12 January, 2008
hey kids, went to winterpark w/ alec today. my kharma must be good because today was another exceptional day. we parked in the mary jane side, a stone's throw away from the lift. alec had a two for one lift pass coupon he cashed-in and for $40, it's world class ski-action. the only bummer about the winterpark side of the mountain is that there's a butt-load of poling to do because some of the stretches of the runs are almost flat. it's even worse for the knuckle dragging snowboarders because they can't skate ski. the colorado ski country has been getting pounded the last couple of months and alec and i benefited from mother nature's bountiful precipitation. after we get our ski legs in we head up to the top of parsenn bowl. we don't ski down parsenn because the high winds have just baked the topmost layer of snow into this concrete/ice hybrid. instead we hit the gladed area to the left of it. we're talking about thigh-high untouched powder (we waited in line like the rest of the powder hounds for several minutes to the only lift that goes up there). how to describe it is like skiing on fluffy, deep, packaging popcorn balls. it was very light and our skis were floating midway up on the surface. the faster you go the higher your skis float. either way it was nutty because you really don't touch the bottom, it's this nutty, almost giddy, floaty feeling coupled with the tactile disconnect with what you're expecting mentally from the contour of the perceived surface. i did a lot of hopping to ensure both skis tracked and i'm sure we had a stuporific, copraphage-esque grin on our windburnt mellons. also mind you, that while we're descending this fluffy mental disconnect, it's in this cute little glade of trees. not officially tree banging but in wide avenues between groves. okay, so now we go back up to the parsenn bowl because alec thinks that the flipside has bowls so we ski, skate ski, and slide-step uphill to get a nice drop-in. we ask a guy in front of us if there's a bowl in this new area of winterpark and he says, "no, just trees and deeeeep snow." holee mackeral. now we're officially tree banging in snow up to our ding-a-lings. it's deeeeeeep and the trees keep us honest. in this part you really can't do wide s turns, or else you'll smack a tree and worse you'll be a skiing statistic. the best strategy is to go straight and scrub speed if you can't see an exit route (i.e. a tree dead-end) to the bottom. once we hit the flat part, it's so pristine that we follow lines depressed in the powder from previous skiers to get out. from this point, we're basically cross-country skiing-using as much energy from poling as we do skate skiing to get out. it's completely otherworldly. it looks like a scene from grimms' fairy tale with these crazy looking branches ripe for bursting with all the accumulated snow on it and powder snow (again, up to our ding-a-lings) on either side of the route. wow. it's almost spiritual it's so surreal and amazingly sunny.
doing this takes us to noon. we're getting pooped out so we ski mary jane again with a run alec spies that has both moguls and a bail-out. we hit the moguls and this is what i notice about our styles. alec keeps his upper body pretty silent and slide-bangs the turns. i ski like i'm galloping on a horse and tail slide the bottoms of the bumps to scrub speed. i find a line that will bounce me the least. it's like picking a technical line on a hardtail versus point and shooting on a dual suspension. if you compare our overlap in the venn diagram of styles though, our overlap is this: exhaustion. it's like doing squats, coupled with a 400m track event. completely anaerobic effort. we smile, but boy our legs are busted. we figure three more runs of this pain and pleasure principle and we're outty. sho 'nuff, we bail. we bail only after we hit a local coffee house and our barrista puts some loving into well crafted pieces of latte (long live esspresso-type drinks!).on the way back home we surround ourselves with conversation and a debrief of what we did and a summary of how our school year's going (he's a colleague as well). we talk about early red hot chili peppers, jam to some feist, and some gorillaz. we're batting a thousand on sublime ski outtings complimented with quality homey hangtime...