|Not Jay Peak but not very far away.|
Now, THIS is tree skiing.
Once again, I locked in some holiday time and planned a Jay trip with high hopes that conditions would be good, or at least better than what we found on our last visit (see below). Jonny Jay's report that it was "pretty good" left me optimistic, since he tends to be understated in his reviews. After three great days on the mountain, one of which was in the "lifetime top 10," plus two short but outstanding backcountry runs, I was definitely not disappointed.
|Upper Quai - don't go there.|
"Really?" I asked.
"Oh yeah, man, it was up to my chest in places! Sometimes I just lay on my board and paddled with my arms."
"Like on a surfboard?" I wondered aloud.
"Yeah, like a surfboard, except you don't float in snow like you do in water."
No kidding, I thought. Long story short, he went on to outline his first trip to Big Jay: starting from the tram summit, consuming four beers along the way, coming close to riding off a cliff or two, not really knowing where he was going, and his epic slog out to the road. As far as I could tell, his only safety net was a cell phone, beer-fueled energy and a big dose of good luck. When I let him out near The Dip, I suggested that he start saving up for a splitboard, and he wholeheartedly agreed. Well, that starts thing off on an interesting note, I thought, and off I went into the trees.
|A rare view of Powerline - untracked.|
|Some easy to find glade at JPR. On a Saturday.|
Then there was Monday, March 9, 2015, a surprise powder day to be long remembered. Howling wind, thankfully milder temperatures and a lot more snow than forecast greeted the small and predominately grey-haired posse of skiers pulling on their ski boots at Stateside. This was a day to figure out the right aspect to ski, as the wind was piling snow up on certain sides of the mountain. I found places that were knee-deep and others where all the snow had been scoured away. Fortunately there was much more of the former. Then the sun came out. What a day!
|No secrets - this was Timbuktu at 10 am on Monday, March, 9.|