Monday, 21 January 2008

Skiing Day 3 -- Jan 30

Vertical: 8,835 m, Cum to date: 26,085 m
Runs: 14, Cum to date: 47, Average run 555 m

The time Gods were against us all day. It started with a blizzard just outside of Calgary, a crashed semi and a park pass check at the Sunshine road. This turned a 10 minute early departure into a 5 minute late arrival.

We spent the morning on Goat's Eye, and between the really nice snow, a few of my favourite runs being groomed, and what appeared to be poor viz up on Divide, we lingered quite a while. It snowed on and off all morning, then started snowing in earnest at noon, giving some lovely turns the whole time. At 12:45, we decided to upload to the village for lunch. Big mistake. Huge.

The celebrities were out in force in the village for a fundraiser (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Waterkeepers Alliance). In the village, KC skated past Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. But that meant the Sunshine Inn (where we like to eat) was closed to the public. Mad Trappers was therefore packed; standing room only. The Lookout in the daylodge had a 20 min wait. The Deli and the Cafeteria were zoos with no place to sit. So starved, with the time Gods against us, we decided to head to the parking lot for lunch, knowing there would be no lineup there. As we were heading down the ski out, the wind started howling up the valley, and the snow got heavier.

We finally sat down for lunch at 1:40, and the time Gods were against us again. Lunch hit the table at 2:15 because of a kitchen screw up. At lunch, Ed Begley Jr walked by, as did a pack of other celebs (and their handlers). Since we had to be off the hil by 3:15, all we could do after lunch was one ride back up to Goat's Eye, and back to the parking lot. Up top was miserable. The wind was howling, the temperature had dropped from an OK -8 in the morning to -16, all the nice snow above the tree line seemed to blow away in an instant, and so that last run wasn't great.

And the trip home was really ugly. We counted 9 incidents and 17 cars/truck in the ditch, including several severe rollovers and accidents. Many sections of road were moving at only 50 km/h because the lanes were snow covered. It snowed at least 5" in Calgary, and more than that blew across the road. The time Gods hit us with their best shot; the typical 90 min drive home became just under 2 hours. But we made it safe and sound.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

The Dinos Continue on a Roll

This weekend saw both Dinos teams face tough battles with teams who's place in the standings don't reflect their quality.

My girls are now 6th ranked in the country, and they were playing Lethbridge who came into the weekend with a 1-9 record. Despite this, in both Friday's and Saturday matchups, the Dinos had trouble. Friday started OK, with a 23-16 score at the end of the first quarter, but their second quarter was poor at best. Outscored 17-15, were it not for a last minute buzzer beater by Courtney Coyle, we would not have go into the half in the lead. But fortunately they came out in the second half on fire, and won 91-64. Michelle Wilson had 20 points, 7 rebounds and a wicked game, the ever smiling Whitney Haswell had 19 points and another 7 rebounds. Saturday's contest was similar, but tight all the way through to the end of the 3rd quarter. The Dinos just could not get their defense together, and the offense wasn't clicking either. The only spark was Jane Meadwell, who just couldn't do anything wrong, and got fouled in the process, getting lots of free throw chances. She ended the night with 24 points, sinking 11 of 13 free throws. But we pulled it together in the last quarter, started playing tenacious D, and finished with a 79-66 victory.

The men are 4th ranked in the country, and Friday showed why Henry Bekkering is a huge part of that. Lethbridge could not stop him. He had three wicked dunks (an ally oop off Jeff Price, a 360 windmill and a double hander), killed from the 3 point arc, and walked away with 39 points in only 28 minutes of play. Powered by this, we won 102-72. Saturday, Lethbridge had it in for us, and came out hard and physical. They ended Q1 with a 21-18 lead. The Dinos fought back hard (quite literally) in Q2, outscoring Lethbridge 29-14 in the half, taking the score to 47-35 in our favour. A much more focused Dinos came out in the second half, and the points started to climb, and we outscored them 23-13 in Q3. Coach Dan then put in the second team, who held thier own, and the game ended 95-72.

Kudos to both Lethbridge teams who fought to the wire, proving there's no easy rides in Canada West.

Skiing Day 2

Vertical: 9,385 m Cum to date: 17,200 m
Runs: 19 Cum to date: 33 Average run 521 m

A nice second day out at Sunshine this year; a little hard pack, but overall good. Cars were parked 2.5 km outside the gate, but we saw no crowds all day except a short line at Wawa. Cloud-base was right at the top of Angel, so Divide wasn't a great choice. Best turns were on Sunshine Coast first thing in the AM (very soft groomed), Middle Scapegoat, Angel Flight under the Divide Chair, Tin Can Alley, and of course, the trees on the side of Angel Flight down low.

We were getting on the Angel chair just before noon, and of course as a double, I look for other doubles to ride up with. After we get on the chair, it turns out that under the full face-mask, the other folks are one of the guys I work with and his wife... small odds of this happening, one would think.

If you go to Sunshine, go to the Sunshine Inn's Chimney Corner Lounge for lunch, try the Lamb Burger. It's great.