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California
  Killington, Vermont
  January 1998

Friday January 23 four of us - Sveta-konfeta, Alik-sralik, Zenechka-pechenechka and Stas-kolbas met in Midtown Manhattan. It was raining dogs and cats - right in front of garage I step into a puddle. We got into heavy loaded by ski equipment Nissan Maxima. It has a ruff-rack on top with four pair of skies on it. Traffic was just terrible. After Albany rain changed to snow and road become very dangerous - we saw a lot of car wrecks, the speed was around 45 m/h. Finally, at 2 am we got into reserved hotel in Killington.
Saturday they said that it was snow storm, a few inches of natural snow, no grooming at all. After 12 am fresh snow was skied out into big bumps and we skied only at the intermediate or easiest trails. At the end of the skiing time (4 PM) everybody was exsosted and swimming pool with sauna was a great relief. The highlight of the place - outdoor Jacuzzi was overcrowded with people drinking beer. So we felt ourselves there as in a meatball soup. We impressed drunk Americans by jumping into the snow. Just two brave followed our example - other couldn't even think about that.

Sunday morning everybody we were so ruined by yesterday skiing, but dispare anything we skied the whole day. This Sunday was Superball and when we went to the "Railroad" restaurant everything was ready for the party. We ate delicious steaks in the old railroad car. After dinner we picked up our bottle of spice wine and rushed to the swimming pool.
But we were shocked by the news - Jacuzzis was closed - yesterday drinking party clogged the pipes. And we were going to drink heated wine in Jacuzzis! But we found the way to do that: I asked security guard if we could go to the another swimming pool, which is belongs to the same firm (they have like 5 of them). The security guard was a very nice guy and even draw us to the another one. That complex was much smaller, but very cozy and most of all there were only we there! Whole house was covered by Xmas lights, as a tale-house. So we have a private Crystal-clean pool, Jacuzzis and sauna. That was real blast! The pool was deep enough to jump in, Jacuzzis was new and clean, sauna hot. We sit in Jacuzzis and run out on the balcony to roll in the snow. On the balcony was Xmas tree with lights. We drink our wine in style: nice room with huge windows looking at romantic village covered by snow. We felt like kings.
Monday the weather was gorgeous: not even a single cloud, but it was very cold. We packed, had a breakfast, bought gloves for Jane and even got into the first gondola going up. The snow condition was perfect - everything was well-groomed. Sveta skied to the easiest trail but we went to East Fall - very steep black diamond. We liked it so much, that our second run we skied the Cascade - double black diamond slope. It was already steep when we saw a group of people standing and looking down at the more steep part of slope. That part was dark blue color, 50 degree, 200 meters long, perfectly groomed, wide slope. One guy next to me said - "As a cow on the country road" (a cow on ice - Russian version). Jane skied it very carefully and gave me mighty look at the end. Nobody of us fell and everybody were excited that we did it. That was the first double black diamond slope for all of us. However one guy fall down and slipped 30 meters down, loosing skies, poles...

We skied a lot black diamonds that day, but none of them were as scary as Cascade. We ate a lunch at the restaurant on the top of the peak Killington with a great view on 4 states and Canada. After meal we skied down, jumped into the car and drove to New York in a record time - 4 hours.
Story by Stas Yurkevich