Too Legit to Quit

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When I got asked last minute to be part of Tahoe Snowcial, the logical answer would be to say no. I’m stressed beyond belief with multiple deadlines, hence the paring down of my regular posting, and planning for Mom’s and my Africa trip and our honeymoon, not to mention moving in two weeks (egads! we’ll finally be city kids again!) and have a monster of a book due on Feb. 8. However (you see where this is going), I so rarely have the flexibility to be spontaneous, and as my weekend was empty, I said sure! MC Hammer was the keynote, after all; how can you say no to that?! Or this?:

So I headed up on Thursday afternoon with my pal Harriot, cleaned the casino floor with some tech guys when I made the conference’s poker tourney finals (guess I have more of my dad in me than I thought), and finally gained some confidence on the slopes. The wonderful people at Heavenly Ski Resort gave me an entire day of private instruction with the most awesome ski teacher ever, Patti Vath, and by the end of the weekend, I was ready to tackle some (baby) blacks. If you recall, this is a significant improvement over last year’s disaster of a ski attempt. As SVV liked to remind me, I came home from that weekend spouting false claims: “I am never skiing again!” Famous last words.

(And, yes, that is quite the fetching helmet I’m rocking. When I showed up the first day, and all the professional skiers and boarders were in them, and I, the amateur, was the only one without, I figured it might be a smart idea. They called it the Natasha Richardson Effect.)

We haven’t had snow in a bit, so conditions weren’t perfect—by day three, it was mighty icy on half the mountain—but they were fine enough, and more importantly, void of annoying people obstructing my slightly, at times, chaotic path. The one day, Saturday, where the lifts were a bit busy, I had Ski Instructor Patti with me, meaning we got to go to the front of the line always; it was like having a Fast Pass for Disney World.

The conference part only last for four hours on Friday, quite the perfect timeframe if you ask me, and Harriot and I were blown away by MC’s intelligence. The man knows his social media and, as I’m sure many of you are aware, is considered an innovator in the field.

SVV and Harriot’s boyfriend Bill came and met us on Friday night, and fun was had by all. They skied all the tough runs on Saturday while I perfected my snow bunny prowess. We all met up at the tubing course, because hello! Heavenly has a tubing course! How fun is that?!

You take a tube-style conveyor belt to the top, then someone spins you to the bottom. It was all kinds of awesome. (That’s SVV on the left below.)

That night, it truly was Hammer Time (again), as our boy MC did a show in Harrah’s South Shore Room that resulted in the whole audience taking the stage for the final number, “Can’t Touch This” (duh). Then, I just happened to open this week’s Entertainment Weekly on the train last night to find that today, in fact, is the 20th anniversary of the popular 80’s rap. To be honest, I was excited to see Hammer in the flesh, but figured I’d be bored after a couple numbers, as I know all of three songs of his. (I was actually humming the tune to “Ice, Ice Baby” on the walk over when SVV gave me a strange look and reminded me we weren’t going to see Vanilla Ice. Oops. You know, those rappers from my childhood, they all sound the same to me.) But dude was a performer, and even had his teenage son as a dancer and 16-year-old daughter as a backup singer. The whole show was wildly entertaining.

Can’t Touch This from krysleigh on Vimeo.

On Sunday, I was finally able to hit the Heavenly slopes, and hold my own, with SVV, who is a pretty talented snowboarder. It’s fun having yet another activity we can do together, especially after last year’s Northstar snafu.

Somehow, even now three days later, my right leg is littered with black spots—I look like a week-old, bruised banana—even though I only took two big spills over a period of three days. But it was worth every ache and pain and Vicodin consumed after the fact.

It’s a pretty convenient time for me to actually start enjoying skiing, as SVV and I are going to Mammoth at month’s end and North Shore in March. We might even go in on a share on South Lake next season, and get Heavenly passes. I’m all about that resort, as it has 98 runs, meaning you could ski all weekend without needing to repeat. What are your thoughts on skiing: do you have the bug like I currently do, or does it frustrate you to no end, like was my previous experience(s) learning to ski on East Coast ice? Favorite Tahoe resort? Anyone else going to happen to be at Mammoth Mountain on the Jan. 29 weekend and wanna meet up for a beer?

For more from last week’s slam dunk of a social media event, check out what Porters Tahoe has to say.

  • January 13, 2010

    Skiing frustrates the bejeebus outta me, which is somewhat embarrasing to admit, as I live in Colorado and can’t spit without hitting a skiier, snowboarder or both. When my friends fill my Facebook page with talk of powder, snow conditions and lift tickets, I’m just “oh, look! A chicken!”
    I blame years of college boyfriends “trying” to teach me to ski, and till someone (me) ponies up the dough for some real lessons, I’ll be the one sipping Irish Coffee in the lodge!

  • January 13, 2010

    I was actually on the ski team in high school, so I used to LOVE skiing. I also snowboard, which is what I’ve done the most of since high school. However, I haven’t been downhill skiing even once since I moved out here — I’m used to much smaller East Coast and Midwest hills, so I’m a bit nervous about the big mountains here. Plus, it’s SO pricey! That’s the thing that keeps me from doing it the most, especially when I can cross country ski or snowshoe basically for free.

  • January 13, 2010

    Amazingly, it has come true…a person commented to the U.S. National Forest Service that they should replace the trails with escalators as it was too difficult to hike in the wild — now, there is a snow tube lift! A big sigh…another contributing factor/device to our marshmallow nation.

    So are you fuming at Kiffin’s quick exit? I had no idea the “kid” was only 31 — so flighty at the age! The Vols will do better without him!

  • January 13, 2010

    Too bad you aren’t going to be at Mammoth this weekend! I’ll be there from Friday to Monday, trying to get back into my groove.

    Last year the ski bug hit me. It was the first time I’d skied more than two days during the season, and I got pretty good. Towards the end I was doing some black runs easily in Park City and Deer Valley. The local mountain black runs became a joke.

    To become a good skier you need at least 10 days’ worth of skiing every season. I finally have my own gear this year and cannot wait to try it out this weekend. I wish I was going to Mammoth later this month to meet up with you, but I have month-end deadlines to deal with at work. Maybe North Shore in March?

  • January 13, 2010

    So much fun!
    (And SVV’s glasses? Hilarious. He looks like a bug.)

  • January 13, 2010


  • January 13, 2010

    I LOVE skiing, but I bet you already know that! We are having some pretty crappy conditions right now, but I am hopefully for the rest of the season. I think the key is consistancy. You are only going to get better if you go a lot. Therefore a share at Tahoe next year will totally improve your skillz!

    I have skiied at Heavenly and at Kirkwood, and like Kirkwood soooo much more. I felt like Heavenly was really touristy and Kirkwood (and I’ve heard, the other hills) are much more about the skiing than the show. Although you’re right – the size (and views) can’t be beat.

  • January 13, 2010

    Ahem. Those are Prada courtesy of the lovely Katy-kat in NYC 🙂 And I couldn’t agree with you more about the bug look. I dig it on the slopes. On the streets? Not so much

  • January 13, 2010

    You had me at “MC Hammer.” What 80’s flashback is complete without the Hammerman (complete with action figure and saturday morning cartoon), Vanilla Ice and, say, Paula Abdul. Straight up.

    Just wish you had pictures of Hammer skiing!

  • January 13, 2010

    oh and he had more that just 3 songs. How about Pray, the Addams Family Groove and … and Pumps and a Bump (from when he tried to go gangsta).

    We need to pray just to make it today!


  • January 13, 2010

    Oh man. Tahoe really takes your breath away.

    Also, the best part about that video–and really, it was hard to choose–is the professional dancers at the front of the stage…still taking things seriously…in vests…

  • January 14, 2010

    I’m very impressed with your mettle! I’m one of those NEVER SKIING AGAIN people, too, but apparently I really meant it because I haven’t been back. But tubing slopes? I could get behind that.

  • January 14, 2010

    Ooh skiing, fun! I love love love skiing, I only learnt about 3 years ago but now I can’t get enough and happily there are tons of ski stations within 2 hours drive of Nice so I go up as much as possible.
    However we do not have any tubing slopes and as that thing looks totally awesome I’m beginning to wonder if we can squeeze in a trip to Tahoe when we come over to San Francisco next winter!

  • January 14, 2010

    I’ve only skied twice. The first time was in the German Alps, and it was a disaster. Easy courses did not exist, it was so cold, and I had only Jeff trying to tell me what to do (and let’s just say I take instructions better from someone I don’t feel right yelling at). By the third day it was better, but I wasn’t sure I ever needed to do it again. The second time I went in Colorado, and I spent the first half day taking a lesson. It made such a difference. I really enjoyed it after that and would love to go again. But no one has anything good to say about East Coast skiing, so I’m not sure when I’ll get out on the slopes again.

  • January 14, 2010

    I skied at Heavenly MANY TIMES as a kid. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  • January 15, 2010

    This is fantastic. And, I now want to go to the mountain.

  • January 19, 2010

    thought you’d find this funny

  • January 19, 2010
    Joy A

    I tried skiing once, and was amazed at how many different ways there are for sliding down a hill. Face-first on your belly; face-first on your back. Sideways, straight down the hill; sideways and into a tree (gently or with a hard teeth-rattling slam). On your back with one leg bent awkwardly underneath. Feet first. Doing the splits. But I do still love ski trips. I sit by the fire in the bar, sipping wine and admiring the view from the window.

  • April 2, 2010

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