Every year, I am on the lookout for that perfect "sweet spot" weekday when there is enough snow on the road to ski it on my XC skis, but not enough to allow the ski area to open or to create avalanche danger on the road, plus it has to be clear out and I need to be able to skip work. Some years that day never comes. This year it was yesterday. Awesome day!
One nice older fellow I met said mine were the skinniest skis he had ever seen up there. (His were the oldest I had ever seen -- they were wooden skis from the 80s with big metal bindings.) I got a few other quizzical looks and comments. But hey, I got UP there faster than anyone else. I kicked-and-glided all the way up. And going down, well, maybe I couldn't rip any turns, but I glided basically all the way. Still pretty fun.
The other 2 times I have done this, the ski area had actually groomed the road from Heather Meadows to Austin Pass. Not this time. It was just packed down by snowshoes from the weekend, in more uneven "trenches"... but I managed ok. Just one minor, painless fall when I really just wasn't paying close attention. The packed snow from all the weekend visitors also allowed me to just walk in my ski boots from Artist Point to Huntoon Point -- no snowshoes needed. Beautiful sunny, still weather. I poked around and just relaxed comfortably up there for like 2 hours.
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