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Hard to believe, but I did not whose-out on yesterday's trip to Airplane.

The snow was suprisingly wonderful. I had skied Airplane nearly 2 months ago
(after skiing Pipeline and before going down Monroe Brook) and noted that there
was a lot of snow in the gully, but I had no idea it would last this long,
especially the run-out down to Spaulding Lake. I've skied Airplane in past
years in May when there was much less snow in the run-out even though there was
much more snow in the upper part. I am guessing there were a number of big
avalanches in February and March that filled up the run-out. The many freshly
broken branches in the trees down there suggested that was the case.

The gully really changes character as the snow melts. Back in April the upper
part was very built up and steep, and the middle "throat" section was wide with
consistent pitch. Now the top is less steep and the throat is narrower with
many undulations that keep you on your toes.

Jonathan (Mr. 10,000 vertical foot man) and I were the only skiers foolish
enough to ski down to where the snow ended, not too far above Spaulding Lake.
Sure, the turns down near the bottom weren't great amongst the boulders and
brush, but where else in the East can you do some tree skiing in June?

Another highlight was hanging out with Denis, Jim B., and Conor B. (his first
time on skis on the Rockpile) at the top of Airplane (after they had skied the
summit snowfields) and at the Airforce parking lot.

This was a great end to my season, which started out horribly and ended quite
nicely.

Jim

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