With the kids having a Pedagogical day today from school, I decided to have one myself from work! Lukas had wanted to go to Orford so today was the day. We arrived just after 8am in the parking lot. It was quite mild upon arrival, the temperature was already above zero, with cloudy skies. I purchased Lukas's ticket online the night before, and with myself having a Season's Pass we headed directly to the Hybride after getting dressed as our RFID cards were loaded ready to go.
The warm up run was down the 4km, a nice easy cruiser to start the morning. It was a bit breezy on the way up to the top, but it was actually bearable. It wasn't the usual cold breeze that you normally experience going up the Hybride lift. Once on the 4km even though it was mild, you skied groomed pack powder on a nice firm base. Coverage was excellent.
The View of Giroux From the 4km Trail:
Then we headed over to the Giroux North Quad for a few rides up. We took the Familiale, another nice easy run, and then on the second ride up Lukas wanted to go down for a ride on the Giroux East Quad. The only option for him to be able to go there was on the Slalom, an Intermediate trail as the Magnum is too much for him at his level. The easier Passe a Montagne was closed. He is able to do short Intermediates that do not have long pitches, however I mentioned to him that it would probably be quite tough for him, but he wanted to do it anyway, so off we went taking our time. At the steepest and longest pitch he decided to take off his skis and "ride" it out until the flat that takes you to the bottom of the Quad.
Top of the Slalom With the Ride Back Up the Quad and View of the Sherbrooke:
At 10:00 it was time for a break and a snack. Oreos were in order as I had not made time to cook some pocket bacon this morning.............didn't have any in the freezer to take out the night before! After break we headed over to the Alfred Desrochers Quad for a couple of runs down the Toussiski, and the Ookpik. After the steep pitch on the Ookpik near the top, we took the "escape" route over to ski under the Quad. Then another ride up the Hybride. Lukas wanted to take the Gondola car up this time, and we made a couple of more runs on the 4km. By 11:30 the snow had softened up with the mild temperature but not to the extent of being slushy, but it would have made great snowballs. We ran into my best friend Christian for a moment, however he was occupied with a group for lessons, and didn't get any runs with him this time.
Toussiski, and Under the Alfred Desorchers Quad:
We finished the day by one more run on the 4km. By 12:30 my legs were tapping out from skiing a bit more aggressively than usual, and Lukas' hips were getting a bit sore so we decided to call it. The skiing was great all around, good coverage considering we haven't had much snowfall lately. Conditions were consistent everywhere we skied. Line ups at all four Quads were very minimal. As we were packing the car, the sky decided to clear out and the sun appeared. We had a great time at Orford, and another trip or two is in order before the end of the season.
A Few More Scenes of the Day:
A View of Owl's Head and Jay Peak, VT Off in the Distance: