Monday, December 12, 2011

If you can't say anything nice...

...don't say anything at all. So here's the stats for today without commentary.

Friday, December 09, 2011

More snow, less people please

Well it's not really that we have too many people but rather that they are all crowded on to the same few intermediate runs. Once we get more snow which means more terrain open the people can spread out and more importantly I can get into the trees where they aren't.

Best run of the day, in fact the only half decent run of the day, was this one straight down under the Storm Peak Express chair.

Vagabond was death cookies all the way and Heavenly was icy and not much better, and even Sunset which only opened today was disappointing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


I ran into a couple of my wife's friends Louise and Pat in the gondola today. They were out on their telemark skis. I skied a couple of runs with them before spending some time on the rocky, shrubby bumps of Cyclone and Tornado.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Well hello powder

I went out early only because Marie was heading out early. There was perhaps two inches of fresh on the ground down at valley level and I hadn't checked the report so I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the top of the gondola to find eight inches of fresh powder.

I got some great freshies first up under the Four Points chair followed by more to skiers left and right of Buddies, to skiers right on lower Rainbow and then twice on Whiteout which had barely been touched. Heavenly was very dust on crust on the way home but by then I was so happy to be back in the powder I didn't care!

I'm kicking myself for not taking the video camera - I assumed there would be nothing worth filming today!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Triple Heavenly

"Triple Heavenly" is not a description of how good it was today but rather of the fact that I skied Heavenly/Vogue three times, with a side trip to lower Rainbow to hit the bumps to skier's right.

I got new custom fit boots this week, the type where they inject foam in around your foot so that it's a perfect fit. Today was their test and they definitely passed providing much better transfer of pressure to the edges which I had plenty of opportunity to check on today's hardpack. But I still don't understand people who say they have comfortable ski boots. My new boots are definitely the least uncomfortable boots I've owned but it still felt great to take them off when I was done.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Still waiting for snow

We're still waiting for the first big dump of the season here in Steamboat so again it was nothing exciting today; a few bumps and a few rocks but another trip to the gym avoided. Actually I'm in better shape at the start of this ski season than any season before, so I'm quite grateful to all those gym visits I've been making over the past few months.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beats the gym

Not a lot to report today with no new snow and no new terrain, just a quick 49 minute trip to the top of Four Points and down again. But it still beats spending an hour at the gym!

A few freshies

Day two of the 2011-12 season and not much to report with only four lifts running.

One new lift opened today - Four Points - so there were a few freshies to be had for the first 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Opening Day powder!

Finally the ski season is back and it was an excellent opening day (but more snow is welcome any time).

Especially good were the freshies on Whiteout and Rainbow - both were so good I had to do them twice. And the groomers on the way home were just right and the sun was out.

Here's some highlights for your viewing pleasure.

Living the dream in Steamboat!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The definition of awesome design

The definition of awesome design is when you don't know you desperately want something until you see it because until then you didn't even imagine such a thing existing. Like this:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

iCloud without a silver lining

I upgraded my iPhone and iPad this week to the latest version of iOS. Given that iOS 5 has some neat features I can overlook the fact that Apple seriously messed up the logistics of this release. If you're going offer upgrades to everything in the Apple universe all on the same day, you better be prepared for some unbelievable peak demand on your servers. Which Apple clearly wasn't, leading to all sorts of problems.

What I don't get is why everyone is so excited about iCloud. I'm absolutely excited about the vision but underwhelmed by the execution.

For me iCloud will be a winner when I can uninstall iTunes from my PC. I don't know if the Mac version is as bad, but iTunes for Windows looks to me like some sort of passive-aggressive Steve Jobs revenge on Bill Gates.

Right now the emphasis on iCloud seems to be on syncing mail and contacts and calendars. I've already got all that stuff in the cloud on my work mail server and Gmail instantly available to all my Apple devices. What I want to do is sync all the stuff I have to manage with iTunes like photos and videos and music.

The one step in this direction that Apple have made in this release - Photostream - is incredibly badly implemented. Sure it would be nice to have any photo I take on my iPhone instantly available on my iPad, but what idiot decided to release this without the ability to even delete a photo from the stream or an individual device?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Still the speed limit

C that is, as in E = MC2, the speed of light.

Newspapers are breathlessly reporting that scientists have measured neutrinos travelling at faster that the speed of light, in seeming contradiction to the theory of relativity which tells us that the speed of light is the universe's speed limit.

I'm no particle physicist, but I'm sure that this result will not be reproducible, which is of course the standard for validating a scientific finding, and will prove to be a measurement error.

How can I be so sure? Simple logic (Or should I say "elementary my Dear Watson?")
If C isn't really the speed limit and the neutrinos really were able to exceed the speed of light they could pick any speed between 299 792 458 m/s and well, infinity. They they would pick a speed that is only just a tiny teeny bit bigger than what the scientists think is their margin of error simply does not pass the somebody screwed up somewhere test.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Goodbye Netflix

I've been a Netflix customer since November 2005, but just in case you're wondering what I think about the recent changes in Netflix pricing and services, I'm a Netflix customer no longer.

When the separate pricing for DVDs by mail and streaming were announced back in July I decided to drop streaming, since I can get pretty much the same catalog from Amazon for free as a Prime member, and dropped my DVD service back to one at a time, so that I could still order the occasional obscure movie on DVD. I hoped that a some time in the near future Netflix would negotiate some new deals with the studios and lure me back to their streaming service with a better price-value proposition.

That was until the worst apology ever from Reed Hastings their CEO, in which he dropped the bombshell that the DVD and streaming businesses would henceforth be run completely separately; different branding, separate websites and no unified queue or recommendations.

So today I hit the "Cancel My Subscription" button on the Netflix website. I admire Netflix's desire to move aggressively into streaming and to cannabalise their own DVD rental business before someone else does, something that far too few businesses confronted by technological change are willing to do, but that doesn't mean they ought to alienate and lose all their existing customers in the meantime.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Holiday in Iceland?

Since I live in Colorado and do a lot of international travel, I'm always interested in new international connections out of Denver. Right now we've got two* - British Airways to London which I've flown at least a dozen times, and Lufthansa to Frankfurt which I've flown once.

So I was sort of excited to hear that our options are about to increase by 50% with Icelandair to offer direct flights from Denver to Reykjavik. I say "sort of" because I'm not so sure what I'll do with this, other than take a holiday in Iceland, which I am sure would be fun - but only once.

Unfortunately Icelandair don't fly from Reykjavik to Dublin or this would be a really handy way for me to get to head office without having to go through Chicago, New York, London or any other congested and unreliable hub airport.

*I'm not including flights to Canada and Mexico; I don't consider those real international flights in the same way I don't consider Australia to New Zealand a real international flight. I think I'm conditioned by many years of long haul travel to expect an international flight to be 7 or 8 hours long, minimum!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Blogger

This is Marie, Steamboat Lion's "lioness".

For some time, I've been wanting to "put pen to paper" and begin a writing project, but it's always been at the bottom of my To Do List. I attended a seminar last week about independent publishing, and one of the speakers suggested that I begin with a blog, so I accepted an invitation from Steamboat Lion to be an additional blogger on his site, and here I am!

Now I can do my political venting to this site instead of to him...!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Two seasons

My friend Byron who is a contractor / rancher likes to say there are only two seasons in Steamboat: "winter's coming" and "winter's here".

I prefer to express it as "wishing I was skiing" and "I am skiing!"

It's still 78 days until skiing, which is just about the right time to switch from my general fitness program to my skiing specific program.

Friday, September 02, 2011

50 years

My parents were married on this day 50 years ago. My dad passed away in early 2009 and my mum is fighting cancer, so there won't be any celebration, but it's still a milestone worth noting. Everything I know about loving your spouse completely whilst still driving each other crazy most of the time I learned by watching my parents!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pro cycling comes to Steamboat

Professional cycling came to Steamboat today with the finish of Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (and the start of stage 5 tomorrow morning).

All the top teams were there, including this year's Aussie winner of the Tour de France, Cadel Evans; so we had to be there at the finish waving the flag in support!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Krugman and space aliens

In an attempt to justify more Keynesian stimulus spending, Paul Krugman has suggested a strategy which has now most cleverly been dubbed Wag the Dalek - yes, a fake invasion by space aliens to justify massive government spending.

Actually, given the consistent Keynesian failure to understand that every dollar the government spends is a dollar not being spent by taxpayers themselves, I'm a little disappointed that Krugman didn't advocate a real alien invasion. Imagine the jobs created rebuilding our civilization once those helpful aliens blast us back to the stone age with their death rays.

It's all too bizarre for words. I do see the work of aliens here, but what I really think has happened is that the Nobel prize winning economist we called Paul Krugman has been replaced by an alien pretending (not very well) to be Paul Krugman. Seriously. How else can you explain this guy seeming to have unlearnt everything he ever knew as an economist?

Update: You can buy a (slightly geeky) t-shirt that makes the point:

Monday, August 08, 2011

Just one thing to get right

All a check in agent needs to do these days is get one thing right. When you print your own boarding pass and check in at a kiosk, all the agent needs to do is put the correct tag on your bag. Our check in agent today couldn't even manage that. It wasn't until our bags didn't arrive in DC and we looked at our baggage receipts that we realised that she'd put someone else's tags on our bag. Someone else who was going to Tampa Bay.

I've hated United so much for so long that I would have thought it impossible for me to hate them more. I was wrong. Very wrong.

Update 2.55pm, August 9
They give you a website to check the status of your bags ( but all it tells you is that your bag has been found and is in transit to you. But you still have to call and talk to an agent to find out the specific flight it was put on and when you can realistically expect it. It's one thing not to have information on the website that they don't have, but what's the sense in having the website if it doesn't tell you the information they have and you want?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The next manufacturing revolution

I've been watching developments in 3D printing for a while now with growing interesting and excitement. Having seen this latest video of the test flight of a model aircraft this was entirely built in a 3D printer. I'm absolutely convinced that this is the next revolution in manufacturing.

When I first starting following 3D printing the buzz was about being able to rapidly prototype components at a fraction of the traditional cost of manufacturing a one off item or being able to print complex shapes that traditional manufacturing couldn't produce cost-effectively.

The revelation from this video I watched recently was that you could print moving parts in situ.

But that's just a spanner or wrench. In this latest video they print the entire plane in a single operation. If you can do that you can print a car or a refrigerator or anything. My prediction is that 30 years from now everything that is manufactured, and I mean everything, will be manufactured in a 3D printer.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


One of the many nice things about hiking in Steamboat this time of year is the wildflowers.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

If you are going to charge $5 for a cappuccino... ought to learn how to make a decent one. This means you, Hyatt Regency Reston. For your information a cappuccino is one third espresso, one third milk and one third foam. It's not a cup of insipid, watery brown liquid with a little foam on top!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I officially do not understand airlines

Today we're flying from Ottawa to Washington DC (this post is brought to you courtesy of Ottawa airport's free wifi!)

We arrived quite early for our United flight so we asked about getting on an earlier United flight (same airline) only to be told that it would cost us $120 each.

We were also told that it was too early to check in for our original flight. So we had lunch and a cup of coffee and came back. At which time we were told (by a different agent) that we could get on an earlier Air Canada flight (yes a different airline) for no charge. In fact, because Air Canada does not charge for checked bags, we're saving fifty bucks.

I actually do understand what's going on here. It's all about the check-in agent. One decided to be helpful and the other one didn't. Simple as that.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Comment spam mystery

I get a lot of comment spam on this blog, which fortunately the Blogger comment spam filter does an excellent job of catching, saving you dear reader from endless ads for viagra, penile enhancement and pirated movie downloads.

I generally understand how comment spam works, even if I think comment spammers are low life scum who with every breathe steal oxygen that rightly belongs to the human race. What I can't figure out is why 90% of the comment spam is on this four year old post about rugby in Steamboat. Theories and explanations welcome in the (spam free) comments.

Of course I just realised that by mentioning viagra, penile enhancement and pirated movie downloads (twice now) this post is inviting even more comment spam!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ticketing idiocy

No, not airline ticketing idiocy (although there's no shortage of that) but football ticketing idiocy.

I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a Brisbane Lions home game on Saturday night and doubly fortunate to see them have their first win for the season (after seven losses to start the season). But I was rather unimpressed that I was unable to buy a ticket for a decent seat, knowing that with the Lions in a "rebuilding phase" the ground would not be even close to sold out. As it turned out it was less than half full (19,000 in a ground that holds over 40,000 people).

So I bought the cheapest ticket I could ($25.50). Where do you think I sat; in my cheap and not very good seat, or in one of the thousands of empty seats in the area where I wanted to sit (where I was more than willing to pay $61 for a ticket)?

I don't know who manages ticketing for Lions games at the Gabba, but they are idiots who are leaving money on the table.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No airline executives were harmed...

Recently I wondered if I would need to ritually sacrifice an airline executive in order to appease the airline gods.

I'm pleased to say such drastic action seems to have been unnecessary. Last week I managed to fly from Denver to Chicago to Ottawa to Washington to Los Angeles to Brisbane without a single delay or disruption. I even got the best seat on the plane (1A) on the Qantas flight to Brisbane!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Seriously Seriously?

I'm all for free services sponsored by advertising - the entire Googleverse for example. But receiving "sponsored screensavers" aka ads on my Kindle to save $24? You have got to be joking This must be an April Fools joke that's ten days late.

This is doubly disappointing given the rumours on the tech sites that Amazon would soon offer the Kindle for $99 or even free to Prime members like me!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sweet closing day

The weird weather, spring one day, winter the next, continues so after yesterday's spring conditions today it was winter again. It wasn't an epic powder day, but it was a powder day and on closing day, April 10, that's epic enough!

The 5am report said three inches but it was snowing hard this morning so it was at least six inches by the time I hit the mountain at 10am.

And it just kept getting better for the rest of the morning. I thought my first run down Triangle 3, with plenty of wind blown drifts, and skier's right of Tornado, where the hard bumps were filled in just nice, would be my best run of the day. Then I thought my run down a completely untracked Priest Creek liftline would be the best of the day, until it was surpassed by the 2.45 trees, then the 2.15 trees and finally by Shadows where I was still able to find fresh lines after noon.

My home run for the day and for the season was, fittingly, Vertigo. It was a little dust on crust but the new snow was heavy enough to provide plenty of grab, so it was definitely skiable. Not the best I've ever seen it, but awesome for April.

Here's the GPS data.

So that's it for the 2010-11 season. I managed 40 days which given my travel commitments and moving house in December I'm happy with. It's way less than the 116 days I managed last season, but I had more powder days this year with the awesome 400+ inch season we've had. Any season where you ski Closet on opening day and Shadows on closing day is a great season.

Today is also our seventh anniversary of living in Steamboat. Living the dream doesn't get any better than this!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A better birthday

Last year on my birthday I ended up at a South African Emergency Room. This year I went skiing. It's not hard to figure out which experience makes for a more enjoyable birthday!

I was out around 10am which was probably 30 minutes too early, so the first runs were hardpack, but by 11am it had softened nicely in a number of places. Best run of the day was my second attempt at Vagabond after the snow had softened.

Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Is it really April 6?

For the past couple of weeks the weather has been swinging wildly between spring and winter. Today it was both. More rain than snow at the base, but definitely snow and quite misty and chilly at the top of the mountain (there's a reason it's called Storm Peak!)

It started snowing in the wee hours of the morning, so there was 3 or 4 inches on the ground by breakfast time and perhaps 6 inches by the time I managed to get out at 11 am. But that was on top of a hard base from yesterday's warmth, so you had to pick your spot or it was very dust on crust. My first run down Whiteout was especially bad. My eyes saw powder but my skis felt nothing but hard pack, and my head hadn't yet resolved the the two. It got a lot better after that though.

Best run of the day was definitely this one down the Ridge - largely untracked and deep enough to not feel the crust underneath.

This run down See Ya on the way home was also fun and interesting. On the lower mountain the snow was wet and heavy so it was a completely different feeling skiing through it. And you can see from the water accumulating on the camera lens how wet it was down there.

The other brilliant thing today; being the last week of the ski season there was barely anybody on the mountain.

Here's the GPS data.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Sydney airport deja vu

I'm sitting in my home office in Steamboat listening to the the radio from Australia on the internet.

The Australian Minister for Transport is currently talking about the need for a second airport in Sydney.

I have two words for him: Badgery's Creek.

That was the name of the second Sydney airport announced by the Australian Government in mid-1989. It was a political sop back then. I know this because I was part of the small team that put the proposal together to provide political cover to get approval to build a third runway at the real Sydney airport (whenever I land on 16L/34R, I like to think of it as "my runway").

It's still a sop now. There are very few cities that successfully run more than one major airport. New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Chicago come to mind. All much bigger cities than Sydney.

One of the things the Minister was just rabbiting on about was that demand for slots exceeds supply. The best way to match supply and demand and to ensure a resource is allocated to its highest value use is via a very secret mechanism economists call price. In the context of airport slots that means auctioning slots off to the highest bidder. Of course that's not how it works. So I have zero sympathy for bleating about excess demand.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Angry airline gods

Clearly the airline gods are angry with me because in the past 2 months I'm 0 for 3 in terms of attempts to travel out of Steamboat without major disruptions.

In early February I attempted to travel from Steamboat to Dublin. It was supposed to be easy - direct flight from Steamboat to Chicago and then direct flight to Dublin. My flight out of Steamboat was delayed and I missed my connection in Chicago, so instead of the direct flight to Dublin I had to go via London which has the world's dumbest immigration process for transiting to Ireland.

In late February I attempted to travel from Steamboat to Washington via Houston. My flight from Houston to Washington was cancelled so I had to overnight in Houston.

Then today I attempted to fly from Steamboat to Washington via Denver. It was snowing hard as I left for the airport and half way there I received the email notification that my Steamboat to Denver flight had been cancelled.

Note that only this last disruption had anything to do with the winter weather in the mountains.

If anyone knows how to win back the favour of the airline gods, please feel free to comment. Do I have to ritually sacrifice an airline executive or something?

Update: 6.24pm: here's the report in today's paper on the storm and flight cancellations.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

More than it looks

Here's today's GPS data.

It doesn't look like I did much - only 8,100 vertical ft in 1:46. But most of that was bumps, including three laps on Whiteout which totally jellied my legs. Which is why on Mother Nature on the way home I had my first proper ski came off fall in the bumps for the season.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A nice sparkling wine

With the slightly warmer temperatures of late March, the foot of snow that landed on the mountain last night was just a little too heavy to be Steamboat's famous Champagne Powder, but if it wasn't Champagne it was a very nice sparkling wine.

I had some conference calls with the east coast and Dublin this morning so I didn't get out until nearly 11am, but there were still plenty of freshies in the trees, especially on Shadows and Typhoon. But the best run of the day was definitely the powder bumps on Whiteout, and not surprisingly with a non-stop top to bottom run on a really tight line my maximum heart rate of 181bpm was at the bottom on that run.

Here's the GPS data.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Grabby skis

I had some trouble uploading my GPS data from Saturday so here is the delayed report.

After the warm weather earlier in the week, I had my skis retuned. Then Saturday was cold and wintry, so my skis were so "grabby" I could barely turn them. Which meant I had to stop and get them tuned again for the colder snow. Thanks to Ryan at Edgewerks I only lost 15 minutes.

Here's that troublesome GPS data:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Slush bumps

A lot of people like spring skiing because it's warm. Give me a full on winter storm with a foot of fresh powder any day. But if it has to be spring skiing then slush bumps are where it's at. They're soft and slow so you've got plenty of time to ski them just right.

Today the best slush bumps were on Whiteout. Here's the GPS data.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bluebird powder

A spring storm dropped more than a foot of powder on Steamboati n the past 48 hours and with the sun shining brightly this morning, that makes today a bluebird powder day.

Picking a best run today is really hard. I'd have to go with this unexpected powder stash found in the trees between Valley View and Heavenly Daze on the way home.

Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Need wax

My timing today was much better than on Monday so the snow was nice and slushy by the time I hit the mountain. Unfortunately my skis were inadequately waxed, so the snow was also sticky and slow.

Best run of the day was super slushy bumps on Surprise.

Here's the GPS data.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cursing DST

Yesterday I was only able to get our for about an hour. Due to work constraints I wasn't able to get out late enough for the snow to really have softened. But the sun was shining, so it was still fun cruising a few groomers on the lower mountain where it gets warmer sooner.

Here's the GPS data.

The problem with not being out late enough was compounded by the ridiculousness of starting Daylight Savings Time in mid-March, an idea brought to us by our DST overlords in Washington a few years back supposedly to save energy. In a rational world the fact that it doesn't (save energy) would have led to the change being reversed by now. Of course politics is the only field of human endeavour where the gap between intentions and results is completely and utterly irrelevant.

And I still have one pesky clock that I haven't managed to change yet!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It looked like it was going to be a classic spring skiing day when I headed out this morning, but half way up the mountain the clouds started to gather. Fortunately it stayed warm enough to soften the snow a little, but not enough to create slush bumps, so I largely stuck to the groomers.

Hard to believe but best run of the day was Flintlock which is a lower intermediate trail. But when you do railroad tracks in a tuck all the way down it's a hoot.

Here's the GPS data.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How I feel about breakfast

I'm often up early to talk to my colleagues in Dublin and I'm always hungry when I wake up. But I also find when I eat at 6am I need to eat again at 9am. Actually I'm just finishing second breakfast as I write this post!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Another powder day in the Boat

I thought the storm that brought fresh snow yesterday was pretty much over, but today was even better than yesterday. It's hard to pick a best run on a day like this but if I had to choose I'd say the trees between Twister and the Four Points liftline.

Here's some video highlights.

And here's the GPS data.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fat Tuesday for Fat Skis

It's another Fat Tuesday, Fat Ski day. The 5am report said 2 inches, but that was on top of six inches yesterday. And it was snowing hard all morning, so by the time I hit the mountain at 11 am it was at least 8 inches of fresh. Plus with barely anybody about there were plenty of nice stashes left even that late in the morning.

Shadows and Closet were good, and Vertigo was nice on the way home, if a little dust on crust on the lower half, but the best run of the day was definitely very big, very soft powder bumps on Whiteout. The first time non-stop from the road to the bottom was sweet, but the second time non-stop from the top was even sweeter.

Here's the GPS data.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

27 percent

March 5 last year hit 100 consecutive days of skiing. March 5 this year is only day 27.

I've had a lot going on this season and last season I'd taken some time off work, so I'm not too disappointed. I have figured out though that skiing every day is actually easier on your body, at least after the first month. By then you're in such good skiing shape you don't feel a thing. Whereas today, after not skiing for a week, everything seemed to ache.

Nevertheless it was worth the pain. The five inches of fresh snow over the past two days made for a nice soft base, not the normal spring crunch, and there were still some nice stashes in the trees, especially on Closet and Rainbow. And the mountain seemed deserted.

Here's the GPS data.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Back from DC

I was at the office in DC (well northern Virginia to precise) most of this week so I didn't get out on the mountain until Friday. My timing was perfect because the 5 am report said 8 inches and there must have been another 4 inches between then and 9 am when I got to the mountain.

I spent the bulk of the morning riding the Pony Express as you can see from the GPS data with a quick hop into Closet before heading home to do some work on an important project. This time instead of Vertigo on the way home I hit Valley View and then See Ya which was super sweet.

Here's some video of my first run for the morning.

Today I skied with another Aussie friend Drew and a couple of other visiting Aussies guys that he met in a bar somewhere downtown. Best run of the day was Broadway trees where the leftovers were awesome. Here's the GPS data.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ski report catch up

I've been busy since I last posted with my second trip to Dublin so far this year and friends from Australia in town. So here's the catch up reports on the past two weeks of skiing.

Yesterday it snowed hard in the morning. Unfortunately I had too many other commitments to get out, but there were still some nice leftovers today, especially in the trees. I skied with my Aussie friends MaryAnne and Vicki and Brad from Nantucket who we met on the lift. Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday was like spring with the temperature around 40F and the sun out. I skied with my Aussie friends Amanda, Therese, Rod and Claire. Here's the GPS data.

Last Sunday I skied with mostly the same Aussie crew, less Claire and plus Vicki. Here's the GPS data.

The really good stuff was the Sunday before last (February 6). I was due to fly out to Dublin midday but my flight got delayed so I missed my connection in Chicago for the direct flight to Dublin and had to go the long way via London, but it was absolutely worth it since I got to spend a whole morning playing in a foot of fresh powder! Here's the GPS data.

And here's some video of the awesome conditions. I skied with a local friend, Steve "Lewi" Lewis. That's him in black on the snowboard.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Best 3 inches ever

The 5 am report said three inches but it was snowing hard so I expected something more than that. But it turned out way better than expected. In places it was at least a foot deep.

The trees were awesome as expected, especially the 2.30 trees. But the best run of the day was the huge but very soft powder bumps to skier's right of Vertigo on the way home. So good in fact that I had to do it again. So the best run of the day turned out to be Vertigo the second time around, this time on a line to skier's left where the bumps weren't as big so I could really, really, really rip it up.

Here's the GPS data.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Better with friends

After a couple of bitterly cold days, it was still quite chilly this morning but I ventured out anyway, in need of some turns. I skied for a bit by myself and was about to head in when I ran into one of my many Aussie friends MaryAnne. So I skied with her crew for a couple more hours and had a great time. Especially good were the bumps to skiers right of Cyclone.

Here's the GPS data.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

It's officially cold

Unlike the DC area where a few inches of snow closes the schools, there's no such thing as a snow day in Steamboat. But we do close the schools when it gets to -40 (F or C take your pick because that's where the scales cross). At that point there's simply too much risk of kids getting frostbite waiting for the bus and unless we're planning to change our system of arithmetic to Base 9, I think it's a good idea for small children to keep all ten of their fingers.

Anyway I mention this because the Steamboat schools closed today due to weather for the first time in 22 years. Interestingly Marie and I were here in Steamboat on our honeymoon the last time this happened in February 1989. We were staying at a hotel that is about 500 yards down the street where we now live.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The weather forecast shows a storm moving in tonight or tomorrow, so being the eternal optimist that I am, I decided to preserve my legs for the upcoming powder day/s by just cruising around a few groomers. Best run of the day was high speed race turns down Two O'Clock. Here's the GPS data.

Friday, January 28, 2011

An easy hour

It was a glorious day on the mountain today - great snow, very few people and the sun was shining. The only problem was that we just got back from being in Dublin for the past two and half weeks, so all those extra red blood cells were gone and I soon found myself puffing like a steam train. So I put in just an easy hour. Well sort of. I did hit the 2.30 trees for a bit. And the Sundown liftline. And I did tear up a couple of groomers. But other than that an easy hour. And I was very happy with the way I skied technically.

Here's the GPS data.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Before you ditch your other distribution channels...

For several years airlines have been squeezing their traditional distribution channels like travel agents and driving business to their own websites. American Airlines took it a step further recently and withdrew its flights from other websites like Orbitz and Expedia.

I'm not criticising the strategy. Just saying that if you are going to do that you probably need to be extra, extra, extra careful about making sure that your website works!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Last clinic for the season

I had my last Local's Clinic for the season (I'm going to try telemark skiing next year and I'll definitely want to enrol in a clinic to learn that so it's definitely not my last clinic ever).

I arrived 45 minutes before kick off time so I decided to get in a lazy 6,00 vertical ft before we started (Gondola, Storm Peak, Thunderhead) which was a nice warm up. Teh morning was fairly casual with technical drills in Wally World, but the afternoon picked up with mostly bump skiing in the fog (bumps are extra interesting when you can't see them!).

Best run of the day was the bumps to skiers right of Cyclone.

Here's the GPS data.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Christmas Tree Bowl

I decided for a little variety today to ski the Christmas Tree Bowl. This is part of our double black diamond terrain at the very top of the mountain. As soon as I started I remembered why I rarely ski this part of the mountain - it's about 20 yards of super-steep terrain and then a long flat run out and even with the large amount of snow we've got there's still plenty of exposed rocks. All in all a complete waste of time.

Generally though the snow is still in great condition. Best run of the day was definitely the 3.30 trees. A made a point of skiing it fast and aggressive and I always ski better when I do that. The trouble is that fast and aggressive takes a lot of physical and mental energy so you can't do it all the time, so I spent the 45 minutes before that taking it easy and skiing poorly.

A (rarely) groomed Vertigo on the way home was also fun, but give me powder bumps on this baby any day!

Here's the GPS data.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Quick Hit

I've been so busy the last few days (and it was really, really, really cold over the weekend) that I haven't been out since Thursday. So today I only managed an hour and half of skiing, but that's still better than nothing.

Visibility was poor so I didn't bother with the helmet cam, but the snow was nice - soft and buttery - and the mountain was deserted. Still some idiot tele skier nearly managed to run into me on mid-Rainbow; message to that guy: "I do not have eyes in the back of my head mate!"

Here's the GPS data.