Wednesday, January 30, 2008

east vs west

John and I went skiing on Monday at Blue Mountain in the Pocanos. It was my first attempt at skiing on the east coast and John's first time to strap on skis since he learned how to ski last winter in Utah. All in all we had a great time, however, as hard as I tried I couldn't help but be a little bit of western skiing snob. So here is a short list of my annoyances with skiing in the east.

1. Ice. The runs were actually preatty good when we first arrived, some of them even had a little powder to swish through. As the day progressed the snow became more and more icy. Plus, the definition of a black diamond out here must mean more icy than the regular routes because they certainly aren't more difficult. We went down one black diamond pretty early and it had balls of ice on top of the packed ice so that you were practically rolling your skis down the hill.

2. Rude skiers. My dad is as close to a skiing purist as you can get. Here are the rules he intrinsically taught us when we were learning how to ski: respect your fellow skiers (be polite and ski polite), clean up after yourself so the snow is clear for everyone and if you have to stop make sure you are out of the way of everyone else. In Utah when you are on the chair lift it is typical to strike up a conversation with your fellow riders. Skiers are like hikers, friendly and always willing to share their stories. On Monday we were acknowleged once on the chair lift the other times we were ignored and subjected to conversations that consisted of mostly curse words with a few other words in between. Beneath the chair lift along with the usual debris of skis, gloves, and poles, there was more trash than you typically find on the streets of Philadelphia. In addition I can't even tell you how many people I about ran into who were stopped in the middle of a run. One snowboarder was actually sitting in the middle of a run just after a curve so if you weren't careful you would smack right into him; he was talking on his cell phone.

That's all of my complaints. It was certainly a different experience than skiing in the west but pretty much everything is different in the east. We really had a great time - the annoyances I listed being quite minor in comparison to spending a beautiful day with my husband swooshing down the hill together.

I did have one pretty decent wipeout that I thought I would mention. I was getting a little cocky skiing and decided to take a little jump that was set up for the snowboarders. I was going faster than I should have and ended up catching more air from the jump than I thought I would. I landed out of control and sat down on my skis. I realized that was not the best position and I was still going too fast so I swung my skis to the side and tipped over. Embarrassingly, I was under the chair lift so I heard someone yell, "Are you okay?" I was fine but a little humbled and slowed down after that.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Blue Mountain was one of the three ski resorts we went to regularly when I was growing up (the other two being Big Boulder and Jack Frost), and it was by far the best of the three. I've heard good things about Shawnee as well, but I've never been there myself.

If you want good skiing on this coast, head up to New York state. Greek Peak has some nice slopes. Basically, the further north you get the better the slope conditions.

I'm sorry you had nasty skiing parners! I guess I skiied in the days before cell phones, and I almost always chatted with my lift buddies. Not sure how that has changed!