tanners again

May 6, 2013

Tanners is maybe my favorite chute in Little Cottonwood Canyon. And even though it’s been a crappy snow year, Tanners skied like butter, totally filled, creamy corn, and the approach was as good as I’ve ever seen it.

Also Steve almost died.

I’ve taken some heat for taking noobs on difficult hikes. (Difficult for normal people–not for those supermen who bag 10 peaks a day in tights.) But Steve snowboards and doesn’t have a splitboard, so a straight-up booter like Tanners is perfect. I mean, sure, it’s 4,000 feet of vertical, and the skiing is a touch steep at the top. But mostly it’s a straightforward endeavor.

Apart from over turning a bit on his first backcountry turn ever and then sliding and tomahawking about a quarter mile down the upper chute, Steve totally nailed it. And he says he wants to go again. So win/win.

Some pics, then a video.

Hobear negotiating the water hazard

Hobear negotiating the water hazard

Rob n Steve enjoying finally reaching the sun.

Rob n Steve enjoying finally reaching the sun.

Hobear says it's getting steep

Hobear says it’s getting steep

It's definitely getting steep

It’s definitely getting steep

Crawling the last 10 of 4,000 feet.

Crawling the last 10 of 4,000 feet.

Hobear ripping the first of 4,000 feet

Hobear ripping the first of 4,000 feet

Me enjoying a bit of the picturesque ridge

Me enjoying a bit of the picturesque ridge

Me n Hobear enjoying the sun

Me n Hobear enjoying the sun

I think one more time before we’re done this year.

WAT

May 2, 2013

As I’m sure you know, WAT is the new WTF. It’s the hot meme right now.

Wait, you mean I’m late to this party, it’s played and now lame?

WAT

Anyway, I just spent two days with the Bobs. They weren’t actually named Bob, but they might as well have been. Two days in a Motivating Change seminar. In a conference room. Two days. About Motivating Change. With the Bobs.

WAT

Several hours in, I started amusing myself by capturing WAT moments on the notepad they provided me. I used to call these Hedgehog moments. Now I call them WAT moments. Whatever.

Here’s the annotated list.

1. The speaker referred to a study, and gave us the numbers, something like “3 out of 4 dentists recommend Trident.” But then he said “I mean, whatever, that’s not empirical data, but . . . “

WAT? Of course it’s empirical data. It is a study conducted by studiers, on the studied. It resulted in data. That data is empirical.

2. Passerbys. Bob, in an offhand way, said something like “He ignored all the passerbys and stayed focused.”

WAT? It’s passersby. You speak in front of people for a living. You’re welcome.

3. Foyer. He said Foe Yay. Which I know some people do when they are pretentious or funny. This guy was neither. I mean, if you know how to say “passersby” you can go ahead and say Foe Yay to be funny, but anybody who says Foe Yay straight up is a @#!*% . Just stop it.

4. Bob loves quotes, some more than others. Bob had a quote from Machiavelli on a slide. Except he didn’t say Machiavelli. He said Mack uh velli. If you’re going to go to all the trouble of calling out a quote by putting it on a slide that you use as part of your job, in front of lots of paying customers, maybe look up how to say his name. I’m not Italian. But I know how to say Machiavelli.

5. How do we help people through change? We need to be humble. We need to avoid hubrisnous.”

WAT? Hubrisnous? Is that like Hubricity? Hubristitude? Hubriscosity? Or perhaps just Hubris. As in, this entry is the height of Hubris.

6. We watched quite a few clips from movies to illustrate the stages of change. Many clips came from Remember the Titans. Which is a good movie. No complaints. Until he said, as he queued up a clip, “By the way, best soundtrack to a movie, all time, hands down, no question.”

WAT? Now, I know, lists are subjective. But no list I can find lists Remember the Titans’ soundtrack as even exceptional, much less best EVER. In fact, it’s not on most top one HUNDRED soundtracks. It’s a soundtrack full of standard oldies like “I heard it through the grapevine” and Ain’t no mountain high enough.” The TWILIGHT movies have better soundtracks for crying out loud. Has this guy never seen Pulp Fiction? Or The Godfather? Or a Hard Day’s Night? Or even Amadeus. WAT!

Okay, I have a notepad full of this. But I’m sure you’ve seen enough.

Here’s a final sample. On a key slide, a bullet point said “Employees will have allot of questions.” Really? At $1500 a head, you couldn’t have an editor or your mom go over the slides?

Thanks Bob.

Bonus WAT moment–”The change went by super fast, like a light year.” WAT? I’m not sure that word means what you think it means.

the primrose path

April 15, 2013

I’ve been wanting to get Kim’s dad out on a bigger type day for a long time. Cuz it was Kim’s dad that got me into backcountry skiing in the first place, and then took me n Kim to Italy to practice it.

Our objective was to go from Aspen Grove and get as high as we could up the Primrose Cirque, maybe to the lake, and if the weather and Senior’s knees held, to the south summit of Timp (and then ski back the way we came).

Well, contrary to all early weather forecasts, Saturday’s weather was as blustery as Pooh’s day, no sun, and constant snow flurries. Since when does a storm come in early?

Oh, and I should mention that there wasn’t much snow down low. That is, we walked with skis on packs past the first waterfall. Two years ago, on Memorial Day, me n Steve n Rob went up the Primrose Cirque en route to the East Ridge of Timp, and were on snow almost from the car.

Oh, and once past the waterfall, the snow was so firm that except for a small flat patch, we didn’t even bother taking our skis off our packs. Just booted the whole way. No big.

Senior and I were joined by Hobear and Kim’s brother Daniel and Kim’s sister Jaynann. Kind of a family affair.

When we all finally got back to the car, I heard a lot of jokes about the route and conditions. Like, what if I had emailed the crew beforehand and said “hey, how bout we go hiking with skis? We’ll walk a mile or two on dirt, then boot/crawl 3,000 feet with skis on packs, then ski variable snow for 2500 feet, the totally bushwhack a while before finally getting to walk on some more dirt to the car. Oh, and we might fall 50 feet or so into a waterfall.”

Well, if I’d put it like THAT, who would have come? See? And now they’re all happy they did. You know what they say–there is no bad snow, only bad skiers. It’s pretty rare to regret a backcountry skiing outing. We didn’t regret this one.

K, here’s lots and lots (and lots) of pics, and then a video.

jay so excite

jay is very excited at 5 in the morning

so happy to be walking

still dark, still not aware of how far we would have to walk to hit snow.

Notice how optimistic we are, some of us even carrying skis on shoulder, just waiting for snow.

Notice how optimistic we are, some of us even carrying skis on shoulder, just waiting for snow.

 

We hit snow finally, it just wasn't skinnable (by us anyway).

We hit snow finally, it just wasn’t skinnable (by us anyway)

Still happy

Still happy

Jay crawls alone

Jay crawls alone

Still smiling

Still smiling

Almost to the top of the cirque

Almost to the top of the cirque

Hobear got tired of waiting, and crawled on ahead

Hobear got tired of waiting, and crawled on ahead

Hanging out top of the cirque

Hanging out top of the cirque

Just wandering around the upper massif behind Timp

Just wandering around the upper massif behind Timp

We also skied

We also skied

Jay skied

Jay skied

Daniel skied

Daniel skied

There was some lounging

There was some lounging

Some route finding

Some route finding

More "route finding"

More “route finding”

Does it go?

Does it go?

It sort of goes. Yes, I thought I might die.

It sort of goes. Yes, I thought I might die.

Some heinous bushwhacking

Some heinous bushwhacking

And we finally ran out of snow

And we finally ran out of snow

And, here’s that video I was telling you about. (It’s about 3:40 where I thought one of us might not be coming back. Spoiler–we all came back.)

it is time

April 3, 2013

I kind of feel like Rafiki.

It Is Time!

yup. all good.

yup. all good.

And while we’re here, I want to pose a question.

You know what a farmer blow is, right? Or a “snot rocket”? I’ve been known to blow a few of those in my time, especially while riding my bike. Cuz you know, when you’re climbing faster than you should, you need all your orifices for air.

So I don’t really care what we call that thing. What I’m asking is, what do you call it when you blow the blow? That is. you plug one nostril (for lack of a better word–maybe “blowhole?”), and you blow to enable breathing, and somehow the seal you created at the back of your throat (or the front, if you’re pressing your tongue to roof of mouth–this is not the preferred method) to direct all air out the blowhole, blows. You blow the blow.

And you make a sound kind of like Gollum makes. And if you’re lucky, you also feel like you’ve scraped some skin off the back of your throat.

Okay, all that. So, the question is, what do you call that?

snowbird con la familia

March 25, 2013

I remember a couple years ago, Ian wanted to go to Park City to ski with a bunch of friends, and he was working out logistics of rides and lift tickets and all that.

He worked it out, but sadly, with no help from me. Cuz I told him, “so, Ian. We are a Snowbird family. You’re on your own with this.”

Saturday, taking advantage of the 20-30 of new they got up in LCC, we used the last of our 10 to shares .

Kyle gave me some good advice today.

“If your kids are throwing real tricks off the cat track, maybe you shouldn’t jump. It just looks lame.”

Sage advice.

save it for later

March 19, 2013

Occasionally I get emails from alert readers and friends who (reasonably) think that something ridiculous or obscene or disgusting fits right in my blog wheelhouse. I have no idea where they get this idea. So mostly I simply ignore these “helpful” suggestions.

But today, Jon, friend, beloved bike builder, and all around good guy, sent me two pics from a bathroom in St. George that I could not leave alone.

First, the scene:

seems innocent enough

seems innocent enough

Okay, no big deal. Just a regular bathroom. But let’s zoom in a bit. What’s that on top of the soap dispenser?

yup. there it is.

yup. there it is.

Why, that’s gum.

And that’s a thing that makes you go Hmmm. Because

  1. the gum is chewed.
  2. there is a trash can nearby, but the gum was instead carefully placed on top of the soap dispenser.
  3. if the gum is chewed, and not thrown away, does that indicate the chewer needed the space in his or her mouth for something else?
  4. after consuming the “something else” (in the bathroom!?) was the chewer planning on retrieving and chewing the gum again?
  5. this is a bathroom. most things, including solids, give off some form of airborne particulate matter.
  6. ew.

Jon, thanks for sharing. These things are too much to carry alone, and we are with you.

 

snogression session

March 15, 2013

My friend Burke told me about Snogression over a year ago, but the idea of a foam pit kept me from visiting before now. Watch the video below and you’ll see why foam pits and I don’t get along. You know how nobody gets out of Dante’s Inferno? Foam pits just barely missed the cut. I have it on good authority that Dante was totally on the fence with the foam pit, and only went with the Harpies because foam pits hadn’t been invented yet.

Anyway.

I took the boys to Snogression last night and we spent two hours on the kicker. Holden and Ian got their big air groove on, and I let the steep kicker work its magic. Big night for me. That is, well, let’s let Gene Wilder say it:

From that fateful day when stinking bits of slime first crawled from the sea and shouted to the cold stars, “I am man.”, our greatest dread has always been the knowledge of our mortality. But tonight, we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself. Tonight, we shall ascend into the heavens. We shall mock the earthquake. We shall command the thunders, and penetrate into the very womb of impervious nature herself.

Okay fine, maybe I’m overstating it. But I did a backflip or five. Which, tragically, we did not capture on video. No, just me getting out of the foam pit like a beached whale.

I’m not bitter. Ian didn’t get any pics, but at least he got video.

Some pics. Then some video of the rescue operation.

taking the plunge

Will he? Won’t he?

He will!

He will!

Holden gets a new perspective

Holden gets a new perspective

Holden getting crossed up

Holden getting crossed up

I think Dante was wrong–foam pits are waaay worse than Harpies.

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