dad (big dig)
Wednesday May 7, 2008

2007/2008 ski season recap in 82 pictures - easily the best season in this history of teendrama!


Hi and welcome to the recap I promised myself I'd get up on teendrama before I left for Sweden: 2007/2008 Ski Season Recap! Normally, I'd do this weekend-by -weekend but I was just so lazy / distracted this winter that I didn't get around to it, which is a huge shame since this was such a super sick season all around. Quick overview before we jump into things (and this is a loooong one) - 30 days, two *big* dumps in VT (15" each?) and *three trips of west* - Jackson Hole, Beaver Creek, Snowmass/Aspen - plus of course Sink or Stoopid Skim (sank, sorry for the spoiler, but you already knew that was coming). Anyway, ready? (oh, this pic? Mount Snow, somewhere around mid-season me thinks).


Early season wasn't looking so hot. Not sure when I took this (early January?) but I think we were all pretty sure this would be a classic VT season - snow, then thaw, snow then thaw, snow then thaw. Accumulation ruined by rain.


Januarys are for black out weekends (MLK), so we hit up Stratton for freeeeeeeee courtesy of my pal Sue (she's the one who was so good to us at the Google Ski Trip!). Thanks Sue! (and hope I don't get you in trouble for writing about this! :)


Stratton + holiday weekend + gondola = lines. McD looks less then thrilled, but if I remember correctly this was a pretty sick day. The parks are so super nice at Stratton (Mount Snow, please take note).gnr_safetybear.jpg

We met the Safety Bear who was ripping it up pretty hard - this is right before we had to watch a video / sign a wavier to get into the snowboard park. Huh - they don't f' around so much (and we so extreme!)


Nightlife at Stratton = crowded. We gave up on apres ski and headed back to Mount Snow where the slamming GnR cover band (er, called "Appetite for Destruction" of course) was slaying it at the Snow Barn.

They're actually really pretty good. Almost as in worth-coming-up-just to-see-them good.


Our crew for the wkd. No idea who the oompaloopma on the left is. GnR bandeezies required of course. (ps: pour a little out for my ex-babygirl. I know you're reading - miss you girl!)

(btw, looks so weird to see Shoops NOT on crutches, no? More on that soon.)

Later that night, some dude hustling everyone at the air hockey table (didn't J throw his shoe at this guy?). The only one way crush him? SHOOPS! (for the record, this was perhaps *the greatest* air hockey battle I've ever seen... oh, how I wish I had more on the digivideo)

That Sunday was pretty snowy if I remember? With a bunch of good snowfalls (and more importantly, no thaw) we got a lot of exploring done in the woods (I mean, how many new trails did we find / name / invent this season???).

Not sure what we called this one, but some big drop over a tree in the Carinthia Glades. J is the master of landing these things clean.

And me hopping the fence over near Mother Earth all Cru Jones style. J narrating.

So, let's take a quick break from Vermont / East Coast for a few mins. Last year I took at trip out to Whistler (PW + Ali! helicopters!) which was just amazing... and of course J + McD + Uff + Xtian planned a trip to Whistler that started *the day I was leaving*. Poor planning. This year we decided to fix it and put all our chips down on a few days in Jackson Hole, WY.

I've been wanting to do a trip to Jackson fooorrreeevvveer (since I was 8? seeing the Mr. Anderson's Jackson Hole poster hanging on their living room wall?), and special thanks to Uff to throwing the whole thing together. Sadly J wasn't able to make it out (lil' worker bee), but we'll be back next year for sure...


Anyway, flying in. Airport is in the middle of the mountains, which is in the middle of nowhere. It's just beautiful.


And our hotel (swank!) - what was it called, the 49er or something. Kind of budget, but then again that's the whole town for you. Before we even get into how just sick the mountain is, lemme just say that a Jackson trip can't be any more easy to pull off - airport is 15 mins from town, town is 15 mins from mountain. None of this "fly into Vancouver and drive 3 hours" for Whistler or "fly into Denver and drive 3 hours" for Vail or "fly into SF and drive three hours" for Tahoe... makes such a huge difference.

Oh, me and McD were roomates. MF'er snores SO LOUD! (say it in your best McD voice for full effect)


Our first day out. 1 degree. 1! (way way way colder than VT). Buuuut snow in the forecast...


Swank hotel = swank free breakfast! Oatmeal, granola, banana, some bagel, a little PBJ-in-the-P for later.


So, long story kind of short here... day 1 we get on the shuttle bus that takes us from the hotel to the mountain. The four of us are sitting in the back of us bus (read: cool kids) when these three other kids get on. We start chatting them up - they're all brothers, first time to Jackson, been out here for a few days - before we do the whole "where you from? oh nyc? me too. where abouts? manhattan? oh, me too? where?" thing... turns out Casey (1:00 spot) lives literally around the corner from us in the East Village. Ha!

Anyway, so lemme introduce you the Neistat Brothers - our neighbors in NYC and ski buddies for the next four days. From the 1:00 spot, Casey, Van and Dean. (wait, where's Dean in this pic - oops). Also worth noting that these guys are kind of pseudo celebrities for some of their guerilla video work.

And yes, they were filming the whole time they were out there (more on that later)


So anyway, instead of kind of feeling out the mountain a little bit a time, we ended up riding with these guys from the beginning. And since there were here a few days before us, they had a good read on the mountain. Turns out we were all around the same level / ability as well so we were all pushing ourselves (which is where the best skiing + ski stories come from).

Here's us hiking the headwall... a 25 min hike to some of the nicest terrain I've ever skied. Also, worth noting that Jackson Hole is filled with just amazing, very "technical" terrain (a term I never understood before this trip - "technical" basically means, "screw up and you get hurt very bad or maybe die because there's just too many rocks and drops and cliffs that are unmarked").


The Neistat brothers, post hike.


Us, doing the same. I look retarded in this puff jacket. Tiny head! (also no vents = too hot!)

And so here's Corbet's Coulier. This is kind of the reason we came out of to ski at Jackson - this thing is supposedly one of the steepest chutes in the US. Two-story drop into the chute, then a 50 degree slope that gives you about 50 yards to get your speed in check before you slam into the rocks on skiier's right. Eek.

Watch or read more. Do it!

(this is a stock photo, btw)


And of course, it looked more like this the day we rolled up there - stormy, foggy, blown off. We tried to hit it twice on two different days. First day some ski patrol guy pulled me aside and said, "You are fucking crazy to ski that today" and the 2nd day it was closed because of all the avalanche snow that had built up from the wind. Next year. (and the Neistat Brothers were filming this whole adventure - look for it this summer as a TV show, no joke - awesome! - and we're all in it! I'll keep you posted)

Yes, I was bummed that we missed Corbet's... but holy shit, did I mention that I snowed about a foot the night before? Broken legs from Corbet's are for suckers...


.... so instead we hucked ourselves off big drops all over the mountain. This day may have been my best day ever on snow. The terrain out here is just amazing - so steep and the snow was so deep. Just awesome.

If you watch anything all from this recap, check out this video recap Xtian put together. A little over everything - the hike, the steeps, the deep snow.


We didn't apres much at the mountain - too far from the hotel, you know? We did hit the main bar (what was it called again?) one night, got ripped up real good and ended up taking the stoopid City Bus home (a 45 mins tour through the sticks).

Here's us, post apres, post 100 beers, post-bus hanging out in the 49er's GIANT RUSSIAN BATH-STYLE hot tub. Another long story short, but me + McD + Xtian are just hanging out - starving! - when Uff comes in with a sice of pizza.

"Hey, where you'd get that???
"I just found an abandoned pizza party in the room next door!"

(remember, we are *ripped* right now)

... calling bullshit, we head next door and sure enough...


PIZZA PARTY! Left over from some sales and marketing retreat? It was cold, and the sodas were picked thru, but hey, free food!


And trophys! Hahahahah... we got this one up in VT still.


So what four days total in Jackson? On our last day I rendezvoused with Eric Case (Google!) who was on a ski trip of his own... I was [this close] to skipping my flight back to NYC and roadtripping to Montana (Big Sky!) with him. Ah, maybe next time we both quit our jobs. :)


Oh and classic ski trip weather - cold and dry on the way in and dumping on the way out. We were so convinced our flight was going to be cancelled we almost didn't even bother going to the airport (our American flight was the *one* flight that took off that afternoon). Meanwhile, the Neistat Brothers stayed another day - got snowed in up in the midstation lodge. Like stranded! Crazy (wait for the TV show for the whole story - we saw a screener, it's amazing).

Next up? Superbowl! Um, in NYC (no skiing this weekend and the Pats suck btw).


Okay so now we're up to the beginning of February... still no thaw in Vermont (which is great!) and it's dumping snow like crazy. We had this huge weekend planned - 10 kids in VT for the weekend? - and when it started *dumping* in NYC on Thursday me + Uff + Xtian called skipped out on everything else and drove up Thursday night.

Here = whiteout. We had to pullover it was dumping so bad.


... and use this Little Timmy's hat (which I found at a rest stop on 87) to clean our wipers

We get in an amazing day on Friday, leaving J and the crew to take the Rover up and meet us in VT on Friday night. Those kids were a little sore already that we were ripping it up in Friday's 12" of new snow while they being little worker bees...


... and it didn't help with my truck broke down on 95 - engine literally overheating and melting into itself - rendering my truck, er, broken forever (for real, I had to sell it and buy a new car) and worse, leaving J + McD Jackie + Ashley STRANDED ON THE HIGHWAY DURING THE BIGGEST SNOWSTORM OF THE SESASON.


Another long story short here (ask McD or JJ for the full story), but they had the car towed back to NYC, rented a car from JFK which they picked up around 2am and drove all the way back from NYC to VT... getting in around 5am. (here, the scene from the *inside* of Rover as they were driving back to NYC on top of a flat bed truck - isn't this illegal?)


... and my welcome note. Sorry guys! (ROVER = the worst)


But, take a look outside - it's like Christmas morning out there! Like another 8-12 inches. Oh man, what a sick sick weekend this was.


And total bluebird skies the whole time.


Of course, the best ski weekends have ZERO pics of us skiing. These three days were those kind where you race as fast as you can from top to bottom trying to squeeze in as many runs as you can. So fun.


Late night Saturday = McD grilling up for the kids who are still weary from their 5am arrival.


And a big family dinner...


... followed by a contest to see who could whip up the most deadly / delicious drinks given all the leftovers in the fridge and the freezer. If anyone ever offers you a "Banana 540" TAKE IT (rum + bananas + vanilla ice cream + ice cream sandwiches = I am a smoothie genius)


Holy shit this is a long recap (and I got a flight to catch in a few hours!). Next up we got the annual trip to BEAVER CREEK with the Bates Kids. Unlike the past few years, no Jet Blue drama this time. Rendezvoused with MF and Tyler and Simmons no problem in Denver.


Not to mention Johnny Half Beard, one of the more, er, interesting things going on in Beaver Creek this year.


Right next to the Bates kids stalking everyone from their past on Facebook. Ha!


What, picked up maybe 3-4 days in Beaver Creek? I had this plan to meet up with Grellan and Randy and McD in Apsen (a few hours north) the next weekend (crazy, right?) so I was taking it a little easy... my old man knees are starting to act up these days.

Anyway, by "taking it easy" I mean SLAYING SOME GnR PATIENCE at BC's premiere karaoke night.


MF broke down some, what, Power of Love (always a safe bet). Jay Lively got en encore for [whatever he sang] before throwing his shoe at a random bar goer and us nearly getting brawling / getting ejected. Good times!


Hmm... no real ski pics from Beaver Creek (you Bates guys gotta step it up a bit), but I did journey back into the back glades (alone, I know!, sketchy!) and found these NASTY drops. Sadly, I couldn't get anyone to go in with me (you need a ski buddy if you're going to do drops) so these will have to wait to next year. Btw, these pillows are like 10, 15, 20 feet. Looks like so much fun.


Annnndddd.... meanwhile, back in Vermont, Little Sister Katie is busy up at Jay Peak TEARING HER ACL. Oh Shoops, so sorry!


She was out for the season - torn ACL, torn meniscus. This was back in mid February and she's *just* got ACL surgery yesterday (she was holding out for a superstar doctor). Good luck with the recovery Shoops and we'll see you next season!

... and back to Colorado. The Beaver Creek trip ended, I had this half baked plan to ski w/ Danny Denver (SXSW!) in Aspen, but I ended up just heading back to Denver and hanging out at his loft (amazing) and office for a bunch of days (thanks, btw) before...


... meeting up with Grellan + Randy + McD in downtown Denver (after Danny made me pass out flyers for his startup to little goth kids - ha!). On Danny's recommendation we hit up GoodTimes burger (amazing, so sloppy, so greasy) before the three hour drive back to Aspen (I was cranked, btw).

And in case you missed it, I flew into Denver drove 3 hours to Vail, drove 3 hours back to Denver, crashed 3 nights in Denver, then drove 3 hours back to Aspen - past Vail, ha! - to get to Snowmass. What a bananas trip.


Oh, so Snowmass. Grellan's sister-in-law's family has a place out there - slopeside, super nice... literally a 3 minute walk to the trail (which just happened to be the snowboard park).

Got three really good days out there (also got a good 6" one night - making trips out of bounds and trips though the trees just amazing). This is the trip, btw, where the hit chairlift talk show, LIFT TALK, was born. Episode 2 above

(... speaking of which, Xtian I'm still waiting on the final episode of the season you lazy thesis-writing mf'er!)


Second day we caught up with a Friend of the Family, this 72 year old guy named Roy would was just KILLING IT. Seriously, none of us could keep up with this guy (no exaggeration). And beyond that, he's like the Huge Heffner of Snowmass - every cute liftie knows his name. Come'on Roy, hook a brother up!


Me and Grell riding the sketchiest chairlift I've even beer on. Little chair, no safety bar, about 40 feet off the ground, wind whipping. I thought we were dead.


Apres ski. Shots on skis. Note to Snow Barn / Cuzzins @ Mount Snow, REPLICATE THIS THIS OUT NOW. (shots of what, you ask? Tuaca, sucka!)


Me and my boyfriend Will McD, post apres ski. In love.


What a season - look at all this snow! Everywhere I was went, it was just dumping. (oh, and like we're not going to pillow these drops?)



And packing up for the 3 hour ride back to Denver (again). Man, this recap is giving none of these trips the detail they deserve. Missing from this one: me and McD slaying the west coast version of Land of Tiny Trees, Mission:Impossibl'ing over the fence to poach some fresh show, meeting up w/ Cat, Randy's busted up knee, those crazy crazy poaching-trees runs we had on our last day... oh man, best turns we've ever made (just ask McD n Grell)


And back on the East Coast. We're about midseason now - still plenty of snow, still no thaw in sight.

Also worth mentioning that we discovered a better / secret / faster route up from NYC -> Mount Snow. Maybe 5-10 mins faster (tho J swears 15), but more importantly, this place has a 24 hr supermarket, a Friendly's (!! - note to self, Fribbles are NOT 98% fat free) and...


... a Taco Bell / KFC / Pizza Hut combo.


That lets you win free bean burritos every time (the game is rigged / broken - the employees haven't realized)


Oh man did we eat like shit this season (and we thought Wendy's @ Exit 40 was bad)


Worst meal ever. (or best?) Discuss.


And back to Mount Snow... and another DUMPING. Not to sound like a broken record, but we kept getting hit with these storms just kept hitting on Wed / Thurs night, leaving us with plenty of fresh all weekend.

I think I mentioned before, but with so much snow we were finally able to explore the woods of Mount Snnow - poaching outside the glades, ducking into Land of TIny Trees... all awesome, until we found the POWER LINES that run alongside the back of the mountain. Usually reserved for people smoking blunts in the woods, we decided to hike the lines and find a chute on the backside of the mountain.

Look at Uff! He's waist deep! In Vermont!

Just watch the video. Oh man - McD bummer you missed this wkd (btw, Power Lines chute drop out under the Sunbrook quad... though not high enough to drop that 10 foot rock. Though I think it can be done. Next time.)

btw, rumor has it they may turn this into a trail next year. Hmmm.


Apres ski. Crazy fun day. Lots of beers. We all deserve medals.


Or a giant dinner.

So where are we now, March... I got 30 days in this season (which is a lot of skiing), and that's after taking 3 weekends in the middle or March off... SXSW in Austin, Mom's 60th bday (!!), Easter... I could have finished with 36, maybe 37 if I hit Tucks?

Which brings us close to the end of the season. So next?


Sink or Skim weekend of course. Man, if you don't know about this, do dig through the teendrama archives and educate yerself, son! The four of us drove up from NYC and rendezvoused with Lil Sister Katie... who was at some ad agency offsite party at some ski lodge mansion! 8 bedrooms? Indoor pool! Indoor driving range!


Lots of crunked up ad sales girl (that sounds much more fun than it really was, btw)...


... and Billy McKinney, a friend of mine from Syracuse - ha! - just randomly hanging out at this Mount Snow party. So super random. Dan Robbins too! I was expecting John Maratea to bust out of the sauna!


So let's hit this sink or skim, shall we? You know the drill - find someway to make it across the 100 foot pond and win a season's pass ($500 value). Don't find a way to make it across and fall into the fucking freezing cold water.


I mean iced! There are ICE CHUNKS in there. Oh man (they actually had to resched Sink or Skim from Sat to Sun because of all the ice).


Heading up the lift. Me as Prom King, JJ as wherewolf.


McD as Where's Waldo. Xtian (where you at??) at Rambo.


A look at some of the costumes.


Another one.



Third time trying, third time sinking. Awesomeness brought to your by LIFT TALK.


Soaked. And freezing. Next year, I swear.


And then I think that brings us to the end of March - another trip to VT with Chelsa and Mari. Chelsa rocking the onesie I bought my sister a few years ago. So rad.


And then *that* brings us to closing weekend... 70 degrees! That's hotter than it is right now in NYC in the middle of May. 70 degrees on Saturday, 65 on Sunday. Short sleeves, maybe wear gloves if you're in the park, crazy goggle tan...


... a quick lunch that turned into okay one more beer. And another. And repeat this 4x. And then a few more runs.


Hollywood nearly passed out on the chairlift.

Last day video sessions... Just you wait till Xtian cuts this into a LIFT TALK season finale.

And us...

... just killing it...

... on the last day out..

... cause that's what we do. (POW!)

(and go here for the story behind this one)


And apres ski with the Mount Snow equivalent of Roy (the 78 year old ripper), though this guy (er, named SUITCASE. yes, for real) was just no Roy.


And that's it... the end of the 07/08 season. Maybe the best season I've ever had (perhaps the best New England season in 10 years?)


A quick look at the season pass hall of fame...


... before we wrap this one up. Good season, kids. See you next year.

Final tally for 2007/08 season:

DPS: 30 days
McD: 26.5 days
JJ: 22.5 days
Xtian: 22.5 days
Giant: 17 days
Shoops: 10 days (+ bonus torn ACL!)
Jackie: 7

ps: frowny face = less than 6 runs per day = 0.5 days, I guess. (oh, you need to make 6 runs to call it a *full day*)

... and I'm off to Sweden! See you kids at the end of May!


Wed 5/7 @ 3:05 PM | # link| Comments (0)
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