Now, we all have our favorite jargon that starts flowing when we get up on the hill. Here are some of my favorites:
- Dude, that was some gnar pow.
- Man, best freshies eva...
- Wow, I needed a snorkel for that run.
- Stomped that....
- Time to rip some corduroy
So, when you can imagine that there might be some confusion that comes up when you are new to this ever popular sub-culture of Americana.
My friend Ryan went with me once last year, and was ready for his annual follow up to the great sport of schussing this year when we headed up to the Canyons earlier this week. In spite of the lack of new snow, and the awesome inversion that has settled into the valley, it was great to get into the hills.
One of my favorite things about skiing at the Canyons is the care that they take with their guests. It starts when the Cabriolet gondola takes you from the parking lot to the lifts. They want to make everything about skiing a joy for you. When we got out of the gondola, there was a rep there offering a grooming report for the day. We scoured map, and due to Ryan's newness, we decided to head up on Flight of the Canyons and then mosey over to High Meadow where there is some great beginner terrain. In addition to a nice wide open run where beginners can get some onfidence, there is a mini terrain park where you will find a couple of boxes, and some small jumps. After only one run, Ryan was ready for some more adventurous terrain, so we headed up Saddleback Express.
When you are looking to step up into some more advanced terrain, there is a lot of fun riding over here. With people my age that are new to skiing, I like to get them introduced to the terrain park as quickly as possible. The Painted Horse Terrain Park is what I would call their intermediate park. There are a variety of rails, boxes and kickers that anyone is likely to have fun on. One thing that I appreciate in park features is finding kickers that feature low consequences. What happens if you are like me is that you want to roll into a jump with a little less speed then you should. Inevitably, you don't make it far enough, and crumple on the knuckle of the landing. With good park builders, this is minimized in the design of the jump. Canyons excels here for making jumps that can be approachable from the novice to the expert. Just watch out for the fourth jump, it will send you flying. It's ramp is about six feet off the ground with a 20 foot gap. Awesome jump, terrifying for me!
After making the rounds in the park 5-6 times, we decided to find some groomers and quench the need for speed. Once a long time ago, I remember riding a roller coaster long ride from the top of Dream Peak all the way to the bottom of Tombstone Express. With blue skies and endless corduroy, this was our favorite of the day. If you are unfamiliar with the Canyons, it is quite the epic to do this run. We called it the "Path to Mordor." Basically, starting at Tombstone Express, you need to ride down to Peak Five chair, then from there hop on the Dreamscape lift. Once you are at the top, drop onto Twilight, (the ski run, not the sappy book about vampire non-love making) and follow the signs toward the Tombstone lift. I don't know how long the run is, but it has sights, action, and lasts forever. Total skiing joy was found.
So, it looks like there are a few storms in the forecast, but even if there isn't freshies, consider the Canyons. I overheard a guy with a Sundance Film Festival badge on (do you really need to have that on while skiing?) saying that these are "epic conditions!" And they really were. Great skiing, warm temps, and lots of sun to soak in up the Canyons.