What a day. I had two of the best runs of y life today.. all thanks to
Mark Courville, that jerk unknowingly led me to two absolutely SICK
chutes. The first is the one I've pointed out to many of you and have been
gawking at all winter. Yesterday I scoped out the entrance on teles and
today I skied it on my alpines.
What a run.
After about a 15 min hike I traversed for awhile to the entrance. It
starts innocently enough, skirting below some ice cliffs (which mr MC had
already laid tracks on). You soon come to the first mandatory air .. an
easy 8 footer onto a broad landing. Then it pitches up a bit, as you skirt
a double fall line below increasingly bigger cliffs (in the 80 foot
range). All this time there are even bigger cliffs below and to the right,
down the fall line but thankfully beyond a thick barrier of trees. Soon
comes the crux, a 10 foot drop in onto a 45 degree pitch. Thats when the
fun begins, you start below more massive cliffs down the main chute, which
chokes off like a sausage in two places. Most of it is wide (20-40 ft) and
steep and today it was perfect corn so I could mach big gs turns down the
fall line. Sweet! I'll call it Courville's Couloir..heh.

Then I found another. This may be the proper end to Stu's Shot but I'm not
sure. Anyway, I started down a chute that, in retrospect, probably had the
melted remains of side step marks coming out the top.. probably shoulda
clued me in. So this one is shorter, but every bit as scary. Lots
like that tight chute off Bypass we skiied a bunch on 4/11 but steeper and
longer. That wasnt so bad -- the end WAS. So I'm skiing along this chute
and it just ENDS in 25 foot ice cliff. Yikes! For about 5 minutes I just
sat there trying to figure out where to go. Option A was to ski the ice,
which looked soft enough, down along a spine of rock. Terrifying, but at
least there wasnt much to slide into in the event of a fall. Option B was
to lower myself down the chute, which at this point was about 3 ft wide
and blind. I took a deep breath and went for option A. What a rush it
was.. The ice was indeed soft, but I didnt bounce around long enough to
test it much.. just banged one turn, then zoooom! down the ice fall and
outta site. Below that I was on the usual chutes, and basking in the
relative safety of off-piste double diamond terrain.

I spent the rest of the day on my usual favorites, Goat Woods, S-53/Starr
Woods, Lookout, and one run on Pipeline, which has sotened enough to be
enjoyable. Goat Woods are tons of fun, and have tons of very smooth
and fast corn snow. Lookout was in classic shape -- bumped on the left,
smooth on the right, with bare spots in just the right places to keep it
interesting. Even upper Goat is still skiable, with a few well placed
jump turns.

It is a crying shame that Stowe is closing this weekend. The skiing,
especially in the woods, is as good or better than it has been all season.
There just isnt anyone skiing... what's wrong with you people?! Get up
here and ski! I dont get it, everyone rushes to scrape down the 3 or 4
crappy snow blown runs they have in November but leaves all this great
April corn to melt untouched! And then they close the lifts because of
it...  The insanity!
Rain or shine,
I will ski this weekend


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