Magic Mountain – 12/27/2012 Powder Day

Date(s) Skied: 12/27/2012

Resort or Ski Area: Magic Mountain

Conditions: Powder

Trip Report:


This was a fantastic day out - probably one of my best ski days in quite a while, at least 2 years. It was also my first time out for this season, and my first time at Magic since I was about 8 years old.

I decided early on I would be heading a little further North when the storm came in. Because I have the baby at home, I'm trying to limit myself to 3 hrs / each way tops, and for me Magic is about 2:45 in smooth sailing conditions. That was not the case obviously as I started driving up during a snowstorm. I got up at about 4:45 and after changing my 6 month old son's diaper, I hit the road at 5:15.

It was raining where I live and most of the mass pike. Once I hit I-91 North was when it was really starting to turn to wintry mix. Speeds were anywhere between 25 and 45 mph on the highway, so I knew I wasn't going to get there for opening chair, which was my original goal.

I was worried as well the wind would be an issue, although the red line is well insulated with trees close in on both sides. But it was almost a non-issue, i'd be surprised if it gusted to 15 mph.

I pulled into Magic at almost exactly 9AM, about three and a half hours after I left. All in all, not really bad time, considering there were several spinouts.

On the way up, I had checked weather and Magic had already had a solid 8 - 10" down. The temp was mid 20's, so it really doesn't get any better than that.

Some of these trails may not be accurate as I wasn't really paying too much attention to where I was.

In the morning, a lot was still roped off. Only the red chair was running. The general consensus seemed to be that they wanted to preserve some snow on the west side for Friday and the weekend crowd. The black chair was running at some points but not loading anyone, probably just prep for Friday.

The mountain was it felt nearly empty. Probably every other chair was blank. I was running AlpineReplay to track my day but my battery died so I have zero stats. I think I did about 12 - 15 runs or so over the course of the day.

I took my first chair up and started by heading down Upper Magic Carpet to Trick to Mystery. There was still plenty of fresh powder, particularly on the sides of the trails. I found most of the blues and greens to shallow to really get any kind of fun turns in, you had to ski in others tracks just to avoid slowing to a stop. When pitches became evident it was really nice to get some great hops in the snow.

Coverage was really pretty good. I had zero core shots and only scraped rock a couple times. As the day went on, it became next to impossible to hit anything other than snow.

Me enjoying the conditions:

Overall the snow was fantastic. Light, and it literally dumped the entire day long. We easily picked up another 5 or 6" over the course of the day. By the time I did my last run, I think there was easily pushing 18" of snow. It was DEEP.

At one point in either Goniff or Witch I hit a tree - my first tree strike on skis, ever. After 30 years of skiing. I put another thread about it already so I won't go into it here, but here is the short vid:

At this point I was really working up a sweat so I went into the cafeteria on the first floor of the base lodge to get some water and some food. I don't know if it's just really early in the season but it was so disorganized I almost couldn't believe it. I wanted a cup of water and they had none. Just soda. So I ended up getting a cup of ice and just chewing on some ice cubes.

Later, I realized there was a bar / restaurant type of thing upstairs, but I didn't know that at the time. I also ordered a cheeseburger and some fries, but the lady cooking it was also the cashier. She told me to just eat and pay after since she didn't have time to ring me up. It took almost 20 minutes to get a burger, so that was a while too, but I was so hungry I had to wait. There were people everywhere waiting for food and it was just such a mess. I don't know if they outsource food prep or do it in house, but it was a cluster to say the least. I'm just going to chalk it up to getting in the swing of things, it was only Day #2 that they were open, and the staff was really nice also.

As I was leaving to put in a few more runs, I ran right into Reefer, and we made a few turns together as well.

Another thing that was bizarre - there is a run up to the west side right where upper magic carpet makes the right turn towards Witch. It wasn't roped off and I went right by the patrol shack, so I went that way a couple times and did get to ski the west side a little, which was way better because it wasn't skied off yet plus the runs are a bit steeper. Broomstick and Heart of the Magician were awesome.

But then I get to the bottom and the guy is clipping tickets and said we weren't supposed to be over here. I told him we just went up that slight hill and came over here, and he said just stay off, so I avoided it the rest of the day.

Whoever is going today (Friday) is definitely going to have some nice freshies. I don't know if they were planning on grooming as you did need to watch out for the water drainage ditches which were pretty frequent.

I took off at 2:30PM as my legs were completely shot. That kind of annoyed me ... I run 20 - 30 miles per week and my quads were on fire. I think because I spent the morning flying solo I got in a lot of runs and that probably wore me out quickly. Got home by 6PM for some sushi dinner :)

I have a lot of gopro footage and will edit up a video soon and repost when I do.

Overall: a fantastic day and a lot of fun.

Some more GoPro shots:

Laying in the snow

Awesome Turns


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