SLC Reviews & Dirt Bag Tips

OK, it’s been a month and I figure I should talk about some of the stuff from our latest Salt Lake City, Utah snow trip. Guess I should start off with this image. What’s going on here? It’s for what we have come to call the MJ gloves.

Seirus Therma-Lux Heat Pocket Liner Gloves

For years I’ve been using a pair of polypro stretch gloves I picked up at a convenience store in Japan under my main snowboarding gloves. Reason being is that I often have to take off gloves to work my camera gear, but without any type of covering the hands quickly get frozen. Liners that come with gloves are warm, but too bulky and/or too loose fitting so don’t stay on hands. My Japan liners started to get a bit ratty with holes starting to appear, so I got a pair of USA made wool stretch gloves that work well too. On our latest trip spotted these liners in REI. Yes, the universal intial reaction was, “oooo, shiny!”  This model was touted as this companies warmest, with the metalized gold fibers woven in supposedly spreading and reflecting warmth back to the user. It features a pocket on the back of the hand to slip a chemical hand warmer pad too.

How’d they work? We ran into some pretty cold days, and I think these were probably the warmest stretch liners I’ve run, probably due to it being a thicker and denser weave than my others. Running the heater packs I’m sure helped, but I never really felt them. The pocket is a bit of a PIA, it opens toward the fingers and when I pulled my hands out of gloves to work gear, the warmer packs were constantly falling out. Also, the Lurex material really does not like Velcro, which is pretty unavoidable with outdoor technical gear. By the end of the trip the gloves are pretty unravelled in spots. Oh, and the shiny stuff? I dunno if it really works to retain heat, that was never the original intention of the Lurex, but it does fulfill it’s orignal intention, it is shiny and bling!

3 out of 4 moonwalking monkeys.

Park City Quick Start – Free Lift Ticket!

Yes, that’s right all you dirtbaggers out there, free! After scrounging all your lunch and coffee money to scrape together airfare to get to Salt Lake City and getting raped by the airlines to bring all your gear over, the hardcore will want to take advantage of this offer.  It really is a one day “free” lift ticket, but like they say, there is no free lunch. There are conditions. You have to fly in from out of state on  the same day. You need to register on line here, you need to present boarding pass, out of state ID, and a printout of the confirmation email from registering. We neglected to register in advance, but through the advent of modern technology we registered in the parking lot, then went to a neigboring hotel & printed out the email.  Oh, and there are blackout dates of Xmas weekend through New Years and Presidents Day weekend through the end of March.  Darn, guess can’t do it again if we go back in Feburary, although reading the rules there is no mention on a limit to the number of times per year you can do it!

GU Energy Gel – Peppermint Stick, Peanut Butter

Two flavors not found at home, Peppermint Stick appears to be a seasonal flavor. It’s like sucking on a candy cane and if you like that, you’ll like this gel.

Peanut Butter looks to be a new flavor also not seen at home. It first sounded gross to me, but I chanced it. I found I rather liked it! The texture actually works to make it like you’re eating a glob of peanut butter, but it’s sweet too. If you like peanut butter I think this will work for you.

I give both these flavors a 3 out of 4 non-caffeinated monkeys.

Sandy, Utah – where the dirtbags stay

I imagine there are more dirtbaggy places to stay, but for more upscale dirtbags we find Sandy, south of SLC proper, to be a great place to stay. Being outside of downtown, it’s a rural area but still has a high number of hotels and lodging options at budget prices. It’s pretty centrally located to take advantage of one of the appeals of Utah, the high number of slopes/resorts available. It’s under an hours drive to a majority and less than two hours to a few others. Also a half hour drive to/from the airport. Food options are pretty varied and low priced and though not 5 star by any stretch, decent. Portions tend toward obese American standards so you can often dirt bag dinner(s) to cover a later meal.  Grocery shopping options are good and cheap also. DB tip for sport supplements, if you don’t mind limited flavor choice, Super Target is good for Cliff Bars. Cheaper than the buddy bro deal at McB at home and you don’t have to carry them on the airplane. Good to pick up geriatric juice protein recovery Ensure shakes also. If you’ve got Costco membership there is also one nearby, and there are lift ticket discount packages to some of the resorts there. Also hit up the shops around town, Salty Peaks is required as it’s a part of snowboard history, as well as featuring parts of snowboard history on the walls!

Ensure Muscle Health – Strawberries and Cream

Hey guys, what next, Geritol? Don’t laugh, we’ve found it to be as good a protein recovery drink as other shakes targeted at the sports market without all the extreme marketing hoopla. And as such its easier to find outside of sports nutition stores, and often on sale. That said, they aren’t exactly something you’d seek out to satisfy a desert urge, they do have a mediciny taste. On previous trip we found the vanilla to be pretty vile, the loosers of the rochambeau battle having to deal with that. This time they were out of the favored chocolate so we decided to try the strawberry. There was some trepidation at sampling this flavor, but we discovered that the strawberry seems to cover the mediciny flavor pretty well. Derek and I actually now prefer this flavor even over the chocolate. 3 out of 4 butt kicking grandpa monkeys.

Chevrolet Tahoe

Our rental vehicle over the week and half trip, LT trim level. More than large enough for three people and all gear. Interior set up is good, controls generally logically laid out. Lighting controls are a dial on dash and left mostly in auto mode which works pretty well. Handling feels much more trucklike in comparison to the Traverse we had previously, a bit more leany and heavy feeling through the curvy mountain roads. Traction control works well and doesn’t feel obtrusive. It being truck based, turn off traction control and switch to 2WD for some serious donut action! Once discovered, the remote start became one of our favorite features to toy with. XM radio good. Rear and side visibility is expectedly pretty poor, although I wasn’t expecting the left side over shoulder visibility to be so bad, the B pillar sits right there blocking my view. Not too many other annoyances with this vehicle, maybe the shifting controls in manual mode on the column stick. Only downside of this vehicle was its gas guzzling, especially with the mountain driving we were doing. A single day was using up a quarter tank of gas. 3 out 4 clown gas slurping monkeys.

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