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        In the parking lot in the woods at 8:30, we gathered and assembled for a big
day.  We shared beta and I was disappointed to learn that wind slab had plagued
the other side of the mountain.  But, I had to show the other 2 some gems and I
had to check out some work I had performed last Summer.
        Up the gentle slope we skinned with Aaron and Jim setting a blistering pace.
 I thought to myself that either I'm sluggish or these other 2 share a common
ancestor with Ruedi.  I was astounded at how quickly we got to the sacred rock
high above our starting point.  We set the skin track for the day, as well.  It
was also very cold at our high point - some "warm spell".
        I did find our well hidden entrance ..... that was also untracked.  WOW!! ....
what wind slab?  Great turns were had and Jim really ripped.  I was "The Guide"
and I did something dumb - I got greedy.  I suggested taking a right turn in
order to find the work I had done.  Bad move.  We got caught up in schwack and
had to bushwack back to the left.  We found a line and kept up some great turns
in the untracked, finding some snow in spots to be a bit "grabby" down to a
James Bond Traverse back to the skin track.  Not much time was wasted as we got
the skins back on and charged up, showing no weakness.
        Being the Purist PITAs we are, we adhered to local custom (or at least what we
perceive as local custom) and went the extra 100 yards to the sacred rock.
 Temps seemed even colder.  We got greedy again and went for the same chute we
took on our first run, but did not make the same mistake as we zoomed past on
some sweet very light untracked on a firm edgeable base.  This time, Jim
suggested taking a right and whaddya' know, we somehow found what I had tried
to bag before.  Our spirits picked up even higher as we found even better snow
with none of the slight grabbiness we encountered before.
        Back to the uptrack we went after the powder party and we had one more ascent
to cram in before we had to go back to the parking lot far below.  Greed was
driving us, again as we stormed up to the top.  This time we eschewed going to
the sacred rock in order to stay warmer.  Again, we used the same starting
point, but as the descent went on, Jim's powder nose and powder greed brought
us to the finest line which had the finest snow of the day!  The problems of
scratchy surfaces, variable conditions and wind slab that had been plaguing
Vermont were not to be found and instead, we had stellar powder conditions.
        At the James Bond Traverse, we considered dropping into a line below, but
opted for some glades on the side of the established trail, instead.  We had
enough steam, determination and greed surging through our veins for another
ascent (probably 2 - we were on top of our game, today), but reality dictated
otherwise.  Found some nice snow in the glades below and schussed out to the
parking lot.
        In the lot, Aaron's altimeter cranked out a 4600 foot day reading.  Our only
disappointment was that we didn't have enough time for 7000 feet and I'm sure
we coulda' physically done it and loved it.

Mark

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