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Well, at least it was sunny.  Who lost the calendar?  It's Spring!!  You
never would have known it if you were on the mountain today.

The thermometer at the bottom of the tram read 15 degrees at 10 am.  I don't
think that was quite accurate, but the first couple of hours caused your
face to go numb, in the way that makes speaking difficult.  It sure didn't
feel like April.  There was a stiff wind today thanks to the strong low
which keeps winding up in the Canadian Maritimes.

The thaws over the past few weeks softened surfaces before they were frozen
rock-solid by this cold.  Even the April sun was unable to soften anything
to any appreciable degree.  Frozen granular and hardpack was the rule.
Green Beret, the Face and Tuckerman's remain closed thanks to the hardpack,
but everything else is open.  Some tiny bare spots are appearing on natural
trails which are down low and/or have a southern exposure, but they're
easily avoided.

I grabbed my GS skis and headed out the door to the blue at around 8:50 am.
First run was on Haynes: a hard, icy base was covered by a half inch of
frozen granular.  In patches the granular was wind-scoured down to the
underlying base, but these patches were easily avoidable.  Second run was
down Derrick, with similar results.

At the top of the blue I convinced Bob "No Turns" Ianni to check out
Vermonter, figuring that the southeastern exposure might help a bit.  It
did.  Bob grumbled something about it being April as he swung into the
patrol room to trade his sunglasses for goggles, and to add his neck gaitor
to his attire.  One more trip on Vermonter before trying Ullrs' Dream - dumb
move.  Facing north, Ullr's was quite icy.  Goat Run yielded similar results
to Vermonter, thanks to a similar exposure, and this brought me right up to
my lunch followed by my sit in the Sky Haus.

Bob came back after my sit, and we skied Vermonter again to lead us down to
the blue chair.  Another run down Haynes, Jet and Derrick, before heading
over to Vermonter again.  My sweep was on Haynes.

I had spent the entire day on groomed trails, the first time all year.  As a
result, it was also the first time all year that I stuck with my GS skis for
the entire day.  Skiing ungroomed terrain would have been an exercise in
futility.

The place was deserted.  I didn't see the tramside parking lot, but there
were no more than about 15 cars at 3:00 in the Stateside lot.  Thanks to the
lack of midweek crowds, the Stateside Chalet and the red chair were both closed.

Keep your fingers crossed for that storm this weekend, or for some warmer
temps to soften this stuff.

_______________________________________________
Marc Guido                  Jay Peak Ski Patrol
[log in to unmask]
Burlington, VT

First Tracks!!, an online ski magazine:
http://www.rpi.edu/~guidom/FirstTracks.html

Adirondack Boardsailing Club:
http://www.rpi.edu/~guidom/adirondack.html
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