Skiing Jay Peak, a postscript

Having left you with a somewhat less than enthusiastic review yesterday I felt I should post an update, especially as today (the fourth and final skiing day) could not have been more different to the rest. Perhaps it was because we had got into a good routine, maybe I was feeling better, possibly it was due to higher temperatures (it got up to a balmy 26F, I believe), but whatever the lucky combination of circumstances they resulted in us having an absolutely fantastic day.

Our favourite black runs, the perfect view from our hotel window.

One of the very nice things about Jay Peak is that for each day of equipment rental you get a voucher for a free two hour lesson. We had used one of ours a couple of days ago, with limited success – we’d ended up as the best two students in a very mixed group, so we mostly spent the time getting increasingly cold on green slopes (though to be fair it was good for the egos, and we did still pick up a couple of useful tips along the way). This time, we knew to be very clear that we needed a more advanced intermediate group, and luckily we were spotted by our instructor, Jack, who suggested we should go with him again and was obviously aware of our capabilities.

It being a shade before 09:30 on New Year’s Day, the instructors weren’t exactly being mobbed by prospective students, so we were lucky enough to get Jack all to ourselves. A couple of inches of snow had fallen overnight so conditions on the slopes were good, and we spent an excellent couple of hours skiing pleasant blues and a really nice black. Tom learnt how to pole-plant, which improved his turning tremendously, whilst I sharpened up my turns and generally tidied my technique.

Moguls - much bumpier than it looks!

From one of the chairlifts we watched skiiers playing on a mogul field which was forming underneath, and Jack gave us a few tips about how to ski the bumps in an enjoyable way. This came in handy right after lunch, when we ventured down a piste marked “icy, experienced skiiers only” and found ourselves handling an extremely bumpy stretch. Fortified by Jack’s advice (and an lunch of epic pulled pork sandwiches), we made it down in much better form than would otherwise have been the case!

The rest of the afternoon saw us practising our newly-improved skills on all our favourite runs (blue and black!), unphased by increasingly icy patches. Tom called it a day around 15:30 and I carried on until 16:00, when the loss of light made it sensible to call it a day (also the lifts closed at 16:00, though I could totally have squeezed in another run if I hadn’t been thinking of the long drive home!).

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Back at the hotel we finished the day in proper form, with a hot toddy for me and beer for Tom. Canonically-speaking this should have been mulled wine, but that doesn’t seem to feature in American ski bars, and sadly fortified hot chocolate isn’t an option for me any more, except in fancy places that carry non-dairy milk. Anyway, the hot toddy hit the spot very nicely, and apparently the beer was good too, so no complaints from us!

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