Because I had a dental appointment scheduled in Fayetteville today, I decided to couple my appointment with a breakfast with my geezer friends of the Fayetteville United Methodist Church and a visit to the Toggenburg Ski area later in the day. This was an excellent schedule for many reasons. First it was great to banter with old friends and second Toggenburg overnight had about 10 to 12 inches of fresh snow and they did not groom!
|Still Some Untracked Snow|
|Tracked Snow Later in the Day|
I was on the slopes by 11:00 AM which was somewhat late to get a lot of fresh tracks. However the crowd was small and there was still a lot of untracked terrain available. What a ball! The snow was not quite powder but was sufficiently light to give a great ride. Especially in the untracked areas. Last night I had read my most recent issue of Ski Magazine which has seven seven tips for skiing the powder. I put those tips into practice today and found that they were quite helpful. Although my first run was somewhat tentative, I did have a good ride and the following runs became much easier. There was a big smile on my face for the rest of the morning until a break for a late lunch. See photos for a sense of the conditions.
The post lunch runs were more difficult with the tired legs and the deep snow now chopped up into variable mounds on most of the slopes. Some untracked edges were still available for variety and if one wanted to one slope had been groomed. Because I have skied groomers for all this season, I never had a desire to go to the groomer.
I can't help but put in a plug for the Toggenburg management and their employees. They are the most friendly, helpful and professional folks that I have encountered at a ski area. And to give us 70+ year olds free skiing is extremely generous. Although the lodge is not an upscale environment, the food is great and very reasonably priced. For example a large coffee for $1.50. If you are not into the cafeteria fare, the Foggy Goggle restaurant has an excellent menu and quality food. I have skied there enough to be recognized and welcomed by the regulars and the staff. In a way today was like a homecoming since I skied there about 30 days a year for several years.
|Tom Buckley - Toggenburg Patroller|
I always enjoy meeting and talking with other geezers. At lunch I got to know Ski Patroller Tom Buckley. Although we had greeted each other in other years, today I got to hear more of Tom's story. Tom and his friend Walt Shepard have been patrollers at Toggenburg for many years and are more or less fixtures at the area. Tom is surely a Tough Old Geezer skier at age 76 with two knee replacements and 48 years as a ski patroller. See photo. A great guy and we enjoyed swapping stories of various skiing experiences, including some of the trying situations we have encountered.
It was a great change of pace day as well as a bonus day with so much great ungroomed powder for the East. I'll need to make another visit soon and hopefully bring along some of the TOGS from my home ski area.
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