Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, January 31, 2017
There is nothing better than when out-of-town friends finally come to visit you in Utah. You’ve been talking up the mountains, the snow, and yes, the beer, for years. We were lucky enough to have the Steves in town: Steve Bergan and Stephen Mitchell of Seattle. When you finally have guests, you want to ensure that you are showing them the best that Utah has to offer. You can give them the option of getting up to Solitude Mountain Resort for some first tracks, or sleeping in and still getting a full day of skiing, since Solitude is so close. We and the Steves slept in.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, May 2, 2016
With the great weather and multiple/consistent powder days, this year's ski season was arguably one of the best winters in recent memory. Even with a lot of personal changes and large upcoming events (new house, wedding planning) we managed to get up to Solitude every weekend, even managing to fit in a few weekday runs as well. But with all the bluebird days and 13" overnight dumps, I think our favorite memory of the season comes down to one day.
Back in December, Brian brought his friend and colleague, Justin Gomes, up to Solitude for his first day of snowboarding. Justin moved to Salt Lake from from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a year ago. Brian spent the majority of the summer convincing Justin that sliding or skiing was the only way to spend winters in Utah.
The final straw was when Brian gave Justin his old competition board stating, "Now you have no excuse."
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, April 20, 2016
When I met Brian in 2011 at a wedding, he told me how he was an avid snowboarder from Montana. However, he noted that he had initially learned to ski as a little boy, and made the transition to snowboarding in the early 90’s, as it was “the totally sweet” thing to do at the time. Pictures in Brian’s parents’ home tell me that he also adopted popular 90’s snowboarding hairstyles such as the awesome long bull cut, over-sized Burton shirts and pants so baggy that no belt could hold them up.
When we lived in Seattle, I would ski while he would board. Pretty simple. No problem. We tackled any and all terrain in any conditions. In bumps and trees he would beat me down the mountain. On shoots and straight-aways I would beat him. It worked out fine.
When we moved to Utah in 2013, Brian made a proclamation, “It’s time for me become a skier again.” I was surprised and assured him that there were plenty of amazing boarders in Utah, and that he shouldn’t feel pressured by the billboards and skier on the Utah license plate. In the fall I came home from work to find that he had bought a full set of boots and skis. Not only did he buy skis, but he bought the heaviest and tallest pair of backcountry skis I have ever seen. These were so far out of his league I thought for sure he would be back on the board in no time. Nonetheless, I realized that now it was up to me to teach my then boyfriend how to ski.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, February 12, 2016
Valentines day is one of the more polarizing holidays of the year. There are really three main stages of Valentines Day depending on your current relationship status. Stage one: you are single and all of the images of hearts, cupids and overwhelming love only point out your crushing loneliness to an annoying degree. Stage two: during the first 2-3 years of a new relationship. During this "honeymoon" period you exhaust way too much creative energy and funds on making it a day your significant other will always remember. But after you've surprised them with a singing quartets at work or filled their car full of roses you tend to settle into stage three: a nice dinner with the two of you is more than enough.
This year with a recent house purchase both Jess and I were feeling a bit of a financial squeeze. We both agreed that Valentines Day was an unnecessary expense and planned on skipping it altogether. But, unknown to her, I had started saving up some of my per diem money from a couple recent work trips so we would be able to have a nice and well deserved dinner.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, January 19, 2016
You may be the type of person who makes a mental note of how many ski days you’ve logged this year, or an ongoing plan about how you can always squeeze in one more hour of skiing in between work and errands. There are others who find themselves waking up on a Saturday morning, staring out the kitchen window, actively debating whether or not to start putting on their ski gear or crawl back into bed with a cup of coffee and Netflix. Even if you love skiing, the motivation to get headed in the direction of the ski slopes is sometimes the first challenge of the day. As a clinical psychologist, I can tell you that motivation is nothing more than the direction and intensity of your effort (hopefully towards the mountain). What can be helpful in ensuring that you accrue as many ski days as possible this year is understanding what affects motivation when you have already come up with 100 reasons to stay inside.
Posted By: Jess & Brian Maness, January 5, 2016
With the inversions, low temps and icy roads, winter in the Wasatch Valley can be a long and dark time of year. The lakes have frozen over, the mountain bike trails are covered in snow and any outdoor festivals have packed up for the year. Cabin fever sets in as you and your loved one cycle through a DVR full of re-runs and brace for that ever increasing heating bill. Luckily, we live 20 minutes door-to-door from some of the best skiing in the world, an opportunity for the two of you to burn off some much needed energy. But, like any couples activity, you need to approach it with some patience, mutual support, and of course, understanding. Bickering and fighting on the chairlift does not look good on anyone, so here are a few tips to avoid an "IKEA" sized fight on the slopes. (Most married couples with get that reference.)
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