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I finally got two days of skiing in for January. 
Yesterday at Whiteface I could argue was the worst. 
Of course, they have all been pretty equally bad so It
would be a rough argument to make.  OTOH, today was
far and away the best.  The weather however was
definitely the worst.  That figures.

I got to the slopes around 9:15 after a slow ride
behind a plow going 25 to 30 and a huge string of cars
after him.  I started with a lazy ride up the Kids
Kampus triple and noticed the grauple, sleet,
whatever, would accumulate in my lap and all over but
easily brushed off.  Nothing coming down was wet or
icing on anything-----yet.  Cutting over to the main
slopes I found the pellets to sting the face
intensely. There was about four inches of loose sugary
granular in most places on the mountain.  I took a
ride up the quad and skied down to mid to drop off my
back pack.  The skiing was soft, sweet, effortless and
quite enjoyable.  The new stuff had adhered to the
extreme boilerplate and made a very good surface
considering what I have encountered all season thus
far.  I headed up the double from mid and still found
the same precipitation at the top of Little WF.  A run
down Essex and lower Northway was awesome.  I quickly
stopped noticing the thousands of bee sting quality
hits in the face because the skiing was so good. 
Yesterday they put the guns out on Mt. Run and lower
Cloudspin and made a thousand percent difference.  Add
the fresh sugar snow and I couldn't believe the
change.  I took a ride up to the summit and around 4k
encountered definite warming and freezing rain that
glazed over my goggles and every thing else.  Getting
down off follies and perons was a chore with
boilerplate goggles.  Even though the surface on the
upper trails was quite good I decided to stay lower
due to the icing.  

I went into mid to thaw out the goggles and get some
water and headed back up Little WF.  Even Northway was
in excellent shape with the fresh natural resurfacing
that was occurring.  Many feet of powder would have
just scraped off and blown around and not helped as
much.  After a run or two I noticed icing occurring on
the goggles and clothing near the top of the Gondi. 
Rats, it was creeping down.  I had anticipated and
dressed perfectly for the conditions except my goggles
didn't have wipers or defrosters.  So began the
process of ski until totally blind, take off a glove
and finger thaw the goggles, wipe as carefully as
possible and continue skiing and do it all over
again....and again....and again.  

The slider density started to wane and the conditions
continued to improve.  Eventually I broke for lunch
and took a very long total deicing break.  After lunch
I headed back up and the r stuff increased in
intensity.  Being warm and comfortable I figured the
temperature was around just below freezing.  Amazingly
it was more like only 20 degrees.  Finally my legs
gave out and I also started to consider the
possibility that somewhere the icing might kill the
power and they would have to chisel my frozen corpse
out of a chair.  When I got back to KK lodge I
couldn't believe how huge my ice encrusted body had
become.  Both of my lower legs were double their size
with added ice.  My hood was frozen to my helmet and
when I broke it loose it stayed in the shaped of the
helmet like a half of a bowling ball carrier.  I had
to whack my arms with a ski pole to break the ice off
in slabs and chunks.  Simply rubbing my jacket did
nothing to budge the stuff.  It was like someone had
taken mortar and sealed my gloves to my jacket.  It
took at least 20 minutes to thaw out the Xterra and
get doors open and on the way home.  It was an equally
slow ride home.

 The morale is you never know what the skiing is going
to be like from one day to the next.  Wednesday AM
ought to be pretty interesting if it gets as cold as
they are calling for.  So much for the 10 to 12 inches
of powder only that they called for in my area when I
went to bed last night. We will see what this weekend
brings.   Jimski  



 
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