CV Backcountry on Sun.
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Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 19, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,200 posts
POWPOW
December 20, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Good report Denis.Me and a friend are heading up to the MRV the second week/weekend in Jan. 1 day at the bush one at MRG then over to N. conway for a weekend on mt washington.
I hope the bush has castle rock open and slide brook is socked in as well. (i also hope for sunshine,30 degrees and no wind on washington but im not holding my breath on that one )
Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 20, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,200 posts
Well, please be careful on Mt. Washington. Personally, I would not go above HoJo's on the Sherburne trail in winter. The auto rd. should be safe but it is a long slog to the summit and the upper half is very wind exposed. A friend has taken the Old Jackson Rd. to the auto rd. which cuts the distance to the summit by a couple miles. I've never done it but the trail from the Wildcat summit to the town of Jackson might be a better bet in winter from a safety point of view. The Great Glen Trails nordic center will take you part way up the auto rd. on a snowcat for a fee; never done that either. Chauvin Guides and IME in North Conway run guided winter trips and avalanche courses in the Presidential Range. I'd like to (and should) do an avy course, but until I retire I'm not willing to spend leave time doing that when I could be skiing. Just staying at Joe Dodge Lodge in winter and talking over dinner to the winter mountaineers who stay there is a special treat. I've done that while skiing at Wildcat.
POWPOW
December 21, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
I used to go up there alot when i lived in VT. Iv skiied off the summit prob 5 times in winter and done pretty much most of the popular lines in tucks/huntington. We are actually taking the avi I class from Chauvin sat & sun then going for the summit if its good mon. When i lived up there i just paid attention to the avi warnings and we always carried beacons/probes/shovels during winter.(In the late spring that stuff was replaced by quantities of beer).But its time to get serious so im doing that class then going back for avi II later this winter or next. My goal being McKinley within 4 years. Anyway ill have a good TR when we come back. We are taking everything AND the kitchen sink (ice climbing gear,skis, camping equip).
Denis Is the mad mtn tavern or Gallaghers still open in the valley?
Im pretty pumped ,i havent been back to the valley for 10 years since i left.Im really hoping the snow is good around the bush and MRG, I want to hit all the hotspots (the church,wedding trail,slide brook etc.)
Denis - DCSki Supporter
December 21, 2005
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,200 posts
I enjoy a post ski beer as much as anybody. But at my advanced age that often takes place at 3 in General Stark's pub in the Mad River basebox while my kids and grandkids continue to tear it up. I don't think I've been to the places you mention but they are still there. My favorites are the Hyde Away, The Den, and the Mad River Barn. If you are lucky Betsy Pratt* will be the bartender at the latter and if you tell her you are a Mad River shareholder, you will get an earful.

* I realize that not everybody knows the lore of Mad River. It was founded in 1947 by Wall St. investor Roland Palmedo, who had also founded Stowe but was disgusted that it had turned glitzy and commercial. He wanted a real skiers mountain. Sometime around 1970 Betsy Pratt married another wall street investor who then owned Mad River. He died within a year or two and she found herself the owner of a ski area. For many years she treated it with benign neglect, she was a golfer, but gradually she became a skier. In her 70s she had become an everyday skier and was famous for riding the single chair smoking her pipe and talking to people in the lift line to see how they liked her mountain. Mad River was one of the earliest areas to accept snowboarders. Then it banned them and there are two stories as to why, both of which are probably true. One is that the flat exit from the single chair is too difficult to exit cleanly for a snowboarder. The other is that a couple of teen age punks gave her some attitude one day and used the f-word, and from that day forth she banned snowboarders. Finally she realized that she was getting older and her children didn't want to run a ski area. By now she had grown to love it. Benign neglect had fostered a special culture and a special kind of skier. She got the idea to sell the mountain to it's skiers, form a coop, and loan them the money to get started. This is what happened about 10 years ago. I bought a share, not as an investment but to try to save it. I recall taking my daughter there as a teen ager and taking her to Paradise, where she jumped the waterfall. I told her, "Someday you can tell your children that you jumped the waterfall at Mad River when it still existed." I was sure that Betsy would pass on or sell the mountain to Sugerbush and they would widen it, blast out the ledges and cliffs, install massive snowmaking, build a bunch of high speed lifts, and turn it into another McSkiing experience. Fortunately, the coop was formed, now my daughter lives in VT and has 3 boys, 8, 5, and 2 (today actually) and they are all familiar with Mad River.

Some might not like MRG's attitude (there is some), the rough terrain, or the lack of frills but there are lots of other places where they can go. There is only one Mad River.
JohnL
December 21, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Denis,

Great post. But in defense of Sugarbush, Castlerock has remained pretty much untouched and is a mini-MRG. Actually, I think Rumble may be tougher than any MRG trail on the map. But you know about the other map...

Guess those "Less Otten, More Rock" bumper stickers paid off for the Sugarbush hard-cores.
POWPOW
December 22, 2005
Member since 05/10/2005 🔗
124 posts
Quote:

Denis,

Great post. But in defense of Sugarbush, Castlerock has remained pretty much untouched and is a mini-MRG. Actually, I think Rumble may be tougher than any MRG trail on the map. But you know about the other map...

Guess those "Less Otten, More Rock" bumper stickers paid off for the Sugarbush hard-cores.




My last year there Less was talking about the idea of snowmaking, new lift and wider trails on CR. It was going over like a screen door on a submarine. glad it didnt happen.
But being a "mini MRG" i dont buy that. Just because a couple of trails are typical of old style new england skiing is not the same as the "vibe" of people that are at MRG. Sugarbush wasnt nick named mascara mountain for nuttin!
JohnL
December 22, 2005
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Yep, the "mini-MRG" would be terrain only, not the vibe. Sure glad they didn't take the dynamite and earth movers over to Castlerock.
skier219
December 23, 2005
Member since 01/8/2005 🔗
1,318 posts
I haven't been up to the MRV since 98, after skiing there since the late 80s. Boy do I miss it! I had some spectacular weekends up there with great snow, and then some outstanding meals at the Den (their salad bar stands out in my memory). I can't wait to get back up for a visit someday, though it will probably be tougher to time my travels with weather now that I live 12 hours away! When I lived in CT, I would head up in advance of snow dumps and stay with some of my buddies who patrolled at Sugarbush South. I only skied MRG once my whole life, but that was a memorable day. I remember following a guy into a path in the woods (trail does not qualify to decribe it) and I was giggling the whole time while blasting through powder in between the trees for what seemed like forever. Damn that was awesome. Now that I am accustomed to 180cm shape skis, I can't believe I ever skied trees like that in 210cm skis! And now that my weekly thrills come from groomed pseudo-blacks at Wintergreen, I have to wonder if I would even know what to do back at a place like MRG or Castle Rock. Damn, it's tough living in the south sometimes!

Craig
BushwackerinPA
December 25, 2005
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
MRG = Bushwackers favorite area he has ever skied.

One of a kind place to ski, and I have jumped the waterfall too;) first time as a teen on a ski trip to VT by myself.
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