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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