A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Sunday’s ski trip

March 1, 2012
Emilie Phillips

Sunday the family stayed up north for a second ski trip. This one looked a little iffier given the forecast. Winds up to 65 mph on the summit of Mt Washington and maybe half that down lower. We decided to show up at the parking lot in the morning anyways and discovered that the wind was mostly on the other side of the mountain. The other AMC regular had arrived before us and gave the report from an earlier duo. They had found nice new powder with no base on one side of the cog railway and hardpacked old surface on the other.

We had a gear failure in the parking lot. One of the other guy's binding spring cartridges pulled off its cable. Between him and Tyson they eventually managed to get it to stay back on. I was a little worried that even if it stayed on for the trip up, it might fail under the larger torques coming down. I debated the severity of such a failure vs having to leave the other skier in the parking lot on what was looking like a nice day. I am not sure what the right choice was, but we all headed up the hill.

At the parking lot, the day started out with low clouds and not much visibility. As we hiked up to the trailhead, the winds picked up the clouds and blew them away. Even the summit was clear. We could see the wind blowing great plumes of snow off the other side of the ridges above. Some of the plumes went straight up, some spiraled around in circles. Clouds and blowing snow hurried by seemingly just above the tree tops over our heads. At one point we got caught in a brief white out. A menacing cloud enveloped Mt Monroe and lake of the clouds hut and then was gone faster than I could take a good picture of it. But overall, the day was bluebird skies and sunshine.

We skinned up past the top of the cleared area alongside the cog up to where the rocks started showing and people declared good enough. Only a few turns after we headed down, the troublesome binding gave way again. The rest of us waited down in a sunny warm spot while two of them worked on the binding. We imagined a variety of creative ways to attach the boot to the ski, most of them turning the ski into a snow shoe. Luckily they got the binding together well enough that it might hold for some ginger parallel turns, but no telemark turns.

Off we went down the hill. It was a little thick for powder on the one side, but it definitely had no base. I decided the heck with it, skiing in the fresh snow was more fun than the wind scoured option and worth the occasional scraping noise. Unfortunately, I felt like my technique was slipping and I was reverting to my old turn. There are a few photos which back that feeling up. However it was hard to be unhappy with the nice snow and blue skies.

The binding held for the rest of the way down, but no one felt like going back up for a second lap. So we packed up and called it a day.

Photos, though not the ones showing bad technique.