Hello fellow snow-lovers!On The HillI really like Keystone. I know where there's untracked snow. I like the lift system. I like riding in a gondola with my Starbucks first thing in the morning. I like Jackwhacker terrain park. I like the bump runs and the trees on North Peak. I like the ski school staff. I even think night skiing is interesting - especially if the moon is full. And once upon a time, I liked opening weekend at Keystone. But the management at Keystone have decided that skiing on opening weekend is a dangerous activity and should be avoided. Instead, skiers and snowboarders should stand in a lift line for an hour for the privilege of riding a fixed grip double (Argentine) for twenty minutes. The ultimate goal is a run that is probably half the length of Loveland's and much flatter. Admittedly, there were a couple of short stretches with a fair pitch to them but they were each lined with at least five members of ski patrol to make sure you didn't actually ski. C'mon folks - let's get Peru Express running at full speed and let's have some fun! We came to ski!Well, enough of that. I had a new toy on Saturday - one of those Sony Walkmans with the G protection. CDs just don't skip. It was only $85 at Circuit City. It was interesting to listen to Mozart's Requiem while watching hundreds of people waiting to do a run. There was also a crane that had hoisted one of the River Run Gondola cars about forty feet up into the air. Inside were five people trying to stick it out for several weeks to win $20,000. Survivor style. They had to get up and down with a rope. I was pretty exhausted and thirsty after my two big runs, so I was forced to head for the bar. Samuel Adams joined me there shortly. Together, we watched the Aggies put the hurt on Kansas State. During commercials I was able to play a very interesting version of quarters. They have an urn perched up amongst the liquor bottles and I spent about $15 trying to make baskets. I don't think the NBA is going to be calling me anytime soon. The bartenders are pretty good though. I think that's their Hawaii fund. What's almost as amusing as making a basket is seeing where the quarters go when you miss - ice bin, wastebasket, somebody's beer, etc.My favorite person of the day was a young kid that came in and sat next to my husband. At first I couldn't make out the gender. Dreadlocks, nail polish, big baby blues - think androgynous. We got to talking and it turns out that HE is a film major at CU Boulder that skis and snowboards and telemarks and just does it all. He's a Colorado native. He works at the Boulder REI, which must be the coolest place in Colorado (meaning on the entire planet) to work. And what a totally wonderful laid-back personality. Christian, truly from the heart. Anyway, he told us some hilarious stories of encounters with Texans and the Texans came out on top. That was when I really started to like the guy.There are two ways to come home from Keystone. One is back out to I-70 and then through Eisenhower tunnel. The other way is across Loveland Pass and goes right past Arapahoe Basin ski area. Just out of curiosity, I decided to have a quick look-see. I am always just astounded at the way the mountains reach straight up to the sky there. It's like the earth is set on edge. The upper east wall looks impossible, but it's on my list this year. My reconnaissance mission revealed that there are already a couple of inches on the ground up there, which is pretty awesome. I guess A-Basin has some sort of secret snow-magnet. Chatter: Never-EversLast week I called up Loveland to see when they were going to get the Valley open. I can see that they are blowing snow over there, so I expect they'll be ready this weekend. I've got some friends that are never-evers and I think that might be the best place to start this early in the season. When I asked the girl on the phone at Loveland about never-evers, I got that silence at the other end of the line that says someone has no idea what you're talking about. I asked her how long she had been in Colorado and she told me she had just gotten here the week before. Nuf said. (I didn't bother to tell her that she was a never-ever.)I am pretty adamant about never-evers taking lessons before they even think about going up with the big boys. I know one macho jock guy that didn't need any lesson - he got off his first chair and started off down the hill with his macho-style speed and immediately yard-saled and torqued his knee real good. ACL or something. His first run was his last. I know a very nice lady whose husband decided he could do a perfectly good job of teaching his wife at Vail over Thanksgiving. On a looooong blue run. That run was her first and her last and wasn't much good for the marriage either.Look at me on the other hand. I spent all of my first day on the bunny hill at Keystone and half of my second. Finally on the second afternoon, the instructor took us up Peru Express. It was a pretty wild ride down, but at least I had some basic tools by that time and managed to enjoy the thrill of the speed you can get on a blue groomer. My teacher taught me a lot of things that weekend that have helped me enjoy my time on the mountain ever since. Simple things like stopping to rest in the sun and out of the wind so I would be comfortable. And that when I was ready to start again I should look up the hill to wait for a break in the traffic before I started. And that even if I happened to get on a run that was way above my skill level, I could get down it by side-slipping, so I never had to be afraid of any part of the mountain. And I should never take off my skis and try to walk down because my skis have much better grip than my boots. He probably also taught me something about turning and stopping too.News & Real DealsGood skier friends that were up at Loveland last weekend report that the lines were short/non-existent after 11:00 and the snow quality was good. They've also expanded the terrain a bit.Breckenridge is having a somewhat silly opening: "Breckenridge kicks off the season with a special Election Year Opening Day! Come dressed as your favorite political character for a chance to win a season pass."Arapahoe Basin must be the best ski area to work: "The pre-employment drug test has been removed and the ski area has continued to offer "relaxed" grooming standards." And we're not talking about snow grooming either. http://www.arapahoebasin.com/newsroom/Wolf Creek is open with a 30" natural mid-mountain base. The last storm brought them 19". Can you imagine how sweet it must be to have a powder day in October? They've got a new quad too - serving what sounds like some incredible terrain. I've just got to get down there this season.November 2-5 is the annual SnowSports Expo at the Colorado Convention Center. If you plan to go, you should print out this coupon, http://www.denverpost.com/skisnow/skisnow.htm, to get a $3 discount at the door. The entry fee pays for itself with a two-for-one early ski season day. This will also be a good chance to pick up equipment. I am guessing that you'll be able to get ski passes there as well. Here's the big hot news you get for reading this far: I heard that Shawn Palmer, snow-lover extraordinaire from Tahoe, would be there. I don't know what day yet, but I'm sure gonna find out!Next Day OutWe'll be skiing on Saturday, but I'm really not sure where yet. I'm easy to spot with my cow-print hat and braids. My husband always wears his trusty blue helmet. As always, all of you are welcome to join us anytime for fun on the hill. Also, if you would like to stop receiving this email - just drop me a line. If you know anyone else that might want to get this report just send me their email and I'll add them to the list.Miriam...See you on the slopes...Please don't hesitate to let me know what you think of this report. What do you like? What don't you like?Ski AreasArapahoe Basin Http://www.arapahoebasin.com/inside.php3 Aspen Highlands Http://www.skiaspen.com/ Sat, Dec 16 Ajax Http://www.skiaspen.com/ Sat, Nov 18 Beaver Creek Http://www.beavercreek.com/ Breckenridge Http://www.breckenridge.com/ Fri, Nov 3 Berthoud Pass Http://www.berthoudpass.com/main.html Buttermilk Http://www.skiaspen.com/ Sat, Dec 16 Copper Mountain http://www.ski-copper.com/Home.html Sat, Nov 4 Loveland (1) Http://www.skiloveland.com/ Open Keystone (1) Http://www.keystoneresort.com/ Open Snowmass Http://www.skiaspen.com/ Sat, Nov 18 Vail Http://www.vail.com/ Fri, Nov 17 Winter Park/Mary Jane Http://www.skiwinterpark.com/ Wed, Nov 15 Wolf Creek http://www.wolfcreekski.com/welcome.html Open Colorado Ski & Golf(303) 337-1734 2680 S Havana Street Aurora (303) 420-0885 6530 Wadsworth Bypass # 130 Arvada Gart Sports (303) 741-9621 9000 E Peakview Avenue Englewood near Arapahoe Rd & I25 (303) 220-9933 2690 E County Line Road Littleton (303) 692-0121 2496 S Colorado Boulevard Denver (303) 340-3524 14401 E Exposition Avenue Aurora (303) 341-4305 14200 E Alameda Avenue Aurora (303) 333-4123 3000 E 1st Avenue # 123 Denver (303) 333-1933 233 Milwaukee St Denver (303) 933-9005 8055 W Bowles Avenue # 4 Littleton (303) 972-0350 8501 W Bowles Avenue Littleton (303) 861-1122 1001 Lincoln Street Denver (Sports Castle) (303) 922-5549 7200 W Alameda Avenue Lakewood (303) 431-8537 7400 W 52nd Avenue # A Arvada (303) 920-2226 251 W 104th Avenue Denver Christy Sports (303) 708-8535 9609 E County Line Road # A Englewood (303) 740-7055 5926 S Holly Street Englewood (303) 321-3885 201 University Boulevard Denver (303) 972-0432 8176 W Bowles Avenue Littleton (303) 237-6321 875 Parfet St Lakewood (303) 271-0155 14371 W Colfax Avenue Golden
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