Last night's Lunch Break was One For The Ages!
East Winds combined with High Overcast to answer my prayers...I could have been my imagination, but the piste seemed drier,and more cooperative last night. It brought out the risk taker in me...a little.
The Work Orders were circumspect not ambitious for a change. The Boss was in covering for our young winch pilot who's taking a few days off to celebrate his birthday by kayaking the remote Middle Fork of the Feather River with some kayaking friends...miles of Class 5 whitewater...no motels or campgrounds...pure primitive fun.
Swing Shift had no problems and set us up nicely. Actually one problem came up. The Bison I've been driving these past few weeks started acting up...wild, unpredictable gyrations when backing up. Not good for yours truly, who spends the first hour of every shift backing up around expensive ski lift machinery and architecture! Handing off to one of the guys, I jumped back in my favorite BR350 and got organized. After some radio chatter with the guys about the song "Reunited", I rumbled into the Night.
A hundred feet into my night, I noticed a difference in the piste...it had a sort of Raised Glaze on it...all the ski tracks seemed raised somehow, and scraped off easily enough, without releasing any of the wet stuff lurking beneath. Just enough to feed the tiller so some more ground speed could be made compared to the last few nights.
With a full crew for the weekend, things moved right along, and I realized we could do more than the Work Orders asked for. Everything that hadn't been groomed since the last storm looked like hell, and the Mountain had a full slate of Early Race Training, Races and Events. Coupled with a nice forecast, and judging by the Eastbound Traffic on I-80 Friday night, I knew we'd have a good crowd. I wanted them to have the most good terrain we could offer, so they'd come up next weekend too.
I kept reminding the guys where to save a minute here and a minute there, and told the Boss "I could do this trail and that trail so he could winch these extras..." I pushed, albeit gently all night. I planned just right, the fleet held together, and I took my Lunch Break atop the Mountain's Westernmost Peak.
Perched atop the precipice, facing the East, I watched the rising Sun paint the skies over My Mountain, while I could see all four of my Stereophonic Compadres slowly laying down their corduroy far below. It was my "Around The World In 80 Days" view...I pulled out my digicam and snapped a few pix. I had the door open and I was swinging my leg out over the tracks to wake it up a little...It was a wonderful few minutes taking in the vistas...knowing I'd nailed my plan for the night.
In the end, we totally kicked it. All my guys were off the hill in time for an 8:30 opening save for the Boss who winched above the Terrain Park until 8:45 (benefiting from the cover of the park groomers who push it reliably every night to seconds before 9AM!) My Evil Plan worked again!
The Vernal Equinox came and went before I hit the sack. One more shift and it's my three day weekend. The Bison's problem was diagnosed before I'd finished filing my After Action Report. Should be another good night tonight, too.