ski days 14 & 15, windham and butternut

last Tuesday i skied Windham mountain. As you who have followed this blog know, I never ski without a 'deal'. Tuesday's deal was a gift card for $30 we received as a refund on our daughter's gear rental last december. We knocked off at about 1:30PM that day so they gave us an early return refund for the equipment. I thought that was very nice of them. I didn't expect anything. I figured you rent for the day and that's it. Another positive customer-centric experience that will keep us going back to Windham.
So ... $52-$30=$22 for the lift ticket!
It was a bluebird day. Probably didn't get much above freezing if at all. Conditions were packed powder (a dusting of real snow over man-made). It held up well throughout the day with very little ice poking through even by quitting time. They were 100% open.
My best workout to date putting in 28 runs in a little over 28 miles of actual skiing. I did just about every run on the mountain except for the double-blacks. Upper Wraparound to Whiskey Jack is a blue favorite and Why Not to new-this-year connecting trail, Wintuck, to Lower Wicked is favorite black diamond run.
Got 2 first chairs and first tracks both on the East peak, the D and G lifts.
I did a pole twirling exercise quite a bit that day. I got if from Chris Fellows great book "Total Skiing". You simply twirl your poles in front of your face like a drum major (or -ette) while you ski. It keeps your arms out front of course, keeps you face forward and helps with independence of lower and upper body. I felt like my upper body was enjoying the ride while my legs were doing all the work. It takes a couple of miles before you get the hang of it but it's a fantastic exercise.
Here is the link to my stats for Windham: click here

Yesterday (Friday) was Butternut in Great Barrington, Ma. Since I did a season rental of skis and boots at Butternut, I arrived early and had them hot wax and sharpen the edges. Brian had suggested I get tighter boots so I swapped my boots out for the next smaller size and they fit fine. Hard to tell if any of this made a difference though cause the conditions were so different from what I had been skiing all winter.

We had some warm days and a little rain since Tuesday so there were some large patches of ice showing even when the lifts first started turning. Nevertheless, Butternut was still 100% open and I had a great day. It was a little hard and scratchy in the AM on the east and west edges but the middle had a nice 1/2" to 1" of fresh which was very skiable. You just had to watch out for the ice spots. Nuthatch, for example, had one almost completely across the trail at one point although there was one skier width on either side that you could go around ... or just go straight over the thing! ;-)
By 11AM everything was skiable. Some spots were shaded all day and those remained a bit scratchy but still not as bad as first thing in the morning and they were skiable.
I finally skied Downspout and Chute so now I can say I have skied every trail on the mountain except for the terrain park. That's the only mountain I can say that about. And I skied every one of those trails (20) at least once and most twice on Friday.
Maybe next year I'll get a terrain park pass ($3) just to ski the trails in the park (twister and west way).
I did 21 runs in 17 miles at Butternut.

I tried doing the twirling exercise but the ice patches and mushy conditions required a little more attention than I was comfortable with so I didn't do much of that one.
There was however another exercise (you could actually call it a technique) from Chris Fellows that really helped a lot. It simply involved turning while lifting the uphill ski completely off the snow. This gave a lot of power into the carved turns. Really helpful under the wet snow conditions.

Here are my AlpineReplay stats for Friday at Butternut: click here

Next up: Mt. Snow next Friday. It's going to be a warm week with some rain. Hope the snowpack holds up!!

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