MT SNOW Trip Report
VERMONT 9–14 FEBRUARY 2020
“Just One More Run!!” “I NAILED IT”
“I found out I can SKI WITHOUT SEEING!”
Mt. Snow was a carpool, drive yourself, caravan ski trip for 15 of us. We were joined by 16 skiers from the Salisbury MD ski club at Snow Lake Lodge and that helped us meet our minimums for group rates: the power of partnering with other ski clubs in this ever-changing market of ski resort acquisitions and mergers. Mt. Snow is now a Vail Resort property.
At 5:00 a.m. Sunday, the 12-passenger luxury Irby van, replete with blankets, snacks & drinks pulled out of Yorktown to meet up with the Raineys and Leonard Credeur for an eventful ride up the east coast to Vermont, navigation courtesy of GARMIN!! In Maryland, GARMIN led us to a defunct Shell gas station near NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center which thankfully had an unlocked Porta-John. Several made a quick country-style stop out back while a police car cruised up behind us to find out why a couple of out-of-state cars were parked at an abandoned gas station! We then looped and circled around a huge empty parking lot at a closed Cryptology Museum trying to find our way back to 295. Once in Vermont, GARMIN chose a shortcut through back roads in a winter wonderland up a large hill where the van finally and flatly refused to go! After much conferring and evaluation, Don, Leonard, Harlan and Mahyar pushed the van back down the hill to a level area, where Rick could put on snow chains, something Harlan had not seen since the 60s! Thank goodness for Don Rainey's all-wheel drive Subaru, his shovel, and Leonard's navigation app Waze for getting us off of Haystack Road and on to our final destination in time for dinner!
Cheers and anticipation with falling snow on Sunday met Monday, which was cloudy, drizzly and warm. Slopes were a bit choppy, aptly described as mashed potatoes, especially at lower levels. However, we were out making the best of it with damp ski clothes and wet gloves, and some tips from club pro, Cathy, on how to best navigate on lumpy snow. The fog settled over the mountain tops after lunch. That was the beginning of “Just one more run”, over and over as visibility lowered to just barely enough to see. Tuesday’s conditions improved with groomed slopes, but the fog descended by 11:30 a.m., sliding down to mid-mountain. Steve said it best: “I found out I can ski without seeing.” We were rewarded with a spectacular ski day on Wednesday: blue skies, groomed packed powder, and snow-filled runs to everyone’s delight. Thursday’s conditions included more fog which lifted somewhat by noon, not enough to keep us off our skis.
Cathy M. was busy Monday and Tuesday honing her skills at a mogul clinic. On Wednesday morning she provided an excellent lesson to Beverley with Don and Harlan following along. Bev was amazed at the new skills Cathy taught her. That same morning, Cathy tackled the North Face. When asked how were the black slopes, she grinned and said “I Nailed Them”. She skied with a group of us that afternoon. Mary Crozier, new to our club, became the “I can do it gal”. Cathy worked with us on basic skills to execute symmetrical right and left turns and declared Mary “a natural”. Dorrie had a freak run in with an impaled ski just shy of the Bluebird lift station. The chair broke the renegade ski, which somehow smacked her in the leg just above the boot and below the knee. Thanks to Cathy’s training and her first aid skills, it was determined to be “non-life threatening”. With the aid of her excellent medical team (Cathy, Janice, Sharon, and a long distance phone consult with Kathy Jenkins), lots of ice, plumping of pillows, and elevation of the leg, Dorrie returned to skiing the following day sporting an impressive black and blue bruise.
As anticipated, we ran into Jim Colbert who gave us a brief update in Cuzzins on how Vail is changing operations and staffing on the mountain. Jim says his docs have told him his immune system is shot and he should avoid people. Not likely! He skied with us afterwards, sharing favorite and other less populated trails as only a mountain insider would know, sending Sharon to venture on to Ridge and Roller Coaster. Don and Bev were seen often cruising and enjoying variable conditions. Likewise, Richard Bennett skied daily, conquering the snow plow and working with ski instructor C.B. to perfect his turns. We found Janice snowshoeing her way up the Long John run, and discovering new trails and new tracks with a fellow snowshoe-er from the Salisbury gang. Another of our new members, Randy Tabor, originally from Rutland, Vermont, said it was the first time in 45 years that he skied in his home state and was glad to find a winter wonderland. Randy took a lesson with instructor Donna Marie, another long-time friend of the club. He says DM revealed a secret or two, or maybe not…. That’s between them! Harlan skied a lot until he had a bruised ankle. Must be a story there.
The Snow Barn Pizza Party drew Ray, Mary, and Mahyar to the dance floor. Ray claims he danced with 10 women: you know those Hudson Valley gals remembered Ray’s dance moves from years past and flocked to the barn on Wednesday night. Ray joined us for meals and lunch breaks off slope and was always ready with a smile and story of his past and upcoming travels, although he didn’t ski.
We shared breakfast and dinner and many a run with our new friends from the Salisbury club. Our new friend Dave shared a very cool “espionage style” code word game which pitted the two ski clubs against each other. The team leader would issue a one-word clue and the team would do their best to guess the matching word. Heckling was soundly encouraged, and we discovered that Mayhar has some superb skills shouting out clues and muddy suggestions on words to confuse, bewilder, and baffle our opponents. PSC bested Salisbury in 3 of 4 games!
We, in turn, introduced Salisbury to Left-Center-Right at our Thursday night farewell reception. We ignored the call to dinner as we gathered around the pool table shooting dice. Cece from Salisbury took the first game, winning 40 bucks. Our own Sharon won the second round, scoring a win of 33 bucks. As Thursday was as near as we could get to Valentine’s Day, we put together a Valentine’s station with Dove chocolates contributed by Sharon, some corny Toy Story Valentine’s cards, and some origami peace cranes from Mary. All in all, it was a fit farewell to a fabulous week. Friday’s temps dropped dramatically to well below freezing. Only a few of us stayed to brave the cold with the rest heading for home after breakfast, only to battle holiday traffic, with Garmin trying to throw us off around DC, and a wearying 13-hour trip home. At last report, everyone arrived alive, safe and sound, from their various travel routes and caravans back to Va.
» Mount Snow 2020 Photo Album