Thursday, December 20, 2012

Instagram dump

In our ridiculous, ADD society, it appears that we've all collectively shifted our attention from the horrible tragedy of Connecticut to the ridiculously trifling idea that Instagram is going to sell our crappy photos without our permission (which isn't even true). Good job, America. Maybe someday you'll actually have the courage to follow through on your disaster day promises of reticence, reform, and remembrance and actually give hope to people that things in the future will be better. Wait, look over there, a puppy!

Maybe I'm just bitter because of the December malaise. It hits me every year. I know it's coming, but I'm powerless to stop it. The only solution is skiing - preferably powder skiing. But since Sugarloaf was just outside of day trip range for me (4 hours I can do. 6.5 hours is rough), I'm just going to have to keep waiting.

Until then, Enjoy this Instagram dump of pics from the last couple of weeks:

Mountain Bike Ride a few weeks ago on the Middle-Murphy-Bennett Trail (not really bike friendly, nice hike, but not recommended for riding):

Nice night out in Albany a couple of weeks ago:

Driving down to North Carolina to help my parents' move into their new house:

Beach in NC:

Golf in NC:

Downtown Wilmington, NC:

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Killington - November 9th, 2012

Skied Killington yesterday, used a 2 for 1 coupon, so it was only 19 bucks. They had those typical early seasons runs open (along with FIS and Downdraft) and the walkway to get back to the Gondola to download. Here's some iPhone pics:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Skiing Sandy - Timberline & Whitegrass, West Virginia

Around this time every year, my urge to ski is at its peak. I've already watched too many ski movies, seen too many reports from out west, and pored over too many ski magazines.  So, when the offer came in for a West Virginia ski adventure, I was definitely in.

Tropical Storm Sandy did a ton of damage to New Jersey, Staten Island, and Long Island. But, true to Lionel's word, it dumped over 40 inches of snow in the mountains of West Virginia. While this presented a number of technical challenges, it didn't really impact our travels too much at all. The weather was actually pretty nice on the drive down:

We started to see snow in the mountains, just south of Keyser, West Virginia:

Up and over a mountain (I'll let Patrick tell that story if he wants), and into the town of Davis, which was completely without power and eerily shuttered.

We decided to do some reconnaissance, and visited Canaan and Timberline. Snow depths were looking good, but  Timberline had more pitch . . . That was our target for the next day.

Now, Patrick and I were two of the first skiers to arrive in the area, so I was fielding all sorts of questions about conditions, lodging situations, logistics, etc. Talking with Harv, I allowed him to set up a thread on his forum with updates, pics and information for people who were thinking of heading down. I do NOT want to make a habit out of real-time Trip Reports. Even though Patrick and I discussed the possibility that it may be the future of ski blogging, I don't want to make it a regular thing. I just thought it would be helpful for the people who were headed down to the area, especially because the situation with the storm was so unsettled.

Anyway, because of the real time nature of the reporting, some things got lost in the mix. Apparently, I should have mentioned that this guy asked US for cigarettes when we got there on Tuesday night, and then again on Wednesday morning! I hope somebody eventually got that guy some cigs.

Oh, you wanted to see pictures of skiing? Here's Timberline the first day:

So umm . . . That was a good day.

After skiing we drove around until we found an open store (30 miles away), bought some beer, and went back to the hotel for some food and a game of headlight/ski clothes pool.

The next day, we skied Whitegrass Touring Center, which had the coolest vibe, and the best people. We instantly loved the place. It didn't have the pitch of Timberline, but the tree skiing and cool, relaxed atmosphere were definitely awesome.

And here's the video from Whitegrass:

West Virginia from Matt Charles on Vimeo.

So, ummm . . . That day was pretty good, too.

All in all, it was 18 hours of driving (more for Patrick), for two days that were just about as good as any days I had in the east last year. Totally awesome, and totally worth it. Now I can relax again.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Recent Biking Adventures

Been on the bikes a pretty good amount lately. Trying to keep in shape for ski season. Did the Drops to Hops road bike race a couple of weekends ago. Here's some pics of that . . .

Getting ready before the start:

And just before the race:

Rode behind Ace at the beginning (until she pulled away):

I was riding pretty hard, but not hard enough so I couldn't take pictures:

Eventually, I caught back up to Ace, and we crossed the finish line at the same time. Pics here.

Then, I tried to make a run at Skiing on Columbus Day. It didn't work out so well, so it turned into a mountain bike adventure. Going into Vermont:

Brought Skis and Bikes, just in case:

Stopped for beer. Mmmm . . . Alchemist . . .

Enough Snow?

We decided no, and just did some Mountain Biking:

We got to do the sweet Kimmer's downhill, which was awesome. And here's a pic on the way home: