I thought the snow season was over but it has been puking all day in Boulder today! It has been warm and didn't snow much since I came here. Well I came to Colorado in Jan for snowboarding and luckily found an internship at Boulder. Can't complain while living in this beautiful place.
I am miserably addicted to snowboarding.
This is just my second snowboarding season. Thanks to mountain collective pass (which offers 2 tickets at collaborated ski resorts), I had been traveling a lot and riding at 18 ski resorts in Canada and US. (I can't afford and would not buy day lift ticket - which I think ridiculously expensive.)
Canada - 5
US - 13
A basin (CO)
Winter Park/ Mary Jane (CO)
Aspen/Highland/ Snowmass (CO)
Taos (New Mexico)
Jackson Hole (Wyoming)
Sun Valley (Idaho)
Powder mountain (Utah)
If you ask me which ski resort I like best, I would say it's a good ski resort as long as there's powder. When I was traveling, my schedule would not necessarily meet the best powder days. Sometimes it was way too cold, or too hot (slushy snow).
I flew to Vancouver during Christmas vacation and didn't really plan the whole trip. I ended up staying for 3 weeks. My couchsurfing host in Vancouver was a very nice mid-age lady who has been in Africa before so we talked a lot about the life there. We also went to an African music party one night and the band played the song I heard in Tanzania. I almost bursted into tears because it was also the farewell song at the last day I was there...
At Whistler, I stayed in a hostel for couple of days. I met a girl from couchsurfing who was an advanced skier and intermediate snowboarder. She was really cool, athletic but very stubborn - she was going to backcountry skiing by herself before taking avalanche training! On Christmas night I was trying to convince her not to do that.... Anyway we really had a good time together.
Heading back to Vancouver (I got an interview there but it didn't work out), I found a ride on Craigslist to Kelowna. To be honest, I knew nothing about this town. It was just because the hostel there was available and affordable during New Year.
It ended up I had one of the best powder days at Big White ski resort! I didn't plan to snowboard there since mountain collective didn't collaborate with Big White. Luckily I met friends in hostel and got a good discounted ticket! He also taught me how to ride on powder. Of course I was hilariously stuck in powder all day and got very exhausted. But riding on powder has been my dream since then.
At New Year's Eve we slept in car in ski resort parking lot so we can get the first run in the morning. It was -16°C (8°F) at night - you better not drinking water before sleep.
Then I took Greyhound to Revelstoke - where I heard lots of hype before my trip. I ended up staying there for a week because I was waiting for the powder day, also thanks to the super nice couchsurfing host. He was a ski instructor and he knew I wanted to do a design project about backcountry skiing/ snowboarding. He took me to several ski shops in town and explained the equipments in detail. He and his roommate who was pretty chill and funny did backcountry a lot. I had no experience and didn't have avalanche training at that time so couldn't go with them. (Well my snowboarding skill was not at that level yet.) I often think about the time with them - listened to their conversation (mainly about skiing), watched them making pizza and ate the pizza, talked about the books, lifestyle and dream...
"What would you do if you don't need to think about money? If you have millions of dollars, enough money to do whatever you want to do?" my host asked.
"Hmmm..." I thought for few seconds and replied "I like what I am doing now... just traveling and snowboarding..."
"Then keep doing it."
Yes I am living in the dream - my snowboarding dream.
When I am snowboarding, I am the happiest girl in the world.
I don't have other desire, have no career plan. I am satisfied where I am now.
I only hope the winter never ends, summer never comes.
Come back to my trip - then I took a bus to Lake Louise. It was so cold that I just wanted to cry... windchill was -30°C (-20°F) at the top at sunny day. I got a frostbite on my cheek after I pulled of my mask because my goggles were fogging up.
I can't deal with this kind of coldness. No. The snow was hard-packed. Nope!
It was relatively warmer at Sunshine village when I was there. It was still way below freezing point, but it was quite nice in Canadian standard. (People from Quebec would say that was a warm winter.) Sunshine Village was really wide-open - the view was amazing!
My couchsurfing host at Banff was a really cool girl who also loved snowboarding. We couldn't ride together because of her working schedule, but I did go snowboarding with her friend. She took me to the terrain park and asked if I wanted to try the box 50/50.
It looked so easy - just slide on, don't carve.
I fell down twice. It was painful as hell.
No terrain park in my life.
Then I came back to the US, keep living in my snowboarding dream - I rode every weekend, 3 days per week (since I only worked 4 days). It kept me so busy that I had abandoned my blog for the whole winter haha...
At the first week of April, I took a week off for another snowboarding trip for more remote ski resorts (Thanks my boss understood how important snowboarding is to my life.) I drove from Boulder to Jackson Hole, WY - Sun Valley, ID - Powder Mountain, UT - Snowbird, UT.
I have been really lucky that awesome, super-friendly and fun people hosting me at each place. Snowboarding is fun, but people make the trip memorable.
The snow condition actually was not great since it was already spring - slushy or hard-packed. But the last two days at Snowbird, Utah was a bomb! The first day was powder day - 5" of fresh snow - I was happily riding all day. Then the second day got 24" in the past 48 hrs!! I was so damn tired and my legs were crying. When I was about to head back around 2pm, a guy passed by me informing that the back bowl just opened.
Can't say no to untouched powder.
I don't know how I made it that day. I even drove 8 hrs back to Summit County, CO to my friend's place (open window + lots of caffeine). I have no regret tho!
It makes me smile everytime I think of it. :)
This winter I also tried backcountry snowboarding. Thanks to my buddy who was an experienced skier, he taught me basic avalanche knowledge and demo how to use the avalanche kit. I didn't have a splitboard so I snowshoed up. It was killing me.
I have felt I'm so out of shape since I came to CO. I've tried to be as more active as possible so I can do more backcountry next season!
I also started to learn climbing since I have nothing to do in summer. It is also very addicting. And now I climb almost every day. My next post will probably be about climbing. :-p