Late season snowboarding good times

I headed out to pick up Steve this morning and we had little to no traffic heading up to the mountain. We cruised the entire way with nary a car in front of us. Once up at Crystal we parked in the main lot just off the lodge. No shuttle necessary from there! We put on our gear out of the back of my Subaru then paid for our tickets. There were no lines there and no lines pretty much anywhere all day long. We nearly had the lifts to ourselves and the line for lunch was non-existant. I could get used to this coming up during the week thing.

At first we headed up the Discover/bunny slope a couple times just to get warmed up and loose. We practiced our technique at bit there and I made sure to focus on kicking the back of my board to either side without a need for smooth transitions from left to right, heel to toe edge. With that, we soon darted further up the mountain to catch one of Crystal's really lengthy green runs. After taking two lifts to our destination, we strapped in and road it down. There was something good going on with both of our morning green runs. We didn't have any hard spills and, at times, we really picked up some decent speed. For me, there were even times when I nearly lost control of my board for one reason or another but I consciously caught myself, told my brain to calm down and not make any sudden corrections. This mentality saved my butt a little soarness a couple times!

Since that green run is pretty lengthy we did it twice then headed up again to the lodge at the top of the run for some lunch. We took it easy there for a while and, after I finished re-stuffing the lining in my inside-out gloves, we headed back out for more. Unfortunately, after lunch, we weren't doing as hot as this morning. I don't know if we rested too long or if it was our full stomachs but we kinda' stunk down that very same green run. My problems with speed came back and I just wasn't as sure of my board control on those steeper slopes. At times I actually had to coach myself aloud to do certain things. While riding hard on my back edge laterally across a slope towards some trees and instead of grinding to a stop, I said "now don't do this -- just turn it around". So I flipped my board over 90 degrees in the other direction to begin across to the other side of the slope. I had a couple great transitions swinging wide and controlled across the slope. We both grew increasingly tired though and headed all the way back down to the Discovery run where we ended our day with three more smooth and educational runs.

I'm glad to have a board buddy like Steve because, although we didn't stay until closing time at 4pm, we know when to say when so we can minimize our boo-boos and come back to our wives in one piece (each). I'm pretty sure, judging by the warming conditions up there, that this was our last time up this season. We'll do a little this summer to work a few muscles groups that might aid our runs next year and Steve will even practice his balance on a long board he bought. We're definitely in with the whole snowboarding thing and will soon be scouring the stores for deals on equipment and planning snow trips for next year. Until then, thanks for the good times and thanks to Crystal for having such a great facility and staff. You folks really help make our experience as beginners a rewarding one.

posted Mar 22, 2006 under crystal mountain, snowboarding  

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