March 10, 2012

2012 Snowboarding Trip


Hahahaha, okay.  That was a bit much.  But seriously, I was so excited to actually be able to make it down a hill without going flying and knocking all the air out of me and then crying in the snow for 20 minutes.  (seriously, my first experience was pretty horrible)  Am I good?  God no.  I still pretty much suck.  But I've definitely graduated from "couldn't possibly be any worse" to "well, she has the basics down."

The first day we were at Park City, and I never even left the First Time hill.  You'll probably have trouble finding it on that map I linked, because it's TINY.  I didn't realize how much of a wuss I was being until I saw that map at the end of the day.  But I was really happy to figure out how to ride my heel edge and "snowflake" down the hill without falling.  Also, I was with Samantha all afternoon, and we had dinner with all our Santa Barbara people, which was amazing.

So on Monday, Day 2, I made it my goal to make it down at least one "real" run.  This time we were at Solitude, which is a bit harder of a place since it has mostly harder runs and even the green ones are fairly steep.  I also really wanted to figure out how to ride my toe edge, which was still giving me a lot of trouble and causing me to wipe out.  You can't really do much with just your heel edge.  Some would argue it's not snowboarding at all.  DS and I spent a couple of runs on Easy Street attempting to get my courage up, and then we tried Little Dollie.  Man.  That thing was crazy steep.  I was terrified.  But I made it down!  On my heel edge!  Slowly!

DS left me for a while to do "fun" runs, and I hung out with the other newbie, Jaime's boyfriend Jonathan for a bit back on Easy Street.  Then there was lunch, which was insane, as any gathering of the SC crowd tends to be.  And then I was back on Easy Street working hard on my toe edge.  Which is when I took a bad fall, flew threw the air, and landed really hard on my lower back and slamming my head into the ground.  Good thing I had my new helmet on.  After that debacle, it was time for hot cocoa and some chill time with Sam while we waited for the rest of the gang to finish their blues and blacks.  That night we had dinner at the Red Iguana, which is probably the best Mexican food place I've ever been to.

Tuesday, Day 3, we decided to lay low and rock climb with Nell and Brian at Momentum.  That gym was so much easier than the one we go to here in Philly.  I on-sighted a 5.10b, and felt much better knowing that I'm truly better than a 5.6 climber.  It was a pretty cool gym.  They set so that each route uses a uniform color for the holds instead of marking the holds with tape.  They also had crack routes, which was awesome.  I'd never seen that before in a gym.

Wednesday, Day 4, we went back to Park City with the SB folk.  This was where DS realized that the reason I could ride my toe edge was because my bindings were entirely too loose.  Whoops.  Once he showed me how tight they needed to be, I picked it up in no time.  Hooray!  And then we rode to the top of the Crescent lift.  I could feel the temperature dropping as we went up, and I thought it would go on forever.  It was also a really tall lift, and I was a bit terrified of the height.  My goal was to ride all of the Home Run route, so we went down Claim Jumper to the Silverlode lift.  Now we were at the top!  DS left to ride some blacks, and I took some time to think about what I was doing.  Home Run is 3.5 miles long, and we were really high up.  Nearly 10,000 ft up, if their map is accurate.

The Park City map, via  For a larger version, click the Park City link above.

It took me something like an hour and a half to get down, but I did it.  I did it riding both edges, and only falling a couple of times.  Those were minor falls too.  Though I did stop several times to rest, because my legs just weren't used to this type of exercise.  Juliana caught up with me at some point, and we went down part of the way together.  But she's better than me, and left me for some blues.

In the end, this was an excellent trip.  It took a good week or two for me to be able to sit on the floor without being careful of the tender spot from Monday's fall, but that was the only real problem.  I learned to snowboard!  I had really excellent food.  We played multiple rounds of Zombie Fluxx!  I got to see people we almost never see anymore that I love dearly.  I climbed a 5.10b!  Also, the mountains around Salt Lake City are just awesome.  These photos don't do them justice.

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