Sunday, February 20, 2011

Powder day at the SnoBowl. Really.

So... when I can't come up with an alibi and the weight of responsibility finally crushes my will to ski uphill, I pick up a day ski patrolling at the Elko SnoBowl. Today was one of those days.

This isn't as onerous a duty as it might sound. And some days it's even an excellently good time.

For those unfamiliar with the Elko SnoBowl, it's a little community ski hill (emphasis on the words "community" and "hill" about five miles north of Elko, in the Adobe Hills. The top elevation is at something like 7500', so you can pretty well assume that there isn't towering vertical to be had. That said, SnoBowl rocks. Why? Because it has more soul than any one of those uber-yuppified bastardizations of somebody's old ski-hill dream will ever have. I mean... Northstar? Are you kidding me? That base area should be razed, pronto, and those six-pack lifts should be ripped out and shipped to Japan.

SnoBowl's base area is a construction trailer-cum-rental shop and a vendor shack (Skip's Snack Shack) that sells lift tickets, Coke and bad hot dogs. Bring your own tailgate party. There's a creaky old double chair lift and a rope tow. The place is staffed by volunteers - people who love skiing, people who love kids, people who love to see kids skiing. Among today's crop of guests, we had three folks who are in town working on a huge pipeline project, two of whom had never been on skis before. They had a blast! And so did we, introducing them to the best sport in the world.

The fact that we had a powder day and I was finding untracked lines as late as 2PM didn't suck much, either.

Sure, the Rubies have the goods. But today's powder stash was at the SnoBowl. I didn't even have to ski uphill to cash in.

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