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And I’m Back…

22 Jan

ImageTap, tap, tap…  Is this thing on?  Well, I went and did it again…  Neglected my poor blog for 2 months.  I don’t feel that bad, though.  Next month, my blog will be celebrating its 11th anniversary, so honestly, in the grand scheme of things, if I drop off for a few months, it’s not that big of a deal.  Sure, I probably lost 2 of my 5 readers, but I’ll get you back!

So, December pretty much reached out, swallowed me up and spit me out the first week of January.  I started off the month recovering from a surgical procedure, which meant I was blessed to have my Mom come out and be my nursemaid for almost a week.  It was great getting to spend so much time with her and to eat the amazing meals she cooked for our family! 

So after Mom left, I went back to work, had to catch up from being gone, and once I was caught up, it was holiday prep time full steam.  Over the holidays, I had 9 days of visitors, including my entire side of the family and half of my husband’s side of the family. 

Add on top of that great snow conditions in the mountains, and our little family has been sneaking up to the mountains to ski every opportunity we can get.  My daughter started ski team earlier this month, which she absolutely LOVES and has done wonders for her skiing skills and confidence.  Our three year old son, Little Man, has been hot and cold with skiing — one day ripping it up, and the next day collapsing in tears.

I’ve made my way back to the expert hills and moguls, after recovering from my knee injury, which happened two years ago tomorrow.  My knee feels awesome, and my next goal is to return to the steeps…  I have to admit I’m still afraid to fall, so doing moguls without a really steep slope has been my groove lately.  The hubby and I are skiing in Utah next month, so hopefully by then I’ll be back to the steeps.  It’s either that or get left in the dust by the hubby on our “romantic ski vacation”. 

Who am I kidding?  Ski vacations with my husband are full-on athletic and endurance events, followed by hot tubbing and collapsing into bed at night. 

But besides all that, I have been making great progress on my biggest goal lately, which is my children’s book series.  I finished two books, complete with an editor’s edits.  I’m working on my third book, so I now need to start thinking about my marketing and distribution strategy.  It is awesome to be making one of my bucket list items happen for me, even if it means self-publishing. 

So there you have it, back now for regular updates…  I think! 

 

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Cook Family Reunion

28 Feb

Cook Family Reunion

My parents met at a ski club.  They introduced my brothers and I to skiing at a young age, and we’re now continuing that tradition with our kids.  Two weeks ago, my whole family gathered at Kirkwood, CA for a family ski day.  What a lovely time it was, indeed.  I can’t wait for my kiddos to be old enough to ski all day!

P.S.  Isn’t my brother’s puppy ADORABLE?!

Klutz of the Year

27 Jan

We did a babysitting swap off with my brother this weekend so that JB and I could make the trek to Kirkwood to take advantage of the latest storm.  Considering the last time we were at Da Wood skiing, it was really icy, we needed a nice, wet snow to bond with the ice and form a new base. 

Man, did we get what we were asking for.  The snow on Saturday was extremely wet and heavy.  Good for the base.  Extremely challenging for skiing.  By the end of the day, the temperature had dipped so that nice dry snow was falling.  My brother and sister in law got the best day, as the snow that fell overnight on Saturday was dry and light, giving them about 6 inches of powder.

Anyway, as I was watching my brother’s kids on Sunday, I went to install a car seat in our truck outside (in the midst of a snow storm), and managed to fall in the effort, cracking my shin on the edge of the truck.

Leave it to me to ski in very challenging conditions without falling, and then fall in my own driveway and injure myself.

Luckily, it’s just a bruise.  I’m hoping it will heal enough for me to get the ski boots back on this weekend!

Ditch Day Postponed

19 Dec

JB and I were all set to put Little Miss in daycare and jet off to Kirkwood this morning, but this most recent storm came with really strong winds. If I learned anything about Kirkwood last year, it’s that they close down the good lifts pretty quick in a storm. So, we’re going to wait until tomorrow (along with the crowds).

I think ditch day will be postponed until next week. We both think it’s a brilliant idea to take advantage of pre-paid childcare so that we can ski together. Happy Friday!

Wild Ride

17 Dec

Wow, I can’t imagine how scary this must have been:

WHISTLER, B.C. — What was to be a day of fun and skiing turned into a terrifying ordeal for those jolted and then left stranded when a gondola tower collapsed. Read entire article.

Hot dog!

16 Dec

FIFTY EIGHT INCHES OF SNOW FELL AT KIRKWOOD IN THIS STORM! More snow expected this weekend! I’m so excited I can hardly type!

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Dear Santa

15 Dec

How thoughtful of you to fulfill my Christmas wish for snow a week early. Would it be extremely selfish of me to as for MORE? Pretty please? I have visions of skiing the pow-pow dancing in my head…

Lynnette

First snow storm of the year

Backyard fountain covered in snow

Dear Santa

10 Dec

All I want this year for Christmas is some snow. A lot of snow. The bare ski slopes have me depressed. I have new skis, a new ski outfit, and two season passes all begging to be used.

Thanks!

Lynnette

Mother’s Day Weekend Pics

14 May

Here are our pics of the last day of skiing this season at Squaw Valley USA, and Mother’s Day, spent on the beach of Lake Tahoe (Incline Beach). 

Mammoth Weekend Pics

6 May

OK, so it only took me a month to post these.  Here are the pics from our weekend at Mammoth back in April.  Enjoy!

Racoon Eyes Speak For Themselves

28 Apr

I look ridiculous.  I have the worst sunburn I have had since probably high school…  We went to Kirkwood yesterday to usher out the 2008 ski season, as it was closing day there.  All I’ve been wishing for this Spring was a warm t-shirt wearing day with slushy ego snow.  I finally got that day yesterday, and I think it might have been my favorite day all ski season.

The snow was pure, unadulterated, slushy ego snow goodness.  I can’t put in enough adjectives to describe how great the snow was.  I wore my Guns (i.e. powder skis), my fat boys, and man, they tore up the slush.  I felt like I could ski anything.  And that was a good thing, because I was skiing with my brother (who is an AMAZING) skier, and his other amazing skier friend, and friends of the friend…  Adding up to me skiing with five really great men skiers.  I felt like one of those chicks in a Warren Miller flick.  Except that I wasn’t skiing all the more extreme stuff they were doing in an effort to go fast and keep up with them.  But it was so fun.  They really made me step it up, and the ego snow meant I could step it up and feel a bit like a rock star for a day.

I took the 4:05 chair up on the last day of the season.  For you non-skiers, chair lifts usually close at 4, so that was like icing on the cake when I got a bonus run in.  There were like 40 people just hanging out at the top of Cornice Express after that last chair of the day, with everyone wanting to be the last one down.  I took my time on that last run, enjoying the view and reflecting on how much fun I had on the slopes this year.

And since I was so involved in the awesome skiing, I didn’t even think to reapply my sunscreen, and I have the WORST raccoon eyes sunburn I think I’ve ever had, with a lovely red neck to go with it.  My nose is so blistered that when I itched it last night in my sleep, the blister broke open.  So not good.  I think I aged the skin on my face 5 years yesterday, BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT.  My soul actually got younger!!!

Anyway, gotta run.  I’ll post on these darn earth quakes later today!

Whole Lot of Effort for a Whole Lot of Nothin’

3 Mar

Wow, that week flew by in a blur.  Things are good in our household.  Everyone (knock on wood) appears to be well and happy.  On Friday, I got to go snow shoeing and skiing for work, which makes for a great work day!  Saturday, I was so tired from the day before (which I started off sore from a run I did on Thursday), so I just hung out with Little Miss.

We went to the pool, and she has made quite a turn around.  Now, the only time she cries is when I tell her it’s time to get OUT of the pool.  She made so much progress, and just loved the pool, something that means a lot to me.  I’m having visions of us playing at the pool every weekend this summer.  She is still tenative, but getting a lot more confident. 

After the pool, we stopped by to see my brother’s family, where Little Miss had a blast playing with her cousins.  That night, I whipped up a mean enchilada casserole for dinner.

On Sunday morning, we got up early, I packed food for the whole day, and we headed to Kirkwood (1.25 hours away) for some skiing.  Unfortunately, most of the mountain was on wind hold for the whole day, meaning that JB and I each did about 2 runs on groomers.  Since there were 2 main chairs running, the lines were horrible, meaning you’d wait in line for 45 minutes for a 2 minute groomer run.  It just wasn’t worth it, so we headed in, and hung out with my other brother and nephew for the day.  Little Miss just idolizes her almost 7 year old cousin, and she had a blast anyway.  She was wearing her “skier in training” shirt that we bought her at Taos last month.

Anyway, we got home around 7pm last night after stopping for dinner in Carson City.  It was a heck of a lot of effort and driving for not much skiing at all.  We were kicking ourselves for not going to Mt. Rose, which is only 15 minutes from our house.

That’s all that I have to report around here.  Luckily, I fit in a spin class today at lunch to make up for my lack of activity yesterday.  More later! 

Now THAT Was a Storm!

7 Jan

Just back from a weekend in Kirkwood, where I witnessed one of the most impressive storms of my life.  They got almost 11 feet of snow while we were there. 

We decided to head up on Thursday, as we anticipated the roads to Kirkwood getting shut down during the storm (the roads did close, and didn’t open again until yesterday afternoon).  I stopped by the grocery store after work to get supplies on Thursday, and I swear the whole town of Reno was there stocking up, as I think people thought they weren’t going to be able to leave their houses during the storm.  It was crazy — shelves bare, people with carts piled high, and lines 10 people deep to check out.  I had to chuckle at these people (many of whom were buying cheap flashlights), knowing we were about to drive right into the storm.

The ride to Kirkwood that night wasn’t bad until about the last 20 miles.  I have to admit I was a bit white knuckled at that point, but JB was confident and assured, and hence why he was driving. 

The ski lifts were shut down on Friday, as the winds were wholly impressive.  It was a full on blizzard up there.  So we just lounged in the one bedroom condo, which was very enjoyable with a good book and a cozy fire.  In the early evening, we decided we had to get out a bit, so we donned our ski wear and headed to the fitness center, which was about 200 yards away.  We had to march through 4 feet of snow and then dig out the door of the fitness center, which was frozen shut, but we managed to get it open.  By the time we left about an hour later, the door was buried shut again and our tracks were filled in. 

We had planned on putting Little Miss in daycare so that we could each enjoy the epic conditions together, but the daycare was shut down due to the storm.  Practically everything was.  But we each managed to get in a half day on Saturday and Sunday in truly epic conditions.

I have to say that I absolutely LOVE my new powder skis — the Salomon 1080 Guns.  After injuring myself (ironically at Kirkwood) six years ago in the powder, I have had major issues skiing in powder.  But with my Guns on, the fear subsided and I really enjoyed myself, and even went seeking the deeper, steeper snow. 

On Saturday, only two of the lower lifts were running, but I noticed that people were lining up at my favorite lift, Cornice Express (expert terrain).  I skied on over, and was one of the first in line.  The ski patrol announced they were about to open the lift, and I couldn’t believe my luck at getting fresh tracks on this chair.  Next thing I knew, all ski line ettiquette was broken, and people started pushing their way up to the front of the line.  I held my ground, but turned to the guy next to me and said, “I’ve never seen people bum rush a chair before.” 

He responded, “then you’ve never been here on a storm day!”

Everyone was cheering, and we were all excited…  And then we waited.  And waited.  And this was in the middle of a blizzard, mind you, so it was REALLY cold standing still like that.  After 30 minutes, we were told they changed their mind, and couldn’t open the chair due to high winds.  Oh well.  I almost made epic tracks that day.

It was really hard coming back last night, since two half days only wet our appetite for the pow-pow.  But we were responsible adults, and got our tushes back into our cubicles this morning.  (By the way, we have about 2 feet of snow at our house!)

Did you hear there is another storm hitting this week?  My mind is already back on the slopes, where I’ll be this weekend.  Mental note…  Need to find a babysitter…

Here are pics from the weekend.  I wanted to take more ski pics, but my battery died in my camera after my first slope side pic.  I borrowed batteries from the TV remote to capture how buried our vehicle got before it took JB 45 minutes to dig it out last night!

Ba Da Bing Ba Da Boom

3 Jan

It’s coming!  Buckle down the hatches!  Dust off the powder skis!  Boss, I think I’m going to be “sick” on Friday.

Courtesy of Weather.com:

blizzard-warning.jpg

Jumping To Injury (twice in one post)

20 Nov

On Saturday, the hubby was under the weather, so Little Miss and I took off for a girl’s day.  We started by meeting some friends at the park, then went to tour the Lake Mansion in downtown Reno, where they were having an open house and pictures with Santa.  When we walked in, Santa said ‘ho, ho, ho’, and Little Miss got very frightened, which is how we ended up with a picture of me in my sweats (totally unprepared for a pic) holding a cowering toddler as Santa stood behind us. 

From there, we went to watch the guys that were jumping off a ski jump on top of the Silver Legacy Casino.  Unfortunately, due to wind conditions and a jumper getting injured earlier in the day, they didn’t jump when I was there.  But I looked up the video online, as I was especially curious to see Jesse Hall, who got his ski caught in his parachute lines and blew out his knee in the process.  I’m sure glad nothing more serious happened, and it definitely makes for some dramatic video.

Here is the video.

Now how many cities can claim that they’ve had guys going off of ski jumps off of a 40 story building?  One.  That would be Reno.  Talk about ‘America’s Adventure Place’! Read the article.

Anyway, the next day, JB took Little Miss to the park while I went trial running.  Trail running is my new pass-time on the weekends.  It is a really hard workout, but is almost therapeutic to be running in the crisp Fall air with the leaves on the ground. 

Unfortunately, Little Miss fell on the playground, and hurt her shoulder.  I spent the afternoon consoling her, and this morning, she woke up screaming in pain.  We determined she needed to go to a doctor.  I spent the morning taking her to the doc, and just like always, she seemed to have a miraculous recovery right before the doctor walked into the office, and I ended up trying to explain why I’m not insane for bring my perfectly well child into the doctor.  She’s still a bit sore, but the doc and I think she will be A-OK in a few days.  She got a sticker for putting up with the doc’s poking and prodding, and seems to be none worse the wear.  And yes, I’m glad for that outcome.

That’s all that is happening around here.  Two dramatic falls in one weekend.  Looking forward to a short work week!

Lynnette’s Killer Ski Prep Workout

30 Oct

Just back from the gym, where I did my killer ski prep workout, a workout of 200+ box jumps that I’ve been doing at least once a week for about a year now.  I thought those of you itching to strap on the skis might be interested, so here it goes:

What you need:  a one foot box and a two foot box and two five pound weights

Warm up: holding 10 pound weights in each hand, step up and down onto the 1 foot box for 2 min.

Do each of the below 3 times:

  • Using the 2 foot box, do 10 jumps up, and then just step down after each.  This is all mind over matter, as a 2 foot box is really high for me to jump.  Once I was thinking “I hope I don’t fall”, and I missed the top of the box and totally biffed it.  Keep focused and think with each jump that you WILL make it.
  • Using the 1 foot box, start from the top of the box and jump down, focusing on a soft landing and dropping into a deep squat.  Step up with alternating feet backwards to resume starting position.  Do this 10 times.
  • Using the 1 foot box, stand to the left hand side of the box.  Squat down, and then jump sideways onto the top of the box.  Then jump down onto the right hand side of the box, focusing on a soft landing.  Go back and forth like this for 20 reps.
  • Using the 1 foot box, start behind the box and jump up, turning so that you land on top of the box with your feet pointing to the left.  Then jump down, pivoting again so that you land behind the box with your feet facing forward.  Then jump up and turn to face the right when you land on top of the box.  Use your core to help with the rotation.  Repeat this 20 times.
  • Now step away from the box, squat down and then jump as high as you can, swinging your arms and pretending to make a jump shot with a basketball.  Focus on a soft landing, and drop into a deep squat after each.  Repeat this 10 times.
  • Now with the 2 foot box and five pound weights in each hand, start with your arms in a shoulder press starting position, step up with the right foot SLOWLY, and as you stand on the top, swing your left foot behind you for a gluteal flex, and then swing that leg forward into a knee bend (bring knee to hip height).  As your knee reaches your hip, do a shoulder press.  Repeat for 10 standing lunges on each side.  This really works your balance, and is a killer shoulder workout, mainly due to holding the weights in the starting position for so long.

I started off this workout doing it twice through with 6 reps per exercise, but have moved it up to three times through with 10 reps per exercise, and it takes me about 40 minutes.  By the end of 40 minutes, I am completely exhausted and drenched in sweat.  I envision myself tearing up the moguls as I do this (though Lord knows the moguls will probably tear me up, but oh well). 

Anyway, let me know if any of you try this.  I love this workout!

Snow Gods, Do You Hear Me?

17 Sep

JB and I have each just purchased two season ski passes this year — one for Mt. Rose (which is 15 minutes from our house) and Kirkwood (which is 1.5 hours away, but has the best snow).  Needless to say, we are HEAVILY invested in this year’s ski season, and I will be so depressed if we have a repeat of last year’s horrible snow!!!  I’ll be calling on all of you to do a snow dance in a few months here…

A Mammoth Good Time

2 Apr

Thanks to JB’s parents, my hubby and I were able to get away for a quick ski vacation to Mammoth Mountain, California this weekend.

Mammoth is a short 3 hour drive South of our house. It was definitely spring skiing conditions, but for the most part, the conditions were relatively good. I was wearing my new FAT skis (the Solomon 1080 Guns), which power through the slush really well. They don’t do so great on ice, however, which is what I managed to find a lot of on Saturday.

Side note: One man that rode up with us asked me “how do you like your pocket rockets?” I hestitated a bit, but figured he was talking about my skis, so I started talking about my skis’ performance. JB later told me that the previous generation of my skis were called the Pocket Rockets. I was just hoping he wasn’t asking me something inappropriate!

We hit the slopes hard, and that mountain ate us up and spit us out. By the end of Saturday, both of our legs were so sore that walking to the car was even a challenge.

We went out to a lovely fancy dinner on Saturday night, complete with crab cakes, scallops, steak and a fine wine. Afterwards, we went to the Village to check out some bars. We walked into one bar to find a bunch of LA type girls — all dressed to the hilt in their stiletto shoes and completely dolled up. I took one look, and thought that there is no way those woman attacked the mountain like I had today, as I defintely was looking tired, and there was no way in HELL my aching feet were fitting into anything but my Merrel after sport Mocs. We ended up at a cafe eating a Nutella crepe and sipping coffee instead, which was much more my speed.

Our first run on Sunday, we were loading the chair and the man next to me stumbled and then fell. He grabbed on to the chair, as it was still moving, and it dragged him underneath the chair like 10 feet. I was yelling “let go!!!” He then let go, and landed in one huge puddle. Poor guy… But honestly, I’ve never seen an adult flub getting on the chair so badly.

Sunday’s conditions were a lot better, and I finally found some ego snow, and pounded out a ton of bumps runs. We did one run called the Poop Chute, and another that I said should be renamed Thighs of Steel because it was such a thigh burner.

It was a truly wonderful weekend. It was our first trip away together without Little Miss since she was born, and we did get a chance to reconnect again. We lived like we did the first two years we knew each other — sleeping in a bit, eating a nice breakfast, skiing hard, then hot tubbing with some beers. Ah, truly the life.

I took today off to recover and to hang out with JB’s parents before they leave. I leave you with some pictures from our trip.

Spring Skiing at Mt. Rose

12 Mar

I managed to make it to Mt. Rose on Saturday for an awesome day (OK, half day) of Spring skiing. It was so warm that I skied in a t-shirt, and the snow was pure ego snow after it warmed up a bit… Slushy and super easy to ski in.

The weather is extremely warm here, so that might have been the end of my ski season.

I did get to ski the Chutes, finally. And they were just as fun as I remembered. Standing at the top of Yellow Jacket, I got that familiar surge of adrenaline that is oh, so addicting. I took some pictures, but the Chutes never look as extreme as they are in person. And the coolest part about skiing the Chutes on Saturday? We got a shirt that said “2006/2007 Inagural Descent — Mt. Rose Chutes”. (Although it should have said “Better Late Than Never” under that!)

I met up with my sister-in-law for several runs, and then joined Jane and Jack (almost 6) on a few runs. I briefly got to see my brother, Greg and nephew, Luke (almost 3) as they skied down the beginner hill.

Here’s a pic of Jack, who is growing up way too fast.

jackatmtrose.jpg

And a pic of Jack’s helmet. This kid is way too cool for his own good.

jackshelmet.jpg

Jane and Jack on the chair lift. It was a beautiful day, I tell you.

jane_jack_chairlift.jpg

Here are Greg and Luke skiing.

greg_luke_ski.jpg

Here’s a pic from the top of Yellow Jacket, one of the steeper Chutes that was open this weekend.

yellow-Jacket.jpg

And finally, my signature skiing self portrait.

lselfportrait3-10-07.jpg

Hopefully It’s No Jinx

5 Mar

I sure hope I didn’t jinx the rest of the ski season, but I bought some rocking FAT powder skis this weekend. I got the Salomon 1080 Guns, also known as the blue surf boards. Hopefully that means I’ll be surfing the powder like a pro in no time… That is, if we get more powder this ski season!

Oh, and JB convinced me to put backcountry (fritche) bindings on them. So I guess I’m getting outfitted for backcountry skiing. Lord help me!

And can I tell you how sad I am that the Mt. Rose Chutes aren’t open yet?! I was dreaming of the Chutes last week, and they are still not open… Sounds like it will be a far chance that they’ll be open at all this year.

The Snow Gods Finally Smiled Upon Us

27 Feb

A storm hit us yesterday that put a foot of snow at our house in the foothills of the mountains, and a storm total of 79 inches of snow at Kirkwood and 54 inches of snow at Mt. Rose (15 minutes from our house).

The entire valley is blanketed in snow, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I keep looking out the window wistfully at Mt. Rose, which just looks amazing. I’m sure many local people will be calling in sick this week to take advantage of the conditions. Not me, I’ll be skiing with all the people on the weekend because I’ve already missed too much work lately due to real illness and not the pow-pow sickness.

My buddy Robert took some awesome video at Alpine Meadows this past weekend, when the storm first started to hit. Imagine another foot or two on top of what you’re seeing in this video!!!

It Finally Snowed

12 Feb

We finally got snow around here, after a winter of extreme dry, putting us at less than 50% of average snow pack. I only skied one half day in January, and the rest of the time, I waited for it to snow.

Thankfully, area resorts got about 20 inches out of this past weekend’s storm. I made it up to Mt. Rose yesterday, and the conditions were really good, at least considering what the base was before the storm.

Tomorrow, my work is treating us employees to a “morale day” at Squaw Valley, USA. They are busing us up to the resort, paying for our tickets and our lunch, and busing us home. That is one definite way to boost my morale.

I used to ski occasionally for my last job, but I had to entertain clients on the slopes, which often meant spending a lot of time on the bunny slopes. Tomorrow, it’s all about my morale and bonding with co-workers… At least the ones that will ski the stuff I like to ski!

Ciao!

Hanging Up The Skis

25 Apr

On Sunday, the JB and I went to Kirkwood for some final turns in the 04-05 ski season. It was actually a cold day with snow flurries, proving you never know what to expect during Spring skiing. The resort had received about four inches of snow from the most recent storm, so the conditions were better than expected, with dust on slush.

For the past few months, JB has been all about searching out cornices and jumping off of them. As I’ve mentioned here before, after I injured my knee jumping off of a sizable cornice about three years ago, so I have refrained from following him to the cornice areas.

Yesterday was no different. At the top of Cornice Express, he found a few good ones to jump off of, then we headed over to The Wall, where he found even more cornices to entertain him. Each time, I’d ski down below the cornice and watch him jump off.

On our last chair ride up yesterday, we were discussing what run should be our grand finale for the season. To the right would be some challenging runs, but no cornices. To the left, the only way down is via a cornice.

“It’s your call,” he told me. And I thought about it…

As our skis touched the the ground at the top of the lift, I surprised him by saying, “let’s go left!”

Shocked, he looked at me and said, “what?!”

“Left!” I shouted.

“All right!” He exclaimed, and we both started to ski towards the cornice areas.

What he didn’t know was that the last time he jumped off a cornice on that run, I was checking out the cornice areas, and had spied a nice, managable cornice for me to try.

I skied right up to it, turned to him, and said, “I’m doing this for you!” I pushed off without hesitating, and continued to ski down the hill.

This was a big step for me, as I’ve been avoiding cornices like the plague for three years now. I also think that my ‘cool factor’ in my hubby’s eyes was raised significantly yesterday, as I redeemed myself for constantly turning down his invitations to go off cornices with him.

And on that note, we will hang up our skis for another ski season, barring any remarkable snow storms between now and May 1, that is. The 2004-2005 ski season was absolutely amazing. It was one of those years that people will be talking about for years to come.

Spring Skiing and Bloody Noses

18 Apr

This weekend was all about the Spring skiing — getting in those last turns before hanging up the skis for the season.

We started the weekend off on Saturday at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We were actually on our way to Folsom for Jane and Luke’s birthday party, but we decided to ski on our way to their house. It was close to 60 degrees on the slopes, and there were people skiing and boarding in shorts, t-shirts, and even two brave souls wearing only swim suits.

I wasn’t nearly that brave… I am not sure it’s bravery or just a cry for attention, as I’d be deathly afraid to fall if I was showing that much skin. Anyway, they had groomed most of the mountain — really, all but two hills.

The groomers were fun. The snow was so slushy that you could practically go straight down the hill and not have to worry about speed. The moguls were also fun because it was ego snow, letting you carve turns on a dime.

On the second chair ride up the mountain, I got a bloody nose.

A chairlift IS NOT the place to get a bloody nose, especially when you don’t have any tissue! I rode the entire way up with my head back, which is a strange sensation on a chairlift. I had to sit out the next run as I lay on a table at the Grandview Station (named for its view of Lake Tahoe). While trying to get my nose to stop bleeding, I was entertained by a rescue dog named Rush — a three year old Golden Retriever that was just too cute. Luckily, the blood and gore stopped and I was able to enjoy the rest of the day.

We were two hours late to the birthday party, which seems to be our trademark. Remember that I’m married to the man that cannot be rushed. Luckily, we hadn’t missed the festivities, as we showed up just in time for dinner, and to see Luke dive into his birthday cupcake. He had icing and cake all over his face, up his nostrils, and even on his feet!

I joined my nephew Jack and his friend in the bounce house. But bounce houses are all just fun and games until someone gets hurt… As I was bouncing with Jack’s friend, Jack managed to have his knee make contact with his nose, and he came out of the bounce house with a bloody nose. I came out of the bounce house looking like the bad aunt. I’ve now banned myself from the bounce house, sadly…

We crashed at my brother and sister-in-law’s house on Saturday, which enabled us to stay and watch the boys play with all of the new birthday toys. On Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to Squaw, stopping for strawberries at a roadside stand on our way.

One of my favorite things about California is the roadside strawberry stands. Those strawberries are a taste of heaven on earth, I tell you!!!

Anyway… Destination Squaw Valley USA. Sights set on the hot tub at high camp. It was much cooler on Sunday, and the wind had kicked up. We spent most of our time at the top of the mountain around the Granite Chief area. As the day wore on, the wind picked up, and it even caused a power outage at Squaw.

You’d think that a power outage would be really bad… When I hear that, I think of people stranded on lifts and gondolas. But in actuality, it caused about a 5 minute delay as they fired up the generators all across the mountain, and the lifts continued to turn.

However, the hot tub was still closed due to the power outage. They also shut the tram down, but were giving people rides down the mountain in snow cats. Hubby and I followed the snow cat for a few minutes, carving it up on the fresh corduroy, but the snow cat was too slow for us, so we passed it and shooshed our way down to the bottom of the mountain.

We enjoyed dinner at the Pizza & Pasta restaurant in the Squaw village, where they served up a 32 ounce beer for the hubby and a yummy brick oven baked pizza. It was a nice way to end the day, and most likely the ski season.

A Smile from the Snow Gods

11 Apr

After several weeks of getting snubbed by the Snow Gods, they finally smiled on us. You see, the weather pattern as of late has been that it will snow on Monday or Tuesday, and then get warm so that the ski conditions are very Springy on the weekend (icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon), and those of us with full time jobs don’t get to enjoy the fresh snow.

Well, this past weekend, it snowed like heck on Friday and into Saturday, and we were able to enjoy almost two feet of new snow at Kirkwood on Saturday.

Well, JB enjoyed the powder and I fought it. I had recently been convinced that I was figuring out powder skiing, but the snow this last weekend just laughed at that idea! As my brother, Greg, says, you have to ski often so that you can learn to ski in all types of snow!

Here are my Kirkwood pics.

The ice rink (obviously not open) demonstrates how much snow was waiting for us on Saturday morning:
kirkwoodrink.jpg

JB contemplating jumping off a rock, which he did and then landed with a poof right on his butt:
kirkwoodrockjump.jpg

And of course, he landed and said, ‘I want to do that again!’ Here he is hiking back up to the rock.
kirkwoodrockclimb.jpg

After skiing, we headed to the bar for a few beers. Actually, JB had a few beers and I just enjoyed the sun, as I have a sucky metabolism. Anyway, this is a pic of the most popular male at the bar. Quite the chick magnet!
kirkwoodbardog.jpg

We headed to Mt. Rose on Sunday. They hadn’t received as much snow, so it was more like Dust on Crust, meaning there was hard ice under about 4-6 inches of snow. We did one warm up run, and then did seven runs in The Chutes IN A ROW! My legs were DONE after that, and at three o’clock, I had to throw in my hat, as my poor legs couldn’t take any more.

Here is a pic of the Chutes:
mtrosechutes2.jpg

And, here are a few pictures I took a few weeks ago at Heavenly. I just now managed to get them downloaded.

This is me, imitating a Gaper (i.e. a tourist gaping at Lake Tahoe):
gaper.jpg

Here is the Valley view from Heavenly, which is on the Nevada side of the resort.
heavenlyview.jpg