Dude, where's my chairlift?
A quick skin and ski of Mt. Ascutney
|Some nice virgin snow, with a little grass for good measure.|
When I bought my house in 2003, I thought it would be so wonderful living just five minutes from a chairlift at the Ascutney Mountain Resort. Unfortunately, the ski area part of the operation went out of business three years ago.
|On this rare occasion, Tigran stuck near me while Otis (black spot upper left) forged ahead.|
|A ski resort no longer. The views are still nice though!|
For us backcountry lovin' locals, it's been pretty nice having a mountain all to ourselves. It seems however, after today's excursion to reap the foot of new snow we received, I realize that nature comes back quickly. I think backcountry skiers will find it difficult to ski there in coming years unless there's an effort to tame some of the growth.
|Although it was a little late to be skinning up the mountain, I was treated to some beautiful northerly views.|
Nonetheless, after deciding I didn't feel like driving very far, I decided a quick tour up the mountain with the dogs would be just the thing. After skiing in a snowtorm yesterday, this afternoon's weather was a beautiful sky, with wisps of clouds reflecting the light of the early setting sun.
|A nice view of Okemo in the fading light.|
I was excited to try out my new skis, Liberty Morphics along with my new NTN Freedom bindings. The system performed flawlessly, was light and nimble on the way up, and made some nice turns on the way down. I can't wait to take these out for some more fun in the snow.
|Obviously I wasn't the first person to take advantage of the new snow. If it had been a little earlier, and I could see better, I'd have taken another trail. But this one was remarkably free of rocks.|
I left the parking lot at 3pm, way too late. The light was beautiful however, and there were tracks already there. We (myself and my two dogs, Tigran and Otis) got to the summit at around 4:30. It was interesting seeing where the faster quad lift used to reside. I guess the owners sold it and now all that is left are some pylons at the top. (And no chairlift bench for a weary climber.)
|The trail map remains, along with non-functional lift.|
I took the same route down that I climbed on the way up, as light was pretty much non-existent. The snow was excellent, and what rocks I saw were fairly easy to avoid. The top half of the mountain skied really well, but the bottom half required a good bit of speed to crash through all the grass and brush.
|Dude, where's my chairlift? The last time I skied up here, this was the top of a lift. I guess the lift was sold. Too bad they couldn't sell the pylons too!|
I'd say there's a foot at the bottom, maybe two at the top. Overall, a great little jaunt, and only five minutes from the front door.
|Any day on snow is a good day.|
Hoping to head out for a full moon ski up the Ascutney State Park access road tonight...