27 Search Results for "aware"
- From: TetonGravityResearch
Salt Lake City—An alarming new study has sent the ski industry into a frezy after announcing that backcountry skiing and snowboarding have caused dramatic increases in global warming.
The study, done by an international group of climatologists, has discovered that the amount of “Airborne Shit” spewed into the air is rapidly escalating due to the growing number of backcountry users that are taking to the slopes.
“Airborne Shit, or ABS is a byproduct of backcountry skiing,” says climatologist George Towns. “Whether it’s some revelation in the skin track, a daily vertical claim, or even talk about the snowpack, it all contributes to an incredible amount of ABS. It clouds the atmosphere and doesn’t let heat escape.”
Towns discovered the correlation shortly after the advent of modern tele gear. “When SCARPA introduced the Terminator in the fall of 1992—the first plastic telemark ski boot—we were finished.”
“That’s why I still use leather boots,” claimed telemark skier Donald “Quaker” Oats as the ABS avalanching out of his mouth emptied out a local used backcountry gear store in Missoula, Montana. “I’ve been skiing backcountry for at least three years now, and I just feel like the original gear is still the best way to enjoy the mountains.”
But telemark skiing isn’t the only culprit. “It’s even easier to pinpoint in recent years,” states Towns. “Let’s look at the largest winter the West has seen in recent memory, 2010-11. Telemark was dying the year before, there was only one reliable frame-style binding on the market and it wasn’t that good, and everyone was afraid of Dynafit.”
“It snowed and backcountry gear sales skyrocketed,” points out Towns. “The following winter was one of Colorado’s warmest. Fires ravaged the state. Colorado only saw a late comeback in winter this year because the majority of backcountry users had just plain given up—restoring normal weather patterns.”
“I just plain quit skiing in February,” admits Boulder resident and REI cardholder Xander Phillips, originally of Connecticut. “The weather was just so wonderful here on the front range, so I got out my mountain bike. When the snow returned this spring I still managed to log fourteen powder days, it was EPIC!”
According to climatologists, the two-month surge in usage of the word “EPIC!” is responsible for the wildfires that are currently decimating the state.
Secondary factors have also acted as catalysts in the current shit storm, according to Towns. “It’s almost as if society as a whole is embracing this—the proliferation of microbreweries, social media, and the TGR Forums has led to an abundance of cesspools full of backcountry-generated ABS.”
One ski binding engineer who wishes to remain anonymous claims he was aware of the correlation from the beginning. “We designed the bindings to be heavy on purpose, hard to operate, and prone to getting jammed with ice. We knew they would sell, but we hoped that they would frustrate people enough to stay out of the backcountry. I just hope we can fix this.”
Moves are already being made in the ski industry to work towards a sustainable climate. Jeremy Jones, a leader in addressing global warming, has announced that the name—and concept—for his next film has changed. Higher is now Jibber, and will exclusively feature the other Jeremy Jones. Dynafit has stated that Brody Leven will have to pick his park game back up, and Black Diamond is closing its doors permanently just to show that they care about the environment more than anyone else in the industry.
So what can you do to fight global warming? Here are Ketchup Soup’s guidelines for bringing winter back:
- Stay out of the backcountry. If you must go into the backcountry observe rules 2-5.
- Avoid skin track revelations. You’re hiking uphill at high altitude. An hour into a hike and you’re essentially drunk. In no way, shape, or form is it a good idea to get back with Becky. She was a terrible person at the bottom of the hill, and she still will be when you’re at the top.
- Avoid talk about the snowpack. You know you have no idea what is going on. You took that Level One just so you could meet girls like Becky. Now you don’t have her and you didn’t pay any attention in class. Let the real experts talk for you.
- Avoid Microbreweries. Not only does Becky serve there, but you know you’ll be forced to talk about how many laps you did today, what was sick, and what was sketchy. You’ll have to lie about it so you look better than everyone else who is busy counting coup and banging their chests while enjoying refined, handcrafted elegant beers.
- Avoid Social Media. Not only is shit created on social media, but people also talk about the ABS they create on social media, ramping up the Airborne Shit Factor exponentially. And Becky blocked you months ago.
**Ketchup Soup is TGR’s new weekly satire column aimed at poking fun at the sports we all love. TGR’s “Ketchup Soup” is a fictionalized, satirical publication. Its content should in no way be interpreted as an actual record of events. These stories are also not intended to be, nor should they be construed as, attempts to predict the future course of any individual or entity, but should be viewed only as parody. TGR’s “Ketchup Soup” is not associated with any other news service. Names used in “TGR’s Ketchup Soup” stories, unless those of public figures or entities, are fictional, and any resemblance to actual persons or entities is coincidental, unintentional, and accidental. Any event described in TGR’s Ketchup Soup” that actually comes to pass should also be considered coincidental, unintentional, and accidental.
The moral here is laugh now, but remember, you’re probably next.
- Blog post
- 5 days ago
- Views: 110
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- From: TetonGravityResearch
Welcome to The Dirtbag’s Guide to Getting Shit Done. Twice a month, we'll dish out the dirty details on how to live the dream without breaking the bank.
Forget what you know about camping. Sleeping next to a babbling brook and watching the sunset through your tent door are overrated. Unfortunately, the outdoor industry has been a little too successful romanticizing camping—or at least making it synonymous with alpine lakes and granite peaks.
If you’re looking for an original adventure, try camping in landscapes defined by concrete, abandoned shopping carts, and a scarcity of vegetation. Typically avoided by those who eschew a love for camping, urban areas are the next frontier. You’ll find far more tents on Colorado Fourteeners or in the base camps of Everest than you will in Brooklyn. And although urban camping promises adventure (and the possibility of being charged with trespassing), it’s also a great way to save cash when traveling across the country or recovering from a recent eviction.
Ask for Permission . . . Or Slip Under the Radar?
Those who’ve spent significant time urban camping face a familiar debate—is it worth asking for permission? The answer often varies, as a single trip may require both approaches. Asking for permission ensures staying on the good side of the law and can open doors to new opportunities—playing Bingo with newfound friends at the VFW post, being invited to dinner by strangers, and watching Alf reruns inside a fire station. Asking for permission, however, does not guarantee you’ll receive it. It can also diminish the thrill of inhabiting a questionable site.
When asking for permission, be ready to steer the conversation. In smaller towns, police stations, churches, and firehouses are solid places to start. Identify someone who appears to have an element of authority and get ready to pop the question. Just be aware that your body odor and mustard stained Winger t-shirt will initially raise suspicion.
Open with an explanation of what brings you to town—it’s far better to state that you’re exploring America than that you’re selling meth from the trunk of your Chevette. If possible, emphasize that you’re looking for a place to camp just for the night and that you’ll be on your way early in the morning. Be prepared to preemptively suggest places to camp, such as the grassy area next to the police station, a city park, the rodeo grounds, or a ball diamond (if you have outstanding warrants, it’s best to skip the police station). Avoid inquiring about places like schools, where you stand to be the poster child of future “Stranger Danger” campaigns.
In a city of significant size, consider hitting up the private sector for places to camp. Local businesses, fraternal organizations, gas stations, and junkyards are potential options. If a business is likely to have an employee handbook or a corporate office, it’s not worth asking to camp in the planter.
If you avoid asking for permission, either make your site exceedingly obvious or escape detection by stealth camping. Hiding in plain sight often leads people to believe you have permission—unless they’re the ones responsible for providing it. String out your clothesline, hang up your underwear, and kick back with confidence. In the event that you face a confrontation, assess your accuser and work towards establishing the perfect blend of ignorance and apologies.
Stealth camping obviously requires secrecy. It’s best to locate a site with little fanfare and set up camp in the dark. Cook elsewhere and then establish your site, climbing into your tent and disappearing as quickly as possible. Look for areas that are not readily visible by passing cars or curious neighbors—places like baseball dugouts, cemeteries, grassy spots behind buildings, and areas concealed by embankments, vegetation, or the bodies of previous campers. Such places may even provide a degree of shelter that allows you to forgo using a tent.
Top Tips . . . or The Real Reason Tents Have Vestibules
Regardless of where you camp—and whether your experience is accompanied by permission—a few basic tips can keep you comfortable and ensure you stay alive. When selecting a site, anticipate threats to your general safety and sanity. Although appealing, sleeping in a roundabout next to a sobriety clinic or pitching a tent adjacent to a crack house is not recommended.
Equally important, anticipate whether or not your peaceful campsite will remain that way through the evening—and morning. The grassy parking lot at the fairgrounds may lose its appeal once visitors arrive with the sun. Conversely, don’t expect a campsite to become any better as the night progresses—unless you are prepared to drink heavily. Just because the Sonic drive-in closes at midnight doesn’t mean the staff turns off the lights and shitty music (compliments of the chain’s own live radio station).
When it comes to biological necessities, some advanced planning is necessary. Unless you have a premium site—and aren’t afraid of potential onlookers—keep cooking simple. A city flowerbed is not the place to perfect your culinary skills. It is, however, the perfect excuse to indulge in a diet of Mike and Ikes and rotisserie hot dogs.
With such a diet, nature will inevitably call. Consequently, it’s always good to identify nearby public restrooms—as well as when they may be locked for the evening. Better yet, find businesses that are open late and allow you to use their restroom without drawing attention to yourself. As there’s no shortage of urban sites that lack both restrooms and the privacy to piss anywhere, a tent with a vestibule might be your best friend.
The Best Campsites are Surrounded by Concrete
Urban camping is not for everyone. That’s part of why it’s possible to find solitude in the midst of interstate on-ramps, convenience stores, and strip malls. Yet it can also be a catalyst for communion. While traditional approaches to camping involve experiencing nature (at least narrowly defined), urban camping can also be about experiencing humanity. Strangers may stop by to visit, share their local knowledge, and inquire about your travels. Even when stealth camping, you have the opportunity to observe humanity—albeit it from a strange distance. Camping in urban areas can transform how you look at things. Strangers are friends you have yet to meet and the world becomes filled with campsites. Soon, you may view a community garden, an overpass, or a public sculpture not for what it is, but for the campsite it could easily become.
- Blog post
- 6 days ago
- Views: 120
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- From: TetonGravityResearch
Not long ago, Jason Prigge and Dave McReynolds sharpened their teeth in front of TGR's cameras. They starred in numerous films, including Uprising, Realm, Further, High Life, Tangerine Dream, and Subject to Change.
Although no longer hucking in front of the cameras, the two keep busy running MFD. We caught up with Prigge to learn more about his time with TGR, what motivates him as an industrial designer, and MFD's efforts to debut a new line of ABS packs via Kickstarter—which coincides with the brand signing Dash Longe to its team.
Jason Prigge (Photo by Adam Clark)
You’ve got a rich history with TGR, do you mind telling us a little about your pro career and time filming with the company?
The first time I met up with TGR was back in ’97. I was nineteen years old and living in Jackson for my second season. It was a pretty rad time in skiing as big mountain skiing was just taking off and for the first time ever there was a freesking tour within the U.S. and Canada. The Alaska and Crested Butte comp had been around, but it was the first time for a full tour.
The first stop was in Jackson. My first comp ever and I got spanked. Picked a few things up though and did well in the next few and ended up winning the Nationals at Kirkwood. Brant Moles was the man that year and was pretty much chucking fifty-foot crotch grab airs every run and winning every comp. He must have missed his crotch grab in Kirkwood and I squeaked out the win. That caught the attention of Todd and Steve Jones. They probably wondered who the hell this grom was from their home town. So the next season I started shooting with them in Jackson for TGR’s third movie Uprising. After that year it just became standard issue—when you were in town and it went blue you showed up for the 8:12 and linked up with Todd for a day out looking for, as he loved to call it, mind blowing footy…
Although Prigge's paychecks no longer come from skiing professionally, he rips as hard as ever. (Photo by Adam Clark)
Since walking away from filming, you’ve kept incredibly busy—creating products for a range of companies, developing the MFD AllTIME binding, and preparing to launch a new line of packs. What’s been the biggest surprise from all of these adventures?
The biggest surprise honestly has been running a company. There’s so many variables involved. We make every ALLTIME binding by hand, right here in Utah. Yes, we work with amazing suppliers around the region, but each binding is assembled right here in house. Logistically it all needs to line up just right for us to get product out the door on schedule. That’s one of the most challenging things, but the most rewarding comes when you meet up with someone in the lift line or out in the backcountry using the product. Especially the backcountry…Even if it’s just a day out with friends on MFDs, it’s just rewarding seeing that we’ve made something that solved a problem for us in the backcountry. Watching your buddy charge a line out in the backcountry with utter confidence or one of our athletes landing a thirty-footer switch—that’s rewarding.
Coffee…Feed the dogs. Usually I’m working unless it’s firing up Little Cottonwood Canyon. Then all goes haywire. Phone is blowing up. Checking, scanning reports, avy sites, weather…Trying to figure out what’s the best call for the day. Most of the time work wins over, but I always find ways to get out when I need to.
We're guessing this is one of those days when it was "firing up in Little Cottonwood Canyon." It must be tough to get work done around the office. (Photo by Adam Clark)
Arguably, as an industrial designer you make magic happen. What motivates and inspires you to do this day in and day out?
What originally inspired me was working with sponsors. I always had an interest in art and science, but never knew what I wanted to do with it. One of my sponsors at the time was Oakley and on one of the trips down there I got a tour of their manufacturing facility—that was standard, but what really caught my eye was when we got to go into the R&D department. This is typically under lock and key so it was a big deal to get in there—even as an athlete. That was my first look at what an industrial designer does and at Oakley the designers are some of the best in the world. Mind blowing as Todd would say. I was hooked.
Fifteen years later and after finishing out my BS in Industrial Design, I really enjoy two things. Seeing other designers’ work and creativity and the process that goes into creating a product. Whether it’s a backpack, ski binding, or your iPhone. It all starts with a sketch. Then a better one, then a prototype, and finally you end up with something that can be produced. You and your team have done all that work to make it happen. That’s pretty cool.
Mind blowing footy? Or just another day laying down lines? Whatever you call it, it sure looks good. (Photo by Adam Clark)
What are some of the greatest lessons you learned as a professional skier? How have they shaped your approach to MFD and designing equipment?
Through skiing I met some of the best people and skiers in the world. I would say that skiing as well as biking was the other influence that led me to where I am today. With design you can focus on anything you want—transportation, furniture, tech products you name it. My passion was outdoor and action sports and that came from as far back as I can remember. So there was my home. Even today, to help pay the bills, I still do work for other companies in those industries and I have been lucky enough to work with some great companies. I even came full circle by going back to fill in my design opus and working with Oakley designing and developing products for their surf, snow and mountain bike lines.
Jason Prigge out earning turns. (Photo by Adam Clark)
Who has inspired you the most in the ski world?
Shane McConkey was a big influence for me to originally take the leap and start MFD. I was lucky enough to know Shane and get to experience some great times with him before his passing. Outside of being one of the funniest humans on the planet, Shane had an amazing ability to see things differently. He almost single-handedly laid down the path that has led freeskiing and skiing to where they are today. Fat skis, reverse camber, multiple profiles…all Shane. It wasn’t easy though; the companies didn’t want to listen. They had been making skis one way for decades and saw no reason to change. Skiing was dying. Shane wasn’t interested in that happening so he fought the hard fight and got his sponsors and the industry as a whole to wake up and listen.
When I was an athlete I saw some of the same problems. Sponsors would come to us for our ideas, make a big deal about it, and then just go off and make a soft version based on our feedback. So that’s what we are trying to fix at MFD. We listen to our athletes and community around us with the goal of making products that progress our sport.
Although Dave McReynolds aired this cliff over a decade ago, the drop is as impressive as ever. (Photo by Lee Cohen)
What led you to team up with Dave McReynolds to create MFD?
Dave and I skied a lot together back in the day. We had both moved beyond our ski careers, but when I moved from Jackson to Utah he was pretty much the first person I called when the first snow fell. Around that time I had started prototyping the ALLTIME binding and ended up showing it to him one day. We went out touring and he was blown away that the rudimentary prototype I had created was the answer he was looking for to the challenges he was having in the backcountry.
Mostly though, Dave knows skiing. He also had industry sales experience recently working for Salomon, as well as years of knowledge from being an athlete for Rossignol, Scott, TGR and others. I knew he’d be the perfect fit. We started MFD from the core and we aim to keep it that way.
Jealous? When searching for photos of Dave McReynolds, Prigge had this to say, "Damn, the kid was so good, these could be published today." We agree. (Photo by Lee Cohen)
Despite its youth, MFD has some rich roots with TGR. You and Dave filmed with TGR and now you just brought Dash Longe onto the team. What inspired you to bring him into the fold?
Dave and I knew Dash from skiing in Utah, but we originally met back in the day filming at some point for TGR. Another one of the guys involved with MFD is also really good friends with Dash so he knew that we were developing our new pack line with an ABS airbag option. Dash was going up to AK to film with TGR so he was interested in checking out our packs. He liked the designs and how the packs carried skis and gear. And although he liked those features, it was our ABS airbag option that really made him make the move to ride for MFD.
The newest addition to MFD's team—Dash Longe. (Photo by Adam Clark)
You’ve just launched a new collection of backpacks and collapsible bottles. What was the catalyst for creating these packs and for debuting them via Kickstarter?
I think MFD a lot of times comes off looking like a far bigger company than we actually are. We are lucky enough to have hard working, talented people involved that make our online presence look better than most small startups. It also helps that most of the people we became friends with skiing are now also somehow involved in the industry. So we tie into our network to do our best to get the word out.
In reality though, we are still in our infancy and struggle with all the hardships of growing to be a successful, profitable company. We lack the distribution, marketing budgets and lines of credit that the large corporate ski companies have, so in order to compete we have to work smarter and come up with creative products that push the limits and almost speak for themselves. Even then it’s sometimes not enough to break into the system and force the change. So, that’s why we need Kickstarter. We don’t have million dollar advertising budgets, in fact we don’t even have an advertising budget…Kickstarter gives us the voice we need to reach out to the ski community and tell them about what we’ve created. Who is behind it, why we are doing it, and ask for the community’s support to come together and help us bring these products market.
How about your ABS Compatible Backpack? How did that come into play?
Our athletes demanded it. We were obviously aware of airbag packs and the safety benefits. We believed in airbag technology as a company but it was really our athletes (Eliel Hindert and Carlo Travarelli) that came to me while we were testing and said they were stoked on how the packs were functioning, but they were only going to use backpacks with access to an airbag system.
So that’s what made me take a deeper look. Originally I planned to take MFD into the airbag market after we had success with our initial launch, but now I knew we had to make the push from the start.
Disclaimer: don't deploy this thing on the tram.
We chose ABS as our partner to create our ABS Compatible 20L backpack because in our opinion their technology is superior and they are also the original airbag backpack company with over twenty years of experience. ABS also allowed us to focus on the part we know best and leave the technology up to the experts. Our Freetour 20L backpack is a “zip-on” system that is compatible with the ABS Vario Base Unit. The problem currently is that almost all airbag backpacks focus on the airbag technology. That’s a good thing, but creating solid ski carry systems as well as internal organization are being overlooked. That’s were we saw the opportunity to make the improvement.
Further strengthening our decision, ABS is also the only company to use a twin air bag system. Even if the bag gets damaged in an avalanche you still have a backup bag. The system deploys from both sides of the bag so it also gives you a stabilizing effect during a slide. Another key benefit is that the bags deploy in a way that does not inhibit your ability to see what’s around you and, if you still have the option, there’s no interference to try to ski your way out of a slide. You don’t ever want to be there and we stress to take all the precautions, get all the education and experience you can, but in the end if you get caught you want the best tools possible to survive.
Dash first rocked MFD's packs while filming in Alaska for TGR's Way of Life. He has since joined the brand's team of heavy hitters, which includes Carlo Travarelli and Eliel Hindert. (Photo by Adam Clark)
What’s next for you and MFD?
First and foremost we are focused on funding our Kickstarter campaign. At this time we are one-and-a-half weeks in but need a big push to get to our goal. The way Kickstarter works is that people pledge to your campaign, but you have to hit your goal to receive the funding. No credit cards are even charged until we reach the goal.
We realize we are campaigning to sell ski backpacks damn right at the start of summer, but we need help to bring this program to life. It’s definitely hard to grab people’s attention, but if we are going to have an opportunity to deliver these this fall we are going to have to start building them now and we need the numbers to do it.
All we are saying is that if you like what you see consider pledging for one of our backpack systems or another pledge. Pre-check your backpack just like you do your ski pass. If you help us succeed come fall you will have a brand new backpack ready to go.
What’s next for MFD is more well thought-out products and our promise to not only always listen to the needs of our athletes, but our customers as well.
Prigge may call this "product testing." We, however, prefer to call it a sick day. (Photo by Adam Clark)
Anything else you’d like to share?
Just a big thanks to all our supporters and backers of our Kickstarter campaign and MFD. We couldn’t do it without you.
- Blog post
- 1 week ago
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News: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area News: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Backcountry Avalanche Training And Annual Beacon Bowl
- From: TetonGravityResearch
(A-Basin) will host two days of backcountry and avalanche rescue training and education. A-Basin’s Backcountry Preparedness Days will take place February 8 and 9, 2013, and feature the Companion Rescue Workshop and the 11th Annual Beacon Bowl. All proceeds from both days benefit the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
“Although our daily focus is on our in-bounds terrain, we’re aware of the growing popularity of backcountry touring,” said Alan Henceroth, A-Basin’s Chief Operating Officer. “We want to provide our guests with the resources to ski and ride safely. It is important for people to understand the differences between in-bounds and backcountry skiing.”
Save big on A-Basin lift tickets through Liftopia.com
The Companion Rescue Workshop, a day-long seminar on search and rescue techniques, will be held Friday, February 8, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Facilitated by local experts from the CAIC, Arapahoe Basin Ski Patrol and patrollers from neighboring ski areas, the workshop features both classroom instruction and on-mountain scenarios including tutorials on modern search and rescue technologies, emergency care, and extraction and evacuation. The workshop costs $50 and is limited to 50 participants with previous backcountry experience.
Following the workshop, A-Basin will host a spaghetti dinner starting at 5:00 p.m. with beer courtesy of New Belgium. The cost is $15 and the dinner is open to the public.
On Saturday, February 9, 2013, A-Basin will host the 11th Annual Beacon Bowl and Après Ski Party to benefit the CAIC. During the Beacon Bowl, participants race on-mountain to find beacons buried in the snow, simulating an avalanche search and rescue. The contest is divided into two divisions – recreational and professional – and features prizes from Spyder. Registration and check-in begin at 8:00 a.m. in the A-Frame. The $25 Beacon Bowl registration fee includes entry to the competition, a raffle entry, a slice of pizza and a beer during the Après Ski Party. There is a discounted Beacon Bowl entry fee for those who participate in the Companion Rescue Workshop.
Open to both the public as well as Beacon Bowl competitors is the Après Ski Party, starting at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Après Ski Party includes a raffle, silent auction and live auction with prizes from brands like Black Diamond, BCA, Dakine, SkiLogik and more, with all proceeds going toward the CAIC.
Online registration for all events is recommended; you can also register by calling 888-ARAPAHOE (272-7246) or onsite, day-of if spaces remain. Further information about the Companion Rescue Workshop and the Beacon Bowl can be found at ArapahoeBasin.com.
Save big on A-Basin lift tickets through Liftopia.com
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 161
- Not yet rated
- From: TetonGravityResearch
WHISTLER, BC - Thanks to cool temperatures, impressive snowmaking and natural snowfall Whistler Mountain will open five days early on Saturday, November 17. With five lifts running, guests will have the option to upload from either the Whistler Village Gondola or the Creekside Gondola. Blackcomb Mountain will open, as scheduled, on American Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 22, 2012.
“In addition to new snow and a great forecast lining up towards the end of this week, our fleet of 220 state-of-the-art snow guns has converted over 70 million gallons of water into snow over the past few weeks. This ensures excellent on-piste coverage for quality skiing and riding on opening day,” says Doug MacFarlane, mountain manager at Whistler Blackcomb. “Despite the amount of snow we have made, we want to remind guests early season conditions will apply, especially off piste. It is important to obey mountain signage, ski and ride on open runs only and stay within the operational area marked by “Temporary Boundary” signage. Guests should be aware there will be rocks and other hazards below the snow surface; we do not recommend skiing and riding outside the temporary boundary in any circumstances.”
First upload on the Whistler Village Gondola and Creekside Gondola will begin at 8:30 a.m. on November 17. Emerald Express, Big Red Express and the Franz Chair lifts will also be running, giving guests access to 1800 vertical feet of skiing and riding terrain. Six ski runs will be open, including Ego Bowl, Upper Whiskey Jack, Upper Franz, Papoose, Orange Peel and Pony Trail. For the most up-to-date information about lift status, visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-mountain/lifts-and-grooming/index.
This year, Whistler Blackcomb has set the bar high for opening day festivities. Along with a surprise musical act for guests waiting in line at the Whistler Village Gondola, the first 1500 people to upload either gondola will receive a gift. Tokens will range from hot chocolates to big ticket items like EDGE Cards, Snow School lessons, retail and rental gifts and surprises from partners including, Scandinave Spa Whistler, The Adventure Group Whistler, Extremely Canadian, Canadian Snowmobile, Coast Mountain Photography, CAN-SKI, Showcase, Powerade and Milk2Go.
Whistler Mountain dining locations will also be open on November 17, including Essentially Blackcomb Cappuccino Bar in the Carleton Lodge, Dusty’s Bar & Grill in Creekside, the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain, and the Garibaldi Lift Co., Whistler’s world-famous location for après.
The latest version of Whistler Blackcomb’s Live Pass, Powered by TELUS app will be available for download for iPhone and Android from the Apple store and Google Play at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13. The app allows skiers and riders to track their runs using GPS, share their speed and vertical as well as take and share photos with friends via Twitter and Facebook. More information can be found at whistlerblackcomb.com/app.
Beginning November 16, Whistler Blackcomb’s Snow Report will be updated daily throughout the season and can be accessed online or by calling 604-932-4211 in Whistler, 604-687-7507 in Vancouver, or toll-free at 1-800-766-0449.
For Canadian and Washington State residents, Whistler Blackcomb offers the EDGE Card, allowing guests to ski/ride from $65 (CDN) a day. EDGE Cards are valid for use all season long, and are available at early bird pricing until November 19 at whistlerblackcomb.com/save.
Guests interested in planning a trip to Whistler can take advantage of the Early Season Winter Deal which includes two nights lodging and a two day lift ticket deal from $109 per person, per night. To book a trip to the No. 1 rated mountain resort in North America can visit whistlerblackcomb.com/lodgingdeals or call 1-888-403-4727.
About Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four season mountain resort, Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which combined offer over 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receives on average over 1,192 centimetres (469 inches) of snow annually, and one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.
- Blog post
- 7 months ago
- Views: 167
- Not yet rated
- From: ryandunfee
To say Brody Leven has been slogging uphill in the ski industry might be an understatement. Whether it’s been skinning, ice-axing and roping his way to the top of Utah’s backcountry, biking up closed mountain passes to get to the base of an objective, or living on a shoestring budget in an RV with stolen electricity in the parking space of a friend’s house, the living hasn’t been exactly easy. But it appears the going may get a little less tough, as Brody has recently signed with international outerwear brand O’Neill, thanks to a little help from snowboarding’s most infamous shred-mountaineer, the Jeremy Jones. I sat down with the recreational writer to find out how the good life came together for him.
How the hell did you get to ride with Jeremy Jones? It took me two months just to get a fifteen-minute phone interview with him?
Jeremy has been phoning me, relentlessly, for over a year now. Finally, while sitting at dinner in Salt Lake, a friend called me out: “You can’t just keep ignoring calls from Jeremy Jones. If he wants to ride with you, just take a few laps with him to cool his big-mountain-jets. I know it’ll suck, but you just have to do it.” So, O’Neill arranged the O’Neill Experience, bringing us to Whistler to finally get it over with and let my phone stop overheating from the constant ringing.
In fact, after month 6 of calls, I finally changed his number from “Jeremy Further” to “Ignore Boarder” in my phone.
In reality, though, I met with Jeremy because Team O’Neill Snow was in Whistler filming for the O’Neill Experience, a web documentary series following the nine-member team. I am so humbled that Jeremy made it here and was willing to work alongside me on some photoshoots. Skiing with my hero was the experience of a lifetime, and calling him a teammate is even crazier.
How did you end up getting on the team?
Very aware of the quality of O’Neill’s mountain gear, I met the crew at the trade shows last winter and forged a relationship based around long-distance calls I can’t afford, justifying my affinity for tight pants, and mercilessly begging for stickers. We signed a deal that is truly going to present O’Neill as gear designed for the rigors of any ski discipline.
I think it’s pretty well-known that you’re not allowed to start doing any ski mountaineering until after you’re married and have prostate issues. What gives with all this enthusiasm for ropes and crampons at such a prime young age?
An enthusiasm for unaltered mountain lines allows me to combine my rock climbing and skiing obsessions. The necessary technical skills, the inherent adrenaline-fueled fear, and the life-or-death nature of ski mountaineering are exactly what I crave in the mountains. Until a few years ago, park skiing was my only interest. Upon moving west of Ohio, I found something else. While laying on my side and trying to catch my breath, having fallen off a rail, my eyes made their way to something that I didn’t know existed: mountains outside the park.
What kind of projects or support are you looking forward to getting into with O’Neill? Does this change your challenging financial circumstances at all?
In addition to my website, brodyleven.com, making me millions, and the hundreds of endorsements gained from my Instagram account (@brodyleven), O’Neill will be jet-setting me around the globe on private helicopters in search of pristine corn for me to ascend, summiting just in time for it to turn to sticky slush.
The O'Neill Experience is my first project with the team. There, I got to interact with all the unique personalities of the best riders on the planet and become part of the family-style atmosphere at O'Neill Snow. You know, one where we serve one another out of big bowls and share utensils. I've also gotten my hands on their new 2012-13 gear. It’s sweet. It's tested really well in the Whistler conditions, which vary by the minute. Check out photos and videos from the O'Neill Experience at www.oneillexperience.com.
- Blog post
- 11 months ago
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Video: The First of Many — JT Video: The First of Many — JT Holmes And Matthias Giraud Ski Off A 260-Foot Cliff
- From: media-75233
Man, Super Frenchie Matthias Giraud is at it again and this time he's brought JT Holmes along for the adventure. According to what Giraud writes below, this is Holmes' first Ski-BASE jump since March, 26, 2009, which is the day Shane McConkey died after having a complication with his chute during a ski-BASE jump in the Dolomite Mountains in Italy. Holmes was with McConkey on that tragic day, which must make returning to the sport that much more difficult. To being with, ski-BASE jumping takes a lot of mental strength. But to go back to it after witnessing an accident like that is on another level. Giraud has it right when he writes below that Holmes is "celebrating life."
Below are words from Matthais Giraud:
It's not everyday that you get to ski off a 260-foot cliff, launch a double backflip, and fly away in a parachute.
As I am getting ready to ski, JT turns towards me, shakes my hand, and says, "To the first of many."
This day was a long time coming; we had talked about this day for years.
This is our first jump together. It is also JT's first ski BASE jump since that tragic day, March 26, 2009—a date which will live in infamy—JT survives a ski BASE flight in the Italian Dolomites, but his good friend, wingman, and one of my mentors, Shane McConkey, does not.
Even if we are aware of the risks and accept them, witnessing the loss of a friend and mentor is the most traumatic experience a skier and BASE jumper can endure.
But, JT is an example of composure and focus, and he carries on with the spirit of BASE jumping and skiing, that is, celebrating life!
Today, I am incredibly honored to be along his side as he gets back on the horse, the first of many.
Let's never forget the words of McConkey: "There's nothing better than sliding down snow and flying through the air"
Welcome back, JT!
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: jeremybenson
It’s safe to say this year hasn’t exactly been my year. The notable lack of snow in Tahoe is just the tip of the iceberg, in early January I blew my knee, making an already dismal season even more disappointing.As I sit on my couch or on the bike at the gym and watch late season storms roll through on a weekly basis, my mind drifts to thoughts of my favorite ski days, storm days. One particular day about 4 years ago, which has hitherto been known as the “best day ever”, stands out in my memory. It went a little something like this…
Alpine Meadows is closed for the day. Everything’s on wind hold at Squaw. Three to four feet have fallen in the past two days and the forecast calls for more of the same. Its snowing two to three inches an hour at lake level and gusting over 100 miles an hour on the ridge tops, a typical sierra crusher.
At 9 am the phone rings, it’s the usual suspects itching to go ski some pow. There won’t be any down days for us, not in the midst of one of the lightest snow years in recent memory.
It’s storming so hard that it’s nearly dark out. We drive slow, not only because it’s hard to see, but we know that no one is racing us for freshies today. Fortunately, the pullout has been plowed saving us from starting our day with back breaking shoveling. We prepare for our ascent in silence shielding ourselves from the bite of the wind driven snow. Skinning up to our zone, the storm just rages around us, we hide behind our hoods, jackets fully zipped, all vents closed.
Hunkered down in a stand of smaller trees we try to hide from the wind but it’s no use, it seems to be blowing all directions at once. We pull our skins and stuff them in our bags as quickly as we can, trying in vain to keep out the snow that threatens to get our extra gloves, layer, and hat wet. I don my goggles with surgical precision, but the fog inducing snow crystals sneak inside regardless of my best efforts.
Traversing from our “windbreak” to the top of our ski it’s obvious that we’re not skiing the typical Sierra Cement. Our new snow is deep blower, five percent, cold smoke. We drop into the most perfect pitch of widely spaced old growth California conifers, the kind of trees that beg to be skied full speed. Every turn is a face shot, sinking waist, chest, neck deep, even on the fattest skis known to man. An hour climb rewarded with 45 seconds of nirvana, euphoric bliss, indescribable glorious powder.
We regroup at our skin track. Faces caked with snow reveal toothy grins that confirm my hopes for another round. Our skin track is hardly visible, the wind drifting snow into every spot it can. We walk excitedly uphill, fully aware of how good our reward will be, knowing that on this mountain our own tracks are the only ones we’ll encounter today.
Four laps later we’re forced from our white heaven by waning daylight and the intensifying storm. Ten inches of fresh snow blanket the truck as we exit the forest, our tracks vanishing more quickly than we’d made them.
Despite repeated attempts at re-creating the best day ever it hasn’t happened yet. For now the memory of that day will help to pull me through the physical therapy and months at the gym. The most important thing for me is getting better. Even if we can’t re-create the best day ever I can’t wait to give it another shot.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: ryandunfee
After their inaugural ski and service trip to Concepción, Chile in 2010 to help with disaster relief following the country’s devastating earthquake, The FullCircle Project crew, consisting of athletes Matt Philippi, Jack Tolan and Taylor Felton, cinematographer Aidan Haley, Project Director Caleb Braley, and photographer Michael Brown, headed back to South America. This time their service efforts led them to the small indigenous community of Maras, Peru high in the Andes to help replant trees for an apple orchard. We caught up with Matt Philippi after the release of their second film this past week.
Tetongravity.com: You guys were doing work in Chile before to help after the earthquake. How did you decide to switch locations to Peru, how did you find and identify the project, and what was the journey like getting there?
Matt Philippi: They Chile project was made possible via personal connection I had made in the region on a couple of ski trips. After the first FullCircle Project, I met Caleb Braley, who is now FCP’s Service Project Director. Caleb has been working in South and Central America for many years on different service projects. He had the connections to make the Peru project a reality... and he is lining up the Ecuador project for this upcoming year.
TGR: How were you guys received by the people? Given how tight and small the communities are, were there any issues with gaining the people’s trust, and what did they think your intentions were?
Philippi: In Peru, we were warmly welcomed and the community was awesome toward us during our stay. We were working long days in the field and the community was aware of the effort were putting in. I believe that was a factor that played into people trusting us.
Matt Philippi and Jack Tolan get to work.
TGR: What were that people’s impressions of skiing and relation to the mountains that you can see in the background? What were the mountains for them and did that change your feelings about what they mean to you?
Philippi: The mountaintops are very spiritual places for the people of Maras, and for other communities with indigenous ancestry. Their spiritual belief system is based around Apus, which are spiritual deities that reside on the tops of mountains. The Apus hold the snowpack and glaciers, and then release the waters down to the people in order to grow crops and live. During the blessing ceremony of the orchard we planted, the locals gave thanks to each mountaintop that surrounded us, in hope that the Apus would release their water down to the people.
That belief system definitely resonated with the FCP whole crew. As skiers and snowboarders, the tops of mountains are very special places for us. We strive to get to the tops, but we also have a strong respect for the tops these peaks, as they mountains (or the Apus) can kill you in an instant.
TGR: Being a skier from a Western country and rolling around all these poorer places in South America can really give you a drastic perspective on how privileged we are to do what we do. Did you get that same impression and have you ever gotten a negative response from any locals about your intentions or your lifestyle?
Philippi: I think that, in general, travelling and learning about our world gives one a perspective otherwise unobtainable without leaving home. These projects deepened my understanding of just how lucky I am. Travelling to Chile and seeing the destruction from the tsunami and quake helped me realize how fragile life can be and how powerful Mother Nature really is. We are truly at her mercy. And then seeing how selfless the Chilean people can be in their efforts to give back and help was inspiring.
From the people of Maras, Peru, I was able to witness the legacy of Spanish colonialism. The town of Maras is mostly of indigenous ancestry, Native American, and they have really been on their own, without the support of the central government. These people have been fighting for decades to get property rights to their land, fighting for rights to the salt mine on their land, fighting for support on an aqueduct to keep the fields alive (and therefore the town as well). The people of Maras have come such an incredible long way in the last 50 years, since the end of the hacienda system to today… it is inspiring, and it makes the problems that I face in my day to day seem silly and therefore much easier to overcome.
We have never really had a negative response from the people who took the time to speak with us, in Chile or Peru. People across the globe can tell when your intentions are good and your vibe is positive.
TGR: Why was Maras mostly deforested? What is the hope of the region and people for these fruit trees?
Philippi: Much of the forest that was in the region has been used for construction, wood burning, and other basic needs. The issue is that there isn’t the funding to plant more trees to replace the ones being used.
Just 5 years ago, the town of Maras finished an aqueduct that was 30 years in the making. The town making a huge effort to replace the trees used over the years. Having trees in the ground helps keep the quality of the soil up, prevents erosion, and produces food that the town can both eat and sell at market.
TGR: What did you guys get done, who’d you work with, and what did you take away from that project?
Philippi: We planted around 600 trees, they were mostly apple trees, but the border of the orchard was lined with Pine trees to help protect the orchard from dust and the gnarly climate.
TGR: Skiing in South America is a wild experience. The terrain is incredible, yet in most places you (the foreigner) have more gear, skill, and experience than the locals. It’s a very different experience than going to a place like Europe where a strong ski culture exists. What do you feel like you’ve gained, personally and in your skiing, from going down south?
Philippi: Skiing in South America is an awesome experience. The mountains are beautiful, different, rocky, and usually the snowpack is quite stable (knock on wood). Trying to film a ski segment, however, is quite a challenge. They simply don’t have the consistency of snow that we enjoy in Jackson, Wyoming. The mountains are mostly above tree level and the snow is exposed to a harsh climate.
I have learned to be creative in the mountains and to make the most of what is available. In Chile in 2010, we had a really deep base, but no fresh snow, so we built a ton of jumps and utilized terrain park-like transitions. In Argentina, in 2011, we had a tiny base (2 feet deep), we were dodging rocks (and hitting rocks). We looked up to the tops of the mountains to find chutes and patches of mountain that were filled in enough to ski. But both segments came out fine in the end. All we had to do was be in the mountains everyday working our asses off.
TGR: In Solitaire, the Sweetgrass crew focused a lot on the difficulties, the hateful wind, the changing conditions, the logistic difficulties of skiing in South America. They gave you this strong feeling of always fighting uphill and the desperation and struggle that is uniquely part of the South American ski experience. Have you felt the same way about your time skiing there?
Philippi: I touched on this in the above question. Yes, while you are trying to film a segment it is a challenge. But, what is important to us at The FullCircle Project, is being thankful and stoked to be in the mountains. At the completion of our volunteer project, we find ourselves incredibly happy to be skiing these amazing mountains and having shared our experience with inspiring people who call the Andes home. Snow conditions really aren’t that big of deal after witnessing the struggles of those less fortunate than you.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
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- From: jeremybenson
Avalanche airbag backpacks are gaining popularity in North America. According to backcountry.com numbers, sales of the avalanche safety devices have increased 12 times from last season to this season. With more people owning and using airbag packs than ever before, more people are traveling with them.
Since airport and airline security is a high priority, especially here in the United States, traveling by plane with your airbag pack could seem like a dilemma. Sure you can just wing it and hope that no one notices, but chances are your compressed air cylinder or entire pack could be confiscated. Fortunately, with a little planning, flying with your airbag pack is not a problem, but may pose a few inconvenient challenges.
Airbag manufacturers have, and continue to work hard with regulatory agencies both in the US and abroad to make the devices safe and approved for air travel. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has made special considerations to specifically accommodate for these lifesaving devices, their rules regarding them can be found on IATA Dangerous Goods Table 2.3.A.
ABS-brand packs use special ABS cylinders to inflate its air bags. It also uses a pyrotechnic handle to deploy the bags. Despite information to the contrary, sealed ABS cylinders and pyrotechnic handles are not currently allowed through TSA screening checkpoints, even if they are US DOT certified.
The primary reason that airbags are a challenge to travel with is the compressed gas used to inflate the bladders. Despite using gases classified as Division 2.2, or non-flammable, non-toxic gases, they have still come under scrutiny by airlines, the IATA, and especially the TSA.
ABS-brand packs also employ the use of a small pyrotechnic charge to trigger the activation of their system. While incredibly small and rarely noticed, these explosively charged activation handles may be an issue with the TSA.
In all cases, when you are flying with an airbag pack it is important to print out applicable Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and IATA Table 2.3.A and keep them with your pack while traveling. Visit your pack manufacturer’s website for the most up to date information regarding your specific brand of airbag pack and to download and print the necessary papers.
Outside of North America, travel with an airbag pack is generally easier. In Europe, and any country where air travel is not governed by the TSA, the IATA allows the transport of airbag packs with pressurized cylinders.
To fly with your airbag, however, you need to plan ahead. Prior approval is required by the airline and it is recommended that you notify them when booking your flight, or at least 14 days in advance. To prevent accidental activation, both the activation handle and the compressed air cylinder must be detached but kept with the airbag pack.
“This is to ensure that the purpose of the cartridge and backpack is obvious to the airport staff,” the ABS website says, “If you check in the cartridge and activation handle separately, they may be confiscated.”
The IATA specifically lays out both the quantity and type of gases allowed, refer to the IATA table if traveling outside of North America to make sure that your device falls within these restrictions.
On flights originating from or bound for North America, the more stringent regulations of the TSA make flying with your airbag pack a bit more complicated.
The BCA Float 30 pack uses a refillable compressed air canister to inflate its airbags. People using BCA, Snowpulse, Mammut, or any other system with a refillable cylinder should be able to fly with it as long as it is completely empty and the valve has been removed prior to your arrival at the airport.
According to the TSA website, “Compressed gas cylinders are allowed in checked baggage or as a carry-on ONLY if the regulator valve is completely disconnected from the cylinder and the cylinder is no longer sealed (i.e. the cylinder has an open end). The cylinder must have an opening to allow for a visual inspection inside.”
Vice president of BackcountryAccess Bruce Edgerly simplifies this, “Carrying full cylinders on carry-on, of course, is outta the question.”
The TSA prohibits sealed cylinders because, “Our Security Officers must visibly ensure that the cylinder is completely empty and that there are no prohibited items inside.”
People using BCA, Snowpulse, Mammut, or any other system with a refillable cylinder should be able to fly with it as long as it is completely empty and the valve has been removed prior to your arrival at the airport.
Despite information to the contrary, sealed ABS cylinders and pyrotechnic handles are not currently allowed through TSA screening checkpoints, even if they are US DOT certified. The sealed disc must be punctured and the activation handle expended. Sneaking your sealed canister through security is an option that can result in confiscation and fines. Renting or purchasing a new one at your final destination might be the best idea.
Arriving at your destination with an empty cylinder leaves you with the task of refilling, exchanging, renting or purchasing a new one. In most cases your cylinder can only be refilled or exchanged by your pack manufacturer’s authorized dealer or refill location, these usually include scuba, paintball stores, or fire stations.
It is recommended that you are aware of a refill location or authorized dealer ahead of time so you aren’t left empty canister-ed. Snowpulse has developed a refill certification process and do-it-yourself equipment which is available to the general public. Ideally, as the use of airbag packs becomes more common, refill locations will also.
Snowpulse has developed a refill certification process and do-it-yourself equipment which is available to the general public. Ideally, as the use of airbag packs becomes more common, refill locations will also.
Airbag packs are becoming more popular both among users and manufacturers with The North Face, Dakine, and Ortovox joining the existing manufacturers in the coming year. As more companies produce them and their use becomes more common among the general public and athletes throughout the world, traveling with airbags will hopefully become easier.
“One thing that I will be working on with ABS in the near future is to write letters to the FAA and Department of Commerce about recognizing and designating the packs as actual life-saving devices,” Avalanche survivor Elyse Saugstad said.
If designated, airbag packs would likely become much easier to pass through TSA checkpoints for air travel.
Bear in mind that this is relatively new and highly specialized technology. Many airport employees and security personnel may be unfamiliar with airbag packs. Your experience may vary from one airport to the next and one country to another. As usual, the Internet is one of your best sources of information regarding traveling with an airbag pack. Not only can you find the appropriate documents you need to carry with your pack to the airport, but there are plenty of personal accounts on forums like the one on this website. Feel free to share your experience to help educate others.
Below are links to TGR forum conversations regarding avalanche airbag systems:
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
- Views: 574
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- From: ryandunfee
This past weekend, the staff of the High Fives Foundation, whose mission it is to raise money and awareness for athletes that have suffered a life-altering injury, returned the Mad River Valley, the home stomping grounds of founder Roy Tuscany. Roy, who suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in 2006, returned to his home town of Waterbury and his home resort of Sugarbush along with other High Five staff members for the Fat Ski-a-Thon fundraiser, as well as to present High Fives’ B.A.S.I.C.S program, which promotes safety and awareness of the fundamentals of action sports to local schools. After the end of a busy three days, the High Fives staff returned to Lake Tahoe having presented B.A.S.I.C.S to hundreds of elementary and high school students, raised over $15,000, and lit the spark of inspiration for expanding their operations back East.
The connection to Sugarbush and the Mad River Valley has always been strong for High Fives. While several of the crew hail from the East, founder Tuscany first found his passion for skiing on the slopes of Sugarbush, where he was one of the first graduates of Sugarbush’s Diamond Dogs freeride program. While his hometown was nonetheless shocked to hear of his devastating spinal cord injury suffered while training in Mammoth in 2006, the strength with which he has recovered, and his founding of the High Fives Foundation, has been a huge source of inspiration for people young and old across the valley.
As part of their tour, High Fives presented their B.A.S.I.C.S. program to several hundred students at several local elementary schools and Harwood Union high school in Waterbury. The B.A.S.I.C.S (Being Aware & Safe In Crazy Situations) program is designed to teach kids the basics of snowsports fundamentals and give aspiring athletes a solid foundation to progress safely and avoid the kinds of injuries High Fives was founded to deal with. With students equally as excited to hear about Roy’s story and recovery, kids from Waitsfield Elementary to Roy’s alma mater of Harwood High were all ears and eyes.
Jesse Murphy, one of the co-owners of Vermont North Ski Shop, helped put on this super successful weekend for High Fives. Thank you and the whole staff at Vermont North Ski Shop. Photo Austin Stewart.
Then on Sunday, High Fives and the Vermont North Ski Shop put on the Fat-Ski-a-Thon, a fundraiser with the goal of raising money based on how many laps its participants could ski off of Sugarbush’s Summit Chair between 9 am and 3 pm. Money was raised on a per-lap basis as well as through flat donations. On a beautiful sunny day that followed a 10 inch powder day, the 40 participants ripped bumps, railed groomers, and shredded trees, and after tired quads returned to the base of Sugarbush’s Mt. Ellen, over $15,000 had been raised for High Fives’ various programs supporting safety and the recovery of injured athletes.
Local skiing legend John Egan noted the pride that the valley felt at Roy’s homecoming, and in turn the support they returned this weekend. Roy’s former Diamond Dogs coach, Chris Parkinson, raised the most money for High Fives, bringing in nearly $1,700. Egan’s own son Johnny tied with fellow Harwood High student Evan Theurer with the most laps skied, 33, off Sugarbush’s Summit Lift. Egan’s other younger son William was not far behind, clocking in 29 laps between 9 am and 3 pm. Tuscany, who was raising $168 a lap in pledges, was surely feeling the love. “It was so rad,” he said. “Just to see how the valley got behind High Fives all weekend long.”
Noting the smiles on the faces of elementary and high school students as well as current Diamond Dogs skiers, Egan was quick to point out how much of an inspiration Tuscany’s story and his strength have been for his hometown crowd. When asked to put it into words, Egan kept it simple: “Roy’s spirit in an inspiration.” With a buzz of support now coming from his home valley, Tuscany is now feeling the renewed support of the Mad River Valley, and says that plans to expand High Fives’ operations back East are all but imminent.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
- Views: 420
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- From: brigidmander
The next time a rider slips through a backcountry access gate at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort without an avalanche transceiver, they won’t only experience the nagging feeling of being unprepared. Powder seekers unequipped with a transceiver will be staring down a red X on a device at the gate, thanks to a joint effort between Outer Local and Backcountry Access.
A snowboarder exits the Lower Rock Springs backcountry gate at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The rider has a functioning beacon, as indicated by the green circle on the beacon checkpoint. Photo courtesy Outer Local.
BCA says it has placed over 100 avalanche beacon checkers at trailheads and gates around the ski world. The company says the main goal of the program is to re-iterate with a green light for the those who are prepared that their equipment is working, or warn them if no signal is detected. That is where the red X comes in — in the case of a shut-off, malfunctioning, or absent unit.
The devices are part of the “Are You Beeping” campaign that BCA has been working on for about three years, BCA’s director of sales Steve Christie said. Beacon checkers only check for a signal, and do not prevent anyone from continuing on.
The increasing popularity of backcountry skiing has led to increasing numbers of people heading out into avalanche terrain unprepared. Beacon checkers are yet another reminder that to go out with no beacon is to head out with no potential lifesaving equipment. After all, an avalanche beacon is just one piece of the puzzle in backcountry safety and survival, but when all else has gone wrong, it is the piece you will depend on for your life.
BCA, along with the Jackson ski community, is excited about the development.
“Jackson is an important area for our business because of the numbers of people skiing outside the resorts there. It is basically the hotbed of backcountry skiing in the US,” Christie said. “We want to keep users safe by making sure their equipment is working properly, but in the worst case scenario — not having a beacon — it can help people be more aware of safety equipment.”
Those experienced with beacons do occasionally forget to turn them on, as was the case with Christian Beckwith, founder of Outer Local and the force behind bringing the campaign to the Tetons. Last season, at the end of a big day in the Tetons and a technical descent of Teewinot, he realized — perhaps due to the predawn start — he never turned his beacon on during the outing.
The campaign expansion has brought 12 BCA Beacon Checkers in the Tetons, devices situated at popular trailheads and at Grand Targhee and at JHMR backcountry gates. Beckwith said efforts are underway to place several more throughout the Tetons.
“Anything we can do to help make the backcountry experience safer is a positive evolution,” Beckwith said. “And if this program helps save even one life, it will have been worthwhile.”
It is worth noting that so far this season, across the western US, the snowpack has shown notable weaknesses and the continued high pressure does not bode well for good long-term stability or significant strengthening of the snowpack. Many avalanche experts expect that with the next big snowfall, there may be a widespread avalanche cycle. These are the situations in which powder-starved riders get in trouble, by being too eager to get after it following weeks of mediocre snow conditions. Knowledge about avalanche conditions, the proper gear and knowing how to use it is extremely important.
From the car, to the gnar, to the bar — always pack your beacon, shovel and probe! Photo courtesy BCA.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 307
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- From: johnclarydavies
Evan Howe skis Shovel Slide on Mount Glory. When there's powder like this, the Teton Pass parking lot is often full with cars. This traffic sparked Ben Morley to create the ride share network called Backcountryride.com. Photo by David Gonzales.
Every winter, Teton Pass ambassador Jay Pistono estimates backcountry skiers and snowboarders accumulate about 60,000 laps on the mountain pass. Pistono bases his estimate on the number of cars he sees on average in the parking lot each day. The 100 daily vehicles parking at the trailhead typically hold two humans who, he says, ski two laps a day. Using Pistono’s math, that’s 12,000 ski runs a month.
"As far as backcountry skiing, there’s no next best place," Pistono said.
Jackson Hole saw heavy snowfall in October and November 2010. And with the resort still closed for the season, Teton Pass saw unprecedented amounts of backcountry users.
"Jackson hole has some of the best access in the world, if not the best," said Ben Morley of Backcountryride.com. "You can get to some of the best backcountry in the world within, like ten minutes, and I think that the word has spread."
The influx of traffic, in addition to a Glory Bowl slide that covered the road, had tensions between riders, the Wyoming Department of Transportation, and commuters from Idaho high. At one point, WYDOT threatened it would discontinue plowing the parking area on the top of the pass.
A shot of a full parking lot on Teton Pass from the Mount Glory bootpack. Backcountryride.com seeks to link skiers and snowboarders with cars headed up the pass in an effort to increase carpooling and decrease traffic. Photo by David Gonzales.
That’s when Morley decided to pursue Backcountryride.com. Morley, who is a Nordic coach at the Jackson Hole Ski Club, is a lifelong Jackson resident. His grandfather is Alex Morley, who was a partner with Paul McCollister in starting Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Ben Morley’s site began as a ride share network for Teton Pass users. Now Morley is working on code that will allow the user to enter any location in the world. The program will use Google Maps to match riders’ needs with drivers’ routes as closely as possible.
Morley said initially he simply wanted to mitigate traffic and parking issues on Teton Pass. Then he realized the website would be relevant anywhere in the world. But so far, the site has been slow to catch on.
"I don’t think a whole lot of people jumped on board right away because people are accustomed to their cultural habits," Morley said. “They’ll do what they want. This has helped people become more aware of our impact. We’re trying to unite to do something about it."
To find out more, visit Backcountryride.com.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 239
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"World's First SkiBASE of the "World's First SkiBASE of the Matterhorn" - Super Frenchie Diaries with Matthias Giraud ep #4 on WIDSIX TV
- From: widsix
Matthias Giraud is THE FIRST person IN THE WORLD to skiBASE the Matterhorn. Captured by several GoPros and other Cameras, Super Frenchie's jump come very close to ending in disaster when his ski hits a rock and he is forced to throw a GIANT front flip off the peak to avoid death.
Watch this edit and you'll never look at a skinny french dude the same way again... you might be looking at the skinny french dude that did THIS!
See more of the Super Frenchie Diaries at: http://widsix.tv
Elevation: 14,692 feet (4,478 meters)
Location: Valais Alps. Also called Penninie Alps. Border of Switzerland and Italy.
"I was born by the sea, and up to the age of twelve I had never been outside my native Province; and yet, without being aware of it, I knew the Matterhorn. I did not know it by name, but I knew it. When, by chance, someone in my family uttered the word 'peak', and my small child's imagination created the corresponding picture, I saw a pyramid, beautiful as an arrow of stone, pointing towards the sky." ~ Gaston Rébuffat
- 2 years ago
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- From: forrestshearer
September 9, 2011
For snowboarders, summer and fall represent the off-season, a time to hit the skate park or surf the ocean.
My home base is in Salt Lake City, Utah, where there’s not very much surfing. So this summer, I took a break from the mountain lifestyle and spent some time in Leucadia, Calif., choosing to hit the ocean.
Snowboarding and surfing have a strong connection. They both share this effortless glide. Snowboarding in powder is the best feeling ever. And when I’m floating through snow, it’s as if I’m surfing.
Working with Jones Snowboards, we are always discussing board designs and testing new shapes and construction methods to take our riding to the next level. This summer, I’ve been on a similar progression with my surfing. I grew up surfing in Southern California and moved to the mountains to pursue snowboarding. My surfing roots are still really important and play a big role in my snowboarding.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with trying to surf on boards with no fins. I've been trying out a bunch of different boards to recreate the snowboard feeling on water. Bringing snowboarding to the ocean…
Some of the boards I've tried are Alaia’s and this piece of foam called a Lord Board. An Alaia is a finless, thin plank of wood based on boards surfed by Hawaiians for thousands of years. They go so fast and get the most glide out of any surfboard I’ve ever ridden. Some of the most recent Alaia’s have been made famous by the Wegener brothers — Tom and Jon Wegener.
The Lord Board is a wide, unglassed, finless block of closed-cell foam ridden by Ryan Burch and friends in the famous surf film "Stoked And Broke" (all-time rad movie). This piece of foam is cool because it flexes, goes fast and with its size, it has a surf-skate style. The Lord Board can turn any surf session into a wild one.
As a summer project I decided to shape an Alaia with the help of Jon Wegener. Starting from a primitive piece of Paulownia wood glued together to form a blank, we cut out a template of a shape I wanted.
I chose a progressive shape featuring a parabolic outline with a concave bottom and a swallow tail. This shape rides much like a snowboard — like carving in powder. The length ended up being 6′8″ in size.
Next step was to take a electric planner and wood carving tools and shave the Alaia down to the exact thickness I wanted on the deck, bottom and rails. For this part, I took the board home, set up shop in the backyard and let loose. It was a complete organic feeling working on the board. I took my time on it, worked with the wood and let my creation come to life.
The wood chips that came off the board were recycled and added to the compost for the garden. Finally, I sealed the board with a few coats of linseed oil and it was ready to ride.
Looking back on the shaping process, I see a similar movement with snowboarding and surfing as people are becoming more aware of their connection to nature. Without wild mountains, fresh powder and clean oceans, we can’t do the things we love. We are embracing change with our methods of construction and thinking outside the box of conformity. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Forrest Shearer's surfy POV footage from Haines, Alaska:
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 1101
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- From: media-75233
So it's official, we've moved on from spring riding and are fully engaged in summer riding. There is still snow too, as those of us in the Teton Village were made aware by the avalanche bombing they were doing on the slopes yesterday. Here's a video of Adam Osgood gettin in a quick top to bottom off the Jackson Hole tram.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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Video: Snowboarder Alex Yoder Video: Snowboarder Alex Yoder Shreds Jackson Hole Stash Park And Powder
- From: media-75233
I had the pleasure of spending a few days with Alex Yoder at Jackson Hole Mtn Resort. Being new to Jacksons backcountry, I was stoked to be filming with someone so aware of their surroundings and professional as Yoder. With the ability to conquer any terrain and the style of an aged professional, he is one to look out for. Sponsors: Jones Snowboards, Bond Outerwear, Bluebird Wax, Avalon 7, Jackson Treehouse.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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News: TNF's Mike Riddle Takes News: TNF's Mike Riddle Takes Gold At FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships, Jen Hudak Gets Silver
- From: media-75233
February 5, 2010
Park City, Utah (US Ski Team) – American Jen Hudak (Salt Lake City) ignored a 25 mph crosswind to win silver in halfpipe skiing at the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships. Simon Dumont (Dillon, CO), one of the sport's greatest stars, earned bronze.
NBC will air the halfpipe World Championships contest on Sunday, Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. ET.
Conditions for Saturday’s halfpipe competition could hardly have been more challenging. The halfpipe was subject to a fierce crosswind which affected athletes’ airs and radically impacted speeds across the flat bottom and up the steep 22-foot walls.
Hudak, who qualified first, needed a strong second run to upset what would have been a Canadian 1-2-3. With the final run of the women’s competition, Hudak laid down a very big and technical run, which included a smooth 900, to earn World Championship silver. Canadians Rosalind Groenewoud won gold, while Keltie Hansen got bronze.
"I knew the conditions were going to be tough," said Hudak. "But to be honest, I didn't even think of the weather until someone asked me after my run. I had one of the highest amplitudes of the day."
Each of the medalists was keenly aware that this was more than a typical competition. Halfpipe skiing, along with slopestyle, is under consideration by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be included in the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Sochi, Russia. A decision is expected by the IOC sometime over the next couple months.
"There is a ton of attention on our sport right now. The IOC is here looking on," explained Hudak. "We just wanted to come out and put on a good show. Hopefully we will have a shot at 2014 in Sochi [Russia]."
It was also the strong winds that impaired Dumont in his final run, blowing him off course, which kept him from challenging Canada’s Mike Riddle for gold.
"The biggest thing about today was obviously the Olympic push," said Dumont. "If this were any other event, I probably would have pulled out. But our big goal is to end up in the Olympics. Hopefully we proved that we are here, we’re serious and we are going to ski in a hurricane and put on a good show."
Dumont’s bronze medal run began with a huge cork 900 into a right side 900 to a double flip 900 with tail grab to an allyoop 720 and ended with a switch 720.
David Wise (Reno, NV) had a standout second finals run in which he led off with a super technical double cork 1260. Wise ended in fourth after being ousted off the podium when defending World Champion and two-time X Games champ Kevin Rolland wowed the judges with his second run. Joining Dumont and Wise in the finals was Tucker Perkins (North Hampton, NH) in seventh.
U.S. women Devin Logan (West Dover, VT) and Brita Sigourney (Carmel, CA) had solid runs down Park City Mountain Resort’s Eagle Superpipe. The two finished just off the podium in fifth and sixth respectively.
The final event of the 2011 FIS Freestyle World Championships, hosted by Deer Valley Resort in Park City, UT, will be dual moguls. Finals begin at 7:30 MST.
FIS World Freestyle Ski Championships
Park City Mountain Resort, Park City, UT – Feb. 5, 2011
Gold: Mike Riddle, Canada, 45.60
Silver: Kevin Rolland, France, 45.20
Bronze: Simon Dumont, Dillon, CO, 43.20
4. David Wise, Reno, NV, 43.00
7. Tucker Perkins, North Hampton, NH, 36.00
Gold: Rosalind Groenewoud, Canada, 44.70
Silver: Jennifer Hudak, Salt Lake City, 42.10
Bronze: Keltie Hansen, Canada, 38.80
5. Devin Logan, West Dover, VT, 35.80
6. Brita Sigourney, Carmel, CA, 35.10
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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- From: sbcskier
ORIGINALLY POSTED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL INTERVIEW IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | INTERVIEW BY DAVE PIRES | PHOTOS BY BLAKE JORGENSON
At first Mark Abma's story appears to be that of so many other professional skiers: a mogul and park kid who, through a combination of skill, opportunity and passion rose to join the ranks of skiing's elite. But the typical elements end there.
Arriving on the scene shortly after a crew of ex-mogul skiers changed skiing forever, Abma was part of the first wave of young talent to follow in the founders' footsteps, a wave that included Pep Fujas, Simon Dumont and David Crichton. What's special about Abma and his contemporaries is that in the shadow of giants they managed to leave an indelible impression in their own way; an ability to push the boundaries of what's possible on skis that is just as great or greater than anyone who came before or after.
As a skier, what's most uncommon about Abma is his natural ability to ski big mountains. This, blended with his park and pipe background, have made him one of the best all-around skiers in the world. As a person, what is uncommon about Abma is his big heart, humility, and calm preference for leading by example. SKIER sat down with him to discuss the arc of his career, his new environmental charity, and the critical importance of luck.
You've risen from humble origins, growing up skiing at Hemlock [in the Fraser Valley] and in its freestyle program. At what point did you know skiing was what you wanted to pursue?
I think it was while I was going to school. I was just a weekend warrior, so during the five days each week that I was in school, I was basically staring out the windows towards the mountains. School bus ride… staring at the mountains. It was infatuation. I didn't know how I wanted to do it, but I was like, As soon I get out of school, I'm going to get a VW van and ski bum it. It was that passion, and then things just kind of unfolded. My coach from Hemlock spoke with the B.C. Freestyle team coach and I got the chance to ski with those guys, and move to Whistler, the epicentre.
When did you decide to move on from moguls?
I did moguls for three years, and basically it just got to a point where I'd be locked into this whole mogul schedule from November through March. I'd be on the tour, and I'd be in icy Quebec watching the snow report for Whistler and see it pounding, and it started driving me bananas. That's when the whole freeskiing thing happened. The New Canadian Air Force came out, along with the Three Phils, and they were doing all these new tricks that I was trying to learn. But I was kind of a year behind, so I eventually pulled the pin to catch up and found a couch in Whistler for $200 [a month].
Your girlfriend Kristi Richards took a different path, stuck with moguls, and has had success as well. What are the major differences between the life of a professional mogul skier and a professional freerider?
Her training program is very regimented. She had her whole four years planned from 2006 to 2010, and knew what she was going to be doing every week. She's got coaches pushing her in the right direction and getting her in super-good shape, whereas I have to be self-driven. There's nobody to get me into shape or teach me new tricks; you have to do everything yourself and create your own schedule—which is what I love so much about it. It's funny when we come back together at the end of our respective seasons because I've just been floating, following storms, and she's been grinding on this regimented schedule; it's a bit of a head butt at first.
You've talked about the importance of being self-driven. What's the other indispensable quality that separates guys like you from the thousand other guys that come to Whistler every year ready to make a name for themselves?
I'd have to say luck. There's so many people doing it exactly the same. Lots of other guys out there skiing every day—living, breathing and eating it. Everybody's situation is kind of different, and I think it's a lot of being in the right place at the right time.Take Ian McIntosh for example. He competed in big-mountain freeskiing, put his time in there. I put my time in doing slopestyle and pipe
contests. I was lucky. The second year after I quit mogul skiing, [Anthony] Boronowski invited me to live with him, Julien [Regnier], J.P. [Auclair] and one of the Poor Boyz filmers in Whistler, and he paid my rent for that whole year because I didn't have any money. Hedragged me down to [Powder magazine's] Superpark and introduced me to K2. I have toattribute where I am now largely to Boronowski helping me out.
These days, most pros are busy releasing re-edits, updating blogs, tweeting, etc… But you've stuck to a more traditional film-and-photo-shoot approach to promotion. Are you comfortable with that, or is there pressure on you to be more "social?"
I'm not getting a lot of pressure, but I I'm putting some on myself like, Alright, it's time. I finally got a Facebook page this winter, [laughs] not that I've been on it very often—maybe four times in six months. But I think that's the next step for me: dedicating more time to promoting myself online. I guess I'm kind of old school; I just like to go out and ski, but obviously times are changing.
Yeah, and it must be tough to sit in front of a computer when you own a helicopter.
Well, yeah, [laughs] exactly! Who wants to sit in front of a computer when you can go fly around in your private heli? [Abma does not actually own a helicopter, but a certain group of skiers has jokingly spread the rumour that he does.]
Speaking of which, your star really took off after your first heli trip
to Bella Coola in 2004. At the time, did you realize how important that trip would be to your career?
No, at that time I just viewed it as my first heli trip. I'd been looking at photos and footage of Bella Coola for years and since I was going to be skiing with [Shane] McConkey, Hugo [Harrisson] and Ingrid [Backstrom], I knew what I was getting into. But I can't say that I rolled up super-amped. I definitely knew those mountains could work me but I didn't really have any expectations. I just figured I was tagging along with those guys and trying to learn. Andthat's what I did, I asked a lot of questions. Those guys were basically picking the lines and I was taking table scraps.
Those scraps ended up being pretty amazing. You walked away with "Male Performance of the Year" at the Powder video awards.
It was a trip for sure. I really lucked out again, because MSP was up there for six weeks. There was a crew there before us for two weeks and they got skunked. I was up there for two weeks, we sat for 10 days, and then got three good days and walked away with all that footage. Then the next crew came up for two weeks and got skunked.
Was that your first opportunity to ski with Shane McConkey, and was he influential?
He was one of the guys I always watched in movies, but I think what impressed me most was watching him ski-base. We're all just trying to piece our way down and stay on our feet, meanwhile he's looking at a completely different part of the mountain… It's hard to describe what it's like to see somebody ski off a 250-metre cliff, pull a parachute and land smiling and screaming and just having the time of his life.
You've also filmed with C.R. and knew of Arne [Backstrom] through Ingrid, and now all three of those Squaw guys are gone. How does a guy like you who's out there skiing really intense stuff, make peace with the dangers?
[Extended silence] I've definitely faced the concept of hurting myself really badly or passing away and being OK with it. Obviously, you don't want to pass away, b
ut it's not being afraid of it and not allowing it to rule over you, and just allowing things to happen as they're going to happen that allows you to do what you do. You can never really control everything.
You've started a charity called 1STEP. What's the goal?
Essentially to raise awareness within the ski community about our current environmental situation. Within that we're trying to help ski resorts start using their waste vegetable oil to power snowcats and fleet vehicles, and essentially start using what they have on-site to create a more sustainable operation. This August I'm heading down to Bariloche [in Argentina] to work with South America Snow Sessions. We're going to run their shuttle vehicles on vegetable oil to get the campers up to the hill. If that goes well, the resort will adopt it and start running their snowcats the same way. While we're in Bariloche, we're going to try other things: there's the resort end with nice First World living conditions for tourists, then you around the corner there's a big garbage dump with a whole Third World community. So we hope to build greenhouses for them from waste plastic water bottles, and in turn allow them to grow some of their own food.
Was there something that really motivated you to start 1STEP? Was it being surrounded by natural beauty so often, or was it a book, a movie…?
Actually, it was Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. As controversial as some people say it is, it definitely struck me to the point where I was l
ike, "I've got to do something. What?" I could keep just doing things within my own home, or go out and be a bit more vocal about it and utilize my position. It's been a big learning experience for sure, starting at the place in my heart where I want to help, then trying to figure out how to do it. But I think I'm starting to hone in and realize 1STEP's direction.
Pro skiing is pretty carbon intensive with all the jet travel, helicopters, snowmobiles, and trucks. Does it work against you that most skiers consider the opportunity to emit that much carbon the greatest thing to ever happen to them?
Yes, it's a tricky place to be for sure. Without these conveyances we can't explore and get to the beautiful places we get to experience. We're also putting down a carbon footprint by just going up the ski hill, so where do we draw the line? We can't stop everything we're doing, but I think we can improve what we're doing: obviously my snowmobile isn't good for the environment, so I got the cleanest-operating sled I could; I've got my big truck running on waste vegetable oil, and this year I basically switched up my cat-skiing time for ski touring, which really is an amazing experience.
Are there any more steps you've taken to reduce your own carbon footprint?
We're switching our household over to micro-hydro, and reducing a lot of impact that way. Just being aware of when lights are on, what the temperature's at—all these small things add up when combined amongst everybody. That's what a lot of people overlook, they're like, "Well, it's just me doing this." Whereas if everyone stopped throwing plastic grocery bags into the garbage, well then… I mean, when you go to a garbage dump that's the one thing you see everywhere—fucking plastic!
Is there anything else you want to say?
I still hear a lot of people say that going green is just a fad, but I don't think that at this point in the game it can be anymore. Obviously we have a lot of issues in our world right now, but it's about caring about our planet more than trying to join a green cult.
Mark Abma is sponsored by Salomon, Dakine, Smith, Whistler Blackcomb, and Magic Potion.
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- 3 years ago
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