Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pics from the weekend

A couple of quick pics from the weekend before I go do some stuff around the house.  Full report coming tomorrow.  Needless to say, the entire weekend was epic.  Best weekend (Friday-Sunday) that I think I've ever had at Gore.

More to come tomorrow . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


We're finally getting some snow, and I'm psyched.  I can't understand why people aren't loving this as much as I am.  People were complaining last night at West because it's not light and fluffy.  And people are complaining about ski area websites posting pictures that exaggerate snowfall amounts.  Disgraceful!!!!  Right now, after the year we've been having, is the worst time to complain.  Take the powder and go ski (or risk angering Snow God Ullr once again!).  Unfortunately, I couldn't get out today (although I probably should have), but I'm thinking tomorrow and Friday are a go.  Finally, some SKIING!!!

In other news, I found this really interesting article from NPR about life.  From what I can gather, it says that the reason time speeds up as we get older is that we stop having fresh experiences.  Time "slows down" when our brains are recording things that they've never seen or done before:
That's because when it's the "first", there are so many things to remember. The list of encoded memories is so dense, reading them back gives you a feeling that they must have taken forever. But that's an illusion. "It's a construction of the brain," says Eagleman. "The more memory you have of something, you think, 'Wow, that really took a long time!'
"Of course, you can see this in everyday life," says Eagleman, "when you drive to your new workplace for the first time and it seems to take a really long time to get there. But when you drive back and forth to your work every day after that, it takes no time at all, because you're not really writing it down anymore. There's nothing novel about it."
 So, the solution to everlasting life (or at least a life in which time moves really, really, really slow) is to do something new and exciting every day.  See something you've never seen before.  Take up an activity that you've never tried but always wanted to.  At very least, try something on the menu that you've never had. Or risk the belated realization of a life that has passed you by.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Get Thee to VT . . .

I should note, however, that not all of the east is experiencing a snow drought.  Maine is having a very good winter.  And, as those Famous Internet Skiers found, so is Stowe.  I won't post the pictures without permission, but just trust that you want to go to the site and see the pictures.

Snow Drought and Other Stuff . . .

According to Harvey Road, the last time the National Weather Service in Albany posted a Winter Storm for the Adirondacks was December 9th.  His Gore Snowfall total is down more than 5 feet from last year.  According to the NWS, Albany has had only 6 days with more than an inch of snow this winter and is down about 20 inches from last winter.

Depressing, yes, but fear not.  I will always remember the sign at Sugarloaf on one of the lift towers that says that its snowiest months are March, April, and February (in that order).  I'd assume that Gore is similar.  Here's hoping that this winter will be redeemed with a monster Spring.

I would like to call to your attention, though, the difference in "snow droughts" from East to West.  Talking with people in Utah, you would think that it's the end of the world out there.  When I posted the Tahawus Glade Video on my facebook page, a guy I went to college with said that there's more snow in the trees here than there was out there.  Granted, they've gotten a little more snow since then - I thought PowderQueen's TR (also on Harvey Road) looked pretty damn good to me (even she, however, put in a mild complaint - "We didn't get too much deep powder, but we made the best of what we had").  Then I checked the Statistics.  Alta had gotten 162 inches of snow before I posted my video (they're up around 250 now).

Amazing!!!  In my wildest dreams, I could only hope that we'd get 162 inches of snow this year.  Imagine someone complaining!  I know, I know, mountains out there need more snow to operate because they don't have the manicured runs that we have here, but come on!!  If I lived out west, would I become a snow snob too?  Would I look out the window, see a base depth of only 84 inches and go back to sleep?  If the answer is yes (and I think it might be), that just speaks volumes about the difference in skiing from East to West.  We ski here because it's enjoyable, fun to do with friends, and great excercise.  Out there, though, people ski because they SKI.

And that's the difference.  I had a blast on Sagamore last week.  It was great: fresh gun-pow, soft bumps, and good people.  But I stayed on Sagamore for pretty much the entire day.  That was the only place where I could SKI.  I guess it's obvious that I believe that SKIING is different than skiing.  And it seems like this year, I've had a lot more skiing than SKIING.  Don't get me wrong, I've had some great runs, but there hasn't been a day where I've been completely gung ho about pushing myself, exploring, and taking charge of a ski day.  I've mostly been taking it as it comes, finding the good snow, and lapping it until I'm tired.

Come to think of it, I always do a lot of that at the beginning of a season.  When the mountain isn't fully open, the best bet is to find the trail that they've been hammering with guns, and ski it until your legs give out.  The problem is, this year has been like an extended early season.  There's not too much separating skiing now from skiing in December or Early January.  Yeah, there are more trails open, but none that really excite me (especially since they keep grooming the trails that have character).  How many times can I ski groomed frozen granular before I get bored?  Pretty soon, I'm going to want to SKI.  I want to rip bump lines and tree lines, I want to adventure, I want to explore, I want to find a stash that no one has skied for weeks, I want to stare at big mountains, and plan tomorrow's day over a beer (because it will be different than today).  These are the things I love about skiing.  And they're the things that I can't do in an Eastern Powder Drought, but can do in a Western Powder "Drought".       

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update (and goals)

If we ever get any snow this year (and I get my new skis), Ace and I are going to tackle the Thunderbolt Trail:

75th Anniversary Thunderbolt Ski Race from Blair Mahar on Vimeo.

Just another goal to add to the list.

Currently, I'm working two jobs, traveling a lot for one of the jobs, up north on the weekends, and getting home late on the weekdays.  Not much time for blogging, but lots of time in my car.  When I am home, though, the Ski Channel has some SICK tele movies on from sweetgrass productions.  On my Time Warner Cable, the Ski Channel is in the "On Demand" section under "Sports".  Check it out.