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2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

What's it like at your area? Just skied somewhere and it rocked (or not)? Let us know.

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2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:00 pm

Opening weekend has passed and it was earlier than usual...and it was better than usual. Aside from the beginner areas, there were only two runs open, Ralph's and Conifer but, for early season, it was pretty darn good. I'm accustomed to a couple of white ribbons through the mud when I show up for opening day, this year was different. The coverage was solid and the conditions were actually good. I have definitely had worse runs in the middle of February. It is not fluffy, hero or epic but riding a lift and not throwing sparks on the way back down, before turkey day, is pretty nice.

Tele kind were out in force. It was great to reconnect after a summer off.

Game ON!!!
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Brenda » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:36 pm

I went for a couple of hours on Sunday night, and I have been way more terrified at conditions in mid Feb. The snow was darn good for early season--even end of day Sunday there was plenty left to turn on with only a few skied-off places. The scariest were the young slope rockets--who either chose not to turn or did not know how--but the mostly stayed off to one side. It was fun!
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:40 pm

A few days off...check

Turkey dinner...check

Lots of booze and family and friends...check

Absolutely unprecedented early season conditions at Wachusett...check

When we arrived at the hill this morning it was still just Conifer and Ralph's. Around 10:00 they opened Challenger. While we were enjoying soft abundant snow on the runs that were operational, the snow cats were working hard on Look Mom and 10th Mountain. My guess is they both opened after we left around 2:00. I'm guessing 4 or 5 runs tomorrow with great coverage.

Conditions are fantastic for this time of the season. The crowds are still light. I cant wait to get back out there in the morning.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:00 pm

There is a lot more terrain open but it was pretty sketchy on Saturday. There were more snow guns going than I have ever seen and the conditions were perfect to create that super sticky snow that can make you go over the handle bars and land on your noggin if you aren't paying attention. I got 5 runs in before I decided it wasn't very fun. The conditions had to have been better today after a nice cold night and some grooming but I was tied up with family stuff.

We need one good 12" dump and the place will be mint again.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Dec 23, 2018 4:59 pm

12/23 Snow Report:

Today was a mixed bag that you can only get in New England after a really solid base depth of decent snow gets soaked with 3" of rain. It was a bluebird day but below freezing over night and below freezing at the start of the ski day. The first runs were good on groomed granular/chunks but it got pushed around pretty quickly and the bed rock ice started showing through. Through noon you needed to have pretty good technique to navigate the ice and have fun. After lunch everything softened up nicely. When I pulled the plug at 3:00 to pick up my kid from her lesson it was starting to firm up again. The lines were nonexistent all day and the runs were blissfully uncrowded.

Hopefully we pick up some natural snow soon.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:35 pm

12/26 Snow Report

Nothing but blue skies, sunshine and fully acceptable but not great early season snow. The conditions have improved a lot since my last outing to WaWa. It was firm in the morning but it became fun around noon. There were no lift lines the entire time I was there. Get out there before the rain on Friday.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:09 am

1/3 Snow Report

I did the night shift with my crew from work and I was pleasantly surprised by the conditions. It was by no means good, but it was a lot better that I thought it was going to be. The lower mountain was in decent shape with soft now on the edges of the trails and a mix of hard pack that would take and edge and straight up ice down the middles. The upper mountain was similar with more of the hard stuff, some nasty groomer marbles in spots and a big slab of granite poking through on Smith. I managed to luck into a few runs on Conifer right after they groomed it. That was a nice treat.

Hopefully the storm forecast for next week shapes up and we get some natural snow. The base at WaWa needs a makeover.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:07 am

1/6 Snow Report

The freeze/thaw cycles over the last few days has generated a mix of hard stuff and loose granular. In the morning the hard stuff would take an edge if you were on your game and it got progressively easier to gain purchase as the day warmed up. My legs gave out around 2:00 and by then the conditions were pretty fun. Even on the weekend, the crowds were uncharacteristically light.

The 5"-8" that were forecast for this week has been downgraded to an inch or so with the potential for a rainy finish to the event. We will have to continue to be patient.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:06 pm

1/10 Snow Report

Well...

It hasn't gotten any better and it hasn't gotten any worse. Still lots of scratchy bits with loose granular on the sides of the trails. The "grounds crew" was going full force on the terrain park tonight but that was the only real hill improvement that I saw. All we need is some real snow...please.

I'm going to call my glass half full because I got 10 runs in and Ashley was sick so Rachel was filling in. Space Dust just tastes better when Rachel fills the mug.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:56 pm

1/13 Snow Report

I showed up late and bailed early but I got to ski a bunch of really fun runs with a good portion of the weekend crew.

My last post was all about how it didn't get worse. This post is all about how it can get better even when Ma Nature decides to throw us the middle finger. It has been cold and clear for the last two nights. Chilly and low humidity are key for smile forming artificial snow...we were smiling today. The only run on the hill that was not great was Smith Walton and I think it was left icy because that is how the race folk like it. Everything else was covered with a blanket of completely acceptable machine made at its best.

I would rather be on natural snow. I would rather be on natural snow in the back country. Current circumstances keep me from getting what I want and today it did not matter because it was fun regardless of how the white stuff I was sliding on got there.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:51 am

Snow Report 1/16

I skied the night shift and it was surprisingly good. It seems that they took advantage of the cold weather and made a bunch of snow because all of the icy spots that were popping up this weekend were nonexistent. As soon as the buses full of kids cleared out, the place was empty.

It looks like a game changer this weekend. WaWa is in the 18"-24" band. Even if we only pick up a foot, it will dramatically improve conditions.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:34 pm

Snow Report 1/20:

Talk about some weird weather. WaWa picked up a foot of nice, light low water content snow last night and it was just the medicine that the hill needed. The groomers buttered most of it over the ice at some point in the night and then just let the remainder fall on groomed trails. When I got there this morning, it was 17 F and there was a steady supply of ice balls falling from the sky. The runs were super soft, and very fun but the ice balls really hurt. I ended up getting 10 or so runs in and bailing because I got sick of the little needles stinging my face.

Get out there if you can, conditions are fantastic right now.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Wed Jan 23, 2019 10:55 pm

1/23 Snow Report

I skied the night shift and it was warm, the snow was fabulous and there were no crowds...at all. I was astounded by the lack of people at WaWa tonight, especially since it was such a pleasant night to be out getting some turns in. There was just enough heat today to soften up the fresh snow that fell this weekend but not get it mushy. It was firm but it took nothing to get an edge into it. We did laps from 7:00 - 9:00 and "earned" a spot at the bar through our hard work.

The rain tomorrow will ruin this batch of nice snow but the hill will recover...
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:57 am

1/30 Snow Report

Finally! Some really nice snow! However, Last night was pretty weird.

Tuesday into Wed. Wachusett picked up 6" of fresh, just what the doctor ordered. On the way to the hill last night I got caught by one of the most intense snow squalls that I have ever experienced. Complete with lightning. I was in park on Route 2 with all of my new best friends, not able to see the end of the truck hood because of the snow. Suddenly the whole place lights up for a split second like it was daytime. I have to imagine the lightning strike was pretty close because the light couldn't have traveled very far through all that snow. My eyes recovered, and eventually the traffic started to move again and I made it to the hill just in time for the lifts to starting turning after being shut down for lightning.

It was about 7:15 when I made my first run on a fresh coating of 2-3" from the snow squalls. It was about 25 F at that point. By 8:00 it was 0 F and by 9:00 it was hovering around -10 F. A 35 degree change over the course of 2 hours! Pretty impressive!

The snow is fantastic right now. Smith was left ungroomed and was fun as long as you hung to the edges. We got "first tracks" on Conifer after the groomers finished up and it was one of the most enjoyable runs of the year. The whole lower mountain is as good as it ever gets. Get out there!

I'll be on the hill Friday morning with my dad. If you are out there look for the fat kid in the blue coat dropping a knee.
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Re: 2018/2019 Wachusett Thread

Postby Go Fish » Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:52 pm

2/1 Snow Report

The wind was blowing straight down the runs so it was firmly in your face on the way up. It was cold...but totally worth it.

My dad and I got a bunch of uncrowded runs in Friday morning on perfectly groomed slopes. There wasn't even a hint of ice. It was as good as groomed runs get. The early shift on Saturday and Sunday will not disappoint. After all of the crap weather it is nice to have our loyalty rewarded.
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