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There was still some excellent skiing on Mt Ellen last Thursday and Friday, and I'd imagine it's still pretty good.

The view from Number Nine Hill on Thursday afternoon promised good snow on the upper mountain, but little below Glen House: http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=image_upload/Vermont/2005-05-05-mt-ellen.jpg


After seeing only patches of snow while hiking up Straight Shot to Cruiser, the snow cover improved greatly from the Glen House/base of Summit Chair on up:
http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=image_upload/Vermont/2005-05-05-glen-house-view.jpg

FIS was in great shape with fantastic cover and big, soft bumps:
http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=image_upload/Vermont/2005-05-05-fis.jpg

From FIS, both Lower Rim Run and Elbow had skiable snow down to the base of the Summit Chair.  Skiing L Rim Run required walking for a short section just past the bottom of Black Diamond, but had good coverage the rest of the way down.  Elbow had a few more bare spots and a section where the snow was only about 6 feet wide, but cover was wall-to-wall for enough of the run to enjoy some nice turns:
http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=image_upload/Vermont/2005-05-05-elbow.jpg

Since L Rim Run doesn't have much pitch and got slow in the spring corn, I found Elbow to be the better of the two choices for going down, though Rim Run would be a good choice for a gentle ascent with skins.

Below Spread Eagle (which connects Cruiser to Rim Run), the snow cover was much less consistent, with a few big patches of good cover, several 3-foot-wide ribbons of snow on the trail's edge, and a bit of walking to connect it all.  I would estimate that on Thursday I had my skis on for about 80% of the descent to the base of North Ridge, but 24 hours later I could only ski about 60% of Cruiser.  Straight Shot only had a few patches of snow left, so I switched over to hiking boots at the base of North Ridge both days.  I'm not sure what's left on Cruiser now, but based on how quickly the snow was melting last week, I wouldn't expect much skiing to be left below Glen House.  But, for decent skiing, great views and good exercise, it's more than worth the effort.

Andrew


Matthew Kulas <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Anyone see what kind of shape Upper FIS has been in recently?

--Matt K.

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