Stratton Dec 1 2012

I went to Stratton today cause $39 lift tickets and my father thought that was a fair price.

Got there around 9:00am. I have never been to Stratton before, for whatever reason it just never appealed to me. But they supposedly had 36 trails open today and I figured conditions couldn't be too bad after a cold week and lots of snowmaking.

First three runs somehow I ended up on the same trail every time. I guess several trails funneled into it. I'm not going to name trails because I'm not that familiar with the mountain and wasn't paying much attention anyway. In any case, this trail was fairly crusty in the morning and I figured out sort of quick this would be an aggressive day of skiing rather than the more casual packed powder conditions I had hoped for.

No problem, it wasn't boilerplate, just firm and frozen. Good enough to go fast and arc nice turns.

Took the Gondola up after that. I think this is the crappiest Gondola I've ever ridden in. You can't really sit in the seats, it's just uncomfortable and a weird gondola. It went fast enough, though. And it was really windy today so it was warmer than the chairs.

In terms of the snow it was really sort of windblown today. I guess they made snow all week and opened up something like 20 new trails just today. But nothing skied like it was fresh. Maybe the snow was wet out of the guns, maybe it got blown off by the wind, probably both. Either way it wasn't too bad just not what I would at all describe as "packed powder / loose granular" like the web site said. More like, "frozen granular / machine groomed".

But there was very little straight up boilerplate just some areas that needed to be skied aggressively in order to maintain form.

Being my first time on the mountain, I wanted to ski their double diamonds to see how they measured up. There were two double diamonds open, at least that I was aware of, and I skied them both. I actually LOL'd because I had heard Stratton was kind of flat but I had no idea double diamonds could actually be this flat.

In comparison, Jiminy Peak's double diamonds would have to be triple diamonds, at least, at Stratton. I would have rated them as Blue Squares because they were mostly just winding somewhat more narrow cruisers with one, or at most two, short somewhat steeper sections.

Anyway the snow was decent but I was sort of kicking myself for not going up to Stowe or Smuggs today since they got 12" of fresh and it would have been more fun.

Either way early season is for building strength and confidence and skiing today at Stratton accomplished that. I skied somewhere close to 20 runs, mostly top to bottom, which I think was pretty good for a cold ass windy day with mediocre conditions. Since the mountain was pretty flat almost any trail I skied switch a fair amount and worked on carving backwards, which is something I've been waiting for a good opportunity to do this season.

Probably will never return to Stratton again because I wasn't really impressed by the trail layout, character of the mountain, the high percentage of novice skiers and riders acting erradically on the trails, and the whole "not a locals mountain" vibe of the place.

A good day skiing nonetheless. 4.5 out of 10 on the great days of skiing scale. Which sounds kind of bad but at this time of the year I'm glad to be on skis and have it at least be on a surface that mostly resembles snow.

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