I spent the last three weeks living on couches in Breckenridge, how you say, ‘living the life?’ Me and trip buddy Tony Seyffer met up with fellow Minnesotan Andrew Featherstone and embarked on many a ski adventure.
A merciful [pitiful] four inch overnight snow at A Basin was one of only two powder [yawn] days we got over the course of our month long vacation. Whatever fell got windblown into the trees on the main face. For two days we skied probably 10% of the sad 30% of open terrain. What followed the temporary clouds and flakes was probably two weeks of straight sunshine and calm skies, which produced many a productive park film day.
We bounced back and forth between the parks of Breckenridge and Keystone getting clips with Minnesota native Jake Strassman on most days, and messing around with my camera on the down ones. The Christmas crowds were dreadful [suicide inducing] and left us hiking a handful of rails at Breck for the better part of the week. Sometime in the last week of our trip, the park finally got some rail flow and was a bit more fun.
Our first day at Keystone left us scratching our heads. The medium jumps could have been from Minnesota: they were flat in every way. There was ice everywhere, and the majority of the rails and boxes were in the, ‘barely long enough to be in a real park’ category. There were definitely some creative and unique features built though which made it worth lapping. The features were clearly skatepark influenced, and involved a lot of trannies and technical jibs, in my opinion, the direction parks should start going in. They were the best features I had ever skied, not because the jump was xxx amount of feet big, or because the rail had a xx foot gap onto it, or x number of kinks, but because you had to sit there and think, how do I ride this?
I feel like a lot of my best ideas come to me in fast food establishments. Something about grease and plastic chairs just really puts me in the mindset, and I’m sure many people are also the same way. It was about 9pm, and Featherstone was paging through a paper and came upon an ad for the Ullrfest parade on Mainstreet in Breckenridge. Wouldn’t it be funny if we turned Featherstone’s Buick into a parade float? Ha, let’s duct tape all our skis [LINE Skis] to his car. That’s literally how it happened. We were in Walmart 10 minutes later buying decorations [that we returned after the parade] and finished decorating the float in a gas station parking lot half an hour before the parade start the next day.. How does it feel to ride through a street with a couple thousand [inebriated] people chanting PBR at you? Pretty cool to say the least.
We were tipped off about these free dinner nights by a friend. A couple churches put them on every Sunday and Tuesday. We attended three of them and they were the best meals we ate on the entire trip, spaghetti, roast, chili, delicious. They didn’t even ask me if I had accepted Jesus as my savior, just if I had found a job yet.
We Headed back to Denver a couple nights early for our flight back home with the intent on checking out the Ruby Hill Railyard. Winter Park operates it next to a sledding hill. They’ve got a three foot base, seven boxes and rails, and a volunteer park crew. The best part, its free. We were skeptical, it was in the 60s in Denver and we has little recon of the place. It turned into one of the most fun sessions of the trip. Hiking at 11,000 feet in the mountains is murderous compared to sitting comfortably at sea level back in the land of flat. Getting back down to 5,000 was an amazing feeling. The Railyard has some great features and amazing lights. We’ll be coming back for sure.
Skiing in Summit county for three weeks was an enlightening experience for me. Being my first real ‘out west’ experience, (I’m not counting glacier skiing at Mt. Hood) I had absorbed all the hype and was expecting perfection. I encountered a horde of high class tourists, long lines every day, massive commercialization, and a loss of feeling. I was happiest at Arapahoe, a resort that reminded me of the Midwest, a resort where you noticed how beautiful the mountains were instead of how absolutely retarded human beings are who pay $32 for lunch. Breckenridge made me really appreciate who I was as a skier and where I was from. That said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, an unforgettable 21 days of amazing skiing, awful sleep, crappy food, worse water, and good friends.
Enjoy episode 7, 18 minutes of content.