By Dave Potter
Last Saturday, I managed to get a couple of the Usual Gang of Idiots to agree to meet me for some skiing at Holiday Valley even though the forecast promised rain. I promised them two things: The snow is great in the rain and the resort isn’t usually crowded in the rain.
I did tell them that the only drawback was, well, you’re skiing in the rain, but since I had skied earlier in the week, I knew that the Holiday Valley Mountain Crew had put forth a Herculean effort. They had good coverage on the major trails and the conditions were great.
We arrived at our usual early time and our gathering spot was devoid of the regulars. They were replaced by an assortment of ski racers.
It turns out that the Valley had two races going on that day. I can only surmise that at least one of the races was moved to the Valley as it was one of the only places in the East that had more than one slope open and enough snow depth to race on.
At 8:30 a.m., we started up the hill in a light mist. Getting wet was not on our minds, as ski gear has evolved to the point that this is not an issue. At the top of the mountain, we pushed off and it was just as I predicted — the snow was plentiful, the coverage was great and ice was nonexistent. We also had most of the area to ourselves. The racers were confined to the race hill, and it turns out that very few people know that skiing in the rain is a good thing. At least, I think it is.
We skied Tannenbaum to Sunrise and everything in between. All the slopes were “Idiot” approved. Plus, the rain stopped as the morning wore on. We were actually dry by the time it was burger and beer time.
As we were enjoying our lunch, everyone from the server to the bar patrons asked us if we had skied that morning, and if we did, was it any good. Part of me was tempted to lie about the conditions. I didn’t want more people filling up our “personal” resort. But another part of me wanted to brag that we were smarter than them, that we knew that the conditions would be great.
Of course, the bragging part of me won out.
Now I’m afraid the next time Mother Nature throws in some rain, there may be a few more skiers joining us “Idiots” on the slopes.