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TR: LGC3 The West Coast Bumrush (aka The Dookey Diaries)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thursday April 5th, 2005

After participating in 2 of the 3 Tahoe Gathering days and finding myself a good fit with many of the local tribe (as well as a few East Coasters) I found myself sufficiently amped to ride with some more Epic heads. With the positive experience of the Tahoe confab fresh in my mind, I bit the bullet and bought a ticket to Denver (I have a love/hate relationship with Frontier, btw. I have credit with them, but I can't redeem the credit online. When you call their representatives the quote they give you over the phone is usually $200 more than that online. When you confront them about this they reply "Yes, that's our incentive for people to book online." BUT YOU CAN'T REDEEM CREDIT ONLINE! WTF?!?!)

At any rate thanks to the good graces of Rupert Murdoch (I work for Fox Interactive Media) I was given Good Friday off. Through strategic planning I convinced my boss to let me work remotely from Denver on Wednesday, so I could only take Thursday and the following Monday off for vacation. Sweet, huh? I flew out early Wednesday, landed in Denver, picked up the rental car, and flopped on over to my old high school buddy's pad in the Highland district. Worked the full day and supped on super sushi at Sushi Sacha down by the REI. Had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day, too.

I got up Thursday at the crack of dawn (6ish) and headed out on the highway. The sushi, designated for lunch, didn't make it past Loveland tunnel. Soundtrack for the trip thus far was Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson/Ray Price - and Lee Scratch Perry - Upsetter I arrived in Beaver Creek somewhere around 8:30, decided to cough up the $25 for parking because 1. I was on vacay and 2. I hate having to lug all my crap to the base lodge and rent a locker in case I have to add or subtract gear. That's the one thing I relish about "most" of the Cali resorts: the parking is still pretty much free and if you get there early enough you can park within spitting distance of the lodge and lifts.

After suiting up I positioned myself out front of the Hyatt. After a few minutes past the designated meeting time it became clear that 1. The lift I was in front of was the beginner lift and 2. The group wasn't meeting here (despite the post stating "The lift in front of the Hyatt.") I made my way over to the main lift and sure enough found a group of folks milling about in front of an Epic sign. I introduced myself as Spencer aka Dookey67 and after admitting that I didn't have a preference as to what the folks called me, Dookey stuck and became my de facto handle for the week.

We rode up Centennial lift and at the halfway stop I noticed a yahoo in a white hoodie and Stihl chainsaw trucker cap. "What a frickin' gaper," was the first thought that came to mind, followed by "Looks like the redneck contingency of the Colorado outback is out in force today." We caught the next lift (Cinch) to the tip-top and lo-and-behold Captain Yahoo was up there waiting with a Cheshire cat grin stuck to his face. I was a bit taken aback when Uncle Louie and Cgeib went up to the yahoo and shook his hand. Then he looked at me and said "Damn, that's the ugliest outfit I've ever seen!" He was referring to my patented orange sherbet sweater and my Hana Teter mocha plaid with pink inlay pants. I shot back with "Nice trucker hat. I was wondering who the gaper redneck was." And that was my introduction to the otherwise notorious/infamous SCSA (I had no idea who he actually was until after lunch and well after riding with him solo for 4 hours!). We did a mandatory get to know one another/flesh out everybody's skills run back down to the lift and on the way up I got saddled with SCSA. At the top he immediately shouted "Who wants to ski fresh powder?" I was the only one who raised his hand, which should have been a signal to me, but I tend to be a little slow on the uptake. Besides, I wanted to dive into some fresh and ride the Pinto seat something fierce, so I kind of forgot about the rest of the crew and shoved off to his Rose Bowl.

Needless to say, my definition of powder and SCSA's differ vastly. Mine usually revolves around knee to thigh deep that you rip with minimal turns. Since I've picked up a pair of Spatulas, it also involves being deep in the bucket seat (hence my aforementioned Pinto allusion…you'll learn quick that I make up my own lingo on the spot…I was a Speech major in college and work as a pop culture/entertainment journalist, so slang is my linguistical fortitude). SCSA's idea of powder was a light dusting on frozen moguls. I learned this the hard way as I Scarecrowed my way down Rose Bowl deep into an endless fog and zero visibility. At the lift I was greeted by that damn Cheshire cat grin again.
"Sweet,, huh?"
"Yeah, if you like f@#kin' frozen moguls lurking under ankle deep freshies."
"Quit your whining."
That would pretty much be our verbal banter for the day. SCSA remarking about how sweet the crappy snow was followed by me whining and then a reprimand to "sack up or shut up" followed by that irrepressible grin.

Needless to say, we hit Rose Bowl again. This time the fog was gone and I was prepared for the run. I still Scarecrowed it, but was a little more confidant. ON the lift ride back SCSA mentioned that perhaps we should rejoin the group. I said "F@#k no, we're doing Rose Bowl one more time. I'mma nail this b@#ch if it kills me." I got the grin again with a "Right on, that's the spirit!" We hit it for a third time and this time I actually did nail a number of my turns, finding an albeit brief rhythm, but a rhythm nonetheless. SCSA even gave me props as he stopped midway down to watch me cherry pick. Since he wasn't too forthcoming with praise I knew that he was being sincere when he said "That's it man, you nailed those turns. Now you gotta keep it more consistent."

For the record SCSA has the most bugged out style I've ever seen. He doesn't so much rip the slopes as he attacks them with methodic finesse. Imagine film footage of Jonny Mosely ripping the zipperline. Now imagine that same footage slowed down to half speed. This is SCSA's modus operandi. I labeled it "The Beasties Boys Stylee" --low and slow is his tempo.

After our third excursion down Rose Bowl we headed back and hit the trees over on Stickline, which ran out into Harrier. The conditions here turned a bit slushier and mirrored the manky taters I'd been skiing at Kirkwood on Tahoe's South Shore the weekend prior. We hit another run and then headed in to meet the crew for lunch (this was also prompted by the lightening warning in effect and Ski Patrol having closed Rose Bowl and putting the other lifts on "ride at your own risk of electrocution" status. Interestingly enough, I learned who SCSA was at lunch and realized that I had heard suspect tales of his exploits from a few Epic folks at the Tahoe Gathering. All I can say is regardless of his reputation and what some folks may feel about him, I had nothing short of a great day riding with him. He was patient and parlayed a few nuggets of wisdom to me that aided in my improving a wee bit during the week (at the very least I wasn't griping about skiing bumps come Monday @ Breck and was actually relishing the opportunity to crumple into my turns by that point). Whatever beef anybody has with SCSA is purely their own. I'll ride with the cat again in a heartbeat. 'Nuff said on that subject.

Following lunch Uncle Louie, Cgeib, myself, Viking Kaj, Viking Kub, SteveSmith, and SCSA headed over to Grouyse Mountain. We lost Viking Kub and SteveSmith after one run as the rest of us tackled the bumps up off Bald Eagle. The top of the runs were pretty sweet, but getting a bit thick. The bottom of the runs were supreme slop and sticky/grabby on the snow trolls tip. Total nanky na-na, as I like to call it. My skis desperately needed a waxing. While riding in the wake of SCSA's slo-mo vapor trails in the morning was one thing, now I was sucking 4 sets of vapor. UL was totally cool, waiting for my hacker self and reiterating the mantra "Leave no skier behind." I must apologize to SCSA and the rest of the crew for hitting the bumps a bit too amorously and recklessly stopping a mouse's whisker from taking the lot of them out on the hill on our first run. Not good to pull this kind of stunt with a bunch of guys you've only known for 4 hours.

After about 3 or 4 runs I was wiped out. SCSA attempted to convince us to ride the trees, but thankfully the other three folks declined and I opted to join them for a cake walk run down to the bottom and the eventual apres ski beverage liquidification. At the base we hooked up with Jgiddyup, the Missus, and the niece, as well as Sugarcube, SteveSmith, and Viking Kub. I shared a cold one with the group (thanks Jgiddy!) and we split up for the evening. I headed off to Vail and the wondrous accommodations that are The Roost. In true collegiate thriftiness I ordered a 24inch pizza for $24 dollars, then stopped off at Safeway and bought some Ziplock bags. The pizza was thusly stretched out as dinner for that night and subsequent lunch for the rest of my trip (as well as a couple of solo dinners, too boot). After a light supper of 'za and some Hagen Daas Mint Chip ice cream, I waxed the King Salmons and hit the hay hard to be prepped for the Vail day on the morrow.

End of first transmission.
post #2 of 29
I keep checking for more.....don't disappoint!
post #3 of 29
tick tick tick!
Still waiting
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'll attemp to get Part 2 up tonight (been working and skiing too much...2 feet of fresh powder yesterday in Tahoe!)

Thanks for reading and hanging on with baited breath.
post #5 of 29
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Thanks for reading and hanging on with baited breath.
Well yes, our breath is “baited” (not abated) due to the fact we have not left our damn laptops to brush our teeth…hurry up and post so we may all move on with our personal hygiene
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

according to Google I just made one of the most common errors in reference to the term "waiting with bated breath."


Thanks for catching that Don (you would have expected more from a 20 year journalism vet and current Editor-in-Chief, don'tcha think?).

I plead that I have a degree in Speech Communication, so my forte has always been the spoken word, not the written one.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
LGC3 - The West Coast Bumrush Pt 2:

Following Thursday apres ski I headed back into Vail and secured my dee-lux accommodations at the world renown Roost ($92 for a paper thin walled room ain't much of a bargain where I hail from, but I guess in the land of Vail it's the bee's knees). After unloading my gear I promptly passed out/took a nap. Didn't wake up 'til well after 7:30pm.

After a shower and a rummage through the phone book I decided upon grabbing a pizza from Chicago Pizza. Hopped in the rental and scooted around the Frontage Road until I found the pizza joint. Ordered up a 24 inch veggie style and then went for a drive through town to kill the 20 minutes it was gonna take for the pie to get set-up nice and toasty like. Picked up the pie and promptly hit Safeway for some bonus grub (Hagen Daas Lite Mint Chip, b-fast tasties, water, etc.) The Vail Safeway looses mad points for not selling individual silver ware. Ditto for the other market (forget the name, but there's one in Breck, so it must be a local Summit/Eagle County chain). Basically, I was looking for a spoon with which to eat my ice cream. Last season when I hit up Jackson Hole their Albertson's was keen enough to sell individual silverware. Key. Alas, in Vail if you wanted a spoon you were forced to plunk down $15 for a full 4-piece dining set! Ended up at Shell and sniped a plastic spoon from their coffee area.

Back at Chez Roost I watched a wee bit o' telly, ate a couple slices and saved the rest for my lunches the rest of the trip (bought me some ziplock bags, too…I'm thrifty like that. Besides money saved on lunch is better served going toward apres brewskis…college habits die hard, even when approaching 40).

Crashed shortly after the feast. Arose pretty damn early, since I wasn't 100% of where I was going in Vail nor how long it would take to get there. Left the Roost around 8:15, I believe. Trucked around the Frontages to the parking garage and was stoked that Vail only charges $17 for parking as opposed to BC's whopping $25. Not only that, but they give you a stack of these knock off Power Bars (cookies 'n cream flavor). Nice.

Anywho, grabbed the Vista Bahn and got up to the meet spot a tad early, so I did a lap off Wildwood/Midwood (can't read my handwriting after gleaning the Vail trail map online). Hit the Kangaroo Cornice (how's that for prescience?) into S. Look Ma and then went back to the meeting spot. Epic heads started to show up, a few I recognized from the day before, but a slew I had no clue as to who they were. We did the meet 'n greet, UL went over the rules and regulations (many of which I had unknowingly broken the day before as I either missed the meeting or we didn't have one…doh!). I even got a special "Stand up and wave to the assembled Dookey" introduction since I was the first West of the Rockies to ever attend LGC).

From the meet we all piled onto the same lift I'd just ridden and went to the top. Then we moved en masse over to the top of Kangaroo Cornice and UL and Sugarcube promptly got re-married by SSH! Whoa. Didn't see that one coming. After exchanging vows, UL didn't waste any time and began breaking people off into groups. Speed Demons (those looking to rip boilerplate groomers at Mach 8-With-Their-Hair-on-Fire) took off one way after having their names called from a master list (UL was organized!). Then came the All Mountain Rippers. UL called off a long list. My name wasn't on it. I began to wonder if my previous day's hacking had relegated me to intermediate groomer status (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you, but I always like to tag along with the BIG BOYS). As the AMR's began to take off behind guide Cgeib UL spotted me lurking near the edge of KC and pointed and yelled "Dookey, you're with them!" and waved his finger toward the disappearing group. I side stepped outta the remaining wedding party and caught up to the crew as they dipped over the backside into some refrozen slough death cookie nanky na-na. It sucked, but I couldn't have been happier.

If I recall, our little entourage consisted of Cgeib, DonDenver & Betsy, BrklnTrayc, Tsavo, Jtolentino, Ingemar, Bong, Vince, thatcrazyBahstunchicka, Petefromohio…I may be missing a head or two, so if you were there, please chime in (these are the folks that I either consistently sucked vapor trails from, rode the lift with or nearly collided with…just kidding on the last part, honest).

If I recall we hit Dueces Wild and then Game Creek and possibly The Woods/Dealers Choice? Truthfully I suck at recalling names of runs. I actually spend more time worrying about skiing than the name of the run. If I like it, I do it again, if I don't it's on to the next one. This time, though, I was just playing follow the leader and picking out a person or two to ride behind and suck off some of their mojo (tried following Vince…he straight rips. Ditto for Brklnistheborough). While ripping (or variations thereof) the runs was one thing, riding the lifts with the different folks in the group was another. On one lift ride Bong shared some cool family history about his pops and how he had immigrated to the U.S, Other than that, if memory serves we hung out there abouts for a few runs and then realized we were late for lunch.

The massive private/catered lunch made sense given the morning's wedding festivities. UL had a nice spread, which accommodated neo-vegans like myself and Brkln. Mucho gracias! After lunch Vince, Trayc, and SSH broke off, but the rest of the All Mountain Rippers held tight and fast and ventured into the back bowl territory. I ended up bonding with Ingemar and pretty much followed his lead for the afternoon (dude RIPS). Also traded barbs with Bahstun Betty on the lift and we made endless fun of DoubleDon for dropping his pole (heck, I didn't even witness the illustrious pole drop, but giving him good natured grief seemed like the thing to do).

I believe we hit Wow, Forever, rode the High Noon Lift and possibly the Tea Cup. I know at one point we cruised by a tree covered in bras and women's lingerie (you don't see that in Tahoe, that's for damn skilly). After a few runs on the back we started to make our way back to the front eventually hitting International and Avanti and then into the main Vista Bahn area where we connected with some other Epic heads like MadMike and wife, Jgiddy and posse, Mr. Vertical and the Missus, UL, and others. I neglected to mention that at one point we found ourselves on some main gaper run which can only be described as a giant simulation of Frogger. Most of us ended up riding the sidelines and dodging cross traversers with lightening quick reflexes. And yes, we were in control and not buzzing people with rabid fly-bys (that's why were were hugging the sides of the runs). At this juncture we "lost" Bahstun (you should change your handle cuz I can't remember it! Hahahahahahahaha!) and I can't recall if we ever got her back until the bottom where the beer was at. It didn't help much that she was rockin' a sky blue coat and black helmet. Granted my fashion sense may be severely bugged out, but at least you can spot me a mile away down the hill or in the lift line. Speaking of which, at the lift we ended up on (no clue which one, mind you) I got into a discussion about lutefisk with a Swedish instructor. We both unanimously agreed that while a classic Scandinavian dish, it kind sucks (I mean how would you describe warm fish Jell-O?). Classic bi-cultural exchange (I sadly didn't get to spit any Swedish at him, but then all I know is how to say "You smell like a pimp," which he may or may not have appreciated).

My end of the day stoke came when Ingemar said "Dookey, it was great riding with you. I hope you come out to Breck on Monday as I'd like to hit some more turns with you." That was sweet (as in mad frickin' cool, not syrupy, lovey-dovey). Ingemar had to leave due to family obligations, but I stuck around and sucked a few cold ones with the crew, learning about Colin Farrell's apparent well-endowedness (according to BKT), was regaled with several DonDenver exploits from our afternoon on the backside, and got some tips from Bong. Jgiddy and his crew invited me to dinner with them, so we swapped numbers and eventually everybody split up for the evening.

I once again retired to The Roost. I pulled a straight slacker move and called two lovely ladies I know in Denver and told them I was in town and would we be able to ride together at least one day. One of 'em called me on my laziness and basically said "I'm a busy girl. It might have been nice had you called last week to give me a head's up that you were coming into town." DOH! She said to give her a holler on Sunday and that we might be able to connect. Second chicka was still firming up her plans for Sat and told me to call in the morning around 8:30. Oh yeah, I'd pretty much decided to skip out on the second trip to Vail to hang with the aforementioned friends as I'm not a super huge fan of the place and wanted to try and hit up A-Basin, the only Summit resort I've never ridden.

After another shower and a quick nap, I got the call from Jgiddy and the posse and headed over to the main village to meet them for dinner. I believe we started at Garfinkle's and then I couldn't even tell you where we ended up, but the food and company (Bong, Jgiddy & The Missus, Niece of Jgiffy, Mr. Vertical & The Missus,) were good, so it really didn't matter that I couldn't remember the name of the restaurant (I could take you there as I remember where it is…just off to the right of the gondola station). From dinner we ended up back at Garfinkle's where booty shaking shenanigans were the modus operandi for Niece of Jgiddy and Bong (you've seen the G-rated pix, I think the others are being held for ransom).

I earned points with the DJ who was spinning ragga and rap as he had two Stonesthrow Records slip discs on this turntables. I actually know the guy who started the label and oddly enough was actually wearing a Stonesthrow Records T-shirt. The DJ naturally assumed I was with the label and kept shouting me out through the night. It should also be noted that Niece of Jgiddy was the only lady grooving on the dance floor, able only to convince Bong to shimmy his shammy (she tried her best to get me out on the DF, but I'm straight Brandon Walsh…money to whomever figures out that 90210 reference!). I was actually more interested in the sociological aspect of the venue. It was packed with guys. The ration of dudes to chickas was probably 5-to-1, yet none of these ski bum dudes was eager to get out and shake their money maker with the cute corn fed Niece of Jgiddy. In fact, the only time the guys rushed the dance floor was when the DJ was giving away swag. Once the swag was gone, they retreated back to the bar. Crazy. Somebody could write a sweet term paper on this phenom.

At any rate, after a couple of beers me, Jgiddy, Mr. Vertical & The Missus, and Bong split, leaving Mrs. Jgiddy and Niece of Jgiddy to rip up the dance floor and tease the ski lads until the wee hours of the night. Needless to say, after the grub, a couple of brews, and the ragga and rap (which I was totally vibing on) I was hashed and promptly crashed hard and long once back at the Roost.

End of Day 2 reportage…more to come eventually!

post #8 of 29
HAHA nice TR man, I hope to meet you eventually.
post #9 of 29
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post

(she tried her best to get me out on the DF, but I'm straight Brandon Walsh…money to whomever figures out that 90210 reference!).
Brandon, twin of Brenda, always claimed he never danced, but if you REALLY know your 90210 trivia, you'll remember he slow-danced with Andrea at the prom! So what's the prize?!

And DD223, coming out to meet dookey is a very good reason to plan to attend LGC IV!
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

schooled on my B-H 9er trivia!

i must have missed that episode.

although i thought Brandon eventually danced with that wicked chick from Marin, Emily Valentine, no?

Parts 3/4 probably coming on Monday as I'm off to Mammoth to see what a Maggot Mini is like!

Sorry for the delay in posting, I seriously lag! (I still haven't posted my TR's from my most recent Tahoe adventures, either!)

post #11 of 29
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
(I sadly didn't get to spit any Swedish at him, but then all I know is how to say "You smell like a pimp," which he may or may not have appreciated).
Bwaaaahaaaahaaaahaaa! I wanna party with you dude! Nice TR, can't wait to hear the rest.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
I can actually say "You smell like an eggplant," too, plus a few other rather off-color remarks that most Swedish folks probably wouldn't understand.

being something of a messed up linguist (Speech Communication major, which is basically a BA in Talking/Bullsh@tting) this is what happens when you spend a couple New Years in Tahoe partying with Swedish exchange hotties...you get drunk and then have them write down all the bugged out phrases you can think of. I still have my 3-pages "dictionary" of phrases not normally heard in Swedish, many of which are too risque for repetition within these boards.

as for partying, i'm pretty mellow, but i like to ski and have 1 or 2 apres brews, so anytime you're in Tahoe, just holler. Or as SugarC said, c'mon out to LGCIV next year...I'll probably slip in for a few days of comraderie with the crew.

And Cube, thanks for the accolades/kudos, props. DoubleD, you too.
post #13 of 29
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
I can actually say "You smell like an eggplant," too, plus a few other rather off-color remarks that most Swedish folks probably wouldn't understand.

being something of a messed up linguist (Speech Communication major, which is basically a BA in Talking/Bullsh@tting) this is what happens when you spend a couple New Years in Tahoe partying with Swedish exchange hotties...you get drunk and then have them write down all the bugged out phrases you can think of. I still have my 3-pages "dictionary" of phrases not normally heard in Swedish, many of which are too risque for repetition within these boards.

as for partying, i'm pretty mellow, but i like to ski and have 1 or 2 apres brews, so anytime you're in Tahoe, just holler. Or as SugarC said, c'mon out to LGCIV next year...I'll probably slip in for a few days of comraderie with the crew.

And Cube, thanks for the accolades/kudos, props. DoubleD, you too.
I figure that as long as there are a bunch of like minded folks and a bunch of smiles, it's a party

If I get to Tahoe I'll definitely make some noise your way but I'm pretty much a Colorado kinda guy. Wifey and I have been either taking the train or driving out for the last eight years or so. With the pass deals they've had it's been a great way to spend a bunch of time skiing without dropping too much coin.

As far as LGC IV, I've always managed to appease my bosses by being back at work by April. But after reading your TR and a bit of the LGC III thread (as well as just the forums here in general) I'm trying to work out the logistics of making it for a least a few days.

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm back from "crashing" the Maggot Mini @ Mammoth over the weekend, so I'll FINALLY wrap up this TR this week!

Turns come before writing, sadly.

post #15 of 29
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
Turns come before writing, sadly.
True, but work is mounting up...
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
believe you me, i know!

i still have the remaining 3 days of LGC3 to wrap up, plus TR's for my last 2 weekends at Alpine Meadows (where I got sideways airborne!) and a review of my crashing of the Maggot Mini in Mammoth (where the thread about "why do snowboarders always stop in the middle of the run" really got put to the test when I almost beheaded one that was stupidly perched on the downside of blind speed bump...MTT set him straight when he General Lee'd the rift over me, though).

i'm still trying to reacclimate after a 4-day binge of camping, partying, and skiing!
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
LGC3 WCBR Day 3: Saturday April 7th, 2007

Woke up early Saturday morning (it was nigh unavoidable as the guests upstairs sounded like they were walking around in their ski boots…in fact they'd sounded like that since I checked in. Not sure what the hell they were up to, but it was LOUD, pounding, and annoying). Needless to say, I packed up, waxed the sticks, and by 8:30 was ready to head out on the road.

While the subject of the Roost is still fresh on my mind, I neglected to elaborate on my check-in. Upon entering the lobby Thursday afternoon I was greeted by a young lad who obviously had Down Syndrome. He was bouncing a ball or some such object around the lobby area and generally clomping around with a benign smile on his face. He paid me absolutely no never mind, more focused on his activity and every so often stopping to be momentarily mesmerized by the television suspended hospital room style from the corner of the ceiling. The two young girls who checked me in were foreign (South American? Portuguese?) and after I had received my keys and was headed out the door one of them yelled "Dum Dum, quit that and come here!" Now I'm far from the most politically correct cat on the planet, but that's cold as f@#k to call your retarded sibling "Dum Dum." It was simultaneously funny, yet also poignantly sad, like something you'd expect in a Farrelly Brothers' film or a Dave Chappelle skit. In retrospect it was insanely surreal.

At any rate, back to the story at hand. I left off at Saturday morning in the Jeep rental on the road to A-Basin. I hollered at my friend Michelle, as she suggested I do the night before, and got her VM. So I checked out and hit the highway. My intentions were to head straight for A-Basin. Needless to say, said intentions weren't acted upon accordingly. With a sweet Lee Scratch Perry disc undulating from the speakers I went into road zone mode and within a few short minutes had whisked right by the Keystone/Arapaho Basin exit at Dillon/Silverthorne. I didn't even realize it until I hit the backside of Loveland grade. Kismet was shining, though, as just as I came up on the tunnel my phone rang. It was Michelle calling to say that her and JoJo were loading up the ride and gonna head out to Loveland. She asked, "Where are you skiing today?" My reply? "As luck would have it I just missed the turnoff for A-Basin and I'm about to hit the tunnel, so I'm riding with you and JoJo today!" Michelle informed me that they probably wouldn't be up the mountain until at least 9:30 and that I should just go ahead and do some laps and they'd holler when they got there.

I was in the parking lot at Loveland suiting up when the phone jingled. It was Michelle, or so the phone said. "What's crack-a-lackin'!?" I asked. The voice on the other end burst into laughter, paused for breath and said "It's JoJo, Michelle's friend. We're stuck in traffic and serious fog. We can't even see the car in front of us and nobody is moving up the hill. We're at Colorado Mills and might turn off and get some breakfast. You should just go ahead and ride and we'll hopefully meet up with you for lunch." I replied the only way I could "That sucks, but no worries. I'll hit the slopes and y'all ring me when you get here." They never rang back. Yeah, the fog was THAT bad.

As for me, I finished suiting up, grabbed my skis and poles and headed up to the ticket window. Some guy was trying to unload some tix for $25, which I thought a bit leery, so I went to the bathroom and thought it over whilst relieving myself. When I got back out to the ticket window he was still there. I asked to see the ticket. It looked good to me, so I handed over $25, pimped a wicket from the official ticket window, slapped that bad boy on and hit the lift to the left of the entryway. There was some kind of Tele convention/race going on as a ton of freeheelers were ripping down the mogul run under the chair. I was on a simple mission to head up the lift, then down and over to Chair 4 and eventually The Oche. Sadly I missed the turn off (actually I took a run too early down and came out below Chair 4. I ended up back at the lodge and took the uber long, uber slow lift up to mid-Summit level, then dropped down to 4. The top of 4 was windy and the conditions were glass off the lift into windblown ice and finally ankle deep buff. Sweet. I ripped down to 8, which was a combo of WB pow, buff on death cookies, and ice.

I did several laps on 8 enjoying the wind blown pow and buff and busting my way through the hidden death cookies as best as I could. After a good hour of basically riding the outer bank bowls by myself (there was nary another skier or boarder for as far as the eye could see) I headed back on the traverse to 4. I almost ran into two snowboarders and a skier who were parked at the crest of a blind spot, taking up the middle of the run. After forcing me to a complete stop they looked at me, shrugged and then took off. I gave them a wide berth and then headed down the traverse. No sooner had a dipped down into a valley and crested another peak and blind spot did I almost run them over again. That was twice they had decided to stop in the middle of the run in a place were oncoming skiers would not see them. Idiots. I dodged between the two boarders and the skier and came out on the runs to skier's left of Chair 4.

That's when the commotion began. 2 telemarkers came zipping up to me, flanking me on either side. It was a man and woman. The man asked "Were those idiots in the middle of the run when you came over the hump? My wife almost nailed one and killed herself in the process." Just as I was answering "Yeah, they were blocking the run," the two boarders and skier showed up. One of the boarders began yelling at the Tele dude "What the f@#k did you have to flip me off for? It's f@#kin' Easter Sunday tomorrow man!" He also pulled the "This is Loveland and we don't tolerate language or actions like that." The Tele dude went off about how they were sitting in a dangerous blind spot and how his wife had almost killed herself dodging the idiots. Idiot boarder then suggested they race down the hill and settle the beef in the parking lot. The whole time I was sandwiched in-between the two guys! Idiot boarder finally rode off in a huff. Tele dude shook his head and then looked at me. I shrugged, then noticed he was on a pair of Icelantics. Gearhead that I am, I asked him about the skis, more to change the subject from idiot boarders (and skiers) who can't seem to get it through their thick skulls not to stop in the middle of a freaking run, especially in a blind spot. Tele Dude's face lit up and he said that he was demoing the skis. The Icelantic crew was down at the base with a full quiver. He suggested I head down and scope 'em out. He then took off to meet his wife.

Seeing as how I was riding solo and how I LOVE to try new skis, I followed him down to the lodge and met up with the Icelantic crew. I was immediately set up on a pair of 173 Shamans, their flagship fattie. I jumped on the long, slow lift and made my way up the summit, back down to 4, and over to 8. I ripped two sweet runs off the top. The Shamans ate up the windbuff and blown powder. They were a bit suspect on the hidden death cookies and took a lot of driving and hard edging to stay free and easy on the ice. They straight sucked in bullet moguls as the ultra wide tips kept getting caught up in my turns. They also felt a wee bit short for my taste. But they RIP the pow. They eat that stuff up and spit it out like nobody's business. If they made 'em in a 180 and narrowed the tip down a tad I'd probably buy 'em.

On my way back to the demo tent I ran into three locals riding the Nomad. I talked them up a bit on the traverse and even though one of them sheepishly admitted that the skis were a bit nervous he strongly suggested I try 'em out for myself, especially since the makers were down at the base and letting them go out for free. I agreed and headed back to the bottom. When I got there the last pair of 168 Nomads was heading out on the hill. The wind was picking up, it was still dreadfully overcast, and I was feeling a bit worn out (and a wee bit bummed that Michelle and JoJo had been sidelined by some John Carpenter mist). I ended up just hanging out at the Icelantic tent talking up the company's owner Ben and learning how and why he started the company. After about 30 minutes of he and I chopping it up a pair of the Nomads came back. It was a double score, too: they were mounted with the new Marker Duke AT bindings!

Ben set me up and I went on my way. It was 3 O'clock, and I did the same runs as I'd done on the Shamans: up the summit, over to 4, down to 8, two runs off 8 in the back bowls, then back down to the base. Three runs total, about 45-minutes. The Nomad was on par with the Shaman in terms of how it tackled wind buff and blown pow. It was a bit more turny (it has a narrower waist and much, much narrower tip), but it was nervous as hell (just as the Nomad rider I'd spoken with earlier had warned me). I never really felt 100% comfortable on the things when I got on hard snow. Neither did they like to straight-line without jumping all over the place. They were really only comfortably numb in the pow-pow. As for the Duke bindings? They rock! They are incredibly low profile and felt as sturdy as my Mojo 15's. I am so buying a pair of these when they go on sale to the general public next season. Hands down.

When I got back to the Icelantic tent Ben and the crew asked what I felt about the Nomads. I told 'em what I just wrote above. Then I added that if they made a ski shaped like the Nomad with the 110 waist and stiffness of the Shaman AND in a 180cm length, I'd totally buy it. They all seemed genuinely interested and intrigued by my suggestion. I honestly got the feeling that they were taking mental notes for a future model (we'll have to wait and see if they decide to make some longer sticks in the next season or two). After talking to them for a few more minutes they asked casually "Would you like a beer?" Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth (okay, sometimes, but never a gift beer) I didn't hesitate in replying "Sure." With that they handed me a drink ticket good for a cold frosty one at the Rathskeller. I grabbed my beer and sat out in the courtyard at one of the picnic tables and noshed on a slab of cold pizza I'd packed in my bag (see the leftovers from that 24" bad boy I'd purchased on Thursday were coming in handy).

I was a bit bummed that Michelle and JoJo hadn't been able to share the day with me, but on the same hand it was nice to have a kind of Zen solo outing after riding two days in a row with a big group. Plus I'd gotten to ride some cool indie skis, I got to try the new Marker Dukes, and the folks who made the skis had even given me a beer to boot. Not a bad day at all in my book. Again, while not completely sold on the Icelantic skis, I can't speak highly enough about the folks who run the company. Ben was great to talk to and the fact that he let me grill him reporter stylee for almost an hour was awesome. They seem to have a great attitude, killer customer service, and a product that for some is truly kick a$$. If you get a chance to surf some pow on the Shamans or Nomads, it's worth the effort. Heck, you might even get a cold one out of it in the process!

Saturday night I headed back into Denver to hang out with my old High School chum Brian. Michelle eventually hooked up with us, as well, and we all grubbed serious on sushi down in the Cherry Creek area then hit the Cherry Cricket for some drinks. I played it mellow as I was hoping to ride with the cute snowboarder chicka the next day (I had called her earlier, but hadn't heard back from her). When I finally crashed out somewhere around midnight, my intentions were to hit A-Basin on Easter Sunday if I didn't hear from the boarding babe.

End of Day 3.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Day 4 of my LGC3 Invasion: Easter Sunday

Even though I'd ditched the LGC crew, so to speak, on Saturday, Sunday was an "official" day of rest for the gathering. Yet after learning that Brkln was going on her 12th straight day and shooting for damn near 20, I knew I couldn't punk out and take the day off.

I awoke in Denver and loaded the rental Jeep and was on the road somewhere between 6 and 7 am. If you recall, I'd called a cute snowboarder chicka on Friday. She'd let me know plain as day that I should have given her more of a heads up that I was going to be in Colo skiing than calling on a Friday night and that she might be available to ride with me on Sunday. I'd called her Saturday night, but got VM. When I woke up there was a text message asking where I was going to ski for the day? It said that she was still in bed and probably wouldn't be ready to connect until at least 10. I texted her back saying that I was eyeing A-Basin, as it was the only Summit County resort I had yet to hit. I didn't expect to hear from her and I was right. She hit me back probably an hour later exclaiming that A-Basin would be horrible today. Why? Because I just neglected to tell you that it was snowing! Boo-yaa! Freshies in Colo on Easter Sunday.

Gina the Cute Snowboarder was gunning for Vail. Another friend of hers, whom I had met before, was down there. But the reports back from her said it was raining in the Valley. We bandied about Copper and Breck. Finally Gina grew exasperated with texting (I had only been doing it because I thought she was still groggy and asleep and didn't want to disturb her beauty rest with the presumed annoying ringtone she probably has synched to her phone) and called me. I was at Idaho Springs by this point and when the subject of scrubbing Vail and A-Basin as choices was broached; we came back to Copper or Breck. The hold-up was that G was all out of passes for Copper. I mentioned I had a 2-fer-1 deal with my Frontier Airlines ticket stub, but after a cursory search realized that I had probably left those back at my buddy Brian's pad. Thus Breck it was, since we both had free passes there (she an All Mountain Vail Pass, me a Heavenly Pass). She gave me directions to her crash pad in Dillon and I got back on my way.

A little after 10 I scooped up G, we grabbed some b-fast, then some gas, and were parked at her secret locals only parking spot, geared up, and with the previous night's leftover sushi stashed in a snow bank, probably on Chair 9 close to 11. We were doing it slo-mo Sunday stylee, which was fine and dandy by me. I was just stoked to be out in the snow and with a cute self-admitted shredder (granted I was a bit skeptical, but you never know). Needless to say, G ripped, so there was no worries on that front. In fact, I think she might have been a bit worried about my "tired" old bones keeping up with her!

I wish I could remember all the runs we did, but to the best of my knowledge we stayed on Chair 6, 8, and the Imperial for the most part, shooshing through the trees and enjoying the fresh. Okay, I was enjoying the fresh. G, on the other hand, couldn't stop remarking about how wet and sticky it was. When I bandied back that this was some sweet, sweet pow she looked at me with her patented "Whatever" grin and proceeded to say "If you think this is sweet pow than I can tell you right now that I'm never coming to ski with you in Cali." She then went on to describe the ecstasy riddled enjoyment of snorkeling through champagne pow (to be fair, G had warned me when I picked her up that she was s elf-professed "Snow Snob", so I knew what I was in for, more or less).

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a tad bummed that any thoughts of luring this young lass West of the Rockies was temporarily shattered, but it was quickly forgotten due to the sweet (in my eyes) snow and the fact that I was able to make her laugh her ass off when I threw up the "W-E" hand signs every time she said "Whatever" (this and "You know what I mean," both delivered in a sly Mid-Western twang--she's from Chicago--were her catch phrases).

For the most part the day went off without a hitch, except for one trip through a veritable rock garden and a couple runs underneath Imperial that were more or less Braille runs (zero visibility). Oh yeah, my O.G. goggles, which had separated double lens and rotted foam across the bridge, began filling up with snow at one point, leaving me totally blind (even more so than the zero vis). Luckily G had a spare set which she lovingly loaned me for the afternoon.

Breakthroughs of the day were learning to ride without seeing the terrain in front of you (this was accomplished by avoiding the pre-cut, follow-the-lift scoured lines that every other "blind" fool was copying underneath Imperial and instead heading off to the right of the chair and doing tight, controlled turns while looking at your tips) and sniping a few lengths of untapped fresh here and there. And of course entertaining said young lady with my wit and charm. I'd say we got in a good amount of runs, some engaging convo, some laughs, and all told probably rode a good solid 4 hours before we were tired, hungry, and a bit soggy. Oh yeah, we'd heard that one of the Marley's (either Stephen or Damien, was the rumor we'd picked up on) was doing a free show at 4, so we wanted to catch some of that.

Back at the bottom of 9 we began asking around about the free show. Nobody had heard a thing. We asked an obviously Jamaican woman at the food court. She shrugged and walked away. We asked two guys at the rental shop. Both said "Oh yeah, we heard about that," but couldn't tell us where it was supposed to be or if it was actually happening. Ditto for the guys working the photo booth. We finally ended up at Christy's Sports in the Village and after asking the staff there, finally just snatched their copy of the local paper and rifled through it. There, buried in the back pages, we learned that the concert was with Ky-Naan Marley (yet another Marley offspring and one I had yet to have heard of, which was strange with me being a Music journalist and all) and wasn't happening until April 21st!

Concert plans scrubbed, we opted for apres beers and nachos and conversation with a crazy 3 Time DUI dude who regaled us with tales of rescuing his ex-girlfriend from a burning truck (he had the 3rd degree burn scars on his left arm and face to prove it) and how he was serving community time teaching disabled and autistic kids to ski. He even offered up his services as a river guide should we decide to take up rafting this summer! Nachos and beers finished we returned to the car (no ticket! The local secret parking spot really worked…though admittedly it was a holiday and I probably wouldn't push my luck with the spot on a busy weekday or Saturday. My sushi was still packed in snow and good to go for dinner. G, who had been on the fence about staying over Sunday and riding with me on Monday decided that she was going to head back to Denver. The snow just wasn't good enough for her to blow off work. I could tell you that I was severely bummed that she was bailing, but I won't.

At any rate, I dropped her off at her pad, pulled a Gentlemanly Jim and walked her to the door and carried her board, to boot. Got the goodbye hug and was on my way. I had decided since I would be riding Breck again on Monday with the LGC3 crew that I'd just stay in Dillon/Silverthorne at the cheapest motel I could find. Not one to spend the bulk of my evening--it was already after 6--searching motels one by one, I just pulled off at the main offramp and went straight for Super 8. $68 bucks after the Triple-A discount, which was good by me (much cleaner, bigger room with soundproof walls than the Roost, though lacking any of its quirky charm).

I noshed on the sushi, which wasn't half bad for being 12 hours old and having sat in a snow bank all day (and no, I didn't get sick off it, either). I showered next and then headed out to scope out the town. I waffled about hitting up some of the shops that advertised huge sales. I did need new goggles, a helmet, gloves, and I'm always looking at skis. I stayed strong and didn't give in (although I did a little window shopping and found a matching jacket for those Hana Teter plaid pants of mine). It was here and then that I remembered the movie theater from two seasons earlier when my dad and I stayed in town. I bid the mocha/cream/pink jacket a fond farewell, hopped in the truck, and headed up the hill to the theater. Sadly, it was almost 8 and I'd missed the last batch of screenings. The next ones didn't start until 9:45. I decided that I'd truck back to the motel, take a quick nap, and then come back to see that Mark Wahlberg/Morgan Freeman actioneer, The Shooter.

At the motel I set the alarm on my phone for 9:30 and promptly fell asleep. At 9:15 I awoke, checked the clock, turned off the alarm, got up and took off my clothes, went into the bathroom and brushed me teeth, and went back to bed. I was too damn bushed to motivate up the hill to see a movie afterall. I would insert some pithy dookey verbiage about my sweet dreams, but sadly I don't recall them from that night.

End of Day 4.
post #19 of 29
That was fun to read. Next time we need pics though!

And it's too bad the Roost is now gone. So much for cheap lodging in the Vail Valley
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
they've already torn down The Roost in less than a month?
post #21 of 29
No, it's not torn down yet. From what I have read, they are going to keep it up during the summer and use it for construction housing. I'm just sad to see it go despite it's not-so-glamorous facilities. A bunch of my friends and I stayed there for a five days in March and it was insanely cheap.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
I guess "insanely cheap" all depends on one's definition.

It cost me $92 a night to stay there.

In contrast, the Super 8 in Dillon was only $68.

While lacking the "rustic" charm of The Roost, the room was twice as big and I couldn't hear the people above me or next to me (i.e. much better sound proofing).

Granted the lobby didn't have the color and idiosyncracity of Dum Dum and his relatives, but still a close to $30 difference for more amenities is certainly "insanely cheap" by my standards. And it's only a 20 minute drive, so you are saving some serious dinero that could go towards beer and pizza!

Of course I guess $92 a night in Vail is considered "insanely cheap" by most standards.

Then again, when you consider that I just skied 3 days in Mammoth AND camped for free, that's off the ricter charts insanely cheap!
post #23 of 29
lol, I guess a lot of people camp at the base of A-Basin during the spring here too.

When we stayed at the Roost in March, there were five of us, so it broke down nicely, though it was a tight fit. But it was pretty much only used for sleeping so it wasn't a big deal.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
well there ya go!

5 into $98 would be considered "insanely cheap" in my book!

1 into $98, not so much.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
LGC3 West Coast Bumrush, Day 5: El Finito

Woke up at the Super 8 in Dillon feeling quite refreshed. Began packing the rental Jeep and what should I see walking down the street but a skier with a pair of lime green Bros propped on their shoulder. Realizing that the chances of it being anybody other than Brkln were quite slim I hollered "Brooklyn is the borough!" (quoting a semi-famous Gang Starr rhyme. If you have never heard Step In The Arena, grab yourself a copy. It's one of the all-time greatest albums regardless of genre and easily one of the Top 5 rap albums of all-time). Said skier stopped in their tracks and began looking around. I hollered "Brooklyn's in the house!" and she turned my way and with that patented grin yelled back "Dookey!"

Come to find out Brkln had been staying at Uncle Joe's pad up the street (about 2 miles up the street, which she had just hoofed with all her gear…I learned that Brkln is a TRUE New Yorker in that she doesn't have a driver's license!). After throwing her gear in the Jeep and checking out of the motel we headed off to Breck for what would be my final day of the LGC3 experience. We parked, snatched a lift on the new in-town gondola and made our way to the meet-n-greet spot. We got there just in the nick of time, actually being the last of the bunch to show up. After the UL pep talk we all broke for the bathroom and/or to gear up. Outside was a crew of Breck instructors getting ready for the morning and as I straggled off to the lift one of them grabbed me by the arm. It was my old pal Ingemar. "Dookey, I'm going to ride with you folks this morning. I just have to go sign out and I'll meet you at the top of the lift. Tell the guys to hang on for me."

At the top of the lift (I think it was 10, but since UL and Ingemar ended up being our tour guides for the day, I just kind of went along for the ride not really paying much attention to the runs or lift names) I mentioned that Ingemar was going to join us and was met with a wee bit of skepticism (the gang was itching to ride and didn't want to wait). Thankfully Inge was only 3 chairs behind me! We took off and broke into two groups: Ingemar's bump freaks and another group that wanted to rip groomers. We ended up on what I believe was the 6 chair. Somewhere in here we did a tree run through freshies and "lost" Segbrown. The rest of us ended up at the bottom of the lift and waited for her realizing that none of us had her cell number. We were just about to break off into search parties when she came whizzing down to the lift. Seems that she had zigged when we all zagged and gotten down to the lift well before the rest of us. Thinking she'd missed us she went and did another lap!

After the excitement of reconnecting with our missing compadre, we headed off and explored the mountain with UL and Ingemar leading the charge. We hit the bowls off the T-Bar and Imperial lift, hit some bump runs below them, hit some trees off Chair 6 (or was it 8?) and pretty much just kept riding until lunch. The noon day sup was a festive occasion with Viking Kaj reverting to his ancestral grubbing ways (catsup on his face, chocolate on his lips), DonDenver extolling the virtues of metabolism blasting jalapeno's and other Epicurean tomfoolery.

Following the grub break we peeled off into two groups again, one focusing on bumps, the other on ripping groomers. UL even found the time (and energy) to serve up a few basic lessons on balance and turning, of which Segbrown and Madmike were the star pupils. I was given a little "sexual healing" advice from Brkln in terms of getting my hiney out of the backseat (I'd reverted to super Pinto bucket seat action earlier in the day when we were pioneering the fresh stashes of deepness), so my mind was occupied with thrusting my hips forward whilst pushing my ankles backward. Not sure if it worked or not, but I also didn't want to publicly fess up to what potentially could be construed as "being bad in bed" skiing technique, either!

We ended the day at the bottom of Chair 9 taking advantage of UL's free drink tickets. We were just getting into the apres groove when somebody found out that we had possibly missed the last shuttle back into town! We all finished our current libations and motivated ourselves outside. No shuttles were left! Thankfully a local bus showed up and all of us sans DonDenver and Betsy jumped aboard. After a wonderful tour of downtown Breck we ended up at the parking lot. Madmike decided to drive back up to Breck to pick up Don and Betsy. Brkln and I said we'd hang out in the lot. After swapping out shoes I ducked off into the bushes to relieve myself. Sadly I picked a "bad" spot that was conveniently located in front of the Denver's vehicle. Wouldn't you know it, just as I was getting going a shuttle bus drove up and parked right in front of me! Don and Betsy disembarked. They had managed to cajole a private shuttle into giving them a ride. Not only that but Betsy had bought Don a crazy new jacket: neon green! Said jacket was responsible for Don's super skiing alter ego: The Flying Margarita, a name that would be coined in the days that followed. After a quick call to Madmike to let him know that the Denver's had arrived safe and sound and after having the ever-prepared DonD hand me a handywipe, we said our good-byes.

I dropped Brkln off back at her Uncle Joe's pad (and she graciously allowed me to finish my previously interrupted business in the downstairs bathroom) and we said our good-byes and I headed back to Denver and eventually San Francisco.

As Don mentioned in another post around here, there was a wee bit of trepidation on my part about coming out to the LGC3 event. Part of this was "crashing" a party that had been going on for a few years with the bulk of the participants being old friends. The other part was whether or not I would fit in, not so much socially, but skill wise. The simple fact that most of the folks I rode with seemed genuinely happy to have met me and ridden with me, especially after the first day, eased up the trepidation factor considerably. The fact that Brkln asked if I was headed to the Mammoth Maggot Mini (a TGR styled gathering) in a few weeks and then added "You should go Dookey" proved that I hadn't worn out my welcome, but had rather been inducted into the greater Epic family. As somebody who has spent the last umpteen seasons predominantly skiing by himself or with my dad (in his late '70s) and occasionally my cousin and my old college roommate, it was refreshing to find some like-minded souls who reaffirm that I am not crazy for skiing 40+ days a year, spending all my extra dinero on ski equipment, and travelling out of state in the pursuit of good snow. For that I thank each and everyone of those I met, skied with, and apres'd with at LGC3!

Soundtrack for the Trip:
Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson/Ray Price - Last of the Breed
Lee Scratch Perry - The Upsetter Selection: A Lee Perry Jukebox
KMD - Mr. Hood
The Roots - Game Theory
Fugiya & Miyagi -
post #26 of 29
Great read! would love to see the mammoth report now.
post #27 of 29
[Proven again] great prose always lends a terrific read. As for the hah-lah-PEH-hyoh’s brother, remember; at least one a day. Not only does it stoke the metabolic fire it is the perfect…shall we say…pipe cleaner:
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 

next season i'll up my game with added pictorial displays (though i'm still of the mind that I'd rather ski than stop and snap pix all the time!)
post #29 of 29
Its true what they say:
What happens at an Epic Event STAYS at the Epic Event, until someone posts it on the forum.
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