Ski Season 07-08 Archive
March 8, 2008 - Site Upgrade
I am currently in the process of coming up with some new ideas for the site, and trying to find more material to post for the upcoming spring hiking season. Until this is complete there will not be much happening here, sorry.
February 11, 2008 - Awesome snow!
Well, it appears that Mother Nature has been kind to us! We are gearing up for a trip up north in less than two weeks, and the temps this week are supposed to be low, low, low! Awesome! After a few days of rain last week I was starting to get nervous.
As a matter of fact, yesterday at my home area of Blandford we received 3 to 5 inches of fluff! The moutain is reporting only 3 inches, but to be honest there was at least 5 in places. Well, you had to know where to go find it. Ledge and Lower Putt's was the best place to find the powder. They even reluctantly opened up Lift Line which had been closed for awhile gathering powder. There was a large gully carved by the flowing rains at the end of the trail but they threw some snow in it, put up some warning poles, and encouraged survival of the fittest. Ski Patrol didn't want to do it, but when you have people daring to duck ropes under the chair then you have to pay attention to the needs of the many. POWDER!
This time, the powder monster did not get me. Although I didn't look too pretty a few times, lol! I have also discovered something strange. In right-hand turns my inside leg (right) just does not want to come over enough. This is a new development. For some reason it just doesn't feel right unless I am at full speed. I am going to try and figure out why this is happening before we go up north.
Speaking of up north, as of right now most of our ski spots are at or near full operating status! Rock on!
That is all for now! Oh, and hope this storm Tuesday night doesn't pitter out like last time!
January 26, 2008 - Manners
Where are the manners of people nowadays at the ski areas? In particular I'm talking about kids. Skiers and snowboarders alike. Parents, you really need to teach your kids common courtesy. Chaperones of school trips...you need to pay attention to what is going on and not be afraid to take the bull by the horns if you need to.
Last night was school night up at my home mountain of Blandford. It's good business for the mountain, but I must say there was a fair share of idiots about. On the slopes themselves they actually seemed to behave, which was a relief. Most likely this was because the terrain park was open, so it gave them something to do other than cause mischief on the trails. (Unlike last year when one of them decided to throw snowballs off the lift at skiers. One of those victims was me. Little did the twirp know that I am an avid hiker, and going back up the mountain 100 feet in skis was not a big deal. I met that brat at the top and give him a nice talking to, and he was scared shitless I tell you)
The touble spots were the chair lines and the lodge. I tell you, they have no shame in cutting you off in line by the twos, threes, or fours. What's up with that? Work the zipper, people. One, then the other.
Yeesh. At least the snow was wonderful!
January 20, 2008 - Waxing and wax guide to alpine skis
Check out the new wax and waxing guide I typed up. Bookmark has been added to the ski articles on the left.
January 20, 2008 - This, that, and the other thing
I made a few trips to Blanford this week. Friday the first snow-yeti monster of the year claimed me. It's been at least a few years since I have had a complete yard sale, and thankfully I wasn't skiing with anybody so there is no record of it. I can deny it at any time :)
The conditions Friday were actually disappointing. The site had listed it as packed powder and groomed with two lifts operating. In reality, it was crusty crunchy VC, with one lift down for maintenence, and grooming was more of the "let the skiers do the grooming" technique. I suspect this was so the maintenence crew could spend time fixing the main lift which apparently had grenaded some parts the day before.
We had experienced some fresh snow, which switched to freezing rain and rain for a short while before ending. This was followed by some cold temperatures. Basically this means you had some snow (or ice and rocks), with 3 or 4 inches of fluffy, capped by an inch and a half of crust. I decided to go over to the deserted, yet open, north face of the mountain.
I did one faceplant right away because I was stupid and skied over my own pole. I then got in my rhythm, and was fine for the most part. Until the rabbit. Yes, rabbit. I'm cutting through this fresh crust, coming around a corner at a nice clip, when I catch sight of some sort of movement right off the trail.
Obviously this startles me...and in hindsight I'm pretty sure it was a rabbit. I turned my head to the right just a bit to look. It all went south from there. My outside ski knee came to the inside (following my eyes) and forward just a bit in the beginning of my turn. Thus, the outside ski (left) decided to change direction and go left. My inside ski continued a nice right-turn arc. The snow-yeti monster was hungry!
Usually I don't resort directly to the "uh oh" (aka the "oh shit!") mentality as step one of "flailing style recovery," but it was immediately apparent that this was not good. I managed to pick up my left ski out of the crust and tried to get it forward. I am actually quite good at doing this and have a lot of practice with it :) However, as I attempted to do this I found that my weight was getting thrown back, then the inside ski started to turn more to the right and skate.
Further "uh oh now nothing is pointing the right way down the hill" mentality started setting in. This was followed by me just tapping the crust with the flailing left ski, which acted like a nice, big snow anchor. Then the sudden tilt to a horizontal axis. One pole gone. Snow is up and sky is down. Heard the fateful "click" from the left ski and saw it go spinning away. One ski down. Snow is back down and sky is back up as I continue my horizonal axis spin.
Second ski said "to hell with this" and decides to go it's own way. Note that my body still has not touched the ground. One more rotation. Damned rabbit...then theres the 'oof' of landing followed sliding down the hill. Goggles and hat both end up in different places, as well one of my gloves. I beleive my first words were something to the effect of "well now that was interesting. Lets not do that again." Rabbit stew, anyone?
Then there was the walking around to pick everything up, the refit of equipment, checking of bindings, and a slightly more careful ski back down to the lift. I made about another 10 runs after that.
January 12, 2008 - Winter storm?
Well we had a few storms over the holidays (hence no posting here), and I have been able to take my new Volkls out for a spin. I certainly like them. They require you to pay attention to what you are doing and have no quams about letting you know when you ski bad. If you stop paying attention, they will whip you about like a rider on a bull.
I was able to test them out on 6-12 of untouched powder, chunky powder, packed powder, and wet variable. They certainly cut through the crud just fine, and floated on the powder as well. Keep in mind I'm not a great powder skiier to begin with, but I found myself having fun playing around on them.
For those forays I was just running a warm Swix CF wax, and default Volkl edges of 2 degree base 1 degree side. I am happy with the edging, and my next adventure will be on a floro wax and graphite-wax-infused bases.
December 27, 2007 - Skiing, day one
Well we went for a spin today...skiing...sorta...it was pouring rain, so 'skiing' means 'water skiing'. The snow was heavy, wet, and...well not everywhere to be exact. Little mounds of dirt poking through here and there. It really isn't worth writing about. What is worth writing about is we are expecing another 3-6 inches tomorrow night. Woot!
December 14, 2007 - Totals
Snow here: 11.5"
December 13, 2007 - Snow, snow, and more SNOW
Unlike the headline right under this one, 'ice, ice, and more ICE', this time we are talking about SNOW. 6" to a foot in my area with more to the south and less to the north.
It make me ask, WHY ARE YOU SITTING HERE READING THIS?? GO WAX UP YOUR SKIS!!
I personally use Swix wax, and they have a good online 'wax wizard' for people like me who insist on changing wax grades dependant on humidity, temp, and snow structure. No generic all-temp for me! Check it out over HERE . Note that for some reason it doesn't always work with the FireFox web-browser, so use Internet Explorer.
December 11, 2007 - Ice, Ice, and more ICE
We had another 1/4" of ice on Monday. Some more tonight, followed by rain. Possible snow/sleet/freezing rain Thursday night, and finally yet another slight possibility of a Nor'Easter this weekend.
So far, I am liking what Mother Nature is throwing at us. In the meatime, the mountains keep pumping out the snow!