Preseason

Perhaps the most happy I have ever seen myself

For the last couple of years, I have been happily gobbling up the left over snow at Mount Wachusett.  Depending on the year, you can have anywhere from a great day to a great couple weeks after the mountain has called it a season.  Skiing when the mountain has shut down operations for the season can mean mixed conditions and an open mind as you encounter variable conditions and the occasional bare spots (or road crossings).  On a positive note, you do not need to share the trails with hordes of people, and if you bring an avalanche shovel you can create a ski-able path across the road.  In my experience, you pretty much have the place to yourself.

Looking a lot like winter at Wachusett

This year, thanks to cold temperatures and the lack of natural snowfall, the mountain has been making snow religiously every night in an effort to get the mountain open.  A bonus to this process is that the amount of snow I need to ski is far less than what is needed to open the mountain to the public.  As I have enjoyed the post-season at the mountain in years past, I have greatly enjoyed this year’s pre-season, and have been impressed by the mountain’s ability to get better and better every day.    

Stripping skins from skis is always a good feeling.

While I am certainly a fan of grabbing some lift-service runs to shake the ski legs out, this year has been a treat having a private mountain on which to find my skiing mojo.  In fact, the conditions at Wachusett had gotten so good that by Thursday I was saddened to hear the mountain was planning on opening Friday and I would have to share the goods.  Oh well, I scored three days at Wachusett this week before they opened to the public and am grateful for the preseason that I was provided with this year.  
Finding the tele rhythm
 Spades and I skinning up  
It was awfully kind of the groomer to run a patch for us
Retreating to AT skis and wishing I did some off-season ski training  

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