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JH Feb 6-12 (Steep & Deep and Epicski meetup)

post #1 of 2
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Feb 6 and 7 warmup and ski with my college roommate Ryan

The first day was very warm, which was nice for soft bumps up top, but caused some not-so-nice refreezing the next day. We made a big mistake the first day and wound up in "breakable slush" near the bottom of one of the lower faces, which was probably the most unskiable stuff I've every been in.

Had a fabulous steak at Vertical in the Best Western in Teton Village. All the construction made it hard to get to. The second night had a burger at Burger Billy's downtown, which was fun, but the bus goes way too many different places between where you are and where you want to be.
(Probably different in the day time when there are expresses running.)

Feb 8,9,10,11 Steep and Deep Camp with Forest (coach), Tara, Eva, Bill.
(Note - there are two instructors named Forest. This was the "other" one. Sorry Forest, but you know it's true.)

On the first day we had the ski-off, which I sort of biffed. The first day was Tara and Eva and me. On the later days, Bill joined us. The group worked well, and Forest was a good teacher. I actually liked being the strongest skier in my group, even though I wouldn't have chosen it on purpose, so everything worked out ok.

We had fresh snow several days -- several inches some days.

The links are to pages with pictures.

I ran out of room on the server, so the movie files are not really there even though there are thumbnails that point to them.

Many (most?) of the photos have captions, but they do not appear on the thumbnail pages. You have to go to the larger photo to make them appear. I didn't have the time or energy to change the HTML by hand, so I'm living with Picassa's idea of how things ought to work.

Camp Day 1 http://home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web...feb/index.html
Included the ski off, some warm ups and getting to know each other. We practiced self-arrest (unlike last year, where we only talked about it). The photos are on a short but quite steep hill near the bottom of (I think) Amphitheatre call Nosebleed or something like that. We all got down fine, but not too gracefully. (I had too many, too-vigorous hop turns.) We skied it again the next day and did better.

Camp Day 2 http://home.comcast.net/~mdf_ski_web...feb/index.html
Filming for movement analysis and the highlight reel, then skiing around on Paintbrush and nearby (mostly).

Looked at the movies at lunchtime. My diagnosis included not enough extension/retraction (among other things). After lunch, I decided to experiment with boot flex. I put them on the softest setting as an experiment (on the idea of exaggerating to make the situation clearer). I liked them so much soft that I left them that way. It made a big different in my skiing - it is much easier to get foreward now.

One thing that I did not expect - my quads got tired a lot faster with soft boots. It was noticable that first day, but not really after that.

After happy hour we went to the bootfitter together. (The two women needed canting.) I was there to learn and socialize. The amazing thing to me was that both of them had custom liners and insoles, but it was obvious to even ignorant old me that the shells weren't right. It is a bit of an overgeneralization, but I think the moral of the story is that you ought to have work done at the mountain instead of in the city.

Camp Day 3
Skied out of bounds with a Jimmy from the guide service in the morning. Bill's knee was bothering him, so he left soon after lunch. In the afternoon we skied with Dave (camp asst director, in charge of this session) on Tower 3 Chute and other pitches off of Thunder. I did well on the top part of T3, but then had to wait a long time for traffic to clear (someone, not a camper, had fallen) so I was a little more tentative in the bottom but still did OK. I skied the narrow side (skiers left) for the first time. After we all said "see you at dinner" I decided to go up the hill again, and Forest went with me. We got on the gondola at 3:59:30 - plenty of time... That evening was the banquet. Afterwards, we went to the Mangy Moose till midnight.

Camp Day 4
Bill's knee was still acting up, so he only did a few runs and met us at lunch. We skied Cheyenne bowl and the short chute leading into it (Central Chute, not to be confused with the similarly named one on Cody Peak). Tara and Eva had to leave at lunch because they were flying out that day. So I wound up with a private lesson for the afternoon. We skied Hoops Gap (I think that was my first time there - definitely steeper than Tower 3, and maybe steepere than the Alta chutes.) Then we went over and explored the Alta Chutes area. Alta One and (I think) Two were closed. (I always have trouble figuring out which is which in there.) We skied through the trees just after the last closed sign - maybe Alta 2 1/2?. Did several laps, exploring different lines. A ton of fun. At the end of the day we ran into Emma's group at the top of Sublette, so we skied down to Bivouac woods and into the bowl with them. By then it was after 4:00, so we skied down one of the lower faces. The snow was pretty good, except the last 100 feet or so.

EpicSki Meetup
I had arranged to meet Bob Peters and another Epic Ski member (vrcka) at 9:30 at the bottom of Thunder.
It had snowed 6 inches, so the crowds were lined up. I estimated there were 30 or 40 people ahead of me when I got in line at the Gondola at 8:30.

I found Bob, and after about 5 minutes vrcka, her husband, and another friend showed up. We skied a groomer and the nearby trees together. Vrcka and company were on the first day of their trip, so they did not want to push it too hard too fast, and said goodbye after a couple of runs. (Later, I was eating lunch and they were at the next table -- I did not recognize them without their ski gear.)

Bob showed me some very nice powder stashes. We skied a couple of top to bottom laps (including lower faces) and then he had to go to work. What a great skier and a great guy. He waited patiently while I got a snafu with my lift ticket straightened out. (I had two tickets for one day in the middle and no ticket for the last day, at least according to the computer.) Oddly enough, I did not get stopped till my 4th ride of the day, even though they scanned me every ride.

In the afternoon, I did T3 again and a few odds and ends. I was going to go back to the Alta chutes, but I was starting to fall apart and decided exhibiting a tiny bit of sense might be a good idea.

(I had my worst two falls of the trip this afternoon. On a flat, easy part of Amphitheater I was experimenting with exaggerated angulation and slammed myself hard. Later, I was on the far right side of Laramie Bowl in cut up snow, dug in too hard with the tips, and went over the handlebars. That one did not hurt, but I decided it was a warning. One good side effect was that I got to try the "jam the tails in" approach to putting on your skis in soft snow on steep hills, and it really does work great.)

At the end of the day, I was about to go down one of the lower faces (South Colter Ridge, I think). I was standing on one of the cat tracks, enjoying being there (since it was the last run of the day and of the trip. A group of skiers came up next to me, and one of them said to his friends, "The first time I came down this, there were only two tracks." I couldn't help commenting, "and one of them was mine." Thanks Bob!

A great trip, great people, and a great mountain.
post #2 of 2
Nice! We where there from 9-16th. Most of the stuff you skied was way out of our league. Still, it was great. Targhee was awsome as well.
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