Pats Peak 11/22/2014

Pats Peak

Conditions: MM PP and Frozen PP

Trip Report:

We had been trying to figure out where we would get some turns in this weekend. My son has Lacrosse at 4 pm which meant our options seemed limited. Then we had heard that Pats was opening on the 22nd. While it was not an exciting option, it would work for us while our son was transitioning from snowboarding to skiing. He skied from 2.5 to 8 years old and was becoming a very good skier. From 8 to 12 he snowboarded and was very good at that. We knew he would have to retrain so this setting proved to be perfect. The trails were very limited and challenging terrain was not an expectation. We planned on taking what the mountain would give us.

The conditions report stated that there were 6 trails open however, two of the trails were learning area trails serviced by a magic carpet. Actually, one of the trails is where they have the tubing park which was their temporary terrain park with about 6 features. Another trail was the Squall Line run out. The other trails were Turbulence Park (with no park yet), Whisper (green very easy trail) and lastly Duster which is one of their steeper blues. They did have the run out (Lower Tornado) open as well (not reported). They had three lifts - Peak Double, Turbulence Triple and Bluster Carpet.

We made a couple of runs on Whisper to teach my son some basics but the slope of that trail was not conducive to learning since it was not an issue for him. However, with all the cold temps I was surprised to see that trail so firm. My assumption was that they had too much moisture in the their mix when making snow. In any case, we then took a run on Turbulence Park to shoot us over to the Peak Double where we would continue training on Duster. Duster had very nice coverage with pretty fast conditions all things considered. My son started off wanting to make wedge turns so I made him lift the inside ski. On his next run things clicked and he was making parallel sliding turns comfortably so we then worked on getting up on edge. On the next run, he told me he had this and I followed him to watch and sure enough he was making nice railroad tracked turns transitioning from edge to edge with ease. We continued this way for about eight runs skiing with more speed and driving the skis in each turn. My wife was patient on each run skiing ahead of us and waiting. I poached a run and then my wife and I poached the same run on East Wind. They had made some smallish whales. The surface was a wet and heavy snow with softer snow underneath, definitely had to drive your turns. East Wind is not very steep while it is a blue trail, I would consider it barely a blue if that but fun to poach either way.

So, in the end, we made 11 runs. Overall, it was a perfect day with the objective of getting our son up to skiing form to prepare him for Cannon this coming weekend. We also had fun because we felt we had the trails to ourselves most of the time. We got there early to ski in the colder temps of the day (20 degrees on arrival). Around 11 they turned the snow guns off as it started to warm up above freezing. Around 1, we planned to eat at the Sled Pub but they were under staffed so it was a drink and done which was comped because we waited so long.

The more I think about it, I think that Pats was probably blowing a wetter product to build a solid base to protect against loss during this warming/rainy trend. Hence why the trails seemed so firm in some areas.

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