Monday, February 9, 2009

Whistler Blackcomb

What a trip - there were definitely highs and lows. I would have done some things different, but I wouldn't take it all back. I don't regret it, but I don't want to relive it. It was hard... 6 days strait of riding. It was hard on my muscles, hard on my feet, hard on my ego. It was full... full of food, full of beer, full of foolishness. It was dramatic... complainers, crankiness, differences in personality. It was quiet... people slept in, slept early, read books, soaked, relaxed. It was loud... there was knock [ring] and run, there was yelling, there was alcohol induced laughing, there was fun. It was lonely... there were different abilities, a lack of belonging, a lack of people. It was tiring... tired of riding, tired of bad weather, tired of small spaces, tired of the company, tired from all of the above.

This trip was planned well - I worked really hard to ensure that we had everything handled once we got there. The flight was smooth (minus excessive turbulence over the rocky's to be expected), the car rental worked out well, the hotel check in was a breeze, and the rental return worked out great. No one lost luggage, no one lost gear, no one had to rent, and no one held us back. The mountain was ours for the taking... except the snow was minimal.

We got a little snow the 1st day and rode a lot. I did some hard shit. Everyone was surprised I was more or less getting through it all. The run is over 4 miles and includes 5,020 feet of verticle ... it started with a bowl, dumping into a narrow trail, ending with endless moguls. My legs were tired and my board would not cooperate... I was tired and my form sucked. I had to stop, I had to take a break, I had to let my feet rest, I had to bitch ... I was PMSing and I thought I couldn't do it. But I did it... and it was probably one of the easier runs I had done that day. It is not the run you want to end your day with ... no one wants miles of moguls under their feet after going balls out for a day.

Soon after I soothed my aching muscles in the hot tub... took a bit of a nap and skipped dinner... woke up a bit later for some left overs and went back to bed. I was done for the day.

I woke up the next day to powder... and it was still coming down. I was excited and I couldn't wait. I asked to do a warm up but the guys wouldn't have it - they wanted to get there boards deep into that pow and ride it out... I stayed with for a bit and decided to head out and do my own thing. It was about time I did something my speed instead of constantly over my head. It's one thing to do it... and another to wear yourself out on day 2 of 6. After much arguing I convinced everyone I'd be fine... I had a trail map, had my ipod, and was ready to venture into the unknown. It was short lived... I caught up at the lift and headed up with them into the bowls. They did a lot of trees and out of bounds shit while I stayed mostly on the trail only venturing off where nice powder was rock and boulder free. I had a great time despite being alone.

Soon later my legs ached and my back was sore... as was everyone else's and we headed back... Paul did a few more runs on his own. We got the chili started and headed for the hot tub where I decided was too hot and went back upstairs. I explored and I waited for Paul to head in. Once he did, we drank, hot tubbed, drank, and drank, oh and ate. It was going well... but Paul's friend started to irk me. Not that he did anything so ridiculous - he just had douche tendencies. He would say things that were corny, try too hard to be "cool", comment on our stupidity as if he was above it then try and join in feeling left out, he'd feel free to criticize and show his arrogance, and he was a pain in the ass. He only eats organic peanut butter and he doesn't eat eggs. Not to mention anything that was texturally creamy. I'd usually not expect this crap from a 31 year old but everyone accommodated.

By day three I was cranky and needed alone time... my period sprung into full action and the cramps kept me up the entire night before. I announced immediately that today I'm riding alone. Everyone gave me a hard time in the beginning saying I can keep up but I insisted I wanted to be alone. At which point Paul's friend asked me maybe 2-3 times why I wanted to ride alone. Was it because the terrain was too hard? - yes a bit. Was it because they went a bit too fast? - yes party. But this was no answer for him... so eventually I shot out "BECAUSE I WANT TO RIDE ALONE". This finally got an "okay" and that convo was done - until Paul insisted that I go with them to this horrid place that required me to traverse for say I don't know eternity! My calves were hurting and I hated him for it... actually this was day 2... but lets just call it three for story telling sake because all these days felt like 1 long mess.

Miserable at this point and cramping up a storm ... oh and hating everyone I went back to the room. We later went out and had drinks but it was boring and uneventful.

Basically all the days kind of resembled one of the days described... there was snowboarding, eating and drinking.

Jerry farted every three minutes and it smelled something horrendous.

I basically rode by myself the remainder of the week except Thursday where everyone was really spent and pretty much rode groomers with me - that and there was not too much snow.

One of the nights we were playing kings ... a bad game of Kings... there are rules and unwritten rules to kings... I hate people who spoil the game. I hate when people make the very reason to play the game moot. But like all drinking games, it effectively got us drunk... and soon after I was wearing my bathingsuit over my sweats and t-shirt trying to fly off a couch. Then the trend of looking like a fool caught on and Jerry put on his super hero outfit. Then we all found ourselves walking to the local bar... where we were asked if we were high on shrooms. I almost wished I was but no no, I was drunk enough. We then proceeded to bother people, drink excessively, act like assholes, play fooseball (sp?), play pool, punch a punching bag, and drink more. I did beat the boys in the punching bag thing which was kind of cool.

The next day was much of the same except we "partied" in the village which was boring and then we headed back.

Thursday we again went to the game room to play some thumper and some pool... it was okay. Thumper is a bit too easy with 4 people - especially when they aren't too drunk. Douche tried to be a douche again by picking dumb hand signs like thumping the table... again douche. This soon got too boring to bear so we headed back to dusty's where we met with our shroom asking bar tenders... played the punching game with them... drank some guiness and some jaeger. The next morning was rough but we rode anyway - after all it was our last day.

We Tbar'd and hiked it up to blackcomb glacier and rode it out. I did a few easy tree runs with Jerry who saved my sanity this trip and we headed in and started our drink fest at Dusty's. We went there just to two of us, drank some beer, ate some BBQ, scoped out chicks, went in the hot tub, and relaxed.

Jerry was my savior for numerous reasons on this trip... His stupidity is charming in its on stupid way. When I'm in a bad mood, he does something stupid to make me laugh or he calls me out on it without being mad at me and it snaps me out of my PMSing. Paul will just be pissed at me which makes me more mad and Joe... well...

He did his own thing but when we ride together he challenges me and stays with me... he doesn't leave me to the dogs on tree trails, he doesn't lie to me, and he is realistic of me. When I back down, he encourages me and it pushes me to do more. Her criticizes me and helps me improve without making me feel like I suck. Paul only does this for 2 minutes till he loses patience or gets annoyed with my slower speed and ditches me leaving me on some hard trail to get down alone. We actually joked about this a lot on the trail... I at one point was so tired of playing catch-up I said I'd take the last run at my own pace and meet at the condo... I had calf bite and needed a brake... Paul stayed with me and I said no b/c he's too pushy ... he responded "Okay okay, I won't push you but hurry up already" to this we both started laughing.

And he with me though Joe was a douche. Nothing horrible... not ruin your trip worthy, just someone you wouldn't want to do it all with again, unless you were in maybe a big enough group where his opinions didn't quite matter. Maybe he and I filled up on a good amount of haterade instead of our usual morning coffee every morning like Paul suggested, but this is who we are. We like some people and we don't like a lot of other people. We aren't tolerating people, we aren't patient and we aren't understanding. For the most part I don't find anything wrong with this. If I like you, I'll give you my time, patience and love... if I don't ... why waste my time and why be fake about it.

Though Paul and I didn't spend much time together... seeing how good he is at riding is always a turn on ;). I'm happy he had a good time and I'm happy he got a lot of runs in.

If I could do it again, I'd hope more people could come so we could have the dynamic of the Colorado trip. No need to go out to bars, no need to try and have a good time, no need to meet other people... we entertained ourselves... we were the party. We didn't need anything besides a good beer and each other. That didn't happen this trip... there were too few people, no girls aside from me, and too much conflict of personality. Though we didn't wait for anyone to get their make up on, it wouldn't have mattered in a ski in/out.

Did I mention there were no other intermediate skiers? Last year, though Andy went a lot faster on the groomers, he had just as hard of a time on the terrain as I did. We would go and fall our way down together and it was fun... because I knew I wasn't alone straggling behind. When I was with Caroline, she was a bit slow, more of a beginner, but nothing scared her and we encouraged each other to do things we wouldn't have done alone... till by the end of the trip we were both doing hard blues and powder covered blacks together - it was fun.

It's hard to plan these trips and really make them happen. People don't love snowboarding like I do. They don't plan 1 week long vacations surrounded by snow while strapped to a plank of wood. And they think its horribly asinine to book a trip to go somewhere cold in the middle of winter. People who like to do weekends in VT sometimes wouldn't dream of spending $1500+ on a week out west. It's a lot to ask... time, money, and interest.

Last year, Andy +3 only stayed for 3 days. Paul and I spent 1 day alone traveling south and met up with my friend Steve who stayed another 3 days. We roughed 7 days + 6 days riding... we were the only troopers. Now I know Jerry would do it again... even Steve once his back is healed. Maybe we can make it happen again. Its an open trip and all are always welcome no matter what your abilities and interests are... there is snowmobiling, ice climbing, cat riding, heli tours, xcountry, snow tubing, etc etc etc... hopefully we get something fun together for next year.

I'm thinking Wyoming... I'll make it happen.

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