Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A milestone in Jay Peak history

In case you hadn't heard, Jonny Jay turned 60 on Valentine's Day. What better way to celebrate than gather the members of the Jonny Jay Ski Club (or at least most of them) for a Jay weekend. The hill certainly cooperated: gale force winds, whiteouts at the top, holiday crowds, wind-scoured groomers and occcasional excellent snow conditions made for a fun-filled weekend with classic "Jay Conditions."

 SBR limbers up with the Vermonter in the background

Everybody was skiing well. After a year's hiatus from skiing, Blue Toes ripped it up on the Derrick and Haynes. DC cruised the ice of Hell's Crossing and Claire had her "run of the day" going face-first, tummy-down on the JFK. SBR's knee held up, despite hearing a wierd clunk while telemarking on Saturday. One highlight was hearing a poor tourist yelling, "get me off this f&#%$#g hill" halfway down a very icy Angel's Wiggle on Saturday afternoon.

Can we go skiing now?

I think the highlight of the ski session was on Sunday afternoon. After the more sensible members of the posse retired to the Clubhouse for drinks and baths, JJ, Pudd and SBR toughed it out on the lifts. We gave JJ the choice of runs, since it was his birthday after all. The resulting "tour of the mountain" was both surprising and inspiring. We started with UN, a run we rarely ski since the advent of short skis. This day the infamous moguls were firm, snowy and quite skiable. Surprise! After using Pudd's secret traverse and a turn-for-turn GS on Moonwalk, we headed up the Freezer. With my face buried in my hands to avoid frostbite, I wondered why we pay money to go up lifts like this. A pretty much blind descent of Alligator Alley led us to North Glade, always a run to be counted on for good snow at the end of the day. Pudd launched a cliff that he didn't know was there and stuck the landing. I thought he planned it. Another frozen trip up the Freezer took us to Expo Glade and Perry Merrill, back to the Bonnie. And what does the birthday boy pick for last run? Powerline, top to bottom. As JJ skipped over the off-camber bumps in fluid style, I turned to Pudd and said, "not bad for an old guy." Inspiring!

Hey, 60 isn't so bad...

A lovely Valentine birthday breakfast spread

Pudd got an early birthday present. Go Habs! 

Yes, he went skiing after the champagne and OJ
 OK, Eggs Benedict is better than oatmeal. Thanks, Mike!
JJ emerges from the gloom of Timbuktu

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Same word, same season, different sport, opposite attitude

These two slednecks were wandering around the store the other day, not spending money. Trying to be friendly, I ask them, in my hippest sno-mo lingo,

"So, how is the riding?"

Fully decked out in ninja-snow-warrior Arctic Cat team colours, one replies,

"Oh the trails are a little rough, we need a little fresh so the groomer can get out and pack it down."

Alrighty then, I give up. Though the thought balloon would have read: just dial back the throttle on the motorized sofa there, buddy, and the trail won't feel so rough. Or maybe, if your butt is too sore to go sledding,  you might be interested in renting some snowshoes today? And getting some EXERCISE...

Oh wait, is my bias showing through?

Who would have thought that snowmobilers would talk about "fresh" - don't skiers OWN that word? And then wishing for said fresh to be instantly packed down for their enjoyment. Other end of the winter spectrum, dude.