Monday, April 09, 2007

Kirkwood Rocks My Socks Off

I decided that today I’d ski somewhere other than Sugarbowl. I’ve memorized the whole mountain, and most of it’s getting pretty goopy anyway. So I was wavering between Flatstar and Kirkwood (if it had a nickname, maybe it would be Chutewood?) because Northstar doesn’t really need much cooperation from the weather to be as good as it ever is, and Kirkwood has a high base, still has a lot of snow, is one of my personal favorites, and I hadn’t been all season. I ended up going with Kirkwood. Northstar’s really only good for about two hours anyway.

This was the first time I’ve driven the West Shore road. It’s not as good as skiing, but it’s close. I’ll have to revisit it in a sports convertible some time. Long drive, though, and Kirkwood really is in the middle of nowhere. I was supposed to meet some people from epicski.com, on the theory that if you’re skiing with someone and get hurt, they can go find Ski Patrol. I got to the meeting place a bit late, though, and didn’t find anyone. I’m not sure if they were late too, or if they left. I would have. Anyway, I waited around for a little while, then obeyed the call of the mountain and started skiing.

At 10:15 in the morning, it was still too icy off-piste for my taste, so I did some very fast runs down the backside groomer. Then I checked out Chair 6 on the theory that the sun had been hitting that aspect of the main bowl for a while, but there was no groomer down and it was still too early for the mogul run. Huge moguls, I swear. This big. So I went back to the backside, did some runs, decided I should get lunch and took something steep and crusty back to the lodge. After lunch, I did another backside run and another chute run, then started working my way across the front face. Steep, tight gully runs. I was happy.

I had some work done on my boots recently to get them to fit my ankles better, which they do now. As a result, I started to get some boot cuff bruising on the outside of each leg, so I messed with the cuff adjustment last night. Tecnica has an unusual but, for me, quite effective system in which canting the cuff outward to accommodate my bowleggedness also means that the cuff hinges on a slightly different axis, in which my knee travels inward relative to my toe, which my knee wants to do. So today I had both less boot cuff bruising and less knee pain than I’ve been getting. Yay!

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