The (Other) White Ribbon of Death

By:  Greg
October 25, 2010

On Friday October 22, 2010 I got official word that the official ski season had officially begun with the first official White Ribbon of Death (WROD) in North America. Being a die hard skier, I wanted to make a schussing of it. Unfortunately my Twitter feed was acting up so I couldn’t determine where the first official WROD of the season had been installed. Without Twitter functionality to facilitate communication of short timely messages I was schussless; lost in a sea of fallen leaves. Thinking two heads were better than one, and since the only reliable forms of communication are somehow avian-related, I frantically sent a messenger pigeon to Ben asking him if he knew where the schuss was.

After many hours, and many more pounds of feed we came up with a list of potential locations where we might find the WROD. Ben pigeoned to me that this place was pretty good last weekend, but that unfortunately it had a WBOD (White Blanket of Death), not a WROD. Based on his understanding of the management of that mountain, Ben figured they were not likely to convert a deep WBOD into a WROD by turning on the snow guns for a few hours so they could open to the delight of thousands of eager customers. That made perfect sense to me, and so we ruled it out. I put my thinking cap on for a few minutes and then re-pigeoned to Ben that the lower elevations at this place had a much thinner WBOD as of the previous weekend, and it was thus conceivable that they had a WROD this weekend. Alas though we ruled that place out as well due to the well publicized budgetary woes of higher education’s endowments.

Since everyone knows the first ski area to open on the east coast is always in Vermont we were also able to rule out every resort in New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, etc. Never in the history of resort skiing have Vermont ski areas been beaten to the punch, and lost the race to open their slopes for hundreds of thousands of die-hard, mostly-gainfully-employed, work-hard-play-hard skiers and riders salivating to get “that feeling” for the first time in months. (I mean seriously: Who would be so stupid as to tell that kind of crowd that they don’t want to take their money for another month-or-so?!)

With the pigeons out of energy, and the weekend rapidly approaching, we had to decide. Masters of logic that we both are, Ben and I ran a few calculations, made a few graphs, consulted our abacus and finally reasoned that the most sensible place for the WROD would be high… not low; as high as we could go in fact. Brilliant! Furthermore, we surmised that as long as we headed up rather than down we’d find the highest point, and thus the WROD in no time. With this Bulletproof Plan nailed down, we packed our bags, beer and schuss gear, and set out late on Friday night on a quest for glory, snowgun-faceshots and Nutella-and-Fluff sandwiches… but mostly Nutella-and-Fluff sandwiches. Those things are cheap, tasty and hold up well in a backpack. Also I really hate skiing under the guns because I’m a wuss.

After hours of white-knuckle driving, we parked our cars at the base of some mountain, put our skins on and headed up in accordance with The Bulletproof Plan. A dubious moon rose over our brilliant endeavor. (Or was that a brilliant moon which rose over our… nevermind.)
a dubious moon

Despite our highly original Bulletproof Plan, in keeping with the tradition of getting horribly confused while trying to find the schuss, we quickly ran into a problem. We realized that our Bulletproof Plan was showing some faint signs of weakness. We weren’t sure if it was a problem with a self-reference or whether our document was tautological, but we noticed that The Plan did not allow for us to make a quick schuss if we found a WSOD (White Something-besides-ribbon of Death) before happening upon the official WROD. We thus quickly made Amendment Number One: schuss any worthy WSOD should it present itself prior to finding the official WROD. We quickly availed ourselves of this Friday evening when we found a pretty fine Something. Christian took first taste.
first taste of a WSOD

After having a few laps of fun on this fine little WSOD, we pushed up. A little further along though, the sun came out and illuminated another beautiful (if slightly rocky) WSOD. Ben couldn’t resist exercising the rights guaranteed to us by Amendment Number One yet again.
Ben on another WSOD

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Read about the author:   Greg


  1. stuckinjersey
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 9:59 am  

    Man o man, if u were closer id punch ya for toying with my ski emotions! Damn greg stellar to see u VT boys and girls arent letting all that early snow just go to waste. Need to get my ass to Mars Im thinkin. Keep up the great work fine sirs.

    • Greg
      wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 11:44 am  

      i hear the powder skiing is incredible there this time of (Martian) year. when are you going to get on snow? due it two it!

    • stuckinjersey
      wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 1:36 pm  

      Brother u know it! Mars is a close second to jersey for some of the best powder sking this side of the Milkyway (I’m more of a almond joy guy myself though!)! If u cats haven’t skied up all that snow by the first weekend of November mite need to bring the sticks up, put some of da white in a cooler for me so doesn’t all melt before then.

  2. Could Be Buggy
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 11:16 am  

    Lame! Was hoping for some groomer death cookie action. Too much “loose powder snow” for my taste.

    Srsly though, awesome!

    • Greg
      wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 11:45 am  


  3. MadPatSki
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 11:52 am  

    NICE…good action shot on the pre-release. Those last pics are definitely the most WROD October action pics I’ve seen EVER!!!

  4. Brian
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 2:33 pm  

    Too bad you never found any of those fan gun face shots… Otherwise it sounds like a decent outing.

    • Greg
      wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 2:44 pm  

      I really hesitated with this TR… I don’t want to sound like a “holier than thou a-hole”… because the honest to god truth is that I love the first lift served day of skiing. But I REALLY do hate snowguns in the face.

      Are fan guns a bit gentler on wusses like me?

  5. Rob Rox
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 7:49 pm  


    Ring up another sale!

  6. icelanticskier
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 7:51 pm  

    you should send that eject pic of ben to dyno-fit and jonathan!;)

    looks like fun! finally got my turns in yesterday out east.



  7. VTColdSmoke
    wrote on October 25th, 2010 at 9:09 pm  

    Nice job guys! Can’t wait for some continuous top to bottom runs. That must have been an interesting run out of the WROD!

  8. Butch Chamberlain
    wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 8:02 am  

    Oh WOW! What else is there to say?! Great shots. Finally on the WROD(which by the way looked a little familiar). Never “schussed” it, but have hiked up through and near there. Yes you got it, all of it, YES! Just a little more edgey than HB and way more than TD.(I am old forgive my sentiments about the old haunts). The pics were, as usual, number one. That mountain still surprises me. There is so much to explore there and yet most don’t. Thunder Bowl was always an attraction. Did it once, scared the bejesus out me in some spots. Getting there was better than half the battle. You just keep on truckin’ and doing that voodoo that you do so well. GREAT GREAT I can’t wait.

  9. K_C
    wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 8:58 am  

    I’m going to start a new website. You know what it’s going to be called? ‘I like my fritchis now leave me the hell alone you touring snobs’ :)

  10. K_C
    wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 9:02 am  

    oh and G, another awesome day nicely documented. It’s great to have these fun times recorded.

  11. powhounddd
    wrote on October 26th, 2010 at 4:23 pm  

    nice nice nice ride me over til the temps drop again…haven’t been down that way since ’98, do think I’ll do it up this season.

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