Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Essential Snowboarding Lingo

Winter Storm Warning ~ you had better drop everything and get ready for some awesome snow! Drive carefully, and don't forget that if for some strange reason you happen to get too much snow, the mountain may be forced to close. (Actually happened at Bridger in December of 2003.)

Sick ~ "Dude, that run was so sick!" ...You have to almost be mentally sick to want to take that run. (i.e. the couloirs on face of Lone Peak).

Ski Patrol ~ These guys and gals can be your best friends when you get hurt or if you really want to know what the conditions are like in some totally "sick" parts of the mountain. But, if they catch you ducking ropes or jumping off lifts (who is retarded enough to do that anyways?) they will confiscate your pass. Who can blame them, though? They don't want to be looking for your dumb ass in the middle of a blizzard if you duck a rope and get lost, but they will because they don't get paid.

Hit the Trees ~ Not to be taken literally. One can find some awesome snow tucked in the trees if you know where to go and how to do it. I'm still learning, so I take the 'baby' tree runs. When they open up and you can glide on top of the untouched powder working your way around the obstacles, it is really sick. Although they are fun, one has to be extremely cautious of not running into the trees (for obvious reasons) or falling into them because since the snow is really deep, it will suck you in and that is how people die. It is hard to dig yourself and gear out of the snow.

The signs ~ Subconsciously, I think that the signs marking the difficulty of runs are really meant to scare away novice snow enthusiasts. If it is a green circle, it may be easy, but easy is relative. Think about it, if you saw something that was a double or triple black diamond, you probably wouldn't attempt it because you would think it to be too difficult, but how would you really know until you actually took the stinkin' run? This has happened to me. I have always been afraid of taking the tram down because it is a ooooooooohhhhhhhh black diamond, but it was a walk in the metaphorical park, and I loved it! Maybe it helped that the day's conditions were perfect and had they been otherwise, I could see it being called a black diamond run. (But then it would have to be a sheet of vertical ice with wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour...which isn't impossible, but the run would be closed anyways.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that look at these signs with a subjective p.o.v. If you think it might be too difficult don't take it, but don't be discouraged or encouraged because somebody else said it was hard or easy for them (or 'most' people).

I can't really think of any more. If anybody does have some to add write a comment!

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