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:

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2004/02/22 Weekend at Kirkwood vs WRC
π 2004-02-22 23:40 by Merlin in Nsnow, Snow

Current Music: Dj Doboy Trancequility (silly name, but good DJ) / DJ Mike Rothwell (8H while boarding)
Current Mood: tired, but with a big grin on my face :)
Link Of The Day: Ever heard of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch ?

This was definitely a great weekend. I was just mentally tired yesterday, so my reflexes and wits weren't quite there, which is not a good thing when you try to do a jump turn off a corniche, or ride a dense forest :)
Today was however much better (not counting the snow, which while it wasn't so much powder that you could drown in it, it was still a respectable amount).
You can find the pictures here :

Saturday was still nice because I managed to go farther out of bounds that I ever managed to go off palisades (ended up way out there on the road, past the resort)
Sunday, I used the time on the lift to study and practise a few blisnosys patterns and managed to do hard riding without stopping (eating on the lift)
Also, I used the time in the car and hotel room to finish my new anti spamc code, which I'm hoping to release very soon now, and possibly even install at $COMPANY. Those ski weekends end up being great for catching up on my personal Email backlog and coding ;)

I realized today that I'm hooked on the adrenaline of dropping from cornices, riding somewhat dense forests, and doing random jumps as the terrain allows.
I've recently become a fan of WRC (world rally championship) as I've grown the utmost respect for the folks who drive those cars balls out with a cliff on the side and half the time, without a guardrail.
Those folks drive their cars sideways at the limit of control, through snow, dirt, and even rivers, and it takes an incredible amount of split second thinking and reactions to make it to the finish line without ending up upsidedown, or in a tree. Check this highlight video out to see what I mean (warning 150MB, but it's worth it). The hardest part is in Corsica, France , hopefully there won't be any major accidents there this year.

Turns out that I've found the snowboarding I do brings similar challenges and joys when you make it (without me needing a full mechanic crew and a new car every 50km :-) ). Of course, I wouldn't dream to compare my skill to theirs, but I still feel I get a taste of what they experience.
During forest runs, you do get those split second decision moments and you must also be in good enough physical shape to perfectly react to the decision (which usually makes the difference between scoring a nice jump off a snow hill between two trees, or ending up face first into a big tree trunk).
It's a good way to be tuned to your body and be able to know what shape you're in at any moment in time (at the precise moment you need to do something tricky, if you're getting exhausted, you'll get sloppy, missturns, and generally hurt yourself pretty badly if you don't get the hint quickly enough and back down on tricky riding)

Then again, regardless, if you're going off the groomed trails, you'll want:
  1. a helmet. Don't even argue, your skull and face are valuable
  2. solid googles (saves your face and eyes from scaring if you get a branch in the face)
  3. wrist guards (no matter how good you are, you will use your hands when you lose balance off a 60 degree slope, if you happen to fall in some unexepected fashion). Too many snowboarders break their wrists, you don't want to be the next one, it really sucks

Turns out that just today, on my one but last run, I did a nice jump off a flat crossing path for people who need a green way back home, but didn't see the small pine tree that was diagonally in my landing zone.
I managed to land on my board and back to slow down and mostly avoid it, but its branch hit me in the face pretty hard. It threw my goggles off, and moved my helmet on my head. That said, I didn't get hurt in any way thanks to those two protections.
If you're adventurous, this could happen to you, so wear your protection :)

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