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December 28, 2007

Brian Head Snow Update

I skied yesterday and today at Brian Head with an entire condo full of friends and family. I mean mad house. We packed 9 people into the condo and it was overflowing. We are lucky we didn't get busted for all the noise we made during the first half of the ASU-Texas game which was in part some serious profanity aimed at Rudy Carpenter. You gotta get rid of the ball. Nah, probably more at the offensive line for missing blocks and the defensive ends and outside linebackers that kept losing contain. Unless you missed it, 52-34. But enough about the second whoopin' in three games by a national powerhouse...

We have two first time snowboarders with us and another two guys that have maybe five or six days on the slopes under them. Great news for all of them is that Flint and Cameron wear size 12 and 13 boots and it happens that I have two boards and boots that fit them. Carson fits into my size 12 Nordicas that my dad usually uses and is skiing my K2's and Atomics. We have been switching off during the day. That leaves only Tim that has to rent and he got a smoking deal at Georg's, which is an awesome place to rent gear. $22 per day. And the skis are nice Atomics that appear to be only a year or two old.

The snow the first day was sketchy at best. Windblown and icy. We tried out the new Interconnect and I have some issues. There are some serious flat spots, some even uphill, that you have to get through and there isn't enough vertical to build speed to get across them. My chest is sore from using my poles over and over. The worst is between Navajo and the new chair 1. We headed over to Bump and Grind, grabbed some lunch, and took a run or two in the PM. An entire day of maybe 8 runs. It was cold, but nothing compared to Thursday.

Yesterday redefined cold for me. Standing temp was zero with a 20 mph wind. Wind Chill approached 20 below. My nice Burton gloves (and while I am not a Jake Burton fan, their gloves and some of their other gear are so well designed that I gotta use them) that couldn't keep my hands warm, even with warmers in them. I called it a day when my fingers stopped hurting and went numb because given my blogging and job, having fingers is a real plus. I have a fat pair of polypro thermals that hooked me up with in April. They are the warmest thermals I have ever used and well worth the price. They run under $20 for the black heavy weight ones that I have and they are well worth the investment. Unfortunately, they are in Phoenix because I decided to bring them home and wash them last trip. Note to self, never wash ski gear... wait, that probably wasn't the moral to the story. Blame Tera... nope, still not the point. Perhaps I should be a little more careful about packing. At least I brought the towels back from the house. Upside was almost a foot of fresh, which kept me fighting the cold and taking runs.

Cameron and Flint were in ski school, but the line for lessons was so long that they missed the cutoff for the AM lessons and were stuck in the lodge for half the day. Jarrett spent his second straight day in ski school and Amelia, his instructor, was absolutely awesome. I am figuring early 20's and an SUU student, but I didn't ask. She got him two days in a row and had a class of two kids in Level 3. Note to readers, TIP YOUR SKI INSTRUCTORS WELL. $10 is decent. You are gonna drop that on lunch and it at least buys the instructor their lunch and gas for coming up to their $7 an hour job.

Speaking of instructors, Carson and Timmy got Justin as their personal instructor. Private lessons baby. Timmy is tearing it up. Carson is really starting to get it. A little bit of a struggle with his right hand turns and a little struggle to stay carving on steeper stuff. I took them down Wild Ride that has about a 100 foot vertical drop that is the steepest thing on the mountain (which is sad in and of itself). That didn't end so well for them, but I gotta take them places that are more difficult every once in a while. After they fell four or five times, they both ass slid down. I took a different approach. Since it was a powder day, I got a good start, and dove face first with skis up and front slid down. Powder conditions rock.

It brings back fond memories of when I was at that stage and Jake was about where Jarrett is now. It has been 5 solid years of 20+ days and I am finally completely bored of Brian Head. Don't get me wrong, on a powder day, I would ski a corn field with a rope tow made out of a pickup truck, but unless the snow is great, the only reason to go out is to coach friends and hang out.

So here is the summary--it was cold. 10" of fresh, but at the top, it is almost completely gone from the wind and icy as can be. I stayed away from Giant Steps because of the cold and wind, but Roulette was decent once you got past the top where there was minimal coverage. Navajo was great and this is the first real time I have skied over there. I did some postholing when I tried to ski through the trees and hit some flats. The Interconnect makes life easier when changing mountains, but if you snowboard and don't like stepping out and walking/kicking, the shuttle still runs between mountains and isn't a bad idea. Chair 1 was on wind hold for a while yesterday (and that may be a recurrent theme) so the Interconnect wasn't an option until around noon. The condo realistically sleeps 6-7, 9 is pushing it. All around, a day that is memorable only because of the cold, not because of the skiing.

Posted by Justin at December 28, 2007 07:37 AM