Clearly I’m really excited about this as I haven’t bothered to log into my blog in oh, 8 months or so, and I’m now deciding it’s time. Whoops! Just in case anyone is still out there, though, I wanted to chat about huckleberries, and berry picking in general. It’s one of my very favorite activities–u-pick farms or wild, I don’t discriminate–and recently near where I live we are having a banner wild berry season. Jim and Buddy and I first went to Lanham Lake near Stevens Pass, and did pretty good–decent haul in maybe an hour and a half, close to four pounds. A few days later we went more north in the Chiwaukums and scored big time–huge berries everywhere. The season is early this year and it might be getting close to being over, so get out there and fill some containers! Huckleberry muffins and milkshakes all winter, plus a fun hike and maybe a swim? That’s so many wins in one. And if you have a favorite spot you’re willing to share, well, be my guest!
Rockaway Beach is pretty incredible–I’m so lucky I got to go there and go surfing this fall. I’m a terrible surfer so it was perfect that we had small little waves to play around on–and this is another one of those adventures where I shake my head in disbelief, like, “How did I get to do this because of skiing?” Just riding the wave… Video and blog at this link: http://neverstopexploring.com/2014/12/23/surfs-up-north-face-see-for-yourself-cab/
Ralph made this sweet video from last weekend. It gets me all stoked seeing so many rad people riding and having a good time–special guest appearances by lots of people, including Martina Hulten, Emily Turner, Mark DeSmet, Colin and Kevin Prince, Tom Burt, Sherry McConkey, Allison Donovan, Michelle Parker, Kevin O’Meara, Jackie Paaso and about a bazillion more. Thanks everyone!!!
Thanks to all the amazing sponsors and hardworking hotties who helped make this past weekend a really incredible celebration of Arne and a hugely successful fundraiser for the Arne Backstrom Memorial Fund. All proceeds will go towards supporting existing charities who help get kids of all backgrounds outdoors and providing environmental education. So many fun people charging on bikes and on the lake–still smiling huge.
So, I know a thing or two about tendon rupture, and I know that I did take Cipro while traveling a few months before I ruptured my Achilles tendon. I have heard of links between the two before, but just came across this article in the NY Times today and think it bears mentioning in a post. The message here is that everyone should be extra careful to only take antibiotics if absolutely necessary. I have also read that it takes the healthy bacteria in your digestive system about 4 years to recover from one dose of antibiotics. Another reason to think twice before taking them! Just my un-professional two cents, please always consult a health professional when drugs are involved. Or ruptures. In which case I highly recommend Dr. Eugene Pepper Toomey in Seattle. He’s the man!
These are two things that really go together well, and I have been enjoying both so far since my ski season ended at the beginning of May. Since having my Achilles surgery two years ago, I have pretty much been skiing non-stop for two years, and it turns out that binding a weak calf up in a ski boot is not optimal for gaining back muscle. So that’s my project for the next few months–trying to “beef” up my calf if you will, as well as various other adventures and many RD&D trips with The North Face. There’s been a few dunks in the lake so far, pretty cold but here Colby demonstrates that it can be refreshing at that temperature, some biking (pictured is a view from the Flume trail and looking back at good old Squaw Valley from Western States), and lots of good times with friends. Hope you’re having an awesome summer too!!
Just got back from an amazing week in Cordova AK with Points North Heli and Volkl skis for the Marker/Volkl Fantasy Camp. Thanks to Jess and Kevin and the ripping “campers,” Brian and Luke for shredding and sharing lots of stoke. You guys are awesome! Had to include an otter shot in here of course too.
La Parva is gorgeous–it’s about an hour up into the Andes outside of Santiago, Chile, and if you are considering skiing in South America, it’s a really convenient and fun place to go. You can get on a plane in the states in the evening, and be skiing the next day, mid-morning! It has excellent hike-to terrain and some seriously gorgeous sunsets. You knew it was coming, so here comes the sell: I will be coaching a women’s ski camp there this coming August, and I’m really stoked. If you or any women you know want to have fun in a relaxed atmosphere and take your skiing skills to the next level, please consider coming and joining us! The link below has more info.
Thanks for indulging my little plug and hope it’s dumping where you are.
I know, I know, pretty poor pun–but still. My new year began at 3am on the 1st of January with a taxi to the SLC airport after a wonderful New Year’s with Adam at Alta. I was heading to Chamonix for my first time ever skiing there for a Volkl photo shoot, so the early awakening didn’t bother me one bit. Following a long flight and a quick croissant and cafe au lait, Stian Hagen and Andrea Binning, two skiing legends and Chamonix locals, took myself and Walter Wood (ripping pipe and freeskier from Colorado) to the Grand Montets for what would be the first of 12 days in a row of skiing. Talk about starting 2012 out right with powder every day and amazing people. I couldn’t have had a better time. My legs might still be recovering….but those days were something special and I can’t thank enough: Volkl, Stian, Andrea, Dave, Rosanna, Adam, Giulia, Chris, Christian, the Hotel Le Vert, and of course Arne and Kip for always telling me about the amazing Chamonix for so many years.
Ooooooh la la!
Epic sunset, and the moon decided to poke out, that’s cool.
One of the reasons Chamonix is so mind-bottling is that in ten minutes you are literally up in HUGE MOUNTAINS, and then you click in and just ski many thousands of vertical feet, past ibex, through chutes and forests, over creeks, around icefalls, back down into town. And then have a coffee and a sandwich like it’s nothing.
The nice thing is that it’s not really all the mega-gnar there, either. I guess from hearing so many stories over the years I thought it was all crampons and ice axes–but there is plenty of fun, safe, lift skiing in the valley as well. Especially if you have Andrea to follow around in the trees–and as long as you can keep her in your sights. She freaking rips.
IBEX!!!! Just hanging out at the top of our run, checking us out and letting us check him out. I’d like to think the admiration was mutual but I couldn’t say for sure.
My goodness my friends are good-looking. I am lucky they even let me sit at the same table sometimes.
I was hoping to get to make a trip up the Aiguille at some point, but was deferring to the locals for safety and conditions–we are not into forcing anything and only wanted to go if it was safe and right. Lucky for us, we got our chance one afternoon. What a legendary place!
We skied a mellow glacier run due to some recent high winds, and it was an incredible experience.
We shot some photos–Stian is one of the most ripping, powerful skiers as you can see here, and he nails the shot every time. He is also an amazing host and mountain guide but you have to be on it and paying attention. This includes: excellent tram placement so you can get out first and run and jump into your skis, boots already buckled, ready to go so no one beats you to the goods. I am considering wearing diapers next time I follow him around there because you do not even think of stopping to pee if he is on a mission!
What’s that? You want us to follow you down there? Ok, I guess so. If we have to….
We skied a run one day that Stian and Andrea had never even skied in their 25 combined years of living in Chamonix. It was awesome, way out in the middle of nowhere, finishing with some pillows and a creekbed, followed by a railroad crossing and then a mini footbridge over a river through a forest. Standing on the other side of the footbridge was none other than Candide Thovex. Seriously, FRANCE IS AMAZING.
We stayed at Hotel Le Vert, just south of Chamonix, and it was incredible. Clean, awesome rooms, great breakfast, really nice and helpful people, and the free bus stop is right across the street. They will pick you up or drop you off at the Geneva airport for 30 Euro, and a room for two including breakfast was very reasonable. Highly recommend! (photo by Adam Clark)
Le Vert is a wonderful place to return to after every day of skiing, and the perfect length walk into town to stretch those legs out. Au revoir and thanks for reading! (photo by Adam Clark)