Sunday, December 18, 2005

Less concerned about fitting into the world
Your world, that is
Cause it doesn't really matter any more
No, it doesn't really matter any more

^ That is the song "Only," off the new Nine Inch Nails album. It has an absolutely filthy beat. Check it... or email me if you want it.

Warning. Reading further may cause a serious jones for skiing or boarding. If you do not live near a place where you can scratch that itch, you may read further only AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Bells and I met at 8 a.m. at the Bozeman Hot Springs parking lot. He brought me McDonalds and a thermos full of homemade (!!) caramel lette, that Mrs. Bells got up and made for us. Ain't she sweet?

We piled into my car and rocked the Nine Inch Nails album on the way down the canyon. The road conditions were dicey, but I managed not to spill my latte... or go off the road and roll over. There were a few cars in the ditch.

We made good time, and wheeled into the lot. Some snotty little college girl said she was going to run our boards over, out of spite. Female or not, she would have gotten decked. Did I mention that she was driving her truck in ski boots?

Smart. Really smart.

Lone Peak was looking stately this morning. You can see the tram station at the top. Note the fresh snow in the foreground. I warned you, didn't I?

It was freezing cold as we geared up, and I wore an extra layer. It ended up being actually nice in the sunshine, since there was no wind.

We got onto the lift, and I was having sensible "Oh, I should take a blue run or two to warm up" thoughts.


Will you look at that?

Excitement took over, and we decided to burn a couple hot laps on a black run at the top until the tram started running. Like ridin' a bike, I tell ya. No warming up was necessary, as we dropped the lip and tore into the soft snow. Unfortunately, the bitter cold wreaked havoc on my camera batteries, so it was temperamental.

On the second run, we noticed the tram to the tippity top was running, and got on the first or second one up. Yee-friggin-haw!

There were only three of us on the tram, and normally, you are packed like sardines on that sucker. Here are some pictures from out the tram window.

On this one, you will notice a chute that goes from sun into shadow on the middle left of the picture. You can also see it from a different perspective in the previous picture. Yes, people ski that. It is pretty much vertical and no more than 6-12 feet wide. If you fall, you are looking at possible death, and certainly several broken bones.

I'm gonna save that run for a little bit later in the season, perhaps on a powder day. I like my granite sandwich with a little snow.

The view from the top was spectacular on this cloudless day. You can see peaks in Yellowstone, and the tips of the Tetons way in the distance. You can also see the Yellowstone Club, which is a private ski area across the way. The yearly membership is $ 2 million. Yearly.

Here are the last photos I took before the camera batteries ran out. These are all from the very top of Lone Peak, at 11,166 feet.

That bowl in the last picture is begging for snowmobile or snowcat access. It is adjacent to the Yellowstone club, which is located off the left side of the picture, but my batteries stopped.

Besides, we had some serious riding to do.

Getting down from that tram is not for the faint of heart. Conditions were good, though, and we carved up the steep Liberty Bowl. Once down, we took a couple runs off the Shedhorn lift, because we found a powder stash. It was a couple feet deep, and it was sublime.

Both of us had what we dubbed an "ostrich," which is when you bury the nose of your board and flip headfirst into the snow. Bells' head got stuck and he came up and spit out a mouthful of snow. Not to be outdone, I took the ostrich one step further, buried my nose, flipped violently onto my head, which went up to my shoulders in the snow, and continued, completing the flip so that I ended laying on my back with my head pointing downhill. It ended up being a flip and a half. That one hurt. It was a little like doing a handspring, but using your head instead of your hands. Believe me, style points were off the chart.

After that we headed over to the Challenger lift and rode the blacks and double blacks there. We found some more powder stashes in the trees, and some nice bumps (moguls).

Egad, it was a damn fine day.

To top it off, we called India and Mrs. Bells, who met us at the Bozeman Hot Springs for a well-earned hour and half soak and steam. Pretty cool place. I think there were nine different soaking tubs of varying temperature, a large 25m pool, sauna, and steam room.


Big Sky sucks.

I hate Montana.

Coming down the of many children.
Everybody has their own opinion.

Today, we ride.

This is the new boss (green) and the old boss (red and be-stickered).

We're riding the old boy today.


(Jesus loves you... but I'm his favorite.)

And as always...

Keep it real.

News and pictures this evening.