To say Mad River Glen was a pleasant surprise yesterday would be an understatement. The hardscrabble surface conditions which I expected were well covered by the recent 2-3 inch snowfall which bonded very well with the troughs of the moguls. All on and off piste terrain was reasonably in play, with Slalom Hill, Paradise, Chute, Gazelle and Glade all skiing extremely well (as well as my favorite off piste tree shots, which will remain secret ). Run of the day had to have been Lift Line; while it looked bony from the lift, the snow was relatively soft and the tower 11 ledges were in play for some aggressive charging. I couldn't help but find myself loudly announcing my approval with each drop, much to the satisfaction of two ski patrol officers on the single.
"There we go, oh yeah buddy rock it!"
Nothing gets you going like a single chair lift call-out, so of course I got too aggressive and caught an edge 10 seconds later, sending me scrambling back into Glade head down and embarrassed once I collected my strewn gear. Cat Bowl, Upper Canyon and Fall Line represented the hardpack, as they were dicey to borderline dangerous at times. The troughs on these (especially in upper canyon) were scraped out down to blue ice, enough to send someone attempting to thump a line head over heels. In all conditions were hit or miss, but the base is very deep as even Tower 5 was opened up in the afternoon! (Backslapped the landing however, ouch). As is always the case with MRG I was worried about taking a few shots to the core, but my bases were clean outside of a few scratches, a win in my book!
Ultimately the hard pack is a tough reality that will be only made more evident with these incoming inland runners, but its incredible what high density nickle and dime events can do for conditions. I came in with lowish expectations and was just trying to sneak in a day before the rains, and left glowing ear to ear.
Place was empty as well, what a day to play hooky from class with the boys!