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As I rode up the Bailey Falls lift this morning, the snowboarder in the 
chair ahead of me turned around and yelled: "The Bowl kicks ass! It's 
9:30 and there's like four tracks!" I actually counted seven tracks on 
Lift Line, but one was mine and one was his, and any way you counted 
them, his point was still valid. It was a great morning to be out there.

There were only about 3 inches of new, fairly dense snow on top of 
yesterday's tracks, but that's enough to have fun with, and the few of 
us who took advantage were making the most of it. First tracks is first 
tracks, and if you found the right spots it skied deeper than it was. I 
got to see a couple patrollers launch the rocks at the bottom of the 
Lift Line cliff, which is always entertaining. (For those who haven't 
been there, this isn't launching off the top of the cliff -- it's 
hitting two big boulders in the runout at the bottom. The first, smaller 
boulder is perfectly ramp-shaped to launch you over a gap and up onto 
the second, bigger boulder, from which you can hit launch #2 about 5 
feet back onto the ground. It's not exactly the sort of thing I'd ever 
be able to pull off myself, but it's sure fun seeing better skiers than 
me hit it.)

A couple times I found myself sprouting an irrepressible grin, even 
though I was skiing by myself.

By 10:30 the trails were pretty well skied out, so I hit the woods. Like 
Patrick reported in his earlier TR, I promised myself I was going to be 
responsible and stay out of the woods if I was solo, but when the trails 
are skied out and people are popping out of the woods covered in snow 
and wearing big smiles, how much responsibility can anyone be expected 
to maintain? So I carefully started poking into the woods. The popular 
lines were covered with the same 3 inches that the trails were, but as 
soon as I got off the main lines, it was knee-deep, and soon enough I 
was one of those popping out of the woods covered in snow and wearing a 
big smile.

I'm sure the northern mountains were even better, and I hope I get to 
read some trip reports telling me how much. But today my little local 
hill kept me in all the fun I could hope for.

Dave G.

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