Sunday, February 28, 2010

Powder Weekend

Crazy weekend riding Okemo after the 35+ inches we got during the week - there were still untouched spots on the trails Saturday. I went down on Rolling Thunder, and it took me a good 5 minutes to get up - every time i went to push myself up, my arms sank to my shoulders again. It was also a good time to check out the woods up there, and there was definitely some good riding to be had in there. It was my first time really riding trees, and it was exhausting - still a great time though. Sunday I met up with some people from Shred Union in the morning and rode with Katie aka TravelOutLoud (one word? three? I'm going with one) all day. The conditions were great, minus the unavoidable moguls everywhere. Such is the price of riding fresh I guess, and I'll pay it every time. Side note - real commercial or not?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Okemo Light the Night Rail Jam

Just got back from the Okemo Light the Night Rail Jam, and I gotta say, the talent up here is impressive. There were 3 features (gap to flat/down box, lift pole jawnz, down rail) set up at the bottom of Bull Run (at the base) and a few categories to compete in. The fire department provided the lights and used the event as a fundraiser. Ross Powers even made an appearance as a judge. The eventual winner put the competition away with a front flip off the LPJ, and everyone was pretty much riding for second after he stomped that. Still, overall, everyone killed it. I didn't really know what to expect, and I figured I'd check it out for a half hour or so and head home. I ended up staying the whole time, amazed at what I was seeing. I tried taking some pics/video of the rail jam, but my camera phone just isn't cutting it. Definitely gotta get a camera very soon. Here are some pics that came out somewhat visible. There were plenty of people there filming, as soon as I can find some videos I'll link to 'em.

I'm off to check out the rail jam after party at Killarney, but to any snowboarders reading this, check out Shred Union. It's a pretty cool site, we were able to organize a SU meet up with a bunch of people who are riding Okemo Sunday. Should be a good time, the site's definitely worth a look.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Bump @ Mt. Enzy

So with all this powder we've been getting this week, and me working in an office from 8-5, I decided I needed to ride a little bit during the week. Since Okemo closes at 4, I had to improvise a little bit. I decided that the piles of plowed snow that had been adding up all winter would make a good starting point, and that it would be a great idea to build a kicker at the bottom of the highest pile. Here's what I had to start with (the pictures are all taken with my cell phone camera, which of course has no flash. I need to get a camera at some point):

Standing at approximately 10-12 feet, Mt. Enzy rivals most mountains in the Poconos. It is also the only mountain that is 100% lit in Vermont. However, with zero snowmaking coverage, it takes quite a bit of help from Mother Nature to get it open. This particular day dumped about 24 inches of fresh all across Mt. Enzy. That's some nice lookin' pow, right? Not too good for getting speed though. After a few runs down and some work with the shovel and my board, it turned into this:

Much better for what I was looking to do. The hard part was building the actual kicker. I have mad respect for park crews after building this - just getting it to ride right, and be solid enough to not just crumble when someone hits it, is an art. It took a solid hour of building to get it good enough to ride, and another half hour to fix it up the next day to ride again. The work those park crews must put in is insane. Thanks for the hard work - it's appreciated. Here are some more pics of the Bump at Mt. Enzy.

Not awful - nothing great, but it absolutely served it's purpose. Now, onto some of the "features." The picture below was taken from the top, looking down. Depth perception is near impossible, so I added a little visual aid. The lines are at the bottom of the starter, leading into the kicker.

Quickest lift in VT - 'bout a 20 second trip to the top - up the stairs.

And the actual kicker itself, looking from the side. It's not much, maybe 2 and half feet, but it's a hell of a lot better than nothing. It's actually way more fun that I expected, and was definitely worth the effort.

I was pretty pleased with the way it came out, and I'm hoping it lasts for more than a few days. Saturday I'll finally get out on Okemo, so hopefully there's still some stashes out there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Curling - The Most Deceiving Sport on Earth

This past Sunday I went curling with the Rutland Rocks Curling Club at Giorgetti Arena in Rutland. Let me tell you, curling is a very deceiving sport. First, the ice isn’t slippery at all. The surface is “pebbled” with a fine mist, to create traction for sweepers as well as a surface for the rock to slide on – the concave bottom of the rock would create suction on a perfectly flat surface. The rock essentially slides alone these pebbles. It’s also way harder to get those stones all the way to the other end – 140 feet away. The Olympians barely look like they’re pushing the stone at all, but you really have to get a good slide (a difficult task in and of itself) to get the stone down there. And sweeping is just exhausting, especially at the club level. A lot of sweeping is needed just to get the stone even close to the house, or target, and after doing that as hard as you can the length of the sheet really wears out your arms after awhile. Just getting the basics down are hard enough, but once you factor in the strategy and precision it takes to pull off the shots the Olympians do – wow do I have a new respect for the sport. Still, it’s definitely something I want to try again next season. Pictures from the session hopefully coming soon.

16 or so inches of fresh on the ground so far – more supposedly coming, potentially 35 inches by Saturday. Updates from the Mt. Enzy terrain park will be coming in the next day or two, but the weekend needs to get here so I can ride.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Halfpipes and Rocks

Shaun White snowboard
Shaun goin' huuuuuge

The Olympic halfpipe competition is over, and I gotta say, it lived up to the hype. The uniforms were first class (who doesn't want those pants?), Shaun White won gold, and managed the pull off the Double McTwist in competition – on a victory lap. Unnecessary? Yes. Awesome? You bet. Scotty Lago, from New Hampshire, won bronze for the Americans. Vermont girls Hannah Teter and Kelly Clark both medaled, silver and bronze respectively. Torah Bright an Aussie, won gold in the Women’s pipe throwing down a sick run. Hannah grew up riding Okemo – it’s kinda cool knowing that Olympians (Ross Powers as well) rode the same trails I do. Congrats to the Vermont riders, and a big ups to the US on the continuing dominance of the halfpipe – 4 out of 6 medals ain’t bad.

I’d love to embed a video of some sort, but NBC really sucks at this allowing access thing – how is withholding content from viewers a good thing? You can't even save pictures from their website - NBC fail.

I’ll be starting my own Olympic quest this Sunday in Rutland. I’m going to a curling clinic this Sunday, so my path to Sochi begins at the Giorgetti Arena. Updates will follow.

Norway Curling
Another example of fine Olympic Uniform pants.

Kevin Martin Canada Curling
Yes, sadly this man is an Olympic athlete. Ohhhhh, Canada!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MTV's Jersey Shore Season 2 Announced

NEW YORK – MTV has announced that it has re-signed the cast of this winter’s controversial show, Jersey Shore, for a second season. The show, filmed in Seaside Heights, New Jersey this past summer, aired in December 2009 and January 2010.

However, due to the high amount of publicity the show received, MTV deemed it impossible to film the show in Seaside Heights again, according to a spokesperson for the channel. “The residents and visitors of Seaside Heights were too aware of the show being filmed,” MTV President of Programming and Development Tony DiSanto said. “People were attempting to get on the show by instigating the cast members, jumping in shots and, at times, staking out the house, waiting for the cameras to roll.”

So, how will the network manage to film Season 2 in relative anonymity? “Season 2 will be filmed in Big Sandy, Wyoming,” DiSanto says. “Big Sandy has a lot of character, yet it seems that the residents genuinely have no idea what the show Jersey Shore, guidos, or even television, for that matter, are all about. Filming here will be a big boost to the local economy, and will provide an interesting change of scenery and culture for the cast and residents.”

When asked about the move, cast member and first season non-factor Vinny Guadagnino said he was excited about doing another season, but wasn’t sure he would be able to handle his mother not being able to visit. “I mean, you know, I’m pretty much like a mama’s boy, you know, so, yea, not seeing her for awhile, is like, it might be pretty tough.”

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino had a brighter outlook on things. “I’ve never gotten to travel outside of the country,” “The Situation” stated, clearly oblivious to the fact that Wyoming is a state, and has actually been a part of this country for the past 120 years. “This will be a great opportunity – we’re about to have an international situation,” he said.

Out of all the cast members, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi seemed the most excited to head out to big sky country. “Well, you know, I already tried to **** one cowboy,” Snooki said, referring to Keith of Season 1, “but that failed miserably, so, like, I’m hoping to be able to **** a cowboy out here. I don’t think I can fail out here.”

While Seaside Heights is undoubtedly glad to have these fist pumping sensations out of their town for Season 2, most of the cast seemed indifferent to the change. “Seaside was cool, there were some great chicks there, man,” Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio noted, “but it just comes time to move on to some fresh meat – we’ll beat up that beat wherever we gotta.”

Season 2 will begin filming in mid-to-late May, and will most likely air starting in December.