Today, the 25th of November and the day after Thanksgiving brought many reasons to be thankful. I shared a nice Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family last night and I woke up to a snow report with fresh accumulation.
I am not going to sugar coat this, the last week's weather pattern brought many doubts as to how good the skiing might be this weekend. The first ride up this morning was spent observing the daring few that chose to ski under the lift. It didn't sound bad but I was still skeptical. First run of the morning had me following some friends into one of my favorite tree runs at Schweitzer; Headwall. I was little tentative as it was one of my first runs off-piste for the season. I was linking turns although without full confidence. The next couple of runs afforded confidence building. About a half hour into my ski morning, I noticed a healthy line forming at the Great Escape Quad. I did a quick equation in my head. It went something like this:
Number of skiers on the hill divided by the amount of acreage opening by starting up the Great Escape Quad equals me continuing to ski on the Basin Express until I actually see people loaded on the chairs.
My group all simultaneously noticed when the Quad started hauling excited skiers and boarders up to fresh terrain. Without conversation or questions, we all headed over to the other chairlift, loaded, discussed options for our descent and then executed the plan without hesitation. The group reconvened about two thirds of the way down, giggling and all basically saying the same thing, "That did not suck." In fact, it was epic for November. The kind of epic that is usually reserved for days in February and March. And it's November.
So in addition for being thankful that I am skiing in November, I am also thankful that the conditions are better than they have been in years and there are a lot of powder turns left out there for this holiday weekend.