Friday, January 9, 2009


Got up early and drove to the Copper Mountain ski area for a cup of Starbuck's coffee and a couple supermarket burritos. I just about finished packing my food and gear when the others arrived at the designated parking area for hut travelers. Our destination was Janet's Cabin at 11,610' up a drainage beside Jacque Peak. What was nice about this particular hut ascent was that we cut off some distance and elevation by taking a ski chair lift up part of the drainage.

The ski in was relatively easy, with the exception of the very end where the slope angle increased just before the hut. I took my time because the trail was well established and the hut was visible in the distance. It was blue skies the whole way, the sun softening the snow and causing my skins to stick. Deep powder blanketed the whole landscape. We all knew it was going to be fabulous powder skiing!

Got to the hut, unpacked and relaxed in an effort to regain my strength. We were sharing the cabin with a couple other groups. After dinner I was feeling well enough to have a little tequila. That meant it was show time!

I picked one of the relatively short concerts of the few I had brought along, a soundboard recording of Van Halen's May 22, 1978 appearance at the Manchester Apollo, in Manchester, England. They were the opening act for Black Sabbath. As is always the case with these 1978 shows, the sound of the recording and the quality of their performance is excellent! This was their breakout tour following the release of their first album, and they were putting their heart and soul into the performance.

I have a copy of Van Halen's September 22, 1978 show in Fresno, CA that comes along with a bootleg of Black Sabbath's performance following their act. What a difference. Van Halen's fresh sounding and energetic, while Black Sabbath sounds tired, an unmemorable performance. It was a mistake pairing up the two, contributing to the the breakup of Black Sabbath shortly after this tour.

Lives come to an end
Sorrow afflicts the living
World keeps on turning

Loud heavy breathing
A sign of the slow ascent
Every painful step

Clouds fly overhead
Eclipse the night sky's full moon
Shadows on the snow

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