For the last four years I have had a season’s pass to Alta. One of those years was spent teaching. Monday, with the old man and uncle in town and hoping to avoid holiday crowds, we skied Powder Mountain. The snow was great and we didn’t wait in a single lift line. If you haven’t skied Powder Mountain, give it a try. Tuesday we skied Alta and they told us Monday was the biggest crowd they’d ever seen. Apparently the parking lot was full and they were directing people to the Snowbird lot.
Also, a short plug for a place that has treated us well. The Deep Powder House at Alta is an excellent place to get your boots custom fitted. This is the single most important piece of ski equipment. Having the right fit is the difference between enjoying the sport and snowboarding. For this reason I highly recommend custom boot fitting. Matt and I have both had minor adjustments made to our boots (in my case they fixed a buckle, in Matt’s they adjusted the fit in the heel) and both times the service was performed well and best of all for college students, they wouldn’t let us pay them. These were simple fixes–custom boot fitting will undoubtedly cost good money–but they were performed quickly and well. Their service is impeccable and their fixes have worked. Custom boot fitting is expensive, but worth it. Of all the money spent on ski gear, money spent getting the boots to fit just right will be the most important and satisfying.
I have no idea how many points the rest of the Panthers will score, but Seattle will win. I respect Delhomme (after all, we share the same first name) and I know Smith will get his, but the Panthers have no running game. They’ve got Goings going for them, but Seattle has the 4th best run defense in the league. They still miss Ken Hamlin in the secondary, but all three top corners will be healthy and on the field. Seattle’s DTs run four deep and the team led the league with fifty sacks. Chicago’s defense, while great, looked uninspired. Carolina had better not expect the same from Seattle.
Last week’s win came without Shaun Alexander. Don’t worry, according to reports I have read, there will be no lingering effects from his concussion and I hope that means no more crazy TD dances on the sideline (Morgan, thanks for the tip). Seattle’s O-line dominated the Redskins and will do the same with Carolina. Hasselbeck was great, showing he can carry the team, but the real story of the game and the season is the play of the offensive line. They are the best in the league. With Alexander back, watch for them to set the tone by running the ball again and again. The best way to beat Steve Smith is to keep him off the field.
Apologies for the long delay between posts. I’m in the middle of a research project involving altitude, snow, and mountains. Keep checking, keep posting comments, and pass the word about the blog to your friends, family, and if you think it’s no good, people you don’t like.