Hopefully a little snow will go a long way
With hope that yesterday’s weather is going to be enough to get the snowsport season going, we will try out the new knee at Mt. Rose today under the careful scrutiny of last year’s Best Instructor in the West, Rusty Crook.
Checking with him earlier this week he was encouraging; he had both knees replaced a couple of years ago and today skis almost as beautifully as before the operations.
Rusty said this about Friday’s lesson (I’ve been clinicing with him for the last several seasons): “Don’t expect too much, you’ll not be up where you left off before surgery. We’ll take it easy; I’ve been where you are.”
Doc Edmonds, my surgeon, said much the same and so did Dr. Davis at the VA in Reno. So I’ll wax and tune my skis Thursday and head up the hill this morning. The only lift running is tbe beginner Ponderosa, so I can’t feel I’ll be in over my head. Let us hope.
RESORTS TRICKLING IN
Mammoth, Boreal, Mt. Rose are open, more or less. Northstar is due this weekend and Heavenly is talking about something up at the top of the Gondola, but nothing firm yet. Last year the openings were late, and it if hadn’t been for that dump in January the season might have been a washout. This snowless autumn may be a harbinger of things to come with the climate warming up as it has. European resorts, most of which start at lower levels in the Alps, are rushing to add snow-making capability, something they eschewed as an American trick for years. Many are at the same altitudes as Carson City, so snowmaking is going to be a must there. And resorts like Heavenly, with the biggest snowmaking system in the west, are prepared for the worst.
No breakthroughs this season as the new skis are colorful but not much more advanced than last season’s, despite what the ski magazines say in their testing issues. Rarely do those magazines knock a ski or a boot; after all, ski gear makers are their prime advertisers. And it’s now part of the industrial pattern; nobody makes quantity skis in the USA anymore. Some manufacture in China, more in Europe, although Europe is getting pricey for makers. Many old European ski makers have folded; watch for China to start marketing its own brand of skis any day. They’re building ski resorts there, after all.
No development like the shaped ski revolution is on the horizon, and besides, who needs it? Skiing now is just about as easy as snowboarding and the current gear prevents most of the old knee injuries. Broken legs are now rare, and if skiers just remember to keep their hands forward and most weight on the downhill ski, they can avoid the dreaded ACL injury. That’s not the case with professional ski racers who crank up their bindings to the no-release level and often pay the price with an ACL.
NORTHSTAR AND THE GREEN
On the positive side, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort works to to help preserve and protect the environment. Northstar was the first California ski area to partner with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to offer guests an opportunity to purchase mini-green tags to help offset their carbon footprint with renewable energy. New programs including a comprehensive Habitat Management Plan for the entire 8,000 acres of resort property, LEED certified development, and a continued effort to encourage guests to use resort provided or mass transportation to get to and around the resort. The Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort Habitat Management Plan establishes a large Conservation Area at the resort that is managed to maintain and enhance wildlife habitat, open space and low intensity, non-mechanized recreational use.
During the 2007-08 winter season, the resort provided complimentary transportation to more than 832,156 passengers, including employees and resort guests.
New this season, Northstar Resort has introduced an online Rideshare program designed to help guests and employees coordinate a carpool to the resort. Whether someone needs or can provide a ride, the program is designed to connect people who can travel to the resort together. Those interested in using this program can do so online at rideshare.northstarattahoe.com.
CUT A TREE, TAKE A HIKE
If you’re planning to cut your own Christmas tree this season, consider the Forest Service site at Spooner Summit, enterting at the snowmobile parking lot across from the Tahoe Rim Trail parking lot. The road in the back of the area continues to the left and about a half-mile down the dirt road things open up and there are hundreds of white fir trees for the taking. And at the same time there are trails leading uphill from the road that offer nice hiking, some of it bushwhacking but not too messy. If you go on the weekends you’ll be in line with other tree-cutting families, and if you wait until the snow blocks the road and the Forest Service cuts it off, you’ll have to snowshoe in, but that’s part of the fun.
WARREN MILLER MOVIE
The Old Man of the Movies is back as usual with another snowsport film, and the Carson High ski program is sponsoring a showing of “Children of Winter” at the Carson Commuinity Center at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1. Tickets are $10 at the Sporting Rage on South Carson Street and $12 at the door.