Sunday, April 5, 2009


The great M and I went to Tahoe this weekend to test our luck at snowbirding**. What's snowbirding? Well, let me tell you!!! The basic premise is to go to an area with lots of snow... what's that now, you live in India and you don't know what snow is? Listen punk, just fix the credit card so I can rent a frickin' snowboard, OK?

SO... it was very nice this weekend and we had two excellent days snowbirding, the first at Sugar Bowl and the second at Squaw Valley. Both days the mountain was pretty empty, undoubtedly the result of nice summer weather down the hill. The days started out pretty brisk, all the runs except the freshly groomed areas were very icy until the sun got them thawed out. Towards afternoon, it warmed up and both days got into the high 40's or low 50's which meant the snow got "corny" on top of the hills and slushy at the bottoms.

On Saturday at Sugar Bowl, we started by doing warm up runs on the Jerome Hill lift, then cruised over to Christmas Tree, Mt. Lincoln up to the tippy top, and long, leg-burning traverse to Mt. Disney lift, and a pretty rough ride (it was icy and super choppy) down to lunch. A bit of tasty burger in the belly and we were off again. I think in the afternoon, we started at the west side of the resort and worked our way back across all the lifts and many of the runs off each lift, ending up in the terrain park. I tried going off a jump, very successfully I might add, but forgot about landing it and ended up with a bruised bum.

Sunday we went to Squaw Valley, it's an immense place and has enough ski runs that you can get lost quite easily. Fortunately, Marion's uncle has been there a time or two and was able to guide us from trail to lift to trail. We went straight to the top, then skittered down a couple of steep icy faces. Moving over to the south facing slopes worked out pretty well, as the ice quickly turned into a light slush with the addition of sun. We took a half dozen runs before lunch (Marion got a delicious fish burrito, who knew, fish at 7800 feet), then spent the remainder of the day traversing the entire resort, much as we'd done Saturday at SB.

We gave up a little early, due to the drive home, and by 4pm (after waiting around for half an hour for Marion's brothers to pack up their crap), we were on the road. Back at home, a beer, two advil, and I'm ready for sleep.

Oh, and for those who don't know what a tree well is (and you know who you are), this is the basic idea, though obviously it's at the base of a lift pole instead of a tree. The idea is that the tree (or pole) has a deep ring around it that is really sucks to fall into. The mechanism for making the ring is probably well known by someone, but my guess is that the tree has a microclimate warm enough to melt some of the snow under it.

**This is basically the story that Marion tells about the time she tried to rent some gear and ended up trying to explain the concept of snowboarding to some customer service person from India.

Sugar Bowl


1 comment:

  1. Such embarrassing pictures! I hereby forbid you to post pictures of me doing the cowboy bob with my back arm while snowboarding. I really do look cooler than that... I swear!


Helpful? Clever? Inspiring? If you found something useful here, let me know!