Unorthodox Seven Springs-TR
January 29, 2007
Snow finally arrived on the Laurel Ridge and the natural snow terrain is barely skiable but skiable none the less. If it were not for this fact perhaps I won't have forked over the $48.00 for the lift ticket. As usual, the staff at 7S had the best of it Thursday afternoon and Friday. I arrived early Saturday, there were still untracked lines which were wind and gravity pack. The groomers were smooth and the single digit temps left both piste and off pisted surfaces cold and slow. I always like to start from the North Face parking lot and head to the backside before the Gunnar triple gets overloaded. We shot off down through trees to skiers right of the old Sunset Slope. This face is always wind blown and the surface peaked with dabs of peanut brittle and slow, soft snow. We made our own lines down to the North Face and over to Giant Steps Triple.
Our day's mission is now set; ski as much natural snow as possible. Off the chair we cruise a groomed black to the mid entrance of Turtle Neck Glades.
The snow is OK and we even found some untracked lines closest to the trees. Out of the Glade we traverse the flat back toward the lift and look for nacho on the lower face down to the Gunnar Triple and we go back up again.
Off Gunnar over to the Lost Girl to the Top of Turtle Neck Glades, this face is steeper and the underbrush was sticking through. It was time for some pruning! The snow was soft and the underbrush was pliant but we decided that once was enough. We spent the next couple of runs looking for thin nachos at trail's edge and in the spaces without snow making towers. All the while I had my 158 cm Rossi 9S World Cups. This little stick continues to amaze with its versatility and eagerness to perform. I decided to head back to the car to swap out a new set of K2 Recons.
On the way back we ducked down the Alpine Meadow Glades to see what was left of the forest. Our first approach was from the Blitzen chair line and diagonally skied a line toward the new terrain park. The trees were thinned out but well covered and the bottom right in front of the lift was cleared and a new lane cut back to Helens. The next lap we entered the top of the glades from Alpine Pass Trail. To our dismay about half of the glades and the old rope tow grade are now open slope complete with snow making. The new Terrain Park occupies the old Alpine Meadows Slope and the old Sundown Slope and chair lift line.
Finally I make it back to the car and grab the K2s. I won them in a raffle at Stowe in December '04 but didn't take delivery on them until April '05. I broke my elbow so last season I got out maybe 3 times and skied hard pack, ice and rocks. I wasn't going to risk the bases then but today I just had to give 'em a whirl. Back to the trails to repeat the previous 5 runs minus upper Turtle Neck Glades. Even though the Recons were longer, they're 170, and with 78 mm under boot they still could dial a quick turn but, you had to be more patent into and through the fall line. They're smooth and agile but not as quick as the 9S.
It's time for lunch so we stop back at the car to get the Rossi's then head to lunch on the front side. After a quick chili fix we scoot over to the Tyrol chair and do some quick laps in Yak-Yak. We decide to head back to North Face.
Eventually we ski the upper Gunnar chair lift line and pursue a line back to the Giant Steps Triple. We finished the afternoon seeking the last of the now thin packed nachos before retiring with some high speed GS cruising across the entire North Face Slope. These last runs the only top to bottom machine made trails we skied that day.
I posted a full TR from 7S on TGR
Nice report. How much abuse did your bases and edges take?
For us non-regulars, what/where is Yak-Yak?
Never heard the term nacho before. Is that old school or new school?
Yak Yak are the "unofficial" glades between Stowe and Tyrol.
I posted a full TR from 7S on TGR.
Nice photo TR on 7S. I'm sorry that I missed you there. As of late PM Friday I was still not sure if I would go so no time to post. You photoed that exposed underbrush I was talking about. We'll get together soon.
JohnL, the bases of the 9S were a little scuffed but not bad. My K2s are still smooth. No edge damage on either. As for the term nachos, at first I wrote natcho but spell check corrected and I left it. The term is no school. Yak-Yak is steep and narrow at the top but widens out for a variety of lines. As you get off of the Tyrol lift head right and straight to the trees, you'll see a homemade sign on a tree. I don't think I'm giving away a great secret, the tree shoot is easy to see.
How is Horripilation these days?
It just makes my skin crawl thinking about them. I didn't get there, didn't meet mission parameters.
It was a great day. The galdes were great. the brush made is challenging enough that the snow stayed good. I like it like that.
We were there Saturday morning too. The North lot is the place to park. The crowds were something else. I hit Turtleneck Glades a few times but below the brushy part. I liked that and Giant Steps liftline, once you got through the thin parts. It was a bit disappointing to see how much was removed from the Alpine Meadows Glade. That was my favorite spot on the mountain. With the North Face being so wide open it was nice to have a secluded retreat.