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It was a good day.

Weather report showed bad.  Really bad.  We woke up without really
knowing how much snow there was.  Really high winds had swept it
around.  Anna was sick (hadn't even danced to Goodtime Charlie the
night before) so it was just Renee and I.  We went out around 9:15,
not too many cars in parking lot 1.  Up to the top of Sterling where
the winds finally convinced Renee to put on her neck warmer.

Top had received around 5 inches of quite heavy snow.  Wind had really
swept things around.

First run was WarmUp Woods, which Renee loved.  At the bottom, we
exited out to Bootleggers and skied the steeper part at the bottom.
Renee made hero turns down with the steepness and the thickness of the
powder being just right - received complement #1 from random skier in
bright pink everything.  Then on to Poachers Woods where the turns
were easier than in Warmup.

Quick break to warm up, then down Smuggs Alley (similar to Bootleggers
although more tracked out by then).  At Shuttle, she did her first
hiking for turns to get up to Strawberry Fields.  After some bush
whacking in soft wet powder, we found them and Renee had the best
turns (in my opinion, but no one else was even close to judge) nearer
the bottom.

Since the Sterling smaller terrain park was closed, we couldn't go
over there, so we broke for an early lunch and headed up Madonna 1.
Not much open up there - only Chilcoot, FIS, not sure about Doc's.
Our plan was to hit Bermuda, so over there we went.  Chilcoot turns
were nice, overall good, but snow was getting more pushed around.
Received complement #2 on the turns there.  As we neared the top of
Madonna 2, noticed the snow was getting much stickier.  Thought about
changing plans, but didn't - big mistake.  Ruthie's was really sticky
and the snow in Bermuda was tough.  Renee stuck with it like a champ,
and we came out.  Went up Madonna mid-station to get some elevation
back to Sterling, but realized in 3 mountain glades that our legs were
just too tired, so we called it a day - after all, the science show
was going to start soon.  It was raining on the way back to the
parking lot, but it was very light and ended within an hour or so.

What a day of exploring.  First and second ever unmarked trails.  No
OOB yet, but that will come!  It is wonderful to ski with adventurous
kids, especially when she's our own.

The new wet snow has done a pretty good job of covering junk,
especially in the woods.  A hard freeze tonight won't be good, but if
we pick up the 4-8 inches tomorrow, it could be very very good!  Most
of Madonna has been on reserve status since Sunday.

Eric

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