Off To Mont Sutton

Weather looks to be mild this coming week.  Should be interesting.  And it was!

Mont Sutton.png

As we drove in we had come from Bromont, more specifically Mont Shefford, I wanted to check out what the snow conditions were there.  It is a quick drive up the back of the mountain and then 29 feet out of the car and your looking down some great runs.  Easy access is an understatement.  Lots of snow left, the temp was hovering around zero but the sun was blazing.  It’s a good thing its north facing.  The boot tracks are well set while snow that hasn’t been touched and has sufficiently warmed up was A OK.  A good sign.  No time to get any lines and very few to get.  It has been days plus a weekend since the last significant snow fall.  Such a sweet little mountain to ride though.

Back into town through the Route de Vins there is snow all over the fields.  Not a tremendous amount but enough to cover everything sufficiently. It is winter still.

Tomorrow we ride.   A Harfang snow skate.  It is going to be crusty in the morning while warming up through the days and through out the week.

It sure was a crusty start to the week.  all the runs were basically ice with dust on top, Dust On Crust.  Being a larger mountain than I’m used to on a snow skate and the toughest conditions been on yet. I stuck the whole day out on chair 2, not venturing onto the dark side yet.  14, 16 18 and 21 Sweet runs.  The next day I rented some skis.

I wanted to explore the mountain more freely the next day.  Which turned into an awesome day.  Spring skiing at its finest!  Everything warmed up nicely, big moguls were soft with iceysnow, tree runs were safe again, and the sun was shinning brightly.  We quickly took 26 to chair number five and up we went to the dark side.  For the next day and a half we pretty much went through all the runs, including 35A and 54, while playing favourites to 35, 34, 39, 44, 53, and 55  All sweet runs.  What a fun mountain.  Would love to be there with a shit ton of fresh snow. 

I finished off the last day back on the snowskate back at the blue zone chair two.  It was so sunny and mild that the snow was heavy with moisture and harder to plow through.  I wasn’t up for the challenge of the black diamonds with the snow skate this time.  Yesterday would have beed the day to do it.  It was mild enough to be soft while being cool enough to still grab an edge.  Next Time

Snow Ridge, The Weather Phenomenon Know as Lake Effect Snow WCB 8

Pros… Lift Access powsurfing, Closed Monday n Tuesday so be there Wednesday, closed sections on hill easily hikeable to, Big Boards needed, Weather phenomenon know as Lake Effect Snow, Glades, Steep runs, Lots and Lots of snow when the weather is right, 3 hour drive from home

Cons… Weather can be temperamental, Rains frequently, In the USA, Exchange Rate sucks now, US Cops, Main run tracked out fast, Be prepared bring big board,

The weather phenomenon known as lake effect snow drops a ton of snow over the tug Hill plateau every winter, winds permitting.  The moisture picked up over Lake Ontario gets dumped onto the plateau and neighbouring hills.  Since I had to head south on Interstate 81 to pick up a truck I had purchased in the fall for work, I figured I might as well take a little detour and check out what the fuss is about when it comes to Lake effect snow.

So as I left Chrissypoo in Watertown NY to head down n around Tug Hill there was virtually next to no snow on the ground.  As I drove down the road and got closer to the ridge on the backside of the plateau the snow on the ground starts to pile up n pile up.  The first thing I do is hike up a steep road that was  closed for the winter n look for spot off of it.  nothing going there so I ride down the road slow n steady like.  I keep driving south till I see a open knoll of snow n bush and stop and ask a local in his drive if he owns that property.  No, his neighbour does and he is away right now driving trucks.  Not wanting to encroach on lands where I might get shot on I keep moving along.  Around a corner and Snow Ridge pops up.  I park and head into the office to see if I could bring my Powsurfer up the lift, it doesn’t hurt to ask.  To my surprise the lady in the office gives me the ok, the leash is the key.  As I get to the lift the liftie is like Whats That? Anyways I explain that I got the ok from the office and jump onto the rickety old chair.  The main run under the lift is all tracked out, they only have one lift running today, not a lot of people here but it is 3pm.  I head to the trees, 13, 14, and 18 for a couple of runs, get tossed on some of the more choppy areas but anything with fresh snow is sweet turns.  I close out the day with some runs down 7 which hasn’t been all that traced yet due to a lul in the run and the need to walk for a hundred yards.  The boarders don’t like that and skiers didn’t touch much of it, now earning your turns is part of our game so I hit it up till the lift shut down.

Now that was it for that day.  Now I have a 6 hour drive south ahead of me.  whooppie!

It was worth it!

Now I do my thing to get the truck and turn around the next day and start heading back north to Turin NY.  I make it to Marathon NY for the night still two and a quarter hours away from Snow Ridge.  Oh well.  Another hotel night then a quick drive and I’m back at the ridge on Tug Hill.

This day I start off with a hike to Von Allmen and Snow Pocket, 1, 2, and 3 area. It hadn’t been opened yet and a 20 min hike gets me to the top of the runs.  Now my 120cm twin tip isn’t long enough to get on top of all this fresh non tracked snow and the runs weren’t steep enough to get me on top of it either.  It turned out to be to much snow on this side of the hill.  So I head back into the trees on the following runs and finish off what time I had that day with the same runs from two days ago.

With Lake effect snow as long as the wind is blowing right the snow keeps on falling and everything gets replenished with fresh pow.  So all the runs where full again and I was able to get some good turns in and some great moments!

The main reason why I went at this time, cause I could have waited to the spring to get the truck, but it’s going to rain in Turin NY this coming week and all that snow would have been wasted.

It was to socked in with clouds n snow to see much of the country side as to what else was ridable around there but I’m sure with some exploring there would be other goods to be had.

The Big Nor Easter Not

Media sure does blow up the weather! If it was up to them we would be inside everyday watching TV believing in all the crap that they are feeding us.  Luckily enough people do go outdoors and try and find out for themselves whats really happening.  Yesterday was a snow day here in Ottawa with school buses canceled and kids out of school for the day, but only 4-5 cm of snow fell in town.  The media was blasting a serious storm moving up the coast that was going to shut everything down and give us 30cm plus of snow.  Did it happen? Not even close.  The most accumulated snow on a ski hill was Le Massif with a big 21cm, not even a foot.  Le Massif is not in daytrippin range for us so we would have to plan a road trip.  And for 21cm its not quite worth it.  There is still a crust under whatever snow was just dropped over night, and any deep tail turns would be thrown off once the board hit the crust.

Granted there was serious weather conditions with freezing rain, rain, and heavy snow fall at times.  Though it wasn’t as bad as they like to portray it.  And there are areas that did fairly well, but unfortunately not within our daytrippin range.

So here we are playing the waiting game again.  Dreaming of big snow dumps in our region.

The god thing is, we did get out and have some fun while it was snowing.  Snowskating at Fortune while the micro snow sticks fell.  Definitely a different kinda snow was falling, should have snapped a pic of it.

For now play safe and dream big, big snows.

Powday @ Gray Rocks, WCB 8

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 2.02.31 PM.pngGray Rocks

Pros…

Easily accessible, Good steep lines west side, Easy hike up, Glades east side,

Cons…

Easily accessible, Windcrust at the top usually, mellower east side

Had a great day on the slopes of Gray Rocks with icecoastchowder Larrimacphil.  Starting on the west side we nailed run after run on Devils Dick and others. Then had a lunch break and headed back up n to the east side. The crust was still a factor on that side and the runs weren’t as steep. So played around there for a while n did some tree lines with crust at the top n good snow at the bottom. It was a full day of riding. Back over to the west side to finish off a handful of runs to bring the day to an end.

Was a good day! Plenty of turns and enough steeps and snow to keep it fun!

Mont shefford, WCB Rating 8

img_1334Mont Shefford

Pros…

Easily accessible, Good parking, Steep and steep enough lines, Easy drive to get there, With snow comes opportunities to ride shit other than runs, North facing, Glades, Fun as Fuck

Cons…

Easily accessible, Conditions may vary considerably between storms, Other peoples tracks, Making start zones to get enough speed into some runs, Steep at top with a mellow bottom

Up early this morning to catch a ride with Larimacphil to Mont Shefford at the beginning of the eastern townships.  Things were looking relatively bleak as we drove east past Montreal and into the first of the hills. Bromont pops up to our right as we fade away to the left. Still doesn’t look like much snow on the ground as we are heading closer to the base of Mont Shefford. Parked, and ready to hike we break the trail. Snowshoes helping us along till we get to the steeps n find a boot track set in. Snow is piling up as we climb the hill.  What was 20″ at the bottom is pushing 50″ at the top. Up we go. Down we come. Tree lines to be had runs done! Its is a easily  accessible hill with parking at the top or the bottom.  Unfortunately that meant on a holiday monday with rain in the forecast the next day it was being used.  People wanted to get in and cut some turns before it went to shit! So the runs were tracked some and made it choppy through out but both our small boards n big boards rode through it all.  Name of the game~ Get there first MoFo and track that shit out.

It was a long day and we never left the hill cept to move the car n park at the top so we could ditch the snowshoes n bags and session a few runs.  We didn’t make it out to Mont Glen nor did the conditions be sour enough to push us to Mont Sutton to snowdeck.  Of course we came prepared to do it all.

The view as we head up.  Followed by some tree lines, us at the base, and my shit at the door at 6 in the morn.mont-shefford

Eastern Township daytripin

Larimacphil and I are heading to the Eastern Townships in search of good snow.  After the freezing rain on the 26th a nor’easter blew in and dropped almost 2′ of snow in this region.  Back home we didn’t get enough snow to cover the crusty ice.  The question is, will we be able to slash turns and not bottom out?

Mont SheffordMont Glen

Lost to the times ski areas.

If the shit sucks balls our consolation prize is snowdecking at Sutton. Not a bad day planned.