Monday, January 29, 2007

[an email to Terri, Patricia, Jan (and Mark), and Cathy]

Once I recover financially from last weekend of Sugarbowl private lesson and The Cow Palace (I bought another crate as the Noz to Noz's I really like are being discontinued - ouch), I'd like to go skiing at Boreal even though I have the impression that they're all just a bunch of bratty, hyper-talented snowboarders. After spending the day at Sugarbowl, I find there are a ton of non-intimidating, flailing, beginning snowboarders who are quite humble so you have a lot of company regardless if you are on skis or a snowboard.

Boreal has 85% beginner and intermediate runs and it's closer than Northstar and quite close to Sugarbowl and slightly cheaper. I'm thinking of going Sat Feb 10. Anyone else interested in going?

They also have Advanced Beginner group lessons (my level) as well as Beginner group lessons. Higher level lessons are available as privates though you can add additional people for not much more $.

I was just compiling this info so I thought I'd share.

Prices for Boreal are
Lift: $42-44 (depending on open hours that day)
Rental: $35 (skis, boots, poles)
Lesson - group $28
Lesson - private $70/hr, extra person $25/hr, extra hour $20
Hours: 9am - 9pm or 9am - 4pm

Rental took a while at Sugarbowl so getting them off the mountain may save as much as 1 1/2 - 2 hours, so it's probably worth the hassle of getting them in the bay area. Any Mountain has rentals ($30) and I may give into to temptation and rent Alpine Touring skis at Marmot though that's $50 and I wouldn't be touring so probably not worth the money yet.

For comparison, Sugarbowl's rates are:

Lift $50 (I had a $10 discount coupon)
Rental: $38 (skis, boots, poles)
Lessons: see the web site - some great beginner package deals
Lessons - private $90 (which you humbly pay if you've just been falling down the mtn the wrong way.)
Hours: 9am - 4pm

It's a fun environment though much less open feeling than I remember. I think the trees have grown over the years. The enviroment is very friendly save for the girlfriends who are pissed at the boyfriend for talking them into trying snowboarding. Snowboarding is ultimately easier than skiing from what I understand, but the learning curve is very steep for the first few times, so I saw at least 3 domestic disputs about it.

Oh and the high speed chairlifts may get you up the mountain quickly, but I must admit to feeling flung off of them. I did finally learn how to get off them without falling (sometimes), but there is quite the body count at the end of them. Sugarbowl has a Safety Monitor at the end of the beginner lift who will help you get up if you fall and encourage the sprawled snowboarders to move out of the path of people getting off.

The instructor ("Hank") I had at Sugarbowl was good about my leg weakness (this is why I got the private - I could turn left great, but really struggled to turn right.) They advertise on their web site that they will teach adaptive skiing - not something I needed but good to know.

Both resorts take just under 3 hours to get there under excellent driving conditions.

Oh and for the record. It's been 2 days and I'm not very sore at all.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Went skiing at Sugar Bowl on Saturday. My plan was to just stay on the easy runs and practice what I learned in the Lito Tejada-Flores "Breakthrough on Skis 1" DVD where he goes over steering just by placing your weight on the outside ski.

I was going to go use the White Pine chairlift for a while and then move onto the Jerome lift, but I noticed that thw White Pine appeared to be just for the ski school (no true as a I later learned.) So I went up Jerome and stuggled down the "easy" route of Pioneer Trail falling multiple times including one right at the chair lift. About half way down my right hamstring stopped working and I realized that I needed a lesson to come up with alternative ways to turn as I could turn great to the left and not very well at all to the right as I couldn't get my right ski to follow along with the left one (which is the one controling the turn to the right.)

So when I finally got down I paid $90 (more that the lift ticket and the rental) for a 1 hour private with Hank. And what an excellent way to spend $90. We spent the entire time going up the White Pine lift and back down the beginner runs.

We went back to the basics and talked about stance and position. The key is lean forward, stand tall, and have your arms spread semi wider than should width and forward. Turn you shoulders to where you want to go but keep looking down the hill.

We did a lot of wedge turns, and the most effective thing I learned really surprised me/ He had me decend the run holding my poles horizontally in front of me (liek a balancing stick almost). If I wanted to turn right I lowered my left hand which increased the weight on my left foot and I turned right. That more than anything else (leaning on the leg, pushing the knee in) seemed to help me get the body position for the turn correct.

I just love the new skis that have the "sidecut" (they look like long hourglasses). Just by weighting the ski it turns. Cool.

One thing about downhill that I really didn't care for it how difficult it is to get up after you've fallen. I found that I really wanted the heel of my uphill ski to float as it would make getting up so much easier. I know this from my Alaska mountaineering class where I spent a while just deliverately falling in the snow and getting back up and falling again.

This makes me really want to get Randonee skis, but I think I'll rent them. Marmot I believes gives you credit towards a purchase when you rent. Renting off the mountain would speed things up too as the line for rentals was pretty long.

Snowboarding looks like a kick. From what I've been reading it's is initally hard, but after a couple of days things get easier and you can become fairly proficient in 1/2 a season whereas skiing takes several seasons. However I'm going to concentrate on skiing as in mountaineering it's a form of transportation. Snowboarding, fun as it is, is not.

I love Sugarbowl. It's a very non-intimidating environment similar to Northstar but closer.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Treadmill Run (Sunday Jan 14, 2007)

It was so cold in the house that we went to the gym to warm up.

1 mile 4.0 mph 15 minutes
0.5 miles 4.0 mph (the rest at 4.0 mph too)
0.16 mile (ok i was tired)
0.35 mile

2.1 miles total

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Thu Jan 11
Treadmill run
2 miles total. 1 mile then pause and then the next one had a couple of pauses, but certainly much better than before. 4.0 mph (30 minutes with about 3 of walking cooldown).
For fun I watchd Deal or No Deal which is a great way to keep running from all the hyper excitement that the show generates.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Last night on a whim I made scones as a test case for book club on Tues. Wow those are decadent and yummy. I need to figure out how to make time to make them before the meeting. Ii think I can make them ahead Monday before we leave for BiFriendly and wrap them in plastic and bake them at Donna's who's hosting. The recipe makes 8, but I think I can just cut them differently to make more as doubling it would make a lot of scones.

Fri Jan 5
Trying to get back to the gym after being sick and doing dog "Trek."

Ran .8 mile with pauses at .5 and one or two after that
Then set the incline to 10 and walked almost another mile
(total 1.7 miles, time 30 minutes)