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2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

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2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:07 pm

Tonight was the first trip to my home hill for the season. In years past this was done solo, to feel out the place and decide if it was worth subjecting other people. This year my youngling threw down the gloves and told me that it was not OK if she didn't get to go as well. 7 going on 17...she won and came along. We were on the snow at 5:00 PM.

Wachusett is almost 100% open and the runs that are covered are surprisingly well covered for pre-Xmas. Everything off of Minuteman was fantastic. Ralph's was the pick for conditions as it stayed soft all night but you could not go wrong on the lower mtn. By the time we made it to the Polar Express lift it was well below freezing and the conditions were quite firm. I did not ski 10th or Smith but both looked shiny from the lift. The snow board scrape crew had been hard at work for hours.

Conifer was just OK. It was hard but not shiny. Grooming will make it all better.

I declare that it is GAME ON.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby rockdaletj » Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:35 pm

Game on indeed. It's been fun up here this week...A little bit of natural yesterday ,and the sun softened things up nicely today. We will see what the possible mixed bag of precip brings tomorrow, but we are already above and beyond last season
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sat Dec 31, 2016 4:18 pm

Snow Report: Dec. 31, 2016

The conditions are flat out fantastic. I skied the whole place today and there was not a bad run to be found. They don't quite have full coverage on a couple of the runs off of Minuteman but, aside from that, you would think that this was the end of January instead of the end of December. The hill picked up a foot during the last storm and the top surface still feels like "real snow" rather than the artificial stuff. The grooming was impeccable first thing this morning and it felt great to lay some trenches through the corduroy.

I'll be up there for a couple of hours first thing tomorrow morning. Look for me if you are around. Black helmet, red jacket, black pants.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby rockdaletj » Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:15 pm

Snow is indeed great right now. I had very low expectations for today, I figured the crowds would be out of hand early. With that in mind I loaded up the touring gear, parked at the State Park entrance, intending to get a few mile skin in, a run down, and head home early. As I was going up crossing the ski trails, the lifts looked quiet, trails were uncrowded, and the snow was great. I got to break trail for most of the way up the auto road, so I got more of a workout than I expected. Made about 12 lift served runs after than, then got out around 1230 as people were filing in. Saw a few other tele skiers out, but rode solo all day. I'm expecting similar conditions for tomorrow!
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:14 pm

There was a power outage early...where were you???? :D

A boat load of people left without ever buying a ticket this morning and the state of the lift lines reflected that until 11:00 or so. After 11:00 it was business as usual for a holiday weekend. There is no holding back the lazy folks...sort of like zombies.

Hero snow today. Every lean caught an edge and the edge held firm.

I'll be out again tomorrow. Going back to work on Tuesday is going to be tough.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Fri Jan 06, 2017 6:56 am

Snow Report: January 5, 2017

I skied last night with my crew from work. It was fun being on the hill, goofing around with people that are usually very serious when we are together. One of my new hires is a pinhead so there was an extra bonus in being able to ski with him rather than try and keep up with the 20whaterver year olds.

As you might have guessed, the rain last week took a toll on the snow. The super forgiving packed power conditions that were in place over the holiday break have been replaced with a consolidated and, in some places down right icy, surface. I had the pleasure of getting "first tracks" on 10th Mtn right after the groomers did their thing. It was a fantastic run. and the 2-4 after that were really nice as well. After that you had to stick to the edges of the trails or ski the middles with full confidence in your ability to get an edge to hold. The trail coverage is still mid-season quality, it is just firm. A good dumping of snow will hit the reset button and we'll be back to hero conditions in no time.

If you are paying for a ticket, I recommend picking a warm day so the sun can soften the base...if you have a pass, come suffer through it with me and I'll buy you a beer.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:07 pm

Snow Report: January 8 2017

I skied both days this weekend. Saturday it was only so-so with plenty of hard spots until it started snowing. The snow made two perfectly awesome things happene. First, the runs softened up pretty fast because it was really coming down hard between about noon and 3:00. Second, it seems that everyone freaked out about driving home with snow on the ground because the after lunch rush never happened. The lift lines were all but vacant over the lunch hour and it never got busy again. I ran into Brenda's AMC crew doing a clinic but never managed to find her. I did have the pleasure of trying to keep up with rockdaletj for a couple of runs. It was great to have so many pin heads on the hill at once.

Today the groomed conditions really benefited from the 4" of fresh that fell. While there was no "powder" to be found, the natural snow substantially improved the feel of the groomed surfaces. For the most part, the ice is gone. I skied with my munchkin who apparently got turned into a little ripper during her lesson yesterday. No more snow plow and alpine turns for me! She points them and turns and burns. It won't be long before she starts asking why I am so fat and slow...
Last edited by Go Fish on Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby rockdaletj » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:39 pm

Another super fun weekend. Saturday started great and got better as the day went on. Lines never got crazy, trails were fairly empty, and the snow was soft and consistent everywhere. It was great to hook up with Go Fish for a few runs, and it's awesome to hear your little one is ripping it up.
Today was cold but bluebird and beautiful. We parked at the Balance Rock trailhead early and skinned up to Semuhenna then up the road to the summit. Cold and breezy, but nice to get a workout in. Rode the lifts until about 10:45, cold and clammy wasn't much fun with the temps what they were today.
Lots of other tele skiers out there both days....Is anyone lurking on here, or just under the radar.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:05 pm

Snow Report: January 11, 2017

How can you go wrong with 40 F at the summit at 9:00 P in January? It was spring skiing at WaWa this evening and it was really fun. The surface was this perfect mix of super fast fully carvable ice like stuff and the mushy, wet loose wet granular snow we usually don't see until April. I was able to absolutely rip a few high speed carves on the relatively hard stuff and have the ridiculous speed checked by a few turns through the soft stuff. It was a happy place for me. I love going fast but it scares the crap out of me when I get to the point where I feel like I'm about to lose control. Having the hill take care of my desires for me was really nice.

If you can get out tomorrow while it is still warm, go for it. The conditions are really fun.

This weekend it is going to get really cold again and the hill is going to set up like a brick. The groomers will do what they can but sharp edges and a bit of respect will be necessary until we see more snow.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Brenda » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:17 pm

Go Fish, I heard you were asking after me, sorry to miss you. I had just got back from Ohio, due to my dad's illness, and was not up for instructing--just wanted to ski as I have a CO trip planned in 2 weeks and had not been on snow yet. OK, once in Ohio, but I was on lockdown, which is SO EASY.

I got to WaWa at about noon and skied straight till 4, when the snow was getting REALLY good.

I'm sure I'll see you out there!
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:03 pm

Snow Report January 14, 2017:

Considering there was water running down the trails earlier this week and we got a big freeze last night, Wachusett was in surprisingly good shape. They blew a bunch of snow on the summit trails last night to cover up the full on death ice that formed. It worked. There were parts of all three of the main summit runs that were actually soft. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of hard spots as well. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as I was imagining.

The bonus was that there was no one there. I skied the morning shift with tjrockdale and we barely waited in a line. After a beer and a bowl of chili, I expected that it would get crowded. It never did. I pulled the plug at 2:30 only because my legs were trashed and I had visions of hurting myself if I took "just one more run".

The fabulous conditions of last weekend are gone but the hill is far from unskiable.

A pic of the lift line for the Polar Express at about 2:40:

Image
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Snow Report January 16, 2017:

My little rip chick had the day off from school to honor MLK so I opted to blow off work and take her skiing. We got to Wachussett at 8:15 and had our butts in a chair by 8:30. Our plan was to ski until the hoards descended and then make a run for it. The upper lot was closed at some point between 8:15 and about 9:00. That is when I saw the first shuttle bus coming in from Lot 3. We made laps, thanks to short lift lines, until about 11:00 and then the waiting started. It wasn't bad but it was a noticeable change. The up side was the constant entertainment while on the lift that was provided by what seemed to be an unlimited supply of people hosting yard sales...We took a quick break to warm up and eat and enjoyed another hour of short lines while everyone was inside for the lunch hour. The end of our day was signaled when a completely out of control young lad skied across the tails of my skis while I was watching my little one make some turns. I really love Wachusett, for may reasons. However, the frequency of crowds and idiots I could do without.

The conditions were a carbon copy of Saturday: Death ice expertly covered by blower snow and good grooming. Get there early and leave early seems to be the right call.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:25 pm

Snow Report, January 28, 2017

I missed last weekend due to business travel so I was really excited to get back on the snow today. My prediction was death ice covered by machine snow...boy was I wrong. I showed up with a new tune on my slalom skis ready to do battle with hardpack and ice. It was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. The conditions were weird. It was this super heavy, super fine, super slow granular that was an absolute bear to push skinny race skis through. Our friend rockdaletj had a pair of mid-fats and he was having a better time of it than me but it seemed that he was not a fan of the conditions either.

We need some cold weather and some real snow in the worst way.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby rockdaletj » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:17 pm

Go Fish wrote:Snow Report, January 28, 2017

I missed last weekend due to business travel so I was really excited to get back on the snow today. My prediction was death ice covered by machine snow...boy was I wrong. I showed up with a new tune on my slalom skis ready to do battle with hardpack and ice. It was like bringing a knife to a gunfight. The conditions were weird. It was this super heavy, super fine, super slow granular that was an absolute bear to push skinny race skis through. Our friend rockdaletj had a pair of mid-fats and he was having a better time of it than me but it seemed that he was not a fan of the conditions either.

We need some cold weather and some real snow in the worst way.


Today was an exact repeat of yesterday. Blue skies, short lines, and giant piles of sugary snow everywhere. If nothing else, it has been an interesting weekend. Big boards were the key to survival, I had the skinny skis out of my crew today at 112 underfoot.
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Re: 2016/2017 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:08 am

Snow Report: February 2, 2017

A little bit of snow and cold weather has made dramatic improvements to the conditions. There are still some nasty hard spots but the sloppy granular is gone and it is pretty much a classic groomed packed powder surface as of last night. As is typical for our Thursday night crew, we showed up at 7:00 and managed until 8:00 when the buses full of kids left. The place was a ghost town after that. The lift line ropes were down by 8:15 and we were skiing right up to the RFID gates after that. It was nice to have entire runs all to ourselves.
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