Baby park jumps and extra wide granny boxes

new zealand, outdoor, shredventures

Direct personal quote from a facebook message regarding boarding today with 10cm fresh pow… “Dude, Cardys was OFF THE HOOK… started the day with a push start jump at the petrol station (flat battery), but still made it to Valley View line up before people were allowed on the lift, got fresh tracks on Drift and Creekside, then hit Captains right when it opened, hiked to the top of Tulips/Secret Chute, and once all the pow was tracked out finished off the day going rounds off baby park jumps even getting air and some extra wide granny boxes- the latter and the former MY FIRST TIME EVER!!!! So sick, so sick, so sick, could talk about it for days. Best day ever. Thanks for asking smile emoticon.”

Photo of todays damage and prescription being filled:

Scratches and wax

Scratches and wax

Side Country access from Cardrona

new zealand, outdoor, photo essay, shredventures, travel

It isn’t like I’ve accomplished much in the side country or back country for that matter, in my four seasons of snowboarding. But there are a few boot packs back home that make my heart skip a beat. There is something about a hike, a session of heavy breathing, hauling a board on your back up terrain as steep as stairs. When sustained for an elevation gain that seemed just out of reach when you began, a level of catharsis can be reached unlike anything else in life. You put your head down, you push and climb, you sweat it out, and after you reach the top, strap in and teeter on the crest of the drop. You collect your reward. If your lucky enough to have company, you bond with your partner in a very special way. As Louis said after our run behind Captains, on our hike out following the cat track, “here’s to the Mongolians for inventing skiing”, I second that.

A&E: Submissions for the Mountain Film Festival

a&e, events, new zealand, shredventures

Can you call it rejection when you don’t hear back on a submission? Maybe I could convince myself these photos that I sent to the Wanaka Sun (a local independent newspaper) of Mountain Film Festival events got lost in the shuffle… but the truth is, its the second time in a row I haven’t heard back. Devo (slang for devastated). I suppose sharing them on my own blog is just as gratifying. I still want to make the paper at least once before my visa is up!

Thoughts on the events attended during the Mountain Film Fest…

Night 1 and 2: Book reading and story telling at Ripon Vinyard.

Having followed American pod casts like This American Life, Snap Judgment, and The Moth, I am so down with story telling, although, it was rad to be in the same room as the presenter instead of hearing them over the radio. Lydia Bradley in particular stole the show covering everything from Harry McClary, sending packages to Hawea Flat and having them intercepted by authorities, to feces  in Chips A’hoy bags at Yosemitte NP. After all, what is funnier than poop?

Adventure Writing Class

My buddy Annika, a local at Mount Aspiring College, and I, attended the writing class offered which emphasized sending out submissions and making cold calls to publications. I am sure it would disappoint the lecturer, Derek Grzelewski, if he new my first send out ended in a no reply 😦 Though, the class was successful in another regard, rallying me to give some much over due attention to my blog.

Snow Adventures segment of festival

Films 1 and 2 were easily my favorite, The Little Things and Vasu Out on a Limb. The first was stories about snowboarders taking their love of the out doors to an environmental level, building sustainable homes, reconnecting with cultural heritage, and lobbying at congress for climate change legislation. Totally empowering. Jeremy Jones’ project Protect Our Winters is sure to infuse snowboarding culture with a bit of over due activism.

The film about Vasu, an adaptive sports skier and person of color, working on back country projects reminded me of the utterly enlightening experience of skiing with mono skier Danielle Watson back home at Mt. Bachelor. This guy has an awesome attitude and thought provoking words around labels like ‘disabled’. It was also refreshing to see a person of color as the star of a selected feature film.

Likely the coolest snap shot I saw during the festival was at home on Vimeo (the footage was featured in the festival at a show I couldn’t make it to). A piece staring Will Jackways, local boarder in Wanaka, shot by Two Beared Men production, titled Interpretation. The film is home grown, featuring lots of South Island backcountry and a stand up kiwi dude. I might have missed this sweet short if the beards behind the camera had not set up their office next to the yoga studio where I practice. Rumor has it the footage will be shown in flight to folks arriving by plane this winter. What a great way to get them stoked on the snow culture of Wanaka. Two thumbs (or beards) up!

clear lake on 126

gear review, sup touring

Photographing wild life has been a favorite reason for paddling since I started 1.5 years ago. Mostly capturing birds, one must be quick to grab the camera and have much faith in their vessel, that it will keep stable. The Hala Nass does both of these tasks well. With the quick access tie downs on the front of the board, I can slide my dry camera bag upfront and be ready to grab the SLR Canon 60D as soon as I hear a wing flap. The 31′ rail to rail, 12’6 length, and amazing buoyancy means I am never nervous the board will spill and my camera will submerge. It’s definitely the ideal board for photography.


white water round 1, the nass and atcha

gear review, sup touring

White water safety SUP guide. Great outfits right?

While reviewing the pages of Stand Up Paddling, Flatwater to Surf and Rivers by Rob Casey, I found the International Scale of River Difficulty description for Class 1 and 2:

Class 1- Easy. Light Current with a few riffles and small rapids, and few or no obstructions. Easy self rescue.
Class 2- Novice. Easy waves, wide open channels, little difficulty, and rocks that can be avoided with some skill. Some scouting from shore.

This finding promptly deflated the ego I had grown after having took a few white water runs just below Big Eddy on the Upper Deschutes last week… “Easy”? Really? While I was pleasantly surprised at my capabilities in the white caps, I definitely wouldn’t have called it “Easy”. Not to mention the laceration friendly snags lining the western shore on both runs and the wealth of lava rock on river bottom just waiting to grat you like cheese. Just remember, I grew up in the city, pretty terrified of water most of my life. My white water experience amounted to 2 rafting trips, one over Big Eddy (Class 3), and the Mckenzie (Class 2). I had zero kayaking experience and the same number of reasons to think I would be successful at this sport. Volunteering for white water was a shot in the dark at best.

However, when Paul Clark, photographer, slacklinner, and, more pertinently, white water paddler extraordinaire, offered to take me for my first white water run, I jumped at the chance. Dressing for the part was the most time consuming phase of the whole endeavor. Luckily, I’d purchased a second hand (circa 1990) wet suit in mint condition for the epic, which kept me at a totally comfortable temperature during the 2+ hour session and took approximately the same amount of time to squeeze into. Cheers to Gear Fix for supplying the suit.

Clark also supplied safety gear: helmet, shin guards, PFD (chesty style), leash, and strongly encouraged me to wear boardies over my wet suit, claiming it was the “industry standard”. Obviously I opted not to cover the glorious neoprene 8th layer of skin, it cost me $18.00, no way was covering it. I know what your thinking, where are the prints? Unfortunately, there are no photos to document as we Simul-SUPed and there was no one on shore to keep record.

Take away STATS:

  • Stoked after one try I made it down the Class 1 standing, although I prefer the Class 5 definition for this run as we did an excessive scout from shore … just saying. Mad props to the Hala Nass which gracefully floated me down the rapids. For such a long board it handled quite remarkably and it would be my number one choice on a multi-day float. The hard tipped nose was great when hitting lava rock and the stability was hardy when pulling my fallen self back on the board.
  • Riding down the Class 2 (arguably +, maybe?) after a 30 minute paddle upstream in some rapidly moving water, hopping eddy to eddy, Clark recommended I stick to my knees and lent me the Hala-Atcha. Significantly wider, 36 inches rail-to-rail, and 9’6 feet, I rode the Atcha majic carpet style down 4 huge waves over 40 feet river distance. Though I was super tiered and my balance was off after the several sessions on the Class 1 and the paddle upstream, I barely worked for my kneeling victory. Balance came easy on a shorter, wider board and it was truly boat knows best rolling over the waves.
  • It was really hard carrying the boards. Just remember, I weigh 120 lbs. If you think committing to the perceived danger of rapids is the hardest part, your wrong.

chippies, snaffle hounds, timber tigers, oh my!

oregon, outdoor

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Borrowing other peoples children is one of my favorite past times, as many of my cousins can attest. Thats why, earlier this summer, when, an old friend from the France, ExxonMobil, and the Houston Rodeo reached out to see if I was still in Oregon, I was happy to play tour guide… It was all for the kids! One of the best parts of the day was introducing the youngsters to the chippies. I also enjoyed our long walk in a cave, burgers at 10 Barrel, and playing the “ME” game which consisted of asking any question and each one in unison answering “ME!”. What a blast.

commuting chronicles: think outside the pannier

commuting chronicles, metro

the crankery


Check out collinsrocks media’s latest contribution at The Crankery: Everybody’s Bike Shop!


metro: smith rock ascent

commuting chronicles, events, gear review, outdoor

Having not participated in anything resembling an athletic competition since high school, it was exhilarating to have an opportunity to join in the energy of a race! When Danielle Lancelot Watson (D) first asked me to assist her on the ride, I was stoked because Smith is my old stomping grounds (I spent many a weekend break from the University of Oregon scaling the runout chicken heads of that massive welded ash tuft). It didn’t hurt to have Jeff Boggess cheering us on and slinging Trail Butter our way. I especially enjoyed the espresso mix during the home stretch. In addition, Todd Janssen the race promoter from Go Beyond Racing was very supportive and accommodating!

Our race was a half marathon, 13 miles. Apparently D competes in these types of races all the time, having just completed the Portland Half Marathon, and looking ahead to some in Seattle. I felt really blessed that she wanted me to join her. Although I was largely little help to her during the competition because she is totally independent, when we reached tight turn around points, I was glad I could be there to lift her bike around as her turning radius is that of Austin Powers golf cart. At least I made myself useful in some capacity.

The most epic part of the race was when when a couple wiener dogs started chasing us. Their bark was pretty ferocious and the way D was angled, she couldn’t see what they looked like. I was glad to be there to tell her they sounded way worse than they looked, and everything would definitely be alright, just keep pedaling. Competition or not, in the end that’s what friends are for right? We all need our pit crew supporting us, telling us to keep pedaling because everything is going to be alright. I am so proud of D and hope to join her on a future race.

commuting chronicles: music review, taken by canadians

commuting chronicles, music
Taken by Canadians and Danielle Watson

Taken by Canadians and Danielle Watson

Check out collinsrocks media’s latest contribution on The Crankery- everyone’s bike shop!

commuting chronicles: why should we wear helmets

commuting chronicles
Wear your helmet!

Wear your helmet!

Check out collinsrocks media’s latest contribution on Bike around Bend!

commuting chronicles: maria island, no cars allowed

australia, commuting chronicles, outdoor, photo essay, travel
The illusive Wombat, Care Bears with claws

The illusive Wombat, Care Bears with claws

Check out Collinsrocks Media’s latest contribution on The Crankery- Everybody’s Bike Shop blog!

commuting chronicles: the ultimate commuter, mary moynihan

commuting chronicles, metro, patagonia
Mary Moynihan shows off her bike before a cycle out to her camp site

Mary Moynihan shows off her bike before a cycle out to her camp site

Check out collinsrocks media’s latest contribution on Bike around Bend!

metro: damnation showing at the tower tonight

a&e, events, metro, patagonia, rethink waste
Damnation at The Tower Theater tonight

Damnation at The Tower Theater tonight

As a paddler, a river rat, lover of ecology, and Patagonia@Bend employee, I am stoked to be attending the showing of DAMNATION tonight at The Tower Theater! There will be a discussion panel after wards. Please join me…

wildlife: wolves and coyotes

oregon, outdoor, sup touring
Coyote spotted at Hosmer Lake

Coyote spotted at Hosmer Lake

I am a massive fan of local publications and public radio. This week, The Source and Snap Judgment crossed over in subject matter. However you feel about wolves, whatever you think their purpose, either side, listening to male scientists detail the anthology of the 06 Female pack in Yellowstone National Park brought shivers to my eyes and tears to my spine. I recommend listening to the pod cast. I have never been so blessed as to see a wolf in the wild, however, I did see a coyote last week at Hosmer Lake, and it was every bit as special.

In many Kalispel/Idaho Native American stories coyote is married to the wolf. Coyote is also responsible for mischief and solving many problems… When I saw a coyote at Hosmer Lake, it reminded me of the following story, and that coyote is always watching…

Coyote as the Moon

In the beginning there was no moon. People were very unhappy that they had to always be in the dark.They asked Yellow Fox to be the Moon. He was thrilled but he shone so brightly in the sky that at night everything became hot. The people decided to take him down and they asked Coyote to take his place. Well, Coyote was ecstatic because he would be able to see everything that was going on down on Earth. For a while, everyone was happy, especially the nosey Coyote. But Coyote would always yell out when someone was doing something wrong and everyone would hear him. He would tell when people were stealing meat from the drying racks or cheating at cards. Finally, all the people who wanted to do things secretly got together and decided to take Coyote out of the Sky. Someone else became the Moon. So far, the Moon is doing what the Moon should do: shine brightly. And everyone is happy.