Summer is finally here! Mostly.
Last April some friends and I picked Green Mountain as our destination for a ski spring tour in the sunny weather. Based on the Saturday’s weather, it could have done anything. We crossed our fingers and decided to head out for a tour.
6am rolled around Sunday morning and I peeled my very reluctant body from the bed. Just a few more minutes it whined. Nope. It’s adventure time.
By 7am I was at Ryan’s place meeting up with the rest of the crew and we headed out towards Green. The sky was blue, it was fairly cool. There was some fresh snow in the last couple days. Life’s good.
The ride out was uneventful. We made it pass the intersection that had been the end of our last trip when my truck decided to start leaking coolant. Holding our breaths like it was going to do anything to prevent another problem we drove on by, anxious to see where the snow would start. I hoped we could make it to the washout that was about 1/3 of the way up the road.
We didn’t make it. Not by a long shot. The snow started. We threw on the chains and managed to make it another 500 meters up the road. That was it. I tried ramming the truck over a large mound of snow and quickly got high centered. So much for driving.
In 15 minutes the ski gear was out and prepped and we were on our way. I was not looking forward to the 5 or 6 km of logging road that were were going to have to slog up before we even got to the old ski hill but, hey, it was a gorgeous day and I was happy to be outside.The washout in the road that would be the location of some interesting events later on in the day, was almost covered. It still required a little bit of tricky maneuvering to get through on the skis but nothing we couldn’t handle. Further on up the road we started to see the sun. A lot of it. A combination of the sun coming around in the sky and the trees opening up around us made for a hot hike up the road. Luckily, we were all wearing black.
At last we hit the bottom of the ski hill. The touring gets much more interesting off the logging road and onto the old ski runs. The hill is also a lot steeper. We huffed and puffed our way up the first main run, over the access road and onto the main runs of the hill. Being open to the sun for much longer than any of the snow in the trees, the white stuff on the main runs was like glue. No one got in 2 steps without it balling up on your skins for a couple steps. You couldn’t shake the stuff loose and taking your skis off every 3 steps would take even longer. We just had to suck it up and keep walking.
Every time I head up Green it seems shorter. Maybe the huge tour up the road made the section on the ski hill seem so much shorter. After we hit the ski hill we were up at the top in no time. The summit plateau was ringed in ice and we had to bootpack the last 50 meters. It’s a little tough to ski 50 degree ice.
The view always impresses me from the top. We all had our relaxing summit time, Ryan busted out the RyCam and Dave scouted the runs down for something doable on the north face. If we could find something to ski right from the summit we could skirt the ice we came up. It might even be cool and fluffy.
The north face turned out to be an excellent ski down, easy the best 4 or 5 turns of the day. We spent about 20 minutes playing around on the wind lips and little bumps down the north side then started the descent. The warm snow on the south face was even more glue-like than on the way up and I had trouble staying up right. For one second my skis would be happily gliding along and then they’d be attached to the snow hoping to send me over the front.
The first half of the descent was over quickly and we were already across the access road and out in the large meadow at the bottom. This made for the second best skiing of the day and we each got in a few nice turns before starting the downhill portion of the Green road slog.
Sunburnt, sore, tired and blistered we collapsed around the cars as we filed in from the long tour. Big satisfied smalls all around indicated a great day in the mountains.
The next few days were going to be a bit rough but it’s a small price to pay for another great adventure.