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        .... needed a fix ... had to see snow .... I wanted to see wind and foul
weather ... I just had to have a taste of Winter.  So, I got up before the
Sun did and headed up to the one place I knew that wouldn't let me down -
The Rockpile.
        It was clammy, chilly and dreary when I arrived.  A snowline was visible
at 2500ft and I was out for some exploring as I set out for "uphill".  I
didn't want to take chances, so I ignored Dana's advice of creating a 40lb
pack for backcountry training.  Weather report stated a startling 8.3" new
snow at the summit with 60+ MPH winds with a peak gust overnight of 98MPH.
 I got to snowy HoJos, plunked a dollar into the MWVSP cannister like I
usually do and went inside.  There, I sensed a cheery, giddy upbeat glee.
 I peered inside a door and the 2 wardens were in there grinning ear-to-ear
and working on some old telemark boards.  They revealed to me that they had
just made the first snowboard run of the year down the Sherburne Trail for
about 100 yards and were setting up an old pair of forgotten old boards for
skiing.  We all rejoiced about the new snow and the beginnings of "The Holy
Season" and the only thing we were disappointed about was that the winds
"only" made it up to 57MPH at HoJos the prior night and that winds didn't
crack the century mark at the summit (a gentle 98MPH for a peak gust).
        I wanted to go for the summit, but I underestimated the rockpile and did
not bring crampons - huge mistake as above treeline, much rain had fallen
yesterday and left an ice skating rink under the new snow.  On top of that,
the powerful winds had created a reported 5-6 foot drifts.  That along with
whiteout conditions and 60+MPH winds kept me in Tuck's.  I made it up to
the Lunch Rocks and started to posthole amongst the rocks - not the thing
ya' wanna' do when you're soloing (risk of punching through snow in between
rocks and twisting a leg, etc).  After eating lunch, I headed back down,
ran into some Quebecois who had hopped over the border and were looking to
pehaps get lucky and ice climb (fat chance, but it's not too far away).
        Headed over to Huntington Ravine to explore/observe.  Ice is forming there
and I ran into a local climber who was taking pics for his ice climbing
website.  He says that with a chilly week, there just might be some ice
climbing there next weekend.
        Headed back down; things were thawing ... smell of pine was everywhere
.... snow was stuck on the pines .... I went to wipe my nose and smelled my
wool gloves .... I picked up some snow, made a ball out of it and took a
bite from it ... my Snickers bar almost froze ...  my polypro stinks.
 YEAH, IT'S THE DAWN OF THE HOLY SEASON !!!!  I'M ECSTATIC !!!!

MARK!!!

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