Friday, February 26, 2010

From Russia with Love

The new activity is gaining popularity in Moscow, Russia. I am talking about what is shown in the video. Obviously it rolls without equal in this part of the world.

The Ski Guru cannot help but think about the reaction if people were core enough to be doing this down around DC's beltway a few weeks ago with all the snow. Just watch...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moonlight Basin, MT

Mancation Update:  A couple photos from my trip out to Montana in January 2006. These are all from Moonlight Basin. The area shares the same mountain peak as Big Sky.  It is called Lone Peak and towers above everything else within hundreds of miles.  

This is a good year to get to Moonlight... the ski resort may have trouble spinning the lifts in years to come since their $250 million in debt was underwrote by Lehman Brothers... Who Knew?  Either way, when you combine Moonlight and Big Sky you have the best skiing in the lower 48.

The Ski Guru's prediction:  Boyne Resorts which owns Big Sky will scoop up Moonlight Basin on the cheap in the event it goes to auction.

on the Headwaters double chair

looking at the Headwaters form the Lone Tree lift

the Moonlight Lodge bar


New England: The Non-Event

Just a few nights ago I was filled with anticipation drafting a blurb for the blog. Now I can only pull a few excerpts out of it like the following. Just goes to show what anyone - including The Ski Guru - knows about the weather.
• cannot remember seeing a nor’easter referred to as a “Snowicane” before
• last Thursday I put up an entry that called for a return to powder skiing
• exactly what the regions ski areas need
• just like the 06/07 season, late season storms saved what would have been a lame duck winter
• could be the biggest sustained dump of snow NE has seen in years
• skiing and riding will be exceptional this weekend
• if the forecasts are correct it should slowdown just in time for all the weekend warriors to climb into their SUVs and have a reasonable drive north the their favorite ski resorts
What a crock…
Granted, we got tremendous accumulations out of the first storm earlier in the week. It dropped close to two feet of fresh powder on top of most New England ski areas everywhere from the Berkshires up to ME. The problem is that snow is going to act like a sponge. Because everyone is now getting rain that snow is turning into wet cement. Once this storm blows through sometime tomorrow afternoon the condition of the slopes will be left in disarray.
  • Best case – it changes over to snow again and stays warm
  • Worst case – cold air after the precipitation turns New England skiing into hockey
Either Way unless something miraculous happens this could be the worst ski season the region has seen in years.  If you were lucky enough to ski over the last couple days send in some pictures!

Is this Karma?  Probably…what did you do (or not) to contribute?


New England Storm Update

Not Cool...more Phillips head screw driving for NE skiing.

image form

The Mancation is coming...

Thank God because New England is getting a HUGE dose of RAIN. The Ski Guru really hates the rain.

This year the destination is Big Sky in Montana.

Clip form last year at Jackson Hole...more soon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Life Imitating Art

You may have heard about the movie Frozen. It is a story about some punks that sneak on a chairlift and end up getting stuck after the mountain closes. Terrible things happen to them. It is rated R. Trailer below...

Got little thought when The Ski Guru first heard. The plot reminded me of an old ASC sign that read “The Mountain is as cold and lonely tonight as it was 200 years ago”. I used to see that at Mount Snow. It was on a tree at the summit off the top of the Sunbrook Quad and probably still is. That was all. Frozen would wait until I stumbled upon it randomly while looking at the television.

Then this story today: Ski Tourist Escapes Death by Burning Cash

Ski Guru Rule Book 4.1.1: Only get on a lift if the attendant sees you

That dude got LUCKY. He was stuck on a chair well above the snow surface, at night, in the cold, for about 6 hours. He should not have snuck on the lift. That is a serious indiscretion. Read the article with the link above.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The State of New England Skiing

Snow: a precipitation in the form of small white ice crystals formed directly from the water vapor of the air at a temperature of less than 32°F (0°C) b (1) : a descent or shower of snow crystals (2) : a mass of fallen snow crystals
Really not much of it to speak of, write about, or ski on in New England besides the man made stuff. Those areas with the best snowmaking are in good shape. I am not saying the conditions are bad by any stretch of the imagination. In fact many areas have been picking up a few inches here and there. It adds up. NE just has not seen any of the monster winter events crippling the Mid-Atlantic States in the past few weeks creep north and sock our mountains with a direct hit.

The current state of New England skiing reminds me of the 06/07 season when we had to wait for the big St. Valentine’s Day storm before real powder conditions prevailed across the region. Then another big blast on St. Patrick’s Day and still even more damage on April Fools. That was a great stretch. Hopefully this season we see history repeat itself.

Tim Kelley (NECN meteorologist) all smiles in a deep powder drift at Killington 3/17/07

This weekend the weather will be as good as it gets for making some turns, considering it will not include fresh flakes falling from the skies with any abundance. In general if you head north you can expect to see temperatures hitting highs in the mid 30’s even as far north as Stowe, VT. There is also chatter of a potential storm next week. For more on that check Accuweather.

A quick peruse of Snocountry Mountain Reports basically reveals the same story I am telling. A lot of areas are doing well. Most have the majority of their terrain open. Use this LINK to check in on your favorites in the Northeast.

found this clip of my cousin Lucas eating some of the St. Valentine's Day powder back in 2007 at Sugarbush in the archives...

The low down: This should be a fun and pleasant weekend to hit the slopes. Some places will see some snow showers that will soften things up. Other areas may get sunshine. All will have above average temperatures. With only a few months left in the season you should take advantage of it and get north.

Think Snow!  Eat some!

Is the downhill dangerous?

This is the Olympics. The downhill is the pinnacle of the alpine ski events. The course needs to be difficult.

The Men’s competition had to be postponed due to conditions (read slush). Then the mountain got a shot of snow. Those of you that know ski racing realize powder is not what they are looking for. Preferred surface it what the recreational skier or rider would probably consider ice. The foot of fresh snow caused additional safety concerns because the track was variable and choppy. The committee modified the run for the woman in an attempt to make it safer. Still last night it claimed six victims in the field, all with DNF results.

Unfortunately there is not much video available on the internet except on the NBC site and they do not provide embedded HTML. Thanks NBC. Thanks Olympic Committee. I actually saw an acronym today for NBC that read “Not Broadcasting Correctly”. Anyway this LINK will get you to a clip they have put together showing all six of said crashes. The last one is spectacular.  Warning – you will need to download MS Silverlight to watch this and all other NBC video.

Apparently I am not the only writter frustrated by this either, see Michael Rosenberg rant. But I was able to track down this clip that shows a French skier named Marion Rolland whose dreams of triumph and years of training were all destroyed as she went for a strong push out of the gate. Watch Now - God bless the BBC.  Which raises the question, are the Brits making fun of the French by publishing this? 
On a lighter note, this was a funny moment that NBC did allow to slide – Stephen Colbert
Ski Fast!

Are we talking about practice!?!?!?

In this entry we actually are. Petra Majdic a 30-year old Cross Country competitor form Slovenian lost control during a practice session and fell off the trail into a dingle. The video clip below is still live on You Tube, but NBC and the Olympic Committee will probably have it taken down soon, so if it does not work when you try it apologies.

This just goes to show that even world class athletes can experience humbling incidents.

Better news is that she did battle through injuries to win a Bronze medal. This LINK has the story.

Ski Safe!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010