Are we possibly getting too much of a good thing right now (if you are a skier)? The ski season is certainly off to a good start. Two years in a row now. We must be in a cycle of global cooling.
Dave and I headed back up to Waterville Valley this morning. It was a wee bit chilly in the single digits. There was barely a breeze though, so there wasn't the sting single digit temps normally bring.
The valley got 6-8" of new snow out of yesterday's storm. They finally brought out the big grooming equipment. The surface still hadn't set up well. The snow had very low moisture content. I could have waxed with green, but I hate putting that on my skis. It takes such a hot iron and is so hard to scrape if you let it cool too much. Then I can't help but wonder if subsequent warmer waxes even penetrate the base with cooler iron and all that green plugging things up. I used blue. When it is so cold, nothing really gives you good glide. The best you can do is minimize the suckiness. Many areas were sandpaper slow and a slog fest.
To our dismay, Tripoli was not groomed. That climb is half the reason to hit WV. A couple years ago when there was limited snow, that was all that was groomed. So what's up WV? Website said it would be groomed. Wicked Easy/Moose Run and Upper Osceola were groomed. While warming up on Wicked Easy, I was feeling quite smug in my V2 form. I got a little too close to the edge of the groomed surface when ski and boot disappeared into the base. I promptly face planted. There were some very soft spots.
The descents were a tear fest. How do you keep your eyes from tearing up at 25mph in +8F dry air? Even with a balaclava on, I was getting an icecream headache. No problem keeping the core warm, even though the inside of my wind shell would freeze up and make crackling sounds on the descents.
The groomer came back through Livermore Road just before we hit that. This firmed up the surface nicely, bringing up a little bit of older snow. It had a little better glide. This was groomed all the way over Upper Snows, a 600ft net gain climb. This will do. I did it twice, but on my second time up I went into a soft bonk. That's what one Gu over a three hour ski will do.
We were glad we braved questionable roads to ski. There were very few people there and the roads were decent. I logged 41.7km, 874m vertical in 3:14 hours. Wicked slow pace, but it was all work.
I had hopes of hitting the Cape on Sunday for some dirt trail riding. The Friday storm clobbered the Cape. The Bourne Rotary webcam shows me how much snow I can expect on the Otis trails. The Cape stayed bare all winter last year and I frequently enjoyed the best of both worlds: Ski in the Whites, ride on the Cape in the same weekend. I hope the global cooling trend we are in doesn't spoil this.
Hey, did you mountain bikers out there get one of these? There's still time before the end of the year to claim a tax benefit. Go to NEMBA to learn more. Looks nice on my Racer X.