Stowe, VT 04APR2010
Yesterday was another nice one, so we were back at Stowe for a bit more of the spring weather and spring skiing.  I think the temperatures were about 15-20 degrees cooler than Saturday, which was of course still quite warm with base temperatures around 60 F.  Combined with a breeze that hadnít been around on Saturday though, the cooler temperatures were enough to keep us wearing vests over shirts.


We hadnít had a chance to get to the Quad terrain on Saturday, so we started off with a full run of Nosedive.  The boys had a good time working on the steeper bumps in the upper sections, where Ty commented that he thought it was Dylanís best bump skiing to date.  Middle/Upper Nosedive had pretty good coverage, but it seemed like coverage in the lower half had changed a lot since the previous day.  Apparently things just continued to melt with the day temperature of 70-80 F followed by a fairly warm overnight that didnít get down to freezing.  Also surprising was the way in which the bumps on the bottom half of the trail seemed to have disappeared.  I didnít think that the mountain was grooming with the warm temperatures, but something had changed from the previous day.


After some snowball fights when we waited at the gondola base, we next joined up with Fred and his family and did a Cliff Trail run over toward Lower Nosedive.  Fred was on Telemark skis for the first time in many years, and it was his first time in plastic boots or cable bindings, so it was quite a change from his older stuff.  He commented on all the differences that he could feel, and seemed to be having a lot of fun.  On the next trip up to the Gondola, we stopped in at the Cliff House and Fred got us all drinks while we hung out on the deck.  It was actually a little chilly up at that elevation with the breeze, but the sun was keeping us warm enough.  Fred talked with one of his buddies from behind the bar about which big boulder far up on the cliffs above was going to come down and take out the Cliff House kitchen.  Apparently they have been watching those teetering rocks for years.


We made our way back over to the quad and finished off the day with a late lunch on the deck of the Octagon.  It was after 3:00 P.M. so there was nobody else around, and we got to take in the classic views of the Chin, Jay Peak, The White Mountains, etc.  Ty at first couldnít figure out what that building was that he could see underneath the Chin, but once we told him it was the Cliff House at the top of the gondola, he remarked that he could see the deck weíd been on earlier.  When he said that I realized it was probably the first time Iíd ever hit both of the Mansfield mountaintop decks in one day.


For our final run we stuck to the Lord area, and worked with the boys on riding the steep ridges along the edges of the trails.  In some of the steepest shots the angle was just too extreme for the boys to hold an edge, so that was good practice to see if they could re-engage after losing hold, or end up sliding off in the trees.  They ended up doing some of both.  Personally, I noticed that when the pitch became too steep, it was almost as if there wasnít enough room for my uphill leg and ski to remain in a Telemark stance, and Iíd have to switch to an alpine configuration to keep both edges engaged.


There was definitely a change in snow coverage between Saturday and Sunday at Stowe.  It was probably one of the more dramatic one-day changes Iíve seen, but of course Saturday had some of the highest temperatures Iíve witnessed in terms of spring skiing.  Some spots that seemed perfectly fine on Saturday had become narrow passages by Sunday.  Thereís still a lot of snow on the upper parts of Mansfield, but it looks like theyíll need to continue working with the groomers to keep things connected at the bottom of the mountain.


A couple of shots from yesterday are attached below:





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