Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Skiing is Skiing, No Matter How Much Snow

There's not a lot of snow, they say.
In fact, it hasn't snowed at all, they say.
There isn't that much open, they say.
The Skiing is Boring, they say.

I'm Sorry, What did you say?!

The skiing is boring?
You have to be wrong!
There isn't snow everywhere ...
well let me explain with a song:

Skiing is Skiing,
no matter how much snow
We turn left and we turn right,
it doesn't matter how far we go.

Every DAY it is different
Every TRAIL its own way
Every TURN's a new challenge
Every DAY you get to play

I am having a sweet time,
my ski buddies and I,
we are laughing and skiing
and sometimes I even cry.

We make our own fun,
as we play in the snow,
we don't need steeps or powder
we can go fast or even slow.

All we need is snowmakers and lifties,
just to make everything go.
And groomers, ski patrol, & park crew
to help us play in the snow.

Skiing is Skiing,
no matter how much snow
We turn left and we turn right,
it doesn't matter how far we go.

We ride the poma, the gondi 
and the really slow chair
And on the way down,
we feel the wind in our hair.

There is no reason for stopping,
unless you can't feel your legs.
We not moping in the house,
with the doldrums and dregs.

We are the ones out skiing
and having a blast.
As long as there is some manmade
and we can go really fast

My friends and I will be on the mountain,
having a hell of a time,
We'll be laughing and screaming,
and feeling wicked fine.

Because Skiing is Skiing,
no matter how much snow.
We turn left and we turn right,
It doesn't matter how far we go.

So when you're sitting at home
complaining of the weather,
just remember you could be skiing
Floating down the mountain light as a feather.

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Friday, December 4, 2015

Dust on Crust and I'm Grinning Ear to Ear

To wake up this morning and watch the flakes floating through the sky instead of watching heavy non-solid precipitation make puddles in the dirt.
My heart heaved a sigh of relief as I stepped outside into the flurries.
My feet were cold against the squishy ground, but there was an off chance of greatness today and I wanted to thank the earth first.
Would there be enough?
Because holy crap it has rained for like 3 days.
   Would the mountain recover?
    Could it recover?
To be firm, oh crap would it be firm.
A text from a friend confirmed the solid truth of the matter.

But the guns were on.
It had dropped 12 degrees since 7am.
And there were freshies.
Untouched Snow!
Like from the Sky and everything!

An east coast skiers dream.
The first real snowfall of the season and it's dust on crust.
That little bit of untouched snow that falls onto the eerily yellow groomer tracks magically exposed.
Finding that little pocket of built up snow as you fall off the trail, inching ever closer to the snow line in a desperate attempt to gobble up every bit of fresh snow within sight.
There are deeper spots than others, and there are firmer spots.
But I'm down.
And I'm grinning ear to ear.

And then an entire trail of yellow guns.
A pile of snowmaking awesomeness, the boys throwing down the heavy stuff because we are not going to lose this again ... damn it.
But as long as you kept the same speed as the stickiness,
skiing in slow motion, through old yellow smelly looking cream cheese.
But I'm down.
And I'm grinning ear to ear.

Dust on Crust.
Trails of Sticky Snow.
But I'm down.
And I'm grinning ear to ear.

I wouldn't miss this for anything.
It's gonna be a good season.

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thoughts from the Walkway

Ahhh, the dreaded walkway.  Killington has a video meme with someone walking a stair machine in full gear with their skis thrown over their shoulder.  It has been called the Stairway to Heaven, a combination never ending song used when disc jockeys need to use the restroom and the trail which lost its existence for the Walkway's creation.  Backpacks litter the top of the North Ridge as people bring sneakers with which to walk out.  There is talk of sponges to cushion the shoulders and packs for ski carrying.  And then there are those who convince others to carry their skis for them ...

To me, the walkway is something different.

It is a place.
A time.
A moment.

The Walkway is where I give thanks.

After the first quick ascent where everyone can see you, I take a deep breathe let my legs get lost in the rhythm.  I keep my eye on the walkway, making sure not to lose a toe stuck underneath the grate and rip my pants.  Or how no matter what I do, I always seem to be stepping up with the same damn leg ...

After a while, my eyes begin to look upward and outward, out across the greenish-brownish mountains of post-foliage Vermont.  So beautiful, are these rolling mountains, a luscious valley of just pure awesomeness, but kinda sad and depressing looking during twig season with all their beautiful colors fallen off.

Then I look the left, toward the North Ridge of Killington and see nothing depressing at all.  In fact, I see the only real amount of snow until I look way out at Mt Washington across the way in New Hampshire.  And I laugh.  Almost every time.  I laugh because I got to ski today, even amidst the depressing brown of twig season.

And then I thank the Walkway.  And I thank Heavenly Traverse.  I shake my head at how awesome this walkway, for which was sacrificed one of my favorite adventure trails, has become a most prized possession.  Without the Walkway, where would we ski?  With the K-Chair far far gone away, the North Ridge has become a playground.  Our small little mountain, where we are all stuck together until the Walkway is retired for the season.

I thank the guys who made the walkway, the poor kid who has to shovel the walkway, the park crew who has to walk against the flow every morning as they leave the trails for breakfast.  I thank the ski patrol, who has to figure out a way to get us around the walkway within the golden hour.  I thank the lifties and electricians and mechanics and groomers and snowmakers for making a dream world in for us to play.  I thank my dad, for introducing me to Killington and instilling within me an unboundless love of skiing as much as possible.  I thank the boyfriend for letting me drag him out skiing everyday.

And I thank Killington, for putting up with all of us crazy east coast skiers who will ski anything if you let us.

It's a land of magic, a place full of a uniqueness all its own.  A place like no where else on the East Coast, where life if about one thing and one thing only.  A time where we all come together, under one chair, to celebrate a sport and a way of life in which we all believe.  A moment where nothing else matters except the feel of the snow under your feet and the wind in your face as you once again are blessed enough to ski.

Oh, and your game better be on it because its K-Town and everyone is watching.

We are skiing in October and November.
And for that, I use the hike out to thank the Walkway.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Killington Opening Day 2015 with Tucker

My big brother and 200+ day skier, Tucker, was definitely feeling the stoke of Opening Day in North America this season ... so here is his version of opening day madness:

Killington Opening Day 2015

                   this season opener in vermont was not to be missed. With all the talk of some mountain in Maine possibly opening before the Beast!?!?! Let the poker game opening day bluff match begin!! That mountain in Maine came out last week and claimed they were going to open on Monday 10/19 and the game was on, all their chips were on the table as the whole world could see. As a retort Killington raised the bet and went in with 10/18, high noon. Then the bluff game got serious... There were whispers that the competition may have a full house and be able to backdoor The Beast, the hype suggested they may open at 9 am... The Beast waited till gameday and went all in on 9am as well. The Beast called that mountain in Maine's bluff and walked away the champion of not only the east coast but the first in all of North America to open first! A hefty merit of awesomeness for the whole ski industry.

                    9am Sunday was eeriely calm at Killington for not only a weekend but for opening day, apparently everyone partied too hard at Jax the night before thinking they could sleep in to catch the Noontime gondi. It ended up being a few people who were somehow up in the wee hours to find out the real deal...9am. No pushing, no shoving, no bad attitudes and a total of only 6 people on the first gondi of 2015.  Lots of smiles and fun ensued.

                   We got off the gondi and did the hike down the stairs, got to the top of the North Ridge Triple and just started high fiving and thanking everyone down there, everyone who worked their asses off to get it done. Corporate dudes, snomakers, liftys, parks homies and ambassadors alike all got high fjves and big smiles. When it came time to ski it was a pleasant surprise, lots of wet guns but great coverage and although a little sloppy, truly great snow.  The parks guys (soaking wet from being in the guns all morning) got a few rails set up and a smooth little park open  by Noon on Reason which was much appreciated by the jib contigent.

                Rallied out at about noon  high fiving and welcoming everyone , many who we haven't seen all summer while  hiking back up and out on the stairs, everyone was ecstatic and super stoked to be back on the hill. Headed in to the peak lodge for a couple "Pammy's" a taller more Grand Marnierey version of the mimomsa (hey, it was a Sunday after all).  The Beast also bought every seasons pass holder lunch, had beer specials and a raffle at the end of the day. All in all an awesome opening day at The Beast! It truly amazes me what they can do up here in such very little time. At 7pm Saturday night there were no guns on lower Rime, by 9am that whole section of trail was not only skiable but really well covered, side to side. A lot of hard work on  short notice went into this showing of east coast capability and snow power, Killington went all in, called that other mountains bluff.... We are all so very happy that they did!


Tucker Adirondack Lange

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Night Before

I'm here, in a chair next to the window wall, watching big fluffy flakes fall in the lamplights.  So many flakes float downward, settling themselves on the untamed and leaf covered lawn.  They are building up and I watch as the autumn ground is slowly covered in a blanket of white.  A sort of peace covers the earth as the night turns dark ...
And yet, my heart is racing.  For tomorrow, at noon, my world will change from one of waiting to one where each day revolves around one thing.  A life where my every thought, my every breath, is consumed by a force of nature greater than myself.  It pulls, it draws, it will not let me go.  I feel like my blood has spilled on the ground as simultaneously as new blood has seeped through my veins from above.  My soul is replenished. I am part of this experience of nature that is happening outside my window, yet separated for the greatness by this pane of glass.  
I had to go, to break from life and what is supposed to be; I had to go into the world.  I felt the flakes as they floated down into my eyelashes and landed quietly on my tongue.  I drank in its glory and a tear fell off my eye, and I felt it's warmth on my cheek.  A promise, a hope, that winter will once again cleanse my soul and everything that was wrong shall be right again.  
And it shall.  
Sunday.  At Noon.
The bell will ring, the rope will drop, and all that we have been waiting for will once again.  
Winter is here.  
And tomorrow we ski.

Thanks for Reading!!

and thanks for all the great comments :)