Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

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Bri7

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Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

Postby Bri7 » Tue May 26, 2015 6:33 pm

My neighbor was scratching her head yesterday while I was packing the car with boots, poles and skis sunday afternoon...

Neighbor: "You're not gonna use that today" (laughing)
Me: "No you are right, but I will tomorrow"
She gave me a weird double look
Neighbor: "There is still snow somewhere?"
Me: "You bet"
Neighbor: "I don't like winter"

Of course there is snow remaining... Summer has not yet arrived! Each Memorial day for the last 10 years, a special event goes on on Mount Washington; the slackfest. That special day is usually held on the same week end as the auto road opening. I have to admit, the ascension by the road is way more pleasant than the walk from Pinkham Notch. This year, the snow coverage is very good, the snowfields offer roughly 400 feet of vert while the melting hasn't reach the choke point yet in the Airplane. You can get a full +/- 900 feet of vert over there.

Last year visit didn't meet the expectations. The dense fog reduced the visibility to none and we had no other (rational) choice than to ski the snowfields. This year was way different. Although there was some clouds, they were high enough to clear the mountain top.

After a early wake up, we left Montréal (without Johnny who declined my invitation) at 5h30. we reached the base of the auto road minutes after the opening at 9h30. after a short drive up we were ready to hit the slopes. The view is always amazing on the way up. The height and the size of Mount Washington is such unbelievable (for an Eastern township guy). The Blue hill snowfield is located 100 meters from the parking. Almost 20 skiers (mostly telemark) are gathered in this sector. Among them, Rob Rox "the legend", the creator of the event.
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The american are really welcoming. We hit the vast open terrain of the snowfield for a few rides.
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In addition to the traditional BBQ, a slalom course is set-up for the skier. Rob insists, it's not a race. That course is a way to remember (Memorial day).
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After a few discussions with the locals we decided to get a look at the airplane. It hasn't melt yet, you can ski it top to bottom.
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We are in New Hampshire, and Live free of die takes all its sense when you see that crazy bare top skier (without helmet) hit that jump in the middle of a 45° slope.
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Managing your way down can be challenging.
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You can not take the way up for granted either.
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This morning at work, my coworkers could not understand the reasons that pushes to drive 650 km for 5-6 hours of ski. I quit, I don't explain it no more, they will never understand, neither my neighbor, but you probably will...

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MikeK

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Re: Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

Postby MikeK » Tue May 26, 2015 6:39 pm

I don't know how you would say it in French, but in English we have one word that sums it up: passion.

Bri7

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Re: Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

Postby Bri7 » Tue May 26, 2015 8:29 pm

MikeK wrote:I don't know how you would say it in French, but in English we have one word that sums it up: passion.

Passion has the same meaning in french and english.
Your french is good enough for a trip to the chic choc next week :) Are you in?

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Johnny

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Re: Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

Postby Johnny » Wed May 27, 2015 8:00 am

Wow! The slalom race looks pretty cool...!
Thanks for sharing!
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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lowangle al

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Re: Mount Washington Slackfest May 25th 2015

Postby lowangle al » Thu May 28, 2015 9:05 pm

That event sounds like a good time and it is cool that you can be making turns in the end of May in the East.

I skied the auto road on New Years Eve back in the 80s. It was a clear sunny day and the views were great. Unfortunately my wife came down with snow blindness later that night and still has dry eyes today from it.

I used to justify the long drive by considering that some of the people I knew were happy to sit on a bar stool for 5 or 6 hours after work on a Friday. One time though after a weekend skiing and camping in the White Mts I couldn't stay awake to drive back to Pa. and we were only 20 minutes into an almost 10 hour drive. I told my wife to pour some instant coffee in the water bottle and shake it up. I don't know how much she put in there but I not only made the drive home but I emptied the truck and put everything away.


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