My Pow Day


We get President's Day off because I work for a school district. I was a little bit down because I had this day off but no place to ski with acceptable prices because it's a holiday week for the kids. None of the resorts have discounted prices. However, I did look and I found Bosquet in Pittsfield, MA, the Berkshires, that had an acceptably low ticket price. Yay! I'm in business.
As a bonus, we had 4-5 inches of light, fluffy powder by the time I got to the hill.
It got scraped off pretty quick but it was still pretty cool and I had a lot of fun.
My only regret is that I didn't go to the top of the mountain 'cause I thought it was all black and double-black diamond and I wasn't that comfortable with the hard pack that was getting exposed beneath the powder. After I was done for the day and looked closely at the trail map, I see where there was a possibility of getting down from the top on blues and a doable section of black. Oh well, there's always next Monday. ;-)
Anyhow, I had a blast getting my TPUs in.
Brother-in-law Mike, who gave me practically a whole day lesson a couple weeks ago, would probably cringe at my technique but I think I retained a few things. I certainly am having more fun and feel more in control. Except there was one steep that everything just seemed to go to pot on. I worked on it a few times but it was getting too scraped off for my taste.

Pray for snow!

Mike's Philosophy


Scheduled day skiing at Butternut today. Cold, singles to teens, blue skies, packed powder. Very sweet.
Met up with brother-in-law Mike G. there. No surprise, it's second home to him (or first).
We skied most of the day together on the hill and Mike very graciously spent almost the whole time giving me a private lesson! I was thrilled. It was time for it. Haven't had a lesson since I started skiing 4 years ago.
And I must say it's made a big difference although I know I haven't really assimilated all of it.
Mike is a very graceful skier and Matt S. the general manager at Butternut has taken a lot of great pictures of Mike on the mountain. In fact, Mike is their poster boy. That's him on the lift ticket.
On a lift ride, I commented to Mike that he makes a lot of quick turns and doesn't really ski very fast. He replied that it's the turns that he especially likes about skiing. It's kind of a dance and he likes to milk a run for all it's worth. Some people like to shoot down the mountain as fast as they can every run and if they're having fun, that's great.
For Mike, it's an art form. I kind of like that approach. It got me thinking about the way I ski. I have got into skiing fast mostly because I found it was easier on my legs but I think the turns tired me out because my technique was bad. After Mike's tips, I find that I can ski in control even on the black diamonds with much less effort. Of course, the conditions were great today. ;-)

Next up, Mt. Snow on Monday for Valentine's Day and my birthday! Lift tickets are 2 for $49. Woo-hoo!

Check out a video I made today on youtube: http://youtu.be/767CCXjiAS0

Maple Ski Ridge

Well, I had to get my ski fix this week. My hands were starting to shake.
I couldn't take another day off but I had this brainstorm.
I had never been to Maple Ski Ridge but it's only 1/2 hour away, is cheap ($25) and has night skiing 3PM to 9PM.
It's small, only a few trails, but it might just tide me over till next week.
I normally work 8 to 4 but today I went in at 7 so I could get off at 3.
Got up to Maple ridge about 4, bought a ticket, suited up and away I went. You buy an RFID card for $25 the first time. Put it in your pocket and you are scanned at the lift and a turnstile lets you on to the chair. You keep the card and if you want to reload it you can do it online and it's only $20. Pretty cool.
As I said, the hill is small but the problem is not the few trails but that the trails are short!
Also, as I expected, the place was crawling with kids, bus loads of them. I think I was the only adult on the hill that wasn't either with their kids or an instructor.
My first hour, my hands got really cold because you're not on the trail long enough to warm up before you're back in the chair. Fortunately it's a short chair ride. I had to go back in side, eat my banana and get warmed up. Then I put my buff head gear on as a bandana before I went out again. That may have conserved some body heat because I didn't have the hand problem again.
Any how, I wound up having a pretty good time. Once I accepted that it is what it is and just enjoyed the time.
It was the first time I ever night skied and I really liked it. About 6PM the kids started going home (homework to do I suppose) and by 6:30 it felt like I had the place to myself. I found an area that I really liked, it was wide open, groomed and fast (but not too fast) and it was easy to get alone on it. Very peaceful at night with the lights on and all.
So I put in about 2-1/2 hours there. A pretty good night. I am satisfied.

And, I finally have to admit, very tired. After shoveling all day yesterday, pushing my neighbors 2 cars out of the snow and XC skiing for 1-1/2 hours and then skiing 2-1/2 hours today, I'm ready to recuperate!

No more XC skiing until at least Saturday and then I'll make another attempt at Butternut next Thursday.

Meanwhile, more snow predicted on Saturday! Oh yeah!

Satisfying day today pulled from the fire (or snow, as it were!
Had taken the day off and planned to go skiing (alpine) but the forecast for the area was for ice so I decided not to chance it. Instead went out to shovel snow from the driveway.
After my first break, I went out to shovel more snow and clear off the cars when I noticed my elderly neighbors having trouble moving their cars. They were both sitting on ice that had never been cleared from the previous storm. I swear I was out there an hour and pulled something behind my right knee in the process. I went home a crashed for an hour.
Then a third excursion out to clear more snow in the afternoon. After that I felt really good and decided I had to at least go XC skiing. I had to get out on this fabulous snow.
It was great. I've been able to go often enough this year that I'm starting to get my XC legs back. My stride and stability on the snow is much better and with the great snow conditions I could easily handle the downhills.
Then after a wonderful dinner of homemade chicken soup and biscuits by Mrs. MTBMan1, we settled onto the couch for a pleasant evening of reading. Very cozy!
And ... I had a brainstorm! Tomorrow I will go in to work early and leave early to go night skiing at a local hill! Only $25 and about 1/2 hour away. It's small but hey ... any skiing is better than no skiiing, right? ;-)