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

Pine Grove

This is my got to place in the city. Been going there for the last three years. This is by far the worst winter there.  The conditions have not been right from the get go.  As it is now the snow is only covering a crust with little give. Its blown in in spots and the wind is hallowing now.  It’s fast, really fast. Though there is no turning unless you get into a powder pack even stopping is a challenge but most of the snow is at the bottom so if you haven bailed by then you can kinda stop.  Mellow still works, though there aren’t very many mellow lines at pine Grove. Most are quick and the terrain changes rapidly. Super quick adjustments. Really fun with a lot of snow.  There are multiple lines there. It’s a micro landscape of bowls. Complete with micro cornices and wind lips. Steep to mellow or mellow to steep or steep steep but all within a hundred vertical feet. The run out is the creek which can play a very important role in how the terrain is ridden.

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.

This Weeks Game Plan

There is a Colorado low coming into the region tomorrow with a light dusting of 10 to 15cm locally with amounts as high as 25cm north of us. Unfortunately rain seems to be a factor this year and again rain is going to be following the snow.  Come Thursday there is way to much rain coming across the whole region including Quebec City. Not sure where the rain/snow line will be but it doesn’t look promising right now.  How far north will the rain be snow?

So Icecoastchowder n I are coming up with a game plan.

Option one…

Check to see snow amounts after the storm on tuesday and make a run up to The Knuckle in  The Brebeuf area.  Not a closed ski area just an open slope to hike up n do some runs.  seems relatively gentle but that is looking up at it from the base.  As we all know things look different when you’r looking down.

Option two…

Save The Knuckle for another day and head to Ski La reserve with all the gear and do the front side of the area with the snowdeck and possibly get into the back area for a little powdesurfing?  We have one day regionally to hit some good snow before the rain comes and bums out out yet again.

So some calculating and deciding needs to be done.

Screen Shot Ski La Reserve.png

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!