20 February 2011

Ski Days 14-17: Some Me Patrol, Some Ski Patrol

Well, it's been too long, so much of the detail will be absent from the recap of the last 4 ski days.

Feb 11th: Took the day off from work to go skiing. This was a brilliant plan, really. The roads were in good shape, there was plenty of snow, it was sunny and relatively warm. Not much goodness in the off-groom, but the groomers at Meadows were in fantastic shape. The mountain was pretty much empty, so I started off making gigantic high-speed turns off the Vista chair for a good chunk of the morning. Later in the morning, I decided to head off over to Shooting Star, but I saw that the area photog was shooting on the face at Mt. Hood Express, so I decided to find out what the deal was there. I made some decent turns there and stopped to chat with the guy.

His name is Grant Myrdal (on the web: grantmyrdal.com), and he's one of those really cool guys who has a neat job and enjoys it a great deal. We talked a little about what he does and what drives his decisions to shoot where, etc. He told me he just shoots and shoots and shoots, and people can either check the photos out online and order, or drop by the lodge in the afternoon and do the same on the big screen. Then he recommended I make a few more runs and make some larger-radius turns next time.

So I did. And it was FUN. I made about 4 runs through there, talked to Grant a little more, then set off for Shooting Star.

My best shot. Photo by Grant Myrdal

I made a bunch more runs, then dropped in to the lodge to check out my photos. Grant was still uploading when I arrived, so we shot the breeze for a bit. Once the upload completed, we reviewed my photos, and I picked a few to buy. I skied a little more after that, and called it a day kind of early. I had skied pretty much non-stop, so I felt good about packing it in around 2:30.

Feb 13: Training with C Team. Um...it was windy. That's about all I can remember. One of our snowboarders had kind of an unsettling first run with a loaded toboggan, where she felt like she was on the edge of losing control, but she regained her composure and really just kicked butt the rest of the day. The skiers continued to make good progress, but they all still need to square up their shoulders. I think they've figured out why, now they just need to do it.

Feb 18: More 'Me Patrol' at Meadows. I took another Friday off work, and had hoped to ski with Barkernews, but he couldn't get the day off work to join me. I had a late start, and was just generally bumming the whole day. I was having a great time while I was skiing, but I just didn't feel well all day. Kinda like having a mild cold, or maybe really faint flu-like symptoms. Every chair ride seemed like a chore that I didn't want to do, but once I got off the chair and making turns, that all kind of went away. My right foot was hurting a lot, though, and after a while the skiing just wasn't enough to cancel out how I was feeling. I should have gone up on Wednesday or something. I did manage to find some stuff out in the canyon, though, and had a great time shredding it. But at the end of the day - which for me was about 1pm - there just wasn't enough fresh epicness to cancel out my illness and the fact that I was flying solo again.

Our view of Mt. Hood, from the top of Ski Bowl

Feb 19: Training with B Team. Holy crap, was it windy. We were training at Ski Bowl yesterday, and it was CRAZY windy. Upper Bowl was on standby, with the telemetry reporting 60+mph winds. Since it was that windy at the bowl, it was worse at Meadows and Timberline. I took a look at their Twitter feeds, and it sounded like all of T-line was on wind standby for a large chunk of the day, and the same for Meadows. Ski Bowl was super busy, and there were two races going on. But we managed to get some really good training in. Not only that, one of the regular B Team coaches was shooting some video, so we got to review and critique some of the training afterward. B Team are definitely a fun bunch, and they work hard as well. I'll skip some of the details to protect the guilty, but there were some...interesting moments unloading toboggans from the chairlift. Nobody was hurt, and no equipment was damaged, so all's well that ends well. And they definitely learned from it.

B Team!