Today wasn't the epic powder day the weather forecast led me to expect - the seven inches in the previous 24 hours on the snow report this morning mostly fell yesterday afternoon - but the way it has been snowing since mid-afternoon, it looks like tomorrow will be (but also bitterly cold at around 0F or -18C).
Nevertheless it was a great day on the mountain. Best run of the day was Twilight aka 2:30 trees, especially the section below Duster which is the only thing I felt that I didn't ski like an old man today. Here's the video.
Today I skied with my Aussie friends Nicole and Peter on about 3 inches of fresh.
Pete is a rapidly improving intermediate skier but that still meant nothing too challenging. Best run of the day was powder bumps to skiers' left of Hurricane with the powder bumps to skiers' left of Cyclone were a close second.
Skiing yesterday mostly involved videoing with my friend Elizabeth who is an intermediate skier and who is very keen to improve (she runs marathons so pushing herself is not a problem). Video is a fantastic learning tool - there's nothing like being able to see yourself skiing to be able to see what you are actually doing rather than what you think you are doing.
I didn't take any video of her husband Rob because I was afraid that shooting his fluorescent lime green helmet might damage my camera.
The end result for me was that it was a very casual two hours on the mountain. Since Elizabeth is not that keen for her performance to be put on Youtube for the world to see and I had some GPS issues (mostly due to operator error combined with some poor user interface design) that's all there is to report.
I'm not skiing today since it's Marie's birthday and we have a whole lot of people coming over to our new house later today.
Because we had heavy snow early, the elk have struggled to get enough to eat and have been coming into residential areas much more than they usually do. Last night we almost hit a herd on our way home from dinner with friends and then this morning we looked out the window to see this big buck attacking a patch of exposed grass in our neighbour's yard.
Whilst it was warm yesterday and the snow on the lower mountain today was hard and crunchy, the snow on the upper mountain today was perfect for just cruising around. Best run of the day was powder bumps on Tornado. Here's the GPS data.
Vertigo is my favourite run on the lower half of the mountain but I usually don't ski it until the end of my day. Today I was waiting for some friends so I hit it first up and it was so sweet it almost made my head spin (sorry...)
Concentration immediately after was also sweet. As was everything else on the mountain with all the snow we've been having. Here's the GPS data.
I skied today with my friends from St Louis, Rob and Elizabeth. First day of the season for them, so we took it easy despite the 6 inches of fresh which is fast heading towards 18 based on the way it is continuing to come down. Could be a big day tomorrow.
Yesterday was a good day - several inches of fresh snow in the morning and more during the day, and even with Christmas only a week away the mountain was surprisingly uncrowded. Best run of the day was definitely Shadows, top to bottom (i.e. including the section below Duster) for the first time this season. Here's the GPS data.
Today started out fine. We had a nice lunch with friends out in a very beautiful part of rural Colorado but had a slight mishap on the way home. I took a corner a little too tight and skidded on the ice right into a ditch.
Thankfully their was no damage to the occupants (except the driver's pride) or vehicle, but it's not much fun waiting around for a couple of hours on a cold snowy afternoon in the middle of nowhere for the tow truck to pull you out! Fortunately our wonderful friends Gerry and Kathy were traveling behind us so we could wait in their nice warm car.
Actually it happened in Steamboat. I rode the Storm Peak Express this morning with a woman who offered to sing a song for my video camera. She chose It Happened in Sun Valley. Nice voice.
One of the nice things about living in a world class ski resort, apart from the world class skiing of course, is that you're surrounded by a lot of very happy people!
After that I joined my ski clinic with Jamie. The forecast had been for 12 inches of snow with high winds. In the end we got about four inches of snow with light winds which made for some very nice skiing. Priest Creek Liftline twice was the best of the day.
Here's the GPS data. A fairly big day - 22,000 vertical ft - for this early in the season.
We had five inches of fresh yesterday but unfortunately I just couldn't make it out. I did get out for a couple of hours in the middle of today to enjoy the leftovers and it was still very, very nice, especially Shadows and Flying Z.
I broke my finger yesterday; not skiing (I didn't go out yesterday) but at the gym. If you've ever wondered who wins when a finger clashes with a 20lb dumbbell I can tell you that it's not the finger.
Fortunately the busted digit is on my right hand and I'm left handed; nevertheless even with only one finger on you non-dominant hand immobilised a lot of tasks (including typing) are surprisingly awkward.
I did ski on Saturday. I had an all day clinic with my coach Jamie which was great to fine tune my skiing so that I don't get back into bad habits. I went out electronically naked - no GPS or heart rate monitor or video - so I don't have any data, but it was about a 16,000 vertical ft day. There's been just enough new snow since last Monday's dump to keep it soft and buttery so it was a surprisingly good day.
Talking about last Monday, here's another video from that epic November powder day to keep us motivated for the next one. This run beneath the Four Points chair is one of my favorites to hit early on a powder day - jump on the Four Points chair when it opens at 8:45 am and fit in a run like this before the Storm Peak Express opens at 9 am. Watch for the drop off a rock into a deep drift of powder around 1:06. Whoa!