On Sat, 20 Dec 2014 19:22:25 -0500, roger Klinger <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Yeah, people were lovin' the top of Madonna. Here's a shot into the Notch we got on the way out. Sure was nice to soak in a little sun.

>It wasn't supposed to be good.
>It was definitely not a day for all the race skis that I saw out on the
>hill.  Come to think of it, I can't imagine what all those racers were
>thinking, practicing navigating through gates when real snow and real
>terrain were abundantly available.
>The main cast of characters consisted of myself, BenB, JustinR, and
>CalefL,and BrianC, and we were joined by JimM for a bit.  Ben, Jim, and
>Calef are the only three skiers that I regularly ski with who are leaps and
>bounds better than me, and keeping up with all three of them in hard
>terrain and in somewhat tricky conditions was a great lesson in humility.
>Snow is pasted to everything, with a slightly annoying crust atop.  Pretty
>much everything is open and in better shape than pretty much anytime in the
>previous three seasons.
>After a run down Freefall with (i still can't believe it) not a rock in
>sight, we headed to a favorite steep & narrow chute that did not
>disappoint, as our group of five put 2nd to 6th tracks down. The run is
>steep enough to almost always be scraped down to stumps in some places.
>Today we spotted only one small stump.
>Encouraged by how well everything was covered, we decided to survey what is
>easily the toughest run that I have skied in VT.  I first skied it last
>spring with Calef and Brian, and though it was difficult, I still managed
>to ski most of it with style. Today, with early season legs and tricky
>crust, was different.  Being the second down, the crust made the top part,
>which is one ski wide and twisty-turny, quite challenging.  Then there was
>the mandatory ~8' drop with a flattish landing. Nursing a couple of bulged
>discs, I wasn't up to doing it in style.  And the adrenaline of getting
>ready for it just spent me.
>After that, I just sucked.  Energy-less and couldn't turn. One fall onto my
>rump at the Black Bear cliff, one faceplant a dozen turns later.  But we
>had skied 4 excellent hours.  And skied incredible terrain that is rarely
>open in December. And Amy had a volleyball game to get to. So we called it
>a day.
>I sure hope TOS chose the right ski today.
>We didn't stand around taking pics today, but Justin took this panorama
>with his phone, which shows how gorgeous the day was:
> IMG_0029.JPG
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