Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I write a lot about anticipation. It’s not that I’m incapable of living in the moment; it’s just that I feel like life is better when you’re looking forward to something. But one thing I don’t enjoy is the griping around this time of year about terrain options (or, more specifically, lack of terrain options). Sure, I’ve definitely complained in the past. But since then I’ve realized that, instead of spending all your time waiting for an enjoyable payoff, it’s better to enjoy the time leading up to the payoff. Patience, it turns out, is a virtue.

So, after skiing on Saturday, I went mountain biking on Sunday, then watched football, drank beers, and took a nap. Sometimes a little decompression is good. I know that the snow is going to be there in February, March, and April, there’s no need to go crazy. Or is there? Here’s a story about a bunch of people who’ve been skiing on crushed rocks:

The daredevils carved their way down a steep slope in the western Austrian village of Haiming, producing clouds of dust and at least one face-down tumble.

Among reports that a mild winter has left sportsmen with a lack of the white stuff in Europe, the skiers obviously decided to take matters into their own hands.

I’m not going to be doing that anytime soon. I mean, maybe if it was grass or dirt, but talus slope does not scream “Number One Option” to me. A real option when you're going number one is this new urinal game in Britain that incorporates skiing:

Drinkers can enjoy a spot of simulated skiing or extinguish some virtual flames while relieving themselves at The Exhibit bar in Balham, south London.

High-tech sensors detect the direction of urine and translate it into action on a 12-inch screen above every urinal.

By aiming carefully while spending a penny, users can guide a skier off piste or put out a raging inferno during their 60-second toilet trip.

I think I can be patient for a little longer.

In fact, I’ve tried to incorporate this theory of patience into my entire life, and I think it’s finally starting to pay dividends. Just this week I learned that Lindsey Vonn is getting divorced. I’d like to throw my name into the hat for a rebound relationship. I wouldn’t be all overbearing and domineering like her former husband/coach/trainer/career adviser. I’d be content to just travel to exotic destinations, lounge around in expensive hotels, and support her during all of her races (unless it was a powder day, in which case, I’m sure I could just catch the highlights later). I think that that Lindsey and I have a lot in common and if she needs it, I could totally be her shoulder to cry on (and if not, I was always more of a Julia Mancuso guy anyway).

Really, anything would be better than 65 degrees and raining. But if you do like this weather, Yahoo has been busy coming up with places to ski in ridiculous states like Connecticut and Tennessee. Say what you will about skiing in NY, at least we have legitimate mountains. And mountains are important, as it seems like cross country skiing is becoming increasingly dangerous, according to this story from Sweden:

The trial against the hunter who fired a single shot that passed through an elk before hitting and killing a cross-country skier, opens on Monday in Sweden.

I know some people who are patient enough to wait until after Hunting season to begin skiing. That idea is looking better and better.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bike Path Ride - Scottsdale, AZ

While everyone else is complaining that it's not cold enough for snowmaking, I got the hell out of town.  Here's what I did on Saturday:

Yeah, I took my brother's mountain bike and cruised the unbelievable bike path network of Scottsdale, AZ.  I rode from Scottsdale down to Tempe, past Sun Devil Stadium:

All of the riding was on bike paths.  And the paths are amazing.  They have water fountains, bathrooms, and interpretive signs along the route. There were people running, biking and even rollerblading (I didn't even know people did that anymore).  On the way back, I got on some dirt:

It was mostly flat fire road riding, but I'm hoping to get on some singletrack tomorrow and Thursday before Thanksgiving festivities.  Then, when I get back to New York, I can start praying for snow like everyone else. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Weekend's Hike

So, we had this plan . . .

We were going to park at the Garden Trailhead in Keene Valley on Saturday, check out the Bennie's Brook Slide for a possible winter adventure, hike it up to the top, and come down the Lower Wolfjaw Trail, and chill out back at the car with a couple of beers. Sounds good, right?

Well, The Garden parking lot was full, so we decided to attack the mountain from the W.A. White Trail via the Rooster Comb and Hedgehog Trails.  This was a lot more difficult than we anticipated.  Still though, it was a good workout, and a good way to get in shape for the ski season.  We felt good when we saw our first glimpse of the slide:

Like a freaking ski run!!!  And it looked even better once we were on the slide:

The snowy, icy, rocky slide was pretty tough to walk down, but we just took our time and made sure that we didn't do anything stupid. There were some nice terrain features further down:

Rocks, drop offs, natural knolls: This is going to be SWEET this winter.  We hiked down to the sunny spot in that second picture and ate our lunch.  It was a nice view back up the slide:

Anyway, the slide looks a lot different than when Jeff went last August.  And it now goes all the way down to the Southside trail (on the south side of John's Brook).  We took that back towards Keene Valley (having to take a few reroutes due to parts of the trail that were washed out in the hurricane).  

All in all, it was a pretty sweet adventure.