Sunday, December 10, 2006
Downhill at speed
The sun had just set over the Buck Hills of southern Benzie County as Andrew and I pulled into Crystal Mountain.
The slopes were lit brilliantly, the bluish light of the mercury-vapor lamps reflecting off the snow.
"I love night skiing," Andrew said. He got his first lift ticket of the season, caught a chairlift and headed up the mountain to initiate his new Fisher skis.
"I still got it," Andrew said, as he returned from more than two hours and what he estimated to be 30 or 40 runs. "The skis work."
He'd sold thousands of Wendy's hamburgers to pay for those skis. Saturday night, it was time to cash in.
Crystal Mountain opened midday Friday. Andrew and I went there after he got off work Saturday.
"The snow was wonderful," Andrew said. "A little beaten up, but that's what you expect in night skiing."
That's because it was late in the day. A full day of temperatures in the mid-30s and what the racers call "civilian" skiers had torn up the surface.
"It's had all day to have skiers to go over it," Andrew explained, "and snowboarders, who don't carve very well, rip it up."
That made the surface "a little mushy" but the new Fishers were fabulous beneath his boots.
"My edges are so good I can bite down into the solid layers underneath," Andrew said. "There's more of a sense of control. They fit better how I move."
Andrew said he hit almost every open slope; 25 of Crystal's 45 runs were open.
"Some I was going for speed," he said. On his last run, he took the chairlift to the highest point on the mountain.
"I came straight down in a tuck," he said.
The equipment issues, at least for now, appear to have been solved. Andrew's looking forward to a very fast winter.
Posted by Mark at 7:53 AM