Monthly Archive for January, 2010

Removing My Crack

P1010591Finally got to removing the FX16 windscreen. If you recall, it started leaking and then I created a crack removing the trim. Got this tool a little while ago, but the snowboard trip happened, and the annoying cough. By all accounts, this is the way to go, forget the wire saw that they sell at all the local parts stores. Dug up some internet videos of various windshield removals, and barring the hi-tech inductive heater remover, this tool seems the best.

Continue reading ‘Removing My Crack’

Jan. 7, First DH of 2010, Chasing the Sun

Met up with Ckucke, Scat & Kevyn at St. Louis after work Thursday for a quickie downhill run. Weather was good, hit it while there’s a chance! By the time I met up with them at the jumps, the sun was getting low, so we headed down. Through Taco jumps, over to the twistys and down the ant hill drops, at the exit of agave, then out through the lower trail to exit at the water tank, where Ckucke promptly pinch flatted. Sun was setting, chased the sun out to the road, jumped in Ckucke’s ride and collected vehicles, then went for grub at Azteca. It was a quickie, but nice to be out!

More pics in gallery.

Saigo no Yuki no Hi

Today was our last snowboarding day in Whistler for this trip.  We were up early to queue up or the Whisler gondola, but there was still a long line.  All the American long-weekenders, fair weather Canadian snow hounds, and local Vancouverites displaced by the closing of two of the town mountains to preserve the snow for the Olympics were represented in vast numbers.  Avalanche conrol was sill bombing the mountain when we got up top, but the peak chair was running, so that was a good sign that they were opening the alpine areas.  We took a warm-up run  down green, but everything was amazingly chopped up, even though it was early.  The lift queue was nuts! Continue reading ‘Saigo no Yuki no Hi’

Repel Boarders!

The powder poaching pirates were denied their booty!

Continuous overnight snows laid arond 50cm of new snow on top of what was already there, with another 15cm or so predicted to fall during the day until the system passes around noon.  We headed out to make the lift opening at 08:30, slogging through the slush laden village mall to queue up in the crazy Whistler gondola line.  All the lights on the status indicator were at standby or closed, and the gondola was not moving.  Some time after lift opening time, the Blackcomb gondola started moving, but not loading.  Over an hour after lift opening time, a liftie came out and said that there was a tree across the upper gondola line, and this in conjunction with bad weather, meant that Whistler would be only open from base to midstation, and it would be almost an hour until the gondola would actually open. Continue reading ‘Repel Boarders!’

Snowed Out!

Guess there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Were not bothering with trying to get onto Whistler-Blackocomb mountains today, too much snow! 50cm+ and still going.

Snow in the Village

That’s a good sign!  I don’t think the freezing level was forecast to be this low, but during the walk to dinner, the drizzle in Whistler Village turned to a light flurry.  The temperature has dropped a little more, and the falling snow is piling up instead of melting away.  This portents well for riding conditions tomorrow!  Woo hoo!

Welcome to the White Room

Symphony lift opened today after avalanche control made Flute Bowl safe.  An arriving weather system brought continuous snowfall all day, but it also came with whipping winds and lower temperatures.  The 1000-meter freezing level made for snowfall for most of the mountains from around halfway up to the midstation.  When we reached the top of the Whistler gondola, winds were pretty high and visibility quite poor.  The lights were green, so we began traversing over to the Harmony lift and rode it up through the blizzard conditions to the top, where the winds were biting, and the visibility down to below 50-meters.  We’ve dropped into Harmony bowl on many an occasion in marginal weather, but this pretty much beat all previous “poor judgement” descents.  Turning from the first pitch onto the second, the visibility dropped to the point that it was riding by inertial guidance only, tracking from one course marker dot to the next. Continue reading ‘Welcome to the White Room’

Rain, Snow, and Freezing Level

We hit Whistler on Monday and Tuesday.  There was a good amount of snowfall on both days, supposedly around 15cm settled times two days, but the high freezing level made for some sticky, packing snow on Monday.  It was pretty much snow flurries at the top of green chair, and rain halfway down.  It was gruelling and miserable.  The snow was soft, but very heavy and difficult to ride on.  Tuesday had a higher freezing level and more new snow, so we returned to Whistler to crank some stashes of untracked, deep powder.  The alpine areas were still undergoing avalanche control, so were not open.  It was still raining down at the green chair base, but it wasn’t too bad.  At least the snow was soft.  Today, they opened Seventh Heaven up again, so we returned to Blackcomb.  Two days worth of deep snow made for lots of fun in the gladed areas.  The open bowls were pretty windswept, and there was not much new development over what was there on Sunday.  Hopefully the Whistler alpine areas will be open tomorrow so we will have some new powder to cut up.  Rain will probably return to the area tomorrow afternoon, but hopefully the freezing level will remain low.  I’m not really optomistic. Continue reading ‘Rain, Snow, and Freezing Level’

First Snowboarding Day of 2010

It was drizzling in town as forecast, so we headed up to Seventh Heaven on Blackcomb to stay above the freezing level.  Snow was soft in places, but not “powder”.  Sticky and slow.  There was a fairly good windchill up top, with a serious headwind heading down the first pitch that combined with the sticky snow to prevent forward motion.  Most areas were pretty ridden out, but there were a few stashes here and there.  We rode down throught the terrain garden on our last run down, then caught the lift back up to the top and rode PTP over to Whistler then downloaded on the gondola – no point in burning out our legs and wasting time on krappy conditions on the rideout!  Are we “snow snobs”?  Supposedly there’s more rain overnight and tomorrow with the same 1800 meter freezing level, possibly some high winds, maybe subsiding tomorrow.  Whee.  Doesn’t look good for tomorrow…  To sprinkle powdered sugar on our already dubious day, when we went by Sushi-ya for dinner, the space was dark, and there was what looked like a “this space available” sign in the window.  Fabio went upstairs and there was no “we’ve moved to…” sign on the door.  Guess our favorite sushi place in Whistler is no more.  Boo.  Sachi Sushi was our fall-back.  Sushi was good except for maybe the BBQ smoked salmon roll, which was a little on the dry side.  The beef tataki was ma-ma.  Chocolate ice cream at Cows made everything all better. Continue reading ‘First Snowboarding Day of 2010’

In Whistler

Okay, we’re here now.  Check-in was as slow as usual in HNL, but security was quick and professional, so we got through in time to go to KBC for some wings, pizzas and beer.  The two pizzas were $20 USD each (ouch!), but were excellent.  All told, we ended up dropping $31 USD each for everything including a good tip for the cool server dude.  We met Kevin and Naomi at the gate, and we were shortly boarded.  The center overhead bins in the 767-300-2 (four-door/no overwing exits) were a little small for the Kifaru X-Ray with side pockets, so I had to pull the laptop power supply and ultrapod out and put them inside the pack for the bin to close.  On takeoff, a bad baby immediately set to screeching and wailing inconsolably, but after bevvie service, the turbulence set in and I was rocked to sleep. Continue reading ‘In Whistler’