dad (big dig)
Sunday April 16, 2006

sink or skim 2006 (spoiler: 6 of us sank)

End of the season as Mount Snow and you know what that means? Sink or Skim time!

For those who may have missed last year's adventure, on the last weekend of the season the nice folks at Mount Snow dig this 100 foot ditch in the snow, fill it with filthy pond water and invite people to try to skim across it on their skis or snowboards. $20 buys you one run. If you make it across, you win a free season pass (that's like $600!). If you don't make it across, you fall into the freezing cold water in front of a few hundred people.

I was the only one to give it a try last year. I was actually being super-cocky about it, "guaranteeing victory" to all my friends in NYC. When it was my turn to give it a shot, I came in with a lot of speed, a bit shaky, maybe at an angle... anyway, I fell... about 1/3 of the way in. So anyway, this year Jonathan + Katie + Matt.U + Sara.F (Katie's friend) came up to give it a try.

The problem with last year's Sink or Skim was that it was so cold out - like 30 degrees and half snowing / half raining. The forecast this year suggested that it would be sunny and warm (like 50 degrees!), but, alas, the weather screwed us again.

Mom + Dad (and special guests Mr. and Mrs. Donahue) came up from Medway to check out the scene. Oh, new rule this year = you need to wear a costume. I guess in the past they gave out free season passes to anyone and everyone who made it across the pond, but this time, of all the people who make it across, one winner is picked (apparently based on who has the best costume).

I busted out my Mom's 1992 ski getup (Yeah! Me and J used to fight - like literally brawl - over who'd get to wear this jacket back in the Black Mountain days). Also playing: Sara (the bunny), Jonathan (Dr. Aluminum, dur), Matt (getting his money's worth out of last year's halloween costume) and Little Sister Katie sporting Jonathan's old robot costume (awesome!).

Not shown = my helmet cam! (foreshadowing!)

We got out kind of early and made a bunch of runs - a few down Canyon to get a feel for the approach to the pond. We take this shit seriously! We were reviewing the tapes (er, digicam videos) from last year the night before trying to see what I did wrong (sketching my speed! Coming in at an angle! Too much weight on my back foot!).

Okay, one last look before get all up in there. They had us hike a few hundred yards up the hill, wanting us to start waaaay too low (the snow was soft + sticky = super slow). Last year we started from around where the picture above was taken. Sure, you gotta hike all the way up there, but you get so much speed you can (theoretically) clear the pond no problem.

First person up was this little kid (10 years old?) who started from the Official Starting Point and who looked like he made it 10 feet before sinking. Not enough speed. That's when we all started hiking. The guy who was organizing everything was pretty adament about this pre-chosen starting point: "Hike any further and you'll be disqualified!!!" (guy dressed like a leprechaun responded, "What are you going to do? Disqualify all of us?")

I hiked about 20 yards back. And then someone hiked further. And then someone hiked further than that guy. And that's pretty much how it works. They call one person to go every 2 minutes or so, and if that person doesn't have enough speed to make it across, the crowd hikes further and further up.

Last year, I was one of the last people to go, which I guess is why I had the luxury of starting so high up (if you see the video from last year, I had sooo much speed going into the thing). This year I was the 5th man down. I got to start higher than the sacrificial 10 year old they sent down, but I wasn't nearly high enough to get all the speed I needed.

Okay, so here it is. That's right, I strapped my mf'ing helmet cam on for this one - camera mounted on my helment, camcorder in a backback (and stuck in a ziplock bag). No audio (sorry - for some reason I can't figure out how the audio works), but man, I came so so so super close to making it. I remember coming down the chute thinking I was going so slow I wouldn't make it ten feet and then skimming across the water being like "Holy shit, I'm actually going to make it!"... and... then... I sunk. And the water was freezing. [video]

ps: I think I cut the video too short, but as soon as I got out of the water I saw KJ (from Whistler!) hanging out on the sidelines. Rock!

Sweet Sweet Mary shot this from behind the fence. Man, I'm rolling-down-the-windows like crazy. [video]

Wait, my bad... rewind a sec. Matt was actually the first to go. Bonus points for his lean-back-before-almost-going-switch style (Matt, you remind me of my 2005 run!). [video]

Shoops came down next. In that stoopid robot costume. Ha! Best part is that she knew going into it that robot costume = zero mobility = 0% chance of making it across. Second best part is when she busts out if the cardboard box as my Mom is in the background being like "Help her!" Awesome! [video]

This may be the best action-shot ever. Shoops is totally sideways on the water...

... and then just busts out of the robot! Hahahahahah!

Dr. Aluminum is up next. Jonathan was another victim of the starting-too-low syndrome. According to a kind lady in the stands, I made it just a *few feet* further than J (which is really all that matters, no?). For real, Jay has the best form out of all of us (until he gets all crazy with the arms at the end). [video]

Katie's friend Sara took the worst digger of the bunch. Looks like she caught her tips on the water or something. [video]

So, we went 0-6 this year. Next year will be different, I swear! (Notes to self: register later so we'll get called to go later, hike up further, fix helmet cam audio).

After the six of us went, we ran inside to get changed (it was freezing out!). I came back out to scope out the scene after warming up a bit and look at how low the water got (someone must have accidentially cut the liner with their ski or something). By the time the second half of the contestants were coming down, they were (a) hiking from the top (read: so much speed) and (b) had like 20 feet less water to even clear due to all the drainage! Still, this dude didn't even make it. [video]

Btw, Mount Snow legend has it that some guy came down full speed, cleared the water and then used the slope at the end of the pond to jump out, 360over the fence and then smack some old man in the head (who got ended up getting taken away in am ambulance - stiches!). I didn't see it, just heard about it... but that would have made a pretty awesome YouTube video!

While the rest of us were slamming pseudo-victory tallboys in the lodge, my Mom took this photo of some little kids playing with the discarded robot costume (like poking it with a stick and stuff - ha!)

Inside. Me + Dig + delicious $8 Bud tallboys.

Jackie + Jonathan + his hip hop hat.

By the time we left (crunked), it was only like 3:30pm. Mary found what was left of the robot costume...

... which Katie rocked in the lodge... [video]

... and through the parking lot. [video]

Back at the house. Mom + Dad + the Donahue's whipped up some sausage soup (yeah!). Kate.B in the blue hat and Summer in the blue shirt = special guests.

Ate + nap + shower = back at the Snow Barn for one more time this season. Jonathan was nice enough to spit on my camera just as the timer went off (er, see the white dot?).

Meghan + Mary + Katie disgusted at the Dude Factoryness of the Snow Barn.

I poured a little out for Grellan and his signature drink. Note kind-of-G gang sign.

Hip hop dance party broke out back on Handle Road post Snow Barn...

... complete with robot lightsaber display... [video]

... and freestyle dance contest.

Late night. Giant, I'm sorry I tricked you into drinking that rotten apple wine (7 months old!). I hope we can still be friends. [video]

Went out Sunday to get a few Last Day of the Season runs in. The weather was perfect - like 50 degrees and sunny - so we ended up hitting the park all day long (the Baby Park, since the Big Boy Park was closed).

Took this photo right before last run.

Not a bad last day of the season... Mount Snow had a bar set up outside and they were grilling and we were starving and all fired up to grab a burger after we came in from our last run.... only to get over there to find out that "Sorry, food is for employees only" and that I couldn't even *buy* a hamburger if I wanted to.

Dear Mount Snow, you run an okay mountain and you do most things right, but seriously, would it kill you to treat your customers nicely? Sell me a fucking hamburger! Every other mountain in the world has cookouts and bands and all sorts of fun stuff on spring skiing days and it's almost like you guys go out of our way to wreck the good times. Oh, and get rid of Bruce Jacques. He sucks. XO - dpstyles97

So, we went back to the house and made our own burgers in the George Foreman grill. Suck it!

Ladies lounging.

And... so that's it for the season for me. (JJ has a trip to Apsen still planned though - pow!)

Final Days on Snow(tm) count:

Dens: 37
JJ: 34 (pre-Aspen)
Matt: 33
Hannan: 31
Katie: 28
Will: 25
Katie Bell: 17
Grellan: 16
Dearborn: 16
Randy: 5
Rob.M: 4
Mom: 0

Don't forget bonus points for Barardi Girls x two countries!

And so that's it for the 2005/2006 ski season. See ya later, robot. (sniffle)

More pics:
Matt.U (Flickr)

Sun 4/16 @ 1:14 AM | # link| Comments (3)
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