And no real disaster content either. No search parties, no frostbite, no
broken bones or torn ACLs, so all you happy little virtual ambulance chasers
can hit delete right now.

Just a truly bad day trying to get in some of this fluffy NYC Metro area

Rushed home after a half day to gather equipment and head off to ski. The
bike's been having trouble lately. Snow and snow-carried-gunk--fart-blown or
otherwise (and BTW, I do think Skip gets the credit for that one)--does a
number on the rear derailler and as I headed for my garage, the gear just
gave. Ok, hoof it, no big prob. Comparable to a bad parking spot at K. But
it was an omen.

Travel across the GWBridge and through the wooded (or at least neoned)
highways and byways of suburban New Jersey. Get backed up 10 minutes behind
a two-police car accident cleanup where some joker couldn't handle the trace
of schnee, and arrive at my destination. Skip the paid parking, and arrive
at my secret, pass-holders only lot. Temps not nearly as cold as I expected.
Figured on 5, it was a balmy 17.

But I can't get my step-in VP-IIs to click. Spend 8 minutes or so
struggling, finally get it, head up the achingly slow lift (where the wind
turns brutal), and start off down the frozen solid boulevards. (Hey, where's
alla yesterday's snow?)

Practice a little monomark exercise the NE Telemark festival guys taught at
Jay last  week. Get the feeling of that super-neutral binding and--hey,
waitaminute--that binding's not neutral. It's off.

10 minutes of trying to step in just right and I'm convinced. Not gonna
happen. Ski down with binding in Hope mode. Parallels seem to work better
than teles, but damn if I'm gonna snowplow all the way down.

Should have.

Passed one flailing super newbie tele attempter (I don't think he even knew
what tele's are. I think someone gave him some skis they had lying around.
They were ypparc, with old 3-pin bindings) and really wanted to stop and
help him a bit. But with one functional ski, I didn't think I could do much
besides say, "hey, great, keep it up."

Then I exploded just below him when my ski came off on the closest thing to
a steep pitch there was at MC. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is
to lose it at MC?

At the lift, they had no tools. Went back to the car, found and played with
a hex wrench for 10 minutes, but it still wasn't getting better, so I
switched skis.

Back up. Rode the achingly slow lift and got in a fantastic 2 minute run.
Man, was it great. Super. Amazing. Deep pow (no, wait, that was somewhere
else). But it was great.

Sit back for third ride up achingly slow lift. I feel something wet down the
back of my pants. Gee, could I have gotten snow down 'em? I didn't think
there was any loose snow. But it's getting wetter back there.

Then in a horrific flash... CAMELBACK!!

Pipe had unhooked from reservoir and 50 oz. of watered down Welch's
Pineapple Grapefruit juice was irrigating my backside.

Managed to remove not one but two jackets while on the lift (plenty of time,
achingly slow, remember) to get at and remove the leakster, then put em both
back on without losing any loose items (that was the high point of the day).

Skied another two-minute run. Not so super this time because I felt and
smelled like squished tangerine. But allah be praised for fleece, I was only
uncomfortable, not freezing. Made it back to the car, stripped down and
changed in the super secret lot, and drove home, no longer dead certain that
the worst half-day of skiing is better than the best half-day of work.


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