Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

How to Beat the Crowds

Post by:  Jake
11/20/11

Veronica and I hit the slopes for the first time today.  As we approached Arapahoe Basin ski area, we crested a hill and saw parking lot after parking lot completely jammed full!  Our spirits sank and we almost turned around to drive home; thinking surely we can find something better to do today then just standing in lift lines all day.  We’ve heard that Colorado ski hills are notoriously packed with people (especially the closer to Denver ya get) but this seemed a little insane. I mean, there were only 6 runs and 3 lifts open! That meant, full parking lots + 6 runs & 3 lifts = LONG lift lines.   We went ahead and parked, telling ourselves we just wanted to do a couple runs, and since we had season passes it’s not like we’re wasting money on lift tags…besides, we were already there.

Strapping on our skis, we skated over to the massive lift line and the wait began.  Luckily it was a turbo speed quad lift, so the line didn’t take all that long really, but it was a line none the less as opposed to most of the Montana ski hills we were used to.  Our first run down was great.   A little shaky at first, our muscle memory came right back and by the time we reached the bottom we were skiing like we remembered.  And as we rounded the last corner there it was, the massive lift line again.  Being as we were just two people, I looked around for another couple to jump in line with to fill the quad lift; and that’s when it hit me.  The old trick of splitting up and waiting in the “singles” line used to fill the gaps to keep the lifts full.

We gave eachother a smile and hopped in the singles line.  Within a couple minutes we were sitting on the lift rocketting towards the summit. Run after run after run.  The snow was nice despite being predominately man made; but the best part of the day was realizing we could beat the crowds.  My greatest fear of skiing in Colorado was put at ease.  Even on the busiest days we’ll be able to put down a lot of runs.   It’s going to be a great season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 comment

Epic Jackson Hole Ski Trip

Post By: Jake
3/18/11

Several weeks ago Veronica and I had the opportunity to ski Jackson Hole for our first time. We had been wanting to ski in the “epic”; Teton snow for years and finally decided to make it happen. On a very normal Friday afternoon in mid-February we crammed into a car with three friends and made the 6.5 hour drive south. Hungry for dinner, we stopped at Gringo’s in Rexburg, ID. Their menu was a little hit or miss, offering some tasty entrées, and some not-so-much. Cresting over the winding Teton Pass, we could see the soft glow of Jackson in the distance. For accommodations we chose the newly remodeled, and very budget oriented Motel 6. Although small, the rooms were very clean, and had a very functional IKEA feel.

In the forecast, snow was predicted nearly every day, however we weren’t expecting more than a few inches each night. We woke up Saturday morning to a report of 9-fresh inches on the slopes! Our first turns confirmed the 9-fresh, however by mid-day most of the soft cover was packed down and most of the funnel runs quickly were skied down to bare ice. Content with our exceptional morning skiing, we called it a day at about 2:30 and headed back to Jackson for showers, hot food and cold beer at the delicious Snake River Brewery. After dinner we took a walk around town to burn off a few of those extra calories. Any trip to Jackson wouldn’t be complete without a stop to Skinny Skis. Walking into the gear shop, I quickly heard “Jake?” spoken loudly behind me… I turned around, not recognizing the 2 figures in the bright doorway at first. It was our good friends and fellow MountainTech Pete and Kristin and their adorable daughter. Turns out they were up from Salt Lake for the long weekend, hiking around Grand Teton National Park, and Pete was going to ski Jackson Hole the next day. We exchanged numbers, and met up at the gondola the next day.

Day 2 we woke up to another fresh 10-inched of snow outside our hotel room. Jackson Hole’s report was 10-inches at 6:00 a.m. but by the time we got our tickets, and made it to the top of the mountain, our first turns were producing face-shot after face-shot, slicing through at least 2-feet of cold fresh powder! By anyone’s standards the day was EPIC! We skied to the point of exhaustion, finally throwing in the towel at about 4:00. Pete continued skiing like an animal, but in all fairness, he easily had double the amount of ski days under him, and was used to skiing epic Utah powder.

Our trip to Jackson Hole gave us memories we’ll never forget. Chance encounters with great friends, great food, and some of the most incredible lift-serve skiing anyone can hope for in their lifetime. The trip, was EPIC!

Add a comment

Utah “The Greatest Snow On Earth”

Post By: Jake
2/16/11

Utah, “The Greatest Snow On Earth.”  I’ve grown up hearing about how awesome the skiing is in Utah, but never had the opportunity to verify the rumors until this year.  I’m not sure I experienced “the greatest snow on earth,” but I did experience some of the greatest skiing on earth!  A couple weeks ago Veronica and I drove to Salt Lake for the Outdoor Retailer show and had the opportunity to spend 3 days up on the slopes.

Wednesday, Day 1 of skiing… Solitude Ski Resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon.  We woke up super early, got on the computer and learned Solitude was getting hammered and that Big Cottonwood Canyon was closed to all vehicles without chains or 4-wheel drive (which we happen to have!).  A mere 15 or 20 minutes from our hotel in South Jordan, we were at the ticket window chompin at the bit to hit the 10-inches of fresh powder.  With our “Outdoor Retailer” event pass, we got discounted lift tickets, but were limited to the Eagle Express lift.  It took us to roughly a third of the mountain, which was enough for us that day.  Run after run of fresh powder!  We skied till noon, then hopped on a shuttle bound for Solitudes Nordic Center.  At the nordic center we got to demo some new Atomic cross country skis.  The trails were nice and very scenic.  We ended the day with a few more runs up the eagle express, and had smiles from ear to ear.  It seemed life couldn’t get any better than this!

 

Friday, Day 2 of skiing…. SnowBasin Resort towering above Ogden.  A bit further than the resorts up Cottonwood Canyon, Snow Basin is still just a quick 45 minutes (up great roads) from Salt Lake City.  I’ve skied all over Montana, and a few places in Colorado and Washington, and SnowBasin is by far the best place I’ve ever skied. Although ticket prices are comparable to ski resorts up either Cottonwood Canyons, and much less than those found around Park City, the value is by far MUCH better at SnowBasin. Three Gondolas jet you to any part of the mountain in total comfort.  The crowds are non-existent. The 3,000+ acres of skiable terrain varies, and there is PLENTY of acreage for any skill level including a massive amount of expert only terrain. Even though the last storm to hit SnowBasin was 2 days prior to our arrival, we found loads of fresh powder stashes tucked in the perfect glades.  I simply can’t say enough good things about SnowBasin, and after speaking with several people that frequent Utah ski areas, I think I’ve determined that SnowBasin is an untapped gem!  If you’ve never been and you ever get the opportunity to ski Utah, put SnowBasin at the top of your list.

Saturday, Day 3 of skiing…. Deer Valley Resort next to Park City and The Canyons Resort.  About a half hour out of Salt Lake City is the metropolis vacation destination of Park City.  Thousands of multimillion dollar condos and vacation homes pack the landscape.  Deer Valley ski resort is limited to skiers only.  Terrain is mostly blue and green groomers, although there is some advanced terrain among the 2,000+ skiable acres.  To be fair, we arrived on a Saturday during the crowded Sundance Film Festival, so we were expecting a lot of people.  Lift lines were very short as there was plenty of high speed lifts, however nearly every run seemed crowded with skiers as we dodged back and forth across the slopes.  Deer Valley received a few inches of fresh powder overnight before we arrived, however by the time we got our tickets and got up the mountains, we couldn’t find anything untracked.  I did very much appreciate being able to ski Deer Valley, although I would recommend if you have the opportunity, ski it during the week days instead of a weekend.

Add a comment

Dakine Stingray Glove with Gore-Tex X-TraFit Technology

Post By: Jake
1/26/10

These are hands down the best fitting and gripping gloves I’ve ever owned.
At first glance these gloves are “average” nothing terribly unique or special. Sure the style is cool, but you can find that in nearly any glove. What makes these gloves stand out is the incredible fit. The Gore-Tex Xtra-fit technology in these gloves give it an incredible fit. The nimbleness of the fingers, combined with the leather fabric and “locking” inner fabric layers make this glove have some incredible bionic grip. Overall the Xtra-fit technology make these the best gloves I’ve ever owned!

Add a comment

Backpacking Ski Trip

Post By: Jake
4/1/09

Last March, Veronica and I (suffering from cabin fever) got the itch to do some backpacking, however there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground. We broke out the cross country skis, backpacks, and yes…sleds.  Since we were bringing sleds we could pack a tad bit heavier than normal, and yet keep the packs on our backs fairly light by putting all the heavier gear in the sleds to be dragged. The system worked out VERY well at first, that is until later in the day when the snow started getting very soft, wet and sticky.

 

The skiing progressively became harder and harder throughout the day and I simply attributed the drudgery to the progressively steepening terrain and simply getting worn out by the end of the day. That is, until I noticed about 6 inches of snow stuck to the bottoms of our skis, covering the whole length of ski, It must have added a good 15 pounds per ski, not to mention it was being dragged and plowed through the fresh snow in front of us. I gave the sides of my skis a good whack to knock off the snow, and proceeded onward.  A few steps later I picked up my ski, and again saw a massive ball of snow stuck to the bottoms. It made forward progress VERY difficult, but not impossible, so we trudged onward for another 1/2 mile or so, until we finally decided to switch out to snow shoes. After switching out, I was kicking myself for not doing that miles ago as the forward progress was incredibly easy again. At that point we were too worn out to make any more significant progress so we stopped and carved in a camp for the night… Right in the middle of the road/trail.

The night was cold, but not TOO cold. lows were down in the teens, cold enough to freeze up any water bottles not in our sleeping bags. In the morning, we woke to 10″ of fresh cold powder. It was simply beautiful.

After breakfast we broke down camp and set off back to the car, this time, all downhill. Going in took about 6 hours to do 3 miles, going out took about 45 minutes to cover the same distance. In the end, we were completely wore out, but entirely thankful we live in such an awesome place, and are able to go for a quick overnight backpacking ski trip only 20 minutes from home.

 

Add a comment