03 February 2010

Ski Day 14: Me Patrol @ Meadows

Looking to the east, from Discovery Ridge

I should have been doing this all along - taking a midweek day to go skiing. I'd been hiding behind excuses most of my sabbatical, and in large part I still feel they were justified. I wanted the knee to have more rest between ski days. I wasn't going to waste the gas to go ski if things weren't going to be basically awesome. Then of course, things were basically awesome when we were in Hawaii. But being in Hawaii was basically awesome also.

Okay, Hawaii was better than awesome. Awesome times Hawaii minus skiing. I'm not entirely sure what that equals, but I know it's better than awesome.

Anyway, I knew there'd been some fresh snow up there recently, and I figured that they've been getting enough at Timberline and Meadows that things should be pretty damn good at either place. But I was in a Meadows mood today, so I drove the extra distance.

I wasn't disappointed. I have a feeling the weather was probably better at Meadows than Timberline. Seemed like things up high and to the west were more socked in than where I was. The sun was struggling to make an appearance, and for a while it did. I was too busy skiing to worry about taking a lot of pictures, though. And I didn't bring the 'big camera' - I just had the phone.

Looking uphill from outside Patrol HQ

Everything felt great, too. I think working on fundamentals the last couple weeks with the apprentices rubbed off on me a little bit. I found that I was skiing very balanced and smooth, up until I started getting fatigued. I thought maybe I would just be in the mood for cruising all day, just making big GS/SG turns on the groomers, since a lot of the off-groom was dust-on-crust. This was until I went up high and skied off of the Cascade lift.

The visibility up there was terrible, and certainly not conducive to flying solo into Heather Canyon, but I did pick my way down the ridge on Elevator, which was a delightful run. It would have been better not skiing by Braille, but the snow there was a good mix of soft windpack and some powder drifts here and there.

I skied pretty much all over the mountain, but found that I was having the most fun over off Shooting Star, since the groomers over there were holding up well to the midweek traffic, and the runs that don't get a lot of direct sun (3-D, O-Ring, and Rock Garden) were loads of fun. A little bumpy and tracked out, but I did take the occasional face shot when I found some high-shin-deep pow. I was having a ball.

The Mazot. A little cafe on the mountain.

Somewhere in all this, I ducked into the Mazot for a Vitamin Water and a cookie, but other than that I took no breaks aside from the lift rides. Definitely needed the ice on the knee when I got home.

I'm gonna have to do this more often.