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OFFICIAL 2011 "The Gathering" Trip report!!!! - Page 10

post #271 of 293

TC- I love ya' honey!  Too kind.... but 3" is just 3"  biggrin.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

OMG look at that enormous Shadow!!!eek.gif


 

I am actually right at the edge of a traverse over one the "sisters" or something like that.....  I was holding it for the entire traverse over from the Summit chair, Of course, Phil was soooo kind to hold my camera for me,,,,,,,,,

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

LL

 

Rules.gifMajor code violation!

 

nonono2.gifYou're stopped in a blind spot and in a blind landing zone



 

post #272 of 293

 

Quote:
Also note the extreme tip lead on the windward/uphill ski.

 

Nah, he's using the classic technique of outside ski retraction to not hit the tip of his ski. Proper choice of landing area is key.

post #273 of 293
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

LL

 

Rules.gifMajor code violation!

 

nonono2.gifYou're stopped in a blind spot and in a blind landing zone


But in the perfect position for a photograph.

 

post #274 of 293

Is that a European technique?

post #275 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Is that a European technique?



Its a Yer-a-pee'in technique ROTF.gif

post #276 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

LL

 

Rules.gifMajor code violation!

 

nonono2.gifYou're stopped in a blind spot and in a blind landing zone

 

Totally not a problem. He was only there for so long (---).
 

 

post #277 of 293

classic!  Winner hands down, can't top this one!  Great job....
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post





Its a Yer-a-pee'in technique ROTF.gif


Sooooo lonnng or short...? 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by DSloan View Post



 

Totally not a problem. He was only there for so long (---).
 

 



 

post #278 of 293


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post


Sooooo lonnng or short...? 

 


 

Well, it was "so" long . . . definitely not "soooooooo long." You decide.  wink.gif

post #279 of 293

The length of a pee stream is so overrated.  It's really about the girth. wink.gif

post #280 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

Is that a European technique?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post





Its a Yer-a-pee'in technique ROTF.gif




Is if off pisste or on pisste?

post #281 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSloan View Post



 

Totally not a problem. He was only there for so long (---).
 

 

>so< long?
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

classic!  Winner hands down, can't top this one!  Great job....
 


Sooooo lonnng or short...? 

 





 



 

post #282 of 293
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

The length of a pee stream is so overrated.  It's really about the girth. wink.gif



...depends....

post #283 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post





...depends....



Come on  guys.  We all know it's about how well you can write your initials

post #284 of 293

so it boils down to a "piised -off -your- a- peeing who may or may not have more than 3 initials who may have stopped in a blind spot who foolishly gave his camera to his "friend"?????

post #285 of 293

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug

...depends....


as in...DependsLogo.gif s?

post #286 of 293


Now that solves the tree line dilema.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post

 


as in...DependsLogo.gif s?



 

post #287 of 293

For those of you considering Chile, I skied there in 2007,collected some snow data and wrote this feature: http://www.firsttracksonline.com/News/2008/7/24/Great-Skiing-Options-in-Chile-Lie-Close-to-Santiago/

 

Quote:
IT's a lot like Tahoe area in that they get huge storms every few weeks but most days are clear blue bird days

Even more extreme in volatility.  Massive storms, but often several weeks between them. 

 

The other issue is the La Nina.  Snowfall almost completely shut down about the first of August last year as the La Nina gained strength.  The La Nina is still still strong, so I advise not committing $ for Portillo, Valle Nevado group or Las Lenas (latitude 32-35) in 2011 until adequate snow is on the ground.  Chillan and other ski areas at higher latitudes (37+) are probably not so impacted and a better bet.

 

In general Chile's climate is the mirror image of California's (or West Coast of North America) at comparable latitudes.  So no accident with the wine growing microclimates either. Once you get south of Chillan it's like the Pacific Northwest.  Higher and more consistent precipitation but lower altitude mountains so some of it is rain, not snow.

 

 

post #288 of 293

yep, we are holding off until July more than likely to see where it's best.  We use the same reverse modeling further south = further north :)

post #289 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post





And Squaw, and Sugar Bowl, and Alpine Meadows, and...........Just sayin' biggrin.gif

 

Ah, that's right; I couldn't remember the names of the places you mentioned out your way that had that I-feel-like-listening-to-80s-music vibe.  Can't wait to try 'em out...
 

 

post #290 of 293

Hey Bumpfreaq, how's the leg healing?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

With the memory of the Gathering fading quickly from my feeble mind, I thought I’d jot down what I can still recall.

To start, I’d like to give a special shout to my friend Bazzer.  A couple of weeks prior to the Gathering I was looking at my dwindling ski funds, adding up the price of lift tickets and lodging all while knowing I had access to a nearly free condo in Winter Park.  I’ve been to a bunch of gatherings and know how rewarding they can be but the lure of skiing the Jane for free was gaining ground in my mind.

That’s when Baz offered me a bedroom in Vail at the Park Meadows Lodge.  Seems his overflowing reserves of good karma had landed him a severely discounted rate at PML and for some reason he was willing to share his good fortune with me.  This coincided with Greg Merz’ posting of the Last Minute Travel lift ticket deal.  Good fortune seemed to be raining down on me and I could not say no so I headed down Berthoud Pass, through the tunnel and over Vail Pass to join the Bears.  Thanks Bazz and Greg!  Yahoooooo!!!

 

Poorly lit Baz.JPG

Anybody ever ask a pro photographer if you can take his picture then it turns out as poorly lit as this?  Yeah, that's exactly what I did and it's also exactly how I felt skiing with all the stellar skiers that week.

 

Day 1, Vail

I was eager to try some of next year’s offerings from Blizzard so I was hanging out at the Double Diamond ski shop while the clock ticked past the appointed meet up time (sorry Uncle Louie).  While Philpug handled the setting of DINs and BSLs I became aware of a scent in the air.  It was familiar but displaced.  It was……. rain!  It didn’t last all that long but it turned out to be a harbinger of odd weather that day.

I was on Bushwackers and the first few runs of the day were, uh, firm.  I suppose it was an overstatement when I said I was hating life, I mean there we were, a bunch of friends on top of a snow covered mountain.  Life was pretty good but I was longing for familiar skis with a decent wax job.  I had an icy tumble on my first run that I can still feel.

By the time we made it to Mid-Vail pretty much everyone was off skiing except COskigirl who would serve as our guide this day.  Without exception, the guides at this Gathering were excellent.  CSG’s love of this hill was apparent from the start.  She’s been skiing this mountain since before she was born and was eager to share it with us.  I was acclimating to the BWs and having fun skiing ice bumps when it started to…. hail!  I could not help but to laugh as the dense snow pellets pelted my face.  Yeah, it hurt but at least it wasn’t raining.

Oh, but wait…. Do thunder and lightning usually accompany a hail storm?  I was keen to make another run in the “dippin’ dots” but all the lifts in sight were stationary.  In fact, the lightning had forced every chair on the mountain to grind to a halt.  No matter, it was time for some sustenance anyway so in we went and as we munched the precipitation turned to snow.  Lots of snow.  Less than an hour later it was a powder day!

I don’t know Vail too well but we had a ball on the terrain off the Northwoods lift and a few others.  Doing little drops with Finndog, Philpug and rachelv was absolutely grin inducing, as were the tree runs with Phil and Trekchick.  Many said that they had never seen a mountain make such a turnaround so quickly.  It really was pretty impressive.

 

Day 2, Breckenridge:

MastersRacer was the guide du jour and what a joy to follow such a…… masterful skier.  After the meet up at peak seven we made our way over to peak nine or ten or twelve….. I don’t know, this place confuses me.  But I do remember Horseshoe Bowl since we got there just as it opened.  We did three or four laps of the T Bar, ruining fresh snow each time.  From there we did some of the horse runs and then a few off of E chair before heading in for lunch.  Then it was a trudge and a traverse over to Mineshaft which just skied beautifully.  Mosdef my fave run of the day until……

So, it was a tad windy that day.  I think our leader must have had a secret shortwave link to the Imperial Express because it was on wind hold most of the day but when we decided to go check it out the bull wheel was turning and they were loading chairs.  Now, I was thinking Spring when I dressed that morning and the wind was uncomfortably chilly.  A question was posed as to whether we wanted to brave the wind on the Imperial and I was really close to voicing a negative  opinion.  Instead I kept my mouth closed and assumed the fetal position on the chair.  Oh, did I mention that earlier in the day a couple of trees had conspired to tear my pants to shreds and half my naked ass was hanging out?

2011-04-09 2011-04-09 001 001.JPG

It's just a flesh wound.  Have at you!

 

Once off the lift, it was decided that our destination was Whale’s Tail.  Now, I’ve skied WT before but am far from familiar enough to know the way or what the way entailed but I was game to follow and follow I did….. and followed, and followed and followed.  This was a traverse head on into a 50-60mph wind.  At some points the wind carried so much snow that if you opened your mouth it would fill with snow at an alarming rate.  As the traverse continued I seriously questioned the wisdom of this decision.  There were a bunch of times that the whiteout cleared enough to get a glimpse of what was below and I thought, ‘why aren’t we dropping in here?’

Finally we got to our destination and waited to be sure the whole group was intact.  After MR shouted some instructions that I struggled to hear just a few feet from him, he dropped in.  MeFree30 followed on his heels and I couldn’t help but to succumb to the forces of gravity.  I think it was the voice of JohnL that quickly faded from me, “ONE AT A TIME from now on!”  I suppose he was right and it was a risky proposition for me to follow two such good skiers so closely, but the traverse had been so harrowing, I was so cold and the skiing was so sublime that I just had to go.  The three of us danced with the mountain.  There was less than a foot of blown in snow and it was not light and fluffy, in fact it had a bit of a crust, but on this day, on those skis (Bluehouse Maestros) it was as welcoming and forgiving and grandma’s open arms.  It was sheer bliss.  As Stefano de Benedetti might have said, “on thees run I felt like a leetle bit of a super man.”

Grizzled veterans please forgive me, but for this relative newb, that traverse and run was the most enthralling experience I’ve had on skis.

One other memory from this day comes to mind.  Very near the end of the day we came to a sunny bump run with trees on the side.  MR, Lady Salina and King Grump headed for the trees but I was feeling a bit tree shy.  I quietly explained this to JohnL and then continued at the top of my lungs, “besides, these bumps look SAWEEEEEET!”  as I charged downward expecting to blast through soft crud.  Perhaps I should have taken note that ten out of the twelve peeps on that run were not on their feet.  The sun had densified and the wind had refrozen that snow.  Those bumps were indeed, not sweet!  We all laughed at that more than once.

 

Day 3, Arapahoe Basin

I was excited to ski with CGieb.  I’d had the pleasure of dining with this Epicski luminary a couple of times and had heard numerous tales but this was my first opportunity to ski with him.  I was also looking forward to skiing with Bazzer on his first trip to one of my fave hills.  We did a couple of groomer runs then a few laps on the ‘Zuma side and on West Wall before lunch.  After lunch, guess what……. all the upper lifts were on wind hold.  Back into the Black Mountain Lodge (one of the few resort dining facilities where I will actually purchase a meal, thanks to ex-Winter Park local chef Chris Rybak), the talk turned to next year’s Gathering.  Cases were made and a secret ballot was cast.  Tahoe!

A few more groomer runs then Pali re-opened and laps were made until legs gave up.  CGieb absolutely lived up to my lofty expectations and Bazzer knew he would be back to further enjoy this gem of a hill.

Baz&Freaq.JPG

 

Day 4, Vail

This was the day of the vailsnowpro throwdown.  I was pretty nervous as I am a skier that shines in hero conditions but often struggles in challenging conditions.  Conditions this day were……. not optimal.  In fact, some of the tastiest bits of the mountain were closed and VSP was forced to scrap his planned route.  Instead we skied coral reef, chicken heads and lots of cat tracks.  We found good snow on a shaded line in Champagne Glades (we repeated) and really good snow in chute two of Steep and Deep (we repeated twice).  We found a bit more that was worth skiing but mostly we endured, survived, smiled, laughed and learned.  I hope I’m lucky enough to take the real tour some day.

 

Day 5, Breckenridge

It’s always a pleasure to ski with Uncle Louie, our leader this day.  This was another day of wind, re-freeze and no new snow.  I followed blindly and happily as UL headed toward the Imperial.  He said the snow would be good so that’s where we went…. and of course he was right.  It was chalky and fast and we did laps there until lunch.  After lunch it was slush bumps on Peak Ten.  It was a good day and I was very happy to see Bazzer starting to get a feel for the bumps in the PM.

 

Day 6, ABasin

Again, CGieb was our guide and he did a fine job.  Another re-frozen morning, we played on the groom in the early morning before moving to lower East Wall and West Wall.  At this point the beach party was forming but Pali was calling.  I did a couple of laps there while Mr. Vertical assumed the grilling duties.  The party was a blast but I limited myself to one bourbon, one Scotch and one beer so that I could still kick it when the snow got soft.  Truth be told, it was one beer, a small glass of wine and half a watery cocktail.

The afternoon was spent on the Pali side.  The cornice was jumped, the Allies were dallied in and Main Street was taken over by a parade of zoo animals.  What a way to officially end the Gathering!

Ya know, I’ve tried not to repeat too much of what has already been said but I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t stress that even though there was a ton of excellent skiing that week, the real highlights were the smiles I exchanged with old friends and new friends alike.  In fact, the only downside to the Gatherings that I can think of is that there is never enough time to hang with all the peeps that I’d love to hang with.

 

A word on Vail.

Since I’ve gone on record on this forum as not being a big fan of Vail, I’d like to say that I’ve soften that stance a tad.  One reason is the Park Meadows Lodge.   Vail has always seemed like an expensive proposition to me but at PML you can get a decently clean room with a kitchen for a reasonable rate.  The owners are way chill and I didn’t see one bedbug in a week.  If you’d like to do Vail on a budget, check this place out!


 

 

post #291 of 293

It's fine, thanks.  Another week or two and I'll be ready to bring sexy back =)

post #292 of 293
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post

Mileage.... did you say mileage?

 

I bought a car five weeks ago and have since put 8k miles on it.  Other than that though.....

 

The short drive from Maryland to the gathering & back (I got home 4/15) put 5,780 miles on my car in 4 weeks!

 

Had a great time at the gathering & in Summit the week before & Aspen 2 weeks earlier. The "beach" party put on by segbrown & mr Vertical was a fine ending.

The guides & Uncle Louie did a super job.

 

On the way home my friend & I even stopped in Uncle Louie's fine state for a day of hikes in Mammoth Cave

 


 

 

post #293 of 293

Sounds like a great road trip MDSkier!!  Good on ya!

 

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