The Ski Season in Photos #2

The early season should be a test of dedication. Weather is often marginal or questionable, conditions can be thin and firm. But skiers come to the mountains in greater numbers than in the spring.

Start of the 2012/13 ski season at Gore Mountain

Each year as we look back through our images from late November they’re often loaded with trails that feature thin strips of hardpack snow, death cookies, brown spots and barren woods.

In many ways the start of the 2012/13 ski season was typical in the east. A freak October storm delivered turns at the mountain du jour (or is it année?). Killington and Sunday River battled it out for a bragging rights on an official opening in early November. And a marginal opening weekend for many of the ski resorts in New York began the day after Thanksgiving.

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Mount Washington Season Finale

During the ski season I’ve said it often: “You don’t know ’til you go.” But last week — after Memorial Day and before the first heat wave of the summer season — wasn’t one of those times.

Mount-Washington

Not exactly. You see, I’d been watching the weather closely and was really optimistic about the skiing on Mount Washington. The Memorial Day snowfall closed the auto road on Saturday and reduced skier traffic in the ravine to those willing to come up via the trail. But snow conditions were only one part of my calculation.

The time had arrived to introduce my girlfriend to the pleasures of “backcountry skiing.”  Note the quotes; I had no intention of hiking up the Tuckerman Ravine Trail with her. She hates hiking. Or more accurately, she hates it after five miles. And she would definitely hate me, the hike, and life in general, if I had pushed her up to Hojo’s with skis and boots on her back.

So, I did what any sane man would do, plunking down the $30 to drive her to the top to shred the remaining patch on the East Side Snowfields.

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