For my spring break, like most skiers in NJ would like to do, I went to Colorado. I stay at my grandparents house, about an hour out from loveland and arapahoe basin. It's in Arvada I believe. The following is the story, as seen through my several cameras and told by me. Note that some of the pictures were just plain point and shoot while others are a bit better. All are by me unless otherwise noted. If you want to view any images larger, check my flickr. It's in my sig.
This story actually starts a week before break. March 20th is my birthday, and my family and I went up to vermont to ski and check out UVM. It's pretty nice up there. After checking out the school we went to the ski rack, just to go once and get a copy of wild stallions. It turns out they had none, I talked to the guy who was on the ski show though and my brother tried on a few boots. We asked where a close ski area was and were pointed towards Bolton Valley. Upon arriving in the mud soaked parking lot I could already see the numerous tree runs. I even found a cliff to jump off. At a massive six feet, it was the only legit "cliff" I've really seen. Further down that run was a small park, an urban dfd followed by a barrel jib and a wide canon box. I guess I carried too much speed over the barrel, cause I overshot the non-existent landing of the canon and twisted my knee pretty badly. It was almost a canon to cliff drop.
Sparknotes: Overshot a canon box with a bad landing and hurt my knee, bad but I was determined to ski in CO.
Saturday, March 27th; Day 1 The Airplane
A week later I stopped limping, and normally walked my way through newark airport. It still hurt, but I wasn't gonna give up four days of skiing in CO. I left my chronics behind, mainly because I have no ski luggage, but also to try new skis out west. As usual, the guys at the x ray scrutinize over my bag while they fry my film and ponder my numerous, bomb shaped photo equipment.
Somewhere over the west I figured I'd try my hand at capturing the rainbow effect created by a polarizer and the airplane window. Probably something to do with diffraction and other stuff I learned in physics...
It was a turbulent flight, which is always enjoyable. We arrived in Denver, home of my favorite monorail system. The picture I tried in there became blurred, so I'm not gonna put it here. Instead, here's some escalators:
The drive from the airport isn't bad, we stopped at my uncle's house in some development on the way to my grandparents. I ate some awesome steak, met his new 130lb English mastiff and then got on our way. It's huge, but all he really wants is to be petted and cared for. He'll try to walk over to you and end up pushing you out of the way. I'd say this sums up the area around the airport rather well:
March 28th, Day 2: First Day at Loveland.
We rented a car to avoid needing a ride everywhere. Last time we got an impreza, this time we got an ugly green, potentially suddenly accelerating Toyota yaris. We headed up to Loveland for some good skiing. I'll let the pictures tell most of the story in case your tired of reading. I rented ARVs for this day and honestly, I didn't really like them. The Ar6 is far better in my opinion.
My brother, a_pla5tic_bag on here, claiming a good day.
March 29th, Day 3: Pow and trees on the second day at loveland.
Okay, after this story anyway, this is important. This was my first time hiking in real snow for real snow. I wasn't sure if I should take the skis off, move uphill, go further or really do anything. It was my first time making fresh tracks too, and its was so worth it. The hike took longer than it should have, it was only up a mild slope, but I was not ready for this amount of work in the mountain air. Gasping for oxygen, I took off my face mask and decided to work on my goggle tan (which never happened). I rented icelantic nomads, and again another first; I've never ridden skis over 85mm in the waist (save the ARVs from day 1) so the 130-105-110 (I think???) was quite a difference. I liked these better, stiffer, more stable a high speed and fat. The floating in powder, even for such a short amount of time, was amazing.
Just after my run, look close and you'll see a smile.
Trees are another thing I never really get to do. I stayed away from the really hard stuff because of my knee, but I still had fun:
March 30th, Day 3: Rest
I figured I'd skate the amazingly nice concrete parks out west, but I hurt my knee trying to catch a fakie bigspin in a bank as part of a line. The altitude wasn't treating me either, and 13% humidity was not good for my nose:
My nose bled a lot, just sneezing or rubbing it would start a nose bleed.
After the short skate sesh we headed out to meet my uncle and do some fly fishing in some creek in the mountains. Though we never fished because my uncle didn't want to poach the spot (people were panning for gold), I shot some photos with real cameras:
Neopan 400 in d76 for around 8min, through my yashicamat with a red filter. I actually took away some contrast in photoshop, the harsh light and red filter kinda overdid the contrast. I think this scene was more impressive in person, I took about 7 shots (there are 12 on a roll of 120 film in 6x6 format) to capture it right, and I liked this one the best.
Not the best scan. Superia 400 (cheap but good) with a 28mm fd lens (That's canon's old manual focus line.) I used a polarizer to get the sky really blue, which is evident in the next shot.
Not the best landscape, should have gotten more of the water but whatever.
March 31st, Day 4: The only Day at A basin
This was supposed to be my serious photo day. In order to take more pictures, I kept a throwaway camera on my at all times (which is where most of the above photos came from). That way I could ski hard without worrying about my good cameras. It ended up being mostly overcast with some short periods of sun, so no photos were shot. Flat lighting isn't cool, for photos or skiing. The terrain was poorly defined in the absence of highlights and shadows. At the end of the day, my uncle was complaining about how bad the day was. I said "Well, it wasn't 12 degrees, there was some sun, real snow and not too much ice, good terrain and no crowds. By my standards, I just scored an amazing day." This day reminded me of hy I ride twin tips. The rental skis seemed to be made for beginners, when I tried to make them preform they didn't. They weren't quick edge to edge, obviuosly not poppy or good for jumping around and very hooky in the tails. Regardless, I had fun. Anybody see me skiing? An NSer on rental skis is hard to miss.
April 1st, Day 5: Garden of the Gods
The second day of rest, we figured we'd play tourist and go to The Garden of the Gods near Castle Rock. I think the photos will do. All are on the same neopan 400 with the red filter through my yashicamat.
I wish the sky from here was in the next shot. They are two different rocks though they look the same.
Slightly different take on the first image. Lost the trees, gained a person for size reference.
i have more shots on an unfinished roll, if they're any good I'll bump this and post them up.
April 2nd, Day 6: Last day skiing
The fourth and last day of skiing took place at loveland. It snowed most of the day and I got to ski some wind crusted pow and even some regular pow (awkward way of saying that, no?) Great tree runs, sunlight and snow, what more could I ask for? The same place here I got my first pow run also had a rock jib. I stayed away because of my knee, but my brother just jumped off it.
Bad timing=goofy looking air.
He later tried a hand drag to fakie off it. It looked legit until he never completed the 180 and kinda went flying through the air. I laughed, he landed in soft snow and then I started my run. I figured I'd try a pow butter and tried to envision how the nimbus guys do it since they do it so well. The snow wasn't exactly bottomless, but I managed to bring together a probably bad looking butter. I decided you set a 360, but when you hit 180 you stop and wheelie the pow then throw the other 180 by popping out. I then proceeded into the trees, and jumped a cliff formed by a snow covered rock. That really hurt, even though I tried to take most of the impact of my good leg. I normally stuck to the easier parts because of my leg, but I decided to go and make more fresh tracks. It was soooo worth it. I guess the trees block most of the wind because it was still pow. The icelantics were pretty good in the trees. My dad ended up catching an edge and seemingly hurting his knee the same way I did. He even has the same problems moving it that I had right after I fell. I'll what the doctor says about mine on Wednesday.
NSers SPOTTED: you were wearing a yellow NS shirt and skiing with another kid who was skiing backwards on the slope that leads to lift 2 (i think?)
You had a cut on your face and a colorful setup.
You had a red tall t that said cavalry, but It was spelled kavalry with an ak-47 for the k?
April 7, Day 7: Today, the ride home.
Well, it's 11:41 in New Jersey. we're forecasted for 75 degrees tomorrow. Apparently it rained a lot while I was gone. No chance of snow I'd say. I have nothing better to do, so I wrote this. Great way to end the season? Fuck yes! If you read all that, good for you. If you looked at the pictures, start reading! I'm sure this is riddled with grammar errors or type-os. I'm awful at typing and usually a better story teller. Hopefully you guys get stoked off of my stoke. It doesn't look like a failed at embed either.