Saturday, February 16, 2008

2008 Ski Season: Day 4

Greetings from Alaska. We've just finished skiing day 1 of 6 days at Alyeska resort in Girdwood. . We got over 12" of fresh powder yesterday and it snowed all day today. I'm figuring Alyeska had to be the best two day snowfall across the country. We'll find out tomorrow.

I got into Anchorage last night on United, but my skis didn't make it. I flew SFO->DIA->ANC, and my flight out of SFO was delayed by a drink cart of all things. I made the connection in DIA by literally sprinting off the plane and making my flight. There wasn't enough time to get the luggage across.

After getting up this morning for breakfast, I began the painstaking process of tracking down my lost luggage. I put over four phone calls into United's 1-800 number which was obviously routed to Bangalore.

A typical conversation:

Indian: Hello sir, I see you are calling about lost baggage, how can I help you
D: Where are my skis?
Indian: I'm happy to help you with that sir, do you have the baggage claim number
D: 123456
Indian: I see your bag has been checked to Seattle
D: When do I get my skis?
Indian: I'm sorry sir, I cannot see anything beyond SEA, please give us some time

And on like that all morning. Finally, I got one guy to tell me my skis didn't make it out Friday night. That basically meant I would lose a day of skiing. I cursed the Indian guy out on the phone and told him United had ruined my vacation. He capitulated and told me to rent gear to send in the receipts to United for reimbursement.

This worked for me but I had all my ski gear in my ski bag sitting in SEA. Luckily, I had my ski jacket. My brother lent me some north face pants and glove liners. Another friend had an extra pair of goggles. I borrowed another long sleeve shirt and put together a fairly decent impromptu ski outfit. Fifty bucks later I had rented boots, poles, and powder skis and was off on the tram.

We got to the top of the tram and started making turns. I had not even completed the first run of the day when I got a call from a 907 (Alaska) exchange. It was Alyeska resort calling to say they had received my skis from United! This was great news as I was ill-equipped to deal with a powder day with my rag-tag ski gear.

I headed back in after noon and collected my gear. A quick fifteen minute change session and I was out on my prized Volkl Mantra 184s.

The rest of the day was phenomenal. The snowfall total must have exceeded 12 inches today alone. Powder was everywhere. More details to follow tomorrow and throughout the week.

See also:

20008 Ski Season: Alaska Preview

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