Last weekend a bunch of friends and I had a ski weekend at Kirkwood Ski Resort just south of Lake Tahoe. I’ve been there many times over the past few years and have decided it’s my favorite in the area so far, though I haven’t been to many on the north side of the lake yet. We stayed at the Caples Lake Resort, just over a mile from the entrance to the resort. This proved to be very convenient, especially in getting to the slopes just as they were opening and avoiding the late morning crowds coming from South Lake Tahoe.My friend Mike took pictures of this trip, as well as during our group trip in December. He’s made them available on the World Is Round travel site that he heads. Matt also took some pictures and has made them available on Snapfish.The first day of boarding was fairly good. The snow conditions weren’t terrific as the area hadn’t gotten fresh snow in quite a while. The groomed areas were acceptible, though. I spent most of that morning on the back side of the mountain on the advanced runs. The clouds were moving quite fast and by the late morning the tops of the mountain had become shrouded in a white mist. Visibility was terrible. Shortly after, it actually started to snow, which had a noticable affect on everybody’s spirits. I made a few runs down the advanced runs on the front side in the afternoon and found that much of it had been carved down to the hard-packed base. At such a steep angle, it was difficult for me to keep purchase on the slope with the edge of my snowboard and ended up sliding down several hundred feet on my butt. I had seen several other people doing the same while I was on the chairlift and had laughed at them at the time. I guess what goes around comes around. I also hit the terrain park with a few of my friends and took a stab and the half pipe. I was a little disappointed that the rails I had had so much fun on last time had been taken down but had a bit of fun in the half pipe anyway. I wasn’t brave enough to go full throttle through it, but I was able to go up a side part way, hop, and come back down without falling.The conditions on Sunday were much better. Though a bit windy in the early morning, several inches of snow had accumulated on the slopes over night which made the slopes quite a bit more fun. I spent much of the morning searching out areas that had accumulated the most untouched powder. By the late morning, most of it had been skied or boarded over, but there were still areas in the trees that were fresh. My friend Brad and I found a particularly fun run through the trees between two intermediate runs. We had so much fun that we did it a second time. At the bottom, we ran into some friends of ours and convinced them to try it out. So we did it a third time. Then again we ran into a few more of our friends the bottom. So we went up for a fourth run. That’s when I hit the tree.It wasn’t a large tree – maybe two feet above the snow and about an inch in diameter. It wasn’t in a particularily dense area. My board just decided to go to the right of it, and my body – leaning back as it was – decided to go to the left. It hit the side of my left knee dead on and I was in pain. At the moment it happened, I immediately asked myself, “Okay, is it broken? I don’t think so. But it certainly hurts!”. I sat there for a few minutes and caught my breath. I decided to see if I could get up and board out of the trees. Sure enough, I made it down to the bottom of the hill without a problem. At this point it was lunch time, so we all met at Bub’s Bar & Grill right of the slopes and took it easy for about an hour. I figured I could probably hit the slopes again after lunch as long as I took it easy, but as I was getting up to use the facilities after eating, I realized just how pain my knee was in. I decided to take the rest of the day off and sat in the lodge until it was time to go.I worked from home Monday. My leg was still sore and I figured it would be best to try to stay as immobile as possible. By Monday afternoon, I decided it would be best to get a doctor’s opinion. Jennifer took me to the nearby Urgent Care center when she got home from work. Two hours later and 4 X-rays later, they told me that it wasn’t major and that I should just wear a brace to immobilize it (icing it and taking ibuprofin to reduce swelling/pain was optional). I’ve scheduled a follow up appointment for next week. My knee is still quite sore and is painful to bend. I was hoping it would heal much faster than it is. I guess knee injuries are like that.