Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No Foolin'

Thursday - April 1, 2010

Mission Ridge - Women's Escape was all that and then some! With winter making a return this spring - I had the best day on the mountain yet.  Each year Mission Ridge host's a series of women specific events that includes ability specific on-mountain instruction (with female instructors), demo equipment & a delicious lunch.  I've attended in years past and this year they have got it dialed in. 

I pulled into the parking lot and was greated by the parking lot attendent immediately and directed front and center to the reserved parking area specifically designated for us ladies.  Then, from out of nowhere, a guy came to my vehicle in search for my board to take to the lodge.  Being an independant sort, I wasn't sure how I would feel about that kind of service.  I decided I could get used to it.  (Now if only he could have whisked the kids to their designated areas as well!)

Max, Sam & Eli were headed to daycare for the day.  Max and Sam told me that they were just going to take the day off from skiing to play.   I will continue to promote the daycare facilities at Mission.  Paula and her staff have made my time on the mountain much more enjoyable.  It's peace of mind and a comforting feeling to know that the boys are being cared for in an environment they look forward to spending time in.  They allow care for infants 3 months old to children 6 years old at an reasonable cost.  Justin, a local high-school student and a daycare

staffer, is Max, Sam & Eli's favorite dude to hang with.  Here is a photo of Eli getting down to business inside while Max, Sam & Justin are playing hard outside in the daycare play area, which is adjacent to Chair One. 

In the past, snowboarders have been greatly outnumbered by skiers at the Women's Escapes - this year was no different.  Being the sole boarder my instructor, Karen and I were able to go off and explore on our own.  Our goal was to see as much of the mountain that we could.  

A Head demo representative was also present to let the twin stick gals have an opportunity to try out some new equipment.  It was an AWESOME powder day too - a great way to show off what the new powder skis can really do!  I went down to the rental shop to see what they could do for me and I was able to try out a couple of boards that were not quite down the same road as the boards I tested at Whistler.  I tried a Burton Feelgood - 155 and a Burton Custom - 161.  Both boards were stiff and heavy and I struggled with the binding position.  Mostly I was not getting the response I wanted and was too impatient to get to the deep stuff so I ditched the boards and strapped on my ole trusty - no time to waste!  

Our first stop was to the 'Outback' off of Chair Three.  The Outback is generally accessed via Chair Four, but Chair Four is only operational on Saturdays & Sundays and one must know the route to get there.  Trully awesome snow and there wasn't a wrong turn to be found. 

I wanted to hike and Karen was happy to oblige.   We headed to the Windy Ridge backcountry area to ride Bowl Four.  Once we completed the 20 minute hike up to the Microwave Towers we rode the ridge and dropped into Bowl Four.  I am still grinning. 

We met back up with the whole group forlunch at the Hampton Lodge.  I had a Chak Chak panini with a salad (yum!) and found a group of ladies heading out after lunch to hike and ride/ski some more... heck yes! (I am actually going to suggest to the organizers that they consider integrating the skiers and snowboarders to allow for more camaraderie for those few boarders that do attend - as long as the ability levels are compatable.)

I was able to meet four wonderful women:  Karen M. - an amazing skier and textiles & design professional who is rehabing from a back injury, Kim A.- a great snowboarder, a traveling nurse and a mom with a son who is 15 months old,  Laurie - a ski school instructor and avid snow lover who takes time away from her full-time job at the hospital to teach skiing and to get as much time on the mountain as possible and Karen C. - my fantastic snowboard instructor who picked up snowboarding later in life and I hope is safe to say, is older than my own mother - a true inspiration.  (This actually the second time I had the opportunity to ride with Karen C. The first being three years ago.  It was really nice to spend more time on the mountain with someone I admire!)

It's actually difficult to put into words the wonderful experience of the day.  After lunch we hiked Windy Ridge two more times and took Chair Three once to the Outback.  I put together a little video of photos that better depicts the days' events.  In 9 years of riding, I have not had better conditions and terrain.  This day is marked as one to beat.  With an all-female group of talented skiers and riders, epic is the only way to describe it!  Thanks so much ladies!!

Side note:  I honestly find it very hard to figure out how some 'bloggers' are able to post daily - even multiple times a day.  I know I struggle with access to an internet connection when we are at our cabin - but even when I have access I am unable to sit and compose a comprehendable statement (or even jot something down for that matter) very easily.  I'll continue to plug away!

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