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rwmaron

Spirit Mountain 2019/20

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3 hours ago, rwmaron said:

I’ll be at Spirit Thursday (my regular patrol day). I’d be up a day at GR next week!

Russ

Bring your best ice board and shock absorbers Thursday, it's brutal. :eek:

A Spirit pass no longer gets us a discount at GR or BigSnow. :mad:

Although, St Louis Co residents (hey, that's me) still can get $30 lift tickets at BigSnow, Sun-Thurs. :biggthump

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Rode a few runs with Russ this morning. Spirit's famous "surface groom"(1 inch of granular over ice pack) was better than it has been since the big rain event of 2019. Once the surface groom starts breaking loose it starts to get less fun, so 1 hour and done today.

A little sun, a few snow flakes and no crowds.:biggthump

Russ and I are looking at GR or Indianhead one day next week.

Banff Mountain film fest is in Duluth this weekend.:1luvu:

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I wasn't going to go up to the hill today--overcast, weekend crowds, big FIS ski race going on, rough ice base, etc....then the sun came out around noon when everyone goes in for lunch. Checked the webcam and it didn't look too bad, so up I went for an hour. Had a blast.

Finally got the 4mm boiler plate dialed in. As long as I kept going fast enough to generate some g's, my 175 REV rode like I was on fresh groom, even though it was chewed up, tracked out 1½" of granular over a rough, uneven ice base.:1luvu::eek:

Still thinking about seeking out some nicer snow on Monday. GR or Indianhead. Still prefer riding a naked board on fine groom.

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We had 14-16" New Years Eve day which was great, those high winds and groomer deficiencies made a wreck of New Years Day. However by Saturday things had shaped up and Sunday was the best carving day so far with 3-4" on decent groom. Hopefully the ship has righted now!

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Spirit has been making snow since last night with the subzero temps. Looks like it's over in the park area (pipe?). Plumes of snow smoke were rising hundreds of feet in the air. Maybe some of it fell on Gandy too. Might be worth looking for some softer turns over on that side of the hill.

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Out for first tracks today. Sunshine always makes carving better. Minnesota firm groom (1" deep trenches), actually an impressive surface groom about 2" thick that held up well for the first couple of hours. Then you start to get down to the marbley ice base layer wherever the surface groom has been broken up and you begin hearing that awful metal edge on gravely ice sound and feel the need to employ your best ice riding technique as you feel the board skid a little.

Started on the 175 REV mounted with the boiler plate and found my new f2 front binding coming loose. The heel block was sliding back. Didn't figure it out until I got to the bottom after having great difficulty carving any turns. Another couple of mm's and my front foot would've come out! There's a nut that holds the adjusting screw and it had come off! I had this happen 30 yrs ago with F2's and recently saw it happen to one of the racers (rear foot fortunately) at the RTTC at Buck.

Switched to the 179 Coiler Rev mounted with the Gecko's and sidewinders on boiler plate binding bases. First ride on this set-up and it is the best yet. The Geckos did their cushioning thing without a noticeable change in board flex.

Rode with a local border Mike. 

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Pulled into the parking lot 10 minutes after the chair lift started (I'm late!), yet only a few cars in the lot. It's 0°F and sunny with a light NE wind carrying the promise of some lake effect snow later. Virtually no one on the hill for the first hour. Beautiful job with the surface groom. The ice is hiding just underneath and you can hear it with every carve. 

At the bottom of my 2nd run, I discovered I lost another bumper off the Geckos, but more alarming is that the heel bail on my front binding was gone!:eek:  Picture here...

My worst nightmare is having my front foot come out, somehow it stayed in to the bottom.

Luckily, I have more than one board with bindings back in the car.:cool: Took a few more runs as the lake effect snow moved in. If we're lucky we'll get a few inches to soften up the slopes.

IMG_4095.jpg.118863f50818a20c2a9bdeac9f5b33a8.jpg

4:00pm about an inch of light fluffy lake effect snow and still coming down. Spirit has disappeared from view. Might be heavier snow up there.

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Only about 1½" new snow, but enough to soften things up since yesterday. Surface groom is now 3" and held up pretty well. A deep carve still bottoms out on the ice base, but overall the ride is softer and pretty nice. Rode for 3 hours, part of the time with Leighton riding his newly acquired OES board. IMG_4117.jpg.1925a63a5fe2015fa68bf78929826f32.jpg

 

Very few people with wide open runs until about noon. I'm still riding the Geckos on Coiler to protect my recuperating knee from any further trauma while the underlying surface is still hard.  I didn't loose any parts today, although I'm now paranoid and keep checking to see if everything is there.

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I'll be there bright and early....gotta sweep those runs before they're open to the general public, don't ya know 😎!

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1" new at my place. Spirit reports 2". Check out the guys on the chair on Spirit's cover photo.

There was freezing drizzle in the mix last night, so the groom had a frozen crust. There were areas with 1½" of soft snow on some runs and on the edges . 4pipe had an icy, uneven groom. A flat light day, but still a happy carving crew......R to L.....Leighton, Russ, Don and mr smiley face

IMG_4126.JPG.055a6e3511aa0dccf955fa3236129b40.JPG

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1 hour ago, bigwavedave said:

Check out the guys on the chair on Spirit's cover photo.

spacer.png

:biggthump

Edited by lonbordin
A patroller with the bar up... ;-)
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About 2-3" of light fluffy snow today. Went out for a few runs this afternoon to test softer springs in new boots. Very few people out today, but school bus loads of kids were arriving shortly before I left. 

5PM:  Snow is moving out now. Should be nice tomorrow, soft snow, sun & cold!  Fingers crossed that Spirit doesn't decide to close, or delay opening due to AM sub-zero temps. 

 

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Started out at -10°F warmed up to 5 above. Beautiful sunny day, Finally! Very firm and grippy groom, and no hint of the ice base! No plates required today:1luvu:an 8rw day

IMG_4151.jpg.222fcb9137611b62e12844682d2555ee.jpg

Maybe 10 other folks on the hill besides me and Russ for the first couple of hours. We couldn't destroy all the groomers by ourselves--we tried, but we could use some help!

Later in the afternoon, got invited to do a "safety sweep" of the plush, freshly groomed snow in the BigAir park with the boarder patrol --our own private closed run for a ½ hour or so. We took this job very seriously and swept it several times before declaring it safe for the general public--a great way to end a great day!:biggthump

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8" of fluffy dry pow this morning:biggthump 

Parking lot was half full when I arrived :eek: Then I found that most of the cars were there for a foot race up & down the side of two of the trails which were closed off to downhill sliders.

Just the middle of 4 Pipe was groomed. Everything else was pow! Only about 15 people waiting for the first chair, but more people were coming down from the top.  There was just enough powder so you only touched bottom occasionally. Started to get busy after about an hour or so when I headed out, but it was mostly all tracked out by then.

Got lucky and made the 1st run down an un-tracked DoubleJaw with no traffic just as the patrol was opening it up after the foot race:1luvu:

On & off snow showers all day. It's now blowin' a blizzard! House is shaking.:ph34r: Lingering lake effect snow here as the storm moves off to New England...and lake effect snow is dumping on daUP tonight with NW winds!

Soft 1st day groom tomorrow!:eplus2:

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On 1/18/2020 at 7:06 PM, bigwavedave said:

...and lake effect snow is dumping on daUP tonight with NW winds!

Soft 1st day groom tomorrow!:eplus2:

Well, the wind scoured the hill all night. Much of the slope had a crusty groom with "groomer features©" (khoward terminology, used with permission) interspersed with very soft spots and snow drifts. Not quite the 1st-day-groom heaven I was hoping for, but still nice to be out making some turns. Holiday crowds today, so I left after an hour.

Indianhead reports 16" from the storm.

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Bluebird day, if ever there was one in MN. Some of the best carving snow so far this year:1luvu: Holiday crowds did not appear til early afternoon, then uncrowded and untracked runs were found over on the Gandy side. Rode most of the boards in my quiver today from 9:30-3:30 with a lunch break. Too much fun to know when to quit.

In honor of the King, I went to the mountaintop before the hill was open and laid down the first track of the day...that is if you ignore the footprints and snowmobile tracks ...

IMG_4173.jpg.9f8346d087aebc62490654e4a77d3249.jpg

I'll be back out tomorrow.:biggthump

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IMG_4205.jpg.697caf5e6f42b6b0bd696cb80961302d.jpg

Tracks of the elusive boarder patroller. If you arrive early enough you may spot him in his bright red plumage marking his territory by laying down deep tracks (known as trenches) across the full width of the slope. Look for the signature hand-track next to the deepest trenches for a positive ID. No one knows why he does this, or if it has a purpose, but it's beautiful sight to see if you're lucky enough observe one in the wild.:ph34r: Some enthusiasts even like to make photos of the tracks they leave.

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7 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Tracks of the elusive boarder patroller.

Is that the same Patroller who's entry into Bindle Stiff is something of legend?

 

so smooth.

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Sir David would be proud @bigwavedave. You will probably have to draw the line at the The Secret Life of the Spirit Carver documentary though!

Edited by Lurch
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10 hours ago, lonbordin said:

Is that the same Patroller who's entry into Bindle Stiff is something of legend?

 

so smooth.

One and the same.:biggthump

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2-3" of wind blown, lake-enhanced snowfall over a soft, crusted groom. Turned out to be one of the more fun carving days so far this year. No lines, no traffic. It's hard to know when to quit on a day like this, even when the body says enough. Gotta save some for tomorrow, it's still snowing! :1luvu:

Rode on & off with the Alpine Ace boarder patroller for about 4½ hours.

 

 

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