Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Frost, New Hobbies to come.

I guess the fact that the first frost fell in Ruston in the beginning stages of December is a final deathblow to the Puget Sound mushroom foraging season. In only a few short weeks I will start my next passion skiing. Although my future roommate and skiing companion has a bum knee I am determined to ski, even if alone.

Now I'm an avid skier. I started when I was just a we lad and have continued and followed through the years. I took lessons every year at Cascade Ski School (mom and dad chaperoning the ski bus) until I no longer really fit into any of the classes at 14. That's when I started Cadet Teaching (My first experience in teaching by the way). The next year I started teaching for real and getting the measly 30 dollars a day plus the real gold, a season's ticket. I did that for a couple years (had my first car wreck on black ice) and got my Professional Ski Instructor of America Level 1 Certification at the tender age of 17. My brother eventually joined me at the ski school and we had some fun times skiing late into the night just goofing off and being brothers.

I loved skiing so much that one time in high school I pretended to be in Young Life for a month just so I could trick them into letting me go to Whistler/Blackomb Ski Retreat. I was chastised by my cabin counselor for not coming back for cabin prayer time...shouldn't have held it while the mountain was still open idiots. I went until the last lift.

Our family periodically took ski trips to "Silver Mountain" in Kellogg, Idaho, a sleepy little failure of a mining town with a very secret and special mountain growing up. I have always preferred it to the illustrious "Schweitser" in Sandpoint, Idaho because the locals are cooler, it has a sweet gondola ride up to the mountain and no one gives a shit who you are, and it was closer to WSU and cheaper too. Now that I've been seeing adds for the new condos and indoor water park they just opened I wonder if it will still be the same, Californians ruined one of the last nice places we had to ski up here, oh well I still want to check it out.

In college I tried out for the WSU race team (it was more like the WSU drinking team that occasionally races around poles on skis). Race camp was held at Mount Fernie in BC Canada. I didn't make the team but I did have an awesome time and still ski with the helmet, I will never go back to no helmet skiing. I got fat skis that year too. 2002 K2 Axis Pros. They are a little big for me to this day which means I have to ski them fast with large turn radius'. That fits me fine because nothing feels better then fully laying out and carving some butter on some burning Giant Slalom turns.

My home mountain...embarrassingly...will always be Snoqualmie Mountain. They, those being the dicks that bought it and jacked the ticket prices up to 60 bucks a ticket, changed all the names of Hyak, Ski Acres, Snoqualmie and Alpental to Summit East, Central, and West respectively. I guess if you change the name you can change the ticket price, the mountain still sucks, but like home I know every nook and crannie.

I've skiied Mount Baker and it is amazing. I've been to Stevens Pass once and had a great time. I've even skiied in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. I skiied at Alyeska in Girdwood, Alaska last winter for my only trip and although on rental equipment it was bad ass.

I can snowboard too. I just haven't done it for a while. Maybe if I try more snowboarding this year I can go up to the mountain with people that usually tooslow for me to enjoy my natural skiing pace.

Basically, calling one, calling all, its ski and snowboard season. So get your gear and lets get up there.

Think Snow


Randall H. Sloot said...

If you board with me we'll have a kick-face time man. Lets plan a trip!

Domnule Ortgiesen said...

I am excited for you it all sounds so wonderful and packed with great times, take some picts for me wil ya?

Susan Iverson said...

This post make me want to go back to Siver Mountain (minus the Mom crying bit). Maybe you can snowboard while I ski. I think that might work.

sallynavarre.asmp said...

Skiing memories from sally... I learned to ski at Snoqualmie Pass in 1966. That was a long bus ride and I remember peeing my ski pants a few times as no bathrooms on those school buses. My family then bought a condo at Alpental in 1969 and that's where I skied till moving away in 1979(i sound old), My first teaching job was also teaching skiing at Alpental. Now I've been in Alaska for the past 25+ years and I've only downhill skied twice, once at Alyeska, once at Birch Hill in Fairbanks, but I sure love to get those cross country skis out and ski where no one ever has gone before . Many parts of Alaska don't have much snow yet this year so we'll see what happens. I'm stuck in Barrow as I type this trying to get to my teachers in Atqasuk, but my record of being stuck was last year out on Mekoryuk for 5 days... remember? Take care Kale and Happy skiing soon!!!

Allen said...

I just got my snow deck! its pretty kick ass.

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