If you haven't read the Introduction to this series. Start Here
Finally, some survivable temps rolled in this week. A string of 30 degree days and I can emerge from my home for the first time in weeks. It's Tuesday afternoon and I'm a little worried at how this day is going to play out. I woke up and was on a freakin' hunt for some sort of breakfastal sustenance and was coming up empty handed. I was considering suicide until I spotted a package of ramen that had been smashed back under the shelves in my pantry, SCORE! The rate at which my computer was moving was so lethargic that my water had boiled before I even got it restarted. After some facebookin' and weather checkin' I couldn't find my tripod anywhere, I think I sold it, and that's a major piece of equipment when you're going solo. After packing up a bunch of crap I didn't think I was going to need (I was right) but wanted to be prepared, I was ready to set off. I humped all my gear up stairs to the door and stuck my freshly socked foot into a sopping wet shoe - I totally forgot about that bit, I was going to dry those.
So now I'm all thugged out in my baggy snow pants and tall, flannel jacket carrying my skis to the car in my slippers.
You have to understand my town has a population of about 13,000, fairly large, but the majority of the occupations are agriculture related. The town seems even smaller and staler due to the lack of culture. So, skiing hoodlums in slippers are not the norm. You can understand how it gets even more interesting when I park at the local high school and, all suited up with my skis and a couple shovels, walk across the street to see what the local skate park has to offer. Everyone seems to hear the ski boots first, then you see their heads crane to identify the alien noise. They quickly retract their glances when they see the ape with the shovels. I always try meet them with a smile to diffuse any worried thoughts. I feel like a freakshow as traffic ignores my waves to pass and stop to let me cross the street to the skatepark. I trudge through the snow to the skate skate park that sits at the top of a little hill.
I regret to say this didn't prove too fruitful. I chose a little flat bar with a small down kink in the center because I could use the quarter pipe to drop in. The rail is about 8 feet away from the quarter but it's set a couple feet behind it, which makes it a little more awkward.
That's alright, worth a shot!
I quickly realized that was not the case. About 45 minutes of piling and stomping and packing snow to build a little run-in that drops you almost vertical then gives you a nanosecond to get your bearings and hit a rail. Less than my ideal but that's how you progress I suppose.
I was not having a great deal of luck locking anything on this rail. The +75 Skiing buff I got from watching Mutiny last night was wearing off. So, this video pretty much sums it up.
The backside of the park is a sloping hill with a sparse grove of oak trees. Untouched and serene in the setting sun, I was really wondering if it could possibly be powder. I was growing tired of my ineptness to ski this little flat bar so I thought it worth a shot...
These were taken earlier. But, the hill looked epic in the setting sun, I didn't even think to take a picture. Lesson Learned. Next time.
Totally not at all. Dust on crust, which I sort of assumed was going to be the verdict. Of course, that means hiking back up you sink to the bottom. Because of the lower temperatures here the powder takes on a fluid-like consistency, instead of just packing down, it fills in all the empty spaces and is oddly slippery. Good thing the hills vertical is about 100 feet.
I will definitely be keeping my eye open for some better urban locations and do some stuff you actually want to read about. I just conjured up all the money I don't have and booked a flight to Colorado at the end of the month – Always a blast. I don't really plan to come back..