So in the third week of December I'm flying effortlessly down a 2,000 foot vertical face of Lone Mountain on super carvy, wind groomed steeps, prompting what I've officially called my very best first of the season Tram lap in my history of this transformational lift.
I've been away to Michigan working with the Warren Miller viewers and pumping up all the folks who have already booked their trip to Big Sky this winter, and reminding all the Boyne skiers they can join us this winter for free. Sorry for the delay in updating this page, but sometimes work can get in the way of my work on the mountain. Quite honestly I didn't know what to expect from the mountain after being invited to join long time locals turned visitors, Kate and Mike with friends including Meg, Courtney, Brian and the ring leader Lyndsey. I've heard reports of it being good, but for me, skiing is believing and I jumped at the chance to join the crew for a Tram lap.
We rolled up Swifty, then to the Triple and we caught the very last Tram car of the day, our crew making up 3/4's of the cabin. Being on top of Lone Mountain for the first time since April was an unbelievable feeling, but I have developed a reverent respect for this towering mountain and the extreme mountaineering style it can present, so for me caution was my priority, after all I get to ski it for the next 4 months. Upon working through the snow fence with a clean line, I sensed I might have missed the early season conditions I usually prepare for upon each season's inaugural run.
After the Yeti Traverse though, I am staring at a perfectly smooth surface of Marx, could it be? The normal precise turns necessary through the different cliff bands have been all but eliminated. I still shove off with caution, only to be pleasantly greeted with edgy styrofoam like sensation, the second turn is more confident than the first, the third is better than the second, now I'm picking up enough speed on this double-black diamond that the skis are beginning to function as designed to set, carve and release. I'm probably 1/3 of the way down before I decide I had better pull up to savor this run. (Truth be told, who knows what the legs had left in them either).
We re-group our fun crew and are marveling and giggling at what incredible December conditions this mountain is in, and at that point we split further and wider apart to each grab the line we want to try out, between the gut down the middle, the soft snow on the sides, I soon realize none of us can go wrong. We finish this late in the day ski session with one more lap up the Triple and with that, it's time to get back to the office to start working through the dozens of projects left behind from my Detroit travels.
With a Thanksgiving opening and a December that has already included a few 12 inch dumps, I can tell this season is going to be another good one. Get out here and join us, the snow's fun, the deals are flying and you just might be able to talk me into a Tram lap or two.
We'll see you out there,