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:
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.
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!
Intimidated doesn’t begin to describe what it feels like to backcountry adventure via boot pack while your 3 counter-parts effortlessly glide on touring set ups. This was the seen during our approach of the tallest peak east of the Cascades: Paulina. We started quite late in the day, having taken a few runs at Bachelor while one of our party, Galen, down hilled the ski leg on a Pull, Peddle, Paddle team.
Secretly, this was my perfect opportunity to clean out my mountain employee locker, since there was a vehicle on hand. Otherwise I would have had to drag the wonder-onzie, my board, boots, and miscellaneous ski components on the bus and best of all, jerry-rig transportation for the gear on my bike to my house. Thank goodness for friends with cars…
Finishing up my season, this my most proud spring ski day yet, I was stoked to make all the get backs stall-out free and even ski the summit. Running into friends Augie and Joanna from the Crankery, was icing on the cake. It was hilarious watching our party ski tree tops pocking from the slush like gates and spread-eagling into silly jumps. The entertainment seemed a blend of equal parts synchronized swimming and carefully choreographed ice skating routines, as much as a skiing. Perhaps the most jaw-dropping, one gentlemen was clad in an orange cut off button down, brightly colored fanny pack (or bum bag as they say in the common wealth), jeans, a royal blue send band, and neon graphic-ed skinny skis, circa 1988. It was incredibly attractive in a throwback kind of way and emanated the spread stoked concept.
When we finally reached the access road to Paulina Peak, off HWY 21 in the heart of the Caldera, it was almost 2 pm. The trip turned out to be a great practice run. Heather and I took it as a chance to tiered out Olive, her enthusiasticly spirited pup. We decided to capture the summit on a future winter excursion, turning back about 3:30 pm. It’s always a shame to back out of a conquest, however, post Paulina boot-pack has left me with a list of necessary measures to take before future seasons backcountry expeditions, namely, obtain a touring set up with Praxis skis from the Plankery.
Keep an eye out for the blog and website Collinsrocks Media has been working on with local athlete and artist Danielle Lancelot Watson, Oregon Adaptive Sports athlete and representative. More to come soon…
For all the times I’v ridden in a car on Cascade Lakes HWY, one would think I’d seen all there is to see… Not so.
Beginning the days adventure at Wanoga, with a final destination of lunch at Elk Lake Lodge for there last day of winter operations, I reluctantly boarded my sled. The sport of snowmobiling had never much been on my radar prior to this afternoons’ excursion. Ignition engaged and throttle revved, the adventure began. I quickly realized I was atop a cross between a motorcycle and a riding lawn mower on steroids. Perhaps the most obvious over sight, realized when I had a chance to sit in the drivers seat, was the lack of power steering.
Crossing north under the HWY and circumnavigating a quadrant of Tumalo Butte with Bachelor to the south, it was suddenly obvious we were on the HWY, the potion blocked off in the winter, accept to snowmobiles. Traveling across what once was paved of red cinders (circa the olden days) and what currently resembled a fluffy blanket of clouds, the snow enveloped 95% of my field of view. Where once I had paddled on water ways, now snow, where once I had walked among the grassland, shrubs, and pine, now snow, and where once jagged cliff edges lept into the horizon and threatened to rip the sky, now gentle slopes of white colored all. Perhaps most impressive, the complete disappearance of Hosmer below the winter cover.
Growing up in my neighborhood, middle daughter to a lower-middle class blue collar family, appreciating winter meant praying for a snow so one might miss school. One rarely saw enough to constitute a trip down a hill on a cookie sheet and didn’t dare imagine ever making it to Hood for an actual ski trip. Hood, though a stones throw from Portland, for folks in my neighborhood was our of reach in terms of distance and class.
Sitting behind my driver, nearing the end of our total 47 mile jaunt, I felt like a severely jostled rag doll. Though I found it increasingly difficult to hold on, behind my full face helmet, the little girl inside from my old neighborhood snuck out, and I beamed with the tier of a truly epic day. I remember now why I named my winter show, opening April 9th (this Wednesday), 7pm, at The Plankery “free refills”. I found yet another way that our Central Oregon seasonal snow cache fills me up. Please attend the opening and share with the crowd what fills you up in the winter…
During a recent to trip to Bachelor, I was stunned by the feeling of packed powder below my board and believed the current conditions page when it said 17′ over the last week. With The Upper Deschutes and Crooked River Basin snowpack predicted to have 63% of it’s average hydrologic output this spring, according to SNOTEL (Snow/Precipitation Update Report) let’s root for all the spring snow we can get for our spring “FREE REFILLS”!
After breaking her first ski a month or so back, Danielle Watson, Bend, Oregon Monoskiier, was a bit apprehensive about training on her new equipment. But that all changed last week when she broke out of her shell and raced down Summit like a pro. She definitely looked in good form as she left for a training camp in Colorado Thursday. What an inspirational champion to have in our community.
At the top of Northwest or Summit, its difficult to decide if I’m happy with spring trade that is under way- blue skies for fresh pow. I think both have their merits. At this point in the year, still a rookie only in my third full season, I am ready for spring (she cringes and blocks the flying tomatoes). Let me explain.
My calves can’t take anymore. Especially since I am becoming experienced enough to acknowledge that my boots really aren’t tight enough. This is taxing for my toe side edge, especially turning into it, in deep fresh snow. Additionally, I am struggling to find the appropriate leaning window. What I mean is, I know you are supposed to surf the powder, putting more weight on the back leg, however, when I do this my board gets away from me and it feels like it will just pop up and I’ll be on my back. When I leave more forward friction gets the better of me and I stall on the many low grade sections that earned Bachelor the nick-name “Flatchular”.
I am not banishing powder forever, I am just saying I am ready for the seasonal trade out. As per usual, about 15 days into summer I’ll have forgotten the calve cramps and regret I ever rejected the snow, spending the remainder of the summer quietly anticipating the rise of another winter. Hopefully this late September will bring the same as lasts.
Thanks to Patagonia Bend, New Belgium Brewery, and GO! A SNOWBOARD ROAD TRIP’s director Sam Tuor (pictured above) and awesome boarder cast ( Kael Martin and Alex Yoder, pictured above), significant quantities of money were raised for the Dirksen Derby to Benefit Tyler Eklund, local snowboarder, injured 7 years ago. The Bend Patagonia crew was stoked to participate in such a good cause and auction off some sick prizes to the audience.
Complete with a radly decorated vintage Subaru to transport the boarders form mountain to mountain we thank Sam for putting together such a great film and showing it at our downtown Bend location.
Although we really haven’t had enough snow to constitute much transport of my snowboard anywhere, much less the mountain, I still realized a bit of a turning point in my bicycle commuting career when I rigged the carry system pictured above. I have been mulling over how to properly attach my Burton to my bike for a few months before finally testing out a few methods today. It is official, with one salvaged pannier, two bunggies, and a bit of cord, I have dubbed myself a Cargo MacGyveress because thus far that seems to be all I need to fashion a haul.
Obviously my steel orange framed 10 speed, the Recyclops, would struggle to make it all the way to Sunrise Lodge. All I had to do was develop a system to get the board from my house on 15th and Milwaukee to the park and ride on Columbia. To all the cycling nay-sayers, and I quote, “You can’t bike commute in Bend in the winter!”, I will retort, at least try and fail before you say it can’t be done. Admittedly, we have a lot of winter left to go, but even if I have to walk the couple miles to the park and ride someday due to an in town blizzard, I’ll at least be thankful for having found my limit. Who wants to say they can’t do something without giving it a proper go? Not I. I know I didn’t solve world hunger, but meeting each new commute challenge with ingenuity and resourcefulness instead of giving up makes me feel pretty rad. Nothing like overstating ones own importance to alienate from the mainstream.
Either way, Macgyver digs bikes too… Check out the link.