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Your Worst Powder Day?
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Updated 9 months ago
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9 months ago

We drove up to Whistler on December 26th. Temps were cold, it was snowing heavily in Vancouver and Northern Washington, and Sea-to-Sky Highway was snow packed the whole way. Whistler got 11inches that night, so the 27th was a Powder Day. Yay!

Woke up early the 27th, had breakfast at our hotel (The Westin), and headed out at 8am to put our daughter in ski school and catch the lifts when they open at 8:30. Only one problem: the ski valet at our hotel has lost all 4 pairs of our skis!

They set our daughter up on demos, but at this point, the widest adult ski they have in my length is 72mm. Hardly an appropriate ski for a powder day, especially when my own skis (that they lost) were 98mm under foot. 

I’m literally reviewing security footage of the hotel with the manager, and they’re calling other rental shops to get skis sent over, when we finally find our skis. The whole process took 90 minutes. 

My wife and I are now on our own skis, wait in a monstrous line (Holidays at Whistler, a resort with horrible choke points getting out of the village), and finally get on to the mountain. We’re halfway up when the chair stops. The whole resort had lost power for 20 minutes!  

We finally get going again, and get maybe 3 runs in. On the 4th, I’m at the top of Blackcomb mountain, in deep snow off-piste, and my boot pops out of my binding. I wipe out, retrieve my skis, and see one of my toe bindings literally turned at a 90 degree angle from the ski. 3 out of 4 screws securing the binding had pulled out of the ski!

I very slowly skied back to the gondola, downloaded, and then proceeded to spend 90 minutes talking to ski shops deciding what to do. When the bindings were originally mounted, 1 of the 4 screws had stripped, so they had helicoiled it. The whole plug had pulled out, leaving an enormous (now wet) hole in the ski (along with a couple other smaller holes). The shops finally agree the skis need to dry for 24 hours, then they will fill the hole with epoxy (no one has a plug large enough), wait another 24 hours, then redrill and remount the binding farther forward (nearly a center mount). 

The one bright spot is the shop gave me free demos for the week to make up for having lost my skis earlier in the day. They still had the 72mm waisted Rossis, so I got a few runs in in the afternoon, but by then, most everything was tracked out. Fortunately, we got another 5 inches last night with 10 more forecasted for today and tonight  

Anyone have a similar story of a powder day that just wasn’t meant to be?

9 months ago

Great story even if it was frustrating for you.  Crap always happens at the worst time.  At least you were at Whistler.  I’d love to go.  

I was at Abasin in some pretty darn good snow just one week after they first opened the new Montezuma bowl on the back side.  Pretty good timing.  I went far left between the rocks and over the ridge towards a nice tree area.  Almost there my ski pops off and I realize the rear pressure was set incorrectly.  Actually, I realize I had put on my son’s boots which are the same size but several millimeters shorter base plate.  Did the same, I figured out how to gingerly ski on that side with a few pop offs in deeper patches. (ouch).  Finally found someone who had a swiss army knife and used it to reset the rear screws.  I ffinished out the day with caution and stayed on piste.  Moral of the story - don’t be a dumbass in a hurry and always carry some tools.  

 

9 months ago

so my three ski travel tennents are

1) Except for flying, my skis are never are out my sight.

2) My boots travel with me 100 %

3) As in the moive Stripes - ‘… If I catch any of you guys in my stuff… I’ll kill ya ..”

That being said , in Seven Springs in 1991 just before New Years, I was up there with Ski Trips Unlimited and it was puking. Like out-west puking. I had my 207cm K2 TNCs and spend the evening night skiing making jet turns - outstanding. I racked my skis and went in for a drink and hooked up with a very cute/sexy woman there skiing as well. She was half Asian half German like me. Con’d her to coming back to my room and things happened. Yay - 3 AM I go back out to get my skis and nope gone gone gone. Like gone. No boards. History-stolen. Crap!

Snows all night and I have nothing. The cops at the station in Seven Springs basically laugh at me - and I deserve it (gee I got my skis stolen because I didn’t lock them up while screwing some woman). I end up buying some crappy Blizzards from Willi’s Ski shop (does that still exist) . Spent the last remaing hours of the day farmer-john’ing my tips and doing endos all day.

Piled on to the return bus for a lengthy drive back to Bethesda with people that smelled like wet dogs.

And the sex was not even that good.

 

9 months ago

Crush,

LMFAO.

I think she was the bait for an international ski theft operation. You fell for it.

9 months ago

Crush wrote:

so my three ski travel tennents are

1) Except for flying, my skis are never are out my sight.

2) My boots travel with me 100 %

3) As in the moive Stripes - ‘… If I catch any of you guys in my stuff… I’ll kill ya ..”

That being said , in Seven Springs in 1991 just before New Years, I was up there with Ski Trips Unlimited and it was puking. Like out-west puking. I had my 207cm K2 TNCs and spend the evening night skiing making jet turns - outstanding. I racked my skis and went in for a drink and hooked up with a very cute/sexy woman there skiing as well. She was half Asian half German like me. Con’d her to coming back to my room and things happened. Yay - 3 AM I go back out to get my skis and nope gone gone gone. Like gone. No boards. History-stolen. Crap!

Snows all night and I have nothing. The cops at the station in Seven Springs basically laugh at me - and I deserve it (gee I got my skis stolen because I didn’t lock them up while screwing some woman). I end up buying some crappy Blizzards from Willi’s Ski shop (does that still exist) . Spent the last remaing hours of the day farmer-john’ing my tips and doing endos all day.

Piled on to the return bus for a lengthy drive back to Bethesda with people that smelled like wet dogs.

And the sex was not even that good.

 

OMG that is really sad in a hilarious way.

9 months ago

Mine is worse than Crush’s, and I didn’t ski a run and didn’t get sexed.

9 months ago

Thye only bad powder days I can think of are the ones I see others having without me.  I’ve never had a bad powder day.  I’ve had my ass handed to me in a foot of puking heavy wet snow on difficult terrain though.

9 months ago

crgildart wrote:

 I’ve had my ass handed to me in a foot of puking heavy wet snow on difficult terrain though.

For sure. Back when I lived near bigger mountains I had some great  powder days where is was raining in the valley and snowing at elevation. I remember one day when we took 2 cars and one decided to go home because of the torrential downpour we were driving through. That ended up being a great powder day. But I remember other days where the rain in the valley turned into heavy wet cement in the mountains. This was back in the days of long skinny skis.

9 months ago

So Reisen and Crush pretty much won this thread:-)

But I actually had a memorably woeful powder day just last year.  I posted all the details not long after, here they are again. Moral of the story;  after a tough day - hang in there, regroup, and get back on the powder horse:

 

My first day of the trip (Jan 30, 2016) at Snowbird, UT was a 20” powder day and I got my head handed to me on a platter.  There was loose snow in many places before the new snow fell, so it really skied like two feet of fresh.   My hard charging adult son moved to a location 25 minutes from Snowbird in Oct 2015 and promptly got a Snowbird season pass.  He took me on a bunch of black diamond runs between 9 and 1130AM on that first morning and wore me out!

It should have been an awesome day, but within a couple hours I was leg weary and ready for an early lunch.  I have to admit I was totally humbled by challenging terrain, slightly heavy snow, low visibility, and a hill full of remarkably talented skiers and boarders blowing past me on all sides like I was standing still.  This was my first time experiencing an LCC powder day frenzy, and it was a Saturday to boot.  To their credit the hard chargers werecordial, just impatient to plunder the goods. 
Good on ‘em.

What happened to me? Where did my skills go?  We skied front side trails like Restaurant Roll, Sneaky Pete, Mach Schnell, and Hot Foot Gully.  These are black diamond slopes, but not the highest tier of difficulty at Snowbird.  I felt like I was fighting every inch of vertical down the hill; non-stop thigh burn even on the traverses and what little run-outs there are at Snowbird.

After lunch my son left to ski with friends and I headed to lower angle terrain on lifts like Mid-Gad, Wilbere and with no small measure of humiliation…Baby Thunder.  I was able to keep myself entertained and find a little better comfort factor. Down near the base area there was better visibility and less swirling snow.  Many trails had been cut-up and packed to a degree making them easier to ski. 

That night I felt pretty bummed out.  We had another day scheduled the following day and I wondered how it would go? 
Fortunately, it went a lot better.  The snow was packed out to a degree and my son took it a little slower with me.  We skied a bunch of the same terrain and joined two of his friends.  They slowed their tempo down for me and I was inspired by their company.

When you have a bad day, get some rest. Get back on the horse, remember what made you fall in love with the sport, believe in yourself, get back to the basics, and ski with friends for encouragement.  Lighten-up, what was once fun will be fun
again.

 

This is my son when we had a moment alone on Mach Schnell during the pow-day at the Bird.  BTW, he was skiing with his left hand in a cast at this time from a broken thumb he got earlier in the season on a similar powder day at Snowbird. 

Gadzoom maybe?

Can’t tell due to close up and low viz, but this is from an area my son called Restaurant Chutes off Little Cloud lift.

9 months ago

I only have had one day similiar to yours, but it was not nearly as bad.

We were skiing trees at Steamboat about 20 years ago. It was a good powder day (maybe 10 inches), but not spectacular. I was on my Atomic Powder Cruises (115 mm underfoot). Starting about 2 O’Clock I just could not seem to execute a clean left turn, so I decided to call it a day. Got down to the groomed runout to the base, and my rght ski came off and screamed down the trail in front of me. I’m screaming “runaway ski” at the people (and friends) in front of me. Luckily they stopped the ski about 200 yards in front of me.

I took off the other ski and started walking down the trail to my fiends when an instuctor skied up to me and said “is this yours?” as he held out the heel piece (and ski brake) that had detached from my right ski. Then an area employee came by on a snowmobile and I hitched a ride back to the base after first retrieiving my runaway ski from my friends.   

Back then, bindings that fit 115mm waist skis were pretty rare, so if I had not gotten my heel piece back, my skiing on the Powder Cruises for that trip would have been done. But I did get the heel piece from that instructor. A ski shop reattached the binding overnight, and I was good to go the next morning.

 

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