Jonathan S. Shefftz wrote:

> Sugarloaf parking lot scene was bleak yesterday (Friday) morning - all the
> new snow seemed to have settled significantly and/or blown away
> considerably.

It looked even worse at the base today.  The snowpack was melting from the

> We (i.e., lurker friend from Maine plus me) considered just
> a nordic tour on the golf course but the Th website pics gave us hope.
> Sure enough, a few hundred vert of skinning on Tote Road revealed a whole
> different world.  Conditions steadily improved as we climbed higher,
> eventually switching over to the utility-line/vehicle road, which then
> becomes a regular trail.

And thank you for setting a skin track.  Unfortunately some gomer post-
holed it today before we got to it.  In other places the wind had
completely filled it in, but for the most part we followed that track up
Tote Road and wondered if you had set it.

> But as the temps got colder, winds stronger, and snowpack firmer, we
> concurred that going to the summit was not necessary.  Unfortunately, I
> ended up far in the lead as my friend stopped for various clothing
> adjustment fiddling, so with nobody to remind me of my earlier sensible
> sentiment, I soon found myself at the summit.
> And what a crazily cold and windy summit!  If the summit is like that in
> October, what about January?!?

In January the summit lift is on wind-hold most days (at least it seems
that way).  Until the snowfields fill (mid-Feb) in there is little reason
to go up there anyway.

> Skied down to within a few hundred vert of the base (i.e., where the cover
> got thin), then skinned back up to several hundred vert shy of the summit
> (i.e., where the cover was very deep yet very firm), for a total vert
> a bit under 4k.

Excellent.  Today Nadine and I skied from the mid-mountain lodge to the
base of the quad (fast grass at the bottom mostly).  Boot issues for both
of us prevented a summit trip.  Pics soon.

> Overall, pretty much an average New England backcountry skiing tour (given
> that we had rock skis) . . . but an above-average way to start off the
> season!

Concurr.  Nice soft windpack.  Just perfect no-base snow as it is dense
enough to keep you off the lurking rocks.  Unfortunately the forecast is
for niar 5 of the next 6 days.  If you didn't get any today, you missed
it.  Carpe powder diem.

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