Today was the last day of my ski season. Between skiing and snowboarding, I've put in about 90 days on the mountain. My snowboard technique has become really clean, at least until I stopped using it in favor of the skis, and my ski technique has reached a level where I can do the whole mountain, not necessarily beautifully, and I can really start learning the substance of skiing. I think that it got more fun as I got better, and hope that it just keeps improving. I'd better think of some goals for next season. Number one goal, of course, being to actually get a decent number of days next season.
Today was a good day to end on. My mother was up with her +1 and his +2s, but they weren't skiing today. Mom and I did some runs in the morning, before things got slushy and gross, with the goal being to have fun skiing and evaluate the possibility of giving her the Rossi Bandit B2s I got mid-season. We went to Squaw Valley, because it's still open and had stuff at High Camp for the entourage to do while we skied. Squaw currently has its base facility and High Camp open, a few lifts at High Camp, and the Shirley Lake and Granite Chief lifts spinning. Since diamonds mean "only interesting runs on the mountain" we went to Granite Chief.
The Chief's an old fixed-grip triple, something I almost never ride these days, and I managed to get one of my poles lodged in the back when I was unloading fairly early on. I'm not sure how, but it broke when it was falling out of the chair. I have held certain opinions on the importance of poles, or lack of, so I didn't want to stop skiing to try to replace it.
Anyway, we did groomed runs for a while until my mother was good and warmed up (I'm going to have to come up with a clever nickname for her or this blog will lose street cred. SkiMom? BadassMom? Maybe I'll poll all two of my readers.) At that point, we went to High Camp to switch her Atomics for my old B2s and see if I could find another pole. There aren't any in the retail store there, and the only spares at Lost & Found were too long, and I was afraid that one of them would make me put my weight too far back if I used it. I definitely wasn't going to go down to the base area to get sold something super-expensive, so I took my one pole and we went back to Granite Chief.
We took a couple more groomer runs. Mom found the Bandits easier to ski and smoother, but not that different from her Atomics. I said we should do some bumps, because that's where they might have an advantage over the other skis. Bumps are hard without poles! I really didn't have any issues with doing the groomers without them, and while dropping into a line was a little bit harder, reminding me of snowboarding, it didn't bother me that much not to have them. But I had issues with doing moguls. Reminded me of how they felt when I was a teenager and hadn't switched to snowboarding yet - quite hard.
This is Mom doing moguls.
We'd agreed to meet +1 for lunch at 1, so after some messing around in the bumps we headed back to High Camp. The waitress was cool but the hostess gave us some attitude. Apparently the +2s aren't high-end enough. The older one, Taryn, is a bit of an adrenaline junkie. She's just about to hit five, and when she learns to turn parallel, probably some time next season, I'm going to have to show her some things around Sugarbowl. Along with jumping off cliffs, Taryn is probably going to be a supermodel. All credit for this picture goes to her.
Is this the face that sold a thousand pink ski suits? Yeah, probably.
And on the topic of ski suits, Zach, get those PEs, learn that zipper line, and get that 80s fluoro suit. You know you wanna.