Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April is Alive

Can you think of another month with as much going on as April?  After all, April sees the  beginning of the baseball season, basketball and hockey playoffs, Patriot’s Day and of course the Boston Marathon.  Unfortunately, I usually don’t get to witness any of these national holidays.  That’s because April also happens to be the one time of year that I can engage my two favorite pastimes: skiing and mountain biking.  And I’ll be damned if I’m going to plant my ass on the couch just so I can tell you if Beckett’s fastball has lost its pop. 

There are some people who hate April with the venom I reserve for November.  They complain that because April tries to do too much, the conditions are passable for both sports, but not ideal for either.  I’m the glass half-full kind of guy.

Not that Powder.
As I described in my recent post for Eastern Mountain Sports’ exploration blog, Spring skiing can be found in the glacial cirques on Mt. Washington, the north facing mountain slides (like Osceola and North Twin), and especially the pistes of recently closed resorts.  While it’s not the deep powder skiing we all dream of, corn skiing abounds, which is like dating powder’s hot cousin.

Not ready for biking.
In addition to reliving the glory runs of your recent ski season, you can whet your appetite for the upcoming mountain biking season with some runs on the drier trails in your portfolio.  Trails like Freetown, Foxboro or Leominster in Massachusetts are usually ready fairly early. Mud bogs like Exeter and Harold Parker normally need a little more time.

If you're a mountain biker and haven't gotten the memo yet: DON"T BIKE ON MUDDY TRAILS IN SPRING!!  People don't think you're hardcore when they see you covered in mud and rolling off of a mud covered trail.  They think you're an asshole who ruins the trails and gives mountain bikers a bad reputation.

Given the amount of snow we received this season, I was surprised to find recently that my local hill in Belmont had already dried out and was ready for business.

Here's some video from that glorious first evening:

Regarding the drab foliage you'll likely encounter on your early season runs, I suppose the nicest thing I can say is that it's easy to spot side trails that may go unnoticed later in the season.

So get away from your television this month: even if it is a Bruins/Habs series.

As far as Beckett’s fastball, I hear we have nothing to worry about.  But then again, we have all summer to figure that one out.


  1. April is pretty great (not that I'd complain about a little more sun!)

    Hey, thanks for stressing the note about muddy trails - common sense in any season, not just spring, should be paramount for mountain bikers - as it is an unfortunate reality that responsible riders have a huge uphill battle to counter the negative reputation that a few d-bags can create by choosing to ride a trail that just isn't ready.

    Glad you've got some that are dry enough down there! We've still got snow pockets, and literal floodwaters covering some of the best trails out my back door. Ah well, patience... and maybe more skiing...


  2. The reports from Mt. Washington this week are still reading like mid-winter trips: scratchy ice...wind loaded powder pockets...T2B skiing. The East side is definitely still open for business and probably will be for a while. So if you're down about the lack of mountain biking options, Tuckerman's is waiting with its sweet snowy embrace. :)

  3. This has given me a new perspective on Spring. I used to think this season was only good for kayaking! You must be stoked to be able to got mountain biking and skiing; possibly even on the same day!