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101 Days of Winter
Day 27: Hitting up The Canyons
Feb 2011 05

After five days of work, I was exhausted. Coco picked me up and took me to The Canyons to relax. And relax I did on their brand new orange bubble chair that always comes tricked out with heated seats. The orange sheen makes it appear like every day is a sunny day, and the bubble keeps the wind out of your business, especially if your business entails lighting up.

I’ve never seen a rainbow blob before.

Another pretty sunset over the Salt Lake brought to you by massive amounts of smog.

And yes, that’s always what I envisioned my perfect blog to be about. Rainbows and sunsets.

The Sundance Review
Jan 2011 25

About January, I start to run low on funds and need a quick cash infusion, so I fall back on the money tree of event marketing to get me through the rest of the season. In previous winters, I’ve worked The Super Bowl, X-Games, CES in Vegas, and my personal favorite, Spring Break.

This year, I put on my fanciest fur coat and headed to Sundance. I got a gig working at a fake insurance company called Brownstar for the movie Cedar Rapids. Training consisting of watching the flick, which was awesome, and then I spent the next four days helping Sundancers make credentials for insurance policies like “Protection Against Naked Man Hugs” and “Death by Auto-Asphyxiation Protection”.

I know. Weird.
Here’s the trailer:

I spent most of my breaks plastering Sundance with 100 Days of Winter stickers. Super awesome.

Random notes on Sundance:
–The extremely tiny Park City couldn’t be more ill suited to hold a festival the size of Sundance.
–Movie stars wearing five inch heels on ice is funny.
–Ed Helms acts like Andy from The Office in real life.
–I overheard Anne Heche say: “It’s snowing really hard, I need to buy an umbrella.”

Coco showed up on the last day and I forced her to a midnight showing of a movie. This is her completely thrilled about being in the wait list line with a bunch of nerds for a movie entitled The Troll Hunter. Think Blair Witch Project meets Cloverfield meets Norway. I loved it.

Here’s the trailer:

The Junkies Take On Sundance
Jan 2011 20

Usually, I try to coast through the winter, but after the bank breaking escapades of 100 Days of Winter, I made the adult decision that this winter I needed to take on some work. So exactly does the Chief Snow Junkie do to bring in the bucks that finance the winter adventures?

Marketing, of course.

It’s got everything I love. High pay, flexible hours, cool people, and entertaining jobs. This week, I picked up a gig working the Sundance film festival promoting a big old release that’s coming out soon. I’m not going to shoot myself in the foot and give up too many details. For some reason, clients hate just hate it when you spill their secrets.

I’ll tell you this. I was probably the only person at Sundance this morning who took a shower at a Flying J Truck Stop.

Riding into History @ Ski Cooper
Jan 2011 14

After a day of rest checking out my new town (the Vail library the bees knees), I headed 21 miles up to Ski Cooper outside of Leadville, CO. This tiny ski area is steeped in history. The infamous 10th Mountain Infantry Division trained here during World War II. They picked the area because of its close proximity to the railroad and the challenging mountains.

These days, Ski Cooper is an affordable option for locals instead of the mega-resorts down the way. Like the lady on the chairlift told me: “We don’t have much terrain here, but we do have amazing views and cheap skiing.” She’s only partially right about the riding — most of the chair accessed runs are just basic blues with not much pitch.

But Ski Cooper has an secret, at least one that I didn’t know. The impressive Chicago Ridge which looms over Ski Cooper with typical Rocky Mountain majesty can be accessed by snowcat. $275 gets you an entire day shredding a steep face that left me daydreaming on my long chairlift rides. According to the site:

Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours operates on 2460 acres of terrain on the San Isabel and White River National Forests. The average annual snowfall is 260”. Ski Cooper will take you as high as 12,600 feet in elevation atop the Continental Divide. The slopes vary from 3000 to 10,000 feet in length with vertical drops up to 1400 feet per run. Chicago Ridge backcountry guest’s average 10 – 12 runs a day, depending on the strength of the group. Runs average 1500 vertical feet of descent.

I want in.

Day 10: Snooooooowwwwstorm!
Jan 2011 10

A big old storm system finally moved into Colorado.

Here’s the strangest part of the day: It’s Sunday. I’m in Summit County. It’s a powder day. I am prepared for crowds. I am ready. I have the day planned out. I’m going to get a jump on all these Front Rangers looking to squeeze in an early morning session before trekking back down I-70.

8:35 am @ Copper

Then I show up. Nobody is there. The lifts open at 8:30 am. I get my own chair.

The plan was to get up to the top and get in as many runs as possible before the crowds. But with this near empty morning and plenty of untouched white carpet underneath me, I shot down under the lift. Three runs later found me doing laps on the poma and then the longest tree run of my life down the Union Bowl.

But the highlight of a day of highlights was finally getting on board the free snowcat. Yep, a heated twelve seater that drives you up to some of the best terrain that Copper has to offer. The cat gets you up most of the way. There’s still a 15-20 minute hike along the ridge which I desperately need as my cardio falls somewhere between wheezy and asthmatic.

I teamed up with another solo rider (safety first) and punched into the best chute drop of 2011. Big face shots, fast turns, and nary a rock in sight to trip to me up. I tried to get back to that cat, but my legs were shot.

Looks like I’m heading back tomorrow.

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