Day One…

November 16, 2009

… and boy are my legs BEAT.

woke up today and drove up to Keystone with the old burton love board and met up with Greg at his place. Cruised over to Keystone with a stop for a mcmuffin and picked up my 09-10 epic pass at the pass office. lift lines weren’t a problem today, and we were able to lap the few runs they had open weren’t very packed (springdipper and jackwhacker were the two main ones). I remembered again today how much snowboarding means to me, and how important it is to be able to get out with your good friends in nature and play around like little kids for a while.

They also had a little park setup going on with probably 15 features in it –but i wasn’t about to blow out my knees or back or anything like that on my first day. great weather outside: slightly warm, but not hot and blue skies all around.

Met up with Montana Brock for the last run of the day — and probalby my only turns with him in Colorado this year as he’s headed up to MT for the winter to work as a hunting guide. Finished up the day around 1:30 after 9 runs and drove home to Denver.

i’m glad i finally got out and took some turns. I was concerned about how my back would hold up (fine) and how long before i would get my ‘sea legs’ back (6 runs). I’ll hopefully have more time to get up and ride over the next few weeks as the snow gets better. Vail opens Friday, so I might find some time soon to get up there for a few runs.

you can check on Keystone’s terrain status here: http://www.keystoneresort.com/ski-and-snowboard/terrain-status.aspx

it starts…

October 8, 2009

R1-23A

so, i’m a day behind posting about the start of the 09-10 ski season at Loveland here in Colorado…

so, here it is:

Loveland opened yesterday with three runs and 18 inches of man-made white-ribbon of death. For the first time in three years, I have missed opening day and am a bit saddened by it… but I think i’m going to make it up tomorrow (friday) and get my first turns in.

from the post:
“Loveland Ski Area opened for the winter season on Wednesday, its earliest opening day in 40 years.

The ski area about 50 miles west of Denver is believed to be the first resort to open in the U.S., but not by much. The Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort also opened Wednesday, four hours after Loveland.

The trade group National Ski Areas Association isn’t aware of any other resorts that have opened already.

Colorado ski areas have taken advantage of recent cold weather to start making snow early.

More than 100 people were in line when the lifts began moving at 9 a.m. at Loveland. Ski area spokesman John Sellers says a handful of skiers even camped in the parking lot overnight for the chance to ride the first chair on the lift.

Snowboarder Jesse Csincsak of Breckenridge, the winner of the fourth-season of “The Bachelorette,” was among the three people in the first chair up the mountain. He arrived at 3 p.m. Tuesday to secure the spot.

“It’s been a dream of mine for 10 years, and now it’s about to become reality,” he said.

The crowd counted down from 10 and then the lift started moving.

Arapahoe Basin often vies with Loveland to be the first Colorado ski area to open. It intends to open Friday, its earliest start ever. It plans to open some of the features in its terrain park in addition to one run. ”

hell yeah. prepare for more ski-posts!!!!!

vailgraffic

So, I just got accepted to graduate school. A bit late, I know… but I’ll be a DU Pioneer starting this fall and running though the next two years or so of my life… which, by my calculations, means that I won’t be getting as much skiing in as I did last year (who am I kidding, I’ll never ski as much as I did last year as a jobless journalist).

That said, at least this year I’ll have all sorts of school breaks to enjoy… And I bet I can make do with only 25-30 days this year.

Anyway, continuing on with a recap of last winter from my ski journal:

Day 23 – Vail, Dec. 27 with Nick and Erin
Up Rasta, then two runs off 2 (barry’s and lodgepole. soft snow all around)
Erin went in with cold toes, Nick and I went off to game creek for two runs.
Nicks on his new boards, I’m on the 162 (still not comfy yet)
-single digit temps
-stopped in at midVail for a beam and coke
4 > northwoods
1 > frontside > vistabahn > tress on frontside

Day 24, A-Basin Solo

Day 25, A-Basin Solo — slid boxes all day.

Day 26, Jan 9 @ Beaver Creek with Nick and Torrey
-need to ride here more.
-harrier, above this in the aspen grove *need to learn this*
-beers @ hut
-up 8
xdown through red buffalo and jack rabbit
end with apres at blue moose pizza, crashing at the Benson’s for the night.

Day 27, Jan 10 – Vail w. Erin and Danielle taking it crusy today.
mostly off 4, 11, 10 and 2
ended the day taking burners through xmas glades > lower riva glades
apres at pazos

Day 28, Vail, Jan 11 – with nick, Brian, Elise and Lulu
VB > 4
Northwoods > klickety klack
up ten – BINDING BROKE > down to bottom of chair 14 > up to patrol shack > down NW to base.
in by 11.

Day 29, Keystone – Solo jan 12
rode up, through windows. Nice trees out skiers left of Wildcard/Crap Game
ripped up the ptex in snakepit
adjusted board at bottom of santiago (success!), then up through last alamo glades
up santiago express again, then to “the corral” WAY TOO FLAT, though thick in the trees.
Between WolfDen and Bushwhacker off outback b/c of snow drift
back to the front on ruby 6
down “my way’ (frenchman > irishman > paymaster through the trees)
ripped a big chunk out of the 162 again
back up and down ‘my way’, dropping irishman cliffs and BIG ROCKS.

Day 30, Jan 14 – Vail Solo
16 > 3
down game creek into ‘the woods’
up 7 then down sun down bowl to 5
up 5 and then down xmal glades.
down to bottom to switch boards to 159 Option
16 >4
northwoods. Nice and soft. Cruised around 6 and up to 10 to 14. 14 > 2 elk for free crackers for lunch.
dropped off poppyfields after lunch. really soft.
21 > down inner mongoloia and it was SO SICK. Back up 21 to do teacup then head home.

Day 31, Vail, Jan 15 with Bazoo, Farrell and Mac
– killing fresh groomies on the frontside all morning
up 4 to northwoods, had three nice runs there on three-day-old soft snow.
up 11 over the bluesky catwalk > yonder gulley that dumps into the bottom of teacup lift.
[notes end]

Day 32 – Vail Solo Jan 16
up 16, then up 3 then out sun up ALL the way over the ridge to O.S.
Very nice pow at top through the trees, but chopped and tracked at the bottom.
Went to Northwoods for a run, went high and ended up on the top of Flap Jack… (note, 10 to the woods above flapjack are WAY TOO TIGHT)
Rode 11 and 10 for three or four runs before doing a frontside tree run to the bottom of the rastabahn… got stuck in a tree well)
On the way back up I had a “20 year vet” of VSP tell me about Chow Box, Just uphill from the pumphouse.
[I can’t tell you all where this is specifically, or how to enter it…]
untouched snow up high, super steep drop off, SUPER FUN. thanks bro!
Ran that out for a bit, then one more NW run. Home by 530
Denver apres ski with Karl, Amy and Jen at Mtn. Sun Pub… I love colorado.

I went surfing Wednesday. I actually got up and rode two or three waves start to finish.

The rest was pretty much me flailing about like a wounded, skinny sea lion over a reef while Erin rode wave after wave. To be fair, she had our guide — who I could totally see in another life as an old, single snowboard instructor at Vindettas in Vail talking about the days when he was sponsored — pushing her into the waves while I paddled as hard as my little chicken-wing arms could.

Eventually, though, I got the hang of it after I realized that unlike beginning snowboarding, you don’t have to constantly stay on one edge or another. In fact, you want to go straight as possible to start.

Towards the end though, I began to get closer to the breaks on some rocks and realized I was too beat to paddle to safety if I really got into trouble – so I went in. All in all, I spent about two hours in the ocean

And while it’s super fun, I wouldn’t see myself trading super steep powder runs and cliff drops for board shorts and whitecapped waves.

Afterwards, we ran around like tourists in Kona as Erin raided the local surf shops for womens clothing that apparently doesn’t exist inColorado.

vailgraffic
I leave for Hawaii tomorrow morning, which officially puts to rest my winter/spring and brings in the Summer for me, In packing I had to shift around my gear closet and I finally pulled my two ski journals out of my now-hanging-in-the-gear-closet ski pants yesterday. I also found the Vail map I kept marking up all season long with newly(to me)-discovered pow stashes, tree runs of death, cliffs I have no business jumping off of and warming huts.

The idea was to keep track of the season in a way that I could go back later in life and make myself jealous of how fucking amazing it was to be 28 with an unlimited pass to Vail and the Vail resorts, no real job to speak of and a loving girlfriend who let me snowboard more than she should have. I’m going to go through the books a few ski days at a time over the next few weeks as a way of recapping the season for myself and the four or five of you that read this.

now, I will be changing some of my entries as not to disclose too big of secrets… but if you know the mountain, you should be able to figure some rough ideas out. Anyway, here is (or, was) the Winter of Boyd 2008-2009.

Ski Journal 2008-2009
day 1 – opening day with Bazoo. took five runs, both felt like our legs were going to fall off. enjoyed a mellow cruise home over the pass.

[over the next 7 trips, I forgot to keep track… but in there was the opening day at vail on nov. 7th (i think), five trips to keystone and one trip to the basin]

day 9 – day after thanksgiving. rode with Erin and her dad for a few runs at Vail, then headed back to the house they were renting for dinner.
day 10 – 9 inches of fresh powder. fresh tracks down expresso and cappucino… rode with greg for a bit, then went off with erin and lapped 16 and 3. Met up with greg after a few runs and burned the trees between over easy and avanti down to chair two. best first pow day in a long time.

day 11, Vail. the storm continued and dumped 9 more inches. Got to 16 early, then up within the first few chairs. took four laps on chair four (whisle pig, expresso, cappucino, swingsville). AMAZING snow. By noon i met up with Erin and Bill and rode chair three twice then down to lionshead where we ran into my ex girlfriend in the gondo line. headed up the gondo and then down through the little park — hit the two flat rails and and up > flat box. Erin went back to head back to Denver with her folks, I’m staying up here in the mountains with nick and torrey tonight. [the storm ended up raging all night, closing i-70 and forcing Erin to take an 8 hour trip home with her parents in the car on an all-but-closed i-70]

day 12, 12/01/08, VAil – on mountain by 9 a.m. opening. rode 16 >4 then two runs on w.pig, then over to 3 and 2 for a bit. ended the day lapping 4 > riva glade > 2 four times and then back down by 1:45 and drove home to Denver.

Day 13 – Dec 4, with e-roc. Still just the gondola and montezuma lift open. started with springdipper, then a few runs off schoolmarm. soft snow on top of manmade ice. a six run day. heading back over loveland pass, however, e-roc blacked out for a good minute. I was slapping him across the face while yelling and screaming at him as i hauled ass down the pass to a place I could pull over. By the time he came-to I was pale white with fear and he was pale-white from lack of oxygen. You’d think a kid who grew up here wouldn’t get hit hard by the sudden altitude change, but he did.

* i will continue this little series in 10 days or so, upon my return… until then, pray for snow for next season!

chute me.

April 6, 2009

woke up yesterday and headed up to Vail to meet up with Greg, JD and their friends Nick and Alan to do some OB laps in East Vail. Made it to frisco by 9:30, flew over to Vail on 70 in the morning sun and geared up at Alans house in East Vail. Due to some injuries and unemployment at their house, they had managed to build one of the sickest snow-forts i have ever seen — complete with at least two rooms, a fire pit and a luge track that led from the back door down to the fire pit.

anyway, rode down to lionshead and parked (for free), threw on the packs and grabbed some breaky for the lift.

here’s our day (all of two major runs):

eastvail2

went up 8 > 2 > 4 > sleepytime catwalk > chair 21… up 21 and out the back into mushroom bowl (behind chair 21… we hiked up behind that large cliff wall that is looker’s-right when you are getting off the lift)

(blue tracks) down mushroom bowl and all the way around back in bounds to the base of chair 10 > flapjack > 14. that’s the blue tracks. the blue circle represents the best part of the bowl. Top section was a bit sloughy, but very soft nonetheless. super floaty and a good first steep section. watched some random Asian dude hip-check off the cliff at the top of 21… the same random Asian dude would completely screw me 10 minutes later by forcing me into a tree well.

the rest was a bit of a luge track through the trees. I actually got rutted in a tree well at one point after coming around a blind turn and avoiding some dude standing in the middle of the tracks taking pictures of a tree. i got pretty pissed at that point. Ended up back down on Mill Creek Rd. (which they cat-groom during the winter)… it’s a really peaceful and pretty cruise through that area. you really feel out-there. out-there, that is, until you come back around and start to hear the hummming of Chair 10 around the ridge. pretty surreal to go from the BC to a resort as quick as you do, but you.

anyway, back up ten…

up 14 to two elk.. then down dragon’s teeth to chair 21. There was a bit of soft snow, but it all had this martian-red color to it due to desert sands from Moab being deposited by wind.

up 21, down silk road to the mongolia poma.

(red tracks) up the poma then about a 20-30 minute hike up the ridge, then down into the East Vail chutes. back there we apparently did The Waterfall, which was somewhat skiid off… but after that section we headed skiiers left anddown into the pine forest. Excellently-spaced out trees, and we must have run them out for a solid three minutes before stopping. I’ve skiid that fast in the trees three times this year — all three with JD and Greg. Either way, this was some of the best glad skking i have done. thick enough to be soft and fun, but not so thick as to be too hard to turn.

We cruised down through the glades and ended up in the gully… I”m not surewhat the actual gully/chute name we rode out to our cars at Alan’s house in east vail (that’s where the red tracks end). the red circle represents the best glad skiing i did all year. easily the fastest i have gone in the trees.

Here’s a wider shot of all of Vail with our tracks…the yellow marks (roughly) the in-bounds of vail.

vailbig1

anyway, great day. i can’t believe it’s april. pics to come when greg gets his camera back working.

(once again, thanks to iTrailMap3D and www.3dskier.com for putting out such an awesome GPS system!)

so i’ll be up at vail for a while.

i’ll make my first ski post later.