Lift to Peak 10, Breckenridge, CO

We woke to at least a foot of powder this morning, my first experience with real powder riding. The experience is remarkable, leaning back at speed simply to get the board to lift out of the snow, huge floating turns, plowing straight through would-be moguls with no resistence. Falling in this stuff will make anyone feel three years old again.

Mountains ahead

Most of a week in Breckenridge is ahead, gear is all over the living room, and I’m convinced some essential piece of clothing lies hidden somewhere in the countless piles of dirty clothes that are my apartment. Luckily, I can fit a small apartment in my 180cm snowboard bag.

A quick January

I resolved not to save up posting material, waiting on pictures or profound insights. My photo workflow is a horrible bottleneck; this month of non-posts are evidence of this.

I spent Christmas week at my parents’ home, where I ran almost every day on the trails at Bonita Lakes. My mom went with me to the trails almost every day. Even as far north as Meridian, the Katrina damage was impressive. I have some photographic evidence of this on my other laptop.

My first snowboarding trip of the year was to Keystone, where I rode six consecutive days, rented two different boards, and appreciated one particularly unpleasant concussion. My last four days on the snow were helmeted.

Risking eyesight for a Mom-worthy photo

Renting boards is now officially a drag (rental shops don’t seem to stock enormous selections of demo boards for big people), so I’ve purchased a kit that should last me at least a few years.

Snowboarding makes me happy. There is even talk at work about a possible quick jaunt to Snowshoe, WV, though I’ve got my sights on a March trip to Breckenridge. Anyone interested is welcome to join the usual losers.

Second day, blue runs

So, my new equipment kicks ass. The Burton board and bindings I rented are a million times better than the crap I rode yesterday, and my new boots are worth every penny (and it was quite a few pennies, even with the end-of-season 20% off).

One the girls working the shop where I got my boots last night looked distractingly like Peach. Only a little shorter, and with a pierced nose. I didn’t let her in on how interesting this was.

On the slopes I followed Brent around all day, and after two warm-up runs on familiar greens we stuck with blues. Breck blues are an awesome workout, especially if you do full runs without stopping. I even survived a mogul-filled black stretch (“Sizzler”), which I don’t really care to repeat until I’m able to easily do 180º ollies and such. In hindsight, the “oh shit” moments are what makes all the difference.

One interesting observation was that at least half of the people on the blues today were significantly less skilled than me. I enjoy such boosts of confidence, since I still consider myself a total noob, but most of these people suck a dangerous amount. Luckily I was only cut off bad enough to bail once. Still, I’m convinced most of them were out to get me.

Lunch today was a decent, if unremarkable, Mexican place. Fresh spinach and mushroom enchiladas.

I really wish I could wash all my snow clothes each day.