October Snow Storm

A beautiful fall day at Horse Pens 40  

I spent the end of October (including the giant snow storm that wreaked havoc on the Northeast, dumping as much as two and half feet of snow) in Steele, Alabama.  While most of my friends were losing power and having work and school canceled, I enjoyed sunny skies, temperatures in the mid-sixties, and some of the finest bouldering in the United States.  So why was it that part of me really wanted to be back in Massachusetts?  Skiing and the early season turns my friends were scoring as I was nestled away in the deep south, of course.

Ashley enjoying tee shirt weather on Orchid
As the weather got worse and my Facebook newsfeed became clogged with people panicking because they lost power or cable, I was being barraged by messages alerting me to the amazing ski conditions that I was missing out on.  The messages started out benign enough, but as the storm grew in intensity so did the messages.  
Climbing in the sun on the Bridge Arete
-It is supposed to snow Saturday and Sunday.  
-Might get some snow tommorow.  
-They are saying we might get a couple inches of snow tomorrow.
-I just got school canceled because of the snow.  
-Sunday River is open!
-The snow was very good yesterday.  
-Looks like we might be able to ski Sunday AM.
-They are calling for 12 inches of snow!!! Get your ass home!!!
-20 inches of snow on the ground.  Doug and I are heading out now.  Of course Spades did not have his shit together so we left him.  (That is my personal favorite)  

-Still a lot of snow but it is soft and heavy.  At least one more day left.  
Ashley on Chicks
While I certainly was enjoying my time at Horse Pens 40,  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious of the runs my friends were getting, and a little sad that the snow did not hold off until I had returned home.  I focused on forgetting about skiing and getting on as many classic problems as my hands would allow; however, it seemed that every time I sent something my phone would ring at me with another text message or Facebook notification bringing me back to the snowy reality of the Northeast.     
Mickey Spades and I getting ready for an early season run
We had a great stay at Horse Pens 40 and I honestly wouldn’t trade it for three early season days of skiing.  I was able to send a handful of problems that had eluded me over previous trips, and taking an early spring trip to the south and a late fall trip to the south make nice bookends to a great climbing season.  The way I figure, it is early in the season and I will have plenty of opportunities to make up for those three days.  By the way…the first thing I did when I got back to Massachusetts was to grab my snowboard and head to Wachusett.  I managed two laps, neither of them great but not bad for the first week of November.    
Second day of backcountry skiing–not bad for October in Massachusetts but where is Tim?  (Posted to my Facebook wall while I was gone)