Sunday, 24 February 2008

Skiing Day 6 - Feb 24

Vertical: 10,275 m, Cum to date: 56,570 m
Runs: 18, Cum to date: 97, Average run 583 m

It was a quiet day on the slopes. It hasn't snowed at all in the mountains for 15 days, and that tends to turn the powder pigs off, keeping the crowds down. After being shut out of skiing last weekend due to basketball, we were happy that the Dino's men's team didn't have to play today, having won their best of 3 series in 2 games. So we headed up for what we (correctly) figured would be a nice, laid back, "cruzin the groomed" day.

It wasn't cold -- -12° in the morning, and just below zero most of the afternoon, and there was sun. I finally got that cheap pocket camera I was hoping for, so here's what it looked like first thing in the AM.

The snow was hard packed and well groomed, like here on Gold Gladerunner.

Off piest was very variable. In spots we found soft bumps (like off GladeRunner); sometimes there was evidence of sun crust/freeze that (like the edges of Boundary Bowl), sometimes the groomed looked good but low tiller depth meant one track and it was ice (Gold Scapegoat).

There was hoar frost in the trees, like in this shot in Eagle Creek.

We hung on Goat's Eye most of the morning, as usual, and skied Divide until clouds rolled in around 2. You can see in this shot that there was basically no one there.

Not a bad day, but boy, we could use more snow.

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Feb 20 2007 Lunar Eclipse

We had a total lunar eclipse last night, on a perfectly clear and cold night. Totality lasted over an hour. Here's a bunch of photos as we approached totality.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

They're still heros to me

I had great hopes for this weekend. My girls -- the Dinos Women's Basketball team -- were 6th ranked going into the first round of playoffs. Our 15-7 record was up against Saskatchewan's 9-13 record. I was more worried about how we were going to fare against the Alberta Pandas, who had a 16-6 record and had beaten us in 3 of 4 match ups.

But last weekend's results worried me. We were in Saskatchewan, and split the weekend, with the game we won very tight. It looked from the box score and the write up that Saskatchewan had figured something out, since some of our best players -- Ashley Hill and Courtney Coyle, in particular -- were held to sub-average scores. Still, sometimes Ash is streaky, I told myself. We'll do fine once we got home.

Except we didn't. Friday night's game started badly and never got better. Sure, Ashley wasn't shooting al that well. But she wasn't getting many chances either. Saskatchewan's defense basically shut down Ash, Courtney, Whitney and Michelle on Friday, and with no offense, we lost a low scoring match. Jane Meadwell was a highlight, as it seemed as if the Husky's just weren't focusing on her. Our defense was OK, though I personally thought our man-on-man was working better than the zone, and we spent most of the game in zone. Still, that was Friday, and we just needed to shake it off and make it work Saturday.

But it never did. Saturday was the same game as Friday, only with more intensity from both sides. Willy managed to get free more often and rebounded better, scoring 20, and Megan Lang stepped up as the only outside shooter, grabbing 16. But a lot of stuff didn't work. Juliette was struggling on point guard, and had too many turnovers and bad passes (I hope one day she learns that hail mary bombs rarely work for her). We also had too many places where the 10 second shot clock countdown meant a mess instead of a well executed clutch play. We managed to force the game to overtime, and had 4 straight possessions mucked up with turnovers and low percentage shots. They scored 10 in overtime, we scored 5. Game over. Season over.

We didn't play like the 6th best team in the nation, and we didn't play our game, the way we could play it. Give some credit to Saskatchewan for getting in our way, but I think that our job is to figure your way around that, and we never did. Saskatchewan played better than they had all year, and despite a lack of a single great player to lead them on, had multiple shooters in the 15-20 point range. The right team got to advance. No wonder Whitney was crying as soon as the buzzer sounded.

I feel sorry for them all. They worked their butts off all year. They had only 9 players when you can dress 12. Brittney & Lauren, two of the rookies, barely played at all in the playoff games. And some stuff didn't work when it needed to. I think, in fact, that we peaked too soon, in early January, and the first signs of that were the struggles we had with lowly Lethbridge in mid-January.

I'm proud of them all anyway. Win, lose, draw -- they're still all heros to me.

See them next fall.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Dinos BBall -- Seniors Night

The last home game of the year features recognition for the graduates. Feb 2nd was the night for Michelle Willson, Cody Darrah and Jeremy Odland.

Here's Michelle at the line...

And saying goodbye to Shaunee...

Turns out Jeremy is "related" to my daughter. Some cousin of her step-dad. Here's Jeremy and his wife...

And a crappy shot of Cody and his folks.

Skiing Day 5 - Feb 10

Vertical: 9,540 m, Cum to date: 46,295 m
Runs: 13, Cum to date: 79, Average run 586 m

The weather report said 13 cm overnight and 9 the night before, and it was a powder day. But not without its hassles. It was -22° in Calgary, -23° at Lac Des Arcs, and 4 km later -8° at Dead Man's Flats. Weird.

We got to the parking lot "early" and discovered I had only brought one glove. This wasted 25 min as I tried to rent one (they don't rent gloves), thne borrow one from lost and found (they don't do that either, but they did it for me).

Before we left home we knew that one lift was down; turns out they had problems with Angel on Saturday, and had to rope people off it. But both Angel AND Tee Pee Town were down. That meant crowds at Goats Eye (lift lines at 11 AM? You bet).

Still the snow was great. After the second run, I saw I had snow on my pants above my knees (no, I had not fallen). We were hitting powder shots all day in the trees that were boot top to knee deep. Everything was skiable, and we got to ski things we had never tried before, including Goat Chicken Glades. Because everyone told us the lineups in the village sucked, we never got above Goats Eye (we were having way too much fun anyway). It didn't seem like a lot of vert, but the stats say otherwise, and boy, do my legs feel it.

The weather was nice, -5° most of the day, and -2° by late in the day. But it was overcast (the sun appeared a few times in the PM) and a little windy up top.

Here's a shot KC took of me with her Blackberry running a boot top powder stash near the trees on on Wildfire. Crappy quality, but what do you expect for a phone?

I gotta gt me a camera to capture some of the fun we had...

Skiing Day 4 - Feb 3

Vertical: 10,670 m, Cum to date: 36,755 m
Runs: 19, Cum to date: 66, Average run 557 m

A great morning & poor afternoon. Very early start & mostly bluebird sky, but cold. So cold my goggles kept fogging no matter what I did. Not much fresh snow, but a few of my faves like Rolling Thunder, Scapegoat and others were groomed. This brought the vert up big time, and we had 7,000 m by lunch. The groomers were good, but we had fun playing in the trees up high.

Went up to the village for a s l o w lunch at Trappers. I like the food there, but the service is always atrocious. This particular day "the computers were down" and it took 90 minutes to get lunch. When we came out it was flat light, overcast & snowing, sort of. We went up Divide -- mistake, as the viz was terrible. Quite possibly the flattest light I have ever skied in. We finally gave up early, but the vert count shows we put in the mileage.