I was fortunate to arrive at Chair 5 when they opened 3 trails with fresh
untouched snow. Chair 5 area hasn't been open and seen any skier traffic
since before the New Years thaw. My first 4 runs were fresh untracked in
the woods and on the slopes under chair 5. That was the first time I
experienced deep (boot-deep) powder with telemark gear. It was heavenly and
I only had a little trouble where it was wind drifted. The pitch wasn't
enough for the amount of powder in there for most of the glade, but there
is one steeper pitch that really tested my tele-turns, as well as the pitch
right under Chair 5, which is pretty steep and you have an audience. I only
gomered a little, and I was pretty proud of myself tackling the deep fresh
powder with so many eyes upon me from the lift. At noon I headed over to
Chair I to look for Leigh. I skied under Chair I and checked the race start
and finish, as well as did a walk through the crowded lodge. No sign of
him. I was flying plaid and made myself very obvious. I'm wondering if he
was even there.

So I continued on until I met up with Mike Richter and did a coupla runs on
Olympian which is the steepest trail at Greek Peak. They just opened it
that morning with a foot of natural snow. It was tracked, but nice and
powdery. No sign of Leigh, but I saw a very large Pileated Woodpecker
perched in a tree.

Conditions were excellent. Unfortunately they were having trouble keeping
all the lifts running and lines exceeding 20 minutes were endured. But the
weather was good, sun shining and spirits were high, because the runs were
sweet. There wasn't even much traffic on the slopes (because everyone was
in the lift line, or so it seemed). The lift that was to get me back to the
side where I parked my car was closed for about 3 hours in the middle of
the day. This cut off a good chunk of terrain from the main area during the
busiest part of the day (from 11-2pm), so anyone over at Chair 5 had fresh
tracked powder and no lift lines. There was maybe 50 people over there.
When I emerged from that area and skied beneath a vacant Chair 4, I knew
that I has made a mistake by leaving that area with all that fresh snow,
but I was in search of Leigh, so I made the best of it. Too bad I never
found him.

At 2:30 when I ran into Mike and he was starting fresh and I was beginning
to tire as I headed into my 4th hour and then a 5th. I was really getting
into telemarking and enjoying it, but my legs and back were aching and
screaming at me to call it a day. Around 4ish we headed back to Chair 5
only to find it completely stopped and desolate, except for the groups of 3
hanging above us. They had been stuck there for a while, as the lift had
mechanical problems for more than 15 minutes. I saw 3 friends hanging above
and stopped to chat and get the scoop. The ski patrol seemed to be
positioning for a possible lift evac, but they got it fixed while we were

last run through the woods was in a nice tracked powder. Excellent day out
on the pins.

Today (Sunday) my back and legs ached so much I decided to give'm a rest
and alpine ski. All the powdery natural snow runs were getting skied off.
And by this I don't mean to an icy base, I mean to a dirt base. I was able
to more quickly change direction and shoot for the piles of white and avoid
the brown on these sections. The snow was excellent everywhere where there
was snow, it just got pushed off in places. This nice light snow we've been
getting for the last 2 weeks, as we well know, can be blown away with a
fart. Even a foot of it!

Nice bumps on Eleysian Fields and Iliad. Unfortunatley the lifts weren't
all running. Chair 1A was not working and lift lines were 20 minutes again.
We only did 6 runs (in 2 1/2 hours!) and called it a day because of the
crowd and hit the quiet trails of the backyard backcountry.

We had broken trail friday night. My legs were pretty tired from that, but
this evening around dusk we went out to ski our trails. They are in super
shape. Nice glide and exciting downhills which means plenty of good climbs.
My E99s don't climb so well, but they do great on the downhills. I got a
good upper-body work-out. The dogs romped and post-holed our trails, but
that just makes them a little faster. They just love going out with us on
the trail.

It is so lovely when it is all wintry up here and there's skiing out the
door, as well as down the road. I just hope this beautiful stretch of snowy
weather continues. Surely a big dump would be nice, but I'd happily settle
for 2" a day every day like its been doing.

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