After acquiring Dynastar Max Threes from E-Bay, I needed a pair of boots. When I arrived at The Tool Shed near Top of the World, I was greeted with a warm smile and caring attitude. Amy helped me find boots and made sure that they fit well. She had me stand in a skiing stance and normal stance, making sure my toes were not at the end of the boots. She informed me that if my toes hit the ends of my boots, the toenails would fall off! Although my Dynastars only cost me $70 after shipping, my Head Edge 10.0 boots cost $286 on sale with tax included! When I left The Tool Shed and hit the slopes, I only returned to thank the staff for helping me and told them that my boots fit great!
On Tuesday and Wednesday, F-18’s flew overhead. After spending the morning on the basin side with my less experienced friends, I headed to Cupp Run. Blue bird skies and mild temperatures were the norm on Monday and Tuesday, and my time at the Western Territory was much better than on Sunday! The basin also offered me a variety of runs. Other than the slopes closed for trail improvements, I coasted from one trail to the next. The crowds were minimal, and the snow was excellent! The bumps on Cupp were much bigger than those at the Basin area, and I enjoyed the mild bumps and fast speeds that the Basin had to offer.
Unlike most trips to the slopes, where people stay in condos or hotel rooms, I chose to camp at Whittaker Campground with my Venture Crew (a division of Boy Scouts designed to keep older boys in Scouting utilizing high adventure activities). Whittaker is located roughly 5 miles west of Cass on 66 (a ten minute drive to Snowshoe’s new access road). The new access road is very nice, and definitely cut our travel time up to the parking lot! Although I didn’t enjoy spending all of my time in the cold temperatures, I will definitely winter camp some time in the future when I have better cold weather gear. Clothes get very wet in Spring conditions, and unfortunately, soaked garments don’t dry very well in a small tent.
Spring has definitely come to area ski resorts. On Tuesday, the temperature rose to the mid sixties. Skiers and snowboarders weren’t only shirtless, they were skiing in their bathing suits! By late Tuesday, many trails had bare spots on them, forcing the resort to close some of its terrain. With temperatures staying above 32 degrees at night, the groomers couldn’t get on the slopes. As a result, everything was bumpy. As I headed up the Widowmaker lift to begin my journey home, Mountain Operations was packing up the snow guns. Currently, the resort has 32 trails open on a base of 42-56 inches. Silver Creek is closed but plenty of terrain is open on the Basin side and Cupp on the Western Territory is still in decent shape. Snowshoe plans to close on 6 April. The season was phenomenal, and the great spring skiing was definitely worth a twenty hour drive from central Florida. It was certainly not Spring Break MTV style, but big moguls and soft snow definitely enhanced my skills, and the camping experience gave me an appreciation of the hardships of living outdoors in all weather conditions.
[Editor’s note: Shortly after Jarret’s visit, Snowshoe received 18 inches of fresh snow in a late-season snowstorm.]
Photos provided by Jarrett Baker.