Monday, January 19, 2009

The Ritual

We awake to the sound of harps on my iPhone. Nothing makes me love 5am as much as a pot of fresh brewed coffee. The pre-programmable coffee maker inhabits the pantheon of the world's greatest inventions. A ski day is a vacation. We derive pleasure from the ritual. The bags, the pack list, the planning of food, the clean gear set out the night before in neat stacks. We follow the weather all week like stocks. Our investment is a nominal sum and precious time. Rain haunts us. Warmth chills us. Cold weather is our bellwether. Snow is our blue chip rally. Triumph! We cash in on the slopes. This moment, this day can never be lost. We are rich in joy. Our bodies healthy and used. I've thought of nothing but turns and edges and my ankles and snow and Mieke for 6 hours. Talk to me baby!!

Here's the favorites:
Food - Godiva Hot Chocolate with Gosling's Bermuda Black Rum.
Exercise - Group ski lessons when no one else shows up!
Gear - Mieke's Smith Helmet saved her sweet head. EZ's used K2 skis $150.00. Never having to rent again, priceless. PS: Even in an insulated camelback, water will freeze at -15 ℉.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sigg Love

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my parents took us on our first alpine summer vacation. Davos and its surrounding high mountains didn't only spark my love for nature but also the love for gear. The Swiss know why you need it and how to make it.
In New York City using high end mountaineering water bottles seemed a little over the top. Then last year the picture came together.
Mountain eco-friendliness meets the city.
After reading about islands of plastic flooding in our oceans - destroying ecosystems around the world - we decided to reduce our use of disposable plastic in our every day life. That's where Sigg came into our city life.
Fill your Sigg with water for work. The gym Sigg makes you look way cooler than the old plastic throw-out bottle. Toss a Sigg in your backpack for a day of shopping.
Between the two of us we figure we can keep about 2500 plastic bottles a year out of the landfill or the ocean.
Then there's our latest Sigg Thermos discovery. Bad ass thermos for our hot chocolate with rum on the slopes, stays warm in the coldest days. We tested it. Hunter Mountain -15 degrees and 8 hours later our hot chocolate was still steaming!

Next steps:
Garbage Patch

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Black Butte

Mieke and I stayed with the beautiful James and Kricken and their two blond boys, Liam and Riley, at Black Butte Ranch in the high volcano country of the West Cascades. Marc and Jackie were with us. Max the dog kept the floors clean. We got lots of sun and skied two glorious days at Hoodoo. Fresh snow, no lift lines and plenty of steep runs to get the heart pumping. Nothing like East Coast ice. Great surface and deep, heavy fresh on the ungroomed pistes. Apres ski, the saloon in Sisters had fresh too. Local Deschutes Pale Ale, IPA and Luscious Porter. Later we cooked steak and drank my favorite wine in the world, Amaranthe, Marc and Jackie's immortal creation. The fire crackled, the snow geese honked, we slept good. This is why we travel. This is what we think about in the fast city.

Here's the Favorites:
Food - Mountain Fries, Deschutes Pale Ale
Exercise - Ungroomed Black Diamonds

Gear - Mieke loved her Salomon Instinct CS Boots, EZ loved his Kjus Pikes Jacket and Formula Pants and we both got off on our faux fur-lined black Crocs.