Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ski days 9, 10, 11: In which we ski huge powder and Dad loses a ski, perhaps forever

We made it up, and we made it back, skillfully (not really) dodging the worst of the weather for our drives. But while I'm on the subject of driving in winter weather, may I just take a moment to congratulate myself on the splendid job I did? NOT running the car into a snow bank? NOT doing any highway donuts? It was really no problem because as I had to remind Husband, I did used to live in PENNSYLVANIA, where it very often SNOWS A LOT. He seems to forget that I didn't appear in the bay area directly from southern California. I know—it's very hard to imagine that I had another life before I met him.

Also in the good news catagory, my knee held up for three days of skiing, although today I am hobbling around my office on stiff bent legs—a good position to ski in, but I seem to be stuck there today. The brace I bought at the drugstore seemed to help. I wanted to make sure if I had a big wreck my knee wouldn't completely come apart, and I'm happy to report that it's intact and even seems improved. Maybe it was all the circulation, or maybe it's just like the rest of me: generally healed by being in the beautiful Sierras.

Anywhoo, here's how things broke down:

Saturday: Homewood. It's 10 minutes from the house we rent and a great place to avoid crowds. It also had some great terrain and is a lovely mountain. It's right on the shore of Lake Tahoe, and many of the runs looks like you're about to ski off into the lake.

The snow predicted for that day did not materialize, and we skied a gorgeous California blue bird day: lovely soft snow, beautiful blue skies. We were one happy group!

I was skiing very conservatively with the intention of having a no-fall day and barely kept up with Dad, who just flies down the groomers these days. While we busy with that, Husband, Sophie, and the rest of the gang decided that this was the day to ski the Quail Face, which was closed all last season for lack of snow. It looked hairy from below, with much of the skiing in narrow, steep chutes. At one point near the top Sophie fell and lost a ski. Husband was above her and was starting to make his way down to help her when he noticed that the snow he was sticking his pole in was sort of . . . hollow . . . as in perhaps about to avalanche. He had to decide to stay back and tell her to get herself and her ski out or go down to help her. He chose the latter, moving slowly and carefully and then getting them out of there asap. Everything was ok, but I was completely unnerved when he told me that he was actually scared. Being scared is my job!! He is almost never scared, so I know if he was then it must have been pretty bad. It still makes me feel (as Sophie would say) sort of nausy to think about it.

Here's me, the well-equipped skier: Helmet—check! Radio—check! CamelBack—check! The latter wasn't much help though since temperatures were low enough to freeze the tube.

Sunday: Squaw. We woke to a winter wonderland, the snow predicted finally arriving.

We were scheduled to ski at Alpine since Dad had a private lesson scheduled with my NASTC teacher, but we bailed when we found nearly the whole mountain shut down because of high winds and electrical problems. But it was great to see Leigh again! We've reschedule Dad's lesson for two weeks from now, handily providing him with a reason to come back up for another trip.

So after many cell phone calls and radio conversations, we reheaded our group over to Squaw for a day of powder skiing. The top half of the mountain was shut down because of the winds, but there was plenty of fun to be had on the lower half. It was Dad's first day skiing powder, and I'm not particularly good at it , but we were psyched just to be out there and were skiing better by the end of the day. We skied a lot on Red Dog, while Husband and gang skiied KT-22. Sophie had woken up in the middle of the night with a cold, so she stayed back at the house with my mom. They had a cosy day of reading reading poems and working on jigsaw puzzles.

Monday: Homewood. We woke up to nearly another foot of snow on our porch rail and gusting winds.

A few phone calls convinced us that Homewood was the place to go, with the fewest wind shut downs. But not after some serious digging out of the cars. Go, Chris, go!

Sophie was feeling better enough to not miss another powder day, and we had Mom planted in the lodge for backup in case Sophie tired. Good thing, because this was the powder day of the year so far. The snow was lighter and drier than the day before at Squaw, and the silence of gliding through the morning powder was broken only by hoots and hollers as people hit their first tracks. Absolute heaven until Dad took a face plant in some very deep powder and lost a ski. Which Husband and friend Vince help him dig for for over an hour. They finally gave up, and Dad walked down to rent skis for the rest of the day. Snaps to the people in the rental department who gave him skis to use for free once they heard his story. We've got a report filed with lost and found and are hoping the ski will give us a call in the spring once the snow melts to come up and get it. Boo hoo!

All in all, a great trip. In addition to skiing, we all enjoyed each other's company and our lovely ski house, which we rent several times a year and fill up with as many people as possible (stack 'em in like wood, I say). We had all three bedrooms filled, a family on living room floor, and our friend Vince in the laundry room. It was great to have my parents up, and they got along swimmingly with our friends.

Note: Chair on sofa to keep dog off, not because we were trashing the place, although we can be sort of a messy bunch.

We had a long drive home last night, and my little angel is still under the weather.

So she's spending a quiet day at home with my parents, which I think is good for everyone. They're playing school, and Sophie reports that Dad has finished the first essay she assigned him: Why I Really Like to Ski. Math and science will be after lunch.

But what, you ask, did we have to eat??? I know—that's very important but will have to be the subject of another post. :)


Tres Poshe Preppy said...

Looks like a great trip and fun was had by all!

Belle in Bloom said...

I'm so glad you had a great time! I would have freaked out about Sophie and husband getting scared. Oh my. Glad you're back safe and sound. I tagged you...

Monica said...

I'm freezing just looking at your pictures! Your daughter is one tough chick...there's no way my wusses would brave that!

Libby said...

I love the snow angel, Cindy. Looks like it was such a great trip!

Taylor said...

looks like my kind of weather, but defenently not my moms...looks fun.

MexicowithKids said...

Late comment, but had to post. Been a lurker for awhile since I grew up in Berkeley and miss it terribly.

Just had to ask, is your cabin by any chance on North Ave? The view out the window looks surprisingly like our cabin from childhood...could it be??