October 28, 2009: Play Day!

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado – With the news that it was going to snow at least a foot of fresh powder, I woke up extra early in anticipation of a difficult drive to the mountain (an hour if the roads are dry, who knows when they’re wet) plus I wanted to get as close to first chair as possible to get first tracks. The drive was slow going and by the time I got to the mountain there was already a long line formed, accompanied by strong and very cold winds. The high was anticipated to be 15 degrees, but with wind chills it could get as low as 30 below. Yikes! It was like being in Canada all over again.

After an abbreviated warm up, I bundled up head to toe in my warmest clothes and headed to the lift line. After only a few minutes of waiting, the lifts opened and I got on, probably 20th chair back. Going up the lift was like going through a wind tunnel; the gusts were so forceful that it would pull my board so hard down that I thought my lower leg was going to snap off at the knee. It was so cold that any skin left exposed would freeze in a matter of minutes. It was an uncomfortable and sometimes scary ride but the thought of fresh snow made it worth it.

Well unfortunately the wind was so strong and so longlived that it literally blew all the new snow away, leaving the hard, icy stuff underneath. Boo. I could’ve taken up my race board and been fine on that type of snow, but I so wanted to ride my freestyle board since it would be the only time I could ride it for the next few months. I did manage to brave the cold and wind, but after about six runs which consisted of a slow ten minute lift ride in heavy wind and only a minute to snowboard down, I decided to call it a day. It was too bad because the crowds were dismal probably because it was just too darn cold.

Nevertheless it was still worth it! But later when I went to do my recovery workout, I was completely exhausted and spent of energy, even after I fell asleep for two and a half hours, and all I wanted to do was go back to sleep. My former trainer told me that I was overtraining with the morning snowboard sessions and long gym sessions, and that at this altitude it was easy to do. So I’ve decided to let my body rest and take tomorrow completely off from snow and the gym, and really hydrate myself. Hopefully this will take care of the problem.

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