A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

Retuned from the Rockies

on December 8, 2013

Being from the Midwest, I’ve experienced plenty of cold days. The last few days in Colorado, however were bone-aching, painfully cold.

I took Tuesday off from skiing – I wasn’t sure what the weather might do and I didn’t want to get lost on some random trail in a snow storm and I really wanted to save my energy for what promised to be a spectacular powder day on Wednesday. I spent the day exploring and went over to try and figure out how to watch the men’s downhill runs on Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek. Sadly, I didn’t find the answer and went back to my condo and watched some Law and Order. I get sucked in every time…

Wednesday morning, I awoke to an amazing sight – nearly a foot of fresh snow calling my name.

photo 1 (2)

I caught the first shuttle to the mountain and went straight to visit my guys at Vail Ski Tech to switch to some powder skis and beelined it to the gondola. While I wasn’t on the first chair, I was in the first dozen and found some ski buddies for the day. They were some great skiers from Toronto and we stayed together for the day and we had a really fun morning. Again, no amount of cardio can prepare you for altitude OR an amazing powder day. I lasted about 3.5 hours. Also, the afternoon high was a balmy  -3*F. Sadly, I returned my skis and went and collapsed in my condo.

Thursday morning, I walked outside and was immediately overwhelmed by the cold – my chest hurt and the cold slapped my face. I was really questioning whether or not I was going to even make it up the mountain. After reluctantly dragging my gear back out, I took the gondola up and discovered that a new section of trails had been opened. I went off into the new area and admired the amazing view. When I got to the bottom, I hopped back into line and fell in with my Toronto friends and rode the lift back up. Due to some mechanical issues of the recently operational lift, we abandoned the back side and hit up some more groomed trails we discovered the previous day. After a couple hours, my legs were screaming and I had to take a rest. I went in to grab an early lunch and captured a couple photos:

photo 2view 2

 

During lunch, I made another new friend Yvette, a great gal from L.A. who was also skiing alone. We hit it off immediately and took some easy trails the rest of the afternoon, which was great because my legs were not up to steeps. It turns out that it was her birthday and I joined Yvette and her husband Alan for an amazing dinner at Sweet Basil in Vail village. I don’t often take photos of my food, but my scallops with cauliflower purée was too pretty not to:

photo 4

 

As I mentioned a couple times, I loved the team (and their dogs) at Vail Ski Tech. They took the time to give a great equipment overview and offered to switch out anything at any time. They rent current season demo packages and performance packages, which are a bit less because they are the previous year’s models. The first pair of skis I took out was the 2012 Volkl Essenza Charisma, followed by the 2012 Nordica Enforcer.

I have demoed and owned several pair of Volkls and have been continually impressed with the advancement in their women’s skis over the last 10 years. Volkl describes the Charisma as:

Happy to turn, happy to play, always highly sporty – combine a tip rocker shape with Bio-Logic construction and you end up with fantastic performance on any terrain. The ultra-light woodcore xtraLIGHT does more than just reduce the weight to levels never before seen at this level of stability. It also gives it an extra dose of liveliness to bring a smile to the face of even the most demanding skier, whatever the situation.”

What a great ride – this lightweight, yet aggressive ski was great on the groomed runs and really dug in through the crud. I took out both the 142cm and 149cm and had a great experience on each. I would love to do a side by side comparison with the 2013-2014 model.

VOE_1213_ESSENZA_CHARISMA_neu_05_ccc82c6be1

I couldn’t find a good picture of the Nordica Enforcer… They are described as:

“Burly yet  lightweight, this Nordica ski takes advanced-to-expert skiers for a wicked  ride. As part of Nordica’s new Supercharger Line, the Enforcer Alpine Ski  aims to blur the line between freestyle and big-mountain skiing. Using  strong, durable, and lightweight materials and a shape that’s as curvy as  Marilyn Monroe, the Enforcer takes on the mountain. The Enforcer Alpine Ski’s  98mm waist and smooth sidecut dominate absolutely any kind of terrain.”

These glided through the powder without a second thought. There was no hesitation on a turn – a wide stance allowed the ski to cruise through the snow on a variety of pitches. The Enforcer unfortunately, was not a good fit for the crud. I know I was tired, but I really had to work to drive the ski across the ice and rough patches that developed through the afternoon.

Between the two, the Charisma was the definite winner!

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