Jump to content

Spirit Mountain 20/21


Recommended Posts

Great day on Wednesday, but otherwise occupied today.

Dave, tell us what you really think...

Planning first chair Saturday, weather doesn't look favorable for the hill to continue through the end of the month

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 124
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

3/3/2021 A thin layer of groom over the hard base, but the bright sun attracted the usual crew..    Khoward Jolson Bigwavedave Rwmaron  

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 ch

-25F this morning at the river, -5 at the top of the hill at the noon opening. Upper midwest packed pow-crete? I'll just call it typical Minnesota firm. 1-1½" deep trenches. A more consistent groom th

Posted Images

On 3/4/2021 at 7:34 PM, khoward said:

Planning first chair Saturday, weather doesn't look favorable for the hill to continue through the end of the month

I might go up mid-day when it gets warm enough to soften the ice. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Went up for a few runs after noon. Would have done more, but the lift lines were long, a 10-15 wait for 2min downhill. Close to 40°, sunny, lots of slushy corn snow. Classic spring conditions. The ice base was soft enough to get an edge for some big, smooth, surfy carves while riding the 185 Contra AT and making big Mario trenches. :1luvu:

I'm tempted to head back over to Indianhead tomorrow. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good this morning. Jim there, too. There was about a 15 minute delay in loading for first chair with ongoing grooming.

Gave up on the long lift lines by 10:30. Will be back tomorrow for first chair

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/6/2021 at 3:14 PM, bigwavedave said:

I'm tempted to head back over to Indianhead tomorrow. 

Too lazy to make the drive to IH today plus the spring-like slush slarving at Spirit was fun yesterday, despite the crowds.

23 hours ago, khoward said:

Will be back tomorrow for first chair

Went up for opening today, to beat the crowds and meet up with Ken. It was 32° and the surface was still icy hard under some sugary snow. It was gradually softening up with each run as the temps rose and the crowds increased. Rode for 1½ hrs. until the lines started to extend out of the corrals.

The 171 XC has been my go-to ice carver lately. That board never loses its edge. Took a couple of runs on the 185 Contra AT, but it's really better in the softer snow. Might take it back up for some slush slarving if it hits 40-50° this afternoon.

There are races over on the Gandy side today.

Thinking about GR tomorrow. anybody? @rwmaron? @khoward? Bueller?

$39 online ticket (62+) here:

https://inntopia.travel/ecomm/shop/calendar/12906494/en-US/?productcategoryid=117&startmonth=3&startYear=2021

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jane will be back late tonight. We’ll talk about going up there, but if we do, it’ll be later in the day and we’ll drive separately.

Another good day. DF2E2F03-AC78-4642-B58F-C5A2457EC893.jpeg.7daf154710bbc4d30c7c0bab14523e40.jpeg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just when you start to think the season is grinding to a halt...

Yesterday's storm began with 2 hours of heavy rain before turning to snow. NWS reported 6-7" snow overnight in nearby Gary, it looked more like 4-6 at my house. I considered going to GR this morning (11 inches overnight and no rain), but the roads looked pretty bad on the snowplow cams, so I took my time with breakfast and drove to the top of Spirit.

The conditions were actually pretty good! Everything on the Express side was groomed. For the most part it was a beautiful soft groom, but there were a few icy spots and invisible soft and hard spots under the groom, so no relaxed carving. You had to carve easy and keep your legs ready for the unforeseen. Here's an early track...

IMG_6072.jpg.e10fd38504d4496dad165543db6aaf96.jpg

Temps started out around 32° and got up to 38° by the time I left around 1pm.  As the snow softened, icy spots disappeared and trenches started getting deep and ugly :eplus2: and fun.

Ironically, it's the 1st day of students going back to school in person and it's a 'snow day', so kids started showing up.

All in all, it was a really fun day, and with Russ there, doubly so. No sign of Ken. jolson may have been there, or maybe not.:ph34r:

There was several inches of fresh ungroomed on Sky Hooker, but it was really chopped up by the time I got over there.

Should be good tomorrow! :1luvu: @khoward? @jolson?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

Should be good tomorrow! :1luvu: @khoward? @jolson?

My apologies gents, I should have said, "could be good". Worst grooming ever. :mad: Reminded me of grooming in the 60's when they'd drag a chain link fence over the hill and finish it off with a corrugated roller. Yesterday's frozen tracks were still visible under the surface. They apparently are not using the tiller. Frozen hard, bumpy, chunky, littered with ice cubes. Carvers were reduced to skidding turns like skiers. :eek:

Ken and Jim were there, but we all packed it in after a few runs. Temps were not likely to get warm enough today to soften the surface and it was getting busy.

I took a couple of runs through the rope tow park just to see what the groom could have been like...one picture tells the story...

IMG_6077.jpg.8944ce18e8f6915d5e5d1ef84b9bccb0.jpg

Then I went over to the bigair park to see if I could find a line through all the new features they added. It was closed for extra special grooming. You know, for the people that ride rails to tune their edges! :angryfire

Oh well, probably be there early tomorrow and hope for better grooming or at least stick it out til it warms up. Forecasting 50°.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Much better today. Decent grooming and 40° at the start made for soft turns all morning. :1luvu: Found Jim and Ken at the bottom waiting for the 1st ride up. Their were a lot of people on the hill today, Gandy, Summit and express lifts running. We rode mostly on the express side. After an hour or so, the temps started pushing past 50°, the snow started transitioning and even the magic Faststik wax wasn't preventing that sticky, suction stop & go effect.  I left shortly after Ken (2½ hrs) and Jim was still at it trying different boards. On my way out I saw more cars in the lot than I've seen all season. They were even running buses down to an almost full B lot.

IMG_6082.jpg.d68c9b780abb06314eb2ef3b6de814ef.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lonbordin said:

Structure baby... structure > wax

One of these days. You're right, I haven't had a base grind/structure done on any board in 20 yrs. One of these days...

I think Cory said he just gets a wet snow structure on all his boards and leaves it. Sounds like a good idea.

Tomorrow, I'll just try brushing it out. At least my base wasn't picking up sticky debris today.

Now I'm being told to try applying the Faststik but not to rub it in. 

Previously, the best warm weather wax I'd used was plain paraffin canning wax. thanx to blueB

But yeah, structure, I really should get me some of that. I think I have trust issues with handing my board over to someone to feed into a machine. :eek:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

I think Cory said he just gets a wet snow structure on all his boards and leaves it.

Not I. Never played with structure, though some boards come with it. 

I let nature add base structure. 😬

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Corey said:

Not I. Never played with structure, though some boards come with it. 

I let nature add base structure. 😬

Sorry, thought it was you. Still might be a good idea, even if it's a board that you also ride on cold snow. I don't think it would hinder performance as much on cold snow as not having structure does on wet snow.

Since Dave is the slush slasher king, I wonder if he is using base structure for slarving the peaks of Paoli? @lonbordin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Met up with Ken this morning at the base of Spirit. ~32° and warmed up to maybe 35°, not quite warm enough to soften the lightly groomed ice. There really wasn't even a surface groom to get a grip in. Tried the Geckos on the SF. It was a rougher ride than the naked XC. There was little carving joy, more like survival carving interspersed with skidded turns to check speed or avoid straightliners. It was fast, windy and sunny.

Looking forward to making some turns at GR Tuesday. @khoward? Russ is on board for Tues. Buy ticket online.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bigwavedave said:

Since Dave is the slush slasher king, I wonder if he is using base structure for slarving the peaks of Paoli? @lonbordin

Wonder no more. I make sure I have one board with a solid wet snow structure in the car every trip. I hate base suck and grabby snow.  It's amazing the difference.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wed, St Paddy's Day

Went out for a few runs yesterday afternoon when the sun made a brief appearance. 40°, morning crowds had dispersed leaving behind big slush piles. It was rough on zee knees!

Thursday...

....4 carvers on the hill!  @khoward @rwmaron @jolson and me. Barely below freezing overnight, 3-6" of slush was nicely groomed over a solid ice base. Temps were above freezing and rose to about 38°, just enough to make for good slush slarving. Surveying the hill from the chair for any untouched groom, we left the hill thoroughly trenched after about 3½ hours.

IMG_6123.JPG.5eb5bcb0d685c9aa052a1b21d0709474.JPGCoiler Nirvana, Donek Razor, 184 Prior wcrm, 185 Contra AM

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Back at Spirit today. Met up with Ken for the first ride up. Conditions were much like Thursday, nicely groomed slush over ice that sounded like you were carving on gravel. ~35° and warmed up to 50°+. We started out by seeking out the softest, deepest slush to carve up, and when it really softened up with push piles, out came the big slush slarvers. It was fun, and not too crowded! Ken has a big grin under there...

IMG_6129.JPG.d045d0ca832423dd4bd5896c855f5e9e.JPG

We'll be back tomorrow before the rain. Possibly the last 'lift served' day. 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Started out about 40° and nudged 50° again today. They did a marvelous job of grooming the slush in above freezing temps last night. Carving felt very similar to 1st day groom in packed powder. :1luvu:  Ken caught the 1st chair up as Jim was making 1st tracks from the top. Really fun turns for the 1st hr with only a hint of ice base. We rode for about 2 hrs with very little traffic. It turned into a real slush slarver as it warmed up.

The hill is deteriorating by the day with dirt patches and frozen melt water pools scattered about the slopes creating an obstacle course.

A good last day at Spirit!

IMG_6143.JPG.0f7fe307a2e8f45c9c9fcfb6bdeb3f9f.JPGIMG_6138.jpg.717356d4829f3d108f24f57e6de42b62.jpg

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good final day of a good season at Spirit. The hill's looking quite tired and will take a biblical miracle to open and be worth riding next weekend after the forecast rain.

2021  03:21 Dave Wiencke.jpeg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice pic Ken. One of my last runs when things were just getting sticky and testing the new base structure on that green 165 Contra AT. It was definitely more slippery, even though it wasn't the aggressive warm snow structure I asked for. $20 at Ski Hut.

I was really getting bounced around on this wider, softer board, whereas the "ice" Contra was carving through the slush piles much better all morning with a quiet, damp ride on the underlying ice. So much fun, I didn't get to compare it back-to-back with the SF.

Keeping an eye on the approaching storm with thoughts of Giant's Ridge, maybe Thurs or Fri if they get snow.

The river is opening up, beavers and otters spotted on the ice, flocks of migratory waterfowl on their northward journey have been arriving all week ; swans, geese, ducks, pelicans, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bigwavedave said:

The river is opening up, beavers and otters spotted on the ice, flocks of migratory waterfowl on their northward journey have been arriving all week ; swans, geese, ducks, pelicans, etc.

This is the telltale...interesting to watch the interactions on our lake when the birds crowd together and the resident eagles fly over.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bigwavedave said:

 

I was really getting bounced around on this wider, softer board, whereas the "ice" Contra was carving through the slush piles much better all morning with a quiet, damp ride on the underlying ice. So much fun, I didn't get to compare it back-to-back with the SF.

The river is opening up, beavers and otters spotted on the ice, flocks of migratory waterfowl on their northward journey have been arriving all week ; swans, geese, ducks, pelicans, etc.

Sounds a bit like an ancient native American adage: BigwaveDave say when beaver on the ice, the Spirit Mt turn to slush. Time for rubber Canuck stick 🙂

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rain then 2"of  snow yesterday. The river refroze overnight, and melted again by mid morning.

Hiked up this afternoon when temps reached mid 30's. A few foot prints and ski tracks on 4pipe, no tracks of the Spirit bear yet.

Came down JugglerJoe. The ungroomed, semi-frozen slush leftovers from last Sunday were still quite evident under the new snow. A little bumpy. I think the magic # might be closer to 40°F (with sun) to soften the underlying frozen slush enough for smooth carving. The snow is mostly gone in the woods and there looks to be 2-3 ft of base left on the trails. 

IMG_6208.JPG.7fb82a96ef8a1ddcf758f0390c1632c5.JPG

Giant's Ridge got ~4" yesterday. Planning to go up tomorrow, Monday. It's going to be warm. $27 tickets.👍

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Duluth mayor has proposed 24 million investment in Spirit Mt including a new lift and chalet renovation and to then lease hill operations out.

We'll see if this goes anywhere.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...