Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Perfect Ski Dayt

Yesterday was the perfect ending to this two week odyssey. After several days of skiing in treacherous foggy conditions, the high pressure moved in and we were rewarded with perfect conditions. We rewarded ourselves with a late lunch mid-mountain. There is nothing quite so the essence of western skiing than the smell of hamburgers being grilled fresh on the outdoor porch in the bright sun. I don't think it got out of the teens up there, but the sun made everything OK.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Strawberry Park

Yesterday we went to soak in the hot springs at Strawberry Park. It sits about a half hour outside of Steamboat next to a wild mountain stream. Even saw a caribou on the way in. I give the developers an A+ for building a place that fits so naturally into the environment. And developers is hardly the word to use here ... more like caretakers. It was in the low 30's when we arrived and we entered the sandy bottomed pools of 106 degree water. It was great to alternate between that and the 46 degree stream, and then to just lie in the bright sun and relax and take in nature.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mountain Magic happened


I'll admit it ... I am a sunny day skier. Flat light bums me out. Since I cannot see the terrain, I tense up and the skiing is a lot less fun. Second run of the day today was that kind of run and I was ready to throw in the towel and head back to rest my legs.

Then as we started down Buddy's Run, mountain magic happened. Somehow the gray cloud over us that was pouring down snow, gave way to sunshine and we were skiing in a magical sunlit snow shower. Suddenly all was in relief again ... I could see where I was going. My mood lifted and my skiing shot up a notch, and I was one with the mountain. My new skis ... now officially mine ... made turning effortless as I took in the wonder of gliding amid sunlit snowflakes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lovely

Lovely, sunny day yesterday. It is hard to imagine WHAT the locals are talking about when they say "It's been a TERRIBLE year for snow." I cannot imagine anything more lovely than this.


Such a deal

For two days I have been chewing up the mountain with a a demo pair of K2 Burnin' luvs. Hunter has been encouraging me to try others, but herein lies the essential difference between us. I KNOW when I like something. I do not need to try all the other skis on the rack if I already LIKE something. But this ski, new, lists for over $1,100. I may LIKE it, but not that much.

So when I read on the internet that a women was able to negotiate a price of $450 for a pair of year old demos I thought, why not try and buy these skis from the guy I am renting it from. I decided I would not pay more than $500.

So I marched down the hill to the ski rental place and approached the guy from whom we had rented them armed with my negotiation face.

"If you're willing to deal in cash, I'll sell them to you for $100." Whoo!! Whoo!! Such a deal !

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the new word for today is ... Lemurian


During our first Gondola ride up yesterday I spied a Mom with her future Olympian on her back. She says the German built backpack is secure enough that it is easy to ski with her as part of you. The other man in the Gondola with us shared he was from Mt. Shasta and that got the Mom talking about a hike she had taken there a few years earlier. "hoped we might see some Lemurians!" she said with what I THOUGHT was a twinkle in her eye. Then the Californian went on at length about an encounter he had with a Lemurian when hiking there one summer.

By now Hunter and I are making eye contact ... Finally I interjected, "Is this how you Westerners play with unsuspecting Easterners before their first run of the day?" "Oh no!" the Mom protested earnestly. "You have heard of Atlantis, right?" I nodded. "Well these people were on a different land form in the Pacific and when it was submerged they went to live under Mt. Shasta."

We are not in Kansas any more, Toto.

Great day skiing. I tried out a pair of K2 "Burnin' Luvs". Great ski.

We came around the corner yesterday and found this group picnicking with a great view out over the valley floor.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Skiing Steamboat Springs

As we awaited our connection in Dallas/ Ft. Worth yesterday I couldn't help but notice the pile of wheelchairs and disability service vehicles that were amassed at our gate. When the connector arrived from Steamboat Springs, all manner of disabled former skiers straggled out and sought the assistance of airport personnel.

Hate to see that.

But now we are here looking out on a snow covered mountain, and about ready to take advantage of our very first ski in ski out experience.

About ski in/ski out .... All of my adult life my ski lodging has been away from the mountain. Sometimes very far away from the mountain, like the many years we commuted in the early morning from Hanover, NH to Killington, VT with a bag full of sandwiches that we kept "under the clock" in the base lodge. Sometimes it meant hopping a bus in a ski town like Aspen or walking to the lifts from a condo in Telluride.

But today a new era is about to begin. As I type this I can see the famous Steamboat Gondola gliding past my window. All I have to do is walk across my driveway and hop on my skis ... no thundering boot noise in the lodge, no long walks from the parking lot, and perhaps most importantly, no more long waits in the lodge with a book while I wait for others to finish their day of skiing.