Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween ski a treat not a trick

Mark Hertenstein nearing top of Porphyry

Icicles on the dormant ski lift machine

Enough snow to do some tele turns
While I’ve skied many years in October, I can’t remember a better October ski day than Saturday in the Little Belts.
A wet fall storm left more than 40 inches on top the Showdown Ski hill and there’s plenty of the white stuff throughout this central Montana mountain range.
When we got to it much of it had settled and the sun had softened it. Luckily, we got an early start and got off the hill before it got too sticky, although Mark Hertenstein had to rewax twice with glide because he was picking it up.
I fell into the snow a couple of times and it was like landing in wet concrete. It was difficult to get back up.
There was no problem as in other Octobers of dropping onto rocks because there is no base. The snow has been falling off and on in the Belts for most of the month --- in fact I almost went out three weeks ago for a look-see --- and the base is quite good.
We climbed to the top on the groomer track and skied three runs on Muley, one on Speculation and one on Quicksilver.
On Quicksilver and Speculation we found the snow had been hit pretty hard by wind and sun and it was tough to get the skis up to good telemark turns. The snow was too heavy.
Muley was quite a bit better and we had the best luck in this run.
The wind was really howling on the way back. My hope is that it consolidates the snow rather than sweeps it away.

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