Sunday, January 1, 2012


During the winter I'm short of time on the weekends because my bike riding and snowboarding conflict.  This year it's an easy win for bike riding because there has been no snow and little snow making weather, However, with my boy getting antsy to try his new snowboarding equipment (me as well), and a looming trip to Breckenridge in a couple weeks,it was time to find some snow somewhere and start "tuning up" for the season.

We took a trip with my good buddy Kent to his cousin's place in Oakland MD, near Deep Creek Lake and Wisp Resort. Our hosts Mike and Donna were over-the-top welcoming and accommodating, and their place is the nicest  second home/vacation home I've ever seen - nicer than anyplace I've ever rented for $$$$$. I'm not worthy!  Anyway, I took my boy and Kent's 2 boys to Wisp on two days.

Wisp was barely open, only two trails (a green and a black). Unfortunately, there were enough snow-deprived folks like us in the area that the place was packed to the gills!  We headed to the green trail to shake off 10 months of rust, and it was instant mayhem.  The trail was packed with skiers and boarders, many like us wobbly and unpracticed, many flying down at high speed, in tight quarters.  Within a few runs I had redeemed myself for the poor little kid I had collided with in Breckenridge last winter by (1) helping tend to some old guy who probably had a concussion after going down hard without a helmet on (2) successfully avoiding some little kid who did an ill-timed cut in front of me (replay of the Breckenridge incident) and apologizing successfully to his private instructor (3) getting taken down from behind by some teenage kids.  Although the terrain on the black slope (Squirrel Cage) was more treacherous, it seemed to be less of a hazard than the melee on the green slope (Wisp Trail).  So the next day, after resting, I took on the black slope somewhat successfully.  I never made it without falling at least twice, mostly because it revealed to me my weakness in toe-side turns on steep slopes, but I did fulfill my goal for this season of getting up the gumption to do a black trail.

Clothing notes:

For 25F: Balaclava, jacket with flannel shirt and t shirt, no pants underlayer, Gore mittens.

For 35F: Helmet vents out, only t shirt under jacket.  

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