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RETROSPECTIVE:The Year in Review

Adventure
posted: 12/27/2005

December 9, 2004
Smugglers' Notch, Vermont
Madonna Mountain's lift, referred to as "Mother" by locals, doesn't typically crank until mid December, but we've been stretching skins over rock skis and hiking up since early October. We've been denied the deep stuff again, and will likely hopscotch over bare patches on today's descent. But Mother knows we're still good kids. -ADAM HOWARD

December 26, 2004
Holiday Valley, New York
It's the day after Christmas, and there isn't a soul on the hill. On The Chute, normally the best mogul field in western New York, there's barely a scant, early-season base. So I head back to Yodeler to soar between the hard humpbacks of man-made snow. These days build character as sure as they break down cartilage. -MICHAEL LOVETT

February 10, 2005
Orange, Vermont
It's finally snowing. Steady, fat flakes pile so high I can't drive the hill up to my house. I park at the town clerk's office and hoof it home, my face tilted to greet the storm. A plow rumbles by, clouds of snow billowing off the blade. I give a wave, hop over the snowbank, and as my leg pushes through the powder, I feel the unmistakable pop of an ACL stretched too far, too fast. Ahead of me, the plow's taillights (and my ski season) disappear into the night. -DIRK ANDERSON

February 28, 2005
e-mail forecast sent to Jim Roemer's website subscribers (bestskiweather.com)
FLASH: SNOWIEST MARCH LIKELY SINCE 2001, AND TOP 3 SNOWIEST IN 20 YEARS.FLASH: 30-40 HOURS OF SNOW COULD MEAN 3 FEET FOR SOME AREAS ON TOP; 2 FEET+ AT BASE. ISOLATED 40" AMOUNTS LIKELY AROUND SUGARLOAF, JAY PEAK, SUNDAY RIVER ABOVE 3,000 FEET, THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. ANOTHER 1-2 FEET BETWEEN MARCH 7-12TH.

March 2, 2005
Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania
We ski out the door through two feet of snow, down the alley to the hillside above the city. We bank and weave through a stand of century-old oaks and are funneled into a fresh gully. Then we ride long arcs through neighborhood powder fields. -LESLEY SUPPES

March 9, 2005
Cabot, Vermont
Melvin arrives on his 90-horse New Holland tractor, pushing huge piles of snow down our 1,200-foot driveway. We chat a minute, as we always do. I'm on my way to Jay, dressed in Gore-Tex; he's on his way to the barn, dressed in coveralls stained with cow shit and engine oil. "It's a good one," he says, gesturing to the head-high snowbanks along the edge of our drive, and I nod. I do not need him to tell me this, but I am glad to know he understands. -BEN HEWITT

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