Tuesday, February 01, 2011

singlespeed arizona / jay peak

One and a half more days of work and then I am on a plane out of this snow-laden land we call Connecticut. Destination: Tuscon Arizona to meet up with a bunch of friends, ride bikes, drink beer and partake in an event called "Singlespeed Arizona" hosted by Dejay from Niner/Ergon.

Strangely enough I am leaving on the tail end of yet another giant winter storm. It has been the theme for January this year. We have received over 50inches of snow this month alone! Well above the average. I recall seeing the grass in my yard on January 3rd. I know have snow drifts on the side of my driveway over 7ft tall.

Today it snowed 3-4 inches. Tonight it is supposed to sleet and tomorrow we are expecting another 8-10inches of snow. Somewhere in there we'll get freezing rain and a layer of ice on the ground. I spent Sunday shoveling the snow off the roof of my garage and porch for good measure. Also tried to clear away the gutters on the main portion of the house.

That is a full sized garden rake on the roof of my house. I've never had to do this before.

Last Wednesday (or was it Tuesday?) I boxed up the Cannondale 1FG for Arizona.

I haven't been riding any bicycles for almost three weeks now. Arizona is going to be interesting.

This past weekend I was up at Jay Peak in northern Vermont snowboarding for two days. They have plenty of snow for good conditions but I think we have more here in Connecticut. Ginger and I packed the cargo box on the Audi with our various snowboards (wanted to ride my regular camber and reverse camber boards back-to-back) and made the 4hr trip up there Thursday afternoon.

We had some great conditions and it even snowed Saturday for us. Rode quite hard on Friday. To the point where we had trouble walking because our legs were so sore. After a good night's rest we were back at it again on Saturday. Mixed our days up with a bunch of trails and lots of gladed runs (trees).

(I managed to get the Tram in the background)

They are expanding the base area a lot. Something like 16+ million dollars invested between a year or two ago and 2016. One such building will house an indoor water park. Complete with a lazy river and a wave pool. Quite amazing when you think of where Jay Peak resides (middle of now-where northeast Vermont).

Some views of the base area from the tram.

(waterpark is in the steel frame of a building on the far right of this pic)

top of the mountain

My favorite part of snowboarding at Jay Peak or Stowe are the woods. I found a fallen tree to ride through on one of our trips into the woods.

Late afternoon on Saturday we decided we were okay with a walk/hike. This meant we were heading off the mountain faaar skier's right... out of bounds. This started with the in-bounds gladed run on that section of the mountain. Rather than following the ski boundary we crossed it and kept on going. From previous experiences (last year and the year before) I knew this would put us out on VT242 a few miles away from the mountain's base lodge area. Not a big deal. With the snowpack present, we can also ride the side of the road on the descents and hike the ascents. Should take about an hour or so to get back to the car (it was at the resort). I also knew the tree coverage opened up enough to maintain momentum and make quite a few turns before having to stop and think about the next couple turns.

This was something Ginger's never done so we had to work our way up to this adventure. That was accomplished by riding the in-bounds gladed runs and keeping a close eye on how we were feeling (fatigue) throughout the day. She was feeling good and was confident in her riding so we committed to the little backcountry adventure. We first took a rest and replenished some energy stores (a Clif Shot Gel and some Shot Bloks) and then slowly made our way into the woods. The top was difficult for there is only one way in and the snowpack was quite scarce from so many people going into the glades. Lots of exposed trees and rocks we had to negotiate around.

The tail end of the lead-in for the glades.

Eventually we got past the lead-in and the found the ski boundary. 50-100 feet beyond the ski boundary the tracks started getting fewer and fewer. This is exactly what I wanted: The ability to make fresh tracks. The terrain also got a bit steeper which is another positive for us.

She's planning her next set of turns..


This is what we live for.

Upon reaching the road it was time to ride as much as we could back to the resort.

We came upon a few skiers as they did exactly what we just did but they went one step further.. They had a ride coming to pick them up. They offered us a lift back to my car and that is how we finished our mini snowboarding vacation.


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