Why we ride: Late Jay Day
My winter crew went up to the north-country for the last weekend on our ski apartment lease. We have been up there basically every weekend since Christmas riding Jay Peak and Smugglers Notch. Other friends come and go on the weekends, but it’s been the same basic crew of Northeastern cycling team riders and alumni. Every Friday after class or work, we make the 4ish hour drive up from Boston.
We brave the snow storms, the traffic, and the taxing exhaustion from the week. We wake up (sometimes) early enough for first chair/tram. We live in squalor during of the week to pay for our gas, food, and passes. We bundle up, and freeze on The Flyer which is easily the coldest lift on the east coast. We scrape our gear on windblown summits. We hike when it’s too windy for the lifts to run. We hold our secret stashes sacred. We live in between the trees both on the mountain and in the back country. Then we wake up the next day, and finish what our bodies and the lift operators wouldn’t let us on Saturday before making the grueling drive back to Boston running on fumes and redbull.
Why do we do it? For weekends like this one. We were ready for a warm slushy spring weekend. There were no expectations for quality snow in the woods. Flurries were in the forecast. Maybe a dusting of a half of an inch. To be honest, I was happy for anything extra after the 340 inches we were blessed with this season. The clouds decided to stick around all day. We woke up Saturday morning to a foot of fresh dry “champagne” powder with it still coming down. The kind that explodes with each turn. The kind, your snowboard and skis float on rather than cut through. The kind that carries the unrestrained laughter and woops of adults as they regress into childhood excitement in the howling winds of Jay Peak.
We can complain about how much of a disgusting resort Jay Peak is becoming with its ice rinks, hotels, water parks, and parking garages… Yea there’s a freaking parking garage (so you don’t get snow on your car). Gross. They even started selling green cards to rich foreigners to pay for all of this. But at the end of the day, no amount of greed can ruin the splendors that nature rewards to those who are dedicated (to use the term lightly).