Massanutten to welcome spring
My wife and I went to the Fairfax Symphony on Sat. night which ran until 11. I enjoyed it but did not want to drive out to Canaan Valley afterward. Generally I drive there on Sat. evening and ski on Sun., then drive home. The days when I had interest in driving that far both ways for a one day ski trip are in the past.
That left the question, where? I go to Whitetail every Wed. evening and one or two weekend days and have also been to Liberty and Roundtop a lot. Hadn't been to Massanutten for 10 yrs. and I remember it as a nice mellow spring skiing hill that gets a lot of sun. I knew there was lots of snow in this year of the great late winter. Also I expected a very light crowd and an easy drive on interstates almost all the way.
All these hopes materialized today, the first day of spring. I got about 20 runs and left, satisfied, at 3. The Temp. hit 60 in the afternoon. For the first time in a month I did not tweak the injured ankle, a nice added bonus. There were at most 150 skiers there, most showing up after noon. In the morning it appeared to be mostly patrollers. I was very impressed with their skiing. They must have a first class training program. Over the years I have seen a lot of mid Atlantic patrollers with whom I would not take a sled ride; I'd crawl, roll, or butt slide rather than trust my life to their ski skills.
Many don't like wet loose spring snow but it's my favorite surface after light powder. It was hero snow that allowed big deep carves. I did a lot of training drills and then took it to the bumps. There is just one run that gets bumped up; it is pretty tight and technical in the middle but at both sides of the trail it eases off quickly so you can choose your level of difficulty. This makes it a really good run to train on bump technique. In the afternoon I finally saw another telemarker, a patroller named Joel, and we joined up for a couple of bump runs. He was excellent and we had a good time. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable day of spring skiing and I must make a note to not be absent so long before my next visit. They will be closed for the weekdays this week but re-open for Easter weekend. However I will be in NM for a quick trip to Taos and Santa Fe with my son. Life is good.
I'm hitting them up Friday morning and can't wait. My mom got a timeshare there back in the early 90's and I've hiked the trails there before, just never been there for riding. She always books Easter weekend and finally it was early enough and the March weather was cool enough to still have enough snow.
I don't understand people complaining about slush either. I'd take slush over ice any day. It may be a little slower but you can actually make turns on it and chech your speed. Its just like powder skiing only in slow motion
In the morning it appeared to be mostly patrollers. I was very impressed with their skiing. They must have a first class training program.
Oh yeah, the patrol there does take the ski and toboggan very seriously, thus the training is pretty rigorous. I know - I've been through it!
In the afternoon I finally saw another telemarker, a patroller named Joel, and we joined up for a couple of bump runs. He was excellent and we had a good time.
So that YOU that I've seen skiing with Joel on the tele's! I don't know if you remember, but I was the fairly big guy with the longish curly blond hair, wearing all black on Sunday (since the hill already had good patrol coverage, I opted to "free ski" on Sunday). Wish I'd known (just knew it that I've should've worn my DCSki pin)!
Yeah, it was an excellent weekend of skiing there. They will be opened again this upcoming Easter weekend, and then, sadly, that is it, until next year.
I wanted to explore everything at Massanutten so first thing after lunch I headed for the terrain park. The liftie told me he was sorry but I wasn't allowed to ride the terrain park lift because I didn't have twin tip skis. I'd never heard of such a thing but rather than argue I asked politely if I could take one ride up so as to take the catwalk to avoid a walk back to the main lift. He allowed that but asked me to please not do any jumps or he would be in big trouble. Riding the lift I saw that there was no half pipe. I love the half pipe. Instead there was just a bunch of rails, big ones on top of big mounds of snow, probably the best rails I've seen. Rails don't appeal to me; it just looks like the downside in terms of injury risk far outweighs the upside. But I then understood the twin tip rule. If you slid off the rail tails first with straight tails it would almost certainly result in a hard backwards slam. I wonder if this is a common rule? Also wonder why have a terrain park with no half pipe?
Suppose I am kidnapping my own thread but it looked dead anyway.