Thursday, February 19, 2009

peggy dow

peggy dow's is my favorite trail at bolton valley.

if you need the refresher or have just joined us, it's off the top of the number one chair, up in the north corner. i have this thing for the elbow of peggy dow's; you come off the lift on this treed-in and level trail and then you go around the corner and it drops out from under you and it seems like all of creation or maybe just the pretty parts are laid out in front of you.

Friday, February 13, 2009

between haircuts

once i lost a bet and had to get my head shaved. it was a fundraising bet; the kind you hope to lose. the price tag for my hair along with that of another colleague was $15,000.

what wouldn't you do to your hair for $15,000? hair grows back.

it was an interesting experience, being shaved in front of a few hundred screaming adolescents. the striking thing was how breezy it was. the next day was when i started my still-current habit of wearing little round hats. someone asked me that day if i was ashamed to be seen bald.

"no", i said. "just cold."

every evening i took a picture of myself, right up until the night before my next haircut.

roll film.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


my mother will buy me sporting goods, but a lot of the time she doesn't want to know what i do with it.

yesterday on the mountain we suffered from the couple days' thaw and refreeze, but even with all that, the conditions weren't all that bad. sure, there were some hard patches where it was hard to get an edge, but even where it was scratchy there was mostly enough soft snow to dig in all right.

and you know those chunks of ice that get thrown up by the groomer? we used to call them "death cookies". they make for bumpy gritty skiing and you KNOW you're going to have to sharpen your edges (which i am at the moment putting off). anyway, they weren't so large that i'd have called them "death cookies"; maybe they were more like "death croutons".

but once i got acclimated, i was able to put some muscle into my turns and carve .

all last week i kept clocking my speed (yes, i was carrying my GPSr. so i'm nerdy. i hope this is not news to you)

-anyway, i was clocking my speed and no matter what trail i was on or what i did, i kept topping out at about thirty-seven MPH.


never 38. so yesterday i thought that maybe i could break forty and i really put some intent behind it.

still only 37 and change. but then i zipped up my jacket and went into a tight tuck.

49.7 MPH!

and i might have gotten a little faster on that run, except that i had a moment when i thought: if i fall at this speed, it's gonna HURT.

and i straightened up just a little and caught the wind.

i took a few more runs, but never did get that fast again. it's tricky to do, partly because when you get to the steep pitch there's always the possibility that people will be entering the trail just below you and you have to scrub a little speed until you can see.

of course if people are there, you have to scrub a LOT of speed.

if conditions are good tomorrow, i'll have to see if i can break 50. boy, that'd be something.

i have to go sharpen my edges.


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