Monday, February 28, 2011

Bootfitting

Hard to lose today. Woke up in Chapel Hill and walked in in running shorts and a t shirt for 65 degree weather. Had a great run, non-stressed packing, and time to chat with Maripat about a document that will go out in a few days. Terminal 1 was a ghost town. I went through the non-SW TSA line with no one ahead or behind me. Just think 7 security people and me. Needless to say, I thankfully didn't get any special treatment and breazed through. Had a good hour to catch up email and all the progress getting the grant finalized - The Android EVO 4G/11z combination continues to be a productivity king. The bulkhead has become my favorite seat and I was tucked in for my direct flight to SLC. Beautiful views of the valleys as we flew in.

For Trip #6, I arrived 1/2 hour late, so it was a mad dash to get to the bootfitter before they closed, but that cool device got me there without a hitch with plenty of time. As it was it was a 2 hour affair. My feet are (no surprise) "unique." Clearly they needed to be seen by a professional. That said, there are more hours of bootfitting in my future, but hopefully the days of calcifications from poorly fitted boots will be behind me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Foot Troubles

A swollen Medial Malleolus and the fact I am in Chapel Hill has taken me out of the powder grabbing game briefly. Watching the snow pile up on the snowbird snowcam isn't helping either.

My guess is I had my boots too loose once and my feet banged around in there. The lateral L seems unhappy too, so perhaps, I was traversing or balancing wrong. Then I tightened them up too much leading to more reaction. Since then I've inconsistently used ice packs, wrapping (with exposure of the bony protuberance), ibuprofen po, ibuprofen cream, less tightening of the boots and other boots. Before this becomes the 2011 version of the 2008 medial cuneiform/1st metatarsal swelling that took 1/2 a season to heal, or last year's L tailors bunion (that lives on but is relatively stable), I've got to get more proactive. Not clear how the boot doctor such as The Sports Loft or Alta Sports can adjust things but it is certainly worth a try - and time to get consistent!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More flight troubles

Perhaps not. Well the powder gods may love me but the airlines do not. We were diverted on the way out and arrived 4 hours late. For the return our flight out of MDW was delayed until 12 EST time and arrived at RDU at 1:30. Apparently, the flight from STL to Omaha had a "burning smell" so they returned the plane back to STL to get a new one. This time they were a little grumpy about moving the kids up to my position, so I loaded at A1, grabbed the seats and waited for the A34 stragglers to catch up with me. Thankfully all of us slept on the final flight and had the bulkhead. By 2am we were home. I guess the upside is there wasn't a lot of traffic.

We all slept a little late but in the end we did get out of bed and off to our regular activities. Kevin and Eb apparently did fine in school. I was a little worse for wear, but they had done a better job of sleeping in Utah. Eb, Maripat and I got out to In the Heights which was a wonderful way of staying awake and keeping the energy up so we could go to bed on time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I paid for their going to bed late of course this morning with everyone pretty much getting out of bed at Utah time despite many attempts to wake them starting at 6:15. It didn't make sense to do a grocery run for the extra 2 days so we put together a breakfast based on food scarfed from Sweet Tomatoes, chocolate milk (made from powdered milk - I am glad that stuff is gone), and uneaten soup. We did indeed get the house ready and the car packed by 8:20. I got Kevin to put on his boots but Eb apparently cannot put on boots unless she stands up. So my plan to limit the usual disastrous "car stopped/kids misbehave" time failed.

I tried to move her away from Kevin who was exhibiting his usual bratty behavior and it was getting ugly quickly. Unfortunately the R leg I was trying to move was in a ski boot, so her medial knee got the brunt of the pressure. So many lessons so little time:
  1. don't be physical. They need to develop self control (as do I) so doing it for them accomplishes nothing
  2. don't rev up Kevin - by 4th grade he will certainly outgrow it. This time, Eb trapped him in the car with her foot. You can envision how well he handled that one
  3. buy a car with a door that opens on both sides - we fixed that one with the Odyssey (and I think that was a key buying point)
She felt comfortable enough to give it a go and the run down Chickadee seemed doable without pain so we arrived at Peruvian at 9:00 sharp.

A quick trip to MB and that was all we needed. It was clear that Eb should limit herself to the groomers because her R knee still hurt and the powder didn't seem to help (in retrospect, I learned that after she ran into the tree off Sugarloaf with her L knee earlier this year). For Kevin and me, the 1 inch overnight was really 6-8 and the winds had blown in fresh (really light) snow into all the tracks from yesterday. The main difference is the place was empty since no one thought it was a powder day. Kevin and I went down over and over. Near the end (11:30) is was getting tracked out [and we both fell], but prior to then there were huge tracks of untracked powder. Another good reminder that is always best to climb up the hill and see for yourself - you never know.

Eb's taking it easy seemed the best choice since when she took on the powder it hurt more. We clearly weren't hurting the knee more. The way I see it a day spent skiing on perfectly groomed trails (over and over) is an excellent way to improve one's ski skills. As it was, I tried to use it to show her to turn by leaning (asking her to bend knees seemed not a great idea) and focusing on making Ses vs. those hard turns (that hurt your knees). I applied the same to Kevin in the powder and he improved immensely (back to back powder runs are pretty helpful). Gone are the pushed turns. He now charges down the mountain, pulls across the fall line when he is going too fast, then charges again. I think a little more mass would help him with the crud underneath the powder; but he's mostly perfect. Pretty soon I expect he'll be hopping [gotta love those HellBents]. And mid slope he declared he was exhausted; a very good sign. If you are not huffing and puffing then you're taking it too easy.

Trip #5 and day 42 of skiing ended with a final run down upper Silver Fox (gotta do that with fresh powder some day), then lower Mach Schnell, back to Chickadee and back to car at 12 noon. We had time for showers, lunch [my unused chicken parm due to the Sweet Tomatoe trip], and an inventory of little animals. In the car by 2:25, parked (with some difficulty) by 3:05 and through security (quickly given my Business Select status) by 3:20. A few minutes early to repack those little animals and get in line to take advantage of my A1 status [apparently checking in early helps one's Bus Select status as well]. We settled it the first bulkhead row - ahh legroom! Show me some other way I can ski back to back powder runs and fly home to North Carolina before midnight?

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Spendor

Apparently we weren't the only ones to chase after 3 feet of powder on a holiday. I did my best to get them out of the house early, but 8:36 was the best I could do. Still the perfectly dry road took an hour. 'Course had I waited until 11:18 it would have been too late. Apparently there was no longer anywhere to park in the canyon.

So at 9:30 we were parked in Entry 1 (I am still paranoid about the road) and on our way up Gadzoom. Peruvian wasn't running and Little Cloud was running at 1/2 capacity but we waited anyway and moved over the MB. The line there for MBX was (of course) long, but the snow was definitely amazing. We opted for no line up BaldyX and it had the right mixture of great snow/no line. Kevin wanted to fiddle with boots so he went to Alfs while Eb and I took another run, then Eb joined him. By then I had enough so I went to Alfs via Backside into Glory Hole. Best snow yet. I can now say that 2-3 feet was certainly right. Huge piles of snow that required full speed and a steep slope. The kids were still downing hot chocolate so I did Backside a few more times after checking up on them.

The line up Supreme was too long so we went back to Sugerloaf, then back to MB. Two trips up BaldyX and the MBX line was gone. Most of the straight down stuff was too rutted, but Bookends was fantastic and Kevin asked to do it over and over.

Along the way, they refused to eat for fear that the last time they ate they were so full that they didn't even want to go out for dinner. For the final trips down Mach Schnell and then Tiger Tail the lack of calories was definitely holding them back. But in the end they stumbled to the car at 4 and we were at Sweet Tomatoes for our $12.50 with tax/tip meal (kids ate free). I've got to remember to put some real food in their coats in case we can't get back to the car during the day.

I let the kids stay up too late playing Life (and we were doing so well!). So they went to bed at Utah time not Chapel Hill time (so did I). Last year, I added a clock in my bedroom with "Chapel Hill Time." Perhaps I will try something similar. Or maybe set an alarm that goes off at bedtime for Chapel Hill. These trips are a lot easier if one's clock isn't being set/reset.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time to Go - or Not

Somehow we got all the packing done in preparation for a busy day and a quick trip to the airport. LCC closed last night but in watching the Snowbird snow total cam, I could see that closing again this morning made sense. The howling winds last night too confirmed that this little storm was no longer little. We're up to almost 2 feet at this point. LCC was supposed to open at 8:30 and there we were in line (with some minor grumpiness but certainly reasonable). At 9 they said it opened and at 9:30 we were actually moving. But once again the first folks up decided to spin out. The first was no big deal, but the second blocked the travel lane, so we lost another 1/2 hour. We parked by Peruvian and were on our way up the mountain at 10:30.

I knew from my last trip that leaving at 1pm will just about do it. Earlier in the morning I had booked flights on SW just in case something happened. Well it did. First the snow was amazing. I appealed to everyone and mentioned the new potential plan, but EB wasn't buying it. I tried to improve the value of staying and finally she said it would be Okay. Just then I checked my mail only to find out that there was really no decision to be made. The canyon had closed yet again from 11 to 1:30 so this plane trip wasn't going to happen anyway. [Aside they later closed it to upbound traffic - apparently there was no place left to park]. A pizza at Tram Car ($22!) seemed to perk them up! [Note Aerie Lounge, 10th floor Cliff Lodge, has pizza but only after 5pm]

The reason to stay of course was absolutely incredible powder. Totally amazing. And that traffic problem meant that we didn't see a line during run after powder run on Peruvian. After they opened up Mineral (which was deeper, but heavier), I did get a run down the Cirque, but it was still not as soft as lower Baldy. They closed the road yet again at 2:30 so I decided to move the car to Entry 1. My trip of Gadzoom took me above Big Emma which too was great. It was a little difficult collecting everyone but we did it (at about 4:15) at Wilbere. The road opened again magically at 3:30 and amazingly enough there was no traffic (and thus no need to move the car really). Who knew? Is this a trap?

Great snow, great comraderie, open communication, and apparently great pizza. And, an extension to an amazing week for skiing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Snow and More Snow

All the preparation (and struggle over the past 2 days) paid off. We left the house at 8:33 with almost zero stress and a full breakfast. Arrived at 9 and we we on the slopes by 9:30 (needed to do some serious fiddling to make sure my ankle didn't get worse). The forcast was thankfully quite wrong and there were 6 inches on the ground and more coming hourly. We first popped over to MB, and had some very nice snow but mostly white out and ice at the top. Kids gave up after 2 runs; I let Eb take Kevin back to Alfs and I took advantage of the empty slopes and fresh powder for a few more runs. They were happy drinking hot chocolate at Alfs when I got there.

Next we were up Supreme and had some great runs down a mostly empty Catherine's. They stopped to go to Albion to get lunch (with some mix-up about the plan but when one member storms off, some confusion is inevitable). I had a great run down Patsy Marley then extreme left Extrovert and arrived just as they were finishing the soup. Kevin cam up with the great idea of going down the mountain to Snowbird so we didn't get stressed about leaving to avoid road-hell. We parked at Entry 1 facing the road down just in case the traffic was awful. As it turns out the snow stopped, they plowed the road and there was never a wait - but we've learned that one should not count on such a blessing.

We had great runs through a foot+ of powder above Big Emma, then Lower Baldy. A total blast - they even wanted to do it again. Next up was lower Mach Schnell, then a couple of fun trips down Wilbere.

A very busy and productive day with great snow, minimal emotional outbursts and rare bratty behavior. Something to be very thankful for. I think we've turned the corner. It was a joy to have both of them and the worked together to make sure both did well. Phew!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Groundhog Day

"Dad says we have to get ready to go skiing. I want to play." Oh, well, it was a good movie. The power struggle continues with more mocking tones and efforts to enlist Kevin in the resistance to great monster. With no fresh snow, I am comfortably in "go with the resistance" mode. I'll try to find a week to take Kevin out in April. I've always enjoyed trips with one kid and I haven't done that with Kevin. This trip turning into a parenting nightmare totally caught me by surprise.

Later Kevin asks, "How come you don't wake us up" (which relates to the more broad, how come you don't stop us?). Apparently he only wanted to play for 15 min but it ended up being hours. His current plan is to bring back all the animals in Utah so he doesn't get too involved with them. Apparently it is Groundhog Day. Kevin did eventually get ready, but Eb dug in deep. She decided that now was an excellent time to take one of her tests. So I decided to head to the Walmart with Kevin while she finished her test. After a very productive trip (with the clock ticking), she said she was now tired, so after gathering approval from MP to leave her here, K and were off to Snowbird. As it turns out she was in fact tired and slept for 2 hours, but ...

We had a great time eventually doing 3 trips down the full Tiger Tail. Very nice snow and mostly trees. Needless to say, I think he can ski down slopes that I can't. Must be the skis not the skier. We finished the day with a quick trip down Gadzoom to the jumps in the terrain park, then 2 trips down Wilbere to jump off the traverses. All in a jam packed 3 1/2 hours of skiing that were well worth it. Along the way my R medial ankle got more and more unhappy and now it is quite swollen, so that'll be the focus (alongside the usual cajoling) tomorrow. Dinner went well and everyone got to bed in time. The plan tomorrow is clear, but then again it may be Groundhog Day all over again...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Elizabeth, I want to go skiing

Such words are joy to a ski addicts ears. I decided that my old mentor was right and it was best to go with the resistance. I remembered how in the past Brian said, "I want to get more ski time." Now of course, I am not one for limiting ski time. So limited time was a result of fiddling, unwillingness to help out getting ready, unwillingness to clean up afterwards and general laziness regarding the need to do other things (say dinner/breakfast). So such a statement really opened the door to a range of opportunities - all of which I seized.

So there I was at 9:30 ready to go [not bad since we arrived home at midnight and I had barely recovered by 1am - 3am Chapel Hill time]. I prepared myself for the usual frustration/threats/demands/reminders/repeat cycle. Finally, I decided it is a beautiful day. At some point they will realize that we have cool snow to play with here in Sandy and even more cool (supposedly 11inch of fresh) snow in the mountains. And the little stuffed animals etc aren't going anywhere. That said, it took until 11:30 until I got the above comment. Of course no effort had been made on their part and it took another 1/2 hour of effort (on their part not mine - we were teaching weren't me?) to get in the car and ready to go. By 12:30 we were in a chair and heading up Sunnyside for my 37th day on the slopes.

thirds
I guess it is fortunate (sort of) that the reports were clearly wrong. I'd say 6 inches. If the wind was a friend to the slope it might be more, but not much. Much of it clearly was blown somewhere else. And of course we missed the easy stuff so I convinced them would have to work for it. It also was chillier than I had hoped so we got in 2 Sugarloaf runs before a mandatory stop at Alfs [where in fact 90% of people appeared to be]. Then I dragged them up Catherine's to Patsy Marley. Next stop was for soup. Then 3 runs down Greeley which too was very nice and had large untouched sections. And, as they say, that was that. Kevin and I were at the top of Collins as 4:30, and leaving just before 5 [Eb bagged after 2 runs but wasn't sullen about it, just tired]. So in the end we did get in a full ski day, we recovered from a miserable flight/evening, and we did some parenting.

There was one point after where a request was made to go to a burger place. Apparently the mean ogre father that doesn't eat meat doesn't have the right to keep the princess from a place that is so spectacular. The princess did admit that it would be wrong to force a vegetarian friend to eat somewhere where they only had meat; but apparently friends and family are different (who knew?). Even that (tired, worn out, repetitive, insulting) argument lost the usual do or die importance and folks moved on. And the prior good things in fact led to another. We had a pleasant dinner with helpful kids, good eaters, and interesting conversation. Talked about the need to get to bed early and how that matched the time in the pre-lighting era, and how fast evolution can change things, and alternative causes of obesity epidemic (artificial lighting, miscues from artificial sugar, and losing hunger/eating regulation from childhood). Kevin even got to bed by 8:30 and Eb at 9:00 (after doing homework no less).

I hope tomorrow isn't like the movie Groundhog Day. I would really rather build on the success of today rather than relive it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Eb and Kevin

Trip #5 starts today with Eb and Kevin and lots of stuffed friends (and a trombone, the Eb's school backpack from hell). I informed all of my facebook friends of the momentous event, but alas that didn't seem to rock the world. Perhaps I will twitter next. The pick up from school part was more complicated than I thought, but we still had plenty of time to go home and pick up missing phones and get some ice cream (don't tell school). Other than the fact that the airport was jammed, it sent smoothly from car to plane to ATL. Hopefully the 70mph winds that essentially shut down Snowbird today (but not Alta) won't delay our arrival. Expecting a closed road in the am with hopefully a foot on the ground. iToys on the short easy RDU-ATL trip led to some really rotten behavior so no iToys for the ATL-SLC leg.

Had to divert to Grand Jxn and ended up 4 hrs late. Before we took off I checked the weather and the front was predicted to hit between 6:30 and 7:30 [our arrival time] with an end by 8pm. Totally predictable and avoidable. Nope, Delta is apparently unable to access NWS forecasts. If they loaded on some extra fuel we could have been 30-45 min late due to holding - like every other plane in the air. They kept claiming the airport was not working, but flightaware showed planes landing consistently with the max time between planes of about 10 min. Now I have some pretty tired team members. And someone who is glad his days of flying Delta are coming to an end. My new motto for Delta - Only fly Delta for free - it's what its worth. For fun I checked how Southwest did. 7pm plane arrived on time. 7:45 plane arrived on time. Our plane (7:15pm) arrived 3:45 min late.

Every car was buried in 3 inches of snow. I am James said "30A" - otherwise it would have taken a long time to find it. Have to remember to provide good directions to Graham just in case.

Friday, February 11, 2011

East Castle w/ skins

Sunrise at Hidden Peak
Borrowed James' skins so I could get up East Castle with ease today. Pretty exciting that I can use them with the One Life's. I was ready and raring to go at 3, but that was a tad too early. In the morning I was able to get ready for the post-skiing trip to the airport, adjust the One Life's to the AT boots and arrive at Albion by 9:30 [including a short stop to pick up a hitchhiker who 1) owned an MPV and loved it for paddling, 2) bought a month pass for swimming at Cliff Spa (cheap), and 3) like the AT boots. I took both skinning skis and both boots just in case.

A quick trip up Devil's then to Supreme. A sign warned the skinning was going to be rough, and my boots are so light, I figured I would walk. Near the top someone cruised by me on skins, so apparently you could skin after all. The trip down was nice until I hit the avi field while crossing over to the East part of Devil's Castle.

Then back up to try it again. The One Life's did really well with only a little trouble at the very top. By then the snow was getting thinner so a race to the absolute top wasn't necessary. My line wasn't the greatest, apparently I need to climb East Castle more often so I know it better. Now it was 12:30, just enough time for quick trip to Patsy Marley. The snow there was equally good [with a lot less effort]. In the car by 1:08. In Sandy by 1:45, and ready to go at 2:25. Yellow cab picked me up at 2:30 on the dot. A huge accident (looked like a head-on) was in the Walmart intersection. So perhaps the weird traffic plan there isn't such a great idea. Extra caution makes sense. TSA lines were long again (sigh), but I was at the gate with at least 20 min before loading. All in all a pretty stress free mountain to plane experience and the end to trip #4 and 36 great days on the snow.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ski Demo

Yesterday I saw someone skiing on wide ski skates. Made me think; hey I have a pair of those. They just happen to have some board in the front and back for when the powder gets deep. So today was my day to test out the One Lifes. Of course, there wasn't much reason to test them out on groomers, so I started by repeating yesterday by climbing Devil's Castle then Catherine's. Then on to MB with Baldy's Shoulder back to Alta, then Greely. They really are a load of fun. I would put them at the tops in the "day after" category. In the midst of the storm, I'd prefer the HellBents. On the groomers, I'd rather have an edge. No clue on how they would be in crust, but I don't really want to find out.

Sunset at Hidden Peak
About 1/2 the way through I felt tired. I figured that part of that was the skis, and the rest was the fact that I hadn't eaten enough. A bag full of M&Ms, and a replacement with B4s later and I was back up on the slopes. I figured I would stay on the groomers but that idea didn't last long. Leaving aside my impatience with groomers, I think Brian's tune up must have ripped out the edges or they weren't there to begin with. The One Lifes had more contact with slope. On the other hand, the wax job was phenomenal. They flew! So I went about testing all of the slopes I had done this morning - but this time with skis that actually didn't stick to the snow [one reason for taking the One Lifes was my hope they would move faster on the traverses than the HellBents - they weren't].

My favorite (still) was even further out Catherine's so you end up on Sunnyside. Fun even on the B4s. By the end of the day I even started to become comfortable with the HUGE amount of ski in front of me, the lack of edges and inability to "bounce" over powder. If I decide to skin up East Castle tomorrow (opened for the first time today); they might be tolerable on the way down [but I'm sure I'll wish I had either of the rockered skis the whole time...].

Pictures are in honor of webcams. Who ever thought that webcams would be the best way to capture beautiful sunset pictures? I took some pics of the amazingly sunny day [from Catherine's].

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gotta Work for it

Day 2 of the storm means all the easy stuff is gone. With that in mind I swapped out my boots for my AT boots and figured this would be a high energy day. Still it took me a while to get out the door. Apparently the staying up late, flying out, skiing in pm and powder day wore me out. I was happy made it to the top by 10:30. I also used today to test out my new turbo fan goggles. They did indeed work.

Even the easy stuff (bookends) were tough due to sticky snow. But every hike was rewarded including Baldy Shoulder, Catherine's, Devil's Castle and little ones here and there to get to some fresh stuff. Met up with some nice folks as usual (well usual for Alta, that is). One person hadn't been to Alta before so I showed him my (now favorite) Patsy Marley run. Not bad for the day after the big storm.

I finished up on Collins where I found some fresh stuff off ballroom then down via Wildcat to the mid station. Got the last 4:30 chair at the midstation and skied down the mountain alone. Didn't see a person the whole way (perhaps I should have been more careful?). Tomorrow I think I bring the One Lifes. Brian says to avoid trees so it looks like MB, Catherines, Ballroom/Upper Wildcat, and the Castle for me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ring around the mountains

Barely Touched
Mach Schnell
James was busy on D5, but 16 inches of snow had fallen overnight and that's what I came out here for. So at 8:10 I was in the car and ready to get in the short line for the 8:30 planned opening. Well today I learned that things go more slowly this year. I also learned that they have moved back to the old system; which means that they don't stop people at the bottom but instead let them work slowly up the canyon and park on the far right. This means that you move like a slinky as they squish the cars. 500 feet. Stop. 500 feet stop. The did finally open the road around an hour after I got in line.

Parked at the bottom of Peruvian, skied over to the chair, glanced longingly at the first tracks that the folks who were interlodged 'til 9:30 got, then got myself up the mountain by 10:15. Well worth the wait (especially since I got some work done). Did my favorite: below Great Scott, then over to below Mach Schnell. Both were empty and full of potential 1st tracks [thus earning their favorite status]. MB tunnel opened, but my then everyone had gotten there from Little Cloud - you can't get them all. MB was a little heavy anyway and the line was out the door.

I decided it was Alta time so booked over there, then went to Catherines for an absolutely stellar run in powder/sun down Patsy Marley - that is slowly becoming my favorite mellow run for untracked powder. Overall the snow was lighter and I had some great runs (Glory Hole, Wildcat). Eventually I wanted to see what the bookends were like, but by then the cold wind had kicked up and the traverse was too darn sticky. Still I had a nice run down the now smooth wind swept part of MB.

Given my luck with Mach Schnell in the morning, I decided to check it out and as before once you got past the huge rolling hills at the top it was nice. Back up Peruvian at 3:38 and some brief indecision about if I should try for one last run. I did arrive at 4:00 on the dot and 3 chairs were behind me. So 22 minutes is about as close as you can cut it. Luckily I did get another run and didn't have to walk back to the car. It too was pleasant - when Baldy isn't full of death cookies from the freeze/thaw cycle is really is amazing. A 20 foot walk to the car and I was on my way home.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back to SLC

I'm on my way back to the snow for trip #4 and the 32nd day. About 7 inches on the ground and supposedly more of the same on the way. The plan is to get some turns in late today. Maripat gets to deal with 3 active kids with sport activities that blanket the calendar. I'm not exactly sure how I can get to all the conferences that are planned for March/April.

SW flight was smooth as is usual. It's always nice when planes leave on time and arrive early. I especially like the fact that the gates are usually 100 feet apart. Thanks to James, I had all my stuff in the car when he picked me up and we were off to Snowbird. The first run down Mineral was fine, but first installment of this storm was clearly not enough. It didn't help that light was such that everything looked the same shade of white. And despite the forecast of 32 the brisk winds made it a lot colder.

We dumped mb and had a nice trip down gad chutes (apparently that's where the snow went, and the trees helped a lot). Gad 2 was even better. Somewhere on Gad 2 I noticed that my liners were feeling funny. Surprise, no my fingers were bitterly cold and hadn't really picked up on it. After rewarming the hands one at a time they went through the first tingling then hurting then back to normal cycle. Funny, that was the first time all year - I wonder if my mittens are finally giving out?

Plenty of time for 3 great runs. Earlier this year I found the stuff off the left gate on the way down. Very nice. Somewhere in the middle the storm started. Strong S winds and light graupel turning to heavy graupel. By the time we caught the second to the last chair of the day on Wilbere, it was dumping the stuff, with thunder to boot. For the last chair, Chickadee, lightening joined the performance. By the the wind have moved to its more normal NW direction and a great predictor of lake effect snow. When I got back home I could see the prediction, 2-4 inches overnight. Sorry guys, but we had 2-4 inches from 3 to 4:30pm