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2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => October 2014 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: Wachusett on 10/30/14, 04:07 PM



Title: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: Wachusett on 10/30/14, 04:07 PM
A fellow TAY buddy and I realized last week that we were quickly running out of October. The weather looked like it was going to be nasty all weekend, and both of us were looking for excuses to shirk our employment obligations for the day. Once I realized that my Friday was going to involve attending a meeting about drafting a policy to rewrite policies, I looked at the Crystal Mountain webcam, saw some white crud and said "Screw it!". After some discussion and a quick review of the October TAY reports, TAY buddy and I decided that, while Rainer was probably the smart thing to do, you've all done that already and besides, that place is expensive! So we went to Crystal.

Fortunately, TAY buddy didn't look at the webcam before going, because his skis weren't quite ready for October. He actually asked me if I was packing my avvy gear. I snorted my coffee and assured him he wouldn't have anything to worry about. My initial plan was to hike up into Green Valley and find the softest surface that had snow on it. We lucked out and skied Rocktoberfest last year, and that part of the mountain skied great with just two feet of fluff on it. Unfortunately, we were about 23.7" short of that this time. Also, the summit is a bit of a hike and we're both out of shape.

But what was this? If you've missed the last 75 updates on various social media channels, Crystal tore out the old Quicksilver chair ("Chair Four" if you're local, "that old lift that doesn't go anywhere" if you're me) and is replacing it with a brand, spankin' new fixed-grip quad that still doesn't go anywhere, but is assured to get you there faster. They put the new lift in the trees instead of in the middle of the trail in order to reduce the number of beginner-lift tower incursions. They also went so far as to blow up a couple of rollovers and do a bunch of grading at the top of whatever that trail is that you straightline after skiing out of Southback if you come out below the Forest Queen lift. It's nice and smooth now, and where they did all the earthwork, they laid down a ton of straw on top of the freshly-seeded dirt. Once we'd climbed a whopping 700 vertical feet and stumbled on that, we quickly decided that we were looking at the most skiable surface we were going to see all day, and we were pretty much worn out from the climb at that point anyway. So we ripped it.

Despite the treacherous hiking conditions, we were able to make enough laps to meet our frequently-debated "summer minimum". Satisfied with our efforts, we skied as far as we could and hoofed it the rest of the way back to the base, where Martin "The Boot Guy" came out to greet us and let us know that we were the first two to ski Crystal this season. We assured him that we were the best skiers on the mountain. Clearly impressed with our abilities, he took our photo, posted it to the Crystal Mountain homepage and presented us with the often coveted but rarely bestowed Eager Beaver Award. It's hanging up on the wall in the Snorting Elk, right over the fireplace.


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: Wachusett on 10/30/14, 04:10 PM
I forgot to take a photo of the official plaque. It's there.


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: mikerolfs on 10/30/14, 04:26 PM
I love that they have an Eager Beaver award.  Good job guys!


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: Zap on 10/30/14, 05:39 PM
The second photo shows us that 2 poles in one hand and 2 shoes in the other "works" really well. ;)


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: Wachusett on 10/30/14, 07:39 PM
Oh, absolutely. It's all about balance.


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: runningclouds on 10/30/14, 09:55 PM
All hail the Eager Beavers! Awesome effort!


Title: Re: October 24th, 2014, First tracks at Crystal!
Post by: Dr. Pow on 11/01/14, 08:43 PM
Good on you guys!


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