22 January 2013

Homewood Mountain Resort

Alternate working title:  First Time Snowboarding
I hope you enjoy the few photos I was able to capture with my phone when I wasn't too busy falling or too cold to use my phone without dropping it.

For you experienced in snowboarding here is a cropped trail map.  If you want to see the trail maps in their entirety you can here.  The purple shows the trails I actually went on:

Stars show the 2 chair lifts I took.
Purple are the trails I went on.
Circled spots are the alcohol/bathroom huts.

My first day I went for half the day and did more falling than riding. I managed to learn how to use a surface lift after two failed attempts.  As soon as the sun started hiding behind the mountain; I got cold!  So I decided to make my way to the warm ski lodge.  I was also in the mood for a beer after a day of failing miserably.  I left feeling a little sore on the backside and a little disappointed that I didn't pick it up as well as I thought I would.  I also thought the movie cliche of snowboarders vs skiers was just that, a movie cliche.  It's actually not, while I was sitting in the bar waiting for the family to make their way down the mountain I dropped a whole lotta eaves.  I guess the affluent people of the lodge have to find something to complain about.  So why not each other right?

My second day was a full day and by the end of the day I was quite comfortable going down the bunny hill.  Don't laugh!  I was able to ride the surface lift without falling and I actually started to have fun!  And then that damn sun started hiding down behind the mountain.  I had to retreat to the warm haven that flowed with delicious Black Butte Porter. At some point it was decided that we should go back for one more day of snowboarding and I could try taking a chair lift up to take a beginner easy trail down the mountain.  Though in theory it sounded great, I started to get cold feet shortly after deciding I could do it.

My third day was a half day and I made it to the top of the mountain and all the way back down.  I was even able to go on an intermediate route!  That's not to say this day did not offer a great amount of frustration for me.  From the first chair lift down to the second, I did pretty well.  I got the hang of it and was able to steer my way down to the second chair lift.  I did it facing mostly backwards but I did it!  Then it was on to the second chair lift to the very top of Homewood.

Here is where the major frustrations started.  It was a busy day and I had a hell of a time dealing with the lumpy condition of the snow.  So I would either fall or come to a stop.  A few times I slowly started to drift off of the trail into the tree area.  So I would have to get myself back to the trail and half way to the warming hut I was cold, hungry and tired.  I managed to get myself down to the warming hut for the spectacular lunch of New Castle and potato chips.  Okay so it wasn't spectacular but I did feel the urge to have another beer.  I looked at the time and decided that maybe it would be wise to skip the beer.  According to the time, it was slowly approaching shady side of the mountain time.  Where I was at, the sun was shining.  I was getting some rest and I wanted to continue getting warm.  But I thought better than to linger.

I then started down the mountain, alone.  I was told to stay to the right to get down the mountain.  Okay I can do that right?  Well I could if there weren't bright orange warning signs in front of me that said "EXPERT ONLY".  So I decided to plant myself to the side of the trail and watch.  I spotted the mid-chair lift but I didn't want to go up the mountain again!  I waited until a few little kids on skis made their way down.  I decided to follow them.  They looked like they were learning too, so I knew they were not about to go down "The Face".

I was headed in the right direction but the trail was very windy!  I should have expected this by the name of the train alone: Lombard Street.  I only know of one Lombard Street and this trail resembled it.  I had gotten the knack of going down a wide trail with room to slowly navigate a turn.  I ended up either taking the turn at record breaking snail speeds or biffing it into the snow.  I finally came out of that trail to where it spits you out near the bunny slopes and I was home free.  I was smiling so big going down the last stretch towards the warm lodge.  So big in fact, my teeth ached from the wind chill.  But I made it down the mountain!!! I did it!  Day three that mountain was mine!  I celebrated by having a beer and followed it with a shot of some mystery drink.  And then it was home where I pretty much crashed from exhaustion.

Soreness you say?!  Oh no, nothing like I expected.  I was told that I would ache places I didn't even know had muscles.  Pish posh, if I was a couch potato maybe.  But I am not your typical couch potato, Mc Donald eating, pre-morbidly obese American.  I will admit I did land on a hard chunk of ice that left a bruise on my butt.  I was more stiff than anything else the following day from the long, several hour car drive home.

Will I do it again?  If time and money permits, yes.  I would have to borrow snow gear and rent a board again.  Tack that onto the cost of lift tickets which aren't cheap.  Add that to the cost of transportation and lodging if I am not going to my hubby's uncle's house.  It's a definite maybe; I really enjoyed myself.

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