Update November 25th, 8 PM
With the snow fall in the past few days we have better coverage. If you ski off piste you are still likely to find rocks and debris but if you stay on the runs you are less likely to scratch up your skis/board.
This season is promising to be one of the best seasons in the recent past. We are likely to get any number of days similar to what I am hoping Saturday will become. The weather report is suggesting that we'll have between 8-21" of 20 degree snow waiting for us when we get there. If the weather happens the way I think it will we could have similar conditions all winter long. 12" every day is better then 4' one day and then nothing, giving us fresh snow more often.
A lot of skiers/boarders in this group do not have snow cars. I'll change my post for next week to accommodate this but for this week my temptation is to close for new RSVP's. I hate to do that so instead I will change the RSVP deadline to mid day tomorrow. In addition I will reserve the option to limit the number of members to available seats. Right now we are short one car but I think we'll find that car. If more people sign up, please state if you are able to drive.
End of update
The snow coverage is still light but at least the season has started. It should be an epic season with lots of snow. For now my basic ski days will be Friday and Saturday. That might change as the season progresses. If enough people sign up to make both days worth it I'll offer them to the group. If not I'll just offer one each week. When we have a dump of cold snow all bets are off- I'll reschedule my appointments and go skiing instead. My pass is at Meadows so that's where I'll go.
For the first few times up bring rock skis if you have them. If you don't now you will by the end of the day. Plenty of exposed rocks, roots and various debris. Not to mention cliffs. Getting cliffed out this early in the season is not difficult. Peek over the edge before you go down.
The basic format I want use is to meet up at Gateway at 7:15 AM, divide in to cars based on when the driver wants to leave the mountain, meet up again in the Meadows parking lot and divide up a second time, this time based on skill level. We will have a non mandatory lunch set up and then meet back at the car we rode up with at the predetermined time. Let's try that format for a while to see how it works. When you sign up please state your skill level, ski or board and whether you plan to drive to give me a feel for what I have to work with. Bring friends if you want to. Dogs are fine but only if you plan to drive.
Disclaimer: While this is a regular Meetup event it is not “led” in the same way we might be used to having Meetup events led. I'll see you long enough to get you in a car at Gateway and again in the Meadows parking lot long enough to get you hooked up with a group but unless you are skiing with me we will have limited contact. Each person needs to self manage, come prepared for the weather conditions and ski/board according to his/hers ability.
Gearing up for resort skiing is pretty basic. I bring all kinds of stuff but many don't. Several thin layers is always better then fewer thick layers. As with hiking and back country skiing, eat before you are hungry and drink before you are thirsty. Don't take that “one last run, even though my legs are spaghetti”. That “last run” is the one you are most likely to get hurt on. I get nervous when I see people skiing/ boarding without helmets. I've seen some horrible accidents where people got hurt or even died that would have been fully preventable by wearing a helmet. Please wear one. If you find yourself in the parking lot missing a piece of equipment, please speak up. I bring extras of a bunch of stuff and am generous in loaning my extras out. Meadows rental department is great to work with. If you have skis but forgot your poles it's been my experience that they don't even charge. We are absolutely beginner friendly. If you don't have gear, renting at Meadows costs about the same as in town. There are all kinds of lessons available for all skill levels and a number of rent/ lesson packages. Skiing/ boarding is a lot more fun if you gain skills. By the same token, one of the big advantages of going with a larger group is that skiing/ boarding with people better then you will help improve your skill level. I'll be happy to take a blue skier/boarder on black runs and a black skier/boarder on a double black one if the conditions are favorable. The first time down Heather after only really having mastered black groomers is very exciting. Meadows web site www.skihood.com has a wealth of information including links to weather sites.
During the season I expect to go back country skiing about a dozen times or so. I will offer at least some of those trips to this group. While resort skiing is pretty basic and I'll pretty much let anyone on those trips the back country trips requires skills and I want to know that you are prepared before I let you go back country with me. I plan to offer several meetings to discuss back country skiing but if you can convince me that you have the skills needed I'll let you on the trip. One way to do that is to ski with me for a day. If you keep up with me in Private Reserve or Jack's Woods you'll be fine in the back country.
One last point about logistics. You always, always ride back with the car you rode up with unless you have made specific plans otherwise with the driver. By the same token, as a driver you would never, ever leave without all the people you came up with. Again, the meeting place is by the car, not anywhere in or by the lodge. If you are done skiing/boarding early you can hang out in the lodge but keep an eye on the time so that you can be by the car on time. As a driver I check the lodge up front and then by the downstairs bathrooms if people are more then a few minutes late (I know, people know they should be by the car but I've had it happen more then once that some yahoo sits in front of the lodge waiting for me to pick him/her up). If that fails check in the medical facilities. Hopefully none of us will end up there but hundreds of people do every year. If you still can't find the person, call me. I don't want to drive back up the mountain to look for people but will if I have to.
Lot's of words this first time. I'll shorten my descriptions down the road. It's promising to be an amazing season. Let's all get up as much as we can, let's be safe and most of all, let's all have a really good time.