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.


Todd said...

Great post. People watching/listening can be very entertaining at times.

Sounds like you have to stop greasing those bindings. ;-)

Tomi said...

greased the plates on my set when I first put it all together, haven't touched 'em since. Have blown out two or three times, both mid crash while running gates. No pre-release yet, running 'em set at #4

Anonymous said...

You spoke (typed) of a stone cabin, but you were not there?????????

I'm sad.


camps said...

was an early bird special at the cabin,
got out while it was still safe

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed by your attention to fashion...and the ladies. :)