The Carver's Almanac

SES 2006 - Friday
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February 17, 2006

It's the last day of the SES, and the demo tent is set up at Snowmass and ready to go.
Today there's a lot of bumpy, jarring, windblown hardpack, sooooo, ... show me the metal!

Fin must have channeled Martha Stewart to organize the demo tent. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Fin ensures that SES sponsors get their contractually obligated 10 product placement shots per day.
Meanwhile, D.T. engages in carving chivalry by setting up a Donek Pilot for the lady.

Your carriage is waiting.

It was *really* cold on Friday - something like 9º F. If you have ever had the misfortune of leaving your boots in the car overnight (with buckles tightened), you know that it can take a Houdini level of effort to get them on in the morning. Rodney demonstrates proper technique. It involves a lot of grunting.

It's a bit counter-intuitive, but it turns out that aggressive upper-body flailing really helps.

If you think this is bad, Rodney's left foot is a 1/2 size bigger than his right.
Just a minute ago, the truck was rocking back and forth.

The denouement. Though, it's a bit of an anticlimax, since I think the only groomed surface anywhere on the mountain is the small area under this truck.

I make a bee-line up the Fanny Hill Lift and get to the top of The Slot, Snowmass' last bastion of steep groom.
Then, I notice something odd, but I can't quite put my finger on it ... Oh, yea - the lift isn't moving. Duh.

No problem, I can still shred the reliably awesome groom, and make my way back up through alternate means.
Then, as I approach the slope, an existential conundrum hits me:
If the wind just blew the top 2" of snow off a slope, is it still groomed?

Whatever Snowmass was lacking in groom, they made up for with hospitality.
Just don't chip a tooth on the frozen death cookies.

It was a day of contrasts. Here, Ladia shreds on the metal Prior.

Then, in the next minute, a mini tornado blows through.

The secret to riding iced-over bumpy windblown slopes: Angulate.

Hmmm, what's that loud, train-like impending rumble coming down the mountain?

It's one of those mini-tornados.
Since this is the Northern hemisphere, I guess that means I need to switch from regular to goofy.

I wonder if they make a one-piece model. At least people couldn't say they didn't see me brought out the Catek product line.
Don't forget the o-ring that goes under the spherical nut: it's pivotal to the new Catek linkage.

No demo tent is complete without the snowboard roto-brush.
What we really need is a waxWHIZard rotobrush.

This is the later model of the discontinued Burton race plates, which look strikingly similar to the new IBEX plates,
probably because they are from the same mold:

(IBEX plates, seen the week before on a Pureboarding #TWO at Ajax)

Even in "challenging" weather, you can't help but enjoy the views in Aspen.

Despite the challenging surface conditions, we manage to slice some arcs.
Here's Sean Martin, saber-rattling with the mountain.

Bob Jenney tries out the skinny Virus. Check out those high binding angles.
I wonder if it meets of 16cm width requirement to be street-legal in USASA competitions.

Also out for demo were the Donek Tele skis.
(8 product placement photos down, 2 more to go).

Then, out of nowhere, a wandering carver walked straight out of the 1994 season and into the demo tent.

He's got ski boots, Elfgen bindings, and a binding angle that would cause boot-out in the catwalks.
Fin brought him up to speed. Plan on seeing this setup on Ebay next week.

Frank from Virus prepares the metal board. Notice the woodie side paneling.
The Santa Cruz Tahoe carvers would be all over this board.

Everyone wants to try the double-yellow sandwich.

On a tough day like today, the Madd BX really shines. People coming back to the demo tent on the Madd BX seemed to be all smiles, whereas everyone else had a really constipated expression. The demo tent packed up early today, in preparation for the big-time end-of-session banquet over at Snowmass Village.

The banquet gets off to a great start

For this year's banquet freebie, Bomber upgraded from water bottles to SES pint glasses - hurray!
Everyone gets a single raffle ticket, plus you can buy up to 5 more for $5 each.
Are they worth it? We crunch the numbers and spill the details - see below.

There is much comparing of notes

There is much rubbing of elbows.

There is much talking of shop.

A table in the banquet room is festooned with swag.

swag (\'swag\ or \'shwag\) n: Loot, spoils, or profits.

Yup, they are giving out a set of the new DeeLuxe Track boots with the real buckles.

Bob Jenney shot video all week long, including shots of the beginner Pureboarding clinic at Buttermilk.

The room is transfixed by the videos, some of which include HelmetCam work.
The real crowd pleaser was the HelmetCam footage shot by Bob Jenney when he got stuck in a tree well,
and also his HelmetCam footage when he made a fashionably late appearance to the Wednesday group photo.

This year's Italian pasta buffet was a winner.
Last year, all the heat lamps for the Mexican food threw off my white balance.

The fisheye lens can show the pasta and anti-pasta in the same frame.

Marco Olm, from Brazil, is a carving instructor at Snowmass, and has a huge following, both here and in the Southern Hemisphere. I was unable to book Marco for a carving lesson, because one of his clients from Brazil booked him for 21 consecutive days. At $515 per day. Note to self: book Marco before the snow flies. [OT: Marco also works at Syzygy, a swank restaurant and jazz bar in Aspen. They have a killer duck confit, and a seafood ragout to die for]

Madd Mike and Michelle enjoy the vibe.

It's amazing how carving brings together so many new and old friends.

OK, here's the scoop. There were about 300 raffle tickets in play, and the sum total of all swag given away had a list price of around $12,000. That's about $40 worth of swag per ticket. The variance of all the swag was high, since there were a handful of very high value items, resulting in a standard deviation of $400. But, you can lower the variance by purchasing up to 5 extra tickets for $5 each. What does all this mean?
It means there is no such thing as too much swag.

The Bomber crew prepares to launch the raffle.

Also in the swag pile are two highly coveted waxWHIZards. These things are great for use when traveling.
You rub wax on your snowboard base, then rub this thing back and forth to heat the wax into the base.
Maybe next year the SES will be so big that Bomber can hire a waxWHIZard valet for the demo tent.

Among the swag was an actual carving board, courtesy of Dave Winters. Forget the other swag - everyone was salivating over this beauty, with Michelle particularly lusting over it (cue ominous foreshadowing music). Check out Dave's website for some cool hardwood gear shifters.

Now it's raffle time.

The bongo board gets a new home.

Tille snags the dry land Carveboard. Aren't those things illegal in Utah?

And now, in an exhibition of fate vs free will, Kim draws a ticket that deals the carving board to an amiable gentleman from Australia, who can't bring hardwood products back without serious import headaches. He hands the carving board ... to Michelle! It was meant to be.

The Bomber women helped make it all happen - way to go Michelle and Kim!

I'm guessing this is the tip of the iceberg for a dog-themed tattoo.

In attendance at the banquet is a carver of some note. Dick is carving up the slopes at 79½ years of age.
There is no such thing as being "too old" to carve.

Well, Bomber has done it again. The session was a major success.
Multiple days of great grooming, no major injuries, lots of carving, and great friends, new and old.
Plus, the Pureboarding connection. Thanks to the Bomber crew and all the sponsors.
Until the next session,
Link up, Hook up, Drop in.