Sierra snow pack in good shape – I think it will keep up in 2016

The Department of Water Resources has given the Sierra snow pack a good prognosis – that is, if this weather keeps up into Spring. 

I think it will.  “The Baby” is colicky this year, been throwing regular temper tantrums, a trend that is hard to stop if it rolls over January 1.

I sure hope so. My family taught me to snowboard, no small deal, and last year they replaced my crapped out snowboard – bought used, and then used and used again! It was an older model, short for speed, but an old crate when it came to powder.  As I’ve learned more every year, I find, it’s the powder, screw the groomed, that makes it all worth while. 

Ever been sank in a snow powder bank? Don’t panic, cause you’ll start to get hot in your snow clothes down there. It’s a good thing to have your cell phone in a high zipper pocket, so you can get to it. But sometimes it’s quicker and less humiliating to get yourself out.  Unstrap your paddle foot, start kicking the snow in front of you to get a good foot hold, and then slide that board up, straight up, not sideways. Yes you can do it!  Start crawling with two hands and one foot, and hold that board straight up with your other foot. Don’t slip cause you will likely get buried deeper the second time. As soon as you can get your face over that snow, start hollering, but keep crawling, cause chances are nobody is going to hear you.

Sure, you can unstrap both feet, but good luck ever getting your board out of there. 

After that happened to me twice, my family got me a new, longer board. The short “lunch tray” model we’d got at a garage sale is for ice boarding, pretty much, sinks like a rock in powder. Who woulda known? Last year I had to learn to use my new much longer board, and it was sketchy. It’s like driving an SUV after you had a VW bug.  Turning, sometimes I get the front end caught in the snow – I have taken quite a couple of tumbles.

The first time, I took a turn too fast, did this sideways helicopter crash, right at the bottom of the lift, where everybody stood watching in quiet amazement. When I flopped up and landed right on my butt, several people applauded. I looked at them, my head still spinning, snow driven into the vents on my helmet, and said, “I meant to do that.” And I got up and walked into the lodge and got myself a straight shot of Stolichnaya.

The second time was head over heels. Head over heels. Head over heels. I thought it would never stop. Again I landed perfectly on my butt, my husband sliding along in front of me, completely oblivious. All around me people blew by, as though they saw stuff like that everyday. I was shaken pretty good, but my neck didn’t really start to hurt until the next day.

What, you want to live forever? 

Screw me – I can’t wait to get back out there. Like the 60 year old Japanese woman I met at the top of the bunny hill one year. She had taken up snowboarding late in life, like me,  to follow the kids. The first trip she fell and broke her tailbone. Her husband, an engineer, had designed this comical but very practical looking “diaper” for her to wear, all padded in the ass, and there she was again. Go Babeeee! We had a very nice afternoon together, speaking pidgin English  and Japanese all day, gesturing, laughing.  I can’t remember her name, or any of the words she taught me, but I remember the way she threw her head back when she laughed, like she was taking a big mouthful of Life and chewing it up.


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