Magic Mountain 4/3/2014

Magic Mountain 4/3/2014
The last Throw-Back Thursday of the season - $15 tix - couldn't resist.
My second visit to the place Where Skiing Still Has A Soul -- (lifted from the Events calendar chalkboard in the lodge).
Arrived a few minutes before 9 am and found no more than a dozen folks sitting in the lodge, reading the paper, chatting over a cup of coffee.
One older gent held the attention of a small group with stories of his Army days and saving up over several months of paychecks to get his first gear - skis/poles/boots(the lace-up kind)/hat and jacket, all for $27.00.
They knew there was no rush; at Magic, unless it's freshly fallen stuff, you've got to follow the sun.
Skies were clear blue, temps. were well into the 30's and would climb steadily to 50 throughout the day.

First run down the Upper Magic Carpet corduroy was glassy and crisp, and I should have known better when I opted to get off the stuff and went down Up Your Sleeve.
Whoa, it was truly ROCK ice, like riding over ball bearings of different sizes. No ski in the world is built for that stuff and I wished I had a mouthguard so as not to break my teeth.

Subsequent runs on the East side were all on the groomers and they got better (softer) with each run.
Trick was great all morning, just seemed more edge-able from the start.
Plenty of good cover across the entire lower half of the East side.
Show Off and Wand were icy fast early in the day.
Mystery was roped off but by 10:45 the sunlight was laying over about half of it.
It was a good poach - dodged some dirt and rocks but the left-side had nice turns in it.
The bottom half was hard, but later in the day would become a nice load of oatmeal.
It was fun making the guesses every time.

Even the Red Line was at least 50% doable. Large portions of it had nice cover but it was the rock ledges that made it impossible to link it all together. Those were bare with no options.

I was hoping to take a look in the Goniff glade but it was closed all day and I couldn't scout any decent lines from the chair.

Around noon, a few people began to inquire with ski patrol about opening Westside and by 12:30 it was mostly have at it.

Patrol said the Black line was a crap shoot, plenty of surprise rocks with much ice, so I heeded the word.
Talisman was a beauty all afternoon - - finesse it or blast it, everyone had a smile.
I gave Sorcerer a try but didn't have much fun. There was a skinny band of good snow 3' - 5' wide on left and right with significant scrub, roots, and rock, all through the center. I can't really say I ski'd it; more like a revolving sideways slide most of the way until reaching the bottom third which was filled in.
Upper Magician was roped and definitely looked more like a rocky hiking zone with some snow and ice scattered about, but looking up at it from the bottom of Broomstick, you could see plenty of snow to connect you to Heart of Magician after the initial steep. Not easy, but possible.
Broomstick ran like a skate park videogame - a small almost-half-pipe, 50/50 snow/ice. Had to pretend you're hip-checking some Russians to keep your speed under control there - - not that I have anything against Russians, mind you.
For me, The fun runs of the day were Heart of Magician - - a perfect mix of soft and hard snow pack across sunlight and shade, all lumped up with some bare spots that forced you to stay alert and think a few moves ahead. Just perfect.

During a mid-afternoon beer break, I did a head count in the lounge and watched the lift for about a half hour: 53.

What a unique slice of life for a Thursday in April 2014.
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