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  1. #151
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    Day 34: Magic Mountain, VT (Magic Pass)

    I didn't want to jinx myself with yesterday's post but I am 1/3 of the way toward my goal of 100 days. Way ahead of pace since our Maui trip was cancelled so I will definitely take tomorrow off (windchills in the -30* to -40* range tomorrow). If it was a pow day I'd be out in it but not for groomed manmade.

    As I headed over to Magic at the crack of 10 this morning, I looked across the valley and saw the sun shining on the Sun Mountain (Bromley). Magic was encased in the murk. Their season may end early but man, that's a nice place to ski in January. Unfortunately, they don't have any great deals on passes and are not a part of any of the conglomerates. Their midweek pass is around $400 but with Epic Pass available to me for under a buck fiddy, it's hard to justify.
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    Magic took advantage of the sub-zero temps earlier in the week and laid down enough snow to open 3 more trails. Still nothing on the west (steeper) side but at least we are out of the WROD category now.
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    Snow was great and there was nobody there. Thursdays and Fridays are great at Magic. Saw one of our favorite families (5 kids ranging from 4-14). The kids come out for all the volunteer days and really love cutting their own trails. Also saw Rusty and his clan.

    And this clan also
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    Once the murk rose, the top of the mountain was coated in rime
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    All in all, another good day to not be working!

  2. #152
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    Day 35: Magic Mtn, VT (Magic Pass)

    Day 35 and my first pow day. Goniff came over last night in preparation for our first pow day of the year. When we got up this morning, there was a bit of disappointment. All the models were pointing to 12-16" with the majority of the snow landing before 9am. At 7am, there was only about 5" of dense snow that had fallen. We headed over to get in the inevitable line and got up in the first 25 chairs or so.
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    We headed to our favorite east side natural snow trail and were not disappointed. By the 3rd lap, things were getting pretty tracked out but nobody was complaining because...snow! And snow it did. It didn't let up until almost 2pm.
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    By the end, at least 12" of snow that got lighter as the day wore on. So sweet. After a lunch of barley malt, hops, and water, we headed back up to ski some more. We were just getting to re-do some of the morning's runs when a patroller that is also a good friend whispered, "Gary's at tower 18 and he's going to drop the west side rope when he gets here." So we hung near the rope trying to look nonchalant and telling everyone that there was no way that rope was going to drop today. Goniff, neighbor BH, and I were the first 3 through the rope and while Goniff opted for Talisman (it was a good call) neighbor BH and I opted for Sorcerer, the next trail over.
    Neighbor BH trying to work around my tracks:
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    And shortly after him, his daughter CB:
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    Another day with a few mags to ski with: Goniff, MMP, RustyGroomer and a whole host of non-mag Magic friends.

  3. #153
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    Swweeetttt!

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    Day Man. Fighter of the Night Man. Champion of the Sun. Master of Karate and Friendship for Everyone.

  4. #154
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    Sooo.....

    I'm going to take about a week off and try to heal this knee. After taking 2-3 days off, it feels pretty good but skiing on it just makes it hurt again. Yesterday was totally worth it but I can hardly get my pants on today because it is so swollen right now. VT-F and I are doing AIARE 1 this weekend and as long as we can skin up/ski down, I'll do it and report on it because in my book, those will count as ski days. But if we have to walk in either direction, I think I will be setting myself back too much and may have to bail.

  5. #155
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    Hoping the knee responds to some quality rest man! I would have chosen sorcerer too.

    Was great to have free reign of the west side Monday afternoon! Nowhere else Id rather be!


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  6. #156
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    Mrs K and I have each gotten some relief in knee pain and swelling from these, which I would not have considered had they not come recommended from our pt. Something about copper in there. Wear before, during or after as you see fit

    https://incrediwear.com/collections/...xoCzBsQAvD_BwE


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  7. #157
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    Interesting. The copper thing has been around a long time but I've always been kinda, meh, in a totally ignorant way. Nice to hear from an actual unpaid human say they help.

    Rest that puppy MNIAW! You have a lot of deep turns in your future!

  8. #158
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    Good luck with the knee--at least it looks like you got a legit powder day before deciding to rest it. Nothing wrong with a few days off when the old body starts to ache. I hope you're icing the hell out of it.

  9. #159
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    Thanks all. K, a couple of others haver also recommended the copper sleeve. Will go on a search mission tomorrow. Also trying to find cheap heated socks since it will likely be below zero on MTW for the Avy course.

  10. #160
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    Oct 2005
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    check hunting supply shops / ice fishing shops for "cheap" heated socks ;
    also farm supply

    don't know if Bean's has 'em ;

    do believe Cabela's has 'em
    ( by this weekend only if there is a Retail in the neighborhood )
    see also, Bass Pro Shops --


    the knee is worrisome...
    baseline imaging ?
    Ortho. assessment ?
    If it needs to be 'scoped' , I'd do that Soon if I had a condo. in Teton Valley in a month
    ( sketchy to get it scheduled in two weeks, healed in three weeks or two weeks this side of Fifty.

    I would definitely want the assessment. imaging is desireable.

    Also - try to find soft snow. go Easy on the EC icepack ( it reads-like a half day still counts as a ski day. ))


    Good luck ! skiJ

  11. #161
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    Tractor Supply - TSC- has Terramar "battery socks"

    not endorsing, But I have known hunters and ice fishermen who have used similar products for decades.

    Good luck. skiJ

  12. #162
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    Awesome. Subscribed


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  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiJ View Post
    check hunting supply shops / ice fishing shops for "cheap" heated socks ;
    also farm supply

    don't know if Bean's has 'em ;

    do believe Cabela's has 'em
    ( by this weekend only if there is a Retail in the neighborhood )
    see also, Bass Pro Shops --


    the knee is worrisome...
    baseline imaging ?
    Ortho. assessment ?
    If it needs to be 'scoped' , I'd do that Soon if I had a condo. in Teton Valley in a month
    ( sketchy to get it scheduled in two weeks, healed in three weeks or two weeks this side of Fifty.

    I would definitely want the assessment. imaging is desireable.

    Also - try to find soft snow. go Easy on the EC icepack ( it reads-like a half day still counts as a ski day. ))


    Good luck ! skiJ
    I know I should see an ortho but I know what they're going to say...stop skiing. I know my body parts pretty well and pretty sure this is a sprain that I haven't allowed to heal properly. If not, I can get it fixed over the summer. I can ski on it but pay the price afterwards.

    Thnx for the tips on electric sox.

  14. #164
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    Grabbed some semi-cheap electric sox from Dick's Sporting Goods. Opted for the 7 hour rechargeable batteries (as opposed to 6 AA batteries that might last 4 hours). Sox are a bit thicker than what I normally skin in but I changed to a thinner footbed that seems to work ok and doesn't cut off circulation with the thicker sox. I'll skin in my normal sox/footbeds and change to the electric ones and thinner footbeds once we're in the ravine. I have room in my pack.

    Knee feels 100% better today than yesterday so if I mostly stay off it for the next couple of days, I should be OK. Appreciate the concern from all who commented.

    Ordered the copper infused sleeve to get me through the rest of the year. Thnx for the tip Kokomas!

    5 runs riding the wheel or any earned turns count as a ski day for me. With high-speed lifts and skiing mostly on weekdays, I can knock out 2X as much vert in 4 hours as I can at Magic in 7 hours. BITD when Stowe had a double and a single running base to summit, it took 22 minutes. Now it takes something like 6. Add in the 30+ minute weekend wait times and we were lucky to get 7 laps in an entire day. Now I do that in 90 minutes skiing at a leisurely pace. And I ain't gettin any younger....

  15. #165
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    Day 36: Mount Washington, NH (Avy 1 Course, day 1) (January 22)

    Holeeee sheeeit it was cold. We saw -24* on the way up the hill from Gorham (VT-F and I had stayed there Friday night) but by the time we got to Pinkham Notch, it was a balmy -19*
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    So glad I bought those socks and insulated boots...we did beacon training for almost 2 hours in those temps.

    Once we started up, things got much better. The temp was perfect for a brisk skin up; I normally sweat through my first layer pretty quickly...not today.
    VT-F leading the charge to catch me
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    Our guide told us this was the halfway point to Hermit Lake
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    It's always amazing when you get your first glimpses of the ravine and surrounding crags
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    The view of Wildcat ski area is also pretty amazing
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    Some views of Tuckerman...not a lot of snow in here but [spoiler alert] it's the most filled in of any of the normal skiing spots on the rockpile.
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    We dug a pit, did some failure testing and then did a search/rescue scenario on the floor of the bowl. A few people skiing, mostly lower Right Gully and Chicken Rock Gully although we did see a couple of boarders do lower Headwall. A Snow Ranger said that a few people skied Left Gully earlier in the day but we didn't see anybody do it. Despite the temps, the lot was full by the time we headed up so the cold didn't deter too many people.

    A quick walk back down to Hermit Lake and then we skied the Sherburne to the bottom...it was getting pretty dark by the time we got to the bottom (around 4:45) so no debrief. VT-F and I stayed in Gorham again Saturday night. Despite the cold (it had reached +7* when we got back to the lot at Pinkham Notch) it was a great day.

  16. #166
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    Day 37: Mount Washington, NH (Avy 1 Course, day 2)

    Compared to yesterday, today seemed downright balmy. Temps hovered around 0* both in the valley (Gorham) and up at Pinkham Notch. We started our day with about 2 hours of discussion about trip planning and then we proceeded to plan our trip for the day. We had 3 options: back to Tuckerman, over to Gulf of Slides, or Huntington. Because the ski out from GoS is not in and it typically takes the longest to become skiable, we eliminated that option pretty quickly. We had done Tuckerman the day before (although we didn't ski anything in there) and none of our group had been into Huntington before, we opted for that.

    Up we went...
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    Fewer clothes on today and the climb seemed to go by quickly. Our guide talked to another guide who had been over to HR the day before and the gestures and contortions he was doing made us doubt our choice. When our guide came back and said it would be a scramble to get there for marginal skiing we, of course, said let's press on.

    We were able to skin almost all of the way into HR. There were spots where we were leaning on boulders and shimmying our way between them but it seemed like an adventure. The skin track was pretty good all things considered. Our first glimpse....
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    Not much snow in HR. Still, none of our group seemed disappointed.
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    My knee was getting really stiff from the walk down from Tuckerman to Hermit Lake yesterday so I opted not to ski. I set up a basecamp, dug a pit, made a bench and did odd things to keep warm while watching the others climb and then ski. Some pow was found but for the most part it was the impenetrable wind slab that MTW is famous for.
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    The good news was, we were able to ski out almost the entire slog back to the Sherburne so we made good time with minimal strain on my knee.

    We finished up right around 4pm and we said our goodbyes to the group and went our separate ways. I pulled up Google maps on my car and when it gave me the option of going "home", I just hit it and followed directions. Problem was, I wanted to go to our house in NH and "home" is our house at Magic. Not a huge deal but I think I saw some scenic landscapes that I didn't really have to.

  17. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNameIsAugustWest View Post
    Day 37: Mount Washington, NH (Avy 1 Course, day 2)
    .
    .
    .

    We finished up right around 4pm and we said our goodbyes to the group and went our separate ways. I pulled up Google maps on my car and when it gave me the option of going "home", I just hit it and followed directions. Problem was, I wanted to go to our house in NH and "home" is our house at Magic. Not a huge deal but I think I saw some scenic landscapes that I didn't really have to.
    I would have thought this roadside sign would have been a giveway.

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    It sounds like you guys had a great weekend and are chock full of knowledge to bring out west. Just be sure to double check the GPS on the drive to Jackson.

  18. #168
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    The fastest route has me on I-91 regardless of which house I put in there. No N-S interstates on the western side of NH and I-93 is a complete shitshow on Sunday afternoon/evening with the Boston crowd heading home from Cannon/Loon/Waterville. Keene is only 20 miles from I-91. As VT-F noted, it was snowing pretty good in St. J. I drove out of it pretty fast heading south but he was in it all the way back to BoB.

    My takeaway from Avy 1 is don't get caught in an avalanche or you're gonna die unless you're Goniff. Our guide and class leader, Marc Chauvin (highly recommended) gave us links to a ton of resources to help make better informed decisions. I'm pretty risk averse anyway.

  19. #169
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    nice work getting trained MNIAW

    btw here are the coordinates for Jackson if you just want to confirm:
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/72...!4d-90.1994304
    Day Man. Fighter of the Night Man. Champion of the Sun. Master of Karate and Friendship for Everyone.

  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokomas View Post
    nice work getting trained MNIAW

    btw here are the coordinates for Jackson if you just want to confirm:
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/72...!4d-90.1994304
    How's the snow there?

  21. #171
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    Day 38: Berkshire East, MA (Indy Pass)

    Been wanting to ski B-East for a while now. Friends have said it is similar to Magic if not quite as tall. I was solo so no skiing pics....
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    They were still blasting the fan guns toward the bottom and I could see some manmade freshies underneath them....
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    Redeeming the Indy Pass was a piece of cake. I had booted up at the car but I could have done it in the lodge. Just like the old days, people leave their bags and shoes under the tables. I know this frustrates some folks but this is how I grew up skiing. Really cool old-school lodge.
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    Up I went...the trail under the lift was open and reminded me of Red Line at Magic without the cliffs.
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    Sorry 'bout the sideways pic...

    Stickerz on the lift towers...
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    Like Jiminy to the west, B-East powers most of its operations from a windmill and a 500kW solar array
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    Nice views of the Deerfield Valley from the top
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    The snow was excellent, the skiing was as well. I sampled the groomed and the ungroomed and both were good. Some care needed on the trail under the lift (a fixed grip quad, btw) for rocks and sticks but that certainly made me feel at home. Unfortunately, all of the glades I found were marked CLOSED. I won't ski trees without a partner or at least somebody that knows I went into them so I didn't take any chances.

    Stopped for lunch after skiing just about every way down. B-East has a lot open but the trail count is padded with links between the main ways down. The lunch was excellent and the guy that made my sammich was upbeat and seemed genuinely happy to be doing his job. Eggplant Parm grinder with a geographically appropriate beer choice:
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    And the free manmade refills....there are 4 really steep trails to the west of the main summit lift and they all were connected to the trail closest to the lift...this is where the guns were blasting, so many runs down included fresh tracks in manmade 3D snow. You know it's been a lean year when we talk about manmade freshies. It is what it is and I was happy to partake.
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    I agree with the similarity to Magic. It's obvious there's a lot of trees to ski and I hope to get back there with a partner to sample those goods.

  22. #172
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    Nice work MNIAW!

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  23. #173
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    Only been there twice but I really like Berkshire. I bet it would be spectacular during a good storm. Looking forward to getting back

  24. #174
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    Day 39: Magic Mtn, VT (Magic Pass)

    Hot damn it was cold oot dere dis morning. Saw -18* at our house. Decided that an afternoon ski was in order. Headed over at the crack of noon to find almost nobody there.

    It was still cold but at least it was up to double digits (barely) on the positive side.

    Readers' Digest version: snow was great, lots of trails open, nobody there to make anything scrapy. Skied a bunch of natural snow trails and there were great and ungroomed. The manmade trails skied very nicely also. Headed over to the West Side to take a lap on Talisman only to find that despite having pushed out the snowmaking whales, the entire trail was giant snow chunks (and closed). We opted for Sorcerer which on most days is my favorite trail at Magic anyway.
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    Soft bumps with almost no grass, dirt, or rocks showing. We liked it so much we did it twice.

    Did not ski 2 of the open trails (Twilight Zone and Goniff Glade) because I know what lurks under the snow on them and I had a fairly new pair of sticks on my feet.

    Another great day to be outside...I could have easily farted the whole day away indoors but I'm glad I didn't.

  25. #175
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    Nice report MNIAW keep them up. Sorcerer looks sweet, wish I could be there.

    I have a feeling you'll get more snow this weekend than currently forecasted. In fact I put it on the line today with the Magic weather team. Hope I'm right (or low).

    I've heard from non-magic groomers/snowmakers that its best to do a "rough" groom and let the snow dry further before the final groom. So if the whales were groomed today that would make sense, with a final groom tonight for tomorrow. Enjoy!

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