Yep – I conquered one of my ski endeavors this weekend – the Keystone run called DiamondBack was totally my bitch!
I’ve returned from SnoFest! at Keystone without a broken bone or two! Incredible! Anyways, as promised, I have downloaded my pictures from the trip and posted them here. I must provide advance warning: some of the pics are very nice and pretty and blah blah blah – and some of the pictures are straight-up pics taken by and of drunk people. So if you can’t deal with that, bitch don’t care. I’ll expound on that last little phrase next month.
To recap the trip though: Awesomeness squared. There was no drama as potentially expected, everyone had a great time, no one got hurt, and the skiing was outstanding. We took off early Friday morning after combining people into two cars at Kyle’s house. On the way up, just right on Powers, Tom’s Explorer caught the ice wrong and spun out – fortunately that was the beginning and the end of the bad luck for the trip. Luckily he and his passengers weren’t hurt and the car was fine. The trek up to Keystone was uneventful as the weather was frickin’ beautiful. We then got ourselves parked and ready to go skiing, as we couldn’t check into the condo until the evening. And so we skied. And skied some more. Keystone really is a great resort – I didn’t really get to see much of it that first trip I took there last March, and during this trip, I got to see quite a few more runs on the front side of the mountain and take on some of the back side of the mountain, which is pretty advanced. What is cool about Keystone is that the length of the runs is very very long. You literally ski down the whole mountain, and some of the runs are 3 miles long or so. So you get a lot of turns, various steepness, potential for lots of speed, and an entertaining run in before you have to get back on the lifts. I’ve noticed that at Breckenridge, the runs aren’t quite as long as Keystone – but you do have many more to choose from than at Keystone. Regardless, it’s a very fun resort. On the second day of skiing was when I finally built up the courage to try a black diamond run. I had told myself to go for it this trip, but I was very willing to talk myself out of it though. Fortunately, I ended up running into Dave who talked up the DiamondBack trail. So I caught his enthusiasm and Kyle, Dave and I went down the trail. Of course, I had to take photos at the beginning and end of the trail – it’s not everyday you get to break your Black Diamond cherry. I will say that my heart was definitely beating superfast. I imagine that this isn’t the hardest of black diamonds to ski, but it certainly is long and steep. It starts off innocuously enough at the end of a little green bunny slope area (I kid you not) at the top of the mountain, but then you round a bend and see where the run pretty much slopes into the wham-o ‘black-diamond’ part. As you approach it, you can actually see the bottom and you realize that the bottom is VERY far down there and you have to ski to it to reach it. Well, I was there, so no turning around now. I felt pretty good while skiing down the run, especially when I saw other newbies trying to ski down it and who definitely looked a lot more scared than me. Before I knew it, I was down the mountain though, and it was awesome.
Jeremy also came up on Saturday, and we ended up all skiing around that afternoon, eventually meeting up to watch the Cardboard Derby set up for SnoFest. Basically people build various vehicles out of cardboard to race down the bunny slope. You hope to make it all the way to the finish line with an intact vehicle and not having to push it. Most do not meet these goals. But there were some that knocked that goal out of the park, including the NORAD bobsled team (freakin’ Fast!), the Short Yellow Bus, a giant Cricket cell phone, and a Viking warship. Some of these people got very creative. After watching that for a little bit, it was time to Night Ski! That is a definite fun experience, as the trails are much less crowded and the snow is great to ski on, as the iciness is mostly gone. Cheeks (I mean, Jeremy), KD, Eric and I went nightskiing for a while (Jeff went as well, but wanted to knock out more skiing without waiting) together, and of course fun was had by all.
I don’t want to leave out all the ridiculous fun had at night. The first night was pretty mellow, as we were all pretty damn tired, but not too tired to play some Karaoke Revolution! And of course drink. Which I did a lot of. No hangover the next day – woo hoo! Then on Saturday night, after night skiing, Jeremy, KD, Eric and I went out and got some pizza in the Keystone Village area. And of course drank. Then we went next door to Parrot Eyes bar, where we met up with Dave and Dallas, and of course we drank. Not to mention take lots of stupid pictures. As you’ll see below. Some hideous pics are also below. Then we went back to the lodge, and of course continued to drink (our driver, Eric, did NOT drink of course though – we are responsible people here!). That was when Jeremy and I probably should have stopped drinking, but c’est la vie. So even though we were hungover today, it was still lots of fun. The four of us stayed to do some more skiing this last day, but for me, the conditions were too icy; also, I think all the tiredness was catching up to me, I was still a bit hungover, and on one of the blue runs on the back of the mountain, I wiped out once and had to ski the gauntlet (what I call it, as basically you have to ski down this super-steep part of the mountain that everybody at the base is looking up at – so there’s like 200 people watching you ski or fall…) right afterwards. I was done. Everybody else had left in the morning, so I rode with Jeremy back to the Springs. All in all, a great weekend vacation!
And now, the pics: