Today I did the Sugarbush $14 thing. Expected to see some friends and maybe even FSC (Friday Ski Club, a mysterious group of VT slackers) but no such luck. I scored a front row parking spot at South (where I get cell phone service and can call my wife) and got going early. Cold. 12 at base; -1 at summit. I went up only the first tier of lifts on account of the cold & wind. Have no idea what trails I skied or their ratings. I jfs'ed (just friggin skied). The first lift, the one accessible from the lodge without climbing, has a lift line run which was groomed except for a short somewhat steep pitch in the middle which looked from the lift to have 4-5" of new snow. I'd chosen the alpine SL race boards with a 63 mm waist and hit it at speed. Yikes, the skis railed in the heavy powder. I recovered and skied it out, then watched the next 20 people come down and wipe out. It was real sneaky 'powder'. As the day went on I tried other runs on the lower mtn. One of them, and no idea which one, had just the right wind exposure and yielded a dozen or so turns in perfect wind buff, over and over again. Nobody would venture into it. I love windbuff. It reminds me of big wild mtns in the west like Mammoth and Hood. It was only on skier's right of the trail in an S curve spot. The run out funnels everybody down into a 50 ft. wide swath with skiers & boarders of all abilities, all levels of courtesy and lack thereof, and all speeds, into the lift maze. The crowds kept growing and this runout began to spook me. So at 2:30 I quit, happily tired anyway. The skinny SL boards were probably the right tool. They didn't even see the windblown ice that was mixed in with the heavy powder.
The bar at South was a zoo, a cross section of every kind of humanity at 100 decibels. Thinking that FSC had probably gone to North, I drove there and had one more while waiting for a familiar face to appear. Never happened, and I would have seen them easily in a 'crowd' of <10 well behaved patrons. Maybe the FSCers had gone south on a Cougar hunt.