Today Chris and I rolled back the clock at MRG
and got way more than we expected for our $3.50. I haven't skied a
whole lot yet this season, but it was easily the best day of my
otherwise lame season so far. The overall conditions were about 8"
of fluff over a hard base. This was gradually chewed up on the
trails, and some spots were scraped down to that nasty hard base,
but it wasn't difficult to find the soft spots. The summit stake
read 18", so neither of us was too gung-ho about the usual woods
runs, but we found some remarkably good low-angle lines off the
double, including a few lines of shin-deep untracked. Chris
enjoyed both L.A. runs, while the high points for me were the
Quacky neighborhood and the overlooked corners of Birdland.
The temperature was comfortable, the crowd was happy, and the
atmosphere was festive, with demos and free samples from Vermont
food producers, including soup, sausage, cookies, granola, cheese,
and generous bowls of Ben and Jerry's mint chocolate chunk ice
This was the first real test of my new Black Diamond Joules. It
took me a few runs to make the adjustment from my old Explosivs,
but once I did they responded nicely. They don't have the
crud-busting power of the Explosivs, but at about 3.5 pounds
lighter, that's to be expected. The two
skis have almost exactly the same dimensions, but that doesn't
mean they ski the same, and once I
realized that the lightweight Joules don't like to be stomped on
like the Explosivs, I began skiing with more finesse (which is the
way I prefer to ski anyway) and they happily handled all the bumps
and crud I threw them at with ease. The only problem I found was
realizing that when I mounted the bindings, I forgot that as a
women's ski, the centerline is a little bit forward of what I'm
used to (maybe about an inch or less). I could consider remounting
them, or I could get used to the way they are, which is what I
did, and they're fine.
Unfortunately it looks like the precipitation tonight and tomorrow
will be of the liquid variety, so once again it looks like it'll
be two steps forward and one step back. Or one step forward and
two steps back. Or something. I was glad to get it while we could.
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