1/18-19/2020 — 2 Faces of Wildcat

Last minute lucked out with a berth at the AMC Joe Dodge Lodge at Pinkham Notch. Thanks for whoever that cancelled.

Having followed the ebbs and flows of the forecast leading up to it, it’s pretty certain we were to have a storm Sunday night. So the only remaining question was whether to drive up on Saturday to ski Sunday+, vs. drive up on Friday and ski Saturday as well.

The storm on Thursday dumped 8" on Wildcat. And they were closed on Friday, which basically means the 8" from Thursday were "un-skied". So drive up on Friday it is. Early start on Saturday.

Weather: clear and calm, temperature in the single digit to start the day (warming as the day progress)
Condition: slick groomers, rock peppered ungroomed natural trails.

Forecast was for frigid temperature early Saturday. Well, I didn’t pay $400 for a jacket to avoid ski on single digit days! Still, I added a mid-layer and a long-john under my insulated ski pants. Skull cap and mittens as usual.

9 o’clock. There’s almost nobody at the Summit quad. Single line was totally empty. Little wind, so it’s actually pretty comfortable. My toes were a little unhappy. But it might be because it’s still relatively new and a bit on the tight side. I keep conscious mind on that to make sure my toes don’t get frostbitten…

The groomers was HARD! My skis felt every little ripple of the grooming groove!

I didn’t quite expect that. Not after the 8" on Thursday. Oh well. Let’s tried some ungroomed, perhaps there’s still some leftover powder?

"Click, click, clickkkkkkk". Ouch! Rocks? Or maybe just ice underneath? Who knows. Just not what I was after.

Next ride up, my toes starting to hurt. I need to go in after this run to let the blood flow into my toes.

Now the groomer grooves had been skied off, the groomers got slick fast! That’s disappointing.

On the other hand, on the lower mountain, the surface started to soften up as the temperature was fast rising. I could feel my ski edges biting, and it started to feel like a good carving surface in the next 30 min or so…

So, going in to warm up my toes while waiting for the surface to warm up just a tad…

It’s about 10 or a little after. What with the holiday crowd, the lift line had suddenly grown to beyond the corral, with the single’s line double that! Hmmm… It was a 10 minute wait. My toes got cold again standing around.

The snow surface certainly gotten more enjoyable. But the lift line? Not so much.

The beauty of having a season pass is, if I don’t like the skiing after one or two or three runs, I don’t have to stay.

So I didn’t stay. I went cross country skiing (mind you, wasn’t too fun either. snow too cold and too soft. All in all, a short day).

Might as well save my legs for Sunday.