Friday, January 17, 2014

Pat's Peak - 1/15/14

Time to hit up another mountain, this time not all alone like usual. Its Pat's Peak!
Best view on the mountain. Pat's Peak.
The Lodge at Pat's Peak. 

I had some major doubt's about our trip Wednesday to Pat's Peak, I decided I couldn't delay and we headed down. The season is already looking like its going to be a short one due to the rainstorm that has been the entirety of the month of January here in New England. We were expecting a fairly icy mess due to a major storm moving through just 24 hours earlier, but when we pulled in around 9, it was blue-bird skys and much to our surprise a nice top coating of packed powder/loose granular. With temps pushing 50 at the summit, outerwear was totally unnecessary. As much as I love skiing in just a long sleeve shirt, this is just un-natural for January.
January 15th? Seems like a good day to ride in a t-shirt.
We explored the mountain for most of the first half of the day, as the main park 'Turbulence' was closed while the park crew worked on it. They thought they would have it open by the afternoon, so I figured we could come back then. I have to say, Pat's Peak has some very, very nice and scenic trails. Conditions were great and the mountain definitely has a fairly wide variety of terrain. The phrase 'something for everyone' seems to get used often in this blog. My only complaint about the mountain really are the old lifts. No high-speed, detachable quads to be found here, just old-school triples. I do understand that new lifts are expensive however, and it did not really hurt the experience. I suppose I have just been spoiled by detachable lifts at all my other stops in the tour so far.
View off of one of the old triples.
Mandatory summit shot! Pat's Peak.
After lunch, we headed back over to the park to check it out, unfortunately though it was still closed, and by the time we left around 3:30 to 4, it still had not opened. Luckily they had a mini-park set up on 'Whisper' referred to as the 'Microburst Park' It was a fairly solid progression park for someone looking to get into the park game. Leagues above the 'park' I was subjected to at Waterville last Sunday. It consisted of a flat box, kinked box, kinked rail, rainbow box and a very small kicker. I lapped it probably 10 times or so, would have done more, but I did not want to subject my non-park rat friends and family I was skiing with to endless park laps. I was quite happy with the kinked rail, as that was my first kinked rail I have gotten all the way over without face-planting. By the end of the day though, a 360 landed backseat kind of did me in. Unfortunately today, I do not have a video for you guys, as the one I took of the micro park came out incredibly bad for some reason, and I was unable to get into the Turbulence park. What I do have for you are pictures I managed to get of the features I could see without ducking any ropes. Here they are in rough order from top to bottom. No shots of the mini-park either, I am really slacking on this entry, sorry.

One of three entrances to the Turbulence park, with an S-box behind it.
Another shot of the same S-box.
Curved box near the top of the park.
View from near the bottom of the park, crew working on a new jump for the line.
Rails near the bottom of the main park.
Last rail in the Turbulence park, side entry.
We definitely had a great time, and if we had stuck around till 5 or 6, we might have been able to get into the main park, but we were all pretty tired so we headed out. Every time I seem to get hurt, it seems to be from trying to really get my 360's down. I am getting pretty sick of it and have been considering giving up on trying to learn anything beyond what I know now for jumps. I like rails a-lot, and feel a whole lot safer on them  than on any jump line. Those of you who may be saying, 'Just send it! You'll get it!', I say, at 25 I cannot afford to have a major injury. That would severely hamper my ability to make money. Anyone with some game changing tips on how to stop landing backseat out of 360's would be extremely appreciated.

This weekend is going to be an interesting one for my tour, and boy is it going to be exciting. If anyone reading doesn't know, the Newschoolers staff crew is rolling into Loon Mountain this weekend (1/18/14-1/19/14) to judge the 'Knockout' Event Loon is hosting on Sunday the 19th. Saturday however they are doing a meet and greet/park session all day and into the night where we can meet up and hang out. I'll be there Saturday bright and early to meet the staff and anyone else will be hanging around. Here are the relevant links for anyone interested.

Newschoolers at Loon Mtn
Forum thread on Newschoolers about the event
Info about the Comp

Now this means I won't be doing a mountain Sunday, as I have to go in to cover for me skipping out of my instructors shift on Saturday to go to the event. Also, if any of you have gone through my backlog of mountains I have done, you'll notice I did Loon already, super early season style already. This means I might need to bump another mountain off the list due to time constraints on the season, but considering the event, I feel that risk is worth it. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. This gives me a chance to give Loon's killer parks some much better coverage than I gave them back in mid-November.

I hope to meet many of you at the event, can't wait! Have some random parting shots from Pats Peak! See you at Loon Newschoolers!

Copyright Charles Boulanger and The Grand tour of New England Skiing, 2013-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Charles Boulanger and The Grand Tour of New England Skiing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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