Worst weather you have ever skied in

edited August 18 in NELSAP Forum
What is some of the most difficult weather you have ever skied in. Mine would have to be 1998 a heavy fog at Gore Mountain. You couldn't see 10 feet in front of you. We had a group of 4 people and it was nearly impossible to see each other. There were multiple times during the day we would lose each other. There were no cell phones back then so it was either you skied to the base and waited or the summit, as there was no Bear Mountain pod then.
~Rich~

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  • edited August 18
    Second nod I would have to give to skiing in an ice storm at Snow Ridge, I slid all the way to the bottom of South Slope after falling nearly half way up.
    ~Rich~
  • I cut short a 3-day trip to Smuggs a few years ago because it was brutally, horribly cold and windy. I grew up skiing at Cannon and this was definitely the coldest I've ever skied in, and it was no fun at all, particularly riding their old, slow lifts. Older kid refused to go out again after his lesson and younger kid (who wasn't skiing) got sick. Packed up and went home the next morning; they very kindly refunded the last day of our trip.
  • On the subject of fog, a few years ago I was at Sugarloaf, another place I grew up skiing at but it had been a decade or so. Top was completely socked in, I got off Timberline Quad and headed around past the old summit lodge, and soon found myself thinking "I do not remember Narrow Gauge Extension being this steep". Then came down to Spillway Crosscut and after a moment's confusion, said "Oh, that's because this is actually Gondola Line. Oops." I'd completely missed Gauge in the fog.
  • ceo said:

    On the subject of fog, a few years ago I was at Sugarloaf, another place I grew up skiing at but it had been a decade or so. Top was completely socked in, I got off Timberline Quad and headed around past the old summit lodge, and soon found myself thinking "I do not remember Narrow Gauge Extension being this steep". Then came down to Spillway Crosscut and after a moment's confusion, said "Oh, that's because this is actually Gondola Line. Oops." I'd completely missed Gauge in the fog.

    oh boy, that sounds like an interesting experience.

    ~Rich~
  • edited August 19
    nothing like barreling down Rumor, and ending up on double barrel. Get the pun? too many IPA's...sorry lol.
    ~Rich~
  • Lots of bad visibility days but one in particular stands out.( already a handicap wearing glasses mind you)

    Snowbird 2001, my last trip west after 7 consecutive years, by myself this day. I just had to ride the iconic tram. Freezing fog, couldn't keep it off googles, couldn't keep it off glasses, so just took them all off. Didn't have a clue where I was coming down the front 3000' vert and took " forever"( maybe an hour?)
  • MEllen a few years ago. We just had a dump of 3' of heavy, wet snow that was impossible to ski. Inverness couldn't spin because they broke the shovels trying to get it off of the loading area. Chairs were loaded too much and there was no place to put the crap. I cleared Walt's at 9 am and closed it at 3--- there were no tracks other than mine. I did a double eject, went head over heels and ended up sitting in the snow in front of my lost skis. It was so wet that the hole my skis were in was blue. To top it off, there was a cold, wet rain making everything heavier and more dangerous. imageimageimage
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    "Making ski films is being irresponsible with other people's money, in a responsible sort of way..." 
    Greg Stump
  • Things have certainly changed in the grooming/snow making era. Breakable crust can certainly be avoided by staying off ungroomed. Rain can be ugly, but as long as one is dressed properly, the snow tends to be good.

    My first nomination is a day at Mad River where there was 4" of fluff on top of an unpredictable breakable crust base. If I wasn't taking a PSIA clinic, I probably would not have skied that day - or gone to Sugarbush where the grooming was a bit better.

    My second nomination: Fresh deep snow on a windy day where the snow goes from frozen granular to a four foot drift and the light is too flat to see the transition. That happened at CM two or three years ago. I did an incredible face plant when I went from the crust into the side of a drift. A snowboarder just behind me saw it happen but obviously didn't see why it happened. He was laughing at me, when suddenly, the same happened to him. Now it was me who was doing the laughing :-) as I continued to dig myself out.
  • Friday at Killington during the January ice storm of 1998. Only time I’ve seen/heard thunder snow.
  • -24F at the base of Whiteface without the windchill.
  • Freezing rain and fog at Bretton Woods several years ago. Like Joshua this was during a PSIA event and I wouldn't have been skiing otherwise. I remember the rain was freezing to my glasses and I was skiing by Braille.
  • > @Kayaker said:
    > Freezing rain and fog at Bretton Woods several years ago. Like Joshua this was during a PSIA event and I wouldn't have been skiing otherwise. I remember the rain was freezing to my glasses and I was skiing by Braille.

    Skiing by Braille?!?😂😂😂
  • tedede said:

    -24F at the base of Whiteface without the windchill.

    Have had this happen on multiple Whiteface trips and they end up shutting down a lot of the lifts. They only had the begginer area open one time. In the past we shot over to Big Tupper but now you are stuck like chuck.
    ~Rich~
  • A couple of many that come to mind:

    Sugarloaf in the mid 90's. -30 air temp with wind chills around -80. Everything was on hold except the #3 T, served by snowcat. Decided to go up, as we just bought a rest of season pass. A quarter of the way up the T-bar we realized it was not worth it. Lifty at the top advised me the 1/4 inch of exposed skin do to my stupidity was frostbitten. Ouch. One run down to the hot tub as it was just not worth it. Coldest day ever, with no visibility to top it off.

    A day at MRG also comes to mind. Cold, real cold just after a thaw freeze. It snowed about an inch, just enough to hide all ice and other obstacles. Bought a one ride ticket, just to get out. Trails looked good. Not. Barely survived the trip down, but at least we knew enough to not purchase a day ticket.

    There are so many others but these stand out, until I think of more.

  • Back in 1971 (before HS lifts and modern warm clothing), I woke up in the AM on a day at the end of January and looked out the window. The sky was purple, smoke coming out of chimneys was going up straight, the location was Mt. Tremblant and the temp was -40 (both C and F). The high for the day reached -24F, but the wind picked up maintaining the -40 wind chill.

    I went up the North Face Double. When I got off, I headed for the small warm-up shack which was as crowded as a full-Jay Peak Tramway car. No clicking in and skiing. One had to bend over and attach the runaway straps.

    Still, I took a half-dozen or so runs and didn't consider it to be a bad day.
  • In the mid 90s, it was a brutally cold day at Killington, riding the peak chairlift in it's last season. A wind gust straight from the north pole came along and blew the contact lens right out of my eye. I was wearing goggles, so it did get caught in there. I went to the summit lodge looking for a sink so I could put the lens in warm water, and then back in my eye. I was shivering so much that when I made an attempt to put it back in my eye, the lens fell on the filthy mens room floor. No chance I was going to ever use that lens again. Tried to ski the day squinting like a pirate using my good eye. With a wind chill in the -30s, and me with 50% vision, it was a day to forget.
  • Skiing in the rain = no issues - as seen here when I skied Nashoba in 1989.

    Jeremy


  • Definitely had some brutally cold days, and some pouring rain days. But I think the weather that has driven me off the mountain the worst is good 'ol 30 degrees and rain/wet snow.
  • NELSAP said:

    Skiing in the rain = no issues - as seen here when I skied Nashoba in 1989.
    Jeremy

    Now that's using your head
    ISNE-I Skied New England | NESAP-the New England Ski Area Project | SOSA-Saving Our Ski Areas - Location SW of Boston MA
  • Skiing at Sugarloaf for the first time in December 1989. It was-37F at the base. Again there in January of 1998 with 1" of freezing rain and 6" of sleet.

    Ski Conditions Report: A detailed report describing the snow conditions on the mountain the day of your visit. Skiers should become familiar with the following snow surface descriptions: Ice: Packed Powder, Slush: Packed Powder, Frozen Granular: Packed Powder , Packed Powder - A thin covering of snow over bare earth.

  • skiing in the rain didnt bother me when I was younger. I'am not that old but id prefer not to these days. :D
    ~Rich~
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