Ahh, it has been a couple of years but I finally made another visit to Granite Peak in Wausau Wisconsin for some night skiing. Tickets were cheap with the MLK holiday weekend and so I arranged to meet up with a long time buddy to ski the Peak again. Night skiing at Granite Peak runs from 4:00 pm through 9:00 pm and offers most but not all of the hill, with some new runs not being lit up they close those at 4:00 pm and that is a shame as that part of the hill is also serviced by a new high-speed chair. Still, there is plenty of variety and challenge to be had.
Granite Peak — My Last Visit
My last visit was also a night skiing trip and was also my first ski outing of that year, that combined with my lack of familiarity with the hill and the night aspects of it (I had problems with my contacts that evening) all made it a rough trip. I spent some of the night working on the blacks on the edge but I returned and spent most of the night skiing (and maybe singing too) the blues. I still liked the hill and was eager to return and I am glad I did.
This visit was marked by new skis, improved eyewear, and fresh contacts. Still, I took my usual cautious approach until I became more familiar with run conditions and the terrain.
Granite Peak — Conditions
The runs under the comet Chair were fluffencruddy on the top third with some exposed ice. As one worked their way over(in the direction of the Prancer chair and onto the Cupid chair) the conditions became more even and there was less exposed ice. Again way over on the far edge of the hill around the Cupid chair the runs are built way up on top exaggerating the slope to good effect. Again, they are long but the runs are narrow and steep and need to be in control. Early in the night we heard multiple ambulance visits occurring.
The crowd was thick at first especially at the Comet chair which is to be expected, find the crowds at the easier runs and moving over a chair for the most part alleviated the crowding problem. The runs I found to be fairly well open but it was rare I had a wide open run to myself and a couple of times the crowd forced lines onto me I did not quite prefer but at no times did I feel the situation was dangerous.
Granite Peak — My Skiing
I started out cautiously but as the night progressed I was able to ski more aggressively. Early on I was on a blue run and it was a fair amount more challenging than the previous runs I skied that poorly, pretty much schussing probably 2/3rds of the run, I crossed tips once and fell at the top of another run, sideslipped a portion of one run, and hiked down a portion of another. My buddy was usually waiting for me at the bottom the first half of the night but those tables turned. I was actively seeking air on a certain run (and TraceSnows says I found itJ) and generally running wide open and working the whole runs with slalom style turns.
My skiing definitely needs help, I did not feel like getting down on pitch, but once I was off the pitch I would usually then start working to get down and increasing my edging. On the whole though, I was pretty happy with my skiing that night.
It was a great night and I am looking forward to doing some day skiing there!