Monday, December 21, 2015

Finally - Opening Day- A Great Feeling

      The long awaited opening day at Greek Peak has happened.  Today was day to ski just the Alpha slope.   Rather decent surface even if there were a few mud streaks in places.   It was good to get a ski fix.
     Alpha slope is basically a beginners slope that works for early instruction in skiing and boarding.  So if nothing else is available, what should one do there?   Obviously a good time to work on fundamentals.   Although I did a bit of free skiing,  I did also spend a bit of time on edge control, body positioning and the like.   Still trying to lay down those perfect parallel tracks.
       After so many years of skiing, one would think you would not get so excited about being on the slopes again.  Not so!  The old heart quickens and the enthusiasm kicks in.  Almost like being a teenager again.   Hooray for day 1 of a new season.  May the snow gods dump on us in the coming weeks.
   If anyone of of you regular readers need photos of opening day, go to my Facebook page.  Come on you old geezers get with the modern social media if you haven't already.
   Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays or whatever you like.  All good wishes to everyone.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Skier's Lament

    As  an avid geezer skier I always look forward to the start of a ski season and hope for an extended period of good snow and cold weather.   This year has to be one of the most vexing delays to the start of the season that I can remember in over 20 years of logging the characteristics of the season.  The latest start for me in the past was December 22, 2001 for the 2001-2002 season.   Even so, I was able to get in 8 days of skiing before the first of January.   Greek Peak predicts and December 22 opening day this year.  Based on the rain today and the warm weather predicted for next week, I surely doubt that we will get any skiing before January!   Oh that I will be wrong!   I can only hope for a miracle that Greek can make enough snow this weekend with the predicted brief cold spell.
      However unsettling the delay of the season is for me, it is devastating for the people who rely on the ski season for employment.  I know that many of the lift attendants count on shifting from their summer employment to the jobs at the ski area.   And no doubt the ski instructor staff, wait staff and others suffer from the snow drought as well.  Their pain is much more critical than mine.
      Meanwhile, the only alternative I have is to be distracted by other projects or transport myself to some place there is snow.  Oh how I envy son Colin and his family departure for Utah later this week!  The Wasatch is getting a dump of snow and Alta and Snowbird will be swimming in powder.   Although traveling to a snow area is an alternative, I have reached an age where the rigors of airline travel severely discourage the effort.
    So while my skis languish in my locker and my boots and ski clothing remain in storage, I find myself into the decluttering mode.   Over many years of various construction and remodeling projects, I have accumulated odds and ends of tools, nails, screws and a miscellany of hardware.   With my extra time I will trash, sort and give away this debris.
       Thankfully I have 20 years of ski logs to relive those past great days on the slopes.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I Hate Global Warming

    My commute to my Cornell office gives me time to muse about the state of the world both locally and globally.   On this early December day I lament the mild and rainy weather.  It should be snowing and cold.   Our local ski area should be making snow at least.  However neither of those conditions exist.   Dairy cows that normally reside in their snug barns are grazing on  green grass.   Harvested soy bean and corn fields lie bare to the sullen low flying clouds.   And the bare, recently manured fields spice the air with the pungent odor of cow manure.
   I hate global warming!  Post Thanksgiving, skiers in Upstate New York should be on the slopes.  Perhaps I was spoiled by last years ski season.   We were on the slopes shortly after Thanksgiving and I even had a record 20 days of skiing before January 1.  Doesn't look like skiing will start much before Christmas.  Sunday I passed by Greek Peak.   One slope had the appearance of a dappled horse's flank.   Small separated patches of white against a dun brown background.   Alas, warm weather is predicted for at least the next 10 days.
   While the delayed start of my ski season is an annoyance, it is not such a dire circumstance as the potential change in sea level inundating many cities and parts of the world.   Nor is it as dire as the disruption of the ecosystems.   It is predicted that global warming will increase extreme variations in weather.   Perhaps we are seeing that this year.   Parts of the Western United States and the Midwest have been inundated with snow and rain, while the East has been dryer and hotter.
     Meanwhile my geezer skier friends in the East, we will have to be patient for the time being.   However, Going to the gym, walking the treadmill, or simply walking the neighborhood will have to do for now.