Achilles… toe? 8th day skiing, Squaw Valley

Arrive at 11 AM, park in furthest lot from the lifts:

Getting ready... say goodbye to dog

Temps cold enough to allow snow to act as sign board:



First run, trees on Red Dog. Pep talk to self: It’s okay to be afraid as long as you keep your hands forward.

Tree run

Second run, Siberia. Must pause for photos.

View from Top of Siberia

Top of Siberia

Too cold! Head to Solitude. Ahhh…



Time for lunch! Greek salad plus tasty brown ale at Fireside Pizza:


Back to Solitude for final runs.

Solitude to Headwall Solitude 3

Take transport lift over terrain park. Observe fun being had.

Fun was had by all

Mountain Run, what the crowded parking lot looks like on the slopes:

What the crowded parking looks like on the slopes

Achilles’ weak point was his heal. For me, it’s my toe after too many days pounding bumps:

Scrunched toe

But, no complaints. Don’t want to flunk retirement.

5 ways to flunk retirement

  1. Sit on the couch all day.
  2. Sit on Facebook all day.
  3. Go back to work.
  4. Complain about your old bones (and other body parts).
  5. Complain about frickin anything. (You’re retired. Shut up.)

This morning, bright and early (9:45), we fought our way through morning rush hour

Rush hour

to get on the Funitel at Squaw Valley


and finally to work.


Of course, we have to have a lunch break. All employees are entitled to that. Excellent fish and chips, stew, and beer at The Auld Dubliner in Squaw Valley:

FishnChips BeefStew

Looks sweet but bites: skiing Alpine Meadows today

Alpine Meadows, California. 9:30 AM, temp around 22 F, 7 inches fresh snow.

Skiing on these (love my lady Samurais):

Big Girls

Just enough snow to cover icy bumps and make The Face look tasty:

The Face

The trees in the D chutes under the chair really were tasty, no shark bumps:

Trees D Chutes

Followed by lower 3 Sisters:

Early morning 3 Sisters

Bumps beneath on 3 Sisters were okay.

It was a tad chilly at the top in the morning:

Frosty morning

The highly variable weather turned to this after lunch:

Snowy chairlift

Weather change

It turned so dark they had to turn on the lights!


The best part of the day: seeing the Alpine Meadows Adaptive Ski school in action:

Adaptive skiing

Love Abides “…as soon as there’s light in the morning, I go outside…” and Other Words to Live By

Note: My brother died of suicide a little less than two years ago. The man in these photos was one of his best friends. That makes us suicide survivors. This post is dedicated to suicide survivors everywhere and is intended to show you that you can feel good again. It takes love to get there. Let it in.

Note: All quotes in this post are things my friend said today.

Squaw Valley, USA, January 9, 2013:

Temp: cold. Windy, storm coming in from Alaska.

  1. Lift: KT22; Run: Horse Trails.
  2. Lift: Headwall, closed, wind hold.
  3. Lift: Funitel, ride to the top, meet another local. Friend introduces me as late brother’s sister.
  4. Lift: Shirley Lake; Run: tree runs on the main slope (multiple). Sweet.
  5. Lift: Broken Arrow, CLOSED:


From top of Shirley Lake, ski across Links, cross land bridge, hike to top of Broken Arrow lift.



  • Quote: “I thank [Nia’s late brother] every day for giving me this friendship with you.”
  • Quote: “You can’t be creative unless your spirit is at peace.
    Being out here with you puts my spirit at peace.”


Love abides.

Can Skiing with Family Fix a Pain in the Backside?

Problem: Twisting to look over shoulder while taking a step up stairs causes sudden pain in lower back that shoots down to… ahem… gluteus maximus… into back of leg.
Cure: Relaxed skiing with family.

Alpine Meadows yesterday: Temp high 40s, sunny.

  • Roundhouse chair, Charity run
  • Scott Peak chair, Ridge Run
  • Lakeview chair, main run, skier’s right
  • Sherwood chair, pause for picture
    Pause for picmain run.
  • Return to condo.
  • Back all better.
  • Share Gordon Bierschs.
  • Visit from old family friend.

    Old friend
    He’s shy
  • Many laughs.
  • Not only better, new high.

How do you fix a pain in the back side?

This Isn’t Sweet or Loving

Skiing alone is a joy. Totally unfettered by the needs or desires of others.

Hubby laid up by previous day’s parking-lot fall. Good wife would stay home giving TLC. Bad wife went skiing. Good hubby totally supportive! Wife not worthy…

Alpine Meadows 1/5/13. (38 degrees Fahrenheit, sun mixed storm front, on little girls, old Rossie Mach 2s about 50 or 60 centimeters underfoot? Old but quick.)

  • Wolverine Bowl – sweet, easy.
  • Waterfall – bumps like volkswagons.
  • Lower 3 Sisters – good bumps.
  • Pete’s Peril – steep, sweet.
  • Palisades – terrifying (needed big girls… Volkyl Aura/Aurora? 162 underfoot).
  • Lower Our Father – Lord’s Prayer not enough, too big. Go skier’s-far-right.
  • Counterweight Gully – scary thrill, sweet on skier’s left. Skied like a dork. Searching for video of good run here from previous season.

All info obsolete by the time you read it.

Moment skis are in.

The Wedding From Hell: Book Review of When We Touch, by Brenda Novak

Brandon is a champion SKIER. (Be still my heart.)

The tension in this novella (100 pages) rocks.

Intense conflict for him (total hunk of a hero) and for her.

When Brandon’s somewhat estranged mother comes over to see him in the beginning, I felt all tensed up inside because of the way she treated him growing up. And then she expects him to put on a happy face about the wedding from hell.

For Olivia… the situation is just the worst thing ever… but no spoilers here.

This is a quick read. For full enjoyment, go into it without reading the blurb, any reviews (besides this one), and let Ms. Novak take you on a fun ride.

Five Reasons Not to Take Up Skiing

  1. It’s hazardous.
  2. It’s cold.
  3. It’s expensive.
  4. It’s a hassle.
  5. It requires a lot of stuff that makes clutter in the off-season.

So why do it? 

  1. It’s fun.
  2. It’s good exercise.
  3. It feels amazing to slide and glide.
  4. It’s pretty.
  5. You get to know things about people by how they ski.

Dialogue of the day:

“Did you have fun today, honey?”

“Yes, until I fell in the parking lot.”

(See reason #1 not to ski.)

What do you find fun that others might find… not so much fun?