11/7/11 First turns of the year
Well, I broke down. I couldn’t wait any longer and the eight inches of light density snow were enough to get me out of bed at six a.m. and to the bottom of the Vistibahn by seven to meet my freind Brenden. Time to get a run up on the frontside of Vail mountain to kick my ski season off. We headed out of the Visti corral and headed up the cat track/road to the cut off to mid Vail. There were many folks heading up chair ten way, so we deided to take the road less traveled to the top of chair two. The skin was a leisurely two hours,enjoying a crisp, sparkeling morning that held both snow and sun for us . We chose to gingerly ski Avanti for the first run on Vail mountain for the year. I’m pretty superstitious about early season turns. Always hear the horror stories of some poor soul ruining his ski season early due to some ill advised early season charging. I intend to never end up in that circumstance, so caution was the name of the game. Indeed, I harvested the suprsingly good early season pow turns at a less than blistering pace, always wary of what is lurking underneath the thin snow. We skied our way down to Bear Tree, enjoying the six to eight inches of light density snow without hitting bottom. As we descended, the snow gradualy set up and thinned out, but we only had to walk 25 yards of the cat track to get back to the Visti. The steep pitch on Avanti was suprisingly nice reintroduction to powder turns and we had it all to ourselves. Anytime you can start the season off with some pow turns that’s all you can really ask for. If you head up, take care and be aware of the unseen hazards of early season conditions. Water bars, stumps and of course , rocks can ruin your day. Its a long season, make sure you stick around for all of it.