For those of you living under a rock or suffering from a clinical case of depression; yesterday was Valentines Day.
If you were like me you were inundated with pictures of flowers, food, hugs, kisses, and a plethora of other -you should keep it to yourself because no one cares metaphors- captioned with the ever constant, “I love you”.
I read an interesting article in the New York Times citing that this past year more people actually broke up on Facebook than ended up in relationships… Besides thinking that was hysterical it got me thinking.
What do I really love?? Or sans that, who do I really love that isn’t going to end up as a status update??
Well, my Mom was my valentine but that doesn’t count.
I also love wine, happy hour, cover bands, and Internet porn.
But you know what.. I’d have to say that my one true love… That, ill always be there, I can be your little spoon whenever you want, let’s run away together kind of love… Is the mountain.
The mountain isn’t going anywhere. Just when I think the relationship is over in comes a fresh 3 feet of that -I can’t sleep, let’s make breakfast in the lift line, bring out the fattys- kind of dump.
The honeymoon stage never ends with the mountain. It gives me that warm and fuzzy roller coaster feeling every time I put down my goggles. Every turn. Every time.
The mountain doesn’t have to call back. It updates it’s conditions every hour just to let me know it’s ok.
You can’t have sex with the mountain. But you can do it on the gondola with someone you’ve just met there!
The list goes on and on… And on some more.
I mean, I’m just saying… If Facebook is any indication; it’s time to embrace what will never disappoint you. And that one true love for me just happens to be skiing.
Now a day’s everyone has their must do lists… bucket list, Christmas list, people I need to hook up with before they get married list. Lot’s of lists, all of them different, each one important to whoever came up with it. But not every one needs to be followed, addressed, and obeyed. This one isn’t the rule, but it is the exception… and before you start your hate-a-thon – the West Coast version is coming.
Without further delay… The Ski Till I Die Must Shred List of 2012:
10. Holiday Valley, NY
This was the first real mountain I ever skied. It was the ski trip I ever went on. And it gave me some of the best memories on skis I can ever remember. From their signature double black diamond run, The Wall, to the late night tree skiing under the lights on Tannenbaum… Holiday Valley is legit – and I hear the apres ski is some of the best you’ll find. If you ever stumble into Western New York give it a shot for the weekend. My brother from Cleveland will even meet you out for a run or two.
9. Middlebury Snow Bowl, VT
Home mountain for Middlebury College. 3 lifts, 18 runs, and one day of fun. Meet some of the Middlebury College co-eds, have them give you a look around, and if that doesn’t work out – check out the Blue Spruce for nightly accommodations.
8. Mt. Cranmore, NH
This was the first mountain I ever should have skied. I got bronchitous and my parents made me stay home. I was 7. 20 years later it’s a personal vendetta.
7. Jay Peak, VT
You want to hear a silly number? 400… 400 inches of natural snowfall a season. And they have a tram. The mile high club has NOTHING on Jay.
6. Tuckerman Ravine, NH
I was supposed to ski Tuckerman last season. Life got in the way and I never made it. Come this spring if you want to strap up with us, hike up for one glorious run, and then party like we’re living on borrowed time (because after you take off from the piste of this mountain you might be) then stay tuned. 2012 is the year of The Ravine.
5. Magic Mountain, VT
Love this mountain. Never say die attitude, friendly is an understatement, great back country, and awesome tree skiing.
4. Mad River Glen, VT
Ski It If You Can… over the gap, around the bend, into the lot, and up the single chair – only to come down again (and again and again) to enjoy a different kind of single chair. The base lodge is the #1 distributor of Magic Hat Single Chair in the country. Cheers!
3. Urban Jungle
Sometimes you get dumped on and don’t have any other choice but to stay home. Thinking you can’t shred in your urban homeland is ridiculous. Find a cliff, climb your roof, and get a camera.
2. Lift Line
Woods. Pico. No regrets. Ski it if you can find it. And after you do, find me at Casey’s Caboose for some wings and a few cold ones. Killington apres is second to none.
1. Hickory Ski Center
Hickory is one of those places you don’t want to tell your friends about. It’s like the middle school relationship you had to keep quiet otherwise your after school make outs behind the candy store would vanish faster than you found yourself getting home late every day. But if you never say anything about it; who else are you going to enjoy it with…
If you find yourself skiing one mountain this year, pick Hickory – you won’t regret it.
See you fools on the hill, or at the bar. Most likely the bar but who’s counting. Cheers!
The Beatles had it right when they wrote the song – St. Peppers’s Lonely Hearts Club Band / I Get By With A Little help From My Friends…
That’s why I am posting this.
Recently we got accepted as a project on Kickstarter – a website designed to help fund projects like ours and similar in concept to venture capitalism without sacrificing any equity in the company.
It’s a great way to help us get additional funding, give us more exposure, and provide another excuse to show off some of our custom designs. Not to mention that trade organization membership fees are expensive and for some reason cotton has almost doubled in price over the last 6 months. Check out the project here and let me know what you think!
If you have any questions you know where to find me! Until next time, cheers-
It’s April 18th today… tax day actually (DAMMIT). Down in NYC there is no snow left. The only sign that winter was here are the jackets hanging in the closet and the potholes that haven’t been filled yet. The trees are starting to bud and we have already enjoyed half a dozen 70- degree days.
Now, I’d rather be skiing than be doing anything else… but spring has arrived and in a few weeks Memorial Day BBQs will be dominating everyones agenda. It’s time to trade in the roof racks for the top down and our goggles for aviators.
So, what then, is a skier supposed to do when summer hits? Forget all about the nasty lines we skied this past season – along with the winter brews, layered expeditions, and countless back country excursions? Doubtful, but here are some things I came up with that we can all look forward to.
Summer brews are great. They’re lighter, sweeter, and nothing tastes better when the summer sun beats you down than a cold one in a coozie. Some of my favorites include: Anchor Summer Pale Wheat Ale, Sam Summer, and Blue Point Summer Ale. I love beer.
Just because there is no snow doesn’t mean you can’t ride the waves. Not to mention that girls look way better in bikinis than they do covered under layers of down and gore-tex. Grab a cooler, a shovel, and your Sponge Bob beach towel and scour the beach babes with your sunnies on. Give Long Beach, LI a shot. It’s an hour train from Penn Station in NYC and drops you off 3 blocks from the boardwalk.
Biking – Mountain Style:
Probably my favorite summer activity. I don’t like to sweat or exercise but when it comes to mountain biking I can make the exception. It’s the best cross training you can do for skiing, you get to play in the mud, and you don’t need a lift ticket. If you live in Ohio give Alum Creek mountain bike trails a try- it’s the most vertical you’ll find in the heartland.
I like alliteration. I also like boating. Granted that gas will probably hit $5 a gallon this summer (which means it will be closer to $6-7 on the water) but there is no substitute to heading out to sea with a few buddies, fishing poles, and a few cases of America’s finest for the day. Try out Tices Shoals on the Jersey Shore for one of their famous bay days, give everyone the boaters wave, you won’t regret it.
There is no better feeling than throwing marinated meat on the grill, hearing it snap-crackle-pop, and serving up a course of your world famous ribs to a hungry party. Mean people don’t barbecue, it’s a well known fact. The more you grill the more fun you’re having. The smell of charcoal fills the air and all is right with the world. If by chance you haven’t achieved the status of Grill Master just yet then head to Memphis In May for their annual BBQ fest. I have been all over the world, and no one does barbecue like the local Memphis faithful.
That’s about all I have for now. But once everyone comes out of hibernation there is another season of fun just waiting for us to take advantage of it. If you get bored and decide to road trip it, you can find me down the Jersey Shore for the summer, flip flops on, and something cold in the Coleman at my feet.
Ever since the beginning of time, when the second skier dropped a line of fresh pow after their buddy, moguls have been in existence. They are older than any living person on this planet, so respect. And bumps are fun, plain and simple.
Earlier this season we sponsored the first organized mogul competition I had ever been to at Blue Mountain. We had such a blast we decided to come back for seconds. So I thought it might be nice for some of my ambitious readers to check out what it takes to put together a comp of their own. Take these rules to a mountain near you and I am sure that the events coordinator at your respective hill will have a hard time saying no.
The following write up is courtesy of the resident mogul director at Blue – Flying Johnny:
2011 2nd Annual Blue Mountain Bump N Jump
Times and Location: This years 2nd annual Blue Mountain Bump N Jump will take place on March 5th 2011. Sign ups for the event will be held at the Summit Lodge the morning of the event from 8:00am to 10:30am. The cost of the event is $15. You will need to purchase a separate lift ticket to participate. Each competitor will need to fill out a waiver form to compete. If you are under 18, you will need to have a guardian’s signature.
Practice for the event will take place from 11:00am to 11:45am. We will be having a competitors meeting at 11:45am at the finish line of the course. After the meeting you will be able to ask questions if needed. By 12:00 Noon, we will start the competition. There will be an awards ceremony following the competition in the Summit Lodge. There will be medals/prizes awarded to our top skiers.
Mogul Scoring and Judging: In this year’s mogul competition, we will be having 4 different age categories: 17 and under, 18 to 35, 36 to 49 and 50 and up. Men and women will be separated. Each competitor will have one run to impress the judges. The judges will be looking for good turns while staying in your line. This will consist of 50% of your score. The second thing they will be looking for is your aerial jump. This will be 25% of your score. There will be two aerial jumps in the course. And lastly, your time. Each competitor will be judged on how fast they ski the course from start to finish. Now remember all the categories come into effect so just because you finish with a fast time does not mean you will move on. There will be medals awarded to 1st,2nd and 3rd place competitors in each age group.
We will be choosing the top 8 women and the top 16 men to move on to our Dual Race. The dual race will consist of picking the top 8 highest scores for the women, and the top 16 highest scores for the men. In the dual races we will not be competing in any age categories, but we will be dual racing to find the best women and men bumper.
After every competitor is finished with their first run, we will then take a half hour intermission to calculate who the top 8 women and the top 16 men will be to move on to duals. Each competitor should meet at the finish line to see if they qualified for our dual event. We will then announce the names, and then you may proceed to the top of the course so we can start the duals.
The dual races will be judged by 5 judges. There will be two judges looking at turns/line. There will be one judge looking at your aerials. There will also be one judge watching to see who comes across the finish line first. And lastly there will be one overall judge. The winner will move on and the loser will be eliminated.
Rules for the competition: Each competitor must wear a helmet while competing. Remember this mogul competition is an amateur event, so there will be no inverted aerial jumps. You may perform single, double, triple, or even quad maneuvers when jumping. 360’s, 720, and corks are allowed. Competitors may NOT perform the same jump twice in a single run. Example: If on your first jump you do a daffy, the second jump may not be another daffy. It can be a double daffy, or a daffy spread eagle. Remember, you are being judged on your aerials, so be creative.
Disqualification: A skier will be disqualified if they: do not finish with at least one (1) ski. If they run into any part of the course netting. If you perform any inverted jumps. While dual racing you will be DQ if you leave your skiing line. All other rules apply. *If you false start in the dual event you will lose your points for speed*
Let me know if you put together a comp and we will be sure to be there!
Happy bumping to all, and to all a powder day.
When I was 17 years old I worked in a ski shop, drove a ’96 Jeep Cherokee, and loved stickers. I know, random. And you are probably wondering to yourself how are those 3 things interconnected. Well let me tell you!
Whenever we got a new shipment of ski apparel the vendors we paid attention to would always include stickers with their merchandise and those stickers would go straight on the rear windshield of the Jeep, onto my skis, or plastered on my high school locker. I wasn’t cool but stickers were.
Now, a decade later, I have become more of a loser and stickers somehow got even more popular. You see them everywhere – helmets, cars, skis, racks, windows, chairlifts – anywhere that allows an adhesive to stick to its surface most likely has a sticker attached to it.
Stickers have become a counter culture of sorts. They have become another way for a generation to express themselves. Look at someones laptop. They’ll have their favorite band, their political affiliation in the form of some clever prose, and the skis they rock – all stuck to their metaphorical forehead.
Essentially, if you are in the industry and without stickers consider yourself outdated and irrelevant.
Stickers were one of the first things we purchased. In the heat of the moment (no relation to the Asia hit of the 80’s) we made a bad move. Our stickers had a paper base so they would peel off the second they got wet – not good when your business makes a living in the snow – and they didn’t have a .com attached to the name.
You live, you learn. I finally found a worthwhile sticker company I could afford -Sticker Giant. When I told them about Ski Till I Die they immediately got it – I guess I wasn’t the first Einstein with the ground breaking idea to get water proof bumper stickers – and they were able to print some gnar worthy custom bumper stickers for us. If your’e in the market for custom stuff I definitely recommend using these guys.
The sticker saga was just another step in the right direction for us. Now we get to plaster hot pink decals all over our gear in the hopes that it draws the attention of some new school shredder. And if not I end up with new wallpaper that can stand up to another blizzard of ’96 type of snowfall.
Cheers & keep shredding,
It is only February 1st and far this season we have received close to 54″ of snow in the greater NYC & Hoboken area. Its been miserable, cold, wet, and treacherous. No one wants to go outside, shoveling out your car is next to impossible, and paying an extra $5 for delivery is well worth the cost versus challenging the sidewalk & the elements. All of this is true, unless you happen to ski; in which case then this is the BEST WINTER EVER!!!
If you live in the city like me then you most likely do not have a car and finding a friend with wheels is about as easy as hailing a cab, in midtown, during a downpour. So how then are you supposed to get to the mountain??
You could train it… actually, no you can’t. You could join Zipcar, which isn’t a terrible idea, but it starts at $200 for a weekend & you have to fight with availability of vehicles that can actually make it to the mountain. You could hitchhike, but I think that only works in Bozeman Montana. Or, the other option is to join a group who already organizes trips and jump on it with them!
I am sure there are a bunch of different groups who organize outings but best I have found are through Zog Sports: http://www.zogsports.org/nyc/Trip/Ski.aspx
Zog is a co-ed adult social sports league based in NYC who already organize kickball leagues, camping trips, and happy hours galore. So you can bank on their ski trips being a blast. Their day trips start at $100. With lift tickets costing $65+ at Hunter, Windham, and Belleayre that means you are paying $45 for the bus ride up and back. Not terrible when you consider that a Zipcar would cost roughly the same per person with 4 of you headed up & you have to drive home with no option to enjoy a little apres ski action.
Zog also has weekend trips for those ambitious New Yorkers who really want a long weekend away. The next and last one they have listed is a spring skiing trip to Mount Snow (http://mountsnow.com/) for $390. Now if I break that one down it’s still a pretty good deal:
2-Day Lift Pass – $148
On Mountain Lodging – $100 / night
Includes 2 breakfasts and dinner + happy hour specials
Actually, thats a really great deal… maybe ill go too.
Even if you don’t do Zog, group trips like this are the best. Put yourself on a bus with 50 other like minded people and you are bound to make some new ski buddies. Not to mention that the only way to beat the snow is to enjoy it – so really you should find yourself on the mountain EVERY WEEKEND!
The bottom line is there are 2 types Citidiots. The New Yorkers who complain about the weather and hibernate all season and then there are the ones who embrace the bombardment of snow and opt to head to powder day paradise for their weekend enjoyment. As a result your options are two fold: head to the office on Monday and give everyone a summary of the movies you watched on demand -or- you could head to the office on Monday and already start planning the next skiing excursion with the fellow ski bums you met on the bus ride up from your trip.
It’s your choice, but wouldn’t you rather get the hell out of dodge during weather like this? I know I would.
Cheers & keep shredding!