Friday, February 12, 2016

Snowmass Vacation

So sweet!  Taz and Jax made us Valentines! 
Bro, hubby and me
My bro and his family come to Aspen annually and rent an incredible slope side condo on Snowmass Mountain. We have been a few times and loved it all!  Each year I go big,  ski hard and am all in.  Chasing my brother around who is an expert skier takes all I have, but I love it.

  Each  day is a challenge and generally I am scared out of my mind at least once looking down a shoot or hiking up to reach epic heights etc... I love it!  The last time we came up I took one of those yard sale, hard hitting, something broke or tore kina falls.  And as I lay there thinking that my next race was 5 weeks away...I was freaking out.  After all the hard work I have done for triathlon, it could all be for not.   Fortunately for me, it was nothing major but it was a wake up call.  Time to rethink this.

The usual post ski fun
Le't play William Tell and you shoot
the apple off my head with the
marshmallow shooter
So the rational next step was no more skiing.  Makes perfect sense right?  It's either Double Blacks or not ski.  I did try, really I did.  The following year I skied with the kids and did not take risks, slowed down, lots of groomers, few blacks but nothing gnarly.  It was epic?.  While the right answer would be yes, perfect family time and see I can do things in moderation, in actuality I left Mammoth deciding I was done skiing.

So why was I just in Snowmass? Vacation, see the family and the idea was train at altitude.  Plan was:

Hiking up to Gwens High Apline
Day 1:  Find a pool and go for a swim.  Run somewhere and chill out.

Uncle Braman has "challengs" for Taz and Jax
waterbaloon toss in the snow in bathing suits.
snow angels in bathing suits and more fun 
  What we did instead was put on yak trax and hike/run up 2800 ft to meet the family for lunch and run back down.   Holy workout, gasping for air and sore as all get out.




first run up with my niece Tasman
























Day 2: Find a pool, do a strength workout and see what is next.  Did not of that and went to the Nordic Center.

 I have always wanted to try this and I hear it is a great workout.  This is how I envisioned John and I after our 30 min lesson (see above).  Well it seems this is a lot harder than we imagined.   Instead we spent 90 min swearing, cladding along in these tracks around a snow covered baseball field and when we had not mastered that we headed out to the rolling golf course.  It was not scenic, not fluid, not fun.  It was like being stuck in the flats on ski's.  Ok the ski's are light and thin but they are NOT easy.  At one point our perky instructor in her skirt, yes the had a skirt and tights and was gliding along, singing the waltz to encourage our rhythm.

 At this point if I was not struggling to keep moving I would have punched her in the face.  She is humming and spouting off about the beauty of the snow, the lovely earth and all I could think of was how much I wanted to throw my ski's in the next snow bank and go home.  

 Let's just say we did get a killer workout, not from skiing 20 miles, my garmin auto paused so many times it hardly tracked us. I was sore from polling my sorry ass around that track, falling down on packed snow and snowplowing without edges on the hills.   Let's just say when they offered us 10% off our rentals for 2 days I declined.

Skiing (in control with Scott
Day 3: Screw it all, $280 later I had demo ski's and a lift ticket.  Let me do something I know.....and it was great!    My first run down was with my 10yo niece and she chose the bumps and left me in the dust, but politely did wait a few times and kept an eye on her aging Aunt.   The rest of the day was great fun with my brother and sister-in-law. Steep groomers and a few bumps!  good times and I have found my sweet spot and passion to ski again.   I even used the geeky ski tracks app. 5 hours. 17,500 vertical feet, max speed 48.2 ( had I know I
was this close, I would have hit 50)  NO I was being safe.  Quit while I was feeling good !  Left wanting more AND I did a transition run.  That was "fun"  at 8300 ft - but I got IT done!

Skiing is a perfect family vacation..breakfast together, day of adventure and group dinners!  Eating, drinking and drinking and talking.  Trip went too fast. Lots of time to catch up have fun and be together.

Best part of skiing- Lunch- yes that it a kale salad and
a Guinness!  Life is good