March 17, 2006

Big Sky 2006 - 7 Days of Skiing Insanity

After missing this trip last year, I decided about six months ago that there was no way I was going to miss it this year. Boy, am I glad I did that, but DAMN I wish the first part of this vacation was more 'vacationy.' It seemed fate was against me--first, my webserver dies. Yes, my machine that will run for months and months on end decides to shut off at 4am on Saturday morning. Ironically, at this exact time I was driving through Montana, in an effort to make it to Bozeman by roughly 9am so we could ski Bridger Bowl that Saturday. This was absolutly invigorating, and the fact that I had left work at roughly 5pm just nine hours prior made my head spin.


So, Saturday and Sunday we ski Briger Bowl, and in the meantime I talk by good friend Jay into swinging over to my house to reboot my server. In the meantime, I am trying to force myself into having a good time skiing and hanging around Bozeman. We head down to Big Sky on sunday night and promptly hit the hot tub in preperation for the rigerous week ahead of us. I do a little research on Sunday evening as to what may have caused my server to crash, but find no real leads, other than the time it went down. Monday morning at 4am it goes down again, and I decide that it must be a faulty power supply.

While I'm fretting over this (and make arrangements for it to be replaced while I'm 1000 miles away) it is not snowing where I am skiing, but back home at a rate I'd expect from the a mountainous reagion. Trouble is, I live in Minnesota. Eight inches is a lot in one day, and a few days later we get five more. Sheesh! All this snow causes power issues all over Minneapolis, and as a result, the standard vacation voicemail greeting of 'don't contact me unless it is an emergency' comes back to haunt me with several mission-critical issues with some of my on-the-side networking clients.

The power supply in my machine gets replaced (solving it's stability issues), but by Wednesday morning I'm so sick of four emails and 3 voicemails from various people about this and that that I want to shoot someone. The skiing has been pretty good on Monday and Tuesday, but I feel myself skiing at only about 60-70% due to an insane grinding pain in my shins. I have lumps the size of about 1/3 of a softball on the lower front of my legs. I'm talking like make-you-want-to-cry pain. And I did. It was all too much! I couldn't stand it, all I wanted to do on this trip was ski, and everything was against me to do so.

And then it snowed. It snowed so much that it was hard to see anything anywhere. The ski report Thursday morning (which was even mislabeled 'Snow Report') reported 12 inches of fresh snow in the past 24 hours, but some areas of the mountain had recieved almost 24 inches. And I was skiing through all of it. The steepest of the steep and the crazies of the crazy runs were pure joy at this point. Each turn was like continually falling through a massive bed of pillows, over and over and over and over. I hardly saw my skis that afternoon, as they were so deep in the snow the whole time. I met up with my brother and some others at the end of the day (day 5) up in the bowl area and was absolutly delighted to see that, due to avalance conditions above it, they had closed the entire bowl area for most of the day. This means that first thing tomorrow (day 6) we get to go play there!


Well, we ended up getting first chair on the Challenger lift, where we had been skiing the other day, and made a few rounds there before heading over and around to the bowl area. Once we got in, it was more of the same big, huge, untouched, fluffy powder. I usually make a bunch of runs through the bowl when I'm out here, but day 6 was special, and while my legs were screaming at me the entire time, I made a good 10 runs through the fluffy stuff there that day, and it was sweet.

I wanted to go home after this, but since we had already paid for them, we made the push and skied on day 7 (Friday). I only could do a half day, since the snow had stopped falling, a lot of stuff was nice and groomed, so we made 10 or so 50mph+ screamers before calling it a day.

Posted by scheides at 11:23 PM