Mid-Spring Winter the pico-season, sesquivernal greens sodden upon sunrise

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I'm always tickled by the near-May-Day snows we get here in the Boulder area, and in 2005 I even wrote a poem (a bagatelle, really) "May Day Flakes" when we got a good 8 inches at the end of April. This morning we got a dusting, making it the latest in the year I've seen snow in the backyard. Early last week we got a few inches.

Our winters are generally so mild (though this past one was rougher than most) that my Nigerian blood doesn't curdle over at such oddities. In fact, we always get so much sun that all the snow is usually gone by afternoon of the day. Pico-season. Peek-a-boo season.

I'd meant to post this entry here on Copia.

Here's to the snowstorm echo

We missed last week's epic snowstorm, reported breathlessly all over the world, as we put off our return flight from Wisconsin to avoid the back-up at DIA. My colleague Linda has some good pictures from last week. There was plenty of warning of a smaller echo of that storm overnight, and sure enough we woke up this morning to a good 18 inches of the best Colorado Cava snow. Not quite the Champagne powder: you have get up into the real high country of the continental divide for that. I expect a good deal for the snowboarding trip this weekend (can't wait).

Anyway we all piled out this morning to dig out, have some fun in the fresh, and enjoy that delicious, crisp air that a goodly Colorado snow storm always leaves behind. L'Chai'm!.

Osi with the piste crawl:

I knew I should have tied the cover back on the grill yestereve after the wind took it off:

The neighbors' yard:

Osi off to break tracks in the back:

The back yard:

[Uche Ogbuji]

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First Board 2006/7

Got out to Keystone with Osita (playing hooky) Charles, Dawn and Melette. Keystone was just opening and conditions were hardly as sweet as last year's first trip, but then again that was three weeks into November, rather than the 3rd day. My knee is in better shape this year, but still not at full strength.

It was mad crowded, with only Montezuma lift open (no trails open below that mid-mountain point and we had to down-load at the end), but there were a few modest powder stashes to be found. Early season snowfall this year has been promising, and it might well be as lovely a season as the last. Looking out to Keystone's second peak, it was looking pretty close to fit. Copper claims they have top-to-bottom open, so that might be my second trip.

After the debacle of the crap digicam from last year I think I'm going to spring for a good helmet-cam (seems they run about $350 or so). If anyone has any suggestions for a good model, I'd be grateful. If it is going to be another epic season, I gotta get into some vid-blogging.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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Funky fresh Vail day

Shot out to Jen, Kenny, Susan, Kim, Dawn, Alexandra and, Rogé. Thanks for the sweet day at Vail Sunday. The snow, weather, company and all round fun factor was exquisite, and it was surely the best day of what has been a really good season. Here are the videos I promised.

First an apology. That stupid ass camera a bien cassé mes pieds (or I suppose, as I learned Sunday, bien me merde)! Several of the video clips were partially hosed, and a couple of them completely so. As a general note, avoid the DXG-305V like the pox. Not only is it useless for taking pictures (the shot above is exhibit A; ignore the wrong time-stamp on the image, I never did set the time on the camera), but its movie mode is seriously buggy. I returned it to Target today, and earnestly pleaded with the bemused staff to take all the other such cameras off the shelf and use them for footholds on a rock climbing wall. Oh yeah, and all the videos are in Microsoft ASF format (my first thought was "you gotta be kidding me"). Your choices for playback might be a bit limited. Gi-Gi Alex, and Kim-oui, the clips with all your fly turns appear to be completely lost in memory, even using Windows media player. At least I have some footage from the others. Don't blame me. Blame the poxy appareil photo.

Anyway, I uploaded all the video clips, even the broken ones. If anyone has any luck with them, let me in on the secret.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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First board

So yesterday I took my weak right knee up with my friends, all on skis (punks) to Keystone for my first day on the slopes this season. I'm usually reluctant to admit going to Keystone. Keystone and A-Basin both got dumped on, but it was a mixed crowd, so Keystone was the better bet for terrain diversity. It was a sweet day on the slopes. For pre-Thanksgiving the snow was quite good, especially on the steep tree runs in the Outback. Susan, Kenny and I did a few such challenging runs, and as usual Susan kicked our asses with her effortless form (A couple of my friends were kind enough to say they didn't want to board if they couldn't do so as elegantly as I do. Well for sure, if I ski I want to be as elegant as Susan). After lunch we were forced on the crowded front face where the snow was more what you'd expect in early season and I wasn't sure whether we were skating or sliding. Hats off again to Donek, who made my board. As usual, the float in deep snow was very stable as was the edge grip on ice. I hadn't had time to wax my board or sharpen the edges, but you wouldn't know that for a moment.

This first trip beat me half to death, though. By the time I got to the bottom my knee (despite the brace) was begging for mercy and I was feeling weak, with chills. Kept my spirits up by chatting with Guy, Susan and Dawn on the road back, but I crashed before 6, as soon as I got home, and I'm just starting to feel better. I wonder whether it's a touch of altitude sickness. Alexandra said she'd suffered the same thing after her first trip last week, but I haven't had altitude sickness since before I lived in Colorado.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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That snow escape move

So you're floating in the fresh fluff in Beaver Creek, and you decide to duck into the trees for even deeper pow, then POW, you biff and find yourself ass down in a tree well. Do you get out your pen knife and carve your last will and testament on the tree? Or do you...

Sara and Pascal stretch it out

Bust out that there yoga move Sara (snowboarder) and Pascal (skiier) are demonstrating? No brainer, eh? Good thing, because just a few weeks after S&P's demo I found myself needing that very technique. Wasn't a tree well, but it was a pretty deep basin of snow. What S&P don't quite get across is how much flipping work it is.

[Uche Ogbuji]

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