Friday, April 30, 2010

How do you sum up 220 days in a single post? you don't really, I guess. but I'll try.

Snow has fallen here five of the past seven days. I hiked up Aspen Highlands on the first of May and found the snow at Cloud 9 to be even better than it was in February. I shared the deck with one other skier that had hiked the 3,000 feet up to get a few last turns before spring and summer come in with a vengeance and take this wonderful season away from us.

May 1st marked my 103rd day of skiing for the winter. telemarking that is. I worked three jobs - two on the mountain and one in the town of Aspen. I bussed tables at the latter and waited tables on the mountain. DeNiro recognized me from one restaurant to the next. One of my several bosses did not. I landed my first 360 (I've been trying for nearly 20 years). In four and a half months I left Aspen only once whence I drove four hours to Crested Butte for the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse, a 40 mile ski race from there to Aspen (the race was turned around due to foul weather conditions and we had to drive the same four hours back to aspen, unfortunately). I raced four uphill races in my newest invention - the Ajax Ascenders. On March 13th I put the Ajax Ascenders to the ultimate test with America's Uphill (video from 2008).

Though I won the race (40:28) and set a new record for the course (previous record was 41:01) my time, unfortunately, comes with an *asterisk*. 1. Carpenter's 1999 record was set in snowshoes which was a requirement for the race at the time. 2. There was a time dispute: a couple racers that timed themselves reported a different time than the "official" chip time. Some slower, some faster. My refusal to use a watch in both training and racing was once again put in check (the other time - when I nearly missed the one hour cut off for Mt. Washington by two seconds because i was unaware of the time). Realistically, I'd like to run the course in under 40minutes. It is Aspen's 4minute mile.

Between working and skiing I managed to squeeze in plenty of short, fast runs - 40-50 miles/week if I were to guess on a figure. I chased elk and they chased me back. I discovered the beautiy of running by moon and star light (why'd it take me this long!?). I tried to skin up to Cloud 9 Bistro most days that I was working there (8,000 to 11,000 feet). This restraunt was the highlight of my winter. It was the waiting job that I've wanted for years - fun people, good food, beautiful view and a party everyday at 3pm.

Tending the bar on the final day of the season.

Next post: summer plans....


Dave Mackey said...

Nice to read this Ricky. I have been wondering about you.. nice to hear you are out and about. And even better to hear you are doing it without heels (tele-skiing to those not in the know).
Have a great summer.. Mackey

Anonymous said...

mate you need some dynafits! you would crush the ski mountaineering race scene in N.America!
looking forward to your summer adventures