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Showing posts with label Snowboarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snowboarding. Show all posts

This Summer Try Mountain Boarding !

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Dirt doesn't melt !

That's why mountainboarding is a great alternative to snowboarding ! In my previous post, I mentioned several ski resorts that allowed mountainboarding during summer on their property.

But a great thing about mountain boarding is that you can do it anywhere there is a hill ! Dirt, grass, pavement, bike trail, a skateboard park... anywhere will work ! Where's there's a hill there's a way to enjoy the thrill of mountain boarding.

In South King County, a great place to carve a few turns is Celebration Park in Federal Way.

BPA trail that starts in the park is a 3.6 mile paved path with many hills of various sizes. You can ride on the pavement, or you can find a few dirt trails. One of the soccer fields in the park offers small grassy hills that are fun to ride on for your little ones.

Another great option is to combine hiking and mountain boarding ! Many wide logging roads or mountain biking single tracks ( like the 3.7-mile Preston Railroad Trail on Tiger Mountain ) will work great for an easy hike and a fast and fun ride down.

If walking uphill is not your thing, how about  'horse boarding' ? Check out this video to see what its like to be towed behind a horse at 35 miles per hour.

Meet Tillman : Skimboarding, Skateboarding, Snowboarding HyperActiveX Dog

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Who said animals don't love action sports ? Meet Tillman. He surfs, skates, skimboards, and snowboards ! He's the coolest dog in the world ! In 2010 the 60-pound pug set the world record for the Fastest Skateboarding Dog.

As somebody who loves to play, always happy, and doesn't talk much, he would be a perfect buddy for me to hit the beach in the summer and the slopes in winter ! Just hope he loves hot dogs and beer :)

Fun To Be Frugal : Snowboarding On The Cheap

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Snowboarding is not cheap. It's an expensive sport. Between lift tickets, travel, clothing and rental equipment / buying gear, the sport is never going to be cheap or accessible to the general public.

Snowboarding seems to be all about looking great, going to fantastic resorts and spending a lot of money.

But it doesn't have to be that way...

Next time you hit the ski slopes, ease your wallet and your nerves with these simple and creative tip :

Cut down Monsters Inc skateboard with adapted roller blade bindings bolted on...

Sometimes you gotta improvise!

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Sometimes I wish I Was A Ski Bum

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For the past 4 years I've been reading and following many people who decided to dedicate their lives to pursue their dreams. Their stories are a true inspiration for me. Every time I read or watch such a story, I wish I could find that courage, passion, and dedication in me.

 Recently, I came across a beautiful video about a group of friends traveling in tiny RV-style hand built home visiting the great ski areas across North America. They took the house all over the western United States and into Canada, over 9000 miles. Below is an amazing video that shows how the project started and how the timy house was built.

Last year, on my Bucket List I added " Buy a trailer and live for at least 2 months as a "digital nomad". This video inspired me to start a new category "Trailer/Campers/Simple Living" where I will post stories and pictures of people who decided to challenge norms, do what they love in the outdoors, and enjoy life !

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Learn A New Snowboarding Trick

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About two years ago I discovered for myself the joy and fun of riding at a terrain park.

At first it was quite intimidating ( and painful ! ). After catching a rail across my chest, hitting my head against a box, and twisting my knee after a bad landing I invested heavily into protective gear.

As I mentioned before, I couldn't find any classes that would teach the basics of park riding. With all my protective gear I felt saf(er), but my lack of knowledge greatly hindered my progress.

My only sauce of instructions were these short Youtube videos. So far I've "mastered" "Ollie", "Nollie", 180 frontside and backside spins, and finally overcame my fear of jumps.

If it wasn't for park riding, I think I would have lost interest in snowboarding ( at a ski area ). Just because you're an adult snowboarder doesn't mean that once you learn the basics, you have to keep doing the same thing over and over again. There are many ways in which you can alter your riding. You can do it by changing the terrain, the weather conditions, and how you ride. That's one of the great things about snowboarding: there's always room to stretch yourself and try new things. But only if you want to.

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Epic Skiing Mt Baker

As you might know, one of my Bucket List goals is skiing/riding at every ski area in Washington state. Christmas trip to Mission Ridge in 2011 was my 7th ski area, and this weekend I managed to sneak away for a day of epic skiing at Mt Baker.

I'm not a stranger to Whatcom County. After two Ski To Sea Races, climbing Mt Shuksan , kiteboarding in Bellingham, I fell in love with this beautiful area, and, at some point, was even considering moving here.

But it wasn't just skiing that brought me here this time. This winter has been characterized a little bit by extremes, and the dumping snow has created prime conditions for skiers and boarders.

According to the Mt. Baker snow report, the area has received 110 inches of snowfall in the last six days, and snowfall this month has surpassed the entire month of March in the record year of 1998-1999.

I was on the fence about this trip, especially when they closed the mountain on Thursday 16th, but having heard so much about epic skiing at Baker, I took my chance...

...and it was totally worth it !

Having missed almost every single day we had pow this winter, I took full advantage of this epic spring snowfall at Mt Baker.

Boarding The Bonneville Salt Flats

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You have no hills, dunes, snow, water or even sand. Just miles of flat, barren, white landscape - The Bonneville Salt Flats.

What to do ? Go boarding !

Keep Yourself Warm Between Ski Runs With ...Snuggie

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I've never thought I'd actually wear one !
I've always thought that Snuggie was the choice of bored and desperate housewives.

I bought one for my son to wear early in the morning when the car is not yet warmed up. While driving him to school, Snuggie would keep him warm and comfortable to catch a few extra minutes of those sweet dreams.

The last few days the snow was dumping in and around Seattle, and though after two days it stopped in the city, it continued in the mountains.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of NW snow weather : the snow is usually wet, it's always cold when it snows, with that piercing wind that numbs your face and turns your gloves into solid ice.

Just like everybody else, usually I just turn on my car and wait for the heater, but this time I turned around and saw my son's Snuggie...

Within minutes I felt warm and dry ( except for my feet that were still in my ski boots ), and unlike using a sleeping bag or a blanket, with Snuggie I could use my hands to make myself a snack and pour a cup of hot coffee.

This Winter - Go Strapless

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It's been a blast here in Seattle for the past few days ! The epic snow fall of 2012 created awesome opportunities for urban skiing, boarding, sledding, and of course snowskating !

If only we had snow in the city more often, may be then, I'd consider abandoning my snowboards once and for all....Going strapless is the way of the future !


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...they say that explaining powder skiing/snowboarding to somebody who's never experienced it, is like explaining sex to a virgin....besides...it's easier just to watch it...

"The Powsurf Chronicles" TEASER from Jeremy Jensen on Vimeo.

Iceland Heli- Skiing

It's hard to have ADD and to be XHyperActive...Eventually you get bored even with the most fun and exciting activities, hobbies, projects, jobs...

After have been working for almost 4 years as a ski instructor, I feel like I'm loosing interest in skiing; same ski area, same runs, same "snow conditions" ( don't get me wrong, as I like to say : " Stoke is stoke", but how stoke can one get skiing in pouring rain every week ? ).

I think all I need is a change of scenery...

Recently, I've been reading a lot about Iceland, the movie trailer "Heild" made a great impression on me.

Also, I found out that a round trip flight from Seattle to Reykjavik is less than $600 ( spring/early summer ), and in northern Iceland a place called Troll’s Peninsula offers some of the most amazing skiing under the midnight sun:

Ski Washington - Mission Ridge

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I got my "Bucket List" idea to ski at every ski area in Washington when I got a job at Summit at Snoqualmie 3 years ago. Since then I've visited 6 out of 12 Washington ski areas...

Just a week before New Year, I added another one to my list - Mission Ridge.

I was really looking forward to this trip. I read/heard a lot about great powder snow conditions and "300 Days of Sunshine"...

With its motto of "Family Fun in the Powder and Sun", my visit to Mission Ridge ski area was...kinda disappointing.

Snow/weather conditions were absolutely horrible ! If you've ever heard the expression "Cascade Concrete" ( bad/icy snow conditions ) that's what I got during my visit.

You can't really blame the weather, but the least the resort could do was to mention the bad snow conditions on their Facebook page. But I guess they don't really care about their customers, many of whom are, just like me, out of town visitors who take time to drive for 12 mile to visit their resort.

Proximity to downtown Wenatchee is the only advantage this Washington ski area has...

Well, ( I have to admit ) that and the stunning views from the top...

Why Try Snowskating ?

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I've had my Artec Snowskate for less than a season, but I'm absolutely loving it !

Snowskating is still relatively new to most ski areas around Washington, and that's why most people's reaction is : " What the hell is this ? "

Even snowboarders ( who are suppose to be "open minded " ) would say : " Why can't you be normal, and just stick to snowboarding ? ", forgetting that just a few years ago they were looked down on by skiers, and considered "not normal", and that snowboarding was prohibited on many slopes ( and that's exactly what is happening to snowskting right now ).

I've never been one of those people who tries to prove that one thing is better than the other, and here I'm not trying to say that snowskating is better than snowboarding ( or skiing ). I just want to point out a few advantages that snowskates have :

- I can wear any shoes
- I don't waste my time strapping in and out, thus...
- I don't freeze my butt while doing it
- I walk to a chairlift and get off of one like a human being ( without hopping like a kangaroo ),
- It's super light to carry around
- I can share it with my son who's learning how to snowboard/snowskate
- We can use it as a sled

But the main ones are- it's New, it's Different, it's Challenging

And just like everything new it takes time to learn, and learning...

Gone Skiing: Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort

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I'm not a frequent visitor to Las Vegas ( any more ), and just like for most people, for me, Las Vegas has always associated with booze and gambling. But it doesn't have to be that way any more...

For those willing to venture about 45 minutes away from the Strip, will enjoy 30 acres of skiing/snowboarding terrain and beautiful scenery close to the glamorous city.

The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort is located in the Lee Canyon area of Mount Charleston and has the distinction of being the only ski resort in southern Nevada.

I personally found out about this resort from the news recently.

The Las Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort the first ski area in the United States to open its lift served terrain for the 2011/12 season on Saturday, Oct. 8th.

There are only 140 inches of average annual snowfall, but the resort's snow-making capabilities keep the terrain 75 percent covered.

Before the opening, 9 inches of snow was a result of recent storms and the additional 4 inches was from LVSSR’s snowmaking effort. The snowmaking effort for the weekend used about 400,000 gallons of water from the area’s snowmaking pond, which holds 7.5 million gallons of water. This summer, LVSSR initiated a $35 million master development plan that will expand the number of trails to 50 and lifts to 10 once completed over the next 10 to 12 years.

Though, from what I read, the resort is considerably smaller than most popular ski destinations, this July, a plan was approved for a major expansion.

So, whether you're planning a mancation or fun with the family, bring your skiing/snowboarding gear with you.

Sporting Sails For Downhill Longboarding

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The idea was simple - use a windsurfing rig ( mast, boom, sail ) to have more fun with my longboard. So, I was looking on Amazon to buy a sail, when I came across this :

Sporting Sail elevates the sporting experience from a rushed downward dash to a weightless, flight-like glide that allows one to explore the use of wind and air to control speed and stability.
Nick and Billy Smith, California-born brothers, got the idea for the sail from their grandfather, who invented "Ski-Klipper", to help downhill skiers catch air and slow down on steep descents.

The brothers reinvented the idea,and found their own niche when they realized that "there are 18.5 million skateboarders worldwide, and not a single efficient braking system on the market".

According to their web site " SPORTING-SAIL allows to carve bigger and longer hills on smaller more playful set-ups, and in the process, draw new lines on the land."

While this might look like a good idea, using slide gloves might still be the most effective way to stop/slow down when longboarding. And I'm not sure why would somebody use Sporting Sail for downhill skiing/snowboarding ( not to mention surfing ).

The Endless Winter at Crystal Mountain

This year Crystal Mountain resort decided to give their fans the ultimate gift - "ALL YOU CAN SKI/SNOWBOARD " by extending spring skiing way into summer months ( hopefully all the way into July! ). And why not ?! Days are getting longer and warmer, the snow keeps dumping ( March & April brought over 16 feet of snow ) and the views of the surrounding Cascades and Mt Rainier are gorgeous ! Not to mention the first ( and only ) Gondola in our state ( take that Whistler ) !

I crossed "Ski/Snowboard at Crystal " off my Bucket List last year ( though I am still working on "Ski/Snowboard at every ski area in Washington state" ), but I had to come back just for the ride in the Gondola.

I rode Whistler's Gondola two years ago, and knew that some some day we would have it in our state too.

The Mt Rainier Gondola provides a fast, easy AND convenient ( it's sooo warm ! ) access to the top of the mountain. It's less than half the time it used to take to get there via two chairlifts ( which , for me, means fewer people to tolerate/socialize with ). And with the cab nearly all encased in glass, it offers a magnificent 360* view of the surrounding area.

Thanks to the Mt. Rainier Gondola, Crystal Mountain has become a year-round destination in out state : for snow sports enthusiasts in winter, and "hiking/chillaxing" folks in summer.

Mountain biking at Crystal Mt had been popular way before Gondola opening, and some people( me ) really hoped it would follow its Canadian sister's steps ( Whistler ) by offering mountain biking in the summer. Though, it didn't happen, who knows, may be they will allow at least mountain boards on the Gondola...

Deploy or die : Helmet-Cam Footage of an Airbag Deployment

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As you might know one of my goals for this winter was "to get into backcountry", to go either skiing or snowshoeing. "Almost made it happen" , but due to "government shutdown" our trip to Hurricane Ridge was canceled.

Right before the tip I was looking for "backcountry essentials" ( beacon, probe and shovel ) at REI , when I saw something called "Avalung".

Since recently, it's considered to be an important part of backcountry essentials. A story in Adventure Journal, this January, "convinced" us of its effectiveness. The video below shows a backcountry skier buried in an avalanche for almost 5 minutes while wearing a Black Diamond Avalung:

Recently, on Elevation Outdoors I came across another cool video, this time it was helmet-cam footage of another "backcountry gadget" - Float 30 Avalanche Airbag:

Videos like this one make me doubt if I really want to venture into backcountry at all...

The Difference Between Snowskates And Training Snowboards

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I bought my Landyachtz snowskate this winter, and had a lot of fun snowskating at both Summit Central and Alpental. As I mentioned in my first post, snowdecks ( the ones that don't have edges and a leash ) are not allowed on CHAIRLIFTS, due to "safety reasons". Apparently, because snowdecks don't have edges and a leash, if "they happen to get away from you and head downhill, it will make them a lethal weapon" ???? Insurance, liability problems, resort's rules...I understand all that, but...

Last Sunday I took my 3 year old to Summit Central, to learn how to snowboard.
I had Paricon Sceptor Snowboard.

It's a great little training plastic board just for kids to learn how to snowboard and to have fun. It doesn't have bindings, kids don't have to wear boots, and thus, don't waste their time strapping in/out. In my opinion, this snowboard makes learning a bit less intimidating, faster, and more fun.

Paricon Sceptor Snowboard is a training snowboard, NOT a snowskate. It's made out of plastic, and it doesn't have edges or a leash, but...

We were practicing on a bunny hill, by the Magic Carpet when a "liftie" ( chairlift/Magic Carpet attendant ) started screaming at me saying that it was a snowskate and it wasn't allowed ON THE MOUNTAIN.

When his "supervisor" got involved, I tried to explain the difference between a snowskate and a training snowboard, but the kid didn't even want to listen to me. I also tried to point out that we were not trying to go on a chairlift or Magic Carpet. He also seemed to have a problem that we were not paying customers.

When we moved away from Magic Carpet, "the resort" ( or to be exact - the resort's representative ) had no problems with rules, regulations, liabilities...

My son had a lot of fun learning how to snowboard, but my day was ruined. The situation clearly showed how just one/two employees can "misrepresent" the whole resort.

It also shows that many operators/ski areas follow the same pass with snowskates as they did with snowboarding. I hope that this time, they will recognize the trend faster, and will make the right decision.

Summer mountain boarding at your local ski area

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Ski season is almost over. Do you know what's going on during summer at your local ski resort/area ? Not much...You know why ?

60% of U.S. ski resorts operate on National Forest land. Which means that to use public land, resort owners sign Special Use Permits which allow winter use - skiing and skiing related activities. In the summer time, many resorts shut down or have significantly reduced operations.

This year, certain senators are hoping to pass a bill that would change permitting rules to allow ski resorts to expand summer operations and increase year-round business. Their Ski Area Recreation Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 would amend the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to allow mountain biking, concerts, and certain other activities to occur on public lands throughout the year.

Last year, Crystal Mountain ( WA ) started offering Summertime Sunset Dinners on top of Crystal Mountain at Washington state’s highest restaurant. And this year, beginning in June, 2011, Stevens Pass will start construction of the first official mountain bike park ( besides Duthie Hill).

When mountain boarding started making its way in US, and finally has developed into a sport and a culture all its own, many mountain resorts started offering their slopes to mountain boarders during the warmer months.

According to MountainBoard.net these resorts allow mountain boarding during summer months:

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Beach Mountain Resort in North Carolina

Fernie Alpine Resort ( British Columbia )

I really hope that one of WA ski area will see the potential in mountain boarding and will try to promote this sport inn our state, becoause some of us can't wait for snow: