Saturday, November 24, 2012

An afternoon snowshoeing

About a week ago we had a good dump of snow here, but with Beaver Creek still not open, we decided to hike up and take advantage of some of the fresh snow. My friend Chris, his friend Jackie and I headed up late in the afternoon with myself snowshoeing and the others telemark cross-country skiing up. We made it most of the way to the top of the front mountain with the sun just setting and temperatures dropping. Surrounded by freshly cover peaks, the beautiful purple sunset and being the only people up the mountain looking down at all below, it was a nice point to have reached. So we quickly drank a beer and bolted down the hill. The snow coverage was excellent in some spots and thin in others, but was probably some of the driest, softest and deepest powder I have ridden in. We laid out the first tracks and it was so good infact that Phil and I headed up again the following day.

Snowshoeing up Strawberry Park, Beaver Creek

The top of my first snowshoeing adventure

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cruising in a snowcat

At the base of Beaver Creek with the snow guns and snowcat in action.
So I had a fun ride in a Beaver Creek snowcat the other day when Amy and I were just up at the resort sorting out work and stuff. We got up there a bit early, so had a walk around and were surprised to see  the runs had transformed from patchy white to a complete snow surface almost overnight. This was  completely due to the work of the snowcats and man made snowmaking. We sat and watched the snowcat for awhile, and eventually the friendly operator stopped his machine and waved us over! I bolted at the chance and climbed into the passengers seat for an hour and pushed around huge piles of snow creating the perfect Beaver Creek skiing surface. This was one impressive machine! A pile of snow the size of the snowcat itself was no issue at all, it really got the job done and with a nice sound system, the hip-hop really set the mountain vibe.

Totally stoked taking a ride.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Dear American, thank you" From: The rest of the world

Taken from Obama's facebook page
Yippee, we are all VERY excited here that the election is finally over and that our candidate is back in the oval office for four more years! We're also excited that the campaigning is over, and with it the billion dollar campaign ads on TV, which got more and more ridiculous as the pressure increased.

It was quite an important/interesting time to be in America, and although I voted early and did not have to wait for 6 hours at the poles Tuesday Nov. 6th, I did have to anxiously sit in front of the TV all day watching the votes come in on the hour from various states around the nation, and watch the "ROAD  TO 270."

There were a few times when Romney was in the lead and I would text my mom while she was at the Democratic Headquarters in Stamford, where she was making phone calls and just being very dedicated to helping get Obama re-elected, and she'd calm me down. But we ended the night in celebration with an election party, a bottle of champagne and two growlers of beer.

Photo of the TV

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Exploring the high Rockies

First snow fall in Avon, October, 2012

 So its been a little over two weeks since I've been in Colorado, and in this time we have done a wee bit of exploring in our new home high within the Rocky Mountains. This place is unlike anywhere I have ever been before, and we live right in the middle of the ritziest, most expensive and exclusive ski resort towns in Colorado, or maybe all of America! 

Upon coming out here, I was very nervous about the idea of living in the mountains, especially after our year of summer! I was afraid of the cold and even more afraid of the snow! Luckily its hasn't been nearly as cold or snowy as I thought it might be. But once we did get some snow about a week ago, to my surprise I was really excited about it! We woke up in the morning to a blanket of snow over everything, and we had a very spectacular view of the snow covered pine trees covering the mountains right behind our house. 

With work off for the day for Thomas, a sensible decision from his superiors, we decided to take a drive through the mountains with our roommate Chris! This was my first excursion out of Avon to see the surrounding mountain towns, and it did not disappoint. Chris was on a mission to visit a tiny ski manufacture that opened just 3 years ago to try and persuade them to sponsor him. Chris being a leading telemark skier of the region, he had good grounds to persuade. We took some back roads winding through the mountains for about an hour until we got to the Meier Ski Shop. We spent nearly 3 hours at this tiny shop, got to talk to the husband and wife owners and was shown the process from start to finish of how to construct skis! Thomas is now fixated on the idea of having his own ski/snowboard/surf shop/brew pub now! Chris must have impressed them, because he walked out with a sponsorship and 3 new pairs of skis! Lucky! 

On Chris' new skis
Thomas + Amy in Aspen


Chris being a good guy and an enthusiastic tour guide, decided to take us a further half hour out to Aspen! I was so excited to see Aspen, but it wasn't a good day to be there. It started snowing again right as we got into town, so we got some lunch, took some photos, and decided to make the possibly unwise decision of going over the frighteningly high Independence Pass for our journey home. It proved to be about the scariest experience of my life, with ice and snow covering the skinny, windy, often one lane road that went up over 12,000 ft! I tried not to look down, and did some deep breathing in the back seat, and was very happy when we got back to a normal 8,000 ft. 

Driving Independence Pass
Whiteout at the top of the pass
We also have had the chance to check out our local mountains. The mountain resort in Avon is called Beaver Creek, and it is one of the most gorgeous mountain resorts I've ever seen. Most people in Avon either work or ski or both up here as its just a short bus ride from the bottom of the mountain. Tucked away up there so you can't even see the village until about the final minute of the ride! Completely dead in the off season and under ongoing construction, I felt a bit weird walking around, but some stores were open and I opted to get a coffee and sit on one of the couches with a fire pit in front the ice skating rink positioned in the center of the village! I hope to work up here during the season!

Beaver Creek

We also went out to Vail with some friends, just a 10 min drive East from Avon. Vail is probably the second most famous mountain town in Colorado after Aspen, and to be honest, far more spectacular. Aspen was more a typical town with a few touristy shops thrown in, whereas Vail is more like what Switzerland at Epcot in Disney World would look like. You're not allowed to park your car in Vail, and instead you can walk through the numerous pedestrian malls over cobblestone bridges and look in awe at the Swiss/Austrian style hotels, restaurants and gawk over the snow capped mountains in the background. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Banana Gangsta on the Ribbon of Death

Phil has named me the "Bananna Gangsta" due to my wardrobe
A few weeks ago Phil and I headed out for our first day riding of the season. Tagged the "ribbon of death" because there is only one run open of man made snow and there can often be crowds with excessive excitement to be back out on the snow. No incidents to report of here though. We had a good bunch of runs, the snow was quite good actually, some features were set up in the terrain park and only a few spills occurred on weary edges after a year out! This is only the beginning of of big season of snowboarding.

"Ribbon of Death"