3/21-3/24 Burke, Cannon, Loon, Cannon, Eustis

March is my favorite month of the year. The days are longer, the sun is warmer (usually), the storms are frequent. There is a certain mellowness to it that comes from apres beers in the sunshine. But there is also a sense of urgency. The end of the season is always lurking around the corner and you never know when it might hit. I start to get itchy to do all the things I put off throughout the winter. The past 4 days I've taken care of a lot of that.

First Burke, Friday 3/21. I had some friends coming up who don't get out much. They were looking for deals and someplace new. I knew Burke was the spot for that and I hadn't been there all season. What a great decision! They had picked up a half foot on Wed night and a few more inches Thursday night. There were virtually no people on the mtn. We hit skied boundary to boundary and everything in between. 6-8" of untouched over a super soft base made for some of the most fun conditions I've ever experienced. I slightly regret choosing my board over skis since Burke's layout is really unfriendly to to snowboards. But the traverses were worth the freshies and I have no complaints. It was so good that I forgot to pull out the camera much. So not any worthy video and only a few stills. Screen cap from a highlight run....
burke trees.jpg

Then Cannon, Saturday 3/22. Holy hurricane!! This has already been reported on in other threads. 50MPH, multiple lift closures, horrendous visibility. Caught up with a couple AZers, missed catching up with some other AZers. Bailed after a few runs.

Then Loon, Saturday 3/22. After bailing on Cannon we found that the wind was non-existent in Lincoln and snow was coming down hard. Decided to try our luck at Loon. Fantastic conditions and no crowds!! The snow was ultra carveable and was filling in even more run by run. High speed top to bottoms at South Peak rack up vert at 1,500' per run. With the place to ourselves it was ski-on every time we managed to pack a decent days worth of vert into a short half-day. A really, really great day with longtime friends that I need to drag on to the hill more often. I think these past 2 days were the inspiration they needed.

Then Cannon, Sunday 3/23. This might have been the sleeper day of the year. Headed north way early to guarantee catching first tram. It was full on blizzard conditions in the Notch with snow accumulating fast. We ran out of the tram and headed for Vistaway. We knew there would be 2 possibilities there: 1) completely scoured ice from the previous days wind, or 2) plush drifts. We gambled and won! First tracks on an absolutely perfect 3-4" fresh with soft drifts. Being ahead over everyone else coming off the tram we didn't want to give up our first tracks opportunity so we ran it top to bottom. A perfect untouched canvas the whole down Bypass, Paulie's ext, Avalanche, and Banshee Lift line. WOW! Possibly the run of the year. Beat the tram by a solid 5min. And it was non-stop from then on. Met up with JDRoma on the next run and did another T2B. Feeling that March urgency again we hit many lines that I hadn't touched yet this season. JDRoma is a great ski partner. Basically he shrugs and says "sounds good" to any madness you suggest.....

Then Mount Eustis, Monday 3/24. I was seriously worked after 3 days of going hard. I needed to stretch my legs and slow it down a bit. Mount Eustis in Littleton operated from the 1930's to the 1970's. Since then it was grown over and mostly forgotten. I never even knew it was there despite the fact that it sits right next to I-93. Over the past few years a grassroots group in Littleton has put on a big push to revive it and make it operational again as a town hill. You can find out more here http://www.mteustis.org/ . I knew about those plans but hadn't given it much thought lately. But driving to Burke on Friday I was captivated by the newly cleared trails that loom over the town.

So on Monday a packed up the splitboard to check it out. The skinning was extremely easy on snowmobile tracks that lead to the summit.

For a tiny hill it has some of the best views in the Whites. Littleton down below, Presidentials off to the right

The snow was a little heavy and slow. But it was mostly untouched and made for some great riding on fun narrow trails

My first lap was solo. At the bottom I met a few skiers on their way up. I caught them again at the summit just before the headed down. We chatted for a bit and they were kind enough to share some of their supplies. Which made the 2nd and final lap all the sweeter.

4 days and 4 mountains makes me love March even more. I'm ready now for whatever happens.
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