The Purge of the Snow Hoarding Sky - the Squaw/Alpine Story

the samoan PC - el squat (Squaw)

the samoan PC - el squat (Squaw)

"You're so weird - stop it," el squat scoffed at the samoan. "I'm not crying - I'm yawning," the samoan squeaked defensively. They were at the top of Olympic Lady, gawking at the famous KT-22 with Squaw Peak looming behind. In the other direction, Alpine Meadows gleamed with Lake Tahoe shinning in the back. The samoan was definitely being weird, and definitely crying. She had dreamed of Squaw for so long - her happiness converted into tears - she couldn't help it. 

can't see the tears

can't see the tears

Now - sorry if you already read about the sky in our Boreal story, but it needs to be told again. The sky over Tahoe started 2017 with quite the resolution. For years, the snow in the garage had been piling up, and then the closets became full. Ceiling high piles of powder were crammed everywhere in the house. The sky had a problem, a snow hoarding problem. It was time to stop, and turn over a new leaf. With this resolution, the snowpocalypse season for Tahoe began. The sky dumped out massive amounts of snow. The purge felt so good, it became all the sky wanted to do.  The last Tahoe story we wrote began on Friday with the sky power-washing its garage. This power-washing led to it being a little gnar-gnar-escobar out on the hill.

who's that lady? Olympic lady.

who's that lady? Olympic lady.

The sky used the power-washer like a savage, flooding the basement in the process. So on Saturday, it brought out the big fans to try and save the carpet. This put all the lifts at Squaw on wind hold. The sky didn't know that it was the jerk-of-the-year for doing this, and that no one even has carpet anymore. We can't be mad at the sky - it's just bad at it. Alas, Saturday was a wash, so the trio visited the lake. Which was cool - if you like that sort of thing. 

el squat again and again

el squat again and again

With all this known, it was almost understandable that the samoan was crying with joy on Sunday at 9:15 AM - finally being on the hill she had fantasized about for thousands of years. It was a beautiful thing. Many lifts were still closed due to the idiot wind and the carpet, but they had Snow King, KT-22, and fresh pow. The gang went full on certifiable. At the end of the day, staff was waiting with straightjackets and meds. Nom nom. 

That night, the idiot sky left the washer on while it went dancing and met "someone". On a whim, the sky decided to go wine tasting in southern California with this new flame for five days. Meanwhile the washing machine began to nonstop overflow - it was practically a flood in the house. Noah's arc. 

Needless to say - the group had to leave if they wanted to do the snowboarding and the skiing. They went to Mammoth (but that's another story for another day). Somehow el squat was lost, and the giant and the samoan returned on Saturday morning to Tahoe sans squat.

Alpine shot from Squaw PC squat

Alpine shot from Squaw PC squat

Alpine - You're so Fine

A replenished Alpine Meadows greeted the duo on a fine sunny Saturday.  They took a race car bed lap, and then a friendo told them that Sherwood would be open by the time they got to the top of Hot Wheels. Say what! Sherwood hadn't been open in a week, and despite the sky's shenanigans - it had been purging snow. They rushed to South Face. Well, the giant had to break trail postholing up to his knees in places (sorry bout it), but it all equaled sweet puffy happy clouds. This heaven was lapped - cat tongue - powder hairball.

The Summit and Bowl chair weren't open, but the samoan had her pockets stuffed with candy - perfect for a Lakeview feast. The rest of the day was spent off the Scott chair devouring freshies, and trying not to end up in the parking lot. 

Squaw Seesaw

The sky returned home with a bunch of heat lamps. The southern Cali trip had inspired the green thumb in the sky. The whole house had to be dried out because of the washing machine leak - so the sky thought, "When in Rome." and turned all the heat lamps on full blast. This gave them a jamming beach party down below at Squaw. Hoodie weather, with all the zones except Silverado cranking.  The goodness off the Headwall and Siberia had just been waiting - at the doctors office like I'm not taking my pants off. So the duo went to Squaw Peak presenting hospital robes - opening in the back. And it was good. Woof woof woof.

Squaw Peak PC el squat

Squaw Peak PC el squat

They also got to poke around Solitude and don't call me Shirley. Checking all levels. Yes - it was a day for the books, as they say. Central books.

The giant, el squat, and the samoan barely got to scratch the surface of these two resort king of kings - but they will be back after a good old fashion sky drugging. Thank you for having us Squaw/Alpine! 

FUN FACTS

The sky got rid of 600" this season. Go sky! The snow was dumped on Squaw/Alpine and everyone's driveways. 

Truckee and Tahoe City residents now have Edward-shovel-hands (its kind of like Edward-40-hands, but shovels are duct taped to your arms instead of 40s). Helpful for eating cereal. 

The Audi FIS Ski World Cup festivities started today. The Women's Giant Slalom and Slalom is bringing all the stars.  This is the return of the World Cup at Squaw after 19 years of not having it at Squaw. It's going to be a party on the hill - so why drive. Take the free shuttle from the airport at Truckee or the Tahoe City Transportation Center.

Squaw hosted the 1960 Olympics. Also in 1960, JFK became president (of America), Dominos was founded, and the chairman of Coors got kidnapped and murdered for $500,000.

There is an Olympic Museum at High Camp after you take that epic tram ride. To further your education Squaw also has a pool and hot tub at High Camp (8,200'). 

Squaw is Jeremy Jones' hill. We also know his address, but....... don't worry Jeremy - we're still loving you from afar!

Sob. It was an amazing adventure, and we will dream of you until we return Squaw/Alpine. 

Mow Mow Mow at Boreal

boreal elevated locals

The sky over Tahoe started 2017 with quite the resolution. For years, the snow in the garage had been piling up, and then the closets became full. Ceiling high piles of powder were crammed everywhere in the house. The sky had a problem, a snow hoarding problem. It was time to stop and turn over a new leaf. With this resolution, the snowpocalypse season for Tahoe began. The sky dumped out massive amounts of snow. The purge felt so good, it became all the sky wanted to do. 

Fast forward to the beginning of February. Zoom in and see the ginormous snow walls of the Boreal parking lot. The buildings were just barely peaking out. This season the sky had discarded over 400 inches on Boreal. 

boreal elevated locals

At this point the sky had really made some progress on it’s garage. It was time for a power washing - which led to it being a little gnar-gnar-escobar out on the hill. It was wet and blowing (insert mom joke). Which led to only three lifts being able open.  There was hope - when el squat and the samoan picked up the passes from the depths of marketing, they were told that the Cedar land had just been opened. They went to there. 

boreal elevated locals

And were like - um, how come this is all untracky? Then they were like mow mow mow - hike out. Mow mow mow mow - hike out. They they ate some gummy cherries. Repeat mow mow mow - hike out. Dopeness - bo real

Fun Facts

Boreal is usually the first resort to open in the Tahoe area every year. 

Boreal came out as a resort in 1964. That year in American: Racial segregation was abolished with the Civil Rights Act. The Beatles came to America. The government said - um smoking all those cigs might be bad.  Ford made the Mustang. Cassius Clay became the heavy weight champion of the world, and then became Muhammad Ali. Shea Stadium opened, and three New Jersey heads opened the 1st Blimpie. 

Ride the Magic is the official video game of Boreal. The mountain gives you discounted lift tickets when you play. 

It's $15 - $25 to ride on Fridays.

There are seven parks and the Mini Wave Park is coming soon. 

The hours of Boreal are 9 AM - 9 PM.

Woodward Tahoe also lives here. The indoor training park goodness. There are tramps, ramps, a skatepark, mini ramp, and foam pits galore.

photos taken by el squat pictured here doing it again and again

photos taken by el squat pictured here doing it again and again

Consensus - radaroni - but we must come back for the playing in the park. Thanks for having us Boreal!

LEGEND OF THE CORN - ARAPAHOE BASIN

el squat schooling it down Schauffler

el squat schooling it down Schauffler

The day was already beginning to sizzle as they hitched a ride to Arapahoe Basin, a tropical day was in order. Hula. el squat and the samoan were all fired up for The Legend. the samoan had ridden A-basin before, and had been going on and on about it for years. It was a place of no pretense, a place that let its terrain do the talking. You could feel the spirits of the greats that had skied there for 70 years. This resort was the real deal, and finally squat would ski for herself.

looking down on the Lenawee Lift

looking down on the Lenawee Lift

It was a harvest day, and the corn was already popping by 10:30. The sun had been heating up the Zuma Cornice, and every line was straight from the creamery. They couldn't get enough - again and again. They were making tortillas, they were making tamales, and they were making that sweet buttery cornbread. Floss and repeat. 

After a couple of hours the samaon had a nice scarecrow moment, flopping down the hill - stuffing coming out everywhere. Ribs were a little crunched, but her lack of brain kept her going. They raced around, alternating front and back laps - trying to shuck as much hot pow as possible. 

After Montezuma Bowl closed, the two dipped into the East Wall for a little taste (without hiking) and spread butter on the groomed muffins with the enabler. It was a cholesterol party. 

They only had one day, but it was a perfect A-bae. Lou Reed. It was cornerific excellency. The Legend once again delivered.

FUN FACTS:

  • Arapahoe Basin has the longest season in CO. They are usually open until July - so duh, go there now! Imagine the corn fields.....
  • A-basin had the first poma lift in North America in 1950.
  • The Arapaho Indians were known as People Of The Sky or Cloud People by their friendos - the Cheyenne Indians. Which is fitting for Arapahoe Basin; half of the mountain is above timberline - in the sky and clouds indeed. 
  • Montezuma was the last Aztec ruler, it is said that he got crazy greedy, and forgot that people (instead of riches) mattered. We can relate with our corn craze. 
  • There are 15 special parking spots you can reserve that border the three lower chairlifts. They come with a picnic bench and are the envy of the land. 
  • A-bae's nickname is The Legend - hope you figured that out by now.
legend of the corn - abae elevated locals

Thanks for having us A-bae! We will dream of you until we meet again.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH - BRECK, KEYSTONE, & VAIL

el squat - Breck

el squat - Breck

"So, i was gonna stop at Breck on my way to Cali. Wanna meet me there?"  

the samoan looked up at the enabler from working for that snow and was like "uh...... yeah." "Don't you wanna know when?" "Nah- i'll be there."

And it was written.   

Whale Tail - photo el squat

Whale Tail - photo el squat

Breckenridge is high. In fact, the highest chair lift in North America resides on Peak 8. It's stops at  12,840 ft, and you still hike to get to the summit (12,998 ft). Breck's terrain spans over five peaks (2,901 acres) with a vert of 3,398 ft. Yeah, baby. Whatever you want to do here - you can find. Hike to steeps, pack out those bowls, trees for days, corduroy rollers, four terrain parks, there are even places where you go sit down (weird). Breckenridge - also dubbed as Breck yo Neck (not really - just wanted to do a Wu-Tang thing) opened in 1961 and lift tickets were $4. They started out with Peak 8 and have been adding peaks since. One could say Breck woke up this way, but took a long time to get dressed. 

el squat also joins the enabler and the samoan in this story. The last time the samoan and squat were in town they were visiting blankat who was the steezy 5 Chair operator. It was 2012, Gangnam Style was ruining everyone's life, and Peak 6 had yet to be added. So of course, you know what they hit first. The hike up Peak 6 had the samoan like the big bad wolf (huffing and puffing) but that view - blew the house down. Oh, did we mention the sky gave us 7" the night before? Wile out. Here's a play by play. 

with this as the result.

The rest of the day was spent blitzing old favorites. Bowls to trees - repeat - fogging up Windows again and again, no defrost. 

Bake sale was a success. Result of day one: cashed out. 

 

DAY TWO - KEYSTONE

Rocky Mountain High - Elevated Locals

 The next day, around 3:00 PM on the 24th of February in the year 2016 the samoan found herself slightly stuck and being harassed by a six-year-old. She had followed el squat into a magical snow castle that quickly turned into a land of terrors. She was full of delight and laughter in the beginning, who didn't dream of snow castles? Then came the slides. The signs instructed one to go down all of the slides head first, but they were only about four feet long and the samoan was 5'8. Her back didn't bend in the opposite way the tunnels wanted it to, and did we mention that she's Samoan? "You clogged the hole." the six-year-old stated. "They're probably going to cut you out like that fat lady on TV." Horrified that she would actually become her destiny - a woman being lifted with a crane from a building - the samoan closed her eyes and reminisced to better times.

the castle edit 500.jpg elevated locals

That morning:

The beautiful beach day laps with the enabler and squat on Dercum Mountain.

the enabler

the enabler

Then the hike from the top of The Outback to Puma Bowl.

el squat bogarting freshie Puma tracks.

Rocky Mountain High elevated locals

Sweet preserved lines in the Timberwolf and Badger Trees.

Just as the tears started to come, the samoan opened her eyes to sunshine. el squat and the castle watchman had pulled her out. She was free! Everything was beautiful. Even after committing the ultimate party foul (drunk adult in the bounce house) and being heckled by children - the day was still the best. All three mountains had been explored. Serious vert had been had.

Another score on the charts. 

DAY THREE - VAIL

el squat doing the Lovers Leap

el squat doing the Lovers Leap

Although Vail had been toured before by those in our story it still had the same effect. It broke their brains. Pictures were hardly taken. Words were not spoken. Stopping was not even an option, and drinks were most certainly not had. Who could do these things when there was the whole backside to be tanned? Bowl burner after bowl burner. The lifts provided the only salvation for their legs. It was all day backy - who even knows what's on the front side? For squat and the samoan it's all about the junk in the trunk. Vail is large and in charge. It's the largest resort in ColoRado and it knocked everyone out. They basically had to crawl to the car. 

DAY 4 - ABASIN

(stay tuned for story)

DAY 5 - BRECK

gypsy on the Whales Tail

gypsy on the Whales Tail

gypsy showed up finally, and they all agreed that work was really cramping her style. squat and samoan were faded from their daily mountain grind, but snowboarding (and skiing) is second to none so they made sure that everyone they saw knew how they felt. This was done like this: two would make a hashtag with their arms and the other would yell blessed (ew - in their minds - they really aren't social creatures).

Anyway, the trip was too short, and as usual there was non stop blubbering and sniveling as they all said their goodbyes to the mountains. They promised to return soon as possible; truly wishing they never had to come down from their Rocky Mountain highs.

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT THESE VAIL RESORTS:

  • Breckenridge was the first ColoRADo resort to invite snowboarders to the party. It was 1984 and lift tickets were $19. 
  • The largest gold nug was found in Breckenridge in 1887 by Tom Groves. It was 13.5 pounds. The nugget then disappeared for 85 years, and when it was finally found it was five pounds short. C'mon man.
  • The Breckenridge Golf Club has 27 holes (instead of 18). They can't get enough of that green. 
  • Definition of a keystone: keystone is a wedge shaped stone at the apex of an arch which locks everything in position and allows the arch to bear weight. Keystone is The Rock (also a Samoan).
  • Keystone is flanked by the Snake River. el squat and the samoan grew up with the Snake as a neighbor. Are they the same person as Keystone?
  • Keystone has excellent night skiing on Dercum Mountain.
  • Keystone also has cat skiing galore. You can do guided tours of Independence, Erikson, or Bergman Bowls. You can also pay $10 for a cat shuttle instead of hiking for the Outback bowls. 
  • Vail was founded by a 10th Mountain Division dude (Pete Seibert). He was injured in Italy during battle, and the doctors said he would never walk again. He did walk, became a pro skier, and then was like- "What's up people- this is Vail".

Thanks so much for having us Vail Resorts! If you need us to come back right away just holla.

WAVY MOON TIMES - MT. BACHELOR

the samoan 

the samoan 

Around 15,000 years ago, an eruption happened in a land that would be named Oregon. This eruption was pretty big deal, just like when Tupac took the stage as a hologram at Coachella. The eruption created a shield volcano that would soon grow up to be Mt. Bachelor. After sitting around doing nothing and lying to the government about looking for work for 200 years, the little shield decided to grow a pair - a stratovolcano was formed out of the next eruption on top of the shield volcano. After that impressive trick, the double-stacked volcano emailed the samoan demanding that she visit and went to sleep.   

looking down from the hike to the top

looking down from the hike to the top

In this tale, we find the volcano incredibly cozy - for the snow gods had blessed it with about 30 feet of snow and it was only the very beginning of February. The samoan and giant were ever so excited to see the volcano in this state, so they flew into Portland in an airplane, stole blankat's car, and drove to Bend. Bend is a super cool host, with a bit of a beer obsession. 

wavy moon times - mt bachelor elevated locals

It was Vertfest on the mountain that Saturday. Vertfest is a backcountry festival with races and snow clinics focused on continuing the stoke and keeping everyone in the know. The festival also brought the SnoPlank dudes with their sublime handcrafted bamboo boards to demo.  The samoan was given the Snoday to play with.

wavy moon times - mt bachelor elevated locals

The hill was touched with a bit of new snow, but the summit wasn't open, so the giant and the samoan headed to the Northwest trees. The snow and weather seemed to change every couple of hundred feet. There was fluffy pow, dust on crust, heavy pow, and stickyicky (down low). The Snoday crushed all of the above (Big Pun) and just floated along. After three and a half hours, it was time to give back the destroyer. It was a sorrowful moment, but someday the board will be added to the quiver. 

wavy moon times - mt bachelor elevated locals

Sunday was indeed that. Beach weather with the southeast slopes going off right away. Long runs were made off the summit to the Sunrise Express. Cornbread. They rode amongst the moon rocks and strange alien trees. The giant had never seen such massive snow waves off the back. It was set after set out there. Hikes to the West Wall were also made resulting in fine cream lines. As the day got stickier, both were embarrassed to admit that they hadn't recently waxed their boards. They were totally snail trailing on the Getback cat tracks. That night, they were giddy from the magmatic day. Boards were tuned, dumplings from Dump City were eaten, and they passed out on the floor.

The next day was another beautiful day in the neighborhood; in fact the next three days were lunartastic. The sun was making that velvet, and they were out there to drape those lines. At this point, they couldn't remember if they liked blower powder days or silky corn sunshine hoodie days best. The samoan had taken to only making robot sounds and laughing (which means she's the happiest). Day after day they stayed on rotation slaying the swells - following the sun 360 degrees around the celestial volcano. 

After the fifth day, a rest day was taken because the samoan is weak. 

wavy moon times - mt bachelor elevated locals

Wind cooled off the summit on the seventh day. Laps around the world were still made, but the two stayed lower playing in the trees and doing embarrassing things in the park. 

Then the somber, dark side of the trip came. The last day. The last waves were ridden under the lava fields, and a storm rolled in covering the summit. As always, tears were had on the drive away from the glorious Mt. Bachelor and they began arranging plans to move to Oregon. 

Three Sisters and Brokentop from the top of the cone

Three Sisters and Brokentop from the top of the cone

Thank you for having us Mt. Bachelor! If you wanna settle down and get married you know where to find us. 

wavy moon times - mt bachelor elevated locals

SOUTH SLOPING SUN VALLEY

the giant again and again

the giant again and again

It started snowing early this season in Sun Valley - like not just in the morning, during the nights too. The samoan arrived on the eighth of December at noon wif time to hit it.

samomo south sloping sun valley

The haze set in as she got on the schedule and caught the fever. The giant finally arrived on the 13th. Lucky.

q south sloping sun valley

There were never not freshies.

high five south sloping sun valley

The sky alternated between snow and sun in the nicest way possible.

lean south sloping sun valley

They rode south slopes that hadn't been ready in years. Unreal- like when you continue to punch yourself in the face because you're too happy. 

Sometimes the samoan let the giant film her doing the same turn over and over. Best fake Christmas ever.

"They say i'm greedy, but i just want more." snoop (duh)

Massive Mammiff Happy Happy Time

the samoan headed to Dave's

Mammoth was a mystery to those in our story. When they thought about California they thought about living in vans, and worshiping the terminator, not mountains! Also, the sky didn't know it was winter and was refusing to snow. Idiot sky. The trip was much debated, but in the end the promise of many fart suits and gargantuan terrain won. Plus, you can drink in the streets!

Saturday 2/28/15

It begins to snow. It snows all day and during the night part too.

Sunday 3/1/15

It snows until the giant and the samoan fly into Mammiff Lakes in the afternoon. Good thing idiot sky got the memo. They check into the Sunstone condos that are located skier's right of the Eagle lift. They do the "we fancy" dance. They take as many taxis as they can. They dress up like cowboys and indians to go to the Outlaw Saloon which, they find out, is not a thing. Also, some people find this offensive. They are forced to eat the delicious pizza and taco thang while being booed.

Monday 3/2/15

The broken giant is wrapped in bubble wrap and foil (because shinny is cool and aliens like it). There was talk of just putting him in a bubble, but apparently BUBBLES are not allowed on the hill- something about not working with the chairlift and outshining the snowboarding Mammoth mascot. That mascot is such a diva.

the giant sans bubble

The giant and samoan play around-the-middle-earff and hit all 16 of the lower lifts. The samoan scouts for the next days and a fever begins to brew inside of her. She has to get emotional because of all of the happiness choking her. Mammiff is way big, like way bigger than the governor of New Jersey. There is soooo much slashing to be done. It is hard to not pass out from the pressure. This has nothing to do with the altitude (top 11,053 ft) because the samoan has been higher. Back-up is sent for, el squato arrives and all is right with the world. Even after the samoan is attacked by a corn chip at The Local Frijole.

Tuesday 3/3/2015

el squat and the samoan are like rabid dogs; foaming at the mouth, biting people, and welding large sticks. Good thing the hill is empty. They are so excited. Massive Mammiff! Also, the clouds are gone, visibility is tits. First, they become obsessed with Dry Creek- nothing like a good poop chute. (Poop Chute = anything that sort of resembles a natural half-pipe.) They lap the ganjola; playing in Dave's and sending your mom letters from Climax. Sweet delicious corn is found in the Santiago Bowl. el squat does not allow the samoan to stop or eat, but she does allow snow to be eaten for substance.  Pow is scored in the trees under chair 12. el squat has to blindfold the samoan on chair 23 so she will stop with the hysteria. Meanwhile, the giant catches a fish and eats it raw.

Wednesday 3/4/2015

el squat starts the day off with a performance of Marky Mark's Good Vibrations then they hit the trees. They are sniffing for the freshies and just like sweet little truffle pigs they find the pow. Smashing stashes around chair 10 and 21 until it gets stickyicky. Then they try to get to Rodger's Ridge from the wrong side and almost fall off a cliff. Ooops. They finally got to there and were rewarded with more untracked! Hooray for monster Mammiff. Lower poop shoot (Lower dry creek) is renamed stump. They return to their favorites- the ganjola and chair 23. They fall in love with the Dropout Chutes and fight each other for them. An irritating LA Gaper gets on the lift with them and asks them if they know any skier jokes. They push him off. Woof.

Thursday 3/5/2015

It's like 10,000 degrees at 9 AM. They hide their shoes and coats on upper poop. They planned on powder pig hunting again, but because they were greedy gusettes, they had pretty much mowed their spots from the day before. So, they decided to try their luck with Chair 12. It got gluey fast, but not before they found a quarter pipe (great for the sloth) in the trees and were scared by the old man of the mountain. Next the samoan takes el squat to her treasure-trove of rocks and tree limbs under chair 14. Handstyles. They are mocked by bench monkeys. Later, a little chute is spied from Climax behind Chair 5 before upper poop chute. They go to get it, hike to the wrong place, and have to bail. el squat lets the samoan stop for pocket pizza. The state competition for ski and snowboard high school racers is going on and tight suits are everywhere. Did you know there is a Weed School? Lucky. By the way- Mammiff is colossal. 

They get kicked out of the beautiful Sunstone condos- some jerk reported them for sleeping in the lobby and eating dinner in the hot tub. They move to town and stay at the Krystal Villa where there is enough bedding and covers for the whole town to come and sleep on the floor. When asked to come stay on the floor, strangers say no, so the group heads to Grumpy's. This Grumpy's was build after Sun Valley's Grumpy's, but for some reason there is no fowl burger!!! They protested by eating like 12 double Grump's burgers. 

Friday 3/6/15

The sisters figure out the hike to the baby chute behind Chair 5- just by using their eyes! It's pure butter goodness and they do it again and again while taking ant footage of each other. Ant footage is so hot right now. The wind was wailing the day before and it whipped powder pockets back on to their favorite line on the Droupout Chutes. Drool faces. The samoan impresses el squat with her full force clothesline and ability to fall off boulders. Neither one can understand why they have to leave this tremendous mountain. Their weeping turns to bawling which turns to blubbering and eventually after a few hours boils down to sniveling.

Even through their misery and tears they are able to drink and eat delectable treats from Mammoth Brewery, as usual el squat breaks the rules, and they get kicked out. Two for Two. So they buy more beer and drink in the parking lot.

Saturday 3/7/15

el squat returns to Idaho. the giant and the samoan get really big beers and do a super heavy hike by the library. New jumpsuits are found at the Second Chance Thrift Store where the proceeds go to benefit people with special needs. The most amazing dinner is had by the giant at The Mogul. the samoan is fed table scraps while she drinks Buzz Balls under the table.

 
 

Sunday 3/8/15

The samoan finds herself at the airport because she has an airplane flight. Her flight to SF has been over booked and everyone loves themselves so much that no one will stand down, but the samoan will. The people of the airport book her a hotel room at Mammoth Mountain Inn, they get her a taxi, give her a flying in the airplane voucher, and break her bag. The samoan returns to Mammiff in time for more snowboarding. 


Mammiff is easily, probably, and totally one of the best places in the universe even though it is run by the Latin Kings which is obvi by their logo.  One can bet on the return of the toft family. Thank you to the giant who is way better than anyone else.

el squat and the Drop Out Chutes

FAKE CHRISTMAS CAROL- SUN VALLEY STYLE

the samoan  (photo- the giant)

This Fake Christmas fable finds an Idaho family hard at work in the beginning of the season, the only season that matters, snow season. The setting is Sun Valley, Idaho which was voted the best place in the world by many kings, queens, and cows. The time is Fake Christmas. 

Before i begin, you must know that Sun Valley made a deal with the devil (allowing many bike trails that would ruin legendary classic ski runs forever) in exchange, they got a ton of early season snow. That's how magic works. 

el squat  (photo- the samoan)

Now this next part of the story has been done again and again- it was probably done best by bill murray. bill murray is the best at everything. But, i digress. In this case, these are true events that you should take to heart. 

For some reason the ghost of skiing past visited the samoan first. Perhaps she dug up some of his grave when she ate it in the new Frenchman glades. The ghost of skiing past rose from the powder and immediately went into a furious rant; he went on and on about bike trails ruining his sacred ground. Redemptions must be made. The samoan agreed, but alas, how could she help? She was a flatlander now, living in Brooklyn. She only spent 30 days at Sun Valley a year. The ghost of skiing past agreed she was worthless and poofed off into the air.

The samoan tucked that experience in the back of her mind for her to remember later and side powder slashing ensued with her dad, the giant, and lil bro. Proper bumps were had by all- Limelight, Holiday, and Rock Garden laps complete with top tacos. They finished with some beer at Averell's, where they cook fancy food on a hot plate. Just like prison. 

That night after much pizza and Grumpy's schooners, the samoan and the giant were watching Sun Valley Serenade. Sun Valley Serenade is the only thing that anyone is allowed to watch while staying at Sun Valley. It's an Idaho law. All of a sudden, they were sucked into the movie. They were black and white! The ghost of skiing past was there! The ghost explained that he was there to haunt them with the past. It was fantastic! They skied on massive planks of wood down Roundhouse slope and Exhibition. Well really, they fell a lot and Gaped about (skis really were just planks of wood) but it was still fantastic. Exi was a dream. "Why would you cut up that run with bike trails?" wailed the ghost of skiing past. The giant and samoan somberly agreed. They woke up the next morning bruised and battered but refreshed from their amazing journey to the black and white past.

exi on the left taken last spring  (the samoan couldn't take pictures of the past- duh)

Then because it was the season of Fake Christmas, a miracle happened. The ski patrol opened the bowls on Tuesday. Just for one day. They said it was a gift to the locals. Really, I heard from a secret source that the head of ski patrol is obsessed with IloveMakonnen and his Tuesday song featuring Drake and insisted on opening the bowls so he could have "the bowls going off on a Tues." Anyway, the bowl monsters were out, gorging it up. lil bro and marky mark did like 10,000 laps while the giant and samoan struggled with their fatness and inability to breathe. Yet, it was the most jubilant of days. What a treat to be back in bowl land with not a groomed run to be had. The experience was spiritual- the top of Easter through the crack in the universe was akin to entering heaven. 

the giant  (photo- the samoan)

During second dinner at  Rickshaw (first dinner being a fowl burger at Grumpy's), the giant and samoan told of their time in the TV. The samoan's dad reminded her of her inability to remember things properly. In other words, they didn't believe.

Wednesday morning brought blankat to join in on the shredding of the gnar. She believed the giant and samoans' story and told them of this dickens dude who wrote about the same kinda thing. It's time for the ghost of skiing present she told them. "Whoa bra, called that one," said the park rat ghost of steezing present as he dropped in on Christmas Ridge. "Can't show you stuff right now amigos, I'll be back after i hits dat Dollar doe." 

blankat and the giant

el squat arrived that night for the sushi-in-a-small-room-eating-contest.  By now the family could only talk of the ghosts. They knew they were involved in something special. What will the park rat ghost of steezing present bring, they wondered. 

The next morning as they dropped into Central Park the ghost appeared. "Damn gophers" he yelled. Everyone was confused by this, but thought it must be typical park rat slang. Wait! What had happened to Central Park!? It had been trounced. It had been walloped. It had been mauled. The giant was devastated; one of his favorite runs had been hacked up with bike troughs. "Maybe it will be fun, like a mini park," the samoan suggested. "Naw, these trenches are gnarly- and not in a good way" the park rat ghost of steezing present moaned. "Great big globs of greasy grimy gopher guts" (quoting bill murray - of course - Caddyshack). Then the ghost melted away.

That night, there was much discussion about the bike trails. Where they being punished for their sins? Wasn't there somewhere else they could gopher? What this some sort of sick joke? 

the lift to nowhere

On Friday, the day of the fish, the bowls were opened for the season. The swimming ensued. There was more snow, and el squat and the samoan were ever so happy to ride together again. They found and devoured many delicious delicacies & spent run after run doing the funky cold medina. They did all of their favorite, Dogs On Fire even though it wasn't quite ready. Rock riding is an acquired taste. They celebrated their few bottom scrapes. Suddenly, they were inhaled into a snow tornado.

the samoan  (photo- the giant)

The whole family found themselves on top of Baldy. Perhaps it was day, or perhaps it was night, there was a strange hazy glow. A mechanical figure emerged though the glow. His skis seemed to be part of his legs and his poles were attached to his hands. "We ski now" the ghost of skiing future ordered. As the family looked down they realized that their skis and boards were also attached to their legs. Surprisingly, the equipment was moving on its own. The family found themselves doing these crude, unimaginative turns. Everyone was forced to turn in the same way. They made their programed turns down Ridge and onto Rock Garden, but Rock Garden wasn't Rock Garden. It was just one huge trench that they all rode in the exact same way. They headed to Exi and to their horror, they saw the same trenches looming. Gone was the sweet uninterrupted pitch, full of different lines, all for your choosing. They made identical robotic turns within the entrenchments. Tears sprung out of lil bros eyes. Soon everyone was crying, this wasn't skiing. They were stuck on a singular track of horror, like at the fair. As they headed down Old Olympic in the same ruts, the travesty of the mere bike runs was too hard to bear. There was no other choice. They took each others poles and committed harikari.  

Now to those of you weeping while reading this tragedy, remember the bike gashes haven't been  forced on your favorite runs yet. The future can be changed, riding on the snow doesn't have to become mechanical and uninspired. Please contact Sun Valley and plead with them not to add these future bike paths and wreck the majestic, first ski resort of America. 

Written by Preachy McPreacherson

the giant on his Mayday smash

GETTING THAT POWDER FIX- ABASIN AND STEAMBOAT

me cheering for a-basin (photo cred. the giant)

me cheering for a-basin (photo cred. the giant)

We had three days in CO- let's see what we did with it.

The giant and i flew to Denver on Friday night (1/31/14)

We went and drank a bunch with Genna at her bar, Blake Street Tavern where she showed us her plethora of bar game skills. (drinking and yelling)

and then we stayed at this luxury hotel.

IMG_4470.JPG

We were just in time for the SIA trade show in Denver. Somehow, on Saturday we found ourselves at A-Basin instead.

Can't understand how that happened. Ha- check that snow report.

 We got there for half day and immediately headed to Montezuma Bowl via the shoots.

woof

 i love dropping cornices.

montezumabowltrailmap_2013-14.jpg

Only got a couple of bluebird powder hours in the backside and then began our two hour drive to Steamboat Springs for my meeting with our hosts.

 

DREAMBOAT SPRINGS

the giant & the Yampa River Valley

the giant & the Yampa River Valley

i was trying to find out what mountain range Steamboat was in, and then i discovered it is a mountain range. Steamboat is comprised of six peaks with a vert of 3,668 ft. It seems like most of the 2,965 acres are  covered in glades. Mmmmmm trees, how i love you.

me all up in it it off of the chutes of Mt Werner (photo cred. the giant)

me all up in it it off of the chutes of Mt Werner (photo cred. the giant)

  • Steamboat Springs trademarked champagne powder™™ 
  • There are six parks, a super pipe, and a baby pipe (which is so so fun- wish everyone had one)
  • The Sunshine Express uses solar and wind renewable energy. There are only three solar powered chair lifts in the world and Steamboat has one. The Christie Peak Express and Burgess Creek run on renewable wind energy. Steamboat is on point with their sustainability program- here's more info.
  • Night skiing on Christie Peak is new this year until 9 PM Friday- Sunday. 
  • Lift tickets are $119 and it's super hard to find discounted lift tickets here. There aren't any tickets on Liftopia, or in CO grocery stores (like other resorts), but it's way better then spending you money on gambling and strippers. There is a spring deal- $109 to ride any three days in April.
  • T-Bar is the apres spot. If you're going the Right-O-Way, you'll find it. Good beer and banging food.
IMG_3472.JPG

What can i tell you here, uhh, everything is good. Off the Morningside lift is heaven, obsessed with Christmas Tree bowl and all the chutes around it, would ride that Pony Express all day for hidden stashes, became powder monster in the Shadows and Closets, freaked out when we found some waist high goodness off of south peak, and basically was frothing at the mouth for two days. Got sickening tips from some locals too (if it's not on the trail map keep it a secret). Thanks guys, forgot your names cause im a jerk!

T-Bar

T-Bar

will figure out how to get back to Steamboat as soon as possible, until then..... Wishing you champagne powder™™ and caviar dreams.

WHIRLWIND IN THE COWBOY SKI TOWN GEM- STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

IMG_4502.JPG

Steamboat Springs is not your average ski town. Hosting the oldest continuous Winter Carnival west of the Mississippi, Hot Air Balloon Rodeos, a distinguished Wine Festival, and hot springs everywhere you turn, one might even forget about skiing (ha).

IMG_4495.JPG

A short walk from the heart of downtown, the famous ski jump of Howelsen Hill is visible from the rooftop of the Howelsen Place condominiums. This hill is named after the ski jumping and racing legend Carl Howelsen. After returning from a tour with the Ringling Brothers as a ski performer, Carl introduced ski jumping on Howelsen Hill in 1914. His true focus was building a ski community, so he founded the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club hoping to give every American child the thrilling experience of being on snow. The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has produced 79 Olympians, I would say Carl's vision has been actualized.

(from the Ski Town USA exhibit at The Tread of Pioneers Museum)

(from the Ski Town USA exhibit at The Tread of Pioneers Museum)

Carl Howelsen also established the Winter Carnival. The carnival takes place in early February, unfortunately the giant and I had to return to NYC for Fashion Week the day before Winter Carnival began. A total bummer, I've been know to like a good party. During this carnival, there are ski jumping events and one could learn how to ski jump. You know, if you happened to wake up and decide that you just need a little extra oomph in your life. The carnival hosts a variety of contests including: GS races, snowboarding jams, a grom slalom, and horse pulled ski races straight through downtown. The locals really get into it, some of the past images of this event are hilarious. Then the main event- the Night Extravaganza has a lighted man and an insane torchlight parade with fireworks. The whole town comes out for it.
Check it out.

The Giant and I were staying in the Howelsen Place. Our condo was overlooking the Yampa River Promenade, the Yampa River (obviously), and Howelsen Hill. This Promenade will be the new place to host festivals and events in the future. It reminds me of the Highline in NYC; a new way to showcase the beauty of the area. The Yampa River Promenade should be finished next year.

The promenade was a two minute walk from our "Mountain home". I looked and looked and looked and there was no trash to be found. Very different from our NYC rivers.
The Yampa is gorgeous during the winter, I can only imagine what it looks like during the summer.

IMG_4564.jpg

Carl's Tavern (named after you know who) was dangerously located right downstairs from our condo in Howelsen Place. I am now addicted to "the business" (specialty smothered fries- duh). They also have a killer house band- The Sam Holt Band. They jammed the night after the Superbowl, allowing the locals to tear it up and forget all about their beloved Broncos.

carl on the door.jpg

All in all, we definitely recommend staying downtown. Everyone knows that on vacation, nothing beats an all out feeding frenzy. Staying in downtown Steamboat Springs will enable you to have that necessary second and third dinner. Noodles and More Saigon Cafe provided me a fresh and light second dinner after I clogged my arteries with some serious bar food at Old Town Pub. Rootz (also located downstairs from our condo) was an excellent healthy organic breakfast spot with banging smoothies. The giant and I mainly stuck to take-out, a fail proof pig-out technique, because no one knows that all the food you ordered is just for two people. We also fell victim to take-out because our condo was so nice it was hard to leave; not because I was having some serious walking trouble, being a flat lander scoring three days of powder in the land of endless glades.

You might be surprised to learn that there is more in Steamboat Springs than riding and eating. We also went to the Old Town Hotsprings, a three minute drive from our condo. They have a lap pool along with all the hot mineral pools. Old Town is open late (not for New Yorkers) 10 PM. The giant and i walked up to Howelsen Hill, the Howelsen Ice Arena, and gazed longingly at the ice bumper cars (we were too late- of course). Steamboat Springs has a sweet little museum, The Tread of Pioneers Museum  where you can learn the stories that will only deepen your love of "The Ski Town USA".

IMG_4563.JPG

This was a whirl-wind trip. We flew into Denver Friday night, rode some A-Basin pow on our way to Steamboat Springs on Sat., had two creamy Steamboat days, and then flew right back to NYC. There wasn't much time to see all that Steamboat Springs had to offer; just giving us another reason to return to this cowboy ski town gem in the Yampa River Valley.

(view driving out of town)

(view driving out of town)

FAKE CHRISTMAS AT THE BIRD

(me on the lip photo cred. qthegiant)

(me on the lip photo cred. qthegiant)

My old post about my first trip to Jay Peak (VT) has been getting a ton of traffic.
So, i thought i'd do a more "informative" piece about our fake Christmas trip to Snowbird this Dec.

(the giant getting it)

(the giant getting it)

Christmas to me = being on the hill. Sun Valley (ID), to be exact- but this year it was my turn to spend Christmas with the giants family on the east coast. So we decided to have an early fake Christmas out west. Fake Christmas is actually a fantastic idea because there are better snow deals and the Christmas crowds haven't shown up yet.

It's super easy to hop on a plane from NYC and be in SLC. Snowbird (UT) was a no-brainer because my sister teaches and works there, also it's one of the most amazing places in the universe. Snowbird has an early season deal- your 4th night is free. So for $592 the giant and i stayed for four nights and rode four days. My parents got the same deal. That's $74 a person. Other things you can get for $74: a tank full of gas in New York, a half day Mount Snow (VT) lift ticket, a beer at a club in Manhattan.

(pops coming down Regulator Johnson)

(pops coming down Regulator Johnson)

Snowbird is in the Wasatch range in the Little Cottonwood Canyon (UT). The top of the resort is 11,000' and the base is 7,760'. The longest run is Chips which is 2.5 miles. Somehow I always manage to choose this as a "warmup" when i first get to Snowbird- taking care of those leg cramps and my cat-track-quota right away. 

(trail map for drooling purposes)

(trail map for drooling purposes)

BIRD TIPS
    •    Snowbird has 10 lifts and a tram. Like Jackson, there is a prevalent box scene here (agro locals who claim to only take the tram). Find one if you need a vaporizer.
    •    The park is a joke, but talking about a park at Snowbird is a joke. It's all about the natural hits at the bird. Cliffs are everywhere.
    •    The only ski tunnel in North America is a tunnel through the mountain at the top of the Peruvian lift. You have to run through as fast as possible to get to Mineral Basin or you will be trampled by locals.
    •    Wilbere lift goes until 4:30 PM- clutch on those can't-stop-won't-stop days.
    •    And you simply must find the natural banked slalmon that makes me hit trees.

(the giant on the beginning of the banked- already too far out- tree smash coming up)

(the giant on the beginning of the banked- already too far out- tree smash coming up)

FOOD FACTS
    •      Best fancy diner- Wildflower hands down. (mussels are amazing)
    •    El Chanate is good cause my sis works there.
    •    Gritts makes banging breakfast bowls and their sandwiches are the best for pocket food.
    •    Trap bar always has a beer and a shot for $5. Also my sister works there as a troll.
    •    Free water is next to Tram Car Pizza 

(the giant all up in the brush)

(the giant all up in the brush)

We arrived on a bluebird Monday, which was great to review the mountain. Then it snowed from Wed. to Sunday. It dumps in UT. Even when the weather says it's not going to. God says it's like that in heaven too.
We spent a lot of our time in the trees off of Gad II. Most of my favorite runs weren't quite ready yet (snow wise) but that's never really stopped me before. I helped the giant get a giant sized core shot on the Blackjack Traverse. I didn't know the line was going to turn from snow to rock on rock. "Just use that tree as a stopping point"- my excellent advise.
The giant and I were going to spend Fri. and Sat. night with my sister, but i had some terrible hacking disease and the giant asked at the Inn if they would give us the same deal so we could stay on the hill. They did! Thank goodness because walking was becoming a problem.
 Our room had a separate room just for disgusting-retch-smelling boots and there was a laundry room in the basement.
Also waking up to avalanche bombs as an alarm clock is the raddest.

(me in heaven  photo cred. the giant)

(me in heaven  photo cred. the giant)

IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE BIRD
    •    You are not allowed to bring pets to snowbird. Something about the locals being crazy and eating animals raw for sport.
    •    Beer is not real here! Real beer must be bought at a liquor store or at a bar in a bottle.
    •    You need four wheel drive or chains. Really, they won't let you leave in a storm otherwise.
    •    Snowbird has their own emergency room. i think it's required because of Snowbird's high gangsta rating. i know this because i sprained my knee and went to the ER last Dec. Also my dad and bro broke ribs here. Hooray! (not in the ER, on the hill- duh)
    •    Alta is attached to Snowbird like an asshole.

SMOKING HUTS- TREE TIME

One must always have proper etiquette when dealing with trees.
These huts- hidden in the woods in resorts all over the universe- allow snow people to have their tea. Tea time is a very important part of the day.

Snowbird- UT

This hut in Breckenridge- CO is not up to Blankat's standards.

This hut in Targhee- Wy is for members only.
Sorry mom.

(photo el squat)

SNOWSHOES, POWDER, AND POPS- THE POMERELLE ADVENTURE

I didn't make it to Pomerelle last season when the lifts were running. Which is a bummer. I was raised on that hill and I do love it so. I get sucked into the Sun Valley vortex and I can't leave Baldy when I'm in Idaho. So, after Sun Valley closed- my dad and I filled the jeep up with snowshoes, skins, and the rest of our gear went to go hike the Pom.

Was pretty sure that the hike was going to be cake. So I told my dad I was probably going to get two laps in.

I'd been riding for three weeks straight. I was a machine.

Yeah, riding lifts like a fat boy or hiking for a couple of extra turns is a lot different than snowshoeing the whole hill. Here I am wheezing and sweating bawlz.

IMG_1052.jpg

Then there was that one perfect run. All alone, my favorite line on the hill.
As I remember I begin to drool.
Here see for yourself.

Then Blankat picked me up and we headed to Snowbird.

CRAZINESS FOREVER

A year ago I married the man of my dreams.
We had a guerrilla wedding at the top of Baldy.
I didn’t want anyone to have to wait around and watch people get married on such a beautiful day on the mountain, so we had an incredibly short ceremony. Bowl laps in the morning and Rock Garden/ Exi on the way down.
Our family and some of our best friends on the hill.
Most wonderful day of my life.
Craziness forever darling.

tumblr_inline_ml49mekKiN1qz4rgp.jpg

My dad walking me down the aisle.  (photo- Johan Folkinga)

tumblr_inline_ml49qgaIHV1qz4rgp.jpg
tumblr_inline_ml49r0jSU81qz4rgp.jpg
tumblr_inline_ml49rnD1Va1qz4rgp.jpg

All photos except the first taken by my best friend Ryan Zimmerman
http://www.stopdownphotography.com/

CHOKING ON IT

Today was sickening.  Snowbird, we salute you.

el squat  (mary toft)

blankat  (rachel toft)

and me - the injured snail

SANDWICHES IN OUR POCKETS- GRAND TARGHEE

The Toft's visit Targhee for three days last March. They don't stop for lunch.
Andrew Toft
Elisabeth Toft
Mary Toft
Rachel Toft

Music: LionDub, Glitch Mob, The Jets, Diplo, and Subswara

I GOT ENGAGED WITH MY SNOWBOARD ON

Q proposes 0 00 28-26.jpg

April first was my tenth year anniversary with the giant. He asked me to film the top of Sun Valley for his nieces and nephews. I got mad at him for taking off his snowboard. Then the giant turned around and asked me to marry him. Amazing.

taken by the ski patrol

taken by the ski patrol

The ski patrol came to see if we were OK because he was kneeling with his snowboard off and I was crying.

4 1 2011 me spinning around in bowls.jpg

My whole family was there, so sneaky! Then the snow went off and it was time to rip. I celebrated by spinning around in the bowls.

4_1_2011 Q in the bowls.jpg

Then my sister Mary was crowned Prom Queen. Pretty sweet day. The giant is the best!!!

cow insemination gloves

broken arm.jpg

I hit a tree while riding at Pomerelle last year right after Christmas. I hit trees all the time; they like it. I took another run, but I knew something was wrong when I couldn't buckle my bindings with my right hand. I had broken my arm. I had a trip planned to Colorado at the end of January. My doctor said I could go ride, I just needed to keep my cast dry. The nurse told me to go get some cow insemination gloves (remember, this is Idaho), the glove would keep my cast dry. So my sister Mary and I went to D & B supply, a local farm supply store, as soon as we walked in the door a man came up to me and said, "Cow insemination gloves?".

How did he know?
My arm was hidden under my coat.
Photo- Ryan Zimmerman