Desperate snow conditions remain the theme lately. In the absence of new snow, I’ve been happy enough to ski anywhere where rocks won’t tear up my Hagan ski bases. Groomed runs have become a staple as I work on ski fitness. (Yikes!) Like many, I wish for a return of conditions like those found on my one ‘good’ day of the season (so far) which provided untracked, semi-steep powder without rocks. Still a fond memory.
Until then, it’s all been about getting into ski shape so I can take advantage when the goods are good. In that spirit, yesterday’s goal was 11,000 vertical. I fell short on the goal and only landed 9,000. Sometimes, time, like sand in an hourglass, runs out.
However, I noted three Continue reading ‘Pushing Vert’
Things – or more precisely, the snow – sure can be desperate these days. Desperate enough that, when offered a chance to sling my skins across the ice in a new locale, I jumped at the chance.
If anything can confuse a couple of SLC fellas heading out for a bit of skiing, it must be trying to answer the question of ‘Where are we?’ when skiing on the unfamiliar east facing side of the Wasatch Back. With limited options for snow coverage, Jason, Mark, and I, dog in tow, looked through options that were more limited than usual. This was a perfect reason to get away from known quantities, and head towards the four inches of snow available at Deer Valley…
The very picture of desperate snow conditions.
After consulting some Continue reading ‘Deer Valley and Park City’
Jimi Hendrix famously sang, ‘Are you experienced?’ He was talking about something else entirely than bc skiing, but the idea was a good one. It’s the experience that makes a person, or an event. In that spirit, I want to talk about the backcountry experience.
Untrammeled, the mountains of the backcountry offer what can only be called, the experience.
In this series – devoted to fleshing out some of the reasons skiing in the backcountry is enjoyable – I’ve previously touched upon 11 separate answers. There are certainly more; I had to ignore some topics to keep it at a dozen. But for now, I’d like to close it out by writing about one last aspect of skiing in the backcountry that I enjoy.
Ultimately, it comes down to the entire experience, in which the sum of the parts equals so much more than the individual parts alone. I could write that it’s indescribable, but that would be pretty useless…
What is the backcountry experience? For starters, the Continue reading ‘The Experience (Answer 12 of 12)’
Skiing on Thanksgiving morning/day has been a tradition for me for some time, just as it is on July 4th. What better way to fire up an appetite on this day of gluttony and power lounging? Over the years, this holiday ski tradition has sometimes included (now ex-) girlfriends, friends, or even been a solo venture.
Hard-won wisdom of the ages has revealed that skiing with friends is the most fun option. So when I got an invite from Andy to join in on a crazy idea (just like his ski suit), a ‘Skin the Turkey’ informal rando race, it sounded like a fun option.
Never mind that in the last two days, I’d skinned 14,000 feet, or that I’d only managed 9 hours of sleep over the prior three nights. Details like these take a backseat when there’s skiing to be done. So what if I felt completely trashed at the outset? More exercise, more vertical, more laughter, more sweat, more thin early season snowpack, more howling wind, more tears. It’s living. It’s a holiday! Any excuse will do…
Toeing the line on Turkey Day.
Besides, I wanted to see what Continue reading ‘Turkey Burner’
In the now-globally known Occupy Wall Street movement, average citizens have taken to the streets to protest the indecencies foisted upon them by leaders in various positions of power. The movement has been incredibly successful at raising awareness in the citizenry of the corruption that has been, and continues to be, performed by those in power. These abuses have been performed by nominated corporate chieftains and their underlings, and by elected – and perhaps worse, appointed – officials. (Worse because the public has no say-so in the appointee’s selection, a situation ripe for cronyism. And, in the easiest example, Goldman Sachs cronyism is what we’ve gotten.)
Closer to home here in Utah’s Wasatch region, the games, corruption, and bypassing of decent political processes continues. Occupy Wall Street has come to stand for the modern version of the citizenry rising up – sans pitchforks, lanterns, tar, and feathers as in days of old. Already, the term ‘Occupy’ represents any time that indecencies are in process, and are in need of a bright light to expose the actions, much as the suffix ‘gate’ took on new meaning following Watergate.
This sort of nonsense would never fly in the National Park land of the Tetons, should a proposal be put forth to connect Grand Targhee ski area to the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Why should it be allowed to fly on (non-National Park) federally owned land in the Wasatch? As the following guest editorial in Park City, Utah’s ParkRecord.com illustrates, it is perhaps time to Occupy the Wasatch:
(reprinted with permission from Mikell Bova)
Whatever happened to the democratic process?
There has been much controversy since Talisker, the owner of the Canyons Mountain Resort, announced its intent to link its resort to Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon via a tram back in late September. Since then Continue reading ‘Occupy the Wasatch?’
Crowds? What crowds? Getting out to ski the backcountry is a fantastic way to escape the noise, grit, grime, crowds, pollution, and other irritations of daily life. It surprises me on some level that people who live and work in busy, congested places seek out crowded ski resorts to recreate and unwind. But it’s really no different than going to the ever-crowded Disney World for a vacation, so perhaps the surprise factor isn’t so large after all.
Crowded, and flat. Not my favorite two variables…
However, it seems counterintuitive to me, since spending a day riding lifts at an area is bound to provide exposure to dozens of less than savory personal human traits. Check it: people yelling (in your ear) to a friend who simply can’t hear them, standing in the way (especially out of sight just beyond rollovers), being rude, clonking you on the head with the safety bar just as you’re sitting down on the chairlift, Continue reading ‘Serenity (Answer 11 of 12)’