What a spectacular ski day for my last rides on the old single chair. Since I'd missed the other holiday storms that made up for the slow start to the season, I was extra happy to be at Mad River for this Easter Sunday storm.
Two weekends ago, I had been skiing around the bare spots on the Catamount Bowl and reloading at mid-station to avoid even worse bare spots on the lower mountain. Sunday though, it was back to the best of mid-winter skiing. The trees at the top were all drooping with fresh loads of snow, and more snow filled the valleys and covered most of the slickness on the bumps (it wouldn't be Mad River without a little challenge like that). A perfect light powder snow continued to fall while I was skiing, just enough to make a fresh track but not enough to make it difficult to see. Instead of working hard to push the heavy spring snow around, I floated downhill, with just enough drag from the powder to stay in control. Coupled with the historic finale of the original single chair, the exhilaration of the perfect conditions made everyone even friendlier than usual. It's too bad there wasn't more of the season left to follow up with all the new people I met on the slopes, but I'll be looking for them again next year.
I guess that's the thing about Mad River - the continuity of it all. The slopes never change, the people change rarely and newcomers arrive because of the tradition. Even though it will be a new chair lift next year, just like the song, it's still single, after all these years.