Ski Blog... Been doing this since 2005!

August 04, 2008

Trip North to the Condo

This last weekend I took a trip to SLC with my grandmother for a wedding. I laugh because my grandparents raised me and we traveled all over while I lived at home with them. It was the first time we actually got to go out with no real worries about my grandfather's health in probably a decade.

She finally got to see the condo and fell in love with Brian Head.

Every time I think that the town or the condo or the resort is getting old, I remember the upside of Brian Head--it is perfect for families and for folks learning to ski for the first time. I love my condo. The climate is great in the summer.

So I run into my neighbors down the hall that I had not met two condos down. I check their remodel job and they check mine. They say, "Do you run a website because this looks like a condo remodel project on"

Good times.

Posted by Justin at 06:13 PM | Comments (1)

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 07:37 AM

September 11, 2007

Condo Bath Remodel

BTW, this is what we went to Utah for. We were finishing up the bathroom remodel for the condo. This is the last room we have left to do.

New Condo Bathroom

Pics of the bathroom can be found in the photo gallery.

Posted by Justin at 12:25 PM

July 11, 2007

Condo Remodel Pics

The latest pics of the condo are posted in the photo gallery.

Here is the closet organizers inside.

These are the new closet organizers from IKEA.

Posted by Justin at 07:21 PM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2007

Skiers versus Snowboarders - Brian Head Horror Story

I am talking to Cynthia, my neighbor down the hall at Brian Head. Way cool lady from Vegas who we run into most busy weekends including over Christmas and this last weekend.

Turns out that some jerks broke into her ski storage closet between Christmas and MLK weekend. Get this--they stole two Burton boards, but left about $2500 worth of skis behind. They didn't even want to waste time with the skis, just the boards.

I pulled my powder skis into the condo and brought the Burton board into the condo too. Sure, they can get stolen from the condo too, but I have double deadbolts on both the condo and the storage closet. She only had one lock. I checked my closet and some jerk with a screwdriver had tried to break into mine too.

So not to sound like a two plank wank, but why the hell do all the gear thefts involve snowboards, not skis? Cynthia didn't have condo insurance, which double sucks. I do, so if someone steals my gear, it isn't going to hurt as bad. I left the old kids skis in the gear locker, so if you want a four year old of K2 Jr. Escapes in a 125 or a pair of crusty Rossy 109 kids skis, have at it. I hope you have fun busting into my locker and wish you well if you want to tote them down the three flights of stairs.

If you dig on stealing stuff or if you need to steal to afford your snowboarding habit, I offer three alternatives to fix the situation--charge the kids on the football team a little more for their reefer; get into the more lucrative side of theft and crime; or stop wasting your money on the ganj unless you are willing to make a career out of being a lowlife.

Disgusting. Gear thiefs are the lowest form of life their [damn that grammer and my inability to use there and their] is and I hope that karma bites you for it. I hope that you steal an avalance beacon from someone's locker and it is defective while you are in the backcountry and that a freek sluff sends you to meet the ski Gods who will punish you for your lack of faith. There is no repentence for being a gear thief and eventually the punishment will catch up with you.

Posted by Justin at 12:55 AM | Comments (3)

December 15, 2006

Storm Coming to Brian Head, and It Is Needed

We are at the condo as we speak. Jake and Jackson both skied yesterday and today, plus hit up the mountain for night skiing too. It is mega-ice. But they don't seem to mind. I enjoy being able to walk and move in one piece too much to ski these conditions.

A major storm is heading this way and forecasts are for possible two to three feet. I spoke to one of the operations guys for the resort and he said no new terrain is going to open until next week at the earliest after this storm comes through. It has been too warm for snowmaking several nights last week.

We are finishing up the drywall in the condo today and doing taping and texturing. We put in the ceiling in the downstairs bathroom, finished the drywall in the main loft, and finished the upper loft. We have carpet ready to install as soon as we finish the texture. As usual, early season ain't fun for us to ski, but we work while the boys ski the ice and man-made groomed stuff. It has been a pretty productive trip.

Posted by Justin at 09:22 PM

December 10, 2006

Heading to Brian Head

Got the Green Light from my dad to take Jake and Jackson out of school and head to the Condo Wednesday through Saturday night. We are going to be working in the mornings and evenings and trying to get some skiing in between. OK, less work and more skiing than I am leading on.

Conditions still pretty much suck, but it appeared that today's snow is going to linger a little bit and hopefully leave a foot or so of fresh, which may permit opening some more runs. If we are still basically down to a couple of runs and crap snow, I will not spend a ton of time navigating things, but on a weekday before the Christmas Holidays, the place should be dead so that helps.

Goals for this trip::

  • Finish tape and texture of drywall in loft
  • Paint loft
  • Fix wood floor in loft
  • Install carpet in upper loft
  • Possibly put up drywall in downstairs bathroom.
  • Ski 3-4 days, conditions not sucking

This should close the work for the year up. And it is just the right time for it. The following week, Tera, Jake, and Jarrett are going up with me sans our 2 year old who is staying at Grandmas. Then the week after, Jake and Jackson as well as my dad plus some friends from Wickenburg are going. That gets us through until the New Year.

I have a ton going on next year, but as long as my job situation allows me to, I am going to stay in Utah as much as possible. I am hoping for a 30-40 day winter again, so I gotta get going.

Posted by Justin at 10:31 PM

November 04, 2006

Heading to the Condo Early Next Week

I am making a trip to the condo next week. Sad reality is that I don't have any of my gear at my house anymore and most of it can use either a cleaning or a tune up. I am hoping that my dad can help me finish the drywall and flooring repairs that we have to make in the loft.

Still hardly any snow at Brian Head, but there are a couple of storms forecast for the week coming up.

I am going to bring my gear back and if things don't start moving down here, make a trip to Wolf Creek shortly. Gotta get my legs under me. Pray for snow!

Posted by Justin at 11:15 PM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2006

Snow at Brian Head

What a long week. I got up to Brian Head on Sunday evening and demo'ed the old upper loft and the closet in the lower loft. My dad came up on Monday at around 2PM but was beat so we only got a little bit done. By the time we finished taking out all the old framing and drywall, we were too tired to go down the 3 flights of stairs and take a load to the dump that night.

BIG MISTAKE. We awoke to find an entire truckload of 2x4's and now wet drywall covered by almost a foot of powder.

It absolutely dumped on Monday night at Brian Head and it made the place look so much better. It always looks better when there is snow on the mountain.

Posted by Justin at 11:33 AM

September 06, 2006

Summit at Brian Head

How can I possibly be this slow to report major news on my home resort? I am seriously slacking, but hey, it is football season. I guess that is my excuse.

The Summit at Brian Head is going to be a massive new development on the Southern edge of town.

"Our resort will capitalize on what we see is pent-up demand for quality resort living and we plan to lead the growth in that area," added Jabra, who is also a driving force behind a $500 million 700-unit luxury high-rise residential project in Las Vegas.

Summit at Brian Head will be a master-planned community built on 42 acres near the southern boundary of Brian Head. The overall complex at completion will consist of 420 condominiums, 34 town homes and a signature clubhouse. Pre-development financing is in place for the project.

The town's namesake ski resort is also has in place a 10-year expansion plan which calls for a golf course, another chairlift, and housing projects of its own.

Add this to the Lofts at Brian Head and the new Black Diamond condos going in near the base of Giant Steps, and there are some massive new projects coming to the resort.

I can tell you from personal experience that Brian Head has a lot to offer. First and foremost is its proximity to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and LA. Second, is its cost. An entry level condo is a third the cost at most comparable resorts. Third, the resort has great powder and lots of terrain. Most of it is intermediate, but that should change when the new Pioneer Cabins lift is completed. Fourth, Brian Head has an awesome family atmosphere, uncrowded slopes, and is a great place to bring the kids.

Makes you wonder how all the new traffic and new people will change the resort, but I am a huge advocate for change and for improvements at resorts. BH needs some new lifts, some more terrain, and needs the exposure that these projects will bring. This increases the value of my condo and my experience at Brian Head.

Posted by Justin at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2006

Lofts at Brian Head

Interesting new project is coming to Brian Head starting this year. The Lofts at Brian Head is the first new condo complex build at Brian Head in almost 25 years. Prices start at around $425,000 for a 1600 sq. ft. condo.

Considering that the going rate for crusty old 1970's condos with popcorn ceilings and nasty interiors is close to $250 per sq. ft. right now, the $260 per sq. ft. asking price for the lofts is a heck of a bargain.

If you are interested, I have worked with Chris Thompson at High Country Realty on a couple of properties now (one fell through and buying one now) and he is a straight shooter and a quality guy. Make sure you call Chris and let him know that Justin at sent you. My wife and I are looking at one of the units now since our current condo, despite being pimped, is a bit on the small side for five of us to live in year round.

BTW, my wife and I are strongly considering relocating permanently to Brian Head starting this fall. Details are still in the works, but the new condo is a major consideration.

Posted by Justin at 04:26 PM

February 18, 2006

Eight in the Condo and the Lifts Are Shut Down

Good things and bad things today at Brian Head. First, it is snowing, which is always good. Second, it is so windy that the lifts are on wind hold. The entire upper mountain at Brian Head is shut down since about 11:30 AM today.

So, third, tomorrow is going to have a decent amount of fresh (if it doesn't blow away). But fourth, the place is completely packed with people because it is President's Day weekend and to compound it, there is only one lift open on the main side.

So it is with anticipation for tomorrow that things will be better that I head to sleep tonight. I spent the day riding crowded slopes on groomed runs, but we did enjoy the terrain park and I worked riding switch on my Atomics. My wife stayed in the condo, because the conditions just were too rough. No sense trying to keep warm and learn in close to zero visibility.

Erich and Dan from my old work rolled up last night and we always enjoy hanging out. We are enjoying the place with family and friends for the first real get together. More updates on conditions tomorrow AM.

Posted by Justin at 04:10 PM

January 05, 2006

Condo Remodel - New Pics

New Photos are up. Have a look. Stuff is getting closer to done. We have furniture and cabinets. Sinks and countertops will be in next week.

Posted by Justin at 01:21 AM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2005

Heading North Again

I am heading north this Tuesday for the rest of the week. Brian Head is still open in name only since two runs is not really "open", but I am taking my skis with. Might try to get a few turns in and take a couple of pics. The last few days they received another foot or so of snow, but it still barely coats the slopes. Nice thing about a season pass is it costs the same to ski a bad day as a good one. Say a short prayer that I don't get hit by some 16 year old on the two open runs that thinks he is Bode Miller training for the Super G.

More work on the condo this week as we are expecting new appliances and cabinets to show up shortly as well as my dad and I are putting in the hardwood floors and finishing the painting. The place is almost ready for prime time.

Christmas break is almost here and I plan to spend almost all of it at Brian Head teaching my middle son, Jarrett--age 4, to ski. My wife has only got a day or two on the mountain in her life and is an Arizona native, so I am hoping that she gets back up there too. I bought her a padded "girdle" similar to what football players wear with hip and butt pads so that she doesn't break anything.

The best part is Jake is such a little jerk that the entire time he will be taunting Jarrett and Tera with, "You suck" or "This is so easy". Last week he was wedging down the blues because he hadn't been on skis in a year. I wanted to make fun of him and pay him back, but decided not to--very much. I stopped playing Playstation or X-box because of him, so I try to enjoy the last year or two of skiing where I am actually better than him. Another few years and I won't even be able to beat the crap out of him anymore. The joys of parenting I guess.

Posted by Justin at 11:58 AM | Comments (3)

July 19, 2005

A nice walk next door

Just setting the tone for winter. A Picture is worth 1,000 words. This is the front of my condo complex and my back yard. Some folks have playground equipment in their back yard, but I like mine better. To the right side of the picture you will see several very large black metal poles. Not exactly a jungle gym for the kiddies, but for me and my friends that come over and play, I think my playground equipment will do. To the left side, behind the white car, you can see my condo.

Posted by Justin at 04:56 PM