Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow is for Skiing

Looks like winter may be here for good this time, unlike the false start two weeks ago. Hit Bretton Woods with Brett today on my off Friday. Looking at the morning radar, long fingers of lake effect snow were streaming off Lake Ontario into the White Mountains. It was hard to tell how much accumulation these hit-or-miss ribbons would tally at Bretton Woods. As we hit Franconia Notch, it was snowing quite hard.

I was driving. Most people that ride with me find my driving habits unnerving. Many get used to it. Some do not. My mother for example, will take a dramamine if she knows we'll be taking a trek with me driving. That's for an interstate. Two dramamine are needed, say for the Road to Hana in Hawaii. Brett is another person that has never fully adapted to my driving habits. I get reminded all the time. Don't know why. I've yet to have a mishap. Others may find my driving annoying, but I think Crackberries are annoying. We're heading through the Notch where I-93 necks down to one lane, it is slick and snowing hard. A Crackberry was nearly fumbled when I placed both hands on the dash screamed. Deservedly, I was called names.

It was in the teens and blowing like crazy at Bretton Woods. The parking lot was nearly empty. The golf course was pretty much blown bare. Conditions did not look promising, and I wondered if they were even open. Passes were $10, and the groomer was out. It had snowed several inches since much of the grooming the day before, and some trails were nearly drifted shut. The bits groomed within the hour skated quite nicely. Stuff groomed for the first time this season skated terribly. Punch-through was the biggest problem. A couple trails were littered with tree debris, the kind like snares that can easily capture a ski and give you a bad case of whiplash or worse. The groomer was making passes further up the mountain, but it was essentially unskateable. Plus he kept stopping to cut out fallen trees from recent storms. It snowed a couple more inches while we were there. In about 2hrs, we were cooked. It was all work, all the time. I had little distance or elevation on the GPS to show for all the hard work. Definitely an upper body workout kind of day and worth the trip.

Waterville Valley opens Saturday. Need a one day break I think, then plan to pick up my season pass and ski WV Sunday. Doesn't look good for Ice Weasels CX race on Saturday. Was looking forward to jumping in the SS category with my Dean MTB, but this time of year, snow sports trumps bike sports for me.

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