Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A fine New Year's week at Jay

It's all about the.... bathrooms.

Or at least that seemed to be the theme this trip. The much-vaunted New Year's Day Mega-Storm did not happen, the skiing was pretty good anyway, the company was wonderful as usual, SBR tweaked his knee (again), Claire tweaked her knee (again), Throcky and Gollum had a coming-of-age experience I hope they will relate, we drank a lot of wine, the wind howled, the new Prophets rock, the glades were mogul runs with trees (until Sunday) and the Tram was on wind delay most of the time. But really, it was all about the bathrooms.

Ron found it first and even spotted cleaners at work. Incroyable! One at a time,we made our pilgrimage to the new washrooms at Tramside. No stairs, a rubber floor, bright lights and empty cork boards above the urinals were fantastic novelties for us to inspect (though later, Jonny Jay revisited the old washroom downstairs, found it non-smelly and empty, and decided to use it forthwith). Pudd took a peak into the hotel parking garage and we all marvelled at the cars parked serenely out of the snow. This is the new Jay Peak. And it isn't so bad. It's OK to have a convenient, clean washroom. It's great to be able to ski up to the tram stairs (all four of them). Or leave leave your skis at almost the same altitude as the Flyer. Even Pudd, the most resistant to change among us, declared that he would never again haul his skis up that effing hill.

This is truly the slogan for the "new" Jay Peak. They seem to be doing it right, so far:

Let's hope they keep it up. But please, get rid of the riduiculous "raise 'em Jay" animation that slows us up reading the snow report!

But what about the "big snow difference?" We thought it was going to happen on Sunday, my day to drive home. In a chance meeting Saturday on the Flyer, Brian the PR guy revealed to me that "twelve to fourteen" was expected the following morning. Hmmm. Maybe I could leave after lunch. When we woke the next morning, the stoke was high. At least 10 inches of light, blower powder covered the Snowbaru and the JonnyJayMobile.

This was a good sign. If there is snow in the village, then there is usually lots more snow at the hill.  As we made our way up the Mountain Road and over the pass, something gnawed at my powder sensors. Why are the plow banks not as high up here as they are in Monkey Center? As we pulled into Stateside parking area, exited the cars and just about fell over in the howling wind, we wondered: "where the h... is all the snow?" Through some freak weather event, it appeared that most of the snow had blown off the Stateside area. Luckily, and with the benefit of 75 years of combined "mountain knowledge" theorizing on the lift, we found it eventually on Tramside. A spectacular run down a not-quite-tracked-out JFK to Lower Everglade, followed by a Goat-GMB-North Glade combo and finished off with a "full Goat" to Buckaroo Banzai really made the week for me. Hopefully the rest of the crew enjoyed the the rest of snow the next day. After an epic drive home, I was ready for bed.

 After ten hours of this, SBR got home

Not to mention the holiday traffic!