Making Lemonade

I grew up in suburban Detroit. There were no mountains or giant clean lakes out my doorstep, but if anyone asks, we had a lot of fun as kids. This weekend was all about bringing the creativity back to fun times. We kicked off things Friday morning with a dawn patrol skin up a groomer at Heavenly. The crew couldn’t have been more excited to be skinning up a GROOMER at 6:30 AM. When we clicked into our skis and boards at the top, you would’ve thought we were about to ski 1,600 vertical feet of untracked powder. We were hooting and yelling the whole way down. I’ve managed to leave both of my cameras in places that are hundreds of miles away, but luckily Lauren was there to capture the morning.

i love this one she got with the cats coming down the run and me skinning up

crew pumped for a combo of fresh corduroy and untracked manmade in a foggy haze

I didn’t have much time to recover from that ridiculous amount of fun, because later that day, I headed down to the Carson Valley Swim Center with three dudes to huck ourselves off the diving boards. This amazing place has a 1 meter and 3 meter springboard, a lap pool, and 2 awesome water slides.

the epic waterslides coming out the building at CV Swim Center

With coaching from the boys, I was able to dial in a gainer off the high dive. I can’t wait to go back and practice a more laid out version – it is such a fun trick. And I had not been down a long curvy water slide in more than a decade… pure childhood fun flashbacks.

Saturday morning PK and I had the goal of skating on a lake and playing some pond hockey. After scouting a few places, we decided to hit up Caples Lake – the ice looked smooth and thick went for nearly a mile.

pond hockey with a view

pk on thick, clear ice

I put together this short video to try to capture the good times.

After more than an hour of skating, we headed to Kirkwood to ski a few runs and hit up the airbag that they finally set up thanks to US Airbag. I threw a few backflips and didn’t get either of them around, but they felt pretty good and with a bigger jump or a longer run in, I think I would’ve landed them. The amazing thing is how nice of a landing the airbag is – much more forgiving than foam and so much easier to dial your take off on real snow.  I talked to the crew at US Airbag and the plan was to lengthen the run in for tomorrow and so I made the plan to be there at 10 am for the opening.

The next morning I headed back out to Caples for a morning skate before heading over to Kirkwood.  This time Lauren was there for moral support and photos and the run in allowed for much more pop.  I nailed the backflip on my first try!  It was awesome.  After getting 6 tucks in a row, I started to lay them out a bit more.  Here is my final one caught on film.

And a photo for good measure

doing my best rachel burks impression!

I really felt like I finally dialed the ski backflip this weekend and US Airbag will be at Kirkwood until New Years Day, so I’m excited to keep practicing and learn some other new tricks.  The atmosphere is inspiring.

And tomorrow morning we’ll head out for another dawn patrol groomer ski and continue to make lemonade out of lemons or rock n’ roll out of rocks?  Or snow cones out of ice?  Something like that.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing

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