Monday, January 05, 2009

Skiing While Ursine

We spent the weekend visiting friends and skiing at Bear Valley. Most of you probably know that I'm a long-time fan of bears in general (and my California Golden Bears in particular). Bear Valley is kinda wonderful in that it's one of the few places where you can find lots of bear pictures and other decor items without it seeming forced or kitschy.

In addition, the ski resort has named all of its lifts (and some of the runs) after bears (Cub, Bear, Pooh, etc.). My only objection is that one lift is called "Koala," and of course, that's not a bear at all. On the other hand, I was initially confused by the lift named "Kuma," until a quick visit to the Google informed me that "Kuma" is Japanese for "bear."

One highlight was skiing down toward one of the lifts on our first run down the back side, and having my daughter look up in surprise and say, "That lift is Pooh!" And indeed, right there on the lift, it says its name is Pooh. Very cute.

Anyhow, the skiing was quite nice. Friday was a blustery, snowy day, but that produced a lot of good snow. Saturday was cold, so the powder stayed good. Sunday, most of the people disappeared even though the snow was still great. I guess they'd all had enough on the holiday weekend, so we had the run of the mountain in great conditions.


Anonymous said...

They should substitute "Panda" for "Koala" now that the experts have decided Pandas are indeed bears.

Chard said...

They do, in fact, already have a panda. It's the "carpet" in the beginners area. I was pleased to see that. But koala bothered me.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they have a panda. Do they have a Paddington? A Baloo? I'm sure there has to be a famous bear to replace Koala. Koala is just wrong.

Chard said...

Pooh seemed to be the only actual character. The rest (save the one, anomalous marsupial) were all "bear words" like cub, grizzly, and so on.

On the other hand, they have grand expansion plans, so maybe the new high-speed chair from the village will be one of those. Or Dancing Bear. Or Fozzie. Or the guy in the bear suit who used to annoy Andy Williams on his variety show.

Hmmm. Maybe I do have way too much trivia locked away in here....

Anonymous said...

Your cache of largely useless info is a great resource for those of us who benefit from it.

As for bear references at Bear Valley, I suppose "Teddy" is too obvious. And "Smokey".

Have they a big run called "Ursa Major" and a small one called "Ursa Minor"?