Thursday, December 31, 2009
Snowbird is the definition of good. I will now stand here with my legs apart so you can kick me where it counts for not getting a pass here the past several years. Yesterday I was so excited to be going to the Bird on a powder day I couldn't sleep. I got up early and threw together a couple sandwiches and was out the door almost on schedule to pick up Uriel. We met up with Jonas and Tony as soon as I picked up my pass.
Deep. That is all I can say about today. I might be able to fill the page with other adjectives such as great, sick, marvelous, perfect, and awesome. Maybe I should grab the thesaurus and keep going.
The only negative thing that happened today was that I snapped my board. The first casualty of the winter happened when I popped of this cliff into a band of rocks. My board took a pretty hard blow on a blunt surface and nothing really happened (that I could see). The next run I hopped up onto the side of the run and hit an awkward bump. Pop. That was the end of the Forum Lander 160. I rode it the rest of the day but it kept getting softer and softer.
My last run let me know it was time to go. I thought I could bomb out of this chute but when I tried to make some course corrections the tail of my board said no and then I was rag-dolling down the hill. Definitely not going to be able to turn my head tomorrow but I will remember the bliss of today and be okay with it.
A shot from my phone up hiking baldy.
Hiking the ridge.
Forrest Gladding was kind enough to shoot some photos of us (this is me on my broken board). Check out his blog www.forrestgladding.blogspot.com
This is Jonas Harris and at 11 years old he charges harder than just about anybody.
This is my board at the start of the day
This is my board at the end of it.
The sunset driving home on an epic last day of 2009. Happy New Year.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I don't really know what is going on with this section of road and giving me interesting photos... I kind of felt bad snapping this picture, but I had my camera and couldn't resist.
Car accidents are the worst and so far in my life I have been in only two, the first of which wasn't really my fault. Sort of. Well you could say it was. Maybe it was partly my fault. It was st. patty's day back when I was about 17, I had just left a great day making turns in the white stuff to get to work. Rain had fallen throughout the morning but the storm turned cold and started to snow layering it's self nicely on top of a sheet of ice.
I always seem to try to take that extra run that makes me late, staying true to form I was in a hurry. The trusty ol' Nissan Sentra and I were making good time skiing down the canyon on four bald tires when my luck turned. I slid off the road. Nothing serious. I got out and began to dig my way out in hopes of still making it to work. My hands began to get cold so I opened my door and ducked my head inside, when out of nowhere I hear a honk as a dark navy Audi A4 clipped my leg and smashed off my door. Wow. I still remember this all so vividly. I was about an inch away from being an amputee. And that is how the Sentra was totaled.
Round two happened two years ago. It was one of those days where I should have just stayed home. Basically I rear ended the nicest little Nigerian family on the freeway totaling my Hyundai. I would go into more detail about it but I just feel like an idiot. I really wish I would have stayed in contact with that family... I hope everything all turned out okay. So that's my story. Don't crash your car because no matter what happens you feel like an A hole. Oh, and yes I did just abbreviate that.
Snow... we need more of it so start praying. I hope to flood my blog with backcountry adventures once there is enough coverage.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
I love fog. It gives everything this semi-eerie feeling making it seem like I am passing into the surreal. As I drove past the turn off for the boat ramp I thought it would be interesting to see what its like down there in the winter.
Fishing in the winter... I don't get it. The mandatory sitting in one spot in the snow for hours seems a little tedious. Maybe if I had one of those big ice fishing huts with a recliner and TV inside. That makes sense. Fishing off the shore in the dead of winter... not so much. As I looked over at them they looked miserable, but I guess you could say that about all the things I love to do.
Friday, December 18, 2009
In my younger years I thought it would be a great idea to do competitions. One sunny Saturday I was entered in a slope style event and I was feeling that nervous excitement which always seems to hang around competitive events. This feeling mixed with hitting jumps is most often not a good combo for me because for some reason I don't think very straight. As I dropped in and headed for the first jump I was so pumped I didn't pay much heed to my speed and as soon as I was spinning in the air I realized... I went just a little too fast. I landed really deep (pretty much flat) and bounced up with my adrenaline pumping. I finished my run and rode the rest of the day feeling great.
As I got home and pulled of my boot (yes, I used to drive in my boots. I know its a bad idea) my foot was completely black and blue from the little toe on up the side to my ankle. Not understanding why I didn't feel any pain during the day I poked my foot gingerly and found the whole side of my foot to be numb. It stayed that way for almost 3 months. I really don't know why...
The second weirdness to take place happens on a semi frequent basis. This is where I worry to be divulging to much info. When you hit a good sized jump and botch your landing sending your butt into the ground it is called "butt checking". Well, this happens to everyone fairly often and on occasion you can come down with a great deal of force.
Yesterday I took a really hard "butt check" on a jump and my body reacted. As I yelled and grabbed my butt I was convinced some brown matter had exploded through the escape hatch. I bounced up struggling to breathe. Did I really poop my pants? I didn't know. All I knew was that I felt as though I had been given a prostate exam by King Kong.
Don't worry, all was well and all was clean. The thing I don't understand is how nerves take the impact and send it off to the brain as "pooped pants". I was seriously convinced that I had messed myself, so much so that I was headed to the bathroom strait away to investigate. Luckily the feeling subsided before I got there. There is a long list of things I don't understand but yesterday made this one rise to the top of the list.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Finals... They are what I should have been doing all day yesterday. Lyman gave me a call earlier in the week to help him out doing a demo up at the Canyons resort. I had to pull my lazy sleep deprived butt out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to drive through un-plowed Provo Canyon to make it there by just after 7:00. The drive up was fun and every time I get in these situations where there is a foot of snow on the road, I love my car that much more. My Subaru handled it like a champ.
We all took turns working the tent and riding throughout the day. Jeff (my brother) just happened to be up there for his work's (Skullcandy Headphones) Christmas party. FREE LUNCH! thanks Jeff!
Brian and I got talking with the guys that run the park crew up there and we might get to go shoot some film with them here in the next couple weeks. There is a good vibe going up there and it was a good day on the hill.
Brian and Lyman attempting to ski after the resort had closed up and we were waiting to pack our stuff up on the gondola.
"Skiing is sketchy as hell"- Lyman
The Demo tent. It was a mellow day... we didn't bring too many boards.
Brian Wright. One of my favorite guys to ride with.
Seriously... The morning twilight is so awesome. SO BLUE!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Trying to wake myself up at 6:15 proved more difficult than I had imagined... for some brilliant reason I decided to sleep with my window cracked and my ceiling fan on high when it was 10 degrees outside. I finally got my act together and made it up to Park City. I was to help out at the Forum snowboards winter sales meeting. Industry folks come from all around the world to check out what next years product is like. I just was to turn screws and set up boards.
When the demo finally ended I got to go out and ride. I say this is the first "real" day of riding because I finally felt comfortable on my snowboard again. I met up with a fun crew of guys and we were all over the place. So much so that the next morning was a nightmare, I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a car. Every season is the same, you have to get used to all the bruises and sore muscles.
The Drive up proved to be treacherous on this snowy morning. I love driving in the snow, there is just something about it that makes me feel good inside.
Christmas is coming. It finally feels like December.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I didn't buy a parking pass this semester to force myself into commuting on my bike for the whole time. As the end of the semester draws near and the weather grows colder I can look back on the little rides I got to take. What is so great about bicycle commuting? It is the slower pace, the opportunity to notice things that otherwise blur by with maybe a second glance into a rearview mirror.
Tonight, probably my last time to ride my bike to school this semester due to a wonderful forecast full of snow, was one of the best of all. As I rode through the frosty air, feeling the pinch of cold, the sun just hung on the horizon pitching gold hues on everything it touched. I had to stop and snap some pictures with my phone so I could show everyone what they are missing. I am not saying that it is always a good idea, and I am not about to get rid of my car, but do it when you can and you will be granted a whole new perspective on your commute.
Today was so cold. Look how pink my eyes are. 17 degrees this morning.
The blessings of a camera phone. It was such a nice night.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Do you ever have those times where you think something is going to be way quick and easy and then you get a ways into it and realize it was a lot bigger project than you thought? Sometimes it turns out great, and others make you wish you could trade your situation for a punch in the face. Today was great thankfully, but I thought the drive would be a bit shorter.
I bought a map at REI to this location and it ended up being a really different place to climb. The routes we did were supposedly easy, but they were harder than I had anticipated for their rating. It was igneous rock and had plenty of tiny holds, not the large pockets I am used to climbing up in Utah.
TJ, AJ, and I ventured out to get all the ingredients for a good time. This place had a cool approach, shade, fun routes, and perfect temperatures. Mission accomplished.
TJ on our way out
We started playing on this traverse for a bit... it had some pretty fun moves. Heel hook
AJ on his way up.
Don't look at me.
The approach and running across the highway on our way out.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
My first few days in Phoenix consisted of just hanging around, but I felt a little stir crazy faster than I would have thought. Calling upon one of my old mission companions, Nate Wengert, we headed out in search of some good climbing at Camelback, right dead smack in the middle of town.
Last night I looked up a climb on mountainproject.com which ended up leading us to nowhere. We found a climb, but it only went up 3 bolts before topping out with nothing up above. Needless to say I was down climbing for a good 15-20 feet.
Deciding we didn't have enough info we headed to REI and bought a couple maps and returned to finally get some climbing done. Arizona... I really never thought I would like you, but now I think we can be friends. There is so much cool climbing here.
Overlooking the valley... It is so flat here, the formations are the only place to really get any type of a view.
The lichens look almost neon here.
“What can I get you tonight sir?” Said the waiter while wearing his best smile.
“How about an ‘I’m cheap Sandwich’ with a side of ‘I treat people like vending machines.”
“And to drink?”
“A glass of don’t talk to me, I am above you.”
I live in Utah County, a place notorious for bad tippers. Where people pull their little tip calculators out of their little pockets to make sure they give their little tip for their overly presumptuous waiters who work in hopes of making decent money. Do these people realize how stingy they are being? Is it so hard to give a good tip? It is almost comical how someone can sit and debate between a two-dollar tip and a three-dollar tip. It is a dollar… really… one-dollar. Does it make any difference to you?
Furthermore there should be a minimum tip rule of 5 bucks, if you can’t afford it don’t go out to eat. There are some exceptions to this rule but generally that is it. Shouldn’t we try to be generous?
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that found it offensive and audacious that waiters would add a 15% gratuity to their bill when there was a party of six or more. 15%? 20% should be the baseline for tipping a waiter. Waiters deal with a lot of crap and I would prefer to be the one to make someone’s day better rather than make someone feel like crap.
Those of us who don’t drink alcohol for religious reasons should compensate for that by tipping BETTER. Having worked in the customer service industry, I watched people come in and treat me like a robot, and others came in talking amicably leaving everyone around them feeling better about themselves. No I am not a waiter, but I do watch this group of people scramble to make people happy and they deserve better.
Monday, November 23, 2009
After a night in the back of my car I hit up the BEAR PAW CAFE for breakfast. If passing through on your way to an adventure make it a point to eat there. It is, hands down, the best breakfast in town.
The drive was pretty, but it is just long enough to make your butt cry tears of joy when you arrive. My book-on-tape didn't last the whole drive, so Dave and I had some long heartfelt conversations about life.
In my head I always conjure up these ideas of something that will be fun and awesome... most of the time they don't turn out the way I expect. I wanted to hike Mount Timpanogos and I made plans to leave at 4 a.m. The funny thing about plans is they sometimes seem to come true about as often as the prophecies of the street bum prophet guy I met down in Venezuela's do. So I left at 8:30... so what. I was going alone, no time to keep, a full day to do whatever, and no hiking in the dark.
After getting on the trail I realized I should have brought some more gear (better shoes and gaiters). But you deal with what you have and you make it work. I got bored with the trip and realized I would be walking off in the dark so I turned back when I was just over half way up. It was a little bit slower going in the snow so I snapped a few pictures and then turned back. I will go to the top this winter though... but going down will be better. My snowboard will be with me for sure.
Still so little snow in November....
You can see the trail cutting across through the trees. Timp is a good little walk if you start from Timponokee campground instead of Aspen Grove.
Scout Falls, already freezing up nice and making some nice formations.
It was good to get out.... But I want more snow.