Monthly Archives: April 2012

Spring Skiing

Give me blue skies, spring conditions on the slopes, and a pair of skis and I’ll be the happiest guy on the hill. This past weekend I got the chance to ski Snowbird with former Hot Dog stunt skier turned photographer/videographer, Bob Legasa. Was I nervous to be skiing with one of the stars of a cult classic? Hell yeah. The man threw down more classic tricks during that movie than I have in all of my years of skiing. Don’t get me wrong, I was still dropping spread eagles and daffys all over the place. After all, that’s what spring skiing is all about. And as you can see from the smile on my face, I was having a blast. From hot laps down Peruvian Basin and creamy turns on the Cirque to aprés beers on the tram deck and shots from the one-and-only Shotz Ski, we did spring skiing right.

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

Boots and flip flops - There is something seriously awesome and wrong with this photo.

Photo Credit: Bob Legasa

A big thank you to Bob, Scott Evans (Shotz Ski) and Eric Wilson for a killer afternoon. Where are you getting your spring turns in this year?

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Is Epic Necessary?

“The storm dropped more than a foot in a day and a half, and left a sparkling blue sky in its wake. It wasn’t epic by any means, but whether or not something is epic is not how we should define our skiing experiences. Perhaps one of the reasons we skiers have found ourselves in such a predicament lately is that somehow, somewhere everyone decided that the only skiing worth doing was the kind that left us gasping for air and/or scared to death. While it’s good to test our limits and seek out adventure, we shouldn’t be afraid to pull back on the reins, or god forbid, enjoy a day of variable snow. Plus, I’m tired of being scared. I’m tired of being scared for my friends. And after this winter, I’m especially tired of hearing people complain about having less than amazing snow. Just give me a skin track, a chairlift or two, free parking, and the perspective to see my ridiculous good fortune at being able to ski, period, and I’ll be happy. We shouldn’t have to ask for something to be epic in order for it to be worthy day in the mountains.” – Matt Hansen, Powder Magazine

Epic days were definitely not the drink of choice in Utah this winter. In fact, epic days were not even on the menu. I had great days. I had memorable days. And I sure as hell had plenty of fun days. But epic . . . not so much. And you know what? This doesn’t bother me one bit. Because in the end I was skiing. While some people were stuck in traffic, I was on top of a mountain. While some folks were working out in a gym, I was setting a skin track. And while some people were watching TV, I was making turns. Is epic necessary? No. But skiing definitely is.

I think every person who calls themselves a skier should read these words by Matt Hansen. The man truly hits the nail on the head. Once youv’e done that, turn your computer off and go skiing.

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Boston in Black & White

City sunsets are pretty sweet.

I just got back from a last minute trip to Boston. Seriously. I found out I was going Wednesday around 3 p.m. and was boarding my plane bound for Beantown Thursday morning at 8 a.m.

While spontaneous travel may be frowned upon in some circles (over planners, human resource departments, etc.), I find it to be one of the best ways to truly experience a destination. When you have no time to plan, or even pack for that matter, you have no choice but to go with the flow, taking whatever comes your way. And so went my first trip to Boston. I had my backpack, my cell phone, my girlfriend and a long weekend that just happend to be chocked full of signature Boston events. From catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park and watching the Boston Marathon to hittin’ the beach at Cape Cod and almost getting in a fight with a  guido on the north end, I feel like I got a good taste of Boston.

Loved difference in the styles of buildings.

For those of you wondering, yes, Boston is worth a trip. Whether you’ve got a few days or a week weeks, the city offers plenty to keep you busy. Boston is overflowing with charm, character, history, pride and great beer. It’s a city that you’re stoked to get to, happy to be in, and sad to leave. But most importantly, it’s a city you’ll always remember.

Anyways, they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I’ll shut up and let you browse the slideshow below, taking a look back at my trip through the lens of my phone’s camera.

Lauran enjoying the beach on the Cape.

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Five things I’ll always remember about Boston:

  1. Fenway Park is life changing.
  2. Regina’s Pizza on the north end serves up the best pies this side of Italy.
  3. The Boston Marathon is inspiring. I almost want to run a marathon now . . . almost.
  4. The pride that the people of Boston have in both their city and sports teams is amazing.
  5. Bostonites can drink.

Has anyone else hit the streets of Boston lately? Sound off. I’d love to hear what you think.

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Slackcountry Saturday

I woke up Friday morning to an unexpected storm that proceeded to drop 12″ of the “Greatest Snow on Earth” on the Wasatch Mountains. This welcome, and much needed, taste of winter was then followed up by 50-60 degree temperatures. Yup, just another spring weekend in Utah. Question – What does one do with such a sweet little gift from Mother Nature? Answer – Take full advantage.

At 9 a.m. Wes, myself, Lauran and Ski Utah Powderhound, Matt Baydala, caught first chair at Canyons Resort with our sights set on 9990. From the top of 9990 we made a boot pack beeline for the infamous Square Top whose steep slopes offer what most consider the best skiing in the Park City area. Honestly, there’s no better feeling in the world than when you’re standing on the top of an untracked run, with your best friends, getting ready to drop in. It’s unbeatable. And believe me, the turns we made on Square Top did not dissappoint. Long, consistent vertical paired with deep snow is always a good combination.

After another ride up 9990 followed by a scenic boot pack to the top of Dutch’s Draw, we clicked into our skis and headed across the ridge for Main Mac. A quick side step brought us to the top of a completely untouched, untracked, and unblemished bowl. Naturally, it didn’t stay that way for long as one after the other we dropped in, arching long, deep turns down Mac’s shoulder.

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Now fully in “powderhound” mode, we slapped on the skins and headed for the zone known as “Powder Puff.” The gradual yet scenic route climbs along a ridge offering views of West Monitor to your left and Canyons Resort to your right. Once you reach the top you’re treated to a panoramic view of the Wasatch range. From the Jordanelle Reservoir to the Cottonwood Canyons and their four resorts (Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, Solitude), you can see it all. Dropping in on Powder Puff, we were rewarded with top-to-bottom turns full of face shots. Feel free to disagree, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing better than being the first one to get to the goods.

Looking to finish strong, Wes and I hopped on 9990, took the boot pack to the top and dropped off the back side towards Desolation Lake. A quick skin brought us to the rim of the bowl that surrounds Desolation Lake. After ripping skins, we dropped in on a north facing, treed run that was so good we had to do another. Following another quick skin, we dropped in on an open face that funneled into a north facing aspect offering perfectly spaced trees and the deepest, softest snow of the day. Skinning up for the last time, we hiked out of Desolation basin and up to the shoulder of Square Top where we skied our final run, again untracked, back to Red Pine Road and from there back to the base of Canyons Resort.

Start time: 9 a.m.
End time: 3:30 p.m.
Total Runs (not including groomers): 6
Total Tracks Crossed During Runs: 0

Sitting on the deck of the Umbrella Bar with PBR’s in hand, turns were re-told, runs were relived and laughs were shared. It had ben an amazing day to say the least. We had just skied fresh powder from first chair to last skin  . . . on April 7. Some folks will never experience such a feat. But to those who live in Utah it’s just another slackcountry Saturday.

If you need visual proof of the tale I told above, check out the edit that Matt put together.

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