December 2002

I spent Christmas vacation at the family's house in Santa Fe. Ironically, the Times ran a travel article at the same time.  The restaurants are those frequented by tourists; you'd rarely see a local there.   Except Julian's, which is an Italian- Continental restaurant.  It's good, but you can get that style of food in any big city.  I prefer La Choza.  I had really good carne adovada enchiladas there.

For the first time in several years, the snow at was decent.  At least El Nino is good for something.  I had a disastrous first day up at the mountain.  I foolishly thought I would have a leisurely day at the basin and rent equipment up on the hill.   They gave me a piece of shit board that was new not this year, but the year before.  I clicked in and there was a good 2-3mm of air between the bottom of the binding and the board.  You want air under the board not under the binding.  Sheeeit.  I go back to the ski shop exchange for another board.  Same fucking problem.  I ask for my money back.  The dipshit at the register said that " all our equipment is safety-checked at the beginning of the season"  yeah right.  You can do a release-test on a ski binding, and this test has industry-established parameters. It's not the same for boards.    Safety my ass.  They don't rent helmets at that place.  Sure enough, some guy died up there the same day.


 I go down the hill and find that all the decent shops in town are sold out of rental equipment. 

The next morning I went to ski tech and got a good 157mm board and some boots.  The boots really fit well, a rarity when 11EEEE shoes hurt. 


Like I said, the snow was decent; but not great.  The powder had been groomed down, which is just as well, as the bump runs that were exposed to the sun had melted / refrozen and were too hard & crunchy.  I found better snow in the off piste areas under the trees.