I took this afternoon to try my telemark gear on Watatic. I wasn’t disappointed but I need a lot of work on my technique which is a good thing for me. I like to have projects to work on. There was about 12 inches on the ground and very few skier tracks. Even some fresh lines in the woods. This place has about a 600 vertical foot drop so its a small place but a good place to get some runs in without sitting in a car for half the day. In fact, I think my days of sitting in the car half the day for recreational opportunities are pretty much over with so its all close places for this stuff nowadays. I have other things that are more important going on at home but I still love to get out there. Hopefully I get up to NH for a couple 4,000 footers this summer. Yet sill I digress again. I skinned up the access road in about 20 minutes. Easy enough climb – just enough to get the heart rate going a bit.
It was possible to get fresh snow if you went off into the woods but I didn’t on the first run. Just down the access road to a lower trail that was somewhat open. Here it was gradual so I was able to link together some turns. Curiously, I could ski as if I was using alpine gear which I think will be my saving grace on hills like this. Someone who I’d like to thank must have been up here keeping some of the trails of the old ski area, which closed in 84 clear and brushed out. The lines in the woods looked tight but manageable. The access road cut across the top third of the hill and there were what looked like tight woods skiing coming to the road and down from the road. There were some steeper woods shots coming off the small pseudo summit area. The open hardwoods section I skied was much better than the tight evergreens. I could link together some tele turns before getting down (quickly) into the evergreens where it was survival skiing. I’m glad I got out because its going to rain for the next two days.
Tight but open enough.
Yeah. I took a selfie. So what?
Almost fresh. Almost.
In short – Watatic is good for tight woods skiing. It gives the mountain experience without the commitment to go up north. Nothing is super steep or really open but there are some decent pitches off the summit. The runs are short and the snow conditions will fluctuate through the winter although I’m cautiously optimistic that Watatic could have several weeks of uninterrupted skiable terrain and a whole season lasting from the end of December to the middle of March. I’ve actually been surprised at the amount and the consistency of snow that this part of Massachusetts and the adjacent Monadnock area gets. I’m sure there is average to really good woods skiing here if you look. I did take a couple divots out of the bottom of my skis when I hit rocks but that is the way it goes. While I’m not happy about this, it beats staying home to wait for the perfect conditions. Conditions that do not exist save for a handful of days. This is a good local hill that I can get my skiing fix on I’ll be back to time and time again.