Thursday, March 26, 2009

So Painful

See this is why I really need to move west, I get powder alerts from all over the country. At 930 this morning I got hit with them, this is snowfall in the past 24 hours:

Snowbird, Utah - 18" 100% open
Alta, Utah - 21" 100% open
Jackson Hole, Wyoming - 21" 100% open
Grand Targhee, Wyoming - 14" 100% open
Bridger Bowl, Montana - 13" 100% open

Compared to:

Lutsen,Minnesota - 0" - barely hanging on...
Welch Village, Minnesota - Closed for the season
Afton Alps, Minnesota - Closed for the season
Buck Hill, Minnesota - Closed for the season

Not Much Going On

Not to much has been going on lately. Things are quiet. I hate this time of year, snow is gone here so skiing is over and the trails are still to wet to bike on. I believe in Montana they call this mud season. Here in Minnesota I call it boring season. I think the thing that is hardest for me is the fact that the ski resorts out west are just getting hammered with snow still. I am just not ready for skiing to be done. Yes call it a sick obsession. Oh well at least I know what I like. I still have no interest in riding my bikes. I am not sure how much riding I am even going to do this year. Melissa got a really nice road bike, we picked it up yesterday, so I am guessing she is going to want to do a ton of road riding. I like to ride with her so looks like I might be logging some time on my road bike as well versus my mountain bikes. But as of right now I have no interest in riding either.

I am however looking forward to getting out and doing some camping this spring and summer. Melissa and I have a couple of ideas for camping trips so hopefully that will come off. Our main trip this summer is hopefully going to be a trip to Yellowstone and to Jackson Hole, I haven't been to Yellowstone in about 25 years so I am really looking forward to getting back there. I am hoping to get some hiking, and fly fishing in while we are out there. I will have more details on that trip as it gets closer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life Adventure List

So I have had a few requests to publish my list of 68 things that I want to do before I die. I am hesitant to do so because it is a silly list of things that have meaning and are important to me, so the list will not mean the same to you. But I guess at the same time it brings you a little closer to how my crazy mind works. I wrote this list 2 and a half years ago at The Tea Garden on Grand Ave in St. Paul. It is in no particular order and was not set up for ease of completion. Enjoy:

1. Heli-ski
2. Learn how to Surf
3. Drink a Guinness in Dublin
4. Ski Liberty Bowl,Big Sky Montana ---- DONE
5. Ski Wardance,Big Sky Montana ---- DONE
6. Backpack in Glacier National Park
7. Canoe trip in the BWCA
8. Hike the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu Peru
9. Camp on the beach in Maine
10. See the Sistine Chapel, Rome
11. Eurorail Trip
12. Ski Marx Bowl, Big Sky Montana
13. Bordeaux tasting trip in Bordeaux France
14. Ski Castro Bowl, Big Sky Montana
15. Go to The Burning Man Festival
16. Camp in Yosemite National Park
17. Climb the stairs at Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
18. Paint at Devils Tower
19. Road trip to Memphis to see Graceland
20. Road trip to Louisville to the Baseball bat factory
21. Take the Amtrak to Seattle
22. Camp in Alaska
23. Ski Big Couloir, Big Sky Montana
24. Hot Spring Bath in Iceland
25. Trek in Greenland
26. Antarctic Cruise
27. Ski in the Southern Hemisphere
28. Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
29. Have Tea in Nepal
30. Trek to the Everest Base Camp
31. Camp at Zion National Park
32. Go look for Area 51
33. Take a road trip with no plans
34. Climb Bear Butte in South Dakota
35. Camp beneath The Grand Teton
36. Ski Jackson Hole
37. Have Lobster in Maine
38. Go Bone Fishing in the Caribbean
39. Catch a Green Cutthroat Trout in Colorado ---- DONE
40. Mountain bike at Whistler Bike Park
41. Road bike tour of Napa Valley wine country
42. Ski the North snow field, Moonlight Basin Montana
43. Camp at the bottom of the Grand Canyon
44. Boogie Board in Hawaii
45. See an active Volcano
46. Go storm chasing for tornados
47. See the Last Supper painting
48. See the Leaning Tower of Piza
49. Ski Rendezvous Bowl, Jackson Hole
50. Backcountry Ski in Jackson Hole
51. Winter Camp
52. Take an Avalanche Safety course
53. Live out of my car for a week on a vacation.
54. Sleep under the stars with no tent.
55. Go bouldering in Joshua Tree
56. Eat at Cliff Bar above 11,000 feet ---- DONE
57. Stand at the gate of Auschwitz, Poland
58. Camp at Arches National Park Utah
59. Circle tour of Lake Superior
60. Go Bass fishing in Florida'
61. Ride a century
62. See the Giant Redwoods in Sequoia Park
63. Walk on the Great Wall of China
64. Play Golf at Pebble Beach
65. Visit in Banff
66. Watch Soccer live in England
67. See the Normandy Beaches, France
68. Ride Slickrock Trail, Moab Utah

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life Lists...

So this past weekend I did end up going to the Welch Village ski patrol tryouts. There was an informational meeting and then you did a ski tryout. The informational meeting was great and it was a bummer for me at the same time. After listening to the meeting I decided not to ski because there was no way that I would be able to dedicate the kind of time that they were asking for. I was really bummed, I really wanted to be a patroller, but it would have become my life starting next fall and not ending till April of next year. The training process is very intense and that is fine but it is a huge time commitment. A huge one, the first aid class is 2 nights a week starting in September for 4-5 hours a night and runs for 3 months. Then after Welch opens for skiing you are required to patrol one shift a week and then you have to be there every Saturday for 12 weeks for on slope training. That is what killed it for me. The first aid class would be great and I would have no issues or problems with that. But 12 Saturdays in the winter means that I don’t do anything but ski at Welch all winter. No trips and that idea doesn’t fly with me and it is not fair to Melissa. I also started thinking, that even though being a patroller would be great, I wonder if it would begin to turn skiing into a job and ruin it for me. That I don’t want that at all. I love skiing and I never want it to feel like a chore. So I spoke with one of the guys running the tryout, told him my position and said that I was withdrawing my name. He understood, seemed disappointed, as was I but understood. I drove home bummed out. Oh well…

The weather has changed here, it went from winter to spring in a couple days, the temps have been in the 50’s and today there is a chance at 60… That will pretty much spell doom for skiing around here. The snow is melting fast and I am sad about it, but I guess that is the way it goes. There are things that I am looking forward to for the summer. I really want to do some camping again this summer and Melissa and I have talked about some long weeks out and about camping so that should be fun. I also want to do some indoor rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors this summer. I used to do a lot of climbing a few years ago but got out of it and I would like to do it again. Also I guess I will ride my bikes some this year as well.

In other news, I have a life goal list of 68 things that I want to do before I die. I made this list about 2 years ago and I look at it every month or so, I was able to cross 2 more things off of it after my trip to Big Sky. I skied the runs Liberty Bowl and Wardance. With that my total of life adventures is currently at 63… Man I need more vacation time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Once again

Well once again I have been reminded that my timing sucks. A few things this week have reminded me of that, one and probably the most important one at this point in life is the fact that 36 hours after I leave Lutsen they get about a foot of fresh snow. UGH! Just once I would like to be there when Lutsen has a real powder day. The skiing on Sunday was so bad, that knowing that I missed the fresh snow is like twisting the knife, covered in salt, wrapped in a rag soaked in rubbing alcohol in an open wound about 3 inches deep. But such is life. Well I guess there is nothing I can do. Mean while just to add to the torture of Eric, the resorts out west are getting hammered with late winter powder. Remind me again why I live here? Oh ah because I have to be a responsible adult and work full time. That's right. (sucks)

I am still about 90% sure I am going to tryout for the Welch Village ski patrol for next season. The tryouts are this coming Saturday and I am pretty sure I am going to go and check it out.

I am headed back to school... Yeah! I have been taking classes here and there trying to finish some kind of a degree the past few years and I am going to try to get more serious about it. I am going to take 2 summer classes and then possibly 2 fall classes. The fall classes depend on whether or not I make the ski patrol, if I do then I will only take 1 class because the patrol training is a fairly big time commitment. Stay tuned for more on that. But I have the classes mapped out and I am ready to register.

I have been having a great time catching up with old friends on facebook. That is a really fun website. It seems to me that more people my age are using it now which is very cool. A lot of my old high school first are out there so that is fun.

More later.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Unfortunately it is very possible that the ski season at Lutsen might be over. Melissa and I were up there this weekend and the skiing was pretty bad. Or lets just say got worse and worse as the day went on. Saturday was the better of the 2 days. We skied our favorite runs on Eagle and then spent most of the day over on Moose. It was pretty good over there, with the south facing slopes and a warm winter sun there was some good corn snow to ski in. So Melissa and I spent the day looking around Moose for good snow and did find some. I took a bad fall on Saturday, I am not even really sure what happened but one minute I was cruising a long and the next minute my right leg flew out from under me and down I went. I pulled my calf muscle pretty bad, it is still sore today. I could hardly walk Saturday, but didn't have that much trouble skiing so my fall didn't completely ruin my weekend. We had a nice dinner at Papa Charlie's that night and then went back to our room and sat in our hot tub. All in all not a bad day...

Sunday we awoke to cloudy skies and what looked like snow clouds moving in. So I thought maybe we would get lucky and have some nice fresh snow to play on. No such luck. We went out and discovered nothing but ice with a very thin layer of crystallized crap on the top and it was a very thin layer at that. We did however manage to find good snow and very little ice on Split Rock, Upper Chris's Couloir and Lower Cliff Run. So we spent a lot of time on those runs. We did make a trip to Moose to check out things over there and found conditions to be really bad, so we did about 4 runs sat in the chalet had a little lunch and then headed back to Eagle for a few more runs before calling it a day and heading home. I really want to go back up once more but if the conditions were like they were on Sunday there is no way I am going to bother. Hopefully Lutsen will get a least one more good snowfall and we can go up and finish on a good note.

I am always kind of bummed out at this time of year. As skiing here in Minnesota is quickly dying other places are still getting great snow and lots of it. So it is bitter sweet for me. I have to happy for my brothers and sisters out west choking on powder, but I don't have to like it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well my skateboard arrived and it looks pretty cool. I am looking forward to riding it. There is still snow on the ground and the streets and sidewalks are mostly still wet so I am going to have to wait a while before giving it a go but it won't be long.

Melissa and I are headed back to Lutsen for the weekend. I am guessing this may be our last trip up there for the year. I would like to sneak one more in but I am not sure that it is going to work out. But you never know.

Mini Medical school is awesome. I am taking a 5 week lecture course at the University of Minnesota. it is called New Frontiers in Medicine and so far it has been unbelievably interesting. The course cost me $75 and so far it is worth every penny. I am really enjoying it and learning a lot of very interesting things.

I am about 90% sure I am going to tryout to be a Welch Village ski patroller for next season. The meeting and ski try out is next Saturday March 14th. I think it might be a fun way to get some extra skiing and learn some new skills. I get really nervous about things like this so hopefully I won't chicken out and not go, because I really want to do it. Wish me luck.

Other than that not much going on. I am thinking of going back to school to finish some kind of degree. I am really starting to feel that I was really stupid for not going to school... It might just be the beginning of my mid life crisis... I am going to look at Porsche's tonight after work.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Melissa and I spent this past weekend up in Lutsen skiing. It turned out to be one of the best weekends up there condition wise that I can remember. Lutsen got about 11" of snow this past week and there was a lot of untracked lines left when we hit the slopes on Saturday morning. We stayed slope side so we walked out of our room and clicked in right on Bridge run and made our way down to Bridge chair. Once to the top we headed down Manitou and found George's run COVERED in fresh snow. Moguls and powder, some of the best turns I have ever had at Lutsen then transpired. I kept thinking, there is no way this can be Lutsen... The snow is so soft and light and fluffy and perfect, any minute I am going to wake up. Nope it was real and it was all over the mountain. The Lutsen grommers did something they don't do very often, they did not groom every square inch of groomable area and left some natural lines. This was awesome and I have already sent my email to them giving them kudos for doing so. Anyway after George's we skied Chris's Couloir which was in the best shape ever, eerily soft corduroy and a nice steep line = Eric happy... I was having a blast powering around the mountain. It was hard getting my Minnesota legs back after 5 days of skiing powder in Montana, but eventually everything came back and Lutsen was rocking... We did all of our favorite runs on Eagle mountain, Chris's Couloir, George's, Cliff, Split Rock, and Raven. After working the north face we headed to Expert's Cutoff which unfortunately the upper portion had been scrapped clean and a lot of grass and rock was showing so the first 15' were a little dicey not to ruin your skis, but the rest of the run was great. I love Experts Cutoff, it is a fun run with a good line and it is kind of hidden so it is not skied a lot. After Experts we headed to Moose to hit the trees. There was a huge ski race going on this weekend, so once we got to Moose we pretty much said ok one tree run and we are outta here. Moose was packed. Bummer. But the tree runs Red Fox to Bears Den turned out to be awesome. Good snow, good coverage and very little ice. Rare indeed, but awesome. After the trees we went and had some lunch at Papa Charlies. After a nice lunch we went and made some turns on the runs on Ullr mountain. I skied Big Bunny, which is the bunny hill, I love skiing that run, it is always a fun cruise and it is the first real ski run I ever skied so there is a certain sentimental thing there as well. After a few runs on Ullr we headed over to Mystery mountain and skied Maple Glade and then headed back to Eagle Mountain and finished our day with Split Rock and the upper chutes of Chris’s Couloir , Cliff and George’s run. What a great day. Skiing fresh snow at Lutsen is really fun and pretty rare; I never get lucky so this was a great day.

After a great night sleep we got up and headed out for our last day at Lusten for the weekend. Sunday turned out to be a great day as well. The races were still going on over on Moose so we stuck to Eagle, Ullr and Mystery Mountains. The skiing was still pretty good, but the fresh snow firmed up a bit but the corduroy was still nice and soft, we started our day skiing upper and lower KooKoo and then moved on to Manitou to Chris’s Couloir which was even softer Sunday then it was Saturday. Thinking back the only run we didn’t ski on Eagle was Hari Kari… Hmmm I under how I missed that. Oh well, next time. We made our way around skiing all of our favorite runs, we had to cut the day short because we had some stuff to do at home so we left about 1:30pm, but even with the shorten day it was still great.

We had a great weekend up in Lutsen and are going to head back next weekend to give it a go once again.

Tonight I have my mini-medical school class. I am looking forward to that, it should be great. I really enjoyed last week and it sounds like this week is going to be very interesting.

Otherwise this will be another week at work looking for a way to retire in the mountains…