Just finished the "season" 2 days ago with a nice corny spring day with a touch of slush thrown in here and there. Bit bummed out that there wasn't a late spring dump for the last day, but still awesome to have chair lift access for SNOvember days.
We took a day trip on the Sunday - nice to be able to sleep in till 6am since the chairlifts didn't open till 10am. It was a hot hot sunny drive, lots to see in the daylight and it's gonna be the last mish down there for a while. Boo....
RAL were still trucking snow to the base, so the carpet was still running on the Alpine Meadow, but no more riding to base as Clarry's track ran out just after the Mangawhero Valley, and the Giant Chair was a no go zone. They had the High Flyer Chair running for the first time in ages tho, so this was great for the park peeps, and learners not up for the High Noon Express. Up high conditions were soft, but still a great spread of snow all over. Not many people here and plenty of room to spread around.
There were people hiking to the summit and normally my boyfriend would be up for it, but today was about a bit of fun, and relaxing cruisy runs for the last day. Did Branchline, Bread Run, Vertigo, Whynots (although the cat track the veers off to the express was cooked, and I didn't like to trust my aim between the rocks, besides there may have been more just under the surface, so I walked a few steps), Big Bowl was pretty nice, seemed to have been groomed in the morning so did a few runs down here. I also did my first run for the season out Layback. Done Slider plenty of times, but knowing that the exits out of out west have been a bit grim this year (AND the nicer snow has been east) I haven't really been out here. We exited at the top of the Organ Pipes with a little bit of a hike up to the bottom of Branchline. Hot work in soft steep snow!
Bit of a lack of entertainment and hoopla from RAL on the Giant deck, so we created our own. Word had been put out over the snowco forum that we would meet for a beer and some runs at 12pm. Some I have already met over the season, great to put some more faces to names. Nice to meet you!
Stoked to get turns in on the last day of Winter '09. Planning for Winter '10 is already well under way with a planned return of the Southern Club Field Tour, and I'd like to spend a bit more time at Tukino and Whakapapa on Ruapehu too. There will be a couple of summer trips to the Ruapehu region which I will blog about, and of course there is beach time to be had.
Have a great summer everyone,