Snowboarding

By Matthew Botos

Matt at the top of lift 9I’ve been snowboarding since 1998 or so, and have been with the King of Prussia Ski Club since 2000. I was Skimesiter from 2006-2008. To answer the obvious questions:

  1. I ranked below the beer meister (happy hour has a whole committee)
  2. I coordinated and advertised our skiing and boarding activities.

The List

Notable places I’ve ridden, with links to photos:

Stories

A few classics that precede the blog:

“On a Bus!”

A lot of my initial snowboard trips were bus trips, the first being with one of my neighbor’s church groups who had a few extra seats to fill. My brother Dave, his friend Len, and I all joined them to head up to Big Boulder. Dave and Len already knew how to ride, so they went off and left me to the bunny slope.

At the end of the day, everyone’s back on the bus, except for Len and Dave. They’re just chilling at the bottom of the slope, talking to these two girls about how they took the day off from college and drove up for a day of snowboarding (really hilarious, considering they were like 14 at the time). The woman leading the trip finally finds them and goes, “Are you Len and Dave?”. They warily reply yes, and she says, “Well, we’ve been waiting for you- on the bus,” effectively putting an end to their pursuits.

Restless Natives in Vermont

When I finally bought a board, I was determined to ride it a lot, so I joined the Cornell Ski & Snowboard Club for Skifest ‘99: a road trip to Vermont and a weekend of riding Sugarbush and Killington. As usual, getting there was half the fun.

In addition to the rack full of skis and trunk full of beer, the guys I’m travelling with got the added amusement of my GPS navigation system. Originally purchased to keep me out of trouble mountain biking, it proved equally useful in circumventing bad directions. The girl leading the trip had gotten these rather sketchy directions from her dad who vaguely remembers the area from his days at University of Vermont. They’re filled with “I thinks”, “maybes”, “take a left turn for half a mile”, and “it’s right after the outlet stores”. Naturally, we end up leading, and after gratuitous U-turns decide to rely on the GPS’s magic arrow instead of the directions.

By the time we get to the hotel, it’s like 11:30 and there’s some momo sliding around on the iced-over driveway, so we pull into a driveway down the street so he can get a clean shot at it. While we’re waiting, Justin decides to bust out this “traction spray” stuff on his tires. So as we’re out there with a flashlight coating his tires in nicotine tar, this guy comes out all grizzled about being woken up. Justin diffueses the situation by apologizing and going, “my mom gave me this spray, so we’re trying it to get up the driveway to the hotel…”, at which point this guy immediately filed us in the “tool” category and decided not to go back and get his shotgun.

Before going back in, he gives us his expert native advice of, “I’d just square up from across the street and punch the fucker.” After he was gone, we recommenced spraying, leaving a nice mess in his driveway… We get up the driveway OK (must’ve been the spray), only to slide into a snowbank, much to the amusement of the two dozen people on the trip who were unloading their stuff.

Shrinkage

This is another bus trip story. One of the local shops runs bus trips to the Poconos, so I’m up way too early one morning listening to the guy leading the trip try to get people pumped up. He’s telling the first-timers in the group how he didn’t start skiing until he was 55, and now he’s, what, 29? There’s some little kid on the bus, undoubtedly a math wiz, who upon hearing this, proclaims, “shrinkage!” About five minutes later, the near-comatose crowd on the bus finally got it and was rolling in the aisles.

The Ganjala

One of the great things about hitting up the bigger mountains with the ski club is the gondola rides and some of the stories your hear on them. At Gore, one guy on the trip recounted this gondola encounter: it’s just him and this slightly older guy, so they get to talking about what they each do. After mentioning he was premed, the guy asks him his thoughts on medicinal marijauna use. Then he goes, “Well, my friends and I call this the ‘Ganjala’,” and he proceeds to light up a joint…

More recent stories are in the snowboarding section.

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