In the PNW we’ve had a hard time coming up with much stoke this miserable year.
Like just about everybody else my favorite skiing is in deep stuff and with lots of terrain options, so recently, after weeks and weeks of skiing only Green Valley at Crystal, I’ve had to scratch pretty hard to find things to be excited about.
I’m so desperate that I hauled out my Supershapes— always a sign that I’m resigned to lousy conditions— and got into some serious carving on groomed pitches. And lo, even though my 59-year-old legs lack the strength necessary to do great carving, I finally was able, for the first time, to lay it over far enough that I could touch a hand to the snow.
On another day a friend was finding some amusement with a smart phone app that records a skier’s position over time. So for a run I pocketed her phone and tucked a portion of the bowl. After 55 years of skiing, I found out, for the first time with some accuracy, how fast I’m going: 59.2 m.p.h. It was fun to do that for a run, but I doubt that I’ll ever again ski my age in mph.
What I do hope to do again though, is find a jump with a soft enough landing (old legs again) so that I can go high enough to do a trick. Last week there was a decent edge along Iceberg (Ferk’s) Ridge, and I was able to do my first daffy in decades.
On another recent weekend Grubstake’s jumbled chunks were frozen so solid that it was the worst snow I’ve been on in decades, or perhaps ever. Traversing back toward the smoother mogulled portion of the slope, I had to straight-line a short section to slip between some exposed twigs and rocks, then hit the frozen moguls too fast, and inverted into a yard-sale. (No stoke here.)
But Sunday, after the weekend’s 8-inch deposit, was my second ski day this year that called for a wide ski. After some mediocre runs on West Face (from the top) and Snorting Elk (with a front-side entry), my brother and I realized that we could break out of our Green Valley jail and ski some smooth powder on Lucky Shot (!). The fun was over mid-way down the second mogul field, but we were pick our way carefully all the way to the lodge and did several gondola cycles. My Rev 105’s got two bad rock hits and lots of minor scoring, but it was my first powder since December!
By golly, it may be the worst season ever, but I’m managing to have some fun after all!
PS: I just noticed that this year’s PNW weather discussion thread doesn’t include “& stoke” in the title. Was the thread starter, user Crystal Mtn, prescient way back in October?
How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.
Edited by crudmaster - 4/13/15 at 9:20pm