A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

What I did with my weekend

April 12, 2009
Emilie Phillips

I went skiing (big surprise).

There had been and AMC trip to ski Mt Washington on Saturday. As of a few days beforehand, the forecast looked too cold and sunny, so the trip got cancelled on expectation of icy conditions. I commented about my lack of weekend plans on facebook, and not an hour later but Dave e-mailed me asking if I wanted to join some friends of his at a condo up near Mt Washington. Tyson and I had met Dave twice before in person, but I’d been getting to know him via facebook. And based on what I knew, spending evenings with him and seven of his friends seemed like it would be reasonable.

The forecast for the weekend looked like Sunday would be the better day to go ski the mountain. Saturday had a chance of rain/snow and was to be overcast. Sunday was supposed to be bright and clear, although maybe a bit colder.

The former leader of the AMC trip got together a few of us on Saturday to go ski the closed section of Bretton Woods. We did one warm up run, and then we ended up going up and down the hardest run there (a black) since it was the only vaguely challenging one. Jen, who was recovering from a cold, kept saying «just one more run.» She did eventually give up before the rest of us. The snow was great. It was sunny most of the day. Looking over at Mount Washington, it was cloud free for the morning, and then started clouding up. We figured since it was colder up there that the snow probably hadn’t softened up much, so maybe we missed an hour of possible skiing.

The other folks in the condo sat around debating for longer than we did in the morning, but then went for about the same tactic as we did. They skied Attitash, the next ski area farther east, which was also closed. It sounds like their day was as good as ours.

That evening we had a wonderful meal of various home cooked food. The amount of food was slightly over estimated, but that’s ok. Dave showed off how insanely many photos he had taken. I fell asleep on the couch for a bit while waiting for dinner. After dinner we eventually made a plan for Sunday. Two people needed to head home, but the rest of us would ski up and see if Tuckerman’s or Hilman’s Highway were skiable. Jen had a similar plan, so we would see if we could meet up with her.

Then dawns sunday morning. The forecast was for a high of 5F in the upper summits with wind chills down to -20F. The valley was forecast to have a high of 40F. We’re sitting there thinking about this while waiting for the eggs to cook. At that point our thought is that maybe the Sherbourne will be skiable coming back down from Tucks. Then over breakfast I pull up the avalanche forecast and read it. (The avalanche forecast should really be called the snow report or how to die in the back country, or something because there hasn’t been any avalanche danger for the last month.) Well, what it had to say is that there were three hours of great skiing saturday, and so far today it was already colder than expected and the summit was clouded over. Much glumness ensued.

A couple of the people who had also skied Friday decided to just bag it and go home. We eventually got a cell call through to Jen who was waiting for us at Pinkham notch. She thought the conditions were pretty aweful and she wasn’t going to go skiing. That pretty well decided it for the rest of us. The forecast for the rest of the state was not nearly as dismal, and there was a report that the Alexandria on Cardigan still had snow, so Dave, Brenda, Steve, Tyson, and I went there. It turned out that even that far south was not warm. We skinned up to the first hill on the Alexandria, made a couple token turns, and then scraped our way back down the icy snow.

So, not as optimal of a weekend as if we had had perfect foresight, but I got some good skiing in and met some new interesting people.