Yesterday at the Skiway, I skied on packed powder with a few scattered spots of hardpack, under a bluebird sky. Mountaintop views went on for miles. Sunshine. Most runs I had the trails to myself. Wow. Just. Wow.
The snow was on the faster side, especially on Lower Chivers. Fine with me. I like skiing fast. The uncrowded slopes meant plenty of space for lots of short quick turns and long, swooping traverses. Wow. Just. Wow.
One of the tricks to Spring skiing is to gauge which part of the day conditions will be sweetest. If the snow has hardened up over a cold night, taking the first chair may mean the first few runs are on stiffer hardpack than I find prefer. Skiable, yes. But there are conditions that suit me better. Too late in the day, sunshine plus warmer temperatures may soften the snow to mashed potato consistency. Skiable, yes, but a bit slow and grabby. The past few days, starting around 10AM and skiing until about 2-3PM has been like skiing in mid-February, not late March.
As true New England skiers, we pride ourselves on being able to ski on, and in, just about anything. Especially in Spring. Ice? Check. The occasional exposed rock, frost heave or babbling brooklet (also known as spontaneous terrain parks)? Check. Fog? Check. Packed powder, machine groomed to corduroy perfection? Aaahhh…check. Snowstorms? Check. Clear snow (aka rain)? Uuugh…check. Champagne powder? Oooh…check (Rare, but it did happen earlier this month). Changeable conditions between summit and base? Yup. Spring skiing: Sometimes it's fabulous and sometimes it's badulous.
Saturday, March 30, the Dartmouth Skiway Ski Patrol holds its Third Annual Pond Skim to benefit Special Olympics from 10AM-2PM (rain date March 31). $20 donation for unlimited skims with all proceeds donated to the Special Olympics. Food available for purchase by Thirty Trails Cafe. Crazy costumes encouraged!
What is a Pond Skim? Skiers and snowboarders make a fast run down Worden’s, then take flight in the hope of skimming along the specially created pond. Pond skimming styles, techniques and results vary. Great fun to watch!
Come on out and cheer the participants. You don't need to be a skier or snowboarder.
Thirty Trails will be grilling burgers and hot dogs outdoors and temperatures are forecast to be temperate. You will see some truly amazing skiers and snowboarders attempt the pond skim.
That is another reason I love Spring skiing - a chance to ski or ride in support of a good cause.
The Skiway closes for the season Sunday, March 31.