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| | |-+  October 26, 2005, Stowe (VT)
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Author Topic: October 26, 2005, Stowe (VT)  (Read 1135 times)
Jonathan_S.
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October 26, 2005, Stowe (VT)
« on: 10/27/06, 07:55 AM »

This could change with the weekend weather (rain the valleys, hard to predict higher up), but right now northern VT has some of the best skiing in the nation! 

My detailed chronology:

Left Hadley Mass RMV at 4:08 (out with the old ‘95 Subaru, in with the new ‘07).

Starting skinning up almost exactly three hours later.
Starting skinning back down about five minutes later, as radio communication and reverse trail sign interpretation revealed I was heading up National and not Nosedive as intended.  (Doh!)
That correction turned out to pointless anyway, as I then blew past where Nosedive makes a 90-degree turn to the skinner’s right, thinking it was where Cliff comes in.  (Doh^2!)
Thought I could get back on Nosedive by turning onto Midway up ahead, but realized I had blown past that once I saw the lift towers of Liftline.  (Doh^3!)
[I was planning to improve my skills this December by taking an avy instructor training course, Wilderness EMT module, and ski patrol advanced mtn travel/rescue course, but clearly I need to improve my abilities for upward navigation at closed ski areas at night.]

Setting an efficient skintrack up Liftline was challenging, since at that pitch, reading the upcoming contours is the key, but with about 15-feet visibility, well, it was a challenge!  Stopped about 350 vert short of the summit.  When deskinning, planted my poles firmly to keep them in place - went in what I now measure on my pole as 15 inches!

Conditions were beautiful: not floaty powder, but reminded me of Mammoth windbuff, kind of soft and creamy.  Visually stunning: the far-off lights of the base area and access road in the distance, very slight shadows from the lift towers, and a 15-foot glow from my four little LED lights (occasionally lighting up wind-carried snow particles to match the glowing stars in the sky).

Skied all the way back down to the gondola base area for about (final few hundred vert was just refrozen transportation skiing), then started skinning back up Nosedive.  All dark at first, then a beautiful sight:  six dancing lights, attached to the crew who had just descended Goat, from the summit! 

One of my buddies was kind and/or crazy enough to accompany me back up to the summit, then we skied Nosedive.

Back at the car a little over 2.5 hours after leaving.
Back asleep (at home in Amherst, not behind the wheel!) almost exactly nine hours after the trip had begun.

So who needs the Wachusett Thursday night race league when Stowe night skiing is so convenient to Western Mass?

[Pictures - unfortunately I didn't bring my camera, thinking there would be nothing to see at night, but the lights would have made for some wonderful pictures and video.]
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