Today was a fantastic day to snowboard, and I’m eagerly awaiting this weekend’s storm to come and help refresh things. With how epic this season has been, I’m looking forward to my next trip back up to get my next pow fix in.
Reported by Rene Jerez
I hit Palisades again today for the third and last day of this week’s trip to the resort. Temps were in the 30s and a bit colder than yesterday with stronger wind. The day also started off sunny, but the clouds were starting to come in by the afternoon. This turned out to be scouring off some of the snow today and necessitated the closing of the Emigrant chair, but one huge plus was all that windblown snow had to go somewhere, and there were lots of piles of wind buff everywhere.
For my first run of the day, I did my usual morning lap down Mountain Run. The wind was drying out the snow even more than yesterday, and I was riding fast. The big bowl you encounter down Morningside was an absolute joy to shred down, and I got in some incredibly dramatic carves shredding down. After my return back up, I hit Siberia Chair. Siberia Bowl was pretty windblown, and you definitely needed sharp edges to grab into the snow, but all of that blown snow was getting blown near the bottom of the run, and it was bliss to ride in the buff. Further down the lift line, one can encounter a big drop-off in the trail, and wind buff was accumulating in large amounts. This definitely wasn’t the case yesterday, and at times with the wind blowing, it felt like pulling my gaiter up was a good idea.
I did quite a few laps down Siberia, shredding in the bowl, but I headed down the ridge for my last run. I was shocked at how much had been accumulating, which made keeping my speed incredibly easy on the traverse portion, and it especially reminded me of snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain. Siberia Ridge gets a crazy amount of wind buff. On especially windy days, with the Siberia Chair operations permitting, I know where I’ll get in my wind buff fix.
After my run down Siberia Ridge, I went to my old, favorite stand by the back side and the Shirley Lake lift. The Shirley Lake Bowl run was getting a bit blown out near its top, but thankfully like with the Siberia Bowl run, all of that blown snow ended up near the bottom of the run. The other Shirley Lake runs were more wind protected and great to shred down. With the lack of lines in this part of the resort, it felt like I had my own private ski resort!
After Shirley Lake, I got in some great park laps in Belmont Park. I got in great practice with my jumps on the ramps, and I’ve improved my park skills from last season. The crew worked hard overnight and added an awesome new feature of what looked like an old gas tank and two yeti coolers. I’ve never seen anything like it at any other resort.
After my lunch break, for my afternoon session, I checked out the Red Dog lift for the first time this season. The old Red Dog was easily the scariest chairlift I’ve ever ridden at any resort, especially at the last portion, where the return line was super high up and going over a ravine. It felt like a completely different experience from the old chair, especially near the last portion, where the lift line hugs a steep incline. The new lift is not only super fast but extremely comfortable too. I followed the Champs Elysses run down, and the snow was still nice in the afternoon and then down to the new base-to-base gondola for a ride up to KT-22 for a lap down Saddle Bowl, and then finally one last Mountain Run lap to finish my day off.