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Day 32 4-13-03 Hunter My season comes to a close
My car was in the shop so I crammed in the back of Bobby Jack's station wagon with only two skis and a snow board. A beautiful spring day. I started out on my Atomic Beta Race 9.12 150cm, a snappy fun little ski. This puppy rocks! All though it is not a good ski for jumping. It is an SL race ski. I did get some great runs out of it though maybe four. The spring weather was showing itís muscle as the bare spots grew. Here is a view of Racers Edge . I skied a few runs with the Ski Bums Ski Club President, Glenn Defrancesco. He and I skied some great runs together. Then I headed for the park. Here was a nice jump, so I decided to hit it. Further down the trail I hit another one. Not as good. I broke the tail on a nose up landing off a table top. Not Cool! A great ski trashed! Always spot the terrain! On 4-6 I hit this jump, it was very smooth. Well on this day I hit the jump early in the morning. The snow was still firm and fast, set up from the cold night before. I guess the grooming crew felt it would be nice to add a kicker lip to the top edge of the jump. As I raced up the launch pad I got a glimpse of the new top lip. No turning back now. Shoulders back and centered prepare for flight. The speed and height were fine I just kept my shoulders back too long and did not arc the jump. I was still able to ski the ski down, but it is toast. Next up I wanted to try my snow board and get a feel for it before hitting the pond skim contest. The snow was quickly turning to mash potatoes. I took a practice run down Madison Ave. At first it was a little weird. I needed much more of a leaning over move to get the board to engage. More of a Bi-ski initiation then a mono-ski. After a turn or two I got the rhythm going and started to pick up speed. About a third way down the trail in a craving right turn I took a little air off a clump of snow. As soon as the board made contact with the snow SNAP! I broke the binding. Well here is a tip. Never use a composite binding with a snow board. Too weak. Next season an all metal 747 equipe. Next up, my last ski. I switch to my Atomic R11.20 160cm. This is a great ski. If I had only one choice of a ski for the season it would be this ski. I skied and reviewed this ski in a 180cm. I loved it. But dropping shorter with this ski is even better. It was time to hit the west side. Got Bumps? Clairís does. Looking down, looking up. Bumps, Bumps. I was feeling my age after two runs. I ran in to long time friend and ski bud Tim. He now is a switch hitter and rides a board. We hit a few runs together and caught last chair. We hung out at the summit for a while, taking in the end of the season. Then dropped in for the last run. There are more images you can click through here There were a few other days I lost track of, that was a great season!
The NJ Ski Bums wind the season down with yet another beautiful sunny day at Hunter, NY. My Daughter Gina and I skied all over. She is doing so well. Greens are now easy for her and even some blues. She has skied a few blacks and is really linking turns well with consistent pole plants. I decided to bring my camcorder to try and get some video clips. The clips will be posted soon, so come back. My friend from the ski club Glenn Defrancesco shot some video clips. I met Glenn on the Bus. He is a great guy. He usually will have a good joke for you and he can execute it well if you ask. But I saw a more serious side to him. He is a great skier. Race trained and knows the dynamics of what it takes to arc a ski. While most of the Ski Bums bomb down the trail. Glenn does so with a calculated style that I honed right in on. His desire for good and proper technical skills coupled with his understanding of the equipment and its performance makes for a great Visual aid. If am the only adaptive skier who will ever learn from him, that is okay Because I bring to others that I teach what I have gleaned from him. We are friends on the surface But Glenn has impacted my skiing in a way that is far reaching to others as well. And he doesnít even really know it. The dude just rocks. All I wanted to do was ski with him and not slow him down. Anyway, I strapped the Camcorder to my knees for some interesting footage. This is my Knee view getting on the chair lift. At the summit, a little goofing off. Then Glenn heads for Hell Gate and I follow with the Knee cam running. This is some cool footage, but it can give you a headache. Try to keep you head from tilting. Here is Glennís attempt at Hellgate. Here is a knee view of a small table top jump. Then Glenn took the cam to shoot me. Here is a top to bottom park run. This is carving through the thick mash potatoes on Kennedy and hitting a little jump at the bottom. I skied with my daughter and we had a great day. I skied my Atomic Supercross SX.11 170cm. Great Ski, but it is now pretty flat. Another great day on show. Gina and I caught last chair. She likes to catch last chair, just like her daddy.
Sorry for no log.
Sorry for no log.
Sorry for no log. But I have some nice images. Oh, I remember this day. I just got strapped in. Here I am MP3 player on and ready to rock. HellGate in the morning, another view. Some Ski Bums at the summit, and they keep comming. My buddy Ed and I going west. We beat the camber out of my Supercross SX:11 on WestWay aka(44) one of Hunters back side bad boys. Bumpy, thick , Steep, bare spots , big ruts.Too much fun.
Sorry for no log.
Again! No student for me, so I skied my heart out, bumps bumps. skied my Supercross.
Again! No student for me, so I skied my heart out, bumps bumps. skied my Supercross.
Sorry for no log.
A fun day with my daughter. She skied Hell Gate and did it well!
This was the skiing portion of my adaptive level two exam. One module down, three more modules to go. I took the exam on my Rossignol powerpulsion Viper STX 170cm. IT was a great choice. This ski has a nice sharp edge and is an all around rocking ski. First thing in the morning we had a twenty question, multiple choice ATS exam. I did not do as well as I would have liked to, but I passed it. Next up, on snow. First run, short radius turns on a steep slick black. What a way to warm up.
We moved around the mountain skiing short, medium, and long radius turns on varying terrain. Then over to a nice bump field. I have been working the bumps for a few weeks, so I was ready for this run and I nailed it. A few more steeps and the morning portion on the exam was over. Afternoon it was more of the same only slower and not as steep.
I had a great time. I love this sport. Everyone did a great job. Some of the gang did not pass. It surprised me, but I understand the examiner is not looking at how good you ski and even look. As much as how well you blend all the ATS skills as you demonstrate them. I think we all skied great, but I was looking at the big picture, not the fine points of ATS skill blending. Well, time to hit the books and study up.
Day 21, 2-8-03 Lesson Windham
Pat, 3rd time mono skier, great balance and strength, but it was a full house for sit down equipment and we wound up with the wrong equipment for Pat. His center of mass was too far back and too low. But he still managed to link turns. He has great potential to rip up the mountain. Great job Pat!
Day 20, 2-7-03 Free ski Hunter Exam Prep
A great day of skiing. I tested out a new ski. The Rossignol Powerpulsion Viper STX 170cm. Another bad boy! This ski is an all mountain ripper. Fast edge to edge, carves a mean arc. A little stiff in the bumps, but I aced the bump part of my level 2 exam with it so I am not complaining. Short medium and long turns are all no problem for this smoking gun of a ski. Pinning the rear binding took a little welding, but the binding works great. The ski is fast and strong with a lot of performance to offer. I hooked up with this guy Dave on the chair and we hit it off pretty good so we skied most of the day together. At lunch he showed me some great tuning tools and tuned my skis.
It was another great day at Hunter.
Day 19, 02-01-03 Lesson @ Windham
Student Kevin skis the quad all day.
Day 18, 01-27-03,Hunter with my daughter Gina, and the ski bums.
It was her first bus ski trip and her first day on snow this season.
We skied green, blue and black. She is skiing so well. We caught last chair at 4pm.
Day 17, 01-25-03 No lesson, free ski
Tested the Volkl P50 Plat. 168cm. This little ski rocks.
It took all I dished out and kept right on performing.
This ski moves right to the TOP of my list.
Day 16, 01-19-03 Exam Prep Clinic @ Windham NY
Early morning Clinic, then free ski then an Afternoon clinic.
Day 15, 01-18-03 Teaching 5th lesson @ Windham NY
Skiing the half pipe with Grant, then an after noon clinic.
I broke my Rossi 9S on a table top jump. Just 6 more inches.
Day 14, 01-11-03 Teaching 4th lesson @ Windham NY
Student Kevin, doing well.
Day 13, 01-08-03 Ski Bums @ Hunter, NY
The first Ski Bum Bus of the 2003 season. It was a good turnout and the bus stop.
My Buddy Scotty came up from PA to have a fun day of free skiing.
It was a bit on the cold side, but not too cold. I started out with the Atomic SL 11.21 181cm. I found the SL to be a little to restricting for me. It is a good ski for racing, but I would rather and all mountain ski. I switched to my Elan MX Four 173cm and ripped it up for the rest of the day.
Day 12, 01-04-02 Teaching 3rd lesson @ Windham NY
The big storm was calling for a lot of snow, so I decided to head up the night before.
Well, it was a long, white knuckle trip. I made it up okay. By the morning there was close to two feet of snow to contend with. Talk about a powder day! I was able to get a few runs before line up. I chose my K2 Enemy 184cm. It is one of my widest skis and floats nicely on fresh powder. Soon it was lesson time. I hooked up with our student Kevin and Tom another instructor with our program and we hit the snow. Kevin is literally one good load away from being an independent mono-skier. Kevin is working on self loading and
he is so close to nailing it. His skiing is very good. He is so relaxed in the bucket and it shows. We skied through some nice soft bumps and Kevin skied a great line every time.
He is well on his way to free skiing the mountain.
Day 11, 12-28-02 Teaching @ Windham NY.
I started out early, on snow at 8AM to test out a new ski. The Atomic SL 11.12 157cm.
This is the shortest ski I ever used. I liked it! Turn, turn and turn, this ski likes to turn.
At speed it was a bit weak in the tail, but still a lot of fun. I would not use it as an all mountain every day ski, but for bumps and Slalom. I switched back to my Nordica Beast 72 166cm for the lesson. I skied the morning with me student on the Nordica. This ski is a bit too soft for me. Well, in all fairness it is an intermediate ski. I would suggest an all mountain expert or race ski. The Lesson went very well. My student is a very good skier with aspirations of racing some day. With some more lessons, practice, and hard work, she will get there. She did not want much to do with a lesson as much as free skiing. So I went along with her idea and pointed out some things she could work on as we free skied.
The conditions were great. After lunch we hit the show again to find some nice bumps.
I switched to my Elan MX4 173cm. This ski ROCKS! I love it. We found some bumps and skied some steeps. It was a great day on snow and we ended off the a program christmas party.
Day 10, 12-26-02 24+inches on POWDER at Hunter NY
Well, we where dreaming of a white CHRISTmas, and we got it.
It snowed most of the night down where I live, we get a few inches, but up north
It came down as if old man winter had some catching up to do. I headed up alone
for a solo free ski day in some real powder. These days are few and far between here in the east so you try to take them when you can get them. By time I got on the mountain every trail was tracked, so I was not getting first tracks, but I did find a few untouched lines here and there. Face shots all day and bumps, bumps, bumps, soft fluffy bumps.
It was a cold day, wicked cold with the nasty wind at the summit and on the west side.
But on the front on the mountain it was great. I chose my Atomic 11:20 from my ski arsenal for the assault on powder day. It is a great all around ski and floats nice
in the soft stuff. You have to be light on your riggers in this stuff. I did catch a few bumps and some deep stuff, so I started feeling it in my shoulders and arms. But it made for a good work out. I hooked up with my friend Scott, and we skied a few runs together to end the day. It is a good thing because I was getting very tired and started getting sloppy.
Then I was taken out by a rouge boarder. My ski was twisted a bit out of the rear binding so we had to do a remount on the trail. This was a day to remember! A great powder day
for us here in the east.
Day 8&9, 12-21/22-02 Mono Clinic Windham NY
I started the day early to test out a new ski. The Nordica beast 72 166cm twin tip. This is an all mountain intermediate ski. I was thinking it would be a bit too soft for a mono, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a little soft in the tail, but I do like the ski. Mono Clinic time. This was a great opportunity for those instructors who wanted to get in the bucket and learn to mono-ski to do so. Day one we stayed in the beginner area. Some got it right away and others took more time. Windham Mountain put in a magic carpet in place of an old rope tow. The magic carpet is a conveyor belt, it is easy to get on and off. After lunch I jumped in John's Yetti and He jumped in the program Revolution. Again I like the ski, but I would need to make some chainges in order to feel more comfortable in it. One would me a higher back, longer riggers, and a few other things. It sits much higher, not bad, but I was out of my comfort zone. I tool a run from the summit, but I was back to the death grip on the riggers and not really in the zone. When I got back to the group John wanted out of the Revolution and wanted out of the Yetti, so we switched. I took a group up the lift and we did some skiing.
Day two we all hit the lift for some more mono-skiing. All the would be mono skiers had a blast and a few are ready to get their own mono-ski to join in on the fun. It was a great clinic to be a part of. Kirsty and John did such a great job teaching us the progression to getting a never ever from balance on flat snow to linking turns on the mountain.
Time for a free ski day. What better day then a Wednesday at Hunter.
I got together with an old friend of mine Phil for a day on the Mountain.
We could not have asked for a better day. Blue sky and cool temps.
I skied my K2 Enemy 184cm with a Salomon binding. We ripped it up all day.
It was day one for Phil, he had been snow boarding for the past few years and it was his first time on skis in a while. For day one on snow Phil Rocked! He is such good skier.
He skis a beautiful line and such grace and ease. He makes it look easy.We had a great time. Phil and I go way back. The last time I skied with him at Hunter was before my accident In 1981. Soon After that Phil became a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He gained A new perspective and porpoise for his life and I noticed a peace and joy in him that was not there before. He shared with me this free gift of God called salvation. I realized that I could never earn God's love or His salvation on my own by doing good or trying to be good. But God in his Love and Grace provided the gift of Salvation through his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Soon After I too chose to give my life to Jesus and accept God's salvation for myself. Phil gave his live to God, and God used Phil to lead me to salvation. I thank God for the friend I have in Phil.
Day 6, 12-14-02, I teach my 1st lesson of the season Windham NY
I ended last season teaching Kevin, and He was my first lesson this season.
He did great! So relaxed, He was skiing as if it was mid season. Top to bottom
Skiing linking up turns like a natural. The man in a mono-skier for sure.
Day 5, 12-7-02 3 Track training with Bob Windham NY
What a great clinic! I love Bob's clinics. It is best to have your Outriggers adjusted to the proper length for your height. We worked on rigger placement, turn initiation, turn shape and other helpful things.
Day 4 Blind Training 12-01-02 Windham NY
Blind clinic. Very cold, early start, 8am for some runs. Great conditions. I switched to my Atomic 11:20 180cm. We got into groups to work on being a guide and trying different methods of guiding blind skiers. It was a wicked cold day, so we took an early lunch. After a few runs it was back into training. I rode the magic carpet lift. Very cool and easy, no more pushing up the beginner hill. We finished off inside to warm up.
I took a few more runs at the end of the day and headed home.
Bi-ski Training 11-30-02 Day 3 Windham NY
Bi-ski training. We got an early start. 8am clinic with Kim from PSIA. She is a great skier and an excellent instructor. We worked on maintaining parallel edge angles. For us in the mono-ski we worked on getting the ski out away and creating more angulation. After Kin's clinic it was right into the Bi-ski. I was in the bucket on the Bi-Unique, for some tethering training. The we were indoors for part of the clinic. After lunch
It was back on snow with Kim to work on some skills to help tether.
We worked on flat ski sliding perpendicular to the fall line with a 180 flat ski turn to continue the slide. Then adding in a stop. Then a hockey stop.
Then the power wedge. Great clinic, Thanks Kim! After that some free ski runs. It was slick, cold and getting bumpy.
Mono-ski Training 11-29-02 Day 2 Windham NY
On snow training day, mono-ski clinic. I was ready to get some early runs at 8am only to find that the lifts don't open until 9am on weekdays. Not a problem. Training was great. It's good to be back with the gang at the Adaptive sports foundation. Started off on my, well tuned (thanks to AJ and the gang at the Windham ski shop) Atomic Smart zone 180cm. Conditions were great, but got scraped off by the end of the day.
Here we go! 11-21-02 Day 1 Hunter NY
Cool! Day one of ski season 02-03 has come and gone.
Hunter opened! A little latter the planned but better late then never.
I headed up early alone for a solo day of free skiing to work out the bug and get me ski chops back. I got on snow about 8:45 am and headed for the summit. It was a little gray
Out, but not to cold, low to mid 40's. Hellgate looked like this as I headed for the summit. I started off on my Volkl P40 RC 178cm. Perfect choice, the P40 is a good strong ski and really likes ice and hard pack. The shorter 178 provided the quick snappy turns I needed to navigate the bumps. The conditions were hard packed crusty bumps. Greaaat, what a way to start the season, do or die. But it was very cool. I like a good challenge and this was it. The lower mountain lost a lot of due to yet another warm spell. But the top half of the mountain was in good shape. Skiing Hellgate, broadway to F lift was the run of the day. It is not a long run, but the varying terrain and great for a season warm up. I picked up a digital music player over the summer and this was my first time skiing to music. I love it. I was able to zone in and focus. My lines got tighter and it was a lot of fun rocking Hellgate to some Creed, Nickelback and some classic rock.
I was feeling the result of a lazy summer pretty quick, however, my turns were right there. After about ten runs I was getting tired and did not want to push it too hard on the first day. I opted to ski down the lower mountain and pick my way through the holes and bare spots. The other option was to down load on the chair lift. There was only two or three big water ruts that cut the trail from end to end, but there were huge bare spots to navigate like this. I actually like this sort of thing. It is a very cool challenge if you don't mind the down side. That would be falling over in the wet mud, of breaking a ski. If you are going to cross a patch of grass on your mono you want to hit it as square or perpendicular as you can. And you want to hit it with some speed. You need to be relaxed and centered in the bucket in the neutral position, just like hitting a jump. Once you hit the bare spot your speed will drop dramatically.
If you are in a turn, or on edge chances are you will fall right over in the water rut.
You know how I know thisÖ You guessed it, experience, I have done it before
and probably will do it again. You would think, well dude, if you did it before
why would you do it again, did you learn for your mistake? Well yes, but there is no absolutes, the mountain and conditions are ever changing. Let me explain. I dumped it two times on this first attempt down the lower mountain. Well first off, my gut feeling was to call ski patrol and have one of them escort me down, just in case I got in a tight spot. I didn't. The first rut I came upon was on a fairly flat area. But I could not really tell how deep the rut was until I was right on top of it. You have less and less time to react and make adjustments. If the rut is wide and deep you do not want to hit it fast and straight. That will snap your ski and may ever cause injury. You would want to stop at the rut and with riggers up slowly push your self over the rut. You also want to pick the spot of least resistance to cross the rut. That would be the shortest distance between snow and the most even spot of the rut. Chances are these two will not be in the same place, so it is up to you to chose. I opted for a smoother rut with greater distance over the grass but I knew I would have enough speed to get me over. Now the spot I picked looked good from a far but as I got close I noticed the rut was higher on the other side, not good.
But it panned out smoother a few feet away. Now I have to make a direction change quickly to maintain speed and stay neutral. It worked out okay and I made it across
with out a problem. The snow past the rut was great, not many skied it so it was all mine.
The second rut was a bit more tricky. It was across the steep and there was not much snow to cross over to. I had to get past the rut and then snap the a fast turn to stay on snow. If I did not get the turn I was off the snow in the rocks and mud. Well started my turn two soon and hit the rut off center, I lost speed and fell over. Not bad, wet and muddy but just on my left elbow. I was able to get up and push back onto the snow. I picked a nice line and linked up a few turns until I came to the big holes. This was a little more of a challenge. I had to get across a wide stretch of wet grass, this one. It was not as steep and the snow at the lower half was very thick and wet, like spring mash potatoes. Again, not enough speed, and a little edge equals falling over. I managed to push my self on my side to get me ski across the trail and on snow, but in the process I loaded up a ton of snow under my ski. The snow formed a wedge that would not let me get my ski up right. I tried a few times but I was too tired. I figured I would be there for a while. So I just decided to relax and try to regain some strength. After only a few moments I hear the sound of skis. As I looked up the hill my eyes locked onto the bright red coat of a Hunter Mountain ski patrol. With a little help from my new found friend I was on my way. The last rut was big but flat so with a good amount of speed I shot right over it and down to my chair. I was feeling pretty racked so I decided to take a lonnnng lunch. As I was strapping into my bucket after lunch the rain started to make an appearance. I figured one or two runs and the day is over. Two runs, then four, then six, a little drizzle then it stopped, on and off.
The snow softened up even more and bumps where great. Not many skiers hung around, so this was my typical run. As day one drew near to a close I counted my blessings and eased up. I had ski patrol escort me down the lower trail, just in case. This time my line was much better and I rocked the run.
I packed up my gear and called it a day. Just in a time. As I pulled away the rain started to come down. I felt my shock needs a little more pre load, but other then that, I am dialed in and ready to ROCK! Be Blessed Gang and remember, Know God, Know Peace or No God, No Peace. Are you at Peace? See you at the summit!
It's getting close gang. The first Instructor meeting is Oct.19th. At Windham Mountain. Hunter Mountain NY is shooting for 11-16-02 opening date. That is only a few weeks away. Now is the time to start getting your equipment ready for the season. I hope you all had a great summer, but thank God it's over and we can get back to cool weather. If I missed an e-mail you send or did not post some info you sent, please send it again, I switched computers and lost some data in the process.