Marc's Public Blog - Skiing / Snowboarding / Snow


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This is a collection of my blog entries about snowboarding.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for the more recent trips that I have recorded in blog entries:

Table of Content for snow:

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2006/02/21 Weekend at kirkwood
π 2006-02-21 22:01 by Merlin in Snow

Finally! Fresh snow in Kirkwood, my first time this year... Technically Saturday was the best day with up to 2 feet of snow in some portions of kirkwood, however it was not a good time and easy to go there at the time.
That said, when Jen and I made it there on Sunday morning, it was still quite good conditions.
However, since I totally failed in planning, I managed to get there without any of my two digital cameras... I ended up settling for a throwaway camera, which after I got the pictures developed on CD today, ended up yielding pictures that were no better than what you'd get from a good camera phone nowadays. Lame...

Anyway, back to Kirkwood, the conditions were quite good, we had a great time, and the blue student did quite good on black terrain. I was suitably impressed actually :)

The drive home was so uneventful and quick (no traffic jams) that it almost sounded weird, but we didn't complain :)





Nice powder




You don't fall from as high if you get down the slope that way :)


Sitting at the cornice, right before a death defying jump :)



The rest of the pictures are here
2006/02/12 Flying weekend / Mammoth Flight
π 2006-02-12 21:45 by Merlin in Flying, Snow

Since I hadn't gone flying in a while, and the conditions looked bad for snowboarding, I used the weekend to keep up my flighing skills.
Saturday, I did a couple of different flights in an Cutlass (Cessna 172RG) to work towards my complex rating (variable pitch propeller and retractible gear), and those went reasonably all right considering that I was not super awake and sharp.
For sunday, I had decided to go to the mountains anyway, and did my reconnaissance flight to Mammoth lakes. Getting there can be tricky since you really have to worry about winds and the direction they're blowing (since they can induce tumbling downdrafts and smack your airplane down the face of the mountain faster than you can climb out of it)
Turns out sunday had the best weather you could possibly get: calm and reasonably cold (cold = better plane performance).
I ended up landing at Mariposa-Yosemite/O68/KMPI , then crossed to the other side of Mammoth and landed close to the ski resort ( KMMH ), checked out the airport, and then went north for the scenic Mono lake which I hadn't seen in a while ( Lee Vining O24 )

The flight itself ended up being fairly easy and the only time I was slightly nervous was when heading up the closed HWY 120 from Mono Lake while still climbing to 12500 feet at a respectable 3-400 ft/mn: this was the first time that I was nervous seeing peaks around me instead of under me. I'll take that as a healthy fear :)
All in all, I was very happy to have Einar, our CFI, in the plane, as I felt it was good to have a second opinion or someone making sure I wasn't making any bad decisions. Outside of my so-so performance with radio calls, things went all right.
I should also mention the backup photographer in the back seat who took great pictures when not sleeping on the job or not too jittery due to too much caffeine or overindulging with a 10x zoom :)
(actually those pictures below are quite nice and steady)









Mammoth airport






Lee Vining airport




Mono Lake


Those peaks were high :)




Beautiful Yosemite, courtesy of Ms 10x zoom :)




Back at PAO just in time for sunset



You can also look at the rest of the Mammoth Flight Pictures
2006/02/05 Company Ski Trip / Weekend
π 2006-02-05 22:55 by Merlin in Snow

Like every year, my company has somehow been able to organize a company-wide ski trip for an ever growing number of employees. However, this time they had to split the company in 3 waves, because there was just no way to make us fit in all the hotels at Squaw, even by putting 3-4 people per room.
Because my intent when going there is indeed to get as close to 2 full days of snowboarding as possible, I went got up at 04:30 (ouch, ouch, ouch!) and left Mountain View on the 05:30 bus, on which I managed to get with most of my stuff (including my cell phone, which I didn't know I had managed to pack afterall).
Snow the first day was actually decent, but the weather sucked: I don't mind snow, or bad visibility, but the visiblity was indeed quite poor, strong winds, and rain...



Crack of down trip to Squaw, thankfully I slept part of that trip


Bad weather on the first day, but better snow


Wet and rainy weather on day 1, with high wind, causing ice like this





The second day (friday), the weather was nice, but the whole mountain was icy most of the day, except for some sun facing groomed runs.
I actually managed not to really fall during the entire time despite the sometimes dicy conditions, until I pushed my luck a bit while trying to jump a small pine tree, and didn't quite get the jump right, got my board caught and ended up doing a face plant, and got some hard snow rash on my cheek. Oh well, that'll teach me :)



No, I wasn't the biggest geek at the google party :)




trying to build an oscillator on a circuit board



The Thursday night party itself was all right. I was tired, the food was so-so by google standards, but it was still fun, especially with my shiny shirt :). I spent the rest of the evening talking on the phone in the snow outside until I started getting really cold :) and went to bed soon after that



Day 2 weather was better, but the snow was crap as a result (icy)




You can look at the rest of the Pictures of Squaw and the Google Party

While my original plan was to stay during the weekend, but the snow conditions were just not good enough to warrant that. Instead, I spent a very nice weekend in good company, which included me not doing a whole lot besides rollerbladding, and being very happy with the end result :)
(the rollerblading path goes by a duck pond, and right by final at Palo Alto Airport, so it was also nice to watch the planes land).








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