|The Carver's Almanac||
SES 2006 - Wednesday
Aspen Highlands had phenomenal groom on Wednesday, plus the sun came out for the first half of the day.
For this group shot, the fisheye lens compresses everyone into the frame, and squashes people on the end.
Here's the rectilinear shot, with Bob Jenney making a fashionably late entrance.
The Bomber and Donek tents are humming with excitement. One of the coolest aspects of this year's SES
was the number of Titanal boards that were available for demo. You, too, can do an A/B comparison between
Virus, Prior, Coiler, and (if Bordy lets you) Kessler, and become a connoisseur of metal boards.
It seems that Titanal greatly enhanced the characteristics of any type of board, whether it's
race, freecarve, or all-mountain.
The demo tent is situated just below the Thunderbowl Run, a great carving slope.
The snow texture today was even better than Monday, it that's possible.
It was so grippy, it was like carving on astroturf.
The Thunderbowl run provides continuous carving entertainment for people relaxing at the demo tent on this sunny day.
At 11 AM, Sean Cassidy leads a carving clinic for beginners.
At the SES, there were a few people who rode a carving board for the first time.
Sean teaches a style which emphasizes stability and mobility.
The style is able to handle chopped up terrain well, but can also be used to rail on groomed hero snow.
Sean talks about stance and upper body position.
After the clinic, I'm on the chairlift, admiring the awesome groom, and spot something ahead going mach schnell ...
It's Bryan from oldsnowboards.com, totally railing it on his Tinkler board with carbon fiber stiffening rods.
Now, for a bunch of photos taken at the Thunderbowl Run.
For Wednesday, we had a bunch of new folks join the session.
Ken finishes the toeside compression, and is about to unwind into a mean heelside:
Kenny steers a course down the groom.
Lisa gets that Prior moving. This is her 3rd year on plates.
Bill, from Stefan Kaelin's bootfitting shop, carves his way down Thunderbowl on those short carving skis.
Larry "The Butcher" Ledingham
Diana slices through the chop.
Shaggy's heelside is a product of a totally balanced ying and yang.
OK, time to hang out, talk shop, visit the shop, and see the shop in action.
The level of technical discussion goes a notch higher when Bordy arrives
(that would be "professor Bordy" - we need to get him one of those lab coats).
Since I've already taken shots of all the demo tent gear, I think I'll do it all over again, but this time with selective focus.
The selective focus lends an aura of mystery to otherwise pedestrian TD2s.
Frank from Virus brought his Virus-branded UPZ boots.
George hasn't gotten any bites yet. Surely there is someone who can tame the stiff camber of the Renntiger.
In order to put to rest any rumors that Trent didn't make it to the SES, here is definitive proof.
Notice that Dave, a current SES attendee, is clearly visible in the background behind Trent.
... oops. too much selective focus.
OK, maybe not the definitive evidence that would convince some skeptics.
Maybe tomorrow there will be another opportunity to come up with more definitive evidence.
Madd Mike, Bordy, and Chris Prior speculate on the construction of the Virus.
Here is a cool sidebar conversation: Bob Jenney gives a mini-clinic on how to do his style of carving.
Bob Jenney draws on his kayaking and motorcycle methodology to describe his approach to carving, which is ... really carvy.
"Now, visualize that you're in a kayak, paddling downstream ..."
Adelle ratchets up her carving stability after absorbing all the info. Plus, she can now run a class 3 river.
After the bonus tips, I take some more photos of all the carvers.
Mike Tovino brings his Mt. Bachelor carving skills to Aspen.
Now, it's starting to get overcast in the afternoon. James Ong handles the chop on the Donek 203 (22.5 waist)
OK, time to stop by the demo tent and gawk at more gear.
Since the custom M6 5mm hex cap screws are in short supply,
some demo Bomber bindings suffer from the curse of phillips screws.
But that seemed to be the only shortage of any item at the demo tent thus far.
I admired a lot of DIY handywork.
Didi, Chris Karol's dog, frolicks around the demo tent, and sends ESP to Michelle, asking for a tummy rub.
Michelle definitely prefers this dog.
If you want one of these Prior 181 split-tail boards with the sultry topsheet, see Mats. He's licensed 4 or 5 of these.
Time to hand out and relax at the end of the day. Plus, it's getting overcast, with flat light all over the place.
We're too tired to carve anyway - When the groom is as good as this,
you can put way more effort into your turns to see how low you can get.
Ueli (left) is a rep for Oxess. He and Jacqueline (also in black) can really slice the groom in their black outfits
and black topsheet boards, in a sort of James-bond-villian-esque way.
OK, now it's time to kick-back and relax, with free beer at Iguana's.
I caught Bob Jenney mid-bite.
Fin, Madd Mike, Shaggy, Ladia, and Bordy.
Then, for the highlight of the evening: Michelle makes a special intro, and announces her diabolical plan
to provide Fin with some post-Valentine's Day cheer:
A whole bunch of babes, with T-shirts that say "Babes on Bombers."
But wait, there's more:
This gal is Joey: she was on a carving board the whole day, shredding the slopes big time.
Apparently, doing a lot of carving really develops your hip gyration skills.
OK, the party's winding down, and it's time to think about tomorrow -
Ajax in the Morning (a women's photo shoot at 9:30 at Ruthie's),
Then Buttermilk in the afternoon (with another carving clinic).
But first, it's yet again time for "Fun with Fisheye lenses."
Andrea, Fin, and Dave demonstrate the distortion characteristics of a fisheye lens.
In this shot, the lens is about 1 foot from Fin's sunglasses.
Dave Winters surfs the earth.
Paul rails inside the fisheye domain.
Tille carves around the world - literally.
Cool. Next rendezvous is at Ajax on Thursday. We're going to have a few inches of snow, so it should be interesting.