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Spirit Mountain 20/21


rwmaron
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Out for an hour this morning. 4pipe (the only new run added today) was an open expanse of frozen groom with death cookies and flat light. Bindle Stiff had better groom, but still sprinkled with ice chunks. We need a few skiing and grooming cycles to break up the ice chunks. They've put down a 2-3 ft base that should last til spring. Some natural snow on top of this would be nice.

They are enforcing mask policy wherever people are in close proximity. I'm okay with riding up the quad with one other person.

I rode up with a guy who told me he had been riding at Mount du Lac lately (Mt du Lac is just over the state line in WI). He said "it's a whole different world, the chalet is open, the restaurant and bar, bus loads of kids, no masks required, just like normal". :ph34r: :eek: Then he complained about how things were here at Spirit, and that he personally hadn't seen any evidence of this corona virus. :confused:

I told him if he was interested in making some easy money that I'd been making good money helping load bagged bodies into the freezer trucks at the hospital and they were looking for more help . Then I coughed. He didn't seem interested. :eplus2::nono: 

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7 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Out for an hour this morning. 4pipe (the only new run added today) was an open expanse of frozen groom with death cookies and flat light. Bindle Stiff had better groom, but still sprinkled with ice chunks. We need a few skiing and grooming cycles to break up the ice chunks. They've put down a 2-3 ft base that should last til spring. Some natural snow on top of this would be nice.

They are enforcing mask policy wherever people are in close proximity. I'm okay with riding up the quad with one other person.

I rode up with a guy who told me he had been riding at Mount du Lac lately (Mt du Lac is just over the state line in WI). He said "it's a whole different world, the chalet is open, the restaurant and bar, bus loads of kids, no masks required, just like normal". :ph34r: :eek: Then he complained about how things were here at Spirit, and that he personally hadn't seen any evidence of this corona virus. :confused:

I told him if he was interested in making some easy money that I'd been making good money helping load bagged bodies into the freezer trucks at the hospital and they were looking for more help . Then I coughed. He didn't seem interested. :eplus2::nono: 

Hold up. What? How much is the pay?

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1 hour ago, bobble said:

Hold up. What? How much is the pay?

Cough, cough, uh, I don't feel so good, but I made enough to pay for a new board...so, worth it?

Seriously, I was just trying to think of something to say that might make the guy question his thinking. If he had asked, and I said $100/hr, would that be believable? I'm thinking he would probably not hesitate to wear a mask for that job.:smashfrea

So, I rode 1st and last chair today, with a long break in between. I'm liking living so close to the hill. Check the webcam and if it's not busy, I can be up there in a few minutes and grab a few runs. Lately, the crowds seem to diminish during the last 30-60 minutes before they close. Tried my Boiler plate on a different board tonight. My last 2 runs were on a completely empty hill...kind of like the 1st run this morning. :biggthump

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Rain started around 10 this morning. Went from sleet to snow by 2pm when it started blowing and they shut the lifts down.

I went up to see what conditions were like around 4 this afternoon. I decided to hike up and make a few turns in the new snow. There was 2-4" of fresh wind blown piles interspersed with the exposed underlying frozen groom. I was able to find a line of fresh down one side. It was nearly complete whiteout. Gusting over 40kts.

I wonder if they will open at all tomorrow? Let's hope some of this snow sticks on the slopes and doesn't all end up in the woods.

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15 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

I wonder if they will open at all tomorrow? 

Spirit decided not to open today. It's cold (-6F), sunny and not too windy.

Winds buffeting my tiny house last night were reportedly gusting in the 50-60kt range . Reported snow totals this morning are only in the 4-6" range. Most of it blown off into drifts. Mini sastrugi on the river are interspersed with bare ice. It would be good for ski sailing. But that can wait, since nothing is as satisfying as making some nice turns in fresh untracked snow, even when you have to hike up the hill for it. 

Just checked webcams at GR and BigSnow. Both have chairs spinning and very few people. Ironwood reports 9+ inches and it looks like lake effect snow is still falling.

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41 minutes ago, bigwavedave said:

Spirit decided not to open today. It's cold (-6F), sunny and not too windy.

neither did buck. I think this is the first time since I started alpine that I've missed carving on Christmas eve.

but i'm kind of relieved for my own selfish reasons. my company decided to have a mandatory online holiday meeting at noon today because we haven't been able to travel to headquarters in over a year because Covid.

it would drive me effin nuts not getting out today with this new snow and sunny sky.

ms. bobble and I got snowshoes for Christmas. as soon as the meeting is over we're going to give them a go.

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On 12/24/2020 at 10:56 AM, bobble said:

ms. bobble and I got snowshoes for Christmas. as soon as the meeting is over we're going to give them a go.

Nice! I didn't need my snowshoes to walk up today, even though the snow was 1½ ft deep in places, it was interspersed with wind scoured boilerplate, but mostly snow. Hiked up to the top of ScissorBill, which had better protection from the wind (and deeper snow). Cut over to 4pipe to finish at the bottom in the pic here....it was pretty sweet...:1luvu: Soft pillowy turns were had in the deeper snow on the steeper section of SissorBill. Tracks of the PCjv swallowtail carver...

IMG_5450.jpg.2ea23f30af640ca07c9b3844d35043cf.jpg

There were a few others out on the hill today, but there were fresh tracks to be had. And snowmaking over on DoubleJaw.

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Flat light & crowds this morning, so waited to go up for a few runs this evening--lights on, crowds thinning. Rode the 175 Donek Rev with boilerplate and I still got bounced around. There was enough loose snow on top of the frozen base to make moguls everywhere. At least I didn't feel it in my knee, so that was good.

It rained for 4 hrs before the blizzard really kicked in with wind, snow and plummeting temps. The hill was open during the rain, so it was skied in and then froze like that. So, there's some solid ice under there.

1st runs in the morning might be nice before the surface groom gets scraped off. 

I find myself looking forward to the next time the hill is closed and I essentially have the hill to myself to hike & ride. :freak3:That's when I've had some of the most satisfying turns so far this season.  :confused:

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Wow! With the promise of sun, I drove to the top to get first tracks. Rode for 3 hrs before it started getting too busy to get a clean run. They've been making snow everyday and night, right through Xmas. Sky Hooker to Double Jaw open now. Scissor Bill had the best snow. It's where the wind didn't scour it down to ice. Rode the XC(171) then SF(162). Snow was very firm groom with occasional invisible jarring ridges. Overcast gave way to sun. Jane was there! 👍 Ken was late. :smashfrea

Wonder when the boarder patrol will show up. :ph34r:

IMG_5454.jpg.f36b17d4661f61b47dc01804315c8399.jpg

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Drove to the top again. -5°F at start this morning with light overcast and a few peeks of sun. First tracks riding the 175 Super. Rode 4pipe to the bottom. The snow was a little more consistent today, but still pretty hard. Pencil lines.

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Express chair wouldn't start, so had to hike up to load the Summit chair. Rode for 2½ hrs, switching to the 162SF and lapping SkyHooker. Started to get busy and the Express lift never moved. You pretty much had just BindleStiff and SkyHooker usable. :mad: Hope they get it fixed by tomorrow. Supposed to get a few inches tonight.:biggthump 

They're knocking down the snow piles on BlueRuin and have moved guns over to Gandy, which has pretty big mounds of snow already. On the other side, it Looks like they've moved guns over to JugglerJoe.

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About 6" of dry fluffy snow overnight!! :biggthump On & off flurries all morning with some peeks of sun. Drove to the top for 1st tracks. Rode for 2½ hrs until it started getting too busy for me. Summit & express chairs were running. No new trails opened today, but JugglerJoe and Blue Ruin look close. All the runs were mostly ungroomed :biggthump It was a really fun day. Nice to have soft snow :1luvu: at last.

Started out surf carving on the 169 PC swallowtail in the fresh stuff, and finished the morning with a Cadillac-ride and poppy turns on the 185 Contra AT to smooth out the tracked out mashed 'taters. Did I say it was a really fun day? 🤪

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Forecast tomorrow: sun and soft groom. Definitely a day for 1st tracks. Hope to break out on the 185 8rw :ices_ange 

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Fog and flurries, no sun. :mad: Perfectly soft 1st day groom, yes! :1luvu: Had about an hour of traffic-free carving. Riding the turny 171 XC so as not to override the limited visibility.

IMG_5488.jpg.4f86cc0722e41a190b2eb4c45af0c703.jpgYes, 1st tracks again. I do believe I was getting air in my transitions. :ices_ange

There are still occasional ice chunks from the man made snow churned up by the groomer, and you can't see them in the fog until they jar you out of your carving bliss. Yet, there was plenty of plush groom where carving bliss could be found.

Ken & Jane were there. I rode for 2½ hrs. That seems to be about when the crowds show up. Forecast looks to be about the same tomorrow. I will of course try for 1st tracks for New Years day. Ken & Jane will be there too.

PS: Also took the PCjv for a few runs on the groomers, just to see how it liked 'em.  

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Happy New Year! Another foggy day, thicker than yesterday. So thick, the lights were on. 1st tracks, 3rd chair. Almost done with snowmaking, except for BigAir. Gandy, Juggler and BlueRuin should open soon. Nice groom could be found, but it's firming up with all the moisture in the air. Nicest on ScissorBill & left side of 4Pipe. Other runs still have icy chunks of man-made snow exposed here & there. Let's hope mother nature provides some, now that they've finished laying down a firm base.

Inspecting the 1st track in the good stuff...

IMG_5499.jpg.3f3bcb356cd0141cc3519c61d7e589ca.jpg

 

 

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Took yesterday off due to thick morning fog. Went xc skiing on the river instead. Forecast was for more of the same today, but when I woke up I could see the moon shining brightly--clear skies!  :1luvu: So, hurried myself to the top of the hill for first tracks. 

Best day of the season so far. A more consistent groom without ice chunks, more terrain open (everything from Gandy to DoubleJaw). That helped disperse the crowds. Still blowing giant mounds on JugglerJoe. Looks like they gonna make it into a roller coaster ride.

Rode the 175 Super for 3½ hrs. :biggthump I had good luck getting unfettered runs, avoiding traffic and keeping options open to alter course for the trail less traveled. Yeah, it was Minnesota firm, but it was pretty good...

IMG_5521.jpg.cf9c1ff873b4a7d7398ddf893b698f5d.jpgOh, and Ken was there...And I rode up with ski patroller David who told me a tale about a one armed boarder patroller. @rwmaron?

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Yes, I’m the one-armed boarder in question. I took a spill off a narrow bridge while fat biking in Hartley park, went over the bars and broke my 4th metacarpal and displaced the 5th.....surgery and 3 pins required to set things right. I’m confined to patrol room duty for now but the cast comes off on January 12th - should be able to board after that with a hand guard.

 

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11 minutes ago, rwmaron said:

Yes, I’m the one-armed boarder in question. I took a spill off a narrow bridge while fat biking in Hartley park, went over the bars and broke my 4th metacarpal and displaced the 5th.....surgery and 3 pins required to set things right. I’m confined to patrol room duty for now but the cast comes off on January 12th - should be able to board after that with a hand guard.

Damn Russ... get well soon!

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14 hours ago, rwmaron said:

Yes, I’m the one-armed boarder in question. I took a spill off a narrow bridge while fat biking in Hartley park, went over the bars and broke my 4th metacarpal and displaced the 5th.....surgery and 3 pins required to set things right. I’m confined to patrol room duty for now but the cast comes off on January 12th - should be able to board after that with a hand guard.

 

7FD7C622-7B7E-4AF2-8B45-E0C8AA097B6C.jpeg

I heard that you decked some guy in a bar, but this story makes more sense. :ices_ange 

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Went for a walk up the hill today. A skier was skinning up too. Warm and sunny, chickadees were singing. We had about ½" of big sparkly flakes yesterday. :1luvu: The hill hasn't been groomed since closing Sunday, so leftover tracks were frozen solid and made for a rough ride back down. The walk up was more pleasant, even though there were a few nice turns at the bottom of 4pipe coming into the groomed xc ski area.  

Snowmaking came to a halt yesterday with the warmer temps.  The BigAir park appears to be groomed out and looks ready to open. It'll be nice to get those "yutes" that ride straight down the hill backwards off in their own playground. And we will surely find some soft groom over there when we need some soft turns. The Mt crew spends an awful lot of time over there massaging the snow til it's nice and supple. It's irresistible for carving.

 

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Up to the top again today for first tracks in patchy silver lit fog, hoarfrosted trees,  and very nice Minnesota firm groom. One and a half inch deep trenches riding the 171 XC. :biggthump

I rode for a couple hours when thick fog rolled in. Jolson and khoward were there. Word was that the snow is still icy hard over on the Gandy side.

9AAF8143-1090-46B7-B461-25B1D505E144.jpeg.e4f7e1598d8c20dbf9c670440dff87fe.jpegD3E20020-C8D5-42EA-95D2-96D320F83F53.jpeg.d832aac2f476272f7e0a35fc543a5e3b.jpeg
my Internet is out, but my phone is working and I hear there’s an insurrection. Chairlift to heaven...or into the abyss.:ph34r:

What a day!

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Thick fog all morning. Couldn't see the hill from here. Went xc skiing on the river in the afternoon when the sun burned through. Could see several guns blowing snow that billowed up to a ceiling and drifted off to the east for a mile or more.

IMG_5547.jpg.e55a472be09595dcfcfa7e58b4194e1d.jpg

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The fog moved off early this morning leaving trees coated in rime ice. High humidity made the groom set very firm. Great carving was had leaving only 1-1½" deep trenches. Two other carvers on the hill, @khoward and a college racer, Collin? on a 163 Donek FC.

Rode the 175 Super for almost 3 hrs today. We all rode til we were too tired, but it was hard to stop because it never got crowded. Maybe weekdays will return to normal. :biggthump

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