Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ski Resorts I've Visited

As a sort of follow-up to my me-tooish Most Visited Cities List post, I've decided to start my own self-promotional list meme: Ski Resorts I've Visited (All Time). I know a lot of skiers, and I'm curious to see where else in the USA and elsewhere others have been in their search of the perfect run. Plus, it's always fun to reminisce, isn't it?

Two days of skiing here at Diamond Peak at Lake Tahoe has rekindled memories of faceplants and black diamonds past. I'm also having a lot of fun watching my oldest son, Austin, discover just how exhilarating it can be to learn how to point yourself down the hill and finish with a grin that's wider than a backcountry powder bowl.

Oh, yes. The List, organized by state, with the year I first skiied the mountain, asterisk if skiied more than once, and some commentary:

  • Heavenly (1986*; it's always crowded, and almost always worth it)
  • Diamond Peak (2002*; smallish, but great terrain and never a lift line if the weather's good)
  • Northstar at Tahoe (2002; didn't get a full sense of the place, except for 'packed to the gills with daytrippers')

  • Vail (1982*; my first western mountain. i damn near quit skiing after i lost control on a catwalk and plunged 30' down a side ravine, missing every tree on the way down to land against a hay bail. I mean, really. Come on.)
  • Beaver Creek (1982; its first year of operation. I hear it's a five-star resort now, but in year zero they served lunch at the base in an inflatable dome-tent.)
  • Keystone (1988; senior year of high school road trip with the Furlow sisters. I played the Jack Tripper role.)
  • Breckenridge (1986*; still one of my favorites for sheer mass and variety of terrain. Not exactly a well-kept secret.)
  • Copper Mountain (1992; If this mountain was a car, it would be a Volvo V70. Misunderstood as merely family-friendly, it has a performance-minded core, reliable starts winter after winter, and features that disappoint no one, whether spending time in the front or back.)
  • Snowmass (1997; we stayed at Aspen and somehow I totally bagged on skiiing Ajax or Highlands for that entire week. What gives?)
  • Steamboat (1994; my then-girlfriend Amy passed a critical test: she learned to ski, and more importantly, had a blast doing it. Deal sealed.)
  • Winter Park (1988; see Furlow sisters above. I think this might be the best tree skiing I've seen in Colorado.)

  • Schuss Mountain/Shanty Creek (1981*; first ever ski lesson. 400' vertical feet of adrenline-charged madness, I tell you.)
  • Crystal Mountain(1983*; Another good all-arounder in the northern Michigan scene. Beautiful setting in the Grand Traverse area.)
  • Nubs Nob (1983*; seriously.)
  • Caberfae (1983; I think they boasted of 36 runs then; each was about 200 vertical feet, so they certainly could handle lots of frustrated skiers in parallel)
  • Boyne Mountain (1982*; still a Michigan classic. Surrounding countryside is gorgeous.)
  • Boyne Highlands (1982*; ditto Highlands, which had my graduating high school class' consensus vote as favorite hill in the state.)

  • Big Sky Resort (1997*; thanks, Eric, for letting us in on this one. A first-rate resort that's exactly difficult enough to get to so it stays that way.)

New Mexico
  • Taos (1996*; Their "no snowboarders allowed" policy still holds firm; can't say I care much at all. Some of driest snow I've ever skiied.)
    Ski Santa Fe (2000; a great townie mountain.)

  • Deer Valley (1986; it was just learning how to be posh then; today it's Michael Douglas/Prince Bandar chic. 100% groomed terrain. Not for realists.)
  • Park City (1986; the Vail of Utah.)
  • Alta (1986; the Alta of Utah. Incredible, treeless expanse of dessicated powder with sweeping views of the Wasatch.)

  • Crystal Mountain (1995; Cascades snow quality varies by the week, it seems; good terrain variety here and proximity to Seattle are pluses)
  • Stevens Pass (1995; more predictable snow than southern Washington. I only skiied there at night, but I think they have more lit terrain than any other resort I've visited. Night skiing is breathtaking; I suggest you try it.)

  • Jackson Hole (1990; Utterly awe-inspiring. If you can, save it for last on your life's list. It's a massif that rockets up almost one vertical mile from the valley floor and battles you for every foot you attempt to shed on the way back down. Sadly, I didn't have the stones to tackle Corbett's Couloir. I doubt you do, either.)

British Columbia
  • Whistler/Blackcomb (1996; it's rain at the bottom, pure powder at the top, and almost a mile of seemingly limitless terrain in between. Awesome apres ski village, and probably the best drive to the resort of all of them, mainly because it almost always starts in Vancouver. Best. city. ever.)

Where else should I go? Post your list and gimme a trackback, comment, or somethin'.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Blogs, Feeds, Flares

As my co-founder colleague Steve observed, we "suddenly" seem to have a fresh raft of talented, interesting bloggers aboard here at FeedBurner. This is of course good from the "use what you make" perspective of being a FeedBurner-powered publisher of a subscribeable content feed; we all use our own product and are familiar with benefits and learn from its limitations for future releases. The added wealth of inspired creativity also puts my tired words to shame and rekindles my interest in making I.C.B.B. something other than what it is today -- something of a test aircraft junkyard, where once-novel concepts briefly took flight but now accrue rust from non-use and disrepair.

On to the new: if you haven't seen FeedFlare, you should take a good look at it. It allows readers to more easily take meaningful action on your content, whether it's viewed on your site or in your feed. Find out who's linking to it at Technorati, save it to your delicious bookmarks list, email it to your buddy in Pittsburgh, and more. As Eric pointed out, the real hijinks are coming soon, when we open up the Flare API:
I'm really excited about this new development with FeedFlare, but I'm really really excited about what's coming next. The API is going to be a lot of fun, and I can't wait to see the kinds of FeedFlares that will be created.

The open API we'll be releasing will allow anyone to tie actions and other data to their content in ways their readers will care about. Incorporate Google Maps, Amazon Web Services, the BackPack API, and other popular, powerful web services into your content, using your feed as the core that brings it all together. We hope to provide lots and lots of both concrete and utterly conceptual-yet-suggestive examples to spark your creativity.
Off for a quick ski vacation for a couple of days, then back hard at work on Flare and other good stuff. If you subscribe to my feed, expect a few Flickr photo posts from the slopes shortly!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

My "Cities Visited in '05" List

Thanks to John's post I'm hopping on another kottke.org bandwagon. Here's my chronological list of cities I visited in 2005:

*I spent more than one non-consecutive night there.

Geeze. Looking back on it, this is the undisputed king of travel years in my personal history.


Friday, January 6, 2006

Ah, the 90s

Ken Kalan's home page makes me nostalgic for a kinder, gentler time. A time before transparency and antialiased text. A time before nested tables and single-pixel GIFs. A time when Pointcast was considered push. A time when email could be read at the command line or in Eudora, and look pretty much the same both places.

Stay tuned: I think I'm going to set the wayback machine for graduate school and makeover this blog according to the web aesthetic standards of 1995. <font color="#000000"> is the new black.


Monday, January 2, 2006

Drenching the coach

A quick observation: most college football players wouldn't think twice about dumping the gatorade tank on their coach after a big win (see Barry Alvarez and Wisconsin over Auburn -- nice career finish, Barry!). That's great. But if JoePa takes care of Notre Dame FSU tonight, I think it's 30:1 against the Nittany Lions tossing a cooler in Paterno's direction. No one could bear the possibility of just plain ending the guy in a traditional moment of celebration, right?

Then again, one of his lineman accidentally knocked him on his butt in pregame warmup drills earlier this season and he got right back up. He might just be tougher than that.