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Your best run ever, blow by blow

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
C'mon!! Blow by blow. What do you remember feeling? Thinking? Seeing?
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Your best run ever, blow by blow

We all have them. Great runs. Some stick in our minds. They feed us through those long months without the daily dose.

On this particular day I had a bevy of great moments. Many moments stick out in my mind. For whatever reason, this one juts the furthest.

The environment: Ratpackin' with the rad boyz. Whistler. April. 6" new. Sunshine.
Off the Peak, skiers left, around the back.

We had been ratpackin' all day. Engulfing slopes as we quickly scoped lines and made good before our buds poached. It was our second run on this one. I played the terrain back in my mind as I checked my entry and gassed up.

I dropped off a small cornice to a pillowed-in slant between exposed rock features. I didn't stick the landing and ran it out further than planned. Suddenly I found myself going way fast, which is good.

"Speed is your friend" echoed in my mind.

My awareness jumped way out ahead and I saw a bump field in the early stages of forming below a rapidly approaching traverse. The snow had compacted enough to make schmearing at speed highly questionable. Besides, there seemed to be plenty of untracked between me and them. I started laying them over, cranking around huge superG arcs trying to dump speed before the bumps.
It was too steep. I didn't make it. I remember making a concious decision to relax and trust my Head Monsters. All I wanted was to stay on my feet. They ruled. The bumps proved soft, exploding easily under a wide-shoveled assault.

"Fats ARE good." my subconcious snickered.

My concious was more occupied, scoping the solitary ocean swell to my left, seeking entry into the wide chute on the other side. I had skied it the run before. A perfect spot for a terrain-unweighted, arcing airplane.

There it was. My Monsters sought it without any goading. They were as eager as I. Tightening my turns I dumped a little more speed for this, my first blind entry into the chute. The ground swelled, pushing me up. I resisted making any final adjustments as my skis lost contact with the earth...

Wrong chute...

Narrow... room for one turn at the top.

My subconcious became occupied, replaying the previous run as I watched from below while Jim straight-lined the narrow slot next to the wide one I had skied. I might have prayed if I'd had the time.

Before I returned to earth my eyes were fixed, fists driving, feet pointed, brow furrowed at one spot. It rushed to meet me and I was out. Standing hard on my right foot, a little back, carving across a sidehill, through a brief compression as I gained the next ridge.

I stopped to look back. No one in sight. Just my tracks coming out of that little chute and leading right to where I stood... I started to laugh. I had trouble keeping a straight face the rest of the summer.
post #3 of 21
Two runs will always be etched in my memory.

We had about 6 inches of very tight fine fresh snow during the day. This was over a packed powder base. With so few customers they closed several of the lifts. I looked at one of the main trails and realized that despite the last few hours of snow, no one had poached..... these trails were not "closed" they just had no lift service.

I hiked with my 11 year old and he had a dazed look, he had never seen an untracked trail. I said "you first" and he said .... "no dad go ahead".... I countered with "come on I've had my share of these".... his response was... "I'm a kid and I'll have lots more". Mexican standoff time so I said you take the left and I'll take the right.

That tight snow was like buttered velvet and once you got going you just smoooothed across the top. We cut long arcs together for those last few runs before it got dark.

Magic for both of us.

The year before this, I borrowed some GS skis to try. I did one run on a blue groomer with icy cord and held back some to get the feel of the skis. The second run I let them go and was having an eye blurring tear streaked run when I realized that every time I turned, there was the sound of someone turning right behind me. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a flash of red and realized that my kid was right behind me matching turn for turn. <FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by yuki (edited July 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #4 of 21
wow, this thread is going to make me cry.

so many of those runs...from the very first green run that things began to "click" and the resulting day-long perma-grin, the day something felt "different", and I knew the difference between skidding and carving, to holding my son under his arms and lifting him into the chair for the first time. but if I were to pick the best it would be:

I started skiing at 28, (Ive been really regretting not starting when I was young, but when ryan just offered his words of wisdom on the subject, I felt much better, thanks Ryan...) but anyway Id learned late and had been working on getting over the fear of different types of terrain. I could not, however, get over the fear of bumps, i wanted nothing to do with them due to a bad experience.

I was taking a lesson one warm spring day, with a fantastic ski pro named Doug. we were working on just form and tecnique,but he kept dropping hints about bump technique, ("do it this way, but if you were in the bumps, you would...")All was fine and the lesson ended with drills for me to work on and then doug suggested a particular groomer that he said would be most productive for me. I smiled my most thankful and trusting smile, jumped on the chair, and headed for the suggested run.

I located said trail and sailed passed the "danger, ungroomed!" signs, still trusting All Knowing Ski Pro. It was warm, spring time, and the corn was just getting really mushy. I was having a hard time with it. Suddenly I found myself amidst what seemed to me at least an ACRE of ungroomed moguls. it was only an intermediate run but it scared the hell outta me. WORSE, it ran RIGHT UNDER the Chair.

First thought, "if I live throug this, Im gonna KILL doug." I watched a woman who was just as scared as I sidestepping back up the hill. Nope, that wasn't me. I looked back down the hill.

Some smart-a** know-it-all pulled up beside me. He said "if you're uncomfortable, why dont you walk down?" THAT did it!! LINDA doesnt WALK down ANYTHING. I spread out the arms, put the knees together, and just ATTACKED that run, muttering the whole way about not walking down ANY hill, anytime.

It was not pretty. It was by no means graceful, but it effectively got me over that last aspect of terrain that I was afraid of, and opened up a whole new world...Now there was NOTHING i couldn't do. as soon as I was at the bottom punchd the air with both fists and yelled "YES!"

Unfortunatley, I never caught up with doug. (to thank him, not Kill him!)I love bump skiing now and cannot WAIT for next season.

oh, im gonna cry...
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
ryan! Now that's what I'm talking about! That is good sh**, Maynard...I, mean ryan.

Nice ones, yuki! Tears of speed are the best kind!

Linda. Good stuff too. You could take us back there with you with a leetle more. At what point did you have to take on the biggest bump? How badly did you kick it's a**? How much snow got in the back of your pants - that happens in the bumps sometimes.
post #6 of 21
oh, you want DETAIL

I was just sitting here thinking of it...No, no snow down the pants, was wearing the infamous stretch pants so that didn't happen.

I took a face plant at the top though, and that only served to anger me further, I collected my poles and sunglasses and shook the snow out of my hair, as it dripped down the back of my kneck I mutterd to my self, dont EVER do that again....especially not right under the damned chair...

It was warm and the snow was really soft, sludge, really, but I got going fast and caught air off a couple larger bumps, arms flailing and wide eyed...I think I said outloud, "i dont think this is how you do thiiiiiss...."I knew you needed to turn fast but was surprised that I wasn't turning fast enough..

I finally got in between and forced a rhythm with pole plants, which calmed me down and brought to mind tecnique, ok, short, fast turns, knees together, arms way out, swing the tails...that lasted all of about three seconds untill teqnique flew out the window and I was in 'just get me down the hill" mode. Id found the fall line and was picking up speed, my knees and thighs burning like Id just done ten miles on the stationary bike..my legs were like rubber and my heart was pounding a mile a minute, but when I looked back up that hill and saw what i'd just done...man, what a sense of accomplishment.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
That is it. Had me reading as fast as you were going!
I used to have some Spyder strech pants that came equipped with some sort of high belted snow scoop in the back. We all had them. In the spring bumps it would fill up with corn snow even if we didn't fall! No wonder those went out of style.

The best thing about best runs is that there will be a better one in the future.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Cultvo (edited July 08, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 21

Whistler does rock.

I had a killer April day up there in similar conditions myself. We got off Harmony and followed the boundary around to a short hike up a peak. Once at the top we looked down the other side into a huge saddle between two big cornices. The saddle led directly into a large pow field, but I saw my choice immediately.

We gained the peak after 10 or so minutes of fast trudging in the spring sun. Cresting the peak Jeremy and I paused to rest and look about at the choices. Once I saw the overhanging cornice rising beyond the drop into the saddle I knew what I was going to do. It took me a moment to ramp up, but I had to go before second thoughts sealed my intentions away. Jeremy asked me some questions. I didn't hear what they were. Some side-slippers were working their way down to the saddle, but I could wait no longer.

"Dropping!" I shoved off and skated a couple steps, lifting my feet briefly to clear the side-slippers sticks. The thought it might be rude didn't enter my mind at the time. I was too focused on what lay beyond the rising bulge of the cornice I could no longer see over.

I surged through the saddle and shot up the rounded ramp. I was glad to have worked the in-run for every ounce of speed. The snow began dropping away. I was still traveling upward as I crossed the edge.

The deep blue sea of shaded pow looked like a faraway diving pool. My stomach dropped away with the world, just like the very first time I stepped off the high platform as a kid and started to plummet. The diagonal arc my body was leaving through space felt totally natural.

I didn't realize I was frozen until the landing was coming up at me too fast. I wasn't over my feet which were sucked up pretty tight and slightly beside me. Realizing that dropping the gear would not result in a clean landing, I elected to take it on the left hip and bounce back for the runout. It almost worked. When I bounced back and started to run it out I only had one ski on. I figured I'd better stop and hike for it so Jer could have his run too. The elation was high, and I was smiling huge even though I didn't land it clean. I was still in one piece ready for more. Life is so good...

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #9 of 21
Best run ever? Man! That's a tough one! Heli-skiing in New Zealand a couple of years ago was right up there. I lucked on to a late season special with Harris Mountain Heli-Ski where I filled out a helicopter and got 10 runs for a couple hundred dollars. The terrain was out beyond Treble Cone and wasn't much beyond low-expert but knee-deep without having to worry about sharing it was pretty special.

There are lots of runs that rival those... thigh deep untracked in Mineral Basin at Snowbird last January. The slope slid after we'd bagged 3 runs and they closed it for the rest of the day. First chair at Steamboat 3 Januarys ago and bottomless untracked through the aspen trees on Shadows. A surprise April 1 3' dump at The Canyons that same winter skiing 9990 all day with maybe 5 other people. First tracks down the creekbed skier's right of the Wasatch quad at Deer Valley in early February that same year. A really memorable guided run off the back side of Tignes back in the early 1980's on perfect corn snow. We ended up at La Plagne 6000 vertical feet later (I think). One of the first 10 chairs on a bluebird powder day on the Peak Chair at Whistler after a 2 1/2' dump. Completely untracked down Bagel Bowl.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
So, GeoffD,
Which one of those runs do you remember in the most detail, and why?
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hey Roto,

I think I know right where that is! Whistler is great. I saw something funny up there on that trip I wrote about. Some dude wearing a "PimpDaddy" name tag and teaching 'extreme' lessons. He had this couple who were fighting the whole time. He kept taking them to slopes way over their heads and we would all come flying down around them every couple runs. Strange. He looked like he would rather have been doggin' it with us! I don't know though...hanging out with instructor types can be boring.

I'm surprised more people aren't sharing their bests. The ones posted on here are great. I love it. There must be some other hard-cores on here willing to post-up!
post #12 of 21
I had one great day a few years back. A few runs from that day particularly stand out. One down supreme bowl, cruised the flats under the lift at the top saw some guys struggling down where it got narrow – headed over to the skiers left next to the trees – nice powder – floating turns - see a drift line, popp off it, land, turn, see another drift line, and the guys I saw earlier sideslipping the narrowest part. Head to the next drift line catch some bigger air, land, and head towards the crux, a 6 foot wide by 20-30 ft long section with rock on both sides. The guys are almost all thru it and are lined up blocking the right half of the exit when I make the decision to go for it. I make a big sweeping turn to the right so I can make a very slight left turn thru the narrow part. I can see one guy telling the others to scoot back and I mentally thank him. Went straight thru then smeared some speed, popped around a small pine and pulled big gs turns into the gully where I stopped, tipped over and took a break. Got back up and watched the guys I passed come down. It’s an instructor with 3 guys. He skis up to me (I’m thinking he’s pissed because I was pretty close when I went past) stops, taps my pole and says “beautifully done”. That guy made a great day better.

The last run of that day was also memorable. Hiked up the ridge off germania, got to the rocky narrow section and saw about 20 people sideslipping down it or waiting for friends just below it. The wait was killing me, I wanted to go, finally it’s my turn. I head down and see even more people, I decide to head back near the rocks. I get to where I want to turn and some guys who were standing around both decide to go right where I was going to go so I head closer to the wall onto the bed surface of a slide and turn straight down the hill. I pick up speed fast and at the bottom of a fall line turn I extra load the skis and rebound across the hill, put them down arc into the next turn and rebound then release again. I’m hauling now, feeling invincible and still airborn from the last rebound. Land then arc into the next turn pulling big g ‘s, rebound the release again but this time as I’m airborn I’m missing a ski. But I still think I’m invincible and that I can land and arc a big turn to a stop. Problem is that I can’t just arc a big turn or I’ll run right into the wall and I don’t have the skill to turn the other way on one ski. So I point it straight down. The ridge/wall ends soon so I’m planning on curling around below it. Then I see traverse lines just where the ridge ends. My confidence starts to fade as I’m maching to the traverse line, but I try to prejump it and loose the other ski. Now I’m airborn no skis and realizing I am not invincible, then the tumbling begins. Fortunately some kind soul picked up my trail of equipment. Unfortunately as the guy hands me a ski and is saying “sorry about the ski” I realize the top of the ski has separated from the bottom of the ski from about 6” ahead of the toe to about 3” behind the heel. It is still the best single day I’ve ever had, broken skis and all.
post #13 of 21
Maybe not the best run but most memorable.
Mt Ripley town downhill, a once a week series race. Sun is shining bright. Crisp cold fast snow. Hike up the back of the start house. Line up for my start. Put the skis on, launch out of the start, hit the ramp part way down. Pole Skate Pole Skate push like crazy until first gate. Drop into tuck nail first turn. First turn is big turn to left taking you along the top of the ridge. Next, Big turn onto steep. Carry lots of speed into steep. Flying out of steep section, I know that I can clear second bump in camelback. No sucking up the camelback bumps today, staying in tuck and gonna kick ass. Ripping across flat toward camelback bumps. Nuke off the first one and land just before the crest of the second, still in my tuck. Left ski pops off, I stand up a little and arc a big fat turn to the right to slow down. Get stuck on that inside ski and track right into the woods. Find myself cruising between huge hardwood trees (Hickories? Oaks?) running over sapplings. Put my helmet down to knock over the bigger sapplings. The deep snow (and sapplings) finally stop me.
Start laughing my ass off, that crazy laugh you laugh when you get off scot-free after being scared S---less. Skated out of woods marveling at how big those trees where and how close they were together.
post #14 of 21
I am not sure that this qualifies as memorable, but there is one incident that happened last season that stands-out:

The location is a local hill north of Toronto (600 ft vertical). The day started with a snow storm, which prevented many people from driving from Toronto to the hill. I found myself alone on a detachable six-pack under an untracked trail. There was about 4 inches of powder, which is not much, but I was not going to complain. I had that run/chair to myself for about 45 minutes, which was enough for about 10 runs.

The run itself (an average trail that pretends to be black) was not memorable. The powder snow was nice, but hardly memorable. The memorable part was riding the chair and looking at a silly 600 ft vertical run with lots of beautiful figure 8s, designed by your truly. You simply don't expect that on a Toronto local hill. I wish I had a camera to take a picture. Then several skiers arrived and tried to continue the figure 8s, but they missed the rythm and quickly destroyed my "work of art".

I know, my story is pathetic, but the picture of figure 8s on a little hill was kewl.
post #15 of 21
Sweet thread. Reading these almost takes me to the slopes for a second. It is really cool thinking hard enough to remember a run in detal and getting a little of the feeling of it back.

By the way. I am an instructor type, but am not insulted at your comment. I rather understand it. Lots of us like to talk...

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro...
post #16 of 21
I guess the reason I didn't post earlier is I really don't remember a "best run ever". I guess an epiphany run might count.
2 or 3 years ago I was in Alta for our family ski trip and the conditions were total white out. We just could not go in because the powder was so nice. We had been skiing on the groomed areas and just enjoying it when I decided I had to try one run down Extrovert under the Sugarloaf chair.
I took the run out to Extrovert and stood at the top of the hill and remember thinking to myself, "what have you gotten your self into? You can't see more than 2 -3 ft its thigh deep powder and on a "black diamond" run" and off I went. Since I couldn't really see I had to just look for dark areas not to run into and the rest was remember what I'm supposed to do. centered on skis, slow motion movements and easy turn, turn, turn, turn, turn. wow this is cool and effortless! turn, turn, turn ... all of a sudden it's flat and I grind to a halt. I push/walk my way back to the chair and hop on. As I ride back up, there is an opening in the fog and there's only one set of tracks, Mine perfect S's all the way down. 2 or 3 more runs of perfect turns and the day ends. I almost miss the last chair back to the cabin. (boy that would have been a long hike, base of cecret to the base of vickys run) I come into the cabin with a grin a mile wide and every one asks. How was it?
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Rebound is good harpo. Sounds like it was a killer day. I'll never forget discovering rebound and figuring out how to play it around the mtns. I love to make turns right at breakovers and load up, using the rebound to enhance airtime.

Roto, Yeah. I spend my summers visualizing past and future runs trying to get that skiin' feeling. I like other sports and stay active. It just ain't quite the same.

Spank Me
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
C'mon folks. I've been gone for awhile. I was expecting some reading.

Spank Me
post #19 of 21
Every day has one great run. Some days are all great runs.
Yesterday was 15cm of wet, wind pack. Zero vis and freezing fog. Literally floating through a cloud with no concept of up, down, left or right. Just the sensation of pressing against my feet, keeping my board light and flat. Never getting aggressive, simply drifting along at the whim of gravity. Oh yeah, and doing cinnamon rolls on the groomers was a blast also!
A few weeks earlier... 15cm of new, blue bird skies. Learning a new mountain, telemarking through the steeps. Starting off on a flat pitch that quickly steepens into a narrow chute. Pushing down on my feet to get the skis to bend and come out of the snow, reaching for each pole plant, turning my feet as they came up out of the snow, knees flexing bringing me into the snow, splashes of snow into my face, opening up the turns and accelerating, feeling one foot start to drag behind me, wrenching it forward to keep my balance, breathing again when I realize I didn't pummel myself. These are the moments I live for in each run, each day.

post #20 of 21
It happened this year at Sugarloaf. I had taken a private lesson from a 75 year old woman who was a legend on the mountain. She really felt that I needed to be truly "braver in my body", and wanted to try some more challenging terrain. As I mentioned in another thread, she was very clear about the fact that it was not important to do this in excellent form, which is something I very much need to hear.
Well, I lived to tell the tale, and even went back a few times to try it on my own.

The next day, I was in a class of people who I believed had a tendency to underestimate their skiing ability. One woman had been skiing for 20 years, and this was her first time getting out of level 3 and into level 4. To make a long story short, I basically talked into doing this trail.

When we got to the scariest part of it, the instructor had us do this exercise that would involve us each leading the group through 6 turns. When it became my turn, I thought, uh oh, I talked thse people into this, and now I am responsible for them.

Then I did something I never did before when skiing. I asessed the situation from a logical, rather than an emotional point of view.

First, what would be frightening to these people? Okay, we have an out of control boarder over there, some icy patches over here, and this thing is pretty steep. Since most of these folks are afraid of speed {like I tend to be} I'll need to make sure that my turns are round and complete. And yes, I need to pick a decent line to avoid the ice patches and the boarders.

When we got to the bottom, I told each of them to look up at what they had done.
The look on their faces was priceless.

And in guiding others, I had taught something to myself.

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #21 of 21
Hey c-o,
I was gone for a few days myself. Haven't checked on this one in a bit. I think I read something about Mr. Pimpdaddy in some local Whistler publication. Sounds like a cool idea, extreme camps etc. It would be nice for him if they were real ones though. I remember having a lesson with a couple who were AT each others' throats. I had to separate them, and teach two leapfrogging private lessons. It actually turned out to be very good for my teaching.

I've thought about going to Coombs' deal before. Then I realize how poor my chosen occupation keeps me in cash...then I remember how rich in psychological income it is...then I stop thinking 'cause it makes me tired and head for the mountains. I stood on snow a week ago! I even packed my gear almost 6 miles into the mountains, but I didn't ski cause the extra weight kicked my ass too bad (the snowfield was over 1/4 mile up scree and boulder fields) Yeah I wimped out. It's gonna haunt me until I go back.

Good runs everyone. Fun to read.
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