The Honest Tude

You might think after the last post that I may have gotten all of the early season kinks worked out but, oddly enough, this week was every bit as crazy. I don’t know, maybe the cards are stacked against me this year. I guess I have to have hope that as the snow begins to fall and actually covers the slopes in white, that I will get out of this rut…If not, you may see me on the news (insert tragic story) instead of on this blog.

Thanksgiving week has been hectic but, I managed to get up to Solitude a couple of days in between family, cooking and too much eating. First of all, let me just wish you all a happy belated Turkey Day. I assume that if you are reading this, you probably like to ski or board so, I hope that besides stuffing yourselves with delicious food you also found time to head up into the mountains for some fresh air and a few runs on the hill. Although, we are all looking for signs of the next big storm, Solitude is still managing to provide some good turns to those who head her way.

Powderhorn opened earlier this week to limited skiing, but, it was nice to head off the beaten track a little. Diamond Lane benefited from the past weekend’s storm which had delivered enough snow to get it in decent skiable shape. For early season conditions, the skiing was great! Now, with that being said, the key words here are “early season conditions”. What this means is, DO NOT ski on your brand new skis on anything but the groomers. I know better, you know better, but, sometimes, the new skis, with their perfect, untarnished, bases and edges are just too much to resist. I am sure you can guess the ending to this particular story. Lucky for me, I married a guy who can tune a pair of skis with his eyes closed and lucky for him, his US SKI Team tuning brother showed up and saved my husband from a night of P-tex, hot wax and diamond files.

On another magnificent Thanksgiving Week ski day, I managed to sink my Volvo in quicksand-like snow at the end of the Moonbeam parking lot. Seriously? I haven’t gotten a car stuck since, well, since never! I am going to blame it on the weird snow seeing how I am rocking some seriously sweet snow tires and a ride that can definitely handle winter. I know what your thinking, “Yeah, the car might be able to handle it, but she obviously can’t.” I am not going to go there, take back the thought! Anyways, 45 minutes and some very nice strangers later, I was free. I parked my car and Noah and I headed out for an afternoon of funness….I know that’s not a real word but I like it!

Noah and I had fun chasing each other down Sunshine Bowl until, I stopped to talk to someone at the top of Eagle Express and lost him. Actually, I didn’t lose him, I skied right past him, while I held his poles. I love skiing with two sets of poles…always a real pleasure and I also wondered how mad my son was going to be when I finally found him. Luckily for me, he stayed put and I retrieved him right where I had left him, unnoticed, standing at the top of the lift. I can’t blame Solitude for my mishaps, Solitude is awesome. Solitude is quiet, even during this past holiday week. Solitude is everything she is supposed to be…unfortunately, I am not. Solitude is so mellow and awesome and the people who ski here are so rad (Yep, I like that word too) that the following not-so-great thing could have been bad in an epic proportions kind of way.

Upon returning to my car, we found a familiar older gentleman standing nearby. I had parked next to him earlier and had smiled hello. Amazingly, he happened to come down at just about the same time we did. He informed me that he had just shut my driver’s side door as I had left it wide open. He mentioned that my iphone was sitting on the front seat and I immediately thought of my wallet which was in plain sight as well as my husband’s new ski boots which were still in the box. My heart was racing as I opened the door and found everything just as I had left it. I couldn’t believe it! We had been away from the car for about three hours and not one person had grabbed my belongings! Before I go on, I must say that this will NEVER happen again…so, don’t go getting any ideas! Anyways, the thing is this, this is exactly why I love Solitude. I love that you feel like you become family on this hill. I love that it is peaceful and quiet and that you get to know most of the locals that ski here. I love that no one bothered to take advantage of a car that was obviously unattended and that one, Rob Reece, decided to shut and lock the door for me. Most of all, I love that I can laugh about this stuff with all of you and Solitude keeps letting me do it!

So, along with a few other minor mishaps, I made it through this crazy week no less for the wear and look forward to what the next week might bring….PLEASE LET IT BE SNOW!

Help, I Can't Get Out!

Powderhorn Opens!

Sunshine Bowl...Living Up to It's Name!

Cream Jeggings and Apple Cider

I think It may take a few tries to get back into the rhythm of things. The resorts received enough new snow this past week to make it look like it is actually ski season and after a crazy week of Birthday parties (Isaac is officially 6), family, school and everything else, I was ready to hit the slopes…or was I?

Saturday morning came early as my sister and I had to drive our mom to the airport so she could head back home to Washington. Decidedly, a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call is never a good thing! In fact, it is currently 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening and yes, it has taken me that long to get this blog up. My brain is almost up to functioning, working order again. You might blame the following words on my blondish hair but, I am going to blame it on lack of sleep.

Returning home from the airport, I contemplated going back to bed and rolling out later for a noon entrance at Solitude. Not too bad of an idea I thought, until I walked in the door to two boys excited to get out on the slopes. Noah had been in New Mexico last weekend and was anxious to rip it up with his old DEVO Team buddies and Isaac (who has somehow turned into a 55 pound skiing machine) couldn’t wait to prove once again that he is almost as tough as his big brother!

Some of you may remember one of the first posts of last season, regarding the (not so great) behavior of my boys. A morning, not so far away, when getting two boys ready and out the door for a day on the slopes was a mighty chore. What a difference a year makes! It’s not the boys who need help, it’s me.

Usually, very organized, I realized (five minutes before DEVO) that Noah’s helmet and goggles had been left at home. After I convinced him that wearing my helmet was not such a bad thing (Thank goodness I brought a black helmet with black Oakleys…could have been hot pink) he headed out to meet up with his friends.

Before, I go any further, let me just add that I am ski clothes junkie. I love em! I love to get them for free and I love to buy them! This past week, I found a cute pair of Holden pants that fit like my favorite low rise, skinny jeans. After, getting the boys out the door, I pulled on my boots and then tried to pull down my pants. WT!? They wouldn’t fit over my boots! I finally had to roll them up just so I could ski. Fashion nightmare. I looked like I had super tight cream jeans on and when rolled up, my boot was totally exposed…loser. No helmet, no goggles and a pair of cream jeggings later, I pushed off the lift. Things were happening, I was making some nice turns and I was feeling okay….well, until I layed out my skis and about flew onto my side. I had zero edges. Immediately, I heard a voice in my head reminding me that I never scraped the wax off my skis. Idiot! I carefully, skied the rest of the way down and dropped my skis off at the shop.

Solitude has got a great bunch of guys down there and they respectfully didn’t laugh and call me names…at least not to my face. I am sure they were just like “What is that girl doing on these K2 Sidekicks?…I bet she can’t even ski…hahaha”. I decided that I might be better off in the lodge drinking hot apple cider. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, right?

As always, my ski days always end great and after my brother-in-law showed up with Noah’s helmet and made me laugh (see picture), I was able to enjoy some late afternoon bumps and cruisers. You know I really love skiing, I always have, but, sometimes, the off days are the ones we remember the most so, I say, just laugh about them…or in my case, just blog about them.

Isaac's first turns as a 6 year old!

Hey Mom! My outfit looks better than yours!

These guys were making me laugh all day...Don't worry, they figured it out eventually.

My brother-in-law Mark, How can this not make you laugh?

First Tracks Online Powder Day Report

by Marc Guido – First Tracks Online

Day 2: Powder day!

The second part of our one-two punch of a storm arrived around 3 am and was a bit bigger than expected. I’d been tossing around the idea of hitting up lift-served at Solitude or skinning at Alta with mbaydala, Skidog and Bobby Danger. I was partially dissuaded from the Alta option due to widespread reports of the collapsing of the snowpack on Saturday. I also knew that my leg conditioning would benefit more from skiing than from skinning. So, Solitude it was.

Random Skier off Eagle Express

En route, however, I got a call from mbaydala. He’d inadvertently left his skins in the car of a woman who’s in Mexico for 10 days. So, Solitude it was for him, too.

I had to start from the Village today and at 9 a.m. there was virtually no one on the Apex chair.

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This morning was clear and beautiful as I stepped out into the crisp early light. The eastern sun shone brightly over the snow capped peaks and the browning leaves fluttered gently in the breeze. Snow from the last storm still lingered in the cool shade of our yard as the school children had hurried past to catch the bus to school. A typical November day, much like yesterday and likely, just like tomorrow. As the usual morning unfolded around me, I smiled as I loaded the car and called Noah’s school to let them know he would be a few hours late. The Thanksgiving holidays seem too far off in the distance for us to be loading the car with skis, boots and coats. But, that was exactly what I did this (anything but normal) November 10th morning.

Excitedly, we headed towards Big Cottonwood Canyon, slowed only by the occasional school bus taking the unfortunate children to their day of reading, writing and math. Noah and Isaac giggled as they saw their friends waiting on the street corners. I know, I know, I am soooo responsible. Sometimes, just sometimes, higher elevation is just a little more important than higher education and today was one of those days.

How could I let them miss the opening day at Solitude? The boys had been longing for this day ever since the first, wet snowflakes back in October. Well, I couldn’t let them miss it and I couldn’t miss it either!

Due to a few early storms and ample snowmaking, Solitude had plenty of reasons to open three lifts (with another opening this weekend).  Dear Solitude, Thank you! As we stood at the bottom of Moonbeam, I felt the flutter in my heart as I surveyed the lifts cranking, the groomers pushing snow on Sunshine Bowl and the ski school and patrol out in full force. I believe that the 2011/2012 ski season is officially underway!

With our boots clicked in and our helmets on, we were off to a great start. There were no rocks in site as we cruised down beautiful corduroy and enjoyed our skis beneath our feet once again. We skied run after run until, finally, it was time to get the boys back to school (no tears please) for the afternoon…must save those full hooky days for the powder…which is sure to come.

The resort is in great shape for those who are smart enough to come up this weekend for some early pre-season skiing. However, if your like us and need to just excuse yourself from life for one day, I am sure Solitude won’t tell anyone. Friday morning turns anyone?

First Chairlift Ride of the Season, Noah & Rachael Hodson

Noah's First Turns of the Year!

Tear it up Isaac!