

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Subject:
From:
"Jonathan S. Shefftz" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Mon, 30 May 2005 22:30:18 -0400
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Part II / State II / Day II:  NH

Jim C, TEO, Evan, A (The?) Mysterious Lurker, and I met up with our friend
Otto this morning.  Unsurprisingly, Mr. Rhoade tends not to be a morning
person at this time of year, but eventually he got into the swing of things
and was good to go.
Surprisingly, by contrast, Jim decided that he would rather drive three
hours to Boston (after having driven two hours from VT), because of some
niar.  (Having already chastised him via cell phone this evening on the
drive back, I will allow other members of our party to chastise him via e-
mail.)
We (i.e., the four people who are not pathetic losers) disembarked from the
van in some mere light niar.  Temps were pleasantly cool, and the trail to
Airplane is a low-exertion moderate downhill affair, so lightweight
hardshells were able to keep us dry while not causing us to sweat up.
(Just as dry, I might add, as if I were, say, driving back to Boston that
morning.)
Airplane had excellent cover and excellent snow quality almost all the way
to Spaulding Lake.  A most pleasant surprise.  (Almost as pleasant a
surprise as the reasonably decent weather we were experiencing.)  It could
very well still offer over 1000 vertical next weekend (although I don't
have much experience with how quickly it starts to choke off in its current
condition).
By the time we started climbing back up, the niar essentially ceased for
the day.  My hardshell jacket & pants returned to my pack, and it was soft
shells for the rest of the day.  (Basically the same outfit I would wear if
I were driving, say, back to Boston that morning.)
The NE Snowfield was still in for its full ~600 vert, and we could traverse
from there to above the center of Tucks with only one very short portage.
But overall the snowfields looked far different from last week -- I expect
they will start to disappear very quickly now.
Left Gully was still in very good condition from the very top.  The
connection to the main bowl is still very broad, but the upper part could
get kind of sketchy by next week.
We then began the tromp down to HoJos, although I experimented by keeping
on my recently acquired Dynafit MLT boots -- they were surprisingly good
for the downhike (and skied quite well too with some retrofitted
features).  I then proceeded to attempt to hitchhike back to Great Glen.
On the drive back to Boston (specifically, the lair of Ms. TSNS), TEO gave
me some very useful hitchiking tips -- I should have asked him beforehand
though, since I'd never tried it before!  Eventually, I succeeded - what
elation!  Unfortunately, I kind of bummed out the two guys in the car -
although Otto had befriended us, he had rejected them b/c they wanted a
ride down too.  So instead they hiked up into Tux sans ski gear (they were
prepared for skiing, or for a hike, but not a hike for skiing), although
one of them had then paid a random guy $20 to borrow his gear and take a
run.
I then drove back to Pinkham, packed up the car, etc., next Evan arrived,
and we drove back to Great Glen, then we drove back to Pinkham (that
stretch of Rt 16 sure is familiar now!) to greet the arrival of TEO and our
lurker partner.  As we packed up the cars, niar started to fall again,
clearly having held off during our ski day:  overall, excellent conditions,
excellent cover, excellent terrain, excellent company, and just a small
amount of niar that really didn't cause any problems.

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