Jonny Jay checks in, as told to SBR. He apologizes for no pics.
After the early March snow dump, that I of course had to miss in the interest of making a living, I was getting excited about a ski day planned for March 11 with a bunch of guys I hadn’t seen in many years. But Mother Nature was punishing me again -- with rain this time -- so after breakfast on Friday morning at the JJ Clubhouse, I decided to call the snow phone at Jay Peak. As you can tell from the title of this blog site, I always have mixed reactions to the snow phone wisdom. Sometimes it’s a whole new ski vocabulary, sometimes you can taste the obvious optimism, sometimes you wonder what mountain they are reporting from and sometimes (when the sun is shining and there is no wind) they get it just right! Well at 8:15 on a wet March morning, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that all 7 lifts “were spinning” and all trails open. Plus they mentioned a "mini snow fall" expected for that evening and somehow overlooked the fact that it was raining at the moment – but that was quite obvious.
Being a diehard and likely a masochistic skier who can find the joy in any kind of weather, off I went to the mountain. Arriving just before 9:00, the first thing I see is that the Bonnie is not running. Then a report from a fellow masochist that the only lift running was the triple and a couple of lower mountain lifts. That’s a big change from half an hour earlier when all seven lifts “were spinning!” Well, I thought, not much to explore but it will be fun. But the other guys all wimped out! So by 10:15 I was off with my plastic Jay baggie over my jacket to check out the snow. First run I tested the Derrick, which turned out to be far better than expected but a bit slow because there was about 6” of now wet snow to plow through. A good test for the Line Prophet 90s, which I am happy to say have worked out very well in most conditions (thanks to SBR for buying a pair the year before to give us all a report). Then it was the UN, which I rarely ski now as the knees can only take so much in a day. All alone, new snow to check the speed so I could “let 'em go” and the knees were fresh and ready. Great run! I looked back up and remembered the old days when it was called “The UN Express.” They’ve dropped “Express” from the name now and I am thinking that is because it is not as narrow as it used to be – and certainly not as gnarly.
So what the heck, we’re on a roll, why not try the Kitz? Another great run, especially without any people interference, but my arms and pants were starting to get pretty wet. Well after a cruiser down the Montrealer I chose the last run to be lower Powerline or Lift Line (since I couldn’t get to much else and the glades were a bit heavy and I was really alone). Good thing it was the last run – very heavy down Powerline – and I was soaked. But you can always have fun if you’re dressed for it at Jay.
Moral of the story – the Jay Peak snow phone is a guide, if you’re a skier or rider then Just Do It, you never know until you get there!
And by the way, the weekend turned out to be actually very good with the promised few inches of snow covering the firm surface very well. Even had an epic run down the skier left Upper Kwai with my two great nephews and the tram running overhead – It was “showtime boys" and the old knees and the Line Prophets delivered!
Part one is here...