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Owl's Head - December 26, 2019


Paul

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With the forecast for the next couple of days not being the best it could be, I decided to take advantage of a sunny day to head down to Owl's Head. I woke up to a beautiful sunrise, and I left Sherbrooke at 7:15 for the hour drive. I arrived at the mountain at a touch after 8, and got ready to roll. Got my RFID card reloaded then it was go time! The lifts opened at 8:30 with the Main Quad, Baby Quad and the Magic Carpet. I had heard news that the new Lake Quad was to open later in the morning. One of the main reasons for heading down there today. There were 16 announced trails open. The temperature was around -8 and no breeze, so it made for a comfortable morning. The first rides up the Main Quad were to ski Lilly's Leap, Centennial, and the Crossover to the Lower Standard. Shady Lady was also open, however the Blue Chair was not spinning. The conditions were of a fine machine groomed granular over a hard base. Coverage was pretty good all over. There was a little inversion happening today as the peak of the mountain was gleaming in the sunlight while the base of the mountain was a little fogged in.fullsizeoutput_fe2.thumb.jpeg.31a9daf607005b39f9217b7ac8fa6c3e.jpeg 

The View Down Lilly's Leap:

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Centennial, and Lower Standard:

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After the first couple of warm up runs it was onto the upper sections of Korman's Dive onto the Kamikaze. At this time I was about to take some pics of this section, my phone froze from the chill and died........was not impressed. So I headed down the mountain to the chalet and head to the car to warm up the phone and get a charge into it. When I arrived at the bottom, I had the very pleasant surprise of running into an old buddy of mine Jeff, who had worked at Owl's Head at the same time I was there. He and his family were there as well. His dad was my Grade 6 teacher! We all frequented Glen Mountain back in the day when it was opened. After a chat, and a bit of catching up I headed off to the car to get the phone back up and alive. Then it was back up the hill to get the shots of Korman's Dive and Kamikaze. 

The Middle Pitch of the Kamikaze with Korman's Dive in the Distance:

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By 11:00 I noticed that the rope had been dropped on the Traverse leading over to the Lake. The New Lake Quad was open! The latest in the long list of projects that Owl's Head has on the plate for the next little while. A lot of people were waiting for this day! The Upward trail was of groomed made made snow over a firm base. Pretty good coverage with a few touch ups to be done. Other than that it was fine. The loading area of the New Lake Quad is situated on the end of the flat where the Couloir trail exits on to the Upward Trail. The last pitch down into the bowl where the old Lake Quad started is now lost, and no longer accessible. The new lift has a loading carpet. It was time for the first rides up the new lift. The ride up is nice and smooth, and more comfortable now than it once was. I managed to catch up with Jeff's mum and dad, his sister and husband for a couple of runs.

The New Lake Quad and Upward Trail.

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The Lower and Upper Stations of the New Lake Quad:

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By noon it was time for a break, and then it was back out for the last runs up the Baby Quad, over to the Main Quad for the last run down Lilly's Leap, and over the the Lake for one last ride. The day ended at 2:00 as the legs were telling me they had had enough. Today was a great day of skiing seeing some people I had worked with back in the day. The conditions were pretty decent considering the weather we have had in the past couple of weeks. Coverage was good, and nothing poking through the snow to run over. Highlights of the day were running into Jeff and his family, and riding up the new Lake Quad. Well worth the early departure from Sherbrooke. It's still early in the season, and it should only get better. Thank you again Owl's Head for another great day of skiing!

Some More Scenes of the Day:

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This Scene Never Gets Old!

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Amazing Owl's Head like always. Surprised that the Black Chair is not yet open (or that there are no chairs on the line either). From the positioning of the new Lake quad, can people ski the beginner trails off the Black Chair and instead use the Lake Chair to return?

If memory serves me, the black chair base is lower than the lake.

Interesting that the Lake base is above the final drop from where it used to be located. Any ideas as to why? I know the area below is a bit tight and I guess for lineups and people coming in fast, there wasn't always a lot of room to slow down and stop.

Thank you so much for sharing Paul. I just love that mountain. I do wish it was closer though.

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@Gordo yes that is Jay Peak, just a better view of it now since they cut the tree island a few years ago between the Centennial and Peak trails to make one trail. That view never gets old.

@Shane you could ski a few of the beginner trails off the black. There are 2 cut overs, one just above the flat where you come out. This where the Lakeview exits onto the Upward Trail, and another a little further down that cuts over to the flat where the loading area is. If the black quad was not running you have these 2 access points to the new Lake Quad.The bottom of the Black is further down to where the old Lake Quad used to load. In the "bowl" where you used to load onto the Quad, I had heard there are a couple of buildings going in there. When the old Lake double was there, it got quite congested when the line was long. There were days that you were backed up the pitch waiting in line. We had to be creative when we had to put up the ropes for the corral in trying to reduce the back up on the pitch. I can see where the new Quad loading area is, it may be easier to corral the line up, and it is pretty flat so that no one has to side step like they used to in the bowl. If there is a busy day, we'll see how this works out for the  corral configuration.

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