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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:

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2005/02/18 Planning, what's the point? :)
π 2005-02-18 18:50 by Merlin in Snow

Ok, so I didn't exactly get picked up to go to kirkwood, my ride had a problem and had to cancel. The only problem was that it was after 21:30, and my backup plan was to spend the weekend at a cabin with coworkers, but they had already left, so no riding with them.
Then, just to make matters simple, since I sold my mazda protege, the only car I had that could take chains, neither my miata with R compound tires, nor my M5 with "do not ever use in snow" low profile tires that can't take chains without breaking traction control sensors, were a good idea.
I had actually just bought a set of spikes spiders sport, but those take a while to install the first time, and arent' much fun in the dark with a flash light when it's raining. Also, a quick read of the manual and measurement seemed to indicate that they wouldn't fit my wheel offset (clearly, they've never sold them to a BMW M5 owner, or they'd know that it wouldn't really fit).
After about an hour of considering options, I realized that I could just drive the M5 to my coworker's cabin since it's only at 4000 feet, and then ride to Tahoe with them the next days.
On the way there, breaking some new records (Sunnyvale to Jackson in 1h30 flat, with triple digit speeds, including 88, and a cop coming the other way, I nicely avoided because I slowed down on 88 for each car coming), I found out that Kirkwood's cancellation policy wasn't that good, and that my $530 for double unit way too big for me anyway would be hard to get back.
After some trouble (I was stupid enough to trust my GPS navigation system and take some stupid roads it indicated instead of staying on Hwy 88 and following the paper directions I had), I ended up in the middle of BFE, and my nav system said "I now have no idea where you are, good luck", which is always nice in the middle of Pioneer (gold rush city off hwy 88) past midnight. Eventually, I actually ended up on the road my coworker's house was on, and after more night driving trying to find signs and numbers, ended up at his place around 01:00-ish.
After realizing that I probably wouldn't get much sleep there (I heard up to 29 people would show up, and there were going to do more partying than sleeping and going to kirkwood when the lifts open), and since it wasn't actually raining at the time (despite weather reports), I took a chance and drove to kirkwood, where I got a little more than 30mn later after getting badly lost because my GPS sent me the wrong way and I had no idea how to get back to hwy 88.
Long story short, I was in bed in my double unit by 02:30. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, I had a very bad night, and barely slept more than 4H

I was on one of the first lifts up today at 08:45, and had a decent day (it wasn't a monster powder day, but it was nice, and almost empty). The first 2H were tough though, as my body really wasn't awake, and I had a hard time snowboarding at all. Eventually, it woke up a few hours later.



Now the only fun things are that my car is almost out of gas (yeah, you don't really find gas in the middle of nowhere at 02:00), and I have no idea if my spikes spider are going to fit. If they don't, getting out of here is going to be very dodgy (starting with chain control, which will never let me through).
I actually spent an hour trying to set them up in the underground parking lot (ok, that was definitely worth part of the money I gave kirkwood, not a trace of snow on my car :) and indeed the offset is wrong.
The clips that hold only the bolts also look flimsy, and I'm surprised they don't specify any maximum speed when you don't drive with the chains. Somehow, I think the thing will just fly off if I drive 140 with it (especially as I can only clip it to 4 out of my 5 bolts, one is an anti-theft one with a different pattern), and yet it's designed to be set on your car once, and left there. Oh well, I'll deal with taking it in and out, even though it takes quite a while (30mn each time I guess) as opposed to 1mn to put the chains on after that. They look butt ugly on my rims anyway. If you're curious to see what the setup looks like, have a peek (the chain assembly just clips on, except that on my tires, the metal part doesn't stick out enough, so clipping is a problem because the tire sidewall gets in the way)
I guess you call that flying without a safety net, but right now, I don't really care, I'm just happy I made it there (even if alone), enjoying the snow, and in a double unit apartment that 5 times what I need, but that's warm and has working wireless :)

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