Sunday, February 28, 2010

Riding Log 23-24 Stevens Pass

... Continued:

So we finally got to the house... 40 people in a 1.75 bedroom house is rough. There was not 1 inch of floor space left uncovered by a body. I slept between Paul and a stranger on a sofa bed. Beer was everywhere, Andy and Will slept on the kitchen floor. In a way, it was great! In other ways, it was awful! Particularly on my back.

So we woke up bright and early, got dressed and hungoverly got moving to the mountain. We had a safety class to attend in order to get our park passes. Once that was underway, Eric showed up and we gave him his passes and we headed up into the hills.

I grabbed a Sierra Stunt to demo, set it up, and was eager to get to the hill!

Choosing the hardest runs as a warm up on a hung over day aren't always the best. It was hot, sunny, and thick. We tired out quick and needed to head to the lodge to shed many layers. Round 2 was just as hard. Headed to the back we ran into Mike (Sierra owner) and Johan (Capita VP) and were off doing gnarly terrain again. I'm just happy I could hang. I'm happy I wasn't last. I'm happy I didn't break anything. I'm happy I'm progressing.

I eventually left Paul and Andy in need of breathing room. Yes Paul gets on my nerves. Yes sometimes I need a break. Yes when he hurts me and doesn't apologize it pisses me off. I needed to change my goggle lenses anyway. With Preston's keys in hand I ran to his car (more like walked), changed my lenses to my sunny lenses and headed back out. Some groomer laps, mogul laps, and park laps (where I went past every feature without hitting 1) we found Johan, beer and food!

Paul and Andy ended up with Mike and Johan for an out of bounds back country hike... they rode in some crazy stuff... I'm glad I wasn't there. It was too hot, too thick, too steep and too tight for me to handle with any sort of finesse. No matter ... with 20 more people to find to ride with... I wasn't going to be alone.

And that's when it began to rain. After my cup of coffee ... Paul and Andy came back safely, we found Eric, and another Sierra dude. We decided we werent calling it a day and headed back out... we did a bunch more runs having a crazy good time... and when our legs were tired and the snow was turning hard... we headed back to the house... but not without checking into a roomier hotel with hot water and room to dry our gear for Sunday shredding.

We were off to Levenworth, WA... a Bavarian town filled with worst and beer. YUM! We ate, we drank, we drank, we laughed, we drank, we went back to the house where we drank and goofed off and drank ;) Then off to bed by 11:30 ... what??! Only 11:30... yep

So after a nice sleep ... in a bed, we woke up, packed our gear, got dressed, and headed to the hill. No one was there yet so we started our day shredding wherever we felt like it. We checked out some new lines, rode on some old, spent much time on the back side having tons of fun. People started to slowly trickle in but we basically rode together... the 4 of us. We strategically took breaks to watch the US vs Can. gold medal game... US lost =( and we rode till 4 when the mountain closed.

Mike and Jenn let me keep the Sierra Stunt which Andy rode on Sunday... he loved it... and maybe needed it more than me so I let him keep it. Yeah I'm kinda sad he ended up with it, but at the same time he can press it better than me, it was more his size, and I'm really hoping for Rome 390s and a Sierra Reverse Crew... I can dream.

We packed tight into the car, drove to Seattle where Eric's friend generously let us shower at his house, got dressed, went to the airport... I had a holding back tears good bye with Paul, Andy and Eric got hugs and I was NY bound on my Sunday night red eye.

It was the worst flight ever... the people next to me sucked so bad... but I don't even feel like venting about it. Lets just say, they stole my seat, tricked me, smelled like fry oil, moved a lot, were not skinny, and in general sucked!

The sleeping arrangements from above... yes thats us'

Paul and I getting ready to head out for round 2

Yes, that's how many people we were... just in the hallway

Unileg! Jenn was nice enough to make me and E matching fleece PJ pants

Sometimes I pick my nose

Friday, February 26, 2010

Riding Log: 21-22 Mount Hood, CA

On Wednesday as I sat at my desk getting through my 2nd to last day of work before my flight to Portland, I kept hearing horror stories about the impending weather. Fearful my flight would be canceled I called Jet Blue who said it was a likely scenario. I'd been looking forward to this trip forever. I've been waiting to see Paul. I've been packing. I've been chatting. I've been longing for a trip to the PNW!

They changed my flight for free... I literally ran to the F train, ran home, ran up the stairs, grabbed my bag... who knew what was in it, hopped in Lauren's car and drove like mad to JFK. She prayed the whole way... what a great sister. And I was in. My flight hadn't left... but my bag was late. I signed a voluntary separation waiver and just hopped it would make it. If it didn't, I'd rent, I'd make due, I'd demo... I'd at least be there!

So to almost not make my snowboard trip b/c of snow in the place I'm leaving... ironic.

I landed early.... but 1:30AM EST... still had me beat. Preston picked me up... yes a man.... a person I'd never met... a person who was welcoming me into his house. Yeah it's risky... but I trusted him... many mutual friends knew where I was going to be. It was fine! I asked him to please not hit on me, rape me, kill me or eat me in my sleep... and he didn't.

After intermittent sleep I woke my tired eyes and headed downstairs where Preston and I chatted and discussed our day. We were picking up Rexy and Pat at 11AM and headed strait to Mount Hood Meadows. Boy was I excited. I set up my eminence btx expecting snow... powder... fresh! Well after our late start, need to refuel or bodies with food, and drive over to Meadows... we were just in time for some night riding. No fresh, no trees, no pow, but tons of fun.

We called it a night early, headed to the house, showered up, hit a bar, had some grub and were fast asleep by 12 PST.

Pat never actually made it home Thursday night having met up with a long time friend. He stayed by him. So we got up, got dressed, packed the car with our gear and luggage and headed to the bagel shop for some grub and coffee. Off the Meadows again... in the rain. But wait... out there rain = snow in the mountains. We got there and in the parking lot the rain became slush and by the time we were on the lift ... the slush became snow... that wet heavy snow but snow!

The conditions were white out. The snow was wet. The trees were fun. The challenges were many. And the falls were soft. It was maybe the 2nd most fun riding day I had all season. Preston had me and Rexy jumping off every natural kicker we could find. We were in the trees, we were goofing off. We were exploring. We were laughing. We were having fun!

I want to do it again!!!

Pat never made it out... it was 4 and it was time to go to Washington. Our friends and family were waiting for us up north. So we got in the car, wet, tired, and hugry and started driving our 4.5 hours to Stevens Pass! What a smelly moist drive!

Quote of the Day: ''My pink shirts are nestled between the purple and fuchsia right where they belong!" - Preston

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Riding Day :20 (Hunter Mountain)

Eric had a winter weekend up at his house in Woodstock, NY. I wasn't sure how it would play out but my mom wasn't talking to me, I had no plans, Paul's in Boston and he promised food, beer, friends, and riding... what's to consider.

I packed my bags the night before and immediately headed to his house in Astoria. He figured we could car pool. I was grateful for a break from behind the wheel. After grabbing Heather and Sach we were on our way. I was a little apprehensive because Joann and Danny would be there. I hadn't seen them in forever. It was odd at 1st but then things just clicked. They are happily engaged and I'm actually happy for them. They seem to just work together. That's important. I don't need to work with either of them... but they obviously need to work as a couple. Not to mention they are new mommy & daddy to a little puppy, Charlie, who is adorable!

So after a few beers, chatting it up, and snacks it was off to bed where I had my own room. Boy what a blessing that could be!

Bright and early... not really... I was up, teeth brushed, face washed, gear on, and ready to head out the door. Unfortunately it took Heather till the mountain opened to shower, put her full face of make up on, get her gear on and hop in the car where she had shit everywhere. We stopped for a quick bagel and coffee and were on our way.

Hunter was packed! The parking lot was crazy full... the ticket line was out the door too the street, the rental line for the 2 girls took 2 hours and the lift lines were that of Christmas week... it was winder break... we forgot.

We headed strait to the back side of the mountain for a few runs... it was Eric, Jerry and Myself. than after a run or 2 Sach and Julie met us. his binding broke and she was running late. It was fun... we rode all over the back side... some ice, some hard pack, some snow... a east coast mix. I rode the SMF... which I probably shouldn't have. They ride fast, they ride hard, there was ice... I shoulda been on the eminence btx. Oh well... I can do it and I did.

The day ended with a few more fast runs, some fluffy stuff, a long car ride home, a stop at the grocery store, beer, hot tub, wonderful menu of delicious food (thanks Bonnie, Eric & Joann), movies and laughs.

Sunday we didn't ride... always a disappointment's but understandable... not everyone is as crazy as me. We just relaxed... drove home in some traffic and I went home... USA beat Canada in the hockey game! YEY

Eric Played Photographer with his SLR + Fish eye lens.



Lilia (Me)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Riding Log: Day 18-19 (Camelback)

We headed out to Camelback for my sister's birthday. Amanda turned 11 on Friday. I was able to book us a condo for the long weekend and it was a bit tight but doable.

We headed to the hill a little late but spent the whole day there as it doesn't close till 10PM. We had a blast. The kids took over the whole hill and even my mom came out to ski. Lauren borrowed my F20s which I think she really liked. She was progressing like crazy. I was really proud of her.

The next day we headed back to the hill + 1 as Bryan had arrived the night before. He and Raquel disapeared at 1 point and they came back with new boots and Bryan picked up a Gnu Carbon Credit. Not the best board but it was his impulse buy and not my money.

Amanda's words of: this is the best birthday ever will forever ring in my ears... followed by my mom's over dramatic exit. Bullshit always ensues when my family is involved. Unfortunately we all just CANT get along. Thankfully the love is strong between my sisters and brothers and I and no negativity from the generation above that can tarnish it. Maybe it can leave a shadow, but never one you can't wipe clean.

God, please help my family... to not be crazy.

All in all the riding was fun though. Definitely a grom weekend. The kids hit a mogul run that wasn't steep. The pitch was that of a green but the moguls weren't too tiny. They had a blast bouncing all over the place. Amanda's parallel is improving and Kyle's confidence is booming. I'm really proud... as usual.

Happy Birthday, Amanda Panda!

It's sad when 1 person can ruin the good time of many. It's important that we remember the good times during the weekend which was 80% of the time... and forget the bad. Crazy people still deserve love, but the ones who are unwilling to help themselves don't always deserve tolerance and never acceptance. Change... but always for the better.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Riding Log: Day 17 Thunder Ridge

So after the Platekill drive the day before... I headed to my Mom's. I promised the grom and gromette a day of shred. I was thinking we should head south but I was still tired from the drive the day before, I wanted to be home for superbowl and I was broke. So I decided to put our season passes to good use and head to Thunder Ridge and boy what a happy surprise.

The lift lines were not as bad as I thought they would/could be and the lifties were actually doing their job which is rare. I guess at night they are a lot more lazy. They must have been blowing snow like crazy because the snow actually felt nice. We literally did every run but 1 which I deemed too hard for them to really enjoy.

Amanda and Kyle both did a progressive box in the park and did it well. I was really proud of them. Their skiing has improved and their attitude on the mountain has as well. They are much more assertive on lift lines, they are much more humble when asking for things in the lodge ($$), and they are more aware of their surroundings. They soak it up and I'm glad they do. I'm also glad that Kyle can handle a full day on the hill open to close without whining, falling asleep or complaining... well not too much anyway. They keep up so well... I think they'd blow most adults out of the water!


Skiing or Riding... the love of snow, winter, speed, and sport bringing people together is just such a beautiful thing - remember that always

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Riding Log: Day 16 Platekill

I was itching to ride... I just really wanted to be out there on the snow. Steamboat just past and my itch was bigger than ever having just come back east. So I made a few calls and found out Nelson would be up at Platekill for the day. It didn't take much for me to borrow a car (mine was in the shop) pack my gear and head on up.

Lauren - the best sister ever, brought my M.Y.'s car to borrow. I woke up at 6, picked up M.Y. dropped her off at my mom's and continued 2 hours more upstate. I got to the hill, got my lift ticket, found Nelson and let the snow take me. I ducked into closed runs for some fresh, I went into the trees for some adventure, and I was oddly enough the strongest rider out there that day. It was a lot of fun being on the better end of that spectrum but also boring. Which surprised me. I didn't feel too challenged... so I had to challenge myself and I did. That was nice.

I'm just glad I was able to get out there.

Nelson was great with his Sierrascope which just made it all the better.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Riding Log: Day 13-15 @ Steamboat, CO

So our 2nd Colorado trip is over and done with and I couldn't be sadder.

Day 1
It started off without any drama. After working from home till about 3, Paul, Jerry & I got picked up by Paul's dad. It wasn't easy squeezing 3 rollers + 3 backpacks + 4 bodies into the car, but after squeezing in and sitting on Paul's lap while laying over the bags, we were good to go. Our flight was not delayed, our baggage was checked and we headed to the gate where Sach met us. Once touching down in Dallas, we walked to our next gate and saw Andy. The 5 of us were on the same puddle jumper to Hayden. We picked up the gear and the rental car and were Steamboat bound.

Driving down Route 40 we saw an open liquor store and B-lined it just in time. The stores close at 11 and it was 10:40! $200 worth of beer later and we were off to 711 for cereal and milk. After unpacking the car and swigging a few beers we were driving to the Tugboat. This didn't last long. It was dead on a Wednesday late night. After 2 beers were were homebound to set up our gear and get some sleep for 1st tracks.

Day 2 (riding day 1)
We got up bright and early and started getting ourselves together. Once at the mountain we met our guide for 1st tracks. He was a cool older 2 planker. He took us up to the area we needed to be in and after asking us how we wanted to attach our morning, he took us right into the trees. We started off in the shadows where we did awesome. It was my 1st time in the trees and I'm pretty sure we held our own. After having the most amazing time getting through the most challenging thing I've ever done, I made the mistake of saying "that was the hardest thing I've ever done!" He looked worried... like maybe he shouldn't have taken me into the trees but I assured him I was loving every moment. We then moved into the closets which got denser. after it become too hard to manage he told me and Sach a way to duck out. As I traversed across this bumpy awkward terrain I could my heel edge and was set flying in the air only to land on my head. It definitely shook me up. The guide then took us to morningside where we did a few more trees and was told what spots we had to hit up. Then we said our good byes and headed into the trees for some more fun.

After a bit a water break was necessary. But 1st we went into Christmas Tree bowl! I hated it... the top was fun, but then it flattened out and we couldn't help from getting stuck once in a while. It took everything out of me. We NEEDED water and a snack.

The rest of the day was spent exploring the mountain. We went to every section and really just had a blast. Andy tried to stop/spray me and ended up taking out my back with the board... a bruise and a clench later and I was up and running. But an icy fall on my butt said those head pains from the 1st fall shooting back. It required a tylenol break.

We were pretty much all beat. We really had a crazy full day as it was. So we split up... Paul hit up Sunshine lift and the rest of us hit the park. After a few park laps we decided it was time to throw back a few pitchers... the best way to end a hard and successful day of shred!

We ended up entering the bar and just chowing down on some burgers and beers. Hit the grocery store and then went home and drank some more in the hot tub. After which we got showered and again drank some more.

Day 3: (riding day 2)

This day started nice and early much to our surprise. We rode all over the place. I'm pretty sure we covered most of the mountain. It was a lot of fun. More trees... though a bit more tracked out. We spent a ton of time getting lost trying to find lines we did the day before. We hit up every possible section until our legs were wobbly and we were satisfied. The day ended like it usually did... with beer and food

Some baked ziti later and we decided it was time to go to Steamboat Springs proper for some beers and bitches...well girls for the single boys. We went to the boathouse which was empty and then ended up at the Tap House. A bunch of beers later and we found ourselves on the corner waiting for the bus that seemed to take forever. After the bus picked us up, we stopped at McDonalds. We got back on the bus and got lost on the way home... I dont think Andy took that well. Oh well now we were home and in bed

Day 4 (riding day 3):

At this point everyone was sore... and it was almost comical how bad everyones feet hurt in the morning. We woke up early and headed strait into the trees which were even MORE tracked out. We went back to the skiers right side of the mountain near Storm Peak Express and others... the day was really perfect despite the lack of freshies! We did poach some under some local lifts and in the trees. It wasn't FRESH but it was untracked.

Right after this... we were headed back over to the front when a loud snap occurred in the trees.... fortunately it was the Rome Design still attached to Andy's feet... not Andy's bones! the board was done... cracked the nose right off. After a not so fun walk down the hill, Andy was homebound to pick up the Rossignol which he thankfully brought.

Jerry had some goggle problems so we went into the store where he was able to get a kick ass pair. Andy also got a helmet after our 1st day of riding, thankfully... I get really worried about these boys.

So anyway that was the riding more or less... good stuff all around. Except that I banged my head the 1st day bad... Jerry whacked his face on the pipe... and Andy broke a board. Otherwise... all epic and awesome stuff.

After the riding was done and we were showered and pregamed via our made up game of cricketcup we were headed to the Tugboat where a local reggae band was scheduled to perform. After many pitchers + shots + dancing... the place was closing down and we were headed home.

Day 5:
We woke up, packed up, cleaned up and headed to the Creekside cafe for breakfast. Its a place Paul and I loved from our 1st time there. From there... a bit of shopping and off to the airport. We were homeward bound and it was sad... so I wont even write about it.

Riding is something to be enjoyed... never do it for anything else.