Sunday, January 25, 2009

utility skiing

Wanted to tilt the new skis on their sides. Again and again. That was mission one for the weekend. Filling some available time, go get some turns, maybe learn something.

Pulled up for a noon patrol to a packed parking lot, and headed for the locals lane. Luckily a few folks had started leaving by then and I got a snow row. It was crowded, I'd be riding the singles line all day.

Did a few laps on the Far Side, working the slow speed, round turns, tuck the back leg, arms forward, squeeze that orange, stay in the fall line, control that speed kind of thing. repeat.

Re-discovered that ski lifts are an interesting thing. The rides last far longer than most elevator rides with strangers, but on a lift you hear and learn all kinds of things you never hear on an elevator. I'm usually pretty chatty on the lift during off-peak times. I usually find some interesting people skiing here during the week. Today I figured I'll just keep my mouth down and listen.

The first lift ride I shared on the Expert lift was with two youngish seeming guys. One of them misses getting on the chair somehow and dives underneath to cover his head. We get him back on, and after a while he says something about having a choice of either going for the chair and maybe missing it, or diving under to keep from getting clocked. I utter something about that being a hard choice to have to make. I decide those should be the last words I speak on the lift for the rest of the day. Chairlift rides give us a unique opportunity to be right there in someone's personal space, and not have to say sqat. I needed to exercise that right today.

Another ride up the Exp. lift a guy is telling his buddy about meeting a pro snowboard girl who lived in Hawaii in the summers and surfed. He was in Hawaii for a war game. Hot pro girl was a friend of a coworker, and waited on them at a bar called Dukes. She hooked them up with free drinks and all. She was friendly to him, but nothing ever came of it. He'd like to run into her again. He added that she also worked at a plastic surgeon's office, as a receptionist or whatever.

Saw about 8-10 guys just rippin' the moguls under the lift. Hour after hour I heard, many of them very old school, some old men skiing for the first time this season, and a couple young-uns. One guy wearing mogul pants. Rode a couple chairs up with some of them, they talked amongst themselves, about the lack of a contest environment nowadays, and scoping the skills of those ripping under us.

A guy on another chair ride was skiing with a pretty young lady in a fancy ski coat. She was amazed at the mogul skiers under us. He said her form looks pretty good, and if she wanted to try it while her legs were still fresh, that he'd give her a quick mogul lesson. I've always wanted a quick mogul lesson too, haven't you? If there's anything someone can tell me and teach me at the top of Exhibition that will help me rip it, then I want to hear it.... I didn't stick around to see the lesson though, instead jumping down the far side going as slow and straight as possible. I saw them still coming down the moguls as I was halfway up the lift the next time.

Saw a guy in what looked like a mid-90s James Bond bad guy jumpsuit making big turns down far side. Wondering how somebody still has clothes like that, and why they would wear them. Saw two zippy little kids ski up to him in the liftline followed by a narrow waisted pair of black stretch pants with nice long hair and a lot of fragrance. Accents seemed very European, Seemed like they'd all skied somewhere other than Whitetail before.

Luckily my legs got bored with the far side work and instead of heading off to Dr. Evil's lair I decided to ski the terrain park a bit and then time it to the stone cabin. I talked to no one on the new terrain park lift. All solo rides, on a packed weekend day. When the ice sux, or the liftlines are too long, I've been using the terrain park lift. There's always better snow there, and there are big carvable walls and ramps to session.
The half-pipe finally opened this week too. Got in there for a few runs Sunday with Oliver. I never was much into pipes when I was a snowboarder. Wondering why I think it's kind of fun now on freeheels. It'll be fun to hit when it's soft or slushy, and there's no lift line there.

When I swapped over my bindings to the new planks, I greased them according to Voile's instructions. Voile thinks I should be doing this after every season. Both my skis released today landing a jump. Was a perfectly normal landing I thought, not that much higher than any other landing. It seemed like they came off in the air, since I landed in the normal position, ready to ski away, when I realized I had no skis below. I guess there's no way they came off in the air, so I figure I landed on my edges, and that twist caused the piston on the CRB to release. Then when I unweighted to turn, they dropped away. Interesting. Don't want that happening any more.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Blue Knob knocked me back in my place. After a feel good session at Whitetail on Friday, on the newly forming bumps, under the soft snow blow, I finally was getting some decent runs down exhibition and thought another corner was turned.

Today I was schooled by narrow trails, woody lines, brush, snakes, and general Blue Knob steepness. Buchness gave me the Blue Knob version of steep and soft, hitting mostly trails I'd never tried before. Most of it was fun, but I was fighting it all day, constantly on my tails, not charging forward into hard, narrow turns. Mike tore it up on his fat Atomics, getting every line calm and controlled. The first glades were just opened up, and they're still in need of a lot of ski pruning. The steeper glades still need more snow and no more melting. Then they could all use some tracking. So, everyone, go pack down BK's glades please.

Scouted out another x-c touring spot on the way home. It took me near a couple of the finest towns in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


note the thermometer. it was a great day

the lifts are going to start running again here next year.
Not sure if that's good or bad

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I re-discovered soft dry snow
it comes from a can
I get it now

Sunday, January 11, 2009

reality <> expectations

not at all what I was hoping to see
contrast my reality Saturday against those previous snowy shots
Blue Knob was much more on the challenging side than the epic side,
was there before they opened, and lasted 'till 1:00 hoping the blue radar would finally arrive,
it arrived briefly at noon, then the pink radar overtook it as I left.
today was much more fun
skiing better snow at Whitetail with different folks throughout the day,
Kim, Oliver, and Tiff to start,
found Buchness after awhile,
then finally saw Tele-Todd, and then Tomi in the tele clinic
Kim took the kids home after lunch, and I stayed to ski,
longest ski day of my season and was glad Tomi didn't want to take any more runs after the clinic
thanks for the ride home!

Friday, January 09, 2009

a few states north

if we ever move again, this state is at the top of our list

and, Fri afternoon at White Grass

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Tele Todd feeling that back foot with his new Hammerhead/Kodiak rig