My first turns at Spirit Mountain this season was on Friday, when a big lake-effect snow storm swirled over Duluth & Superior all day. What it left behind was a terrific amount of snow to give Spirit a great base!
It only snowed 6", but the snow wasn't blowing around at all, making for awesome conditions. I arrived at about 1pm and the hill was nearly empty, so myself and a handful of other got to lay down soft tracks through the ungroomed snow. For the first time all year I was skiing in the Midwest and didn't hear the normal icy scrape that usually accompanies turns here. Instead, the only thing you hear was the whoosh of snow coming up over your boots. It was glorious!
After a handful of quads-burning turns, I headed into the Moosehead Saloon for a pitcher of Moose Drool (ironic isn't it?) and a small, late-lunch. The pitcher was $9, which doesn't seem that expensive any more after spending time drinking beer at Papa Charlie's at Lutsen. I warmed up, ate, and then headed back out to continue to enjoy some great snow.
The snow was really piling up well on the sides of the runs, so I dipped in for some fresh, shin-deep turns. Of course, when in the Midwest, never forget about death cookies...those chunks of rock-hard ice that get piled up by the snow-making equipment. After about 3 turns, I toed into a death cookie, got chucked forward, ejected from my skis, and then skidded to a halt about 20 feet away. Of course, since the snow was soft, there was only a POOF of fresh snow and a soft landing for me. It was worth it, I determined, and continued to ski the sides of the runs for pow...just being more careful each time :)