Snowboarding at Sunday River (2010 edition)

This is a very detailed account of our recent snowboarding trip.  It’s mostly intended for my own self, for my records, so that years from now when I’m a better snowboarder, I can look back at this and laugh 😉

Last Thursday evening Alli and I drove up to the Sunday River resort in Maine, for a snowboarding holiday weekend.  The is an annual group trip, organized by Rachel Hodis, for Boston-area Israelis, and we went along this year.  (Allison has gone along for several years now, but I had not.)

Sunday River is a big resort, with eight peaks total.  Big by East Coast standards, of course.  It takes 3-4 hours to get there from Boston, depending on traffic and weather and your car / driving style 😉

We stayed at the Grand Summit hotel, which is ski-in / ski-out, and otherwise very much like a Marriott Courtyard in style.  We had a convenient, big, clean room, which was nice.  The hotel also has an outdoor heated pool, a big hot tub, and a spa.

On the first day (Friday) I just hung out on the bunny slope most of the day, and then tried out going on a green / beginner trail with Alli.  I didn’t have great success, mostly falling my way down, until Alli unstrapped and ran alongside me for the latter half of the trail.  With that help, I could ride down the rest of the trail without falling.

On the second day (Saturday), I took a lesson in the morning.  The instructor, Brad, was friendly and cheerful and patient.  We spent most of the lesson “skating,” where one foot is strapped in and one isn’t, learning how to turn that way.  I guess it teaches valuable balance and/or other skills.  It was a pain in the ass, and I did much better when fully strapped in (both feet).

I met Alli for lunch and then we went back to the bunny slope, this time with her instead of an instructor.  I did much better here, doing a few clean and near-clean runs, no falling, down the whole bunny slope.  It was getting easier and easier, and I felt like I was making it over a hump, which is encouraging.  At the end of the day I was pretty psyched, and ready to try the lift and green trail again the next morning.

However, I did not get a good night of sleep.  When I woke up on the third day (Sunday), I didn’t feel well.  I also kept forgetting and misplacing stuff when dressing up in the morning, when packing up the room, and when checking out.of the hotel.  It gave me a bad vibe, plus it was very cold outside, so I decided not to snowboard today.  With regret, too, since I was making good progress.

But it didn’t feel right to ride today, so I don’t regret the decision.  Alli did go out, early in the morning as is her habit, and she rode a bunch before we met up in the main lodge.  She, too, was cold, so we decided to call it a day early.  We started driving back to Boston, and got back just in time before the blizzard took over the city.

All-in-all, it was a great, fun trip.  Getting there and back takes a while.  The weather is cold, and although they make snow all the time (artificially), there is a lot of ice on the slope.  I really want to try / prefer the West Coast style, plenty of natural snow, and warmer temperatures.  I’d like to try that next, and primarily, in the future.

But I made great progress, and with a few more sessions, I should be able to make it down green / beginner trails easily.  I look forward to that 😉

Equipment update: the board (Rossignol Circuit mid-wide) is good, the bindings (Rome Shift) are OK, the helmet (Smith Maze) is good, the goggles (Smith, cheap ones) are meh, the boots (K2 Transit) are not feeling pretty comfortable and good.

Need to work on heel-edge turns and getting up once I fall, especially on my heel edge.  I can get up on my toe edge, facing the mountain, fine.

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