Saturday, January 06, 2007

Yesterday's Skiing

Let's take a diversion from our education and politics and discuss something else. Like skiing.

On Wednesday I thought to myself, Why not take the boy skiing on Friday? It won't be the weekend, so the slopes should be relatively empty. It'll be a good day.

So I checked the weather report. What to my excited eyes did appear? A storm blowing in on Thursday, moving out Thursday night, and a sunny day Friday with temps in the high 20s. In other words, I couldn't ask for better ski conditions.

I arranged everything, and Friday morning we departed at 7:45. Here in the valley the sky was clear, but there was a danger sign--one of the freeway road signs said "Chains required over summit", and our destination was about a mile before the summit. There's no way, just no way. I wasn't going to buy chains just for a day of skiing, but I also couldn't believe chains would be required. I've driven on I-80 with snow falling and chains weren't even required. But we plugged on.

Periodically I would listen to the Cal-Trans radio station, and they kept mentioning chains. In fact, they were checking trucks for chains at Applegate, which is only at about 2,000 feet. We drove on.

My son noticed that the signs for the Cal-Trans station showed a new frequency, so I switched over. I let out a loud whoop when the broadcast merely said to be watchful for slippery conditions on the roadways. There was no longer any mention of chains.

The drive was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. The wind was blowing fairly strong(ly), however, and at times it appeared we were in a mini-blizzard when the snow was blown across the freeway. I could kick myself for not taking my camera, as the scenery was gorgeous--watching snow blow off the tops of some of the nearby peaks would have made beautiful pictures. Everything looked so different than it had just 5 days before, the last time I had gone skiing.

There were stretches on the freeway where traffic was egregious, and we'd go 10-20 mph. When we'd get up to 30 I was feeling pretty good. But eventually we got there and skied from 10-3 or so.

Taking the Quad Accelerator to the top was a wild ride. The wind up on top was quite strong, sometimes gusting at 30 mph, so it was very icy at the top as the wind blew all the snow cover away. It was blowing east to west (left to right on the linked map), so a couple times I enjoyed getting off the Accelerator and letting the wind blow me across the top of the ridge, at which point I'd take Sunset Blvd., bunny trail #11, back down to the base. Other times I'd just head straight down the intermediate trail. I stay away from the advanced trails; I'm not that good a skier.

The slopes were quite full. On New Year's Eve, a Sunday, I could ski down a trail and right up to a waiting chair. This time however, lines were 10-15 minutes long. I also noticed that there was a multitude of young-and-yummies there. Just from chatting I encountered students from San Diego State, Cal-Berkeley, Cal-Davis, and Sac State. Turns out that Boreal has "$10 College Student Fridays", which is a fantastic deal when one considers that a regular day lift ticket is $44. That explained the crowds!

I was so tired on the way home that I felt we'd never arrive. But eventually we did, and I'd fired up the hot tub before leaving. Within a few minutes we were lounging in 100 degree bliss, with me nursing a very sore calf muscle.

What a day!


Anonymous said...

About 7 years ago, I correctly answered a phone-in lunch-time trivia question on 98 Rock. My prize was two free tickets to Boreal, so I took my future wife with me. That was a really fun ski park, and since we went in May on the last day of their season, the lines were not long at all. What a funny area we live in, that we can conceivably participate in winter and summer recreation at the same time.

The trivia question I correctly answered? What is the only U.S. state name with one syllable?

Eric Warburg said...

Maine. Too easy.

Scott McCall said...

i wanted to go friday, cause i knew about the thursday storm. but, i had to work friday, and i had thursday off. so i went DURING the storm. HELL YA!!! iv got quite a few good pictures of what it looked like when it was BUCKET-ING down. i LOVED it. i went to sierra from 1030 till 3 ish, and by 3, our tires were covered in fresh powder. i LOVE it when its storming. only, the snow froze to my beard, and it got really cold, so i pulled out my full-face the rest of the day, and i was fine.

couldnt ask for better conditions.

Darren said...

Attractive college students.

What, I'm not allowed to notice?

Eric Warburg said...

As long as it isn't high school, I'm cool.

Darren said...

I thought I was plenty clear, what with the next sentence identifying the universities the young-and-yummies attended, and the sentence after that stating that it was $10 College Student Day.

Hey, where's that comment asking what I meant by "young-and-yummies"? I guess this comment, and my previous one, would make a *lot* more sense if readers knew that there *was* a comment between Scott's and mine that asked what I meant by "young-and-yummies". Without that comment in there, I just come across as a pervo responding to Scott's comment!

Eric Warburg said...