On the hill: Huevos and crud a perfect combination
December 3, 2010
SNOWMASS – Thank God for flex hours at work. It allowed me to do two of my favorite things Thursday.
I had some comp time built up so I took the morning off and pigged out on breakfast at Two Rivers Cafe in Basalt. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, too long actually, but the huevos rancheros with green chile was as good as ever.
I followed it up with skiing at Snowmass for the first time this season. Snowmass got hammered by early-season snowstorms so it now boasts a 36-inch base – nearly unheard of in early December. The ski area avoided wind scouring, which often hampers getting upper sections of the mountain open early. Not this year. The entire Big Burn section of the mountain is open.
I arrived at Snowmass a little early, kind of meandered slopeside and, to my surprise, learned the base area Village Express chairlift fires up at 8:30 a.m. along with the Big Burn and Sam’s Knob lifts.
It felt like I had the Big Burn to myself when I loaded the chair shortly after 9 a.m. All that terrain, so few skiers. I also had the lift to myself, as far as I could see in front and behind me. I know it’s not cool to talk about a groomed run, but, hey, it’s fun to crank down Dallas Freeway on immaculate corduroy when no one is around. You can carve big swooping turns without fear of the pinball effect.
A couple of runs of that were enough. I noticed on the way up that Sam’s Knob still had lots of cut-up powder on its short trails. So, as the Burn started to get slightly more busy, I headed to the Knob. It’s amazing that you can find cut-up powder/crud 24 hours after a storm. It’s shows how few skiers and riders there are at Snowmass right now, not that I’m complaining.
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The other day I told my friend Eric, a guy who skis Aspen Mountain or Highlands nearly every day of the season, that I’ve come to the conclusion that I really suck at crud skiing. He had the perfect response: “Don’t overthink it. Just ski it a lot.”
Sound advice. I spent the rest of my Thursday morning on Sam’s Knob. It was a “cruddy” day, and that wasn’t all bad.