What's Up at Blue Knob
January 9, 2010
I received an email from BKnob today and they hyped the current conditions, etc. Made a splash about over 30 trails, but when I opened the "conditions" thread, well look for yourself!http://blueknob.com/conditions.php
I sent a query to them about it. No reply yet, but i did see that their Facebook Status says that everything will be open this weekend.
I'll be there Saturday if I can get there. I'm wearing an army green, brown sleeved Oakley jacket I bought at Steep n Cheap, black pants, old black Giro helmet and last year's mostly brown Watea 94 with bright white Rossi bindings I got cheap at REI. My wife will be wearing a rather fashionable light blue and white accented Marmot jacket, back pants, white Leedom helmet and old Atomic (10.20??) burnt orange skis. We will start on Jack Rabbit or Expressway, probably Jack Rabbit so I can look at the two glades there. I have no doubt that we will both be skiing Stem and even X if she's really on her game. Give a shout out here if you want to meet for some runs.
I bit the bullet and skied BK on Thursday and Friday with my wife and two young sons.
The crowd on both days was non-existent. We were able to park in front of the lodge on both days. BK offered two-day, all-day passes at a discount (I think the adult tickets were $68 each). And, my 4th grade son skied for free thanks to the PSAA Snow Pass.
The manager greeted us at the ticket window on Thursday, and asked us no less than four times over the two days if we were happy with the conditions. He seemed to sincerely like his job.
I was disappointed to see several of the blacks closed although they seemed to have plenty of cover (e.g., Stembogan, Lower Shortway, some of the lower glades). The manager told me they were saving the fresh powder on the closed blacks for the weekend. I also heard from a patrol that BK was having problems blowing snow on Stembogan. Folks were sneaking onto the closed trails, but we stuck to the open terrain, which provided ample challenges for us.
On Thursday morning, they were blowing snow on many of the open trails and in the presence of a pretty solid wind. Things quieted down that afternoon. All the open trails were in great shape, including Extrovert and Lower High Hopes.
We stayed down the mountain near Imler (towards I99). It snowed Thursday night. I'd say the valley picked up 2-3 inches and BK had about 4-5 inches of powder at the top. The trip up the mountain (we came up via Pavia and through the State Park) was reminiscent of driving to BK in the snowy mid-90s when I was at Penn State.
It was blowing hard all day on Friday. The temperature when we arrived was about 9 degrees F, and that's what it was when we left after dark. The terrain on Friday was fantastic. Extrovert had powder over chalk, and I was shin deep in places on Lower High Hopes. The blues provided ample fun too (nice narrow snaking trails and glades). The only exception was their big groomer, Deer Run. It was a sheet of ice off its second head wall on both days.
The temps on Friday had us going into the lodge about every three runs, and the big fire places did the trick. I thought the food and beer prices were a bit steep ($4.25 for pint of lager). But that was a good motivator to get us back on our skis.
BK was all-open today, but we decided to declare victory and head home. All-in-all, a very worthwhile trip.
I got out late today. All the terrain was open but I missed freshies by about an hour. I skied stuff I never skied before (new Skyline Glades) and stuff I hadn't skied in years (the truncated East Wall Glades. I concur on Stem, it seemed a little thin for snow making but the second head wall on Lower Ex had about the best coverage I've seen thanks to the new HKDs. The Ditch was nice as was Edgeset, softest bumps on the hill. I saved Lower 66 for last after a beer. I liked the bumps above Ex and even in the transition but by the last steep pitch I pulled up and fell off trail and post holed the deep there, took awhile to dig out. Nice to see all the natural opened.
Sounds like a great day! Everything open at Blue Knob can't be less than "good to excellent" to use an old phrase...