Thursday March 2, 2006

beaver creek 2006 (finally!)

Er, so I'm a little behind, but two weeks ago (President Day Weekend), I made the annual trek out to Beaver Creek to hang out with MF and the rest of the Bates College kids.

Back in the day I'd hear of Mike and his friends from school heading out west on this ski trip ("Mike you don't even ski! Hook a brother up with an invite!")... and after like 2 years of lobbying, I finally made it out there.

You see, Mike's friend Pete has this sick house out there. An old Quaker barn deconstructed, transported and rebuilt out at Beaver Creek, Colorado. It's the type of place that, say, you were sitting in someone's bathroom reading the November 2001 issue of Architectural Digest, you wouldn't be surprised to turn to page 54 and see...

... the living room (which is decked out with all sorts of antiques from, um, some long time ago). [click to make bigger]

So, this is actually my 3rd trip out there... and everytime I've been out, it's been during one of those teendrama dry spells, so none of the photos ever made it online (blame NYU thesis in 2004 or the dodgeball / Google hustling marathon of 2005).

I actually had this grand plan of doing this big three-year medley-style recap of the weekend - including all the pics from 04 and 05 to spice it up. But maybe we'll save that until, um, never.. and I'll just take the lazy route and just let you look at the pics from the last two years.

Still, in case you're feeling adventurous and want to dig into the teendrama archives:

2005 - Featuring: keys locked in car + crunked at the lodge + Myya Beck reunion

2004 - Featuring: Vail disco dance party, texas hold em tourney + family photo shoot + hot tub olympics

Okay, so anyway... onto 2006.

A few weeks before Pres Day Weekend, I found out that Grellan was on my flight. Same flight, different vacations - he was heading to SnowMass to hang out with his brother and some friends, I was headed about 20 mins from Vail. Anyway, so yeah, I ran into him @ JFK.

I downloaded a bunch of episodes of 24 to watch on the plane (me = all caught up). Grellan did the same with Lost, but didn't have the software needed to view them (VLC, btw). Dork Out Solution: Set up an ad hoc wifi-network while on the plane, connect on IM via Bonjour, .ZIP the viewer and send it on over. And with all that wireless, the plane didn't even crash! Sweet!

I slept almost the entire plane ride - glanced at my watch when we landed thinking we were somehow 15 minutes early and that I'd have pleeeeaaaaanty of time to catch the shuttle bus that was schedule to give me a ride from the airport to Beaver Creek. (Plane arrives at 10:35 + last shuttle bus leaves at 11:00 + flight arrived 15 minutes early = nothing to worry about!)

Er, until I run into Grellan's friend at the gate and he's like "Dude, what are you going to do about your shuttle?"... and then I realized we weren't 15 minutes early, we were 45 minutes late. And I am now stranded in the Denver airport till the 6am shuttle.

But wait... just when I'm all set to camp out for the night on the baggage carousel, Grellan and friends roll in with their rented Gold Suburban (player, please!) which has room for exactly one more person.

Long story short(er)... they drove me to Vail (thanks!), I caught a $40 cab from Vail -> Beaver Creek, I was in bed by 3am.

ps: Gold Suburban = not match for Pete's 05 Gold Monte Carlo. Gangster!

Overall, I got in four days at Beaver Creek, each with fresh snow every morning (Fri: 3", Sat: 3", Sun: 5", Mon: 7")

Don't expect anything scandalous (um, 2004, 2005) from the pics below... our BC routine is pretty lame (ski, hot tub, beers, dinner, nap).

Most Drama of the Weekend hit when a power outage hit the Vail valley, knocking out everything from lifts to hot chocolate machines for a few hours. Thankfully, diesel generators saved us from 800 year long lift lines (and, er, from little kids from being trapped on the lifts).

I stole a few pics from Scuba Steve's digicam.

Pretty arty, eh?

Goddamn! That's some mf'ing composition!

Me + Scuba himself. Chilling near Strawberry Fields.

Beaver Creek is by far the most posh mountain I've ever been at... shuttle busses to take you wherever you need, and because of the house, Pete has access to the private high-rollers lodge with the private locker room (complete with engraved gold nameplate on your locker). Oh and they have a FREE hot chocolate machine! I'm talking all-the-hot-chocolate-you-can-drink free!)

ps: 2005 flashback. posh = Argentian girls are there to put your boots on for you. Luxury!

Oh this picture? Once we left the private club and were forced to ski with the Common Folk on the trails, yeah, it was a little crowded. Not so much the lift lines, but the lines to get food. Hoo-doggy!

In a moment of genius, Rob and I went splitty-splitty on the $11.00 hambuger and $10.50 foot long hotdog with chili.

ps: 2005 flashback.

Back to Beaver Creek being all posh - they've got one of the nicest nicer snowboard parks I've ever been in. Lots of kinked rails and curbed boxes (er, I didn't touch any of them), but they have this rad 15 foot (?) quarterpipe at the end of the park that leads to an 8 foot box. I've always always always wanted to hit one of these - and I did (like all weekend long) but still couldn't get to the top of it. I suck. And biffed twice. Both on video. Sweet!

Take 1 (from afar)
Take 2 (spazzed out)
Take 3 (er, kind of clean)
Take 4 (fall)
Take 5 (sketch)

And, oh, leading into the quarterpipe were these three huge kickers (15 feet + 25 feet + 35 feet?). I never hit the third (I suck), but I was pulling bigger spins and airs off the first two than I've even thrown out east.

(and I also took a huge digger off that 2nd kicker - you can see me hit it in the video if you watch close. I actually landed the one in the video, but when I fell later, oh man, thank The Sweet Jesus I was wearing my helmet.)

Fast forward to the end of the day and here's Mikey with a Fat Tire apres-ski style.

We did dinner out two nights: #1 at this place called Gaslight (which we hit up every trip) with their Make Your Own Surf and Turf menu (I got the steak and skkkkrimps)

ps: Can I interest you in a 2005 flashback or a 2004 flashback?

... and #2 at some random Italian place somewhere between BC and Vail. (Special thanks to Tyler for directions that led us exactly 20 minutes in the wrong direction. Double True!). I drew these fish. Sometimes I'm artsy like that.

Speaking of our buddy Tyler, this kid embarked on a mission to finish an entire bottle of vodka (aka The Vodka Challenge... or this year's version of 2005's smash hit: "The Pharmacutical Fallcy")

You know, it could have been two bottles in one night. I can't remember. What I do remember, however, is Tyler pressing his nuts up against the window after about a liter and a half.

Sooo okkkkaaay... Day 3? I did a double-take in the High Roller's Lodge when I strolled by this signed photo of Charles Duke on the moon. Huh.

Lunch time rolls around and I get text message from my First Friend Ever(tm) Mike Anderson who's working at a mountian about 30 minutes away... he's talking up this party (ice luge!!) that, er, we never made it to (due to lack of directions).


So instead we queued up some songs from MF's alliteration-happy iPod. I highly recommend the Guate Grooves. Hahahahahh! (come'on Mike, I love you, man)

Day 4 = our last day on Colorado snow. I broke my stoopid binding (for the 2nd time this trip) right before lunch. I cowboy'ed up and rode with a broken without a toestrap for the rest of the afternoon and instead of killing myself in the park, I had two of my best park runs ever. (sadly, Scuba Steve deleted the videos)

While sad to realize that it was finally time to replace my Frankenstein bindings...

... I'm stoked to report that I picked up a pair of Burton Cartel OLS this late in the season (for 20% off, no doubt). They are super nice.

So, that's about it. We skiied till about 4pm. Posed for a last minute photo opp at the base (me + Rob + Jay + Steve + Pam + MF + Rudy.Z's skis)

Oh, and one more to prove that I skiied a whole day with one Mike Anderson! (shitty skiier)

ps: two trips to BC = two long-lost reunions. Last year I ran into Myya Beck from my days at Attitash.

Photo opp to a beer to a hottub to a shower to a pack my bags to a catch a ride with the CME back to the Denver airport. Sigh.

ps: Photo opp could have been worse.

Flight back was uneventful. 1:05am departure arriving JFK at 6:05am. 2:30 from Denver -> NYC. I didn't even sleep one bit.

Grellan and I split a gypsy cab from JFK -> lower east side. The only reason I even mention it is because I was 100% certain it was going to be the last car ride of my life (driver thought he was running some Nascar qualifier). I thank my lucky stars every morning that that crazy mf'er didn't crash us.

(the end)

Thu 3/2 @ 8:23 PM | # link| Comments (1)
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