Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Change In The Weather

     This has been an extraordinary ski season.   We have had a remarkably long cold spell starting in January.   My routine after each day of skiing is to record the day of skiing temperatures for the beginning and end of the day on the the slope.   January 15th the temperatures were about four degrees above freezing.  The following day the temperatures were below freezing and that trend continue until February 2nd for a brief warm up to 36 F.  From then on the temperature remained below freezing until today, February 19th, when  the temperature at the end of the day rose above freezing to 36 degrees F.  In that interval of 35 days I skied 25 days.   Our lowest temperatures were -7 F to  +1 F on January 22nd.  The good news is that it was fabulous weather for making snow.  Huge mounds of snow are now in reserve on the slope.
    Most hard core skiers have learned how to adapt to extreme temperatures and wind chill.  One could not enjoy skiing if that was not the case.   Each change in weather calls for appropriate layering of clothing.   Face protection if a must in subzero or single digit temperatures.   Toe warmers, hand warmers and other aids come into play as well.   Nothing like a down sweater layer for the low temperature days.  
    Our geezer group at Greek Peak  is a hardy bunch.   For the hard core group it is rare that they will stay home on a below zero or single digits day.    Even the octogenarians will be out there!  The coffee breaks will come earlier and the total day will be shorter but the joy of braving the elements is still there.   Early today some of us felt like the US Postal Service workers.  Neither sleet, nor snow or rain will keep us from our appointed runs on the slope.  
Ice Man Larry
Ice Man Gerry

    Every day on the slopes brings a unique set of weather conditions.   I guess for those of us who have a great passion for skiing the changes in the weather are just a part of the skiers life.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Geezer Outing at Toggenburg - Post Card Picture Day

    A grand sunny day at Toggenburg skiing on beautifully groomed slopes.  First tracks made by all of us for several hours.  Twisty narrow trails on one side of the area provided thrilling swoops through the terrain.  Skied the terrain park too.  However we skirted the jumps that served as slalom gates.   Perfect visibility for the old eyes and even the low temperature was ameliorated by the brilliant sun.
    We were welcomed by the area management as if we were long lost souls.  They are always happy to see use and in some ways we get treated like celebrities.  Quite amazing because everyone of us is over seventy and skiing free.   The Foggy Goggle restaurant filled us at noon with beautifully prepared and served cuisine.  Makes generous tipping a joy when you get such good service and a warm welcome.
     Grand change of pace.  We'll need to do it again soon.
The Line-Up.  The Magnificent Seven!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Baby Geezer Birthday

     Today is tough old geezer skier Pat Ryan's birthday.   First of all a Happy Birthday to Pat and a wish for many more to be celebrated on the slopes.   At our coffee break this morning we all had a chance to drink a coffee/cocoa toast to Pat.   The obvious question asked was, "How old are you Pat"?   Answer:  74.   From that reply we went on to query all the assembled about their ages.   To our surprise and Pat's delight it turned out he was the youngster of our gathering.   The nearest in age was Andy at 75.   Allen topped out our age bracket at 86.  So there you are.  Pat is just a baby geezer.
     As an aside I would bet a group of senior ladies hanging out over coffee would be very reluctant to reveal their ages.  I guess geezer guys simply don't give a damn.   Perhaps we can look at the marks of aging as just badges of courage.   At least I would like to think so.
     A toast to all the geezers for many more birthday celebrations!
Toast to the Birthday Boy With the Card

Great Card and Gift Courtesy of Bob Sanjoule

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Its In Da' Feet

     Over the past few weeks many of the Greek Peak geezers have been buying new boots.  Because my boots have many miles on them, the heels are worn down and the buckles are failing I too purchased new boots.   With skiing, the foundation is for how comfortable you feel on the slopes comes from a good fitting boot that matches your style and level of skiing.   For us oldsters, comfort comes very high of the list of things that makes skiing enjoyable.   In addition most of us are less flexible and want a boot that is easier to get on and off.
     Geezer skiers are also very individualistic so there was no one common answer to the new boot acquisition.  Two of my compatriots ended up with the new Apex boots.  Although not the same model for the two of them.   Another purchased the Full Tilt boot.  Both of these boots have great features for the senior foot.    They are certainly very adjustable and comfortable and can be tuned to individual taste.  So happy feet for these three fellows.
     I chose to be more conventional in my new boots purchase.   I did a lengthy review of the various boots available.  Even spent some time at a ski gear store trying on the various styles.   Because of my wide foot, I was looking for a boot with a wider last than most of the boots on the market.   Dalbello, Full Tilt and Atomic have wide last boots in the lower end versions of conventional four buckle boots.  Apex is highly adjustable with a more complex closure system.   From my research, however, I was able to find a tunable last by Head that allows changing the last from 104 to 100 mm width along with double side canting and also flex and rear support adjustment.  So I made the plunge and bravely made an on-line purchase of the Head Adaptedge 100 boot.  I also should mention that the boot has a heat formed liner.   The boots arrived UPS delivery on Friday.
    So, how are things working out with the new boots?   I was really quite accustomed to my old boots.  Just like a pair of old slippers.  Thus, I spent an hour or so tuning the new boots to my liking.   After adding my orthotics, adjusting the buckles, canting and walking around in them for a while I looked forward to a spin on the slopes.  Needless to say, some binding adjustments were in order too!   My first two runs on Saturday morning were somewhat tentative.  However, later in the morning I was comfortable enough to give a go on the supposed double black diamond Hercules trail.  It wasn't pretty but the boots responded appropriately and with comfort.  Looking forward to many days on the slope in the new boots.   And, since the heel and toe pieces are replaceable, maybe these boots will go many more miles than my last ones.  Yes it is in da' feet!
Boots Ready to Rip
Groomer Ready to Winch Groom on Hercules