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December 2004, Week 1


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Commander Gomer <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Dec 2004 09:02:20 -0500
text/plain (56 lines)
This preseason has taught me to love Jay. I know they hype themselves ad
infinitum, but marketing aside, I can report first hand that the snow gods
smile upon that lonely, cold mountain.

Given a unexpected pass from home, I jumped at the chance to earn my first
turns, and motored the 50 miles to Jay Peak, Vermont.

I headed up "Powerline" from the Jet Chair area, figuring it would be a
good direct way to the Tram House up top. I thought I was in shape, but I
can't say I raced up the hill--more plodded along, listening to french
radio sations-my favorite being a wierd "montage" station that played only
pieces of current American alt tunes. Felt very Euro...

The skin up was a complicated affair, what with a double fall-line, varied
snow conditions, buried rocks, and a fierce wind towards the top. In other
words, fun. It is full on winter at Jay--a nice hard base with plenty of
powder on top makes the whole mountain look skiable, which likely it is
except for the steepest stuff.

Once I made it to the top of Powerline, I caught a couple of skiers
skinning up on rando gear. Nice fancy equipment, and not one piece of duct
tape on any of their gear. Turns out they were from Connecticut, and I
invited myself along when they said they were headed to do the Beaver Pond
Glades. I said, "look, if you want to go solo, let me know--but I would
love to tag along 'cause if I get wrecked in the woods, Mommy will be mad
at me!" They said, no problem, so I suddenly was in a little ski posse
headed into the tamer Jay glades.

We stripped skins at the Tram House, and blasted down the old Poma run in
glorious untracked powda. I felt a bit guilty elbowing into the couple's
ski, but i wanted company if I was heading into the woods. I even felt
guilty about stealing first tracks, but they seemed to let me go first each
time we stopped. Once into the glades, the snow was perfect-6-8" of light
fluffy powder on the hard base. Stumps and rocks were covered enough to
make nice little jumps, and the rest of it was just your usual untracked
woodsy paradise we call powder skiing.

When we got to the bottom of 2100 vert of untracked, I found myself at the
opposite end of the ski area from my truck. When I mentioned this, I got a
blank response from the Connecticut couple--no ride was offered, so I began
strapping my fat boards to my pack for the hike back on the road. While I
did this, the CT folks loaded their gear into a nice big new Euro Van. I
then headed off on the road solo, gomering along the pavement for a good 40
minutes, thinking about the difference between rural people and urban
folks. Maybe they thought I was an axe murderer, or maybe they really
didn't want me skiing with them after all...

Bottom line to me is that Jay is skiing great right now, what with the
whole Tram side sitting idle, waiting for skiers to track it up. Don't wait
any longer--go and get you some!

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