Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall skiing --- Showdown tele

Mark Hertenstein applies Maxi-Glide to keep skis from sticking in wet snow 
Gosh, the snow and weather was beautiful for the season's first tele turns
We got about 15 inches of fresh powder on top of about 11 inches at the Showdown Ski Area on Thursday.
Unfortunately, I had to work Friday and Saturday so I missed the freshies.
But the snow was still good Sunday and we were able to hike Porphyry Peak where we did a couple of telemark runs down untouched Big Seven, and runs down Upper Quicksilver, Speculation and Muley.
We had expected snow to be falling and cold temperatures, but it was about 40 degrees on the slopes. Quicksilver and Speculation had been hit pretty hard by early skiers on Friday and Saturday and my guess that the Lewistown crowd had been there before it was confirmed by George Willett, Showdown owner and operator who climbed the hill Sunday, too.
We had been a little wary of going Sunday because the winds had blown the slopes of Big Baldy and the Highwood Mountains clear. These areas are visible from my Great Falls neighborhood.
I was surprised to find myself in pretty good shape and had no trouble climbing or dropping into my tele turns.
We saw some snowshoe marks down by the parking lot and skinny ski tracks at the base of Big Seven summit.
By putting out this energy we were rewarded with great tele skiing on a fall day with a ski that was threatening snow, but clear enough to let a little sunlight through.
We left some daylight on the table, but mostly because that sun had heated the snow and begun to make it heavy.
By applying Maxi-Glide to my skis I was able to avoid clumping up.
I skinned only for the first two runs and relied on my waxless scales for the rest of the day.
And what a good first day of backcountry skiing it was (even if it was on the empty hills of a ski area that hadn’t opened yet).
Showdown is supposed to open Dec. 12.
That means we’ve got the hill to ourselves for another month.
Bring on the snow!

1 comment:

Rocky Mountain Raider said...

I'm jealous. Here in Colorado, we are bone dry. I've gotten a couple days of lift-served teleing, but the backcountry has a ways to go. Way to go after it.