Somewhat similar to Jerm's speed test, I did some testing myself
yesterday at Stowe.  I envy all who were able to get out and enjoy the
conditions on their own terms, it must have been great.  There was a
squall that came through and dropped a fair amount of snow.

Anyway, I had a group of 8 kids (6-12 years old) out for their level two
snowboard lesson.  I was feeling lazy in the morning, so I didn't head
out early.  As a result, I got to Stowe with enough time to have some
breakfast, but not to take any morning runs before 9:15 lineup for the
kids lessons.  Spent a little while skating around the corral making
sure all the level 2 kids were in fact level two, and ready to head up
the chairlift.  All went well in that regard, except for having to
tighten bindings and adjust clothing with only one useful hand, my left
hand is still in its cast.

I'll skip past the rest of the teaching day, and jump to 3:30pm.  Plans
had been whispered throughout the day by some of the other instructors
to hit the Bruce trail after work.  So, the task is to find parents for
8 kids, fill out the paperwork for the day, change out of uniform and
into civilian jackets, switch from "teaching board" (a step below "rock
board") to the good one, and get from Spruce to the quad before it shuts
down at 4:00.  It's usually possible, but a bit of a rush.  The 8 of us
who wanted to ride the Bruce finally got assembled at the base of the
quad at 3:55.  Woo-hoo!  5 minutes to closing and I'm headed for my
first free run of the day.

By the time we get to the top of the quad, the clock up there shows
around 4:10.  I guess the quad was still running slow, it should only
take 8 minutes.  Head for the Bruce.  We had a few Bruce Trail virgins,
so we needed a little organization.  Get about 100 yards in and regroup.
  The unofficial leader says, "you don't have to wait" to me and another
fellow instructor.  I take that as my cue and head off first in line.
I've always wanted to run the Bruce without stopping.  I got fairly
close yesterday.  One very brief stop up top...  ran up against a pack
of "damn" skiers blocking the trail a ways above the Elevator Shaft.
Come to a stop and warn them that there are 7 more behind me.  Off they
go.  I wait a minute or so then take off myself.  I almost get stuck
behind the skiers again at the top of the elevator shaft, but they
notice me and pick up the pace.  Reach the first bridge (the end of the
downhill) and wait for the rest of the party.  After a minute or so, I
check my watch... 4:28.  I'm not sure how synchronized my watch is to
the clock at the top of the quad, but ~15 minutes for the downhill part
of the Bruce sounds good to me.

So, that's 3 weekends in a row where I rode the Bruce trail, and this
was by far the best of the three.  Nowhere near as good as the early
season run with Bruno & K, but still pretty good.

Jason - "redraobwons"

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