Archive for the ‘Snowboarding’ Category

Ohhhh, I’ve been looking for something like this for a while: headphones integrated directly in to a snowboard helmet. I’m actually less interested in the music aspects than the communications (walkie-talkie) features. I wonder if these things might fit in my current Giro helmet…

Via Gizmodo

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Fantastic. Absolutely Amazing. Gorgeous.

The first week of this month I was lucky enough to have a number of friends join me for several days of skiing up at Whistler Blackcomb in Canada. This was the first time I’ve been to Canada since I was a little kid, the first time I’ve gone riding for three days straight (first turn to last lift every day), and the first time I’ve gone snowboarding outside of California.

To start with, Canada rocks. I flew up to Seattle and drove from there with by best man, Rob. Right over the border I noticed that things were different up there. Saw some huge, beautiful Chinese Temple, then a massive Mosque, a Sikh Temple, multiple Jewish temples, a whole host of different schools, and all types of different culture seemingly coexisting side-by-side in a way I’d never expect to see here in the States.

Vancouver is a beautiful city (except for some very questionable traffic routing the main highway right through downtown). Picked up a paper and noticed that Michael Moore is right, their news is not sensationalized and they discuss real issues. Add to that the fact that they’ve gone ahead and passed all of the laws that we wanted in the US but the powers that be wouldn’t let us have (medical marijuana, gay marriage, real privacy).

And then you get out of the city, heading up in to the mountains. Our drive up was at night during a full moon (this photo was taken on our way home), even then I could tell that these were some of the most majestic peaks I’ve ever seen.

So of course, the snow. It was fantastic. We had almost a foot of fresh both mornings we went out. Whistler and Blackcomb are both massive mountains, and we were lucky each day to be able to mostly avoid the crowds (and any serious injuries). Since it was my bachelor party we ended up going out every night (and I mean every night). Some of my friends thought it was a sprint and wiped themselves out the first night. Others kept up in the drinking, but couldn’t keep up on the slopes. In the end, Wes and I were the only two who rode all day, every day, even after being out as late as everyone else each night.

I’m definitely going back to Whistler next season. It’s an idyllic little village nestled between two amazing hills. Good food, extremely nice people, easy to plan a trip, what more could you ask for!

UPDATE: Wes put some more good photos up here.

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Columbia Gear

I’m a little disappointed in my Colombia Titanium series ski jacket I bought a couple (three?) seasons ago. I’ll admit I’ve given it a pretty good workout, but there are multiple places in the outer shell that are wearing through and flaking away and through the internal membrane. I was comparing this tonight to a North Face shell that I bought more than seven or eight years ago which has gone to hell and back with me (Nepal, year-long trip around the world, numerous crazy mountain biking adventures…not to mention college and living in Seattle).

In general, I’ve been unhappy with the design and construction of the Colombia from the beginning. What use is a zip-in liner if you can’t use the internal waist gaiter in the outer shell? What do they have against pockets at your hips? Why does it poof up in the middle to make me look like a giant green tootsie pop?

Oh well, it’s served me well for it’s short life, time to move on.

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End of the Season

What a way to end the season. Lex and I went up to Tahoe to get in one last weekend before all of the wedding craziness started. We spent a day at Mt. Rose on Saturday, and sometime in the morning I noticed that my new toe strap had completely pulled through the eyelet in my binding! I had replaced both of the plastic straps last week when we were up in Whistler, but I guess the whole thing just decided to give up the ghost this week. Well, I can’t complain after six years, and three seasons of really hard riding, now I finally have an excuse to get some new bindings!

Actually, I’ve got an excuse to get a whole set of new gear. My gloves had been falling apart, and after three days in Canada they smelled so bad that we had to throw them away. My eight year old pants are almost worn through in the butt, and my goggles, liners, wrist, guards, etc., are all starting to make me look like a snowboarding hobo.

It was a good way to end the season. I’d taken some time to practice tuning and waxing my board on my own before we went up and on the ice-pack that was Mt. Rose it really paid off. The snow wasn’t great but there were no crowds and Rose is a nice place, so we spent the whole day bombing down the runs practicing our Super G slalom and hitting a few jumps.

So, now we’re cleaning everything up and packing it away, for in less than two weeks we leave for Thailand!

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