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Woo Hoo! Copper on 12-29 with 2" Fresh!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've been kinda depressed.  While I've been hitting the skiing pretty hard (today was day 20), it has been disappointing.  Sure, I rationalized all of the early season groomer stuff as "good for you" skiing.  I read Bob Barnes homage to skiing on firm snow, and actually convinced myself that I could continue to have great progression in my skiing if I continued to ski the firm snow that we've had in Summit County.  And while I had made it my objective to bag 25 days prior to showing up in Aspen to ski with Schanzy the week after next, I became depressed earlier this week after reading the Opensnow.com forecast for the next two weeks:  little to no snow.

 

In fact, Joel Gratz, the meteorologist at Opensnow.com, stated that it was looking pretty unlikely that anything was going to drop for Northern (or Southern, for that matter) Colorado this week, next week was looking warmer and drier, and he was headed to Jackson in a funk.  Well, my buddies started dropping for skiing today, so I almost threw in the towel with a plan to get some time in the gym.  But late last night, my crew came together with a plan to ski at Copper today.

 

I awoke this morning and retired to the reading room to review email, etc.  Half of my crew decided to bag the day as "the wind was expected to top 35 mph" and that didn't sound like too much fun given "the icy conditions."  I, therefore, was on my own to drive to the Park and Ride to pick up the other half of the crew.  

 

The wind was blowing about as hard as I've seen it blow when I headed south on 93 from Boulder to Golden.  A couple of power lines were down and flapping in the wind.  Not looking too promising.  I met up with my crew and we headed west.  Into a fierce wind.  Around Idaho Springs, we started to get a bit of rain.  It switched over to snow around Silver Plume.  And traffic came to a halt, as those vehicles without adequate traction snarled progress.  

 

We made to the mountain at 10 in the midst of a fierce storm.  Snow was coming down, everything was looking soft.  My crew wanted a warm up run, so we headed up the Excelerator to the top for a run down Copperopolis.  Soft snow!  Like really soft snow!  I'd forgotten what soft snow feels like!  Euphoria!  Excitement!  Find the lift in a hurry!

 

We took an early lunch to ski the noon groomer.  We didn't care about the groomer; what we wanted was the fresh untracked snow that fell since grooming.  After that, we found even better conditions on runs that were opened.  They closed the Excelerator due to wind, but the Superbee continued to run.  And the wind continued to load the slopes we were skiing without anyone else on them with a foot of windblown.  It was fantastic.

 

Today reminded me why I ski.  It isn't to ski groomers with perfect technique.  Sorry, Bags, it's not about early edge engagement, or keeping myself from launching my body down the hill.  It's not about pressure management, counter-rotation, and the inside half.  It's about the feeling of absolute control over four edges engaged in variable snow.  Which is what we had.

 

Whoever gave their sacrifices to Ullr, keep it up.  Tomorrow won't be as good as today, but it will be better than yesterday.

 

Mike

post #2 of 12
Same at Breck. We got there early before the winds kicked in. Found some stashes with untracked good snow and decent bumps. Good time.
post #3 of 12

Appreciate the stokage.  Way to keep the faith.  Headin' your way soon.smile.gif

post #4 of 12

You just never know, until you go!  I've had tons of days that people thought would suck, that were actually fantastic!

post #5 of 12
2".....break out the powder cords.
post #6 of 12

truth be spoken here.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by habacomike View Post

I've been kinda depressed.  While I've been hitting the skiing pretty hard (today was day 20), it has been disappointing.  Sure, I rationalized all of the early season groomer stuff as "good for you" skiing.  I read Bob Barnes homage to skiing on firm snow, and actually convinced myself that I could continue to have great progression in my skiing if I continued to ski the firm snow that we've had in Summit County.  And while I had made it my objective to bag 25 days prior to showing up in Aspen to ski with Schanzy the week after next, I became depressed earlier this week after reading the Opensnow.com forecast for the next two weeks:  little to no snow.

 

In fact, Joel Gratz, the meteorologist at Opensnow.com, stated that it was looking pretty unlikely that anything was going to drop for Northern (or Southern, for that matter) Colorado this week, next week was looking warmer and drier, and he was headed to Jackson in a funk.  Well, my buddies started dropping for skiing today, so I almost threw in the towel with a plan to get some time in the gym.  But late last night, my crew came together with a plan to ski at Copper today.

 

I awoke this morning and retired to the reading room to review email, etc.  Half of my crew decided to bag the day as "the wind was expected to top 35 mph" and that didn't sound like too much fun given "the icy conditions."  I, therefore, was on my own to drive to the Park and Ride to pick up the other half of the crew.  

 

The wind was blowing about as hard as I've seen it blow when I headed south on 93 from Boulder to Golden.  A couple of power lines were down and flapping in the wind.  Not looking too promising.  I met up with my crew and we headed west.  Into a fierce wind.  Around Idaho Springs, we started to get a bit of rain.  It switched over to snow around Silver Plume.  And traffic came to a halt, as those vehicles without adequate traction snarled progress.  

 

We made to the mountain at 10 in the midst of a fierce storm.  Snow was coming down, everything was looking soft.  My crew wanted a warm up run, so we headed up the Excelerator to the top for a run down Copperopolis.  Soft snow!  Like really soft snow!  I'd forgotten what soft snow feels like!  Euphoria!  Excitement!  Find the lift in a hurry!

 

We took an early lunch to ski the noon groomer.  We didn't care about the groomer; what we wanted was the fresh untracked snow that fell since grooming.  After that, we found even better conditions on runs that were opened.  They closed the Excelerator due to wind, but the Superbee continued to run.  And the wind continued to load the slopes we were skiing without anyone else on them with a foot of windblown.  It was fantastic.

 

Today reminded me why I ski.  It isn't to ski groomers with perfect technique.  Sorry, Bags, it's not about early edge engagement, or keeping myself from launching my body down the hill.  It's not about pressure management, counter-rotation, and the inside half.  It's about the feeling of absolute control over four edges engaged in variable snow.  Which is what we had.

 

Whoever gave their sacrifices to Ullr, keep it up.  Tomorrow won't be as good as today, but it will be better than yesterday.

 

Mike

 

Yep, I hope that dude worried about what runs will be open at JH next week reads this post!  



Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

You just never know, until you go!  I've had tons of days that people thought would suck, that were actually fantastic!



 

post #7 of 12
If I might interject though, Habacomike, your euphoria (that I share) about the joy of the little bit of new snow we just got is exactly the point of why we challenge ourselves on the firm stuff, isn't it? It made you a better skier, and when the conditions get just a little better ("easier"), you get to enjoy your hard-earned skill. Easy conditions forgive errors. You can be a little off in your balance, cheat a little too far forward on your skis, whatever, and get away with it. But the hard snow is like a hard coach--brutally honest and immediate with the feedback that "that ain't right." It centers you. It heightens your awareness of subtleties. It refines your movements and slaps you hard for being sloppy. It lets you know what matters, what's just window dressing, and what's just plain wrong!

And then the conditions get "easy," and wow--then you know you're skiing better! It was all worth it.

But don't get complacent. "Easy" conditions are just the opposite--the milquetoast wishy-washy coach who just tells you "that's awesome," no matter how poorly you're skiing. It's not called "hero snow" for nothing!

Doesn't sound like complacency will be a problem for a while though. There's a whole bunch of sunshine in the forecast for the next few days. More snow will come. But for now, it looks like there's still going to be plenty of opportunity to learn from that great coach. The Austrians say, "zee mountain vill teach you." It may be hard, but it's still your best friend.

wink.gif

Best regards,
Bob
post #8 of 12

Sounds like a great victory in the day.  Glad you got some of those child like grins playing in the snow.

 

Bob, you're right. You usually are, but golly, isn't that why we go from the power corner to the touch corner?

 

biggrin.gif

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

If I might interject though, Habacomike, your euphoria (that I share) about the joy of the little bit of new snow we just got is exactly the point of why we challenge ourselves on the firm stuff, isn't it? It made you a better skier, and when the conditions get just a little better ("easier"), you get to enjoy your hard-earned skill. Easy conditions forgive errors. You can be a little off in your balance, cheat a little too far forward on your skis, whatever, and get away with it. But the hard snow is like a hard coach--brutally honest and immediate with the feedback that "that ain't right." It centers you. It heightens your awareness of subtleties. It refines your movements and slaps you hard for being sloppy. It lets you know what matters, what's just window dressing, and what's just plain wrong!
And then the conditions get "easy," and wow--then you know you're skiing better! It was all worth it.
But don't get complacent. "Easy" conditions are just the opposite--the milquetoast wishy-washy coach who just tells you "that's awesome," no matter how poorly you're skiing. It's not called "hero snow" for nothing!
Doesn't sound like complacency will be a problem for a while though. There's a whole bunch of sunshine in the forecast for the next few days. More snow will come. But for now, it looks like there's still going to be plenty of opportunity to learn from that great coach. The Austrians say, "zee mountain vill teach you." It may be hard, but it's still your best friend.
wink.gif
Best regards,
Bob


Bob, I've been looking for you at Copper but never seem to run across you.  Yes, I know there is no bad snow, only good snow and snow that is good for you.  It's just that I've had 21 days of "good for you" snow and only one of good snow.  Oh well; it's not as bad as 1978 was.

 

For those interested in the conditions at Copper, the groomers are in as good of shape as you could expect.  There was a lot of traffic over the holidays, and many places are down to slick hardpack.  I can't call it ice, although there are one or two spots where I've actually seen blue ice.  Some of the groomers are in better shape, and the wind was not a total disaster; it loaded some slopes with a bit of windblown to provide a bit more texture to the groomers.

 

There are a few off-piste runs where, if you are careful, you can find some nice bumps with organic matter to provide "texture" -- just be careful of the mineral matter that is interspersed.  These would include Brennans Grin, Upper Main Vein, Tempo, and Eye Dropper.  

 

In the meantime, think snow.  And get your skis tuned.

 

Mike

 

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

If I might interject though, Habacomike, your euphoria (that I share) about the joy of the little bit of new snow we just got is exactly the point of why we challenge ourselves on the firm stuff, isn't it? It made you a better skier, and when the conditions get just a little better ("easier"), you get to enjoy your hard-earned skill. Easy conditions forgive errors. You can be a little off in your balance, cheat a little too far forward on your skis, whatever, and get away with it. But the hard snow is like a hard coach--brutally honest and immediate with the feedback that "that ain't right." It centers you. It heightens your awareness of subtleties. It refines your movements and slaps you hard for being sloppy. It lets you know what matters, what's just window dressing, and what's just plain wrong!
And then the conditions get "easy," and wow--then you know you're skiing better! It was all worth it.
But don't get complacent. "Easy" conditions are just the opposite--the milquetoast wishy-washy coach who just tells you "that's awesome," no matter how poorly you're skiing. It's not called "hero snow" for nothing!
Doesn't sound like complacency will be a problem for a while though. There's a whole bunch of sunshine in the forecast for the next few days. More snow will come. But for now, it looks like there's still going to be plenty of opportunity to learn from that great coach. The Austrians say, "zee mountain vill teach you." It may be hard, but it's still your best friend.
wink.gif
Best regards,
Bob


I got my first taste of natural snow for the season just yesterday.  Man 0 Man!  I felt like I could't do anything wrong!  Hero snow in deed.

 

And all that techy stuff that Bud has been making me work on has paid off a lot.

 

So I have to say it..........Bob was right.   

Of course, I'd prefer that you NOT ask bud how I'm skiing.  He's kinda nit picky. biggrin.gif

 

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Way to go, Tricia!  We're you in CO for Sia?

 

I tried to make it to Breck yesterday for a powder day.  Because of our crackerjack road crew, no one sanded the approach to the tunnel,  meaning all those folk who don't have snow tires were blocking the road.  Two out of three occupants of the vehicle voted to avoid the mess and find the nearest restroom, which was Loveland.  We got a short run of untracked, a couple of crud, then skied soMe lovely snow in the steeps they opened just before lunch.  We skied that all afternoon.  It was good.

 

Hoping for more snow.

 

Mike

post #12 of 12

No, Mike SIA is this coming week.  Maybe we'll get a chance to meet up with you while we're in the area.

 

I went up to Mt Rose with Bud Heishman and his boys Yesterday and Northstar with Phil and Dookey today.  

I forgot just how much fun natural snow was!  

 

Oh, and bob........I ate some!

 

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