Last night my ski buddy and I decided we would ski West Mtn today and work on our powder skills. Unfortunately my friend never made it due to reckless drivers foiling the towns snow removal efforts. She was stranded at home. I'm sorry Vicki, I really did miss you. I don't sign on to the "no friends on powder days" . Off I went on my own to take advantage of West's great lift and lunch special. I arrived at the mountain and was standing at the Snowdog turnstile when my pass went "green" at 11am. Yeah, Yeah, late start. The mountain was relatively "quiet" and I made my way immediately to the Northwest area. Much to my suprise there was fresh untracked or lightly tracked to be had on numerous trails if you looked for it.....and I did....and I left my own tracks. I would say a solid 8" of silky smooth goodness. I continued to lap the NW chair until the ticketing system said I was done. Many times I was alone, or very nearly alone. Awsome! This is the first time I've skied West this season and things are looking good considering what a slow start we've had. Good coverage on everything that was open. The mountain was being assaulted by heavy fire from the snowmakers and Mother Nature too. Natural snow was goooood. MM snow today was a bit "funky"....kind of heavy/sticky with a lovely crust on top. Yeah, I nearly had a yard sale the first time I skied through. Oh well. lol One of my favorite trails at West is Midway (running under the NW triple)....they are blasting it with snow and hopefully will soon have it open. I watched some boarders who had ducked the ropes making some sweet tracks each time I rode up and the temptation was mighty difficult to avoid. I did....just this once. I was just excited to FINALLY be out there on SNOW, and FINALLY feeling like I "got it" skiing powder. Yup, there is nothing like having the lightbulb illuminate and things just "click" and being able to link smooth, floaty powder turns! Someday I hope to be running with the Big Dogs and leaving my inner Powder Pup in the dust. Deff a Thrill of Victory day. My only regret is not getting there earlier. I know better. Killington tomorrow...maybe Gore on Friday. Just gonna go till my legs beg for mercy.
James, did you see the thread I started last week on the Weds night telemark skiing at West? Just updated it for last night. I've got reports with pics for 1/05 and 1/12 now. I'll be reporting in most Weds nights for the rest of the season.
It will always be filled with school ski clubs and race teams. That's why no one ever goes there.
The Wednesday nights seems like a good deal though. I pretty much never go anymore. I used to be there a fair amount last season for competitions. Not any more though. Before that, it was all races or ski club back in middle school.
I went there today for their lunch special: $16 for a soup and sandwich or salad bar and 2 hours of free skiing 11-2. Or ski 8 runs for $16 and get a small lunch. Not a bad deal. Nice PP conditions. Making snow under the triple and lower summit chair. I kind of like the new DAG system despite the $5 sunk in cost.
We usually ski West on day (or night) passes. The Monday/Tuesday special is $17 for a 5 hr pass (4-9pm). Great value and a good way to spend some time on the slopes with my SO and social skier friends who have more time limitations than I do. We ski for a couple of hours, then head in for some snacks and brews. It can become a mob scene w/ the ski clubs and racers....think bumper skiing. However, our mantra is "get thee to the triple" where it is a much more peaceful experience. You really can't beat their lift specials if you live locally and just want to get out for a bit. Last year I thought hands down the snow conditions at West were superior to Gore. Just sayin'. I'm not bashing Gore, I'm just giving credit where it is due. They really have been making strides in upgrading and improving. The magic carpet on the beginner hill was a major improvement IMHO. I wished it had been there when I was teaching my SO to ski using the rope tow. I couldn't wait to get him up the Face lift!! So while the terrain may not be such a challenge, I have not become so a great skier that I don't enjoy cruising the blues, I think it's a gem to have in our neighborhood and I'm really glad it's there. Many days I have skied Gore and then shown up for the night shift at West to play with my friends.
Re: the Snowdog system. The $5 price tag on the scanner card may be a bit of an aggrevation, but just imagine the time it will save you when pre-purchase your ticket online, show up at the mountain and grin all the way to the turnstile bypassing the looooooong line at the ticket window. Getting through the turnstile (or watching others getting through) on the other hand can be comic relief. Especially the young man I saw yesterday trying to drag his board through in a horizontal orientation!
As far as West getting some of the Albany crowd, ummmmm, not sure. I lived in Albany and I want to say that many of the skiers I knew then where going to Jiminy Peak. From Albany it's nearly the same amount of windshield time. They also offer up quite a few ticket specials and have more amenities and terrain than West.
It seems like a good place for the Albany crowd to get in a couple hours of post-work turns.
Not really. Albany skiers looking for night skiing generally head to Jiminy Peak. West Mountain at night is pretty much a local Saratoga - Glens Falls crowd. As others have pointed out - and I mentioned in my TR for 1/05 that you missed - the place can be packed with school programs and races. But those kids are generally gone by 7pm, and we ski most Weds nights with very few other skiers on the mountain.