I was bound and determined to do First Tracks this morning. Our group had decided to meet at the lockers and hit the slopes at the drop of the ropes. I posted the morning stories and photos, updated the ski report and met up with my group just in time to hit the slopes for the first runs of the day.
THREE INCHES of fresh, new powder had fallen overnight and Snowshoe had really cranked out a lot of snow in addition to what Mother Nature had dumped. We were among an amazing few who were at the ropes awaiting the 9am drop. It was very cold out and snowguns were firing all over the mountain, but there was plenty of terrain to ski away from the guns and (I know I’ve said this before) the ski conditions were among THE BEST I have skied. The powder on top was just enough to make it SWEET…and the groomed conditions on portions of the trails packed the powder to a consistency that made my Atomic SX-10, 170s ride the surface in ways that made me want to scream. Okay I DID scream but who cares. All of our group evaluated the snow the same way.
It was still snowing for most of the morning…only stopping at around noon and the sun broke through…as did patches of azure blue skies. Notice how great ski conditions bring out the poet in you? The Holiday crowds began to make their impact around 11am and the lift lines, which were non-existent from 9am til 11am began to make a difference on how quickly you could get up and down. At noon the line at the Ball Hooter lift was as long as I have ever seen. There is unquestionably a record crowd here this Holiday Week. Even so, the lift wait wasn’t more than 15 minutes, which beats the wait at most resorts. "Mike" the personable lift operator that is usually stationed around the Ball Hooter lift, has been at this same spot for as many years as I have visited the resort (at least 15 years) and he and his cohorts around the resort’s fourteen lifts, keep things moving well.
With the crowds starting to hit the slopes we decided to stop for lunch. On this particular day "lunch" was a stopover at our room where we made sandwiches and had a few brews, which is something I don’t normally get to do on a Monday. Anyway we relaxed for a bit and hit the slopes again around 1:30pm and I was amazed at how the crowds had lessened. The Ballhooter Lift is always the most crowded, particularly on the left side. We kept to the Powder Monkey and Widowmaker sides which were a lot less traveled. In fact, the Widowmaker lift had NO wait whatsoever! We decided to head over to The Cupp Run as several people had told us that there was even less traffic and the word was that The Cupp was in phenomenal shape as well.
We skied Upper Shays over to Lower Cupp. Upper Shays was absolutely great, but Lower Cupp had a bit more ice on it that I expected. The Atomic’s that I was skiing really didn’t seem to handle the ice as well as I’d hoped (that confirms MANY product evaluations about the SX-10’s) but all in all The Cupp was as exhilarating as ever.
After we made more runs than I can count on Day Two…we headed to our units for showers and a little relaxation before going out to dinner. Here’s where some suggestions are in order. If you are visiting Snowshoe during a typical winter weekend, you can expect very good service and very good food. However, if you are visiting during one of the peak weekends or weeks, prepare to wait for a table. We’ve done the Holiday week before and knew enough to go and make arrangements at 4:30PM…Well in advance. The Junction Restaurant, which is located in the Village offered a great menu, cold brews and our group had a great time.