From: telenaut <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, March 2, 2013 11:46 PM
Subject: [SKIVT-L] Season recap, 1st half
Season recap, 1st halfMRG 3/1/13- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.
TEO and PatrickH decided Paradise should be the third run of my season.
Nope. The woods were manky, semi-frozen, and quickly I was in throw-self-down-the-hill-and-hope-the-turn-works mode, trying to keep up, which, of course, never does. “Save yourselves. Go on without me,” I called out mid-run, and never saw the two again.
Instead, I switched to MRG’s groomed—from green circles to bumped Cat Bowl—and found bliss.
It was velvet glued to stone. The surface was hard, but totally, infallibly edgeable. On the steeper bumps, there was a clear path, always. On the easier trails, the unique feeling of being able to to make my turns wherever I wanted, not where the snow dictated. It was intoxicating.
A quick break in the lodge revealed proud papa Wes, still babbling, weeks afater the fact, about son William’s formidable racing success. You da dad, Wes. Yes, you are.
You also the master of the sublime ski run. Wes piloted three consecutive top-to-bottom cruisers, one off the double, two single-to-Birdland that were, how can I say this? I know. Sublime.
The groomed at MRG Friday was as nice as you could ask for. Turns were obedient. Almost obsequious.
Where to go on a snow-forecasted Saturday? A tipster mentioned Middlebury—where I’d never been—and it was a great call. Totally uncrowded.
Arrived there from the forested east, on 125, from where suddenly on my left appeared, in the middle of seeming nowhere, a running lift, in the middle of seeming nowhere. Cool. That, I knew, was where I wanted to be. It was miles more to the Middlebury car entrance, from which I headed directly skier’s right, back to the aforeseen woodland lift.
Spent the majority of the day there, alternating runs between Bailey Falls/Liftline and its boundary-side neighbor Youngman. Most lift rides were ski-on. Many runs I saw not one other person, no one, top-to-bottom.
I really liked the Middlebury vibe. Casual, open and, as mentioned, totally uncrowded. Yes, a bit lacking in the hairball category, or so it seemed to a first-time visitor, but there was plenty that was legitimately steep. More siginificantly, the trails had a hypnotic ebb and flow, cruising, dipping, rolling, dropping. And, at least on the Bailey’s Falls side, a gorgeous naturalness. No snowmaking. No snowmaking pipes. Precious little fencing. It felt like skiing in the middle of the woods. (With trails. With a chairlift. But still...)
The groomers—and that’s all that I sampled—had nearly the same infallibility as MRG’s yesterday. Not quite. Found some iciness on the more traveled sections. But close.
Yoga and skiing.
Yes, I’ve mentioned this before (pause). andImgonnakeepmentioningittilIgetaresponsedammit. (joke, sorta.) But how bout a show of hands? Are there other yoga skiers out there? The body awareness that a beginning yoga student experiences is a tremendous ski aid. Two examples: 1) You’re struggling a bit. You give yourself one of the familiar ski instructions you keep a mental inventory of (in this case, mainly “keep your lead knee out in front of your lead ankle”). And the weird thing is, you feel yourself executing that instruction not from the outside, head looking down to knee, ankle, but from the inside, knee, ankle sending awareness up to brain. 2) A break. You’re just standing there, waiting. Ski-tired. Take a body inventory. Align the spine up from feet, legs, hips, spine. Straighten. A relief comes over the aching joints. And a hip awareness emerges. Straighten. Soothe. Straighten. Soothe. Again, any yoga skiers out there? Help me here. Never been so aware of my hips as in the last two days’ turns.
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