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Owl's Head - March 3, 2017


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Today's Destination was Owl's Head. My second home from 1989-2001. The temperature was around -10 degrees and cloudy upon arrival at 8:15 this morning, and to a few cars in the parking lot. The weatherman had announced for a mostly sunny day. It did clear out later on during the morning. Being that it is school break this week, I was expecting a lot more cars than what I saw. With the weather we had this past 7-10 days and everything being practically brown, people may have the wrong perception on what is out there. There is snow still to be had on the mountain. The conditions today were pretty good considering what we've had. Just had to watch where you ski in some areas, other wise pretty good. The conditions today were groomed granular over a hard base. Skiing was fast! There were ice patches to be had, no denying that. Approximately 40 trails were announced as being open today.

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 The first runs of the day were up the Main Quad: Lilly`s, Leap and Centennial/Peak and Lower Standard. Patrol had the first chair of the day and I had third. In all the times skiing there I have never had third chair, there has always been a bit of a line up, but today nothing. No line ups at any of the lifts at all today. All 4 quads were in operation. Coverage was pretty decent up top with a few ice patches, but nothing we couldn't handle. Plenty of space to avoid them.

Middle section of Lilly's Leap:

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Centennial:

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The wash out on the Lower Standard:

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It was a bit chilly with the small breeze blowing at the summit which prompted a move down to the Black Quad and Lake Quad. Conditions down in this sector were again pretty good with the odd ice patch to look out for. There were a little more people skiing down here but again zero wait for the lifts. The Chouette, Upward Trail, Lakeview and Couloir trails ended up being my favorites today. Not saying the others weren't any good, it's just that it was a bit warmer in the sun and no breeze. The clouds lifted mid morning and with the sun beating down, it was comfortable.

The Chouette and Black Quad:

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The Lake Quad and Upward Trail:

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Lakeview and Couloir:

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I skied from 8:30 to 12:45 with one 10 minute break to warm up, 18 runs total. The overall day was really nice and the conditions ended up being better than expected. The parking lot was only about a quarter full when I left. I got to see and visit some old friends that I had worked with years ago which was pretty good. A lot has changed since my time there, new buildings and residences, but on the other hand, other things remain the same. 

Here are a few other photos of the day:

The Kamikaze:

 

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The now unused Baby Chair:

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Upper Standard:

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What is left of the old Orange Double Chair:

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Very nice report Paul. Owl's Head is one of my favorite mountains. I haven't visited in a few years unfortunately. The views coming down are always incredible. I especially like Lilly's Leap and Lakeview / Upward Trail. Even the Peak is a fun one as it gives you a glimpse of Jay Peak, which is much closer than you'd think.

Amazing and special mountain. 

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I never heard of this mountain before. Looks quite impressive, especially from the first picture from the road. Definitely going to add it to my bucket list of places to visit. It doesn't appear to be quite busy. Are the trails long?

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The trails are decent in length but what you can do is to ski from the summit to the bottom of the Black Quad in one trip by a variety of trails. There is no one trail that would start of the summit to the base of the Black Quad, like say what the Allegheny trail is like at Mont Sutton.

Owl's Head has a vertical of 1772 feet (total skiable at 1608 feet) and 52 trails. Here is a trail map for reference, but from what I understand, they do not offer the Out of Bounds skiing any more. If you are into that type of skiing you would want to verify this. The map here is probably a couple of seasons old but all the marked trails and glades are indicated.

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