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March 29, 2009

Alta Trip

Talk about a cool trip. I got my 61 year old grandmother taking her very first ski lesson and on the mountain for the first time in over 30 years. While she was waiting for her lesson and in school, it just happens that I got an entire day of epic Utah blower powder during the last week of March.

I rolled up on Thursday and they had the canyon closed until 10:00 AM to do avalanche control. THAT IS A GOOD SIGN. By the time we got tickets and settled in, it was almost 11:00 and there was no morning ski school class. That left her to check out the Albion lodge, where the food was rather unimpressive. Horrible chili and terrible cheeseburger that cost $17.00 for the two plus a soda.

I headed up the backside to Sugarloaf and met Matt who was working at one of the condo complexes during the winter and took the day off to ski. We took several different lines down, but the best was Extrovert right under the lift line. Steep and perfect powder, though a short little jaunt, it was waist deep. After about a half a dozen runs, I headed over to the Collins side and caught a couple descents, but the backside was less crowded plus I wanted to catch up with my grandmother for a run at the end of the day. I lapped her and her instructor on Sunnyside while watching her work her way down the runs back to the lift.

And this is how I know I am a total loser... she brought only a $20 and spent $14 in the lodge waiting for me. I was cash broke. So we had a total of $6 for a tip for Dave who was an outstanding instructor. I felt like the biggest piece of dirt for shorting him on the tip, but there was no ATM and nothing we could do. I am writing to Connie Marshall, the PR director, and thanking them for the job that he did and sending a card with cash. I should have known better and brought more cash, but it was a flurry of a trip and poorly planned.

I rented a set of K2 Apache skis for the powder. They rocked. You just hammer your leg into turns and they float right through the carve. I am still kinda sore in the quads and rode in the backseat too much. I could tell that I was out of shape for that kind of pow, but I blame a poor winter at Brian Head. I have been working out at the YMCA but no amount of time on the weights and treadmill can prepare your quads for a 3' powder day.

It was epic. Grandma was hooked and all she could talk about was going again. I got sick pow run after pow run. It was by far the best day of the year and perhaps in the last couple years since I went to Wolf Creek with Erich and Tim.

Alta is heaven. That is all I can say.

Posted by Justin at 07:22 PM | Comments (1)

March 23, 2009

Heading to Alta This Week

I have a wedding (reception actually, those Mormon weddings) to go to in SLC. I never get invited to weddings, just the receptions, but what can you do? =)

Turns out that Alta got 11" last night and expects snow on Wed and Thur and I happen to be driving up there.

I am probably just taking boots and renting some powder skis to see what is out there equipment wise. I will offer a full report.

I am so stoked for my cousin Jenn who is marrying a third year Med student at the University of Utah. Just a solid guy. Got to meet him last summer and she done good.

Posted by Justin at 10:53 AM | Comments (3)

March 18, 2009

Tragic Skiing Accident in Canada

Horrible skiing accident puts the wife of Liam Nelson in a coma and the prospects do not look good:

Natasha Richardson is reportedly brain dead.

The 45-year-old actress - the wife of Liam Neeson, daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and sister of Joely Richardson - was rushed to hospital after sustaining a serious head injury while skiing in Canada on Monday and has since been flown to New York's Lenox Hill Hospital.

A source close to the family said: "It's so sad. Vanessa, her sister Lynn, everybody is gathering in New York to say goodbye. No one can believe what has happened, that this once vibrant woman, full of love, of life, is lying there brain dead."

Liam - who has two children with Natasha, 13-year-old Micheal and 12-year-old Daniel - rushed to be by his wife's side from Toronto when he learnt of her accident.

Natasha was taking a private ski lesson on the beginners' run at Mont Tremblant, Canada, but fell down when she reached the bottom of the run.

The actress was not wearing a helmet, but immediately stood up and insisted she was fine.

A Mont Tremblant spokeswoman said: "She was laughing and joking and she walked to her room on her own."

Natasha began complaining of a headache an hour later and was taken to hospital. She was later transferred to the intensive care unit.

WEAR A HELMET. This is so horrible. That is all I can think is how glad I am that I always have a helmet on. My Giro Encore is awesome. Just upgraded this season.

Posted by Justin at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

March 17, 2009

Saving Abel to Perform at Brian Head

For those that like Hard Rock (and I do):

In collaboration with Area 107.9 and Miller Beer, Brian Head would like to announce “Chill on the Hill”, which will be taking place March 20-22nd. The Area 107.9 “Chill on the Hill” party will be joined by Virgin Records band, “Saving Abel” and rising bands “Otherwise” & “Taddy Porter”. They will be performing live on Saturday March 21st in front of the Giant Steps Lodge.

Saving Abel is on tour with Nickelback right now and sing the songs "Addicted" and "18 Days", both of which are pretty kick ass.

Anyway, I just got back yesterday from Brian Head and am heading up a week from today for a wedding, so no go for me. Jake is bummed.

BTW, check Sirius's Octane for more hard rock. =) I cannot imagine life driving back and forth to Brian Head without Octane and Faction. Those that have Sirius know what I mean.

Posted by Justin at 08:14 PM

March 14, 2009

Spy Optic Soldier Goggle Review

The Spy Soldiers are the newest goggles in the house for us to use and replace a couple pair of old Oakley A-Frame goggles.

The difference is remarkable. The Oakleys used to fog all the time when it was coldest and when you were wearing a mask, meaning you had to take the mask off to get them unfogged, and finally, at some point, they developed condensation between the lenses that never really came out. The Spys have yet to fog--either pair of Apollos or the Soldiers.

I will be honest about the Apollo and Soldier goggles--it is like comparing a Chevy and a Cadillac to go from wearing my Apollos back to the Soldiers because the Apollos are designed so well and are almost $200. The Soldiers start around $50-75 and go up to $150 depending on what you buy and where. All have the same frame in various colors, but the lenses we have are the highest end they make and offer great definition and control the light very well.

One big difference between the Soldiers and the Apollo is how they fit on helmets. The Apollo straps have a pivot point on the side of the lens designed just for helmet wear. The Soldiers do not have the pivot but are still very comfortable.

Jake is wearing the Soldiers until they die, but a year in and they are like brand new. That is a really good sign because the Oakleys usually only lasted one season by comparison. He has yet to touch my Apollos, but those are the breaks. They are brand new and don't have a scratch, but they are also used by a 34 year old that pays attention. That is why it is so surprising that Jake's are in such good shape.

Overall, Soldiers get five out of five stars and that is only because the Apollos get six out of five stars.

Posted by Justin at 01:10 PM | Comments (1)

March 06, 2009

Slow Blogging

I am sorry about the lack of activity lately. I have been busy finishing some schooling at the community college and am working right now on preparing for my Masters Degree starting this summer at ASU. I am taking 16 credits of technical work in Linux and Microsoft so it is keeping me busy at the CC during the spring semester. Then the real fun of grad school starts.

Check the Masters of Science in Information Management Degree from the WP Carey School of Business out. I start the first week of June and will probably miss most of next ski season in school. Anyway, I got accepted last week and am busy making plans.

Posted by Justin at 04:01 PM | Comments (3)