Yep, I must confess, as a former Western skier, I find the title of this post somewhat incongruous. But with the Northeast under the grip of some serious Arctic weather, this has been a pretty snowy week in Pittsburgh. There’s certainly no January doldrums here like those plaguing the Pacific Northwest right now.
We rolled up Friday morning to a mostly deserted, frozen (0F) and snowy Seven Springs. 3 inches overnight was the report, but with a decent breeze, it wasn’t hard to find pockets twice that deep lurking on the side of runs and in the trees. The weird part was, hardly anyone else was hitting this pow. Even when the 1pm ticket crew turned up, doubling the number of people riding, there was still drifts to mine without trying too hard. The right side of Giant Steps was ungroomed, and skied beautifully all day, as did the bumps under the Gunnar chair. There were a few spots where you were reminded of the gun pow glacier underneath, but these were few and far between. It was an excellent, cold day.
Sunday wasn’t far off a repeat. Add a decent crowd only from 10-11.30, and a minor blizzard starting about 10.30 and abating just before I left at 3pm. With more fresh snow, continually topped up all afternoon, some of the off-gunpow areas were skiing like the west should be. Light, fluffy drifts, soft bumps, and groomers that accepted an edge as willingly as a Clinton accepting a political donation.
750 feet vertical sounds pretty grim to a Western skier. But in these conditions, with a fast lift and a reasonably extensive PA hillside to play on, I can happily keep myself occupied for a day. And despite the size of my heating bill, I’m all in favor of this eastern winter hanging around for a while. Some decent skiing an hour from home is a luxury I could get to enjoy.
Friday 8600m, Sunday 8700m vert
Season Totals: 21 days, 167,300m vert