Didn’t have too many chances to get out riding this week but did manage to notch up day 50 and 51 which were both pretty awesome days! Tuesday the 20th and Friday the 23rd. Definitely heading into Spring with some beautiful sunny days, loads of people around and some fun times! Finished my last day at Seymour yesterday for the season! Not sure where the winter went to but hopefully will get a few more days in around the place!
So each year at Seymour they put on a Ski and Snowboard School trip as a staff development day. Which brings me to day 49 on March 16th 2012. This year the staff trip was to Hemlock in BC..so we bundled 50 staff into a coach at half 6 in the morning and headed off! There was a bit of concern if we would be able to go or not due to the HIGH levels of snow fall and extreme avalanche dangers. Luckily it was all sweet and HOLY SMOKES, there was SO much snow! Tits deep in fact. I have never seen so much snow in my life let alone ridden that much powder before. It continued dumping all day and wasn’t too cold. Put 50 instructors on this much powder and they go crazy! Everyone was so happy and it was such pure happiness! In saying this, it was by far the MOST frustrating day on a snowboard for me. I felt like a beginner all over again which essentially is what I am in these conditions. I have never known snow like this before and haven’t had much experience so it was challenging to say the least. At one point it took us an hour to get down a run because we were getting stuck and/or buried almost every couple of metres. At this point I was borderline tears and wouldn’t have minded just laying there forever! On more then one occasion I wanted to chuck in the towel but stuck it out and continued to ride. My board got snaked underneath me getting on a chair and I was pulled off which was a first. I had to trek it through waist deep powder to get out of where there usually is a run. Everyone enjoyed some good tucker and the fire before heading back to North Van. It was by far a standout day. Finished off by a couple of beers, a game of pool and good people!
When life throws you a curve ball and all seems lost, remind yourself that you are living and breathing. This should be enough to put a smile on your face. I am not afraid to admit but sometimes the last thing you want to do is smile, it’s only human to be sad. But don’t let it get the better of you. Look around you, take in all the wonderful things life has to offer! Life for today and tomorrow isn’t a promise.
Tuesday March 13th 2012. Today was the first time this season at Mt Seymour that I had ridden with a skier! Riding the chairs was so much easier then with a snowboarder! None of this facing each other, facing one way or not facing at all! Super smooth. What made is even better was that I rode with Peter. He is from Northern Ireland and he is fantastic. The snow was exceptional. I think we got about 25cms of fresh. It was a shame I didn’t have my glasses on and the goggles I was wearing weren’t that great which made distinguishing the terrain rather difficult. Pretty rad otherwise!
Today I also got to skype my family for the first time since turning 20 and it was so great! Almost two hours of chatting, laughing, story telling. The only thing that stopped us was the fact it was well after midnight and I was buggered! They are super.
March 9th 2012 .Post Australian birthday celebrations, I celebrated my Candian birthday! Finally out of the teens and as so many have said, enjoy the 20’s! It was dumping all morning at Seymour! Big fat, fast snowflakes. Unfortunately this turned into freezing rain late in the afternoon which is when I managed to get out. It was so cool being able to snowboard on my birthday. I’ve never had the chance to do that before! Mind you after two runs I was SOAKED! It was loads of fun. I was super lucky because I got to celebrate my birthday twice and ride both days! The shuttle broke down at the top of the mountain so we went and had beers and food! It was a primo day!
Thursday March 8th 2012 and happy birthday Peter! My newest Northern Irish friend! The great thing is that it is my birthday back in Australia therefore we shared our birthdays together! What better way to spend it then riding some awesome snow at Mt Baker! The sun was shining, the birds were singing. It really was the best pre-birthday birthday present ever! Spending it riding and skiing loads of different runs with friends, I couldn’t imagine it any other way! Plus it was the first time I rode snow on my birthday which was epic! Super stoked on turning 20, being in the US, riding wicked snow, friends and life!
Sunday March 4th was the day I rocked Grouse! With minimal visibility and new terrain I am not afraid to admit but my riding was pretty shocking. Just couldn’t get into the groove of things however was super stoked that I had my own personal tour off my very very good friend who also happens to instruct up there! Facilities rocked from the quad chairs ( which I miss!) to the service in the cafes. We need to develop a recipricol between the North Shore mountains. Why not band together to support each other and promote winter sports and activities. I don’t unerstand!
Tuesday March 6th and as per usual, riding cleared my head eliminating the headaches of the night before! Seymour was STUNNING today. I wish I could take mental snap shots and share them every day. Looking out you could see Baker shining, Maple Ridge, the city landscape, the water. EVERYTHING! It was super. The snow was pretty hard packed but it was still nice. I enjoy riding.
Already March 2012, this is nuts! So is the fact that I have been riding every day this week.
Day 42 came yesterday the 29th of Feb and delivered a pow pow day! It made me purely happy. Fresh lines down 16’s and it is such a nice feeling. Part of me there for a while felt out of my own body,I didn’t want to feel anything but the riding. Avoided all other thoughts and focused solely on what was I was experiencing. Magical, almost too good to be true.
Day 43 which was today the 1st of March was slightly more reserved however did get some nice clean runs in. Seymour today was really quite. I counted THREE people on Brockton, including myself. It felt really good. I will be at it again tomorrow no doubt. Even just for two or three runs. Just to get my fix for the day! And then Grouse mountain on the weekend, yeeeaaahhhh!
This past week has proven to me once again that as humans we can disappoint others, we can be misleading characters, we can not face up to what we are feeling until we are knee deep in and ultimately hurt one another. Whether you are the hurt-tee or hurt-ed it is comforting knowing that time heals. Life will go on and be better then you ever imagined!
Monday the 27th of Feb/Tuesday the 28th and one other date I can’t remember!
This section of riding really hit home.This week entailed A LOT of pointless drama..Of course I didn’t think it was pointless at the time but it lead me to ride as if I were searching for the answers. Which in manys way is true. Riding gives me the chance to be with no one but myself. A time when I can look inside for what my heart and head are refusing to believe. A chance to reflect on what has happened to lead me here and it also provided solid evidence as to why I love mountains so much. Within y riding this past week I found what it was I was looking for, even if it took me the long way sometimes. In with the good karma, out with the bad. That’s my vow.
Not sure what happened there but all of the text I wrote has now disappeared.
To sum up what I wrote down..
-Sunday the 19th, Monday the 20th and Thursday the 23rd were days 36, 37 and 38.
-Mother nature changed her mind a lot this week, from sunny, warm, clear mountain tops to bitterly cold and windy. A good reminder that she is a powerful force and one that needs to be respected. Snow is on the forecast which in the words of my Canadian friend ‘I am so stoked! about.
-This week also ingnited a change in me, making me a better person. Wanting to seize every chance, every opportunity.
Saturday February 18th and day 35. Imagine this, 30cms of fresh snow Brockton just opening and the sun decides to shine right at the top. Throw into that my best friend and the guy I am crushing on and you have a perfect day. It was the kind of day that reminded me why I love snowboarding so much. Nothing but fun, friends and good times. I just rode and enjoyed the riding. I worked on my powder riding but apart from that it was just fun. Sometimes you stumble on life’s path and you get to a pretty bad place but I have recently learnt that you need to tough it out, life works in funky ways but surround yourself with likeminded people and you’ll get through. I raise my glass to those people.
This page kind of seems foreign to me as I have been super slack in keeping track of my days. The date of day 32 is a mystery however I can remember that 33 and 34 were yesterday the 17th of February 2012.
First time around it was awesome! I hit my first ‘real’ jump in the park with a gap and all. My friend is like ’ you should hit that jump in the park. Wanna give it a go?’ I said ‘yeah, why not’. In comparison to a lot of other jumps it was tiny but looking down and seeing the knuckle, it looked bloody huge! From here on board flat, no edges. Pop at the top, body is locked as one. Once you go, you can’t stop. It did chicken out a little and went on an edge which led me to hit the tailend of the gap but I didn’t crash. My friend said I looked a little disappointed and I said kind of because I wanted to do it better! There will definitely be a next time.
What encouraged me to go out again I do not know..well actually yeah I kind of do. It was after work on a Friday, the wind had picked up dramatically. It was wet and cold. It was dumping snow. Vis was pretty bloody horrible and it had dipped into minuses. But I went out and rode. It gave me a chance to think without anyone or anything to interrupt. I could of screamed out loud or cried and no one would have heard. Loads of things have been on my wind. Big changes, changes that I could never have imagined coming. I only lasted 45minutes but it was what I needed. Time to be with myself.
As I write this I am preparing to head up Seymour again today. Bugger it aye, lets go. Weather isn’t fantastic but that is what appeals to me.
Sometimes life throws you some pretty wild curve balls and in the words of my Mum ’ stay cold, catch that ball and have fun’.
Tuesday February 7th and day number 32 ticked over. I don’t know what was wrong but my riding and popping was SO careless. I lacked any sort of form, my board position and body position were pretty bad. Just a super lazy attitdude which led me to almost bailing many times! My body was sore, maybe wasn’t listening? Almost made it to staff yoga for some stretching however ended up having to stay late and then missed it all together. It’s fine, maybe next week. Got some awesome sushi from this new place with two friends. So yum! Great company, great food. Going home to a town with one sushi place, I am really going to miss the variety and low cost, good quality sushi here in Vancouver!
What better way to start a week then a bluebird, spring day with favourable conditions! Day number 31 and only 3 weeks and 2 days til I leave. How many days can I get in? Hopefully another 10-14 at least. Living for the now. Sure there are things to worry about but that shit can wait til later. One of my favourite Black Eyed Peas songs states that ‘now is the right time for the good things in life’. Friends, riding, good times.
Saturday 28th Jan day 26. Saturdays are always busy and this was no exception! Nice weather, loads of families and lessons running, good snow. Why wouldn’t you be here???
Tuesday Jan 31st day 27.Snowboarding is an excellent cure for a hangover. After surviving ( just!?) the craziness of Mountain Monday Madness I rode in the clear, fresh, clean air and combined with exercise it was the perfect medicine for what was my very sore head. It was nice to go riding by myself, not having to run by anyone elses watch. To not think about anything, just enjoy the riding. I love snowboarding. I read this article today and it pointed out an individuals perspective on Snowboarding and how it shouldn’t be classified as a sport as it effects its impact on a person. If you have a chance, this is a good read.
Wednesday Feb 1st day 28. 35cms of freshies and a stunning sunrise this morning!!! Today was fun and full of laughter. I headed to Brockton chair for the first time and road some fresh lines in what was some super powder!! Visibility lacked after a run or so which led the pair of us down a run we ‘thought’ existed. Managed to get down about 30m before realising we didnt know where to go. Unclip and hike…on more then one occasion! I love Brockton chair. It combines an easy on-ramp and off ramp with ample space and a quick running time. I love Brockton runs. I vividly remember saying ‘This is heaven. I don’t know if I am alive anymore!’ Today on the chair we spoke of the sound of powder. Looking at someone riding or skiing you don’t hear anything, it looks effortless. Floating on air. My friend described it as ‘Zen Snow’. So calm and peaceful. From now on, Zen Snow for everyone
Thursday January 26th 2012 and day 25! The snow was irresistable today! Nice clean, light snow tied in with beautiful sunshine. Riding with a friend for the first time. It was the PERFECT hangover cure. Agreed?
So a full 48 hours after I completed my last run at Steven’s Pass, I can now document the AMAZING ski trip I went on!
Sunday the 22nd and Monday the 23rd of Jan 2012-day 22 and 23. Location Steven’s Pass, Washington, USA.
Four friends, 3 snowboards, 1 set of skis, $140, two amazing powder days and some awesome weather.
It was by far the most challenging terrain and snow I have ever ridden. Two key words to describe;steep and deep. Borderline frightening but super exciting! Having been told up until now to keep your body in line with your board, shoulders straight, core strong to then be told to lead directly with the your shoulder with sharp core rotation. This proved tough both mentally and physically however I did provide ample amounts of entertainment face planting and superman diving into the thigh deep powder. It was by far the funnest riding I have ever done. By the end I had a rounded understanding of the concepts of riding powder and was able to put into practice what I had learnt. I had my first experience riding through trees and my goodness, it was exhilirating! Having to maintain speed and control direction to almost a pin point perfection. One of my biggest concerns was falling a tree well but my riding partner guided me to terrain he thought was within my boundaries. I have to bow down to him for his patience and teaching abilities, even when I was spitting the dummy! I met a Texan who was adament he wasn’t American. Clearing defining the differences between the two and hinting that obviously Texans were better. He wore awesome goggles and was in the Navy. I think he would have been cool to hang out with. Come the afternoon of the second day of riding powder and I was smashed! My legs were in a ruin and no longer listening to my mind. I wanted to ride forever but my body was swinging into dangerous tired territory. I sat and looked out watched as the sun was setting around the mountains of Stevens Pass. It was an unreal experience and one I am sure I will not forget any time soon! Cheers to a kick arse ski trip, good friends and fun times!
Wednesday the 25th of January 2012. Happy Australia Day all! Day 24!
28cms of freshies here at Seymour today! However not the most ideal conditions. Poor visibility and quite heavy snow. It is kind of lonely riding by yourself therefore I only lasted two runs before heading back inside. Don’t eat friends with salad!
Sometime riding with someone who is better then you forces this unknown drive to be better. Like you have something to prove almost and someone whose skills you always aim to aquire. I rode today with a very good friend of mine, someone who loves to jump and is bloody good! She has taught me a lot of what I know and is always willing to offer advice and encouragement. It was fun plus the snow was good and me had some nice mild temperatures.
Wednesday January 18th and finally out of the teens! Day number 20!
I rode today to prove a point. I was borderline upset as a close friend told me to stop being so negative. This all spawning from the fact I didn’t feel like riding today. I wasn’t feeling 100% physically and in my mind knew I didn’t want to go out today so I figured why risk injury by going out when I was not committed. After extensively explaining myself I was then told to stop being so negative. After sitting for a while and being a sook I took those comments in my stride and went out and rode hard. Initially I would have preferred a friend to ride with but after that start I was more then happy to hit it by myself. Clear my mind, get rid of the all the unnecessary anger and sadness. After all it is you and the wild. In the end I got over the stupid comment and was glad I went. It was just the break from the office I needed.
Lesson learnt from today-don’t hold onto the small, insignificant comments. Life is too precious.
Tuesday January 17th 2012, day four out of the last five and day number 19. Read the CASI book today to work out whether or not to go for my level ones. I also had a chat with a recently graduated Level 1 instructor about the course structure. It seems pretty straight forward and based on the my own assessment I think I can ride well enough. I love teaching and helping people as well so would love to get involved in instructing. One thing I am not sure of is the transition between Canada and NZ in regards to teaching. Does a Level 1 in Canada = a Level 1 in NZ?? The cost is reasonable but when you are in a financial position like I am, I have to really think. I thought so much today after reading the CASI workbook that I was overthinking how I was riding and worrying too much instead of just enjoying the freezing temperatures and minimal crowds. I only did two runs today because I felt if I kept going I may be inclined to hurt myself. Plus I saw the nicest and cutest instructor today. He waved to me.. He is very cool and British, but I won’t hold that against him.
Only another note, I was SO stoked today because my fellow Australian gave me some Vegemite. Now for you Canadian folk out there, this spread rocks. Whilst this isn’t my spread of choice it is about Australian as a Bogan Chrisco Christmas. The proof that it is time for me to head back home. Six weeks tomorrow and I’ll be back on Australian turf.
Sunday the 15th and Monday the 16th of January. Day 17 and 18 What an awesome couple of days riding! Fresh, velvet like, smooth snow. Not making a sound when I rode. Two days worth of girls-only riding! It was super cool. We visited new places that felt almost exclusive. Some nice steep drops combined with patches of ice aren’t ideal but the rush of pointing your board and taking that risk is so worth it. That’s what it is about, taking those chances and daring to believe and there is such a vast range of levels you can be on, challenges you can choose to accept. If it means success, 10 points to you. If it means failure, the best opportunity for you to work on it and come back five times stronger! We had out first ‘real’ wave of cold weather. Hit minus 9 yesterday and minus 6 up there today but what the heck, I’m only here for 38days and then back to summer. I now vow to ride as much as possible, except Tourist Saturdays. Cheers to some awesome adventures for my last little while here in Canada!