Mt Ashland is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so hitting the slopes early on a Thursday morning is a popular event for local skiers. It snowed about ten inches from the time they closed on Monday until the time the lifts were spinning on Thursday. Since we are always in pursuit of the powder that was good news.
We managed to get a decent spot in line and waited about half an hour for the chairlift to start loading. We made some fresh tracks top-to-bottom on the first few runs which is always nice. In fact, it’s the whole reason we go at all.
Skiing is fun, but there is much more to it than flying over the top of hard-packed, slick snow. Even a battered, unwaxed pair of skis, on a groomed surface, will send you down the hill at dangerous speeds. Going straight and fast isn’t really my thing. In fact that’s called schussing, not skiing.
Skiing is turning. A skier leaves behind a sinuous track. The deeper and softer the snow, the turns get more fun. And once you get the hang of turning in powder, it’s actually easier. It is certainly easier on your body!
So, we chase the powder. Powder skiers are geeks. We obsess over weather forecasts and webcams. We talk gear and technique constantly. We imagine conditions at faraway ski resorts and plot how to get there in time to catch the “freshies.” COVID has put a damper on travel plans, that’s for sure, but local skiing is still an option.
So far, guests at the resort have adapted. People are making an effort to mask up and stay distanced. At Mt Ashland the lodge is only open for rentals and lessons. There’s no food service, and worse, no bar. Quaffing a pint or two after some exhilarating runs is one of the best parts of the experience!
It’s a different sort of ski season, like everything else. I’m excited by the opportunity to keep heading out there and I hope we can keep it going. And that Mother Nature does her part with lots of snowstorms.
Speaking of heading out there, we are heading to Mt Shasta tomorrow.