Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Other stuff to do in snow

Today was a day to help teach my youngest sister how to snowboard and steal a few gleeful powder runs in the extra space of a resort day, the space that I usually reserve for eating lunch and going to the bathroom. My two sisters and I decided a week ago that snowboarding at Brighton would be the perfect sisterly outing, and somehow we picked the perfect day to do it (if your idea of "perfect" is a near-whiteout and 15-degree temps.) But what we did have was plenty of famous Utah snow - piles and piles of crisp, dry powder so indistinguishable from the blizzard-stricken terrain that I would occasionally blast through mounds as high as my waist, emerging from the swirling cloud of ice jolted but not slowed. I took a few swims, but the snow was so light and airy that it was easy to stay afloat, skimming the silent surface on my rental hovercraft. Even my newbie sister got the hang of it early on, and a good time was had by all.

It's days like these that cause me to take stock of my hobbies, in my continuing quest to make sure the bulk of my time and energy is going into the right one. After all, I have more than a few friends that are crazy dedicated to skiing, those who wheel their lives around it, who are (or at least were) willing to be "bums" for the cause. So I turn my focus from those eight perfect powder runs between the entertaining snowboard lessons, and rechart the day as a whole: wake up at 7 a.m.; drive to the ski shop to get fitted for a board ($16, at a 50% discount); Drive to the mouth of the canyon; catch the skibus ($6 round trip); buy a day pass at Brighton ($40); board board board board; wait for the ski bus; buy a $4 coffee cart drink while I'm waiting; wait some more; cram into the skibus with a full load of wet, lethargic people; sit on the bus as it inches down the canyon for 45 minutes; and leave the mouth of the canyon just in time to drive through rush-hour traffic all the way home. And all of the sudden, all I have left of my perfect day is about $70 less than I used to have and sore knees.

Don't get me wrong. It was a beautiful outing. Plus, the sisterly time is priceless. But, at the end of the day, I have to say that I'm still glad I'm a cyclist. And I sure hope all that fresh Alaska powder settles in and hardens up before I get home.


  1. We are still waiting for snow here in Wisconsin. Flippin 54 degrees this morn.

    But the riding is all good.

  2. Cool...

    I don't really ski or board any more cause of the cost. But this year I think I'll have to get up once..

    Very nice to have that time with siblings!

  3. and now the snowfall here in juneau has gotten up to about 18 inches since late tuesday night. if you were hoping to return to juneau for some firm snow biking you may as well wait another couple weeks... or months. although they say it's supposed to rain in a few days. rain followed by cold has a way of turning all this powder into "good biking snow".

    if i remember from a previous post you're not all that fond of xc skiing, but that would be a winter activity to consider because like biking it has no ongoing fees. once you make the initial purchases you're good to go... and you can get a nice pair of skis for less than a nice bike.

  4. Two words.


    The true path to winter bliss.

  5. Yeah! The best thing next to mountain biking is ... snowboarding! Actually, it's BETTER than mountainbiking!

  6. I haven't skied at a ski area since 1996. I just hate standing in line and sitting on chair lifts when I could be doing something. Ultra endurance events are all about keeping moving. Plus it's gotten so expensive.

    That's why I ski in the backcountry. I can do a 4 day hut trip for not much over $100 total including food and lodging. It's more fun, prettier and no closing time. When we head out in the morning we always take our headlamps because there's always a good chance we won't be back before dark.

  7. hey look! it's me! thanks for being patient and trying to teach me to stand on the dang thing! now we know what we will be doing next time you come :) love you!

  8. yes

    I was once an avid snowboarder
    lived in colorado for two years
    then moved back east

    worked slacker jobs that allowed me to take two boarding trips to colorado each year
    as well as local day trips

    in the end

    I realized

    my skill was declining

    and the cost was increasing

    the once season sport of snowboarding cost was absurd

    a week trip to colorado was close to the purchase of a new bike

  9. it sure is flat in that picture
    not the Utah bureau of tourism shot for snowboarding utah


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