Archive for February, 2011

Take Me to Church

Hallelujah, the powder has arrived! Sweet, light, fluffy, pillowy, blissful frozen water that falls like manna from Heaven. Soft, rip-able goodness that feels so right it can’t be wrong. It even sounds delightful: swishhhhh.

Today I awoke practically drooling over the crisp new snow. After that I promptly drove my car into a ditch and had to get towed out. When I finally got to the office, I prepared to head out into the glorious powdery winter wonderland that is Schweitzer Mountain and was struck by a sudden sense of loneliness. Being the lone remaining snowboarder, girl, and non-expert in the marketing group, I am often ridin’ solo. Briggs was off, Dave had just gotten in, but Mirus was sitting at his desk looking like he’d rather be out slaying pooder. So I looked around with my best puppy dog eyes and said, “Umm, does anybody wanna go skiing with me?” I ticked off the seconds in the inevitable silence that followed, till Dave said he had a meeting and Mirus, trapped like , agreed to take me out. The condition: We were going big.

My trail map has been sadly lacking in new highlights lately, as I am a creature of habit and tend to stick to the same areas. Mirus’ mission: get me on some new trails. So on the lift, he suggested we take Australia down to Stella. “It’s not a double black, it’s not steep,” he said. I knew he was lying, but I said okay anyway. He was right and it wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t exactly slay it. Then we headed up Stella and did Phinea’s Forest, which was also pretty fun. However, being a snowboarder, I had to skate a lot of the track in and out of it, which is pretty tiring after a while. But it was so soft and feathery, I couldn’t help having fun. Even when I fell, the pow just picked me right back up and sent me on my way.

Since returning to the unfortunately pow-free office, I have been pondering: what is it about new snow that makes it so freakin’ great? There’s the obvious of course: it’s soft, it’s fresh and it fills in tracks and ruts. But after spending some time in the pow, you really start to see its magic. I can get slapped in the face by snow all day and love it. Can’t really say that about anything else. It takes you and carries you down the hill, forgiving your mistaken random weight shifts with gentle correction instead of falls and pain. New snow is probably the single greatest thing about skiing and riding. It’s a religious experience.

I’m not actually comparing powder to God or anything, but…it is pretty awe-inspiring stuff. And if there is a place to worship the sweet powder it’s definitely Schweitzer Mountain, so brother, take me to church!

- Katie Ross, Intern

How the Mighty Wind Blows

For those of you who were here at Schweitzer last weekend, the wind was a force to be reckoned with. Mother Nature was screaming her fury in the form of airstream domination. This, unfortunately, caused some disruption in resort operations. Some lifts had to be shut down for the day. Seeing as we had three inches of fresh, this was a particularly hard pill for everyone to swallow. All that untouched powder, and no access. But there was nothing to be done; we are in a fickle business, and Mother Nature wanted to remind us who’s the boss. The mighty wind continued to howl as lines stacked up at the Basin Express and Lakeview Triple. It continued through most of the night, and right before I fell asleep, listening to it shriek, I prayed for a better day.

And I got it! The winds were nothing but a shadow of their former selves this weekend. Three inches of fresh turned into two feet in the last week. Yesterday (Saturday) was an amazing day, with lots of sun and smiles all around. The mountain was brimming with excited pow hounds ready to be let out of the gate. BBQ was going on Lakeview patio. Taps was packed for the Rub and Milonga; two live bands in one night! There’s even night skiing tonight. Everyone just seemed to be having such a great time. All because of some new snow and great weather. The forecast says more to come, so I hope you’re all ready for it!

Such quick weather transitions remind me how unpredictable the snow sports industry is. We’re all at the mercy of the weather out here. We all know who the boss is, and it isn’t us. All we can do is pray, obsessively check weather reports, and hope for the best. And when the best comes back around, go take advantage of it! We never know what can happen tomorrow; seize today for all it’s worth. ow rthrnkmndsam,dasm,sadm,dsa

Farewell

This week, we here at the Schweitzer marketing office say goodbye to my intern sister Jaimie. And while her time here was short, Jaimie and I had some wild and crazy adventures here in mountain paradise.

 After her arrival in late December, Jaimie and I felt instant camaraderie. The only two females in a boys club of an office, we immediately banded together.  We also became permanent riding buddies, since our skill levels are about the same. Plus, riding with a girl is just less stressful when you’re a girl. Trying to keep up with the Seans was getting depressing.

Now, in the style of Jaimie’s final blog, I thought I would put together a list of some of our greater exploits. Feel free to try some of them for yourself, but others you may want to avoid:

  • Car crash-I highly recommend avoiding this one. Totaling Jaimie’s car was not fun, but it was our very first adventure.
  • Finding our way around the Sandpoint area-Cochalalla? Cocolalla? Coachella? Same thing.
  • Enjoying local pubs-There are some pretty great places in Sandpoint to get food and an adult beverage. Eichardt’s and Ivano’s were some of our favorites.
  • Various mountain adventures-We spent most of our time gallivanting on crazy quests around the hill: Kathy’s Yard Sale anyone? We are now tree riders for life! Jumps off Crystal and riding the lift in the driving rain and wind, just laughing the whole time. Finding the giant cedar and making fools of ourselves hiking the little hills around it and wiping out in the alder bushes. Getting stuck in flat places and receiving tows from random skiers (being a girl rocks). Trying to con the answers to trivia out of the lifties. Doing helicopters and trying to ride switch. Taking official Schweitzer photos of the Outback potato and getting to eat it afterwards. Trying to keep gapers from sneaking into the park without a pass.  Driving down the mountain in the snow with broken windshield wipers. Jersey Shore and Teen Mom marathons. Crashing on Pend Oreille and sliding the rest of the way down on our backs/stomachs (scary, but strangely fun at the same time). Conquering the t-bar for the first time yesterday and neither of us falling.  
  • The Beermosa-PBR, orange juice, and bad decisions all in one can. It’s a little slice of poor man’s Heaven. Enough said.
  • Night skiing-Mostly, this involved Beermosas. See above.
  • Videos-If you don’t own a Flip Cam, I suggest picking one up. They’re convenient, fun and easy to use. Even though we aren’t pro-video-quality snowboarders, it was still fun to make vids of ourselves just messing around on the mountain and rocking out on the lift.
  • Pizza-Whether it was Thor’s, Sam’s Alley or Ivano’s we went to town on quite a few pizzas in the last six weeks. I recommend all three places to satisfy any pizza craving.

As we say goodbye to Jaimie, I know that the rest of my internship at Schweitzer won’t be the same without her. I am very glad I had a partner in crime to share my experiences with, and not just because of the prodigious amount of time I would have spent alone had she not been here. We had some great and crazy times here at Schweitzer. I’ll be doing my best to hold the intern mantle by myself from now on. Tonight, we go back to Spokane and Jaimie flies out Tuesday morning. Monday night we’re planning a big sendoff night out in the city…here’s hoping we survive!

- Katie Ross
Intern

My View from the Top

My time here at Schweitzer is quickly coming to an end. Although there a few things I am looking forward to welcoming back with open arms, such as my own bed and personal laundry detergent, I really don’t want to go. The more I bounce around, the more I am perfecting that sweet spot of how long it takes to acclimate yourself to a new setting, take advantage of everything it has to offer and get so sick of it that you’re itching to get back to something more familiar. 2 months is not enough time to do even a ¼ of that.

I am still in the phase of getting myself acclimated. I am just starting to meet people to hang out with on a regular basis. The mountain is becoming less scary and I am taking on more terrain, finding hidden secrets in JR trees and Wayne’s Woods. All of the one ways downtown no longer trip me up and I’m finding some of the best local spots to have a real martini. Now that I have figured out those crucial attributes to Sandpoint I need at least another 2-3 months to enjoy them.

The ticking of any clock makes me nervous because it is counting down the precious minutes I have left to enjoy myself at this mountain. The thought of forgoing my ticket this week and purchasing a new one for next week or even the week after has fluttered through my head every now and then.

My next stop after this is Germany, where I will live for 6 months, but that can wait right? By the time I get back, I will be hitting Summer at its tail end and will have to wait patiently through Fall to see another snowflake. Who knows if I will ever make it back to Schweitzer either. There isn’t a set plan in place after I return from Germany, but I can’t imagine a ski vacation is something I will be able to swing upon my return.

It’s funny to think that Schweitzer will be a memory and an experience that shapes me into a person that someone will want to marry someday, or the person that a company will want to hire or that a friend would want to have. As a daughter listening to the stories that my mother tells that got her to where she is now, Schweitzer definitely has left its own imprint on me. There are so many things that I have learned that I know will stay with me forever.

  • Beer-mosa
    • ¾ PBR and ¼ orange juice. We all know it and we all love it.
    • Stop thinking so much. You lose out on all the fun that way. Any situation is what you make it. If you cloud it down with negative questions and seek the route that can tear your endeavors apart, don’t be surprised when all of the above happens. Take things for what they are and don’t try and mold them to something they’re not meant to be.
    • As humans we are all just trying to figure out a way to do what we love. If it means taking a (HUGE) pay-cut to teach others how to ride the mountain or keep it safe or market for it, employees will work 24 hours a day in the Summer to be able to cover it. There isn’t one right way to have a job. 9 times out of 10 those that are working behind a desk, making a steady income, wish they could be out on the mountain doing what everyone out here gets to do every day.
    • You can’t get rich playing the penny machines. You have to go all in and take a risk. You don’t get insane return on your initial investment unless you try something new, take a turn off the old, beaten path, hold your breath and hope it works out. If it doesn’t, pick yourself up and move onto the next thing.
    • Keep your board centered and nothing can go wrong. Keep your eyes on what is right in front of you and commit to what you’re doing. You will land it every time.
    • Do what you dig! And nothing else. Don’t waste time or money on anything BUT what you are passionate about!

It has been awesome being here and everyone in the Marketing department, on the mountain and in the town has been a pleasure to work and play with. If not right away, someday, I will make it back here to commemorate its part in landing me where I end up and shaping the person I will have become. I am sure what lies ahead will be great because I am going all in with this thing called life and I have Schweitzer to thank for being a huge part of it!

- Jaimie Crawford
Intern



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