Hey! I haven't written here in a while, cuz, uh, that's what happens when one retires from nordic ski racing. The standard February blog template of "I went to Weston on Tuesday night and got dropped by some high school girls" just doesn't apply anymore. And I barely know how to talk about things that aren't competitive events so.... here we are.
In the interest of completeness/nostalgia, I never wrote about EITHER day of NBX (because Ice Weasels, yo), and I don't intend to now, but if you miss 80 meter sand runs you might like the NBX chainstay cam videos:
Day 2 has much more commentary if you're one of them reader-types. Both have phat beats (don't argue with me) if you're one of those get-stoked types.
NBX Day 1 from colin reuter on Vimeo.
NBX GP of Cross Chainstay Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.
After cross season I played around in the roller coaster that is winter in Massachusetts for a while. Obviously this never really delivered, although I did a LOT of mountain bike rides in 2-4 inches of snow on frozen trails, which I contend may actually be radder than riding a fat bike on lots of snow. But in any case, the major other BLOGWORTHY thing I did was go on a 5-day ski trip to Mt Baker, Washington.
I have been dreaming about GOING OUT WEST to SKI POW since I was a 12-year old kid reading Powder Magazine in study hall, but for some reason had I failed to direct adult Colin's disposable income toward middle school Colin's dreams... until now.
Mt. Baker gets more snow than any other ski area in the country. But they'd had a terrible winter, right up until the week we flew out... and then it started nuking.
While we were there, it was clear enough to see the mountains on the other side of the valley ONCE.
It snowed somewhere between five and seven feet in five days.
|There's a chairlift over there, I'm pretty sure.|
The day with the least overnight snow (5") ended being the best day because it was snowing so hard during the day, I could only see seven chairs ahead of me on the chairlift and we were getting crazy-deep fresh tracks at 3pm.
|Apparently some other people also like this "pow pow" thing.|
On the last day we finally stopped hyperventilating and turned on the two GoPros we had for a few runs. The footage is nothing amazing, but hey, this is ME skiing OUT WEST so you better believe I'm gonna save it for posterity:
Mt Baker Trip from colin reuter on Vimeo.
(Side note: editing this together made me realize how insanely fast Thom is at making the wideos)
Now, I assume that most readers here are naive Easterners, so when you hear "5 to 7 feet" of snow you imagine a mountain covered in snow so deep you need a snorkel to ski it.
THAT'S NOT HOW SIERRA CEMENT WORKS.
When it's snow a foot a day at 30 degrees, the snow is WET and HEAVY. And once you compact it down and squeeze the moisture out of it, it turns into ICE like nobody's business.
(I am telling you this because it's story time and the story involves ice)
So it's day three, and it snowed 15 inches overnight, and it's my second run, and HOLYGOSHDARN do I feel invincible. You know in a video game, where you do, like, everything right, and your power meter is flashing gold, and it's time to use your special attack? That's where I was at. When you're skiing down a 35-degree slope in a foot of new, heavy snow, you are INVINCIBLE and you just wanna yell at dudes on the chairlift I AM CHARGING WATCH ME WATCH MEEEEEE because, like I said, your power meter is maxed out and you can do no wrong.
So this is why, when Dana stopped at the top of the icy chute, I was like BLUE SPARKS, BABY!! and went right by him.
Of course, the second my skis hit the ice, I turned back into a pumpkin and realized I was going to die.
A good skier would have just pointed 'em straight and made a turn once he was out of the chute, but despite what I may have suggested, I am not a good skier. So when ish gets real, I fall back onto the same technique that failed me in High School ski racing: weight in the back seat and loss of cognitive function.
The only thought my brain was capable of was "you're going to die, try not to die," so my legs put into action "trying not to die," which was not a very nuanced plan. Specifically, the plan was to throw 'em sideways, er, MAKE A TURN as soon as possible, which meant in this case making a horrible turn to the right with my weight planted on my tails, driving my tips into the icy spine on the side of the chute, and then flipping ass-over-teakettle down the mountain for a bit.
The nice part about driving my tips into the icy wall of the chute was getting my skis hung up, so when my body weight went launching past my skis I got to use my tibia (or fibia?) as a lever to un-jam my skis via brute force. During this process, my ski boot tried to break my leg, but my leg was all like "I'm young and I drink milk!!" so it survived and transferred the impact to my calf muscle, which was unable to muster a similar defense.
...and that's how I ended my third day of skiing after two runs and spent the rest of the trip eating ibuprofen!
Two more notes that I cannot smoothly segue into:
1) The other piece of media I created this winter was BIKEREG 2.0. Hopefully you register for a bike race at some point in your life and use it... in fact, I hope you do it on IE8 and Windows XP, because god knows I threw enough time into the black hole that is that platform.
2) This blog post was powered by the Digitalism May 2013 US Tour Mixtape, if you like it as much as I like it maybe we can be electronic music buddies or something.