Marking birthday No. 80 on slopes
BY SAM BAUMAN
What do you do when it's a significant birthday and you have the day off from the newspaper? Like any sane skier, you hit the slopes. And that's what I did last Saturday, marking No. 80 off the calendar. Dug out the blue jeans, a denim jacket (courtesy of the Jumps and Bumps event of the past) and caught the Stagecoach Express at Heavenly at 9 a.m.
Snow was fine, just a few patches of ice here and there, and the crowds not yet overwhelming. The Rossignol Zenth 5's were waxed (I try to do that every weekend) and they made up for some of the slack brought about by the passing years. Over to Comet chair, a fast run down and to the Dipper lift. First down Orion and off to Jacks pitch, over to Dipper again and a carve down Big Dipper, going faster than I should have but delighting in the speed.
Then Dipper chair again but a cut halfway down Big Dipper to the Galaxy cutoff. This is a no-problem, easy blue track, but it's largely unpopulated and there's always some corduroy along the way. Paid for it of course with the 17-minute Galaxy two-seater chair. Worked my way over to the Olympic quad to relive the old days when the ski school staff would start at the top of Olympic and ski down in line to the Boulder Lodge for the day's first lessons.
Well, Olympic was not busy so after doing the downhill I peeled off for Cloud 9, the new run at the top. It has one tricky point where you have to run a slot and then make a quick turn away from the trees. Then back to the new Pines run, which is also a blue, and once upon a time wasn't named but was run all the time through the trees for powder.
By that time it was noon, and time to hang it up for the day. Sunday was ahead. But why bother you with all this detail of one man's skiing (and boarding if I ever get it down)? Just wanted to assure all of the fellow seniors, that there is life after 65 and that it just gets better. You lose the bumps and the double blacks, but the runs are still there for you.
DIAMOND PEAK JIBLET
Freestyle skiers and snowboarders can participate in Sunday's one-of-a-kind event, the Diamond Peak Jiblet. The Jiblet will take place on a special feature in front of the base lodge deck. The event is open to skiers and snowboarders of intermediate/advanced abilities and the divisions are:
Skiers (men/women), 11 and under; 12-16; and Open
Snowboarders (men/women), 11 and under; 12-16 and Open
The special feature will be a jam-style format with a winner-take-all cash prize for each of the Open divisions. Entry is $10 and all of the registration money goes into a winner-take-all pot. Registration will be held on the base lodge deck from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Prizes include a pair of women's Hart skis, gift certificates to shops around town, Diamond Peak swag and more. Contact Kayla Anderson at 775-832-1120.
The Peak also hosts an Uphill Race Saturday. Participants snowshoe or cross country ski up an easy or intermediate run to the mid-mountain lodge, then ski or snowboard down. The race starts at 8 a.m. Prizes will be provided for best time (male and female) plus a raffle for everyone participating. The cost is $10 which includes a T-shirt.
Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort has extended the closing date through April, weather and conditions permitting. Deals include $35 lift tickets starting April 14 through the end of the season, and a $15 ticket that can be pre-purchased online valid on Tax Day April 15.
Those who purchase their 2008-09 Double Whammy season pass can ski free the remainder of the this season. See www.DoubleWhammyPass.com.
Boreal's 1st annual Rib & Jib is Saturday, and Sunday, March 30. In support of Boarding 4 Breast Cancer, the resort will host a weekend of activities, including rib cook-off, cardboard box derby, two rail jams and a snow sculpting competition.
SUGAR BOWL CLINIC
The Jeep Terrain Park Challenge announced that Sugar Bowl Ski Resort has been selected to host a safety clinic and competition Sunday. Terrain parks, one of the nation's newest and fastest growing trends, push skiing and snowboarding to the extreme. With the increasing number of terrain park riders, comes a risk of injury to beginner and expert riders alike.
The Terrain Park Challenge will bring together skiers and snowboarders to Sugar Bowl and train riders how to avoid injury when seeking big air or attempting extreme stunts. Together with the Rossignol Demo Team, the Challenge guides riders through the National Ski Area Association's world-class Smart Style program, emphasizing awareness of surroundings, knowing one's limits, and respecting other riders.
After the safety clinic, skiers and snowboarders will have the opportunity to take center stage in a competition for prizes. Participants will receive DVDs, magazines, T-shirts and hats, as well as giveaways from Challenge sponsors.