Welcome Back, Powder Days on Northway


Crystal Northway
Steep and deep on Northway.

Day 5: Dec. 21, 2015

It was the best powder day in two years.

Eight inches fell overnight, and it dumped all day. So much snow fell that it was nearly impossible to get out of the parking lot … but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The day started with high winds rattling the gondola as we ascended through the whiteout. Stepping out into the blizzard, I watched as a couple of my gondola-mates fell down amid the blowing chaos. My kind of day.

Four quick runs down the “front side” on Rex were stellar. Howling wind and new snow quickly filled in skier tracks, making every run feel pristine.

I followed with a quick hike up to the top of Exterminator, then untracked lines down Bull Run.

I headed to Northway just as it opened. I was one of the first down Northway Bowl. It was deep — at least two feet of snow had blown in.

Stellar runs followed: Northway Peak was exceptional, if a bit scary in the white abyss. Turn, slab breaks off, turn, another slab breaks off. Best to keep moving in these conditions. Penny Dawg’s, Paradise Bowl and Right Angle kept yielding fresh lines all day.

Late in the day, fighting through burning legs, I hit the top of the chute Flyin’ Floyd. I was feeling it: Taking a hard turn onto the 45-degree left bank of the chute, I cut a big turn, sending a giant slab hurtling to the basin below. “Yeah!” yelled a skier on the chair as I cut out of the chute, finishing with untracked lines down Paradise Bowl.

The SkiZer’s still got it — at least for one fine day.



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