Ski Day #23

I bought Liz a cross country ski setup for Christmas and we wanted to test it out on the loop and woods behind the house. I also got a great Christmas gift from Liz and her mom, enough cash to buy new touring bindings to replace my broken MFD plates. Still looking for the best deal on new bindings, I took to skinning around the neighborhood on my teles.

The weather was beautiful. We got some exercise. Shared some laughs. Despite a few crashes, Liz killed it on her new skis. Jameson had a blast. All around an amazing day to be on skis. Check out my first quick Instagram video from day #23:

Ski Day #21

After a fun show the night before, I still managed to wake up early Saturday morning in order to meet friends for a fun powder day at Snowbird. Unfortunately, the storm didn’t do much overnight and the forecast for the day had been downgraded significantly. A projected foot of powder became only a couple of inches of new snow. I had already taken the morning off work, so I decided to save some money and ski for free with my season’s pass to Solitude.

I got to the parking lot a little after first chair and raced up to Summit Chair in order to ski some Honeycomb laps before heading to work. Honeycomb had been closed for a few days before opening late the previous afternoon. The photos from Solitude’s Facebook page made it look like I had missed out on some great snow on top of some pretty thin coverage. The overnight winds and forecasted snow delayed the opening on Honeycomb. I spent the morning spinning laps on Summit. I skied by myself and had a blast picking my way through Headwall Forest. I hit a good number of stumps and rocks, but nothing too bad. I sidestepped out below Evergreen, finding some untracked snow in the trees.

Summit Chair at Solitude

Summit Chair at Solitude

I was close to calling it a day, but decided to squeeze in one more lap before work. As I reached the top of the chair I noticed a patroller dropping the rope to Honeycomb. I was the fourth person on the traverse heading out for my first Honeycomb lap of the season. A couple minutes later, I had passed everyone on the traverse and had my pick of whichever first tracks I wanted, eventually dropping one of my favorite lines through the trees and into a bowl down to the runout.

I skied back to the car and barely made it to work on time. The storm may have underperformed, but I had a hell of a solo Soli day.

Ski Day #12

“You win some, you lose some, you wreck some.” – Dale Earnhardt

Last Thursday was an interesting day for me. I woke up determined to make it to Alta Snowbird, or Solitude. I went to bed the night before hoping to wake up to news of massive terrain openings following the recent storms.

I woke up to no news of terrain openings, but a phone call from work, where my help was needed. I worked for a few hours, then headed home to meet Liz, Darin, and three giant dogs, two German Shepherds and an English Mastiff, for a ski tour in the woods behind the house. Darin on his teles, Liz on her split board, and myself on my Head Carlos’ with MFD All-Time plates.

A photo of an MFD Alltime Touring Plate. I bet you can’t guess what happens next…

We had a great time skinning around the trails. Enjoying the crisp, zero degree weather and planning a future full moon ski tour race/drinking game. The dogs had a blast.

Everything was going well until we hit the last part of the trail home. As I followed Darin and Liz down the Home Stretch, my Tyrolia Peak 15 binding released. My boots had a little ice on them, so I clicked back in and kept going. A few seconds later, I released again, clicked back in, made a note to check my bindings when I got home and was on my way. A few strides later it happened again. And again. Determined just to get home, I clicked in one last time took a stride and my ski fell completely off my foot. My MFD touring plate had snapped in half right under the top plate.  I still don’t know what caused solid aluminum to just crack in half, but it did.

I have had good luck with MFD in the past. I’ve even stopped by their warehouse in SLC to pick up some replacement parts. I felt pretty confident that they would help me out, but while I was searching the website for a phone number I discovered MFD is now out of business. My plates are a few months out of warranty and I’m stuck with a broken plate and no touring setup. Not exactly the start to the day I was looking for.

Literally seconds after discovering I had broken my touring plate, I got a call from Matt offering me an early birthday present. Solitude was planning on opening Summit Chair the next morning and wanted Ski Utah to come up and film some marketing turns on the untouched terrain. Matt was busy, but volunteered my services.

An hour or so later, I was loading Summit Chair with a cameraman and the VP of Solitude. We skied a couple laps on Summit Chair. The snow skied great. What a unique and fun experience to have the mountain to ourselves, making some mellow powder turns on untouched terrain.

It was an up and down day, but it definitely ended on a high note. Check out Ski Utah’s video from the day:

Ski Day #11

Storm snow totals reached 19″ in Big Cottonwood. Following an awesome powder day at Solitude and three inches of new snow overnight, Gold, Nate and I made our way back to Solitude hoping for more terrain openings and powder!!!

We found a few good turns, but nothing like the previous day. To make things more challenging, temps hovered around zero for most of the day. We found ourselves cycling through laps and lodge breaks. With each lap, we ventured further into previously unskied terrain, hitting more and more stumps and rocks.

Gold hurt his shoulder somehow. Nate had to leave for work. And I decided to head out before I hurt myself or my gear on a buried log or rock.

After skiing, I worked a few hours before coming home to a bored dog. I threw on my touring setup and took him for a walk behind the house. We skinned around until the sun went down and it got too cold for either of us to stay out any longer.

Suburban ski touring

Suburban ski touring

It wasn’t the day of powder skiing that I expected, but it was a hell of a day overall. We had a fun morning at Soli. No one got hurt (Gold made another miraculous recovery). I took care of my daily work responsibilities. Jameson got his walk. And I had a great time skinning around the trails behind my house with no one else in sight.

Ski Day #10

It snowed a bunch overnight in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Matt and I made our way to Solitude. It was still snowing when we got to the hill and it never really stopped as the day went on. Snow totals reached 16″ over the 24 hour period.

Conditions were great for being so early in the season. There wasn’t a ton of terrain open, but enough that Matt and I had a blast finding powder stashes all over the hill. We even lucked out in stumbling across some terrain openings as the day wore on.

Marketing turn #1

Marketing turn #1

We took some photos and video. Then made sure everyone on the internet knew we had skied powder that day. Because that’s what we do.

Marketing turn #2

Marketing turn #2

Check out Matt’s video from the day:

Ski Day #6

Sam and I went for a ski tour… in the backyard. Due to long overdue lifestyle changes in the past year I anticipate a significant decrease in my ski days this upcoming season. Thus, I’m counting pretty much anything I do on skis as a ski day.

Everyone seems to have a different rule when it comes to counting ski days. There’s the “two-hour rule.” Which makes sense but falls apart when looked at a little closer. Does driving to-and-from the resort count? What about time spent in lift lines and on chairlifts? What if you get to the mountain and lodge-hog it for a couple hours? Does Apres-ski count towards those two hours? See what I mean? Too many questions left unanswered. Plus, I don’t want to go back and start eliminating past days that I counted whilst skiing for less than 120 minutes. Like those 90 minute days. Or that quick sidecountry ski tour that wrapped up in two hours. Or my first day at Brighton where I waited in line for a half hour, skied a run, and headed home. Or that time I skied one run at Canyons but spent six hours at the Umbrella Bar and forgot how to ski?

I’ve also heard the “500 feet of vertical rule.” I tend to agree more with this idea, but it’s not something I’m going to subscribe to. Why do ski days need vertical requirements? What if you build a jump and spend a whole day sessioning it, never descending a full 500 feet? What about those poor kids from the midwest that ski on less than 500 vertical feet of snow-covered garbage? I didn’t do any research, but I bet there’s a couple hills that qualify. And why 500? Because it’s a round number. Sounds like some arbitrary number picked out of thin air. There’s no science behind it, so I’m not falling for it.

A combination of these rules? I’m not here to do math and I’m not going to put together an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my ski days.

So I’m going to wing it. If I feel it should count as a day, I’m going to consider it a day. And all of you keeping score out there (read: no one) can just deal with it. Or maybe I’ll just start exaggerating…

Day 6: Sam and I skied some gnarly backcountry (trail behind the house) last Sunday. We barely made it back before dark (we started at 5pm) and we got a ton of first (only) tracks.

We even found a sick jump (rope swing) to practice our triple corks (grabs) on.

Getting rad! And I didn't even take my skins off.

Getting rad! And I didn’t even take my skins off.

Count it!

#FirstSnow in #Utah

I really hope snow hashtags don't catch on. They're #prettylame

I really hope snow hashtags don’t catch on. They’re #prettylame

If Instagram, Facebook and Twitter were built solely for residents of Utah, they would have all broken yesterday.  All because it snowed a couple inches in late-September. Luckily, Ski Utah was there to capture it.

It was actually kind of fun watching social media posts as the storm moved across the state from the Northwest. First Snowbasin, then Pow Mow (probably because there’s no cell service up there), then Alta, Bird, Soli, and Brighton, then the PC resorts (because we always get less snow). Even Main Street, Park City saw some flurries. By 11 pm it was snowing pretty heavily at the house.

Ski season is just around the corner #winteriscoming (that’s never going to get old. Ever!).

Dammit, it's an epidemic #birdflu #sars #blackplague

Dammit, it’s an epidemic #birdflu #sars #blackplague

Oh, there’s more snow on the way too.

People Skied In Silverton, CO Yesterday (September 23rd!)

Without the date, the title of this blog entry is pretty uninteresting. In any given year, people ski in Silverton, CO more days than not. But today is September 24th, making yesterday September 23rd. That’s earlier than usual.

This ski patrol asshole skied yesterday while I was working. Photo Credit: Some other asshole

This ski patrol asshole skied yesterday while I was working. Photo Credit: some other asshole

This photo all but guarantees we will have an amazingly, epicly, epic season with more snow than ever before in the history of snow record keeping. But seriously, it’s supposed to snow in Park City this week. I hope it’s enough to go slide around a little.

It’s funny that Matt and I were the first guys skiing powder last year. I’m sure no one thought we were assholes though. I’m sure we were just badasses.

Event Recap: SLC Premiere of “Partly Cloudy” by Level 1

Partly Cloudy Official Trailer from Level 1 on Vimeo.

For the second year in a row, I’m attempting to write a recap of a Level 1 movie I barely remember watching. Last year I pre-gamed a little too much on the way to the premiere and forgot a lot of the movie.

An excerpt from last year’s recap:

We found our way to the rooftop afterparty somewhere in downtown SLC. Then off to the Jackalope for a few drinks. Then we were asked to leave.

This year I made plan for the night and a sincere effort to delay serious cocktail consumption until the after-party. It worked… and it didn’t.

The Depot did a much better job handling the crowd at this year’s Level 1 premiere. Last year I remember waiting in line at will call, followed by a half hour wait to have my ID checked by the lone girl assigned to the task. It took forever and I attribute some of my memory loss of the night’s events to the wait, and subsequent rush to the bar after getting my Over-21 Wristband. To make matter worse, the venue only staffed a couple bartenders. So a trip to the bar for a beer turned into a trip to the bar for four beers and four shots of Fireball (before it was a trend). But that was last year.

This year’s event flowed a lot smoother. Lines were short and the whole scene was a lot more relaxed. I spent a lot of the movie talking to friends, ski buddies, the pros (some from the movie, others you might not expect to see at a Level 1 film), and other ski industry acquaintances I hadn’t seen since the lifts stopped spinning back in the spring.

The best skiing action took place on the main screen on the lower level of the venue. The top two screens at the Over-21 section were washed out, potentially contributing to my lack of focus on the film itself.

Instagramming, Tweeting and Facebooking also served as distractions from the film itself.

Instagramming, Tweeting and Facebooking also served as distractions from the film itself.

I missed the Wallisch Project completely. I caught the majority of the 4bi9 film and was impressed. The main feature, Level 1’s Partly Cloudy, started and my memory of the event is in line with the film’s title. My favorite segments had to be Chris Logan’s and Wiley Miller’s. I’m not sure what stood out about those, but I remember liking them. And by liking, I mean telling everyone within shouting distance how good those guys are at skiing.

Honestly, I don’t think I watched any other segments, but I remember having a great time talking with friends and getting stoked for the upcoming season. Isn’t that the point of premiere season anyway? I’m going to wind up downloading the movie on iTunes and playing it at the shop so many times that I’ll be able to watch the film with my eyes closed.

After a few more cocktails at The Depot we made our way to the impromptu after-party at The Jackalope. Beers were free if you mentioned “Budweiser” to the bartender. I tested it out and it worked. Then it worked again. And again. And again. And I think a few more times after that.

We grabbed a slice of pizza at the Pie Hole, then some Wendy’s and our DD took us home.

The Level 1 premiere is one of my favorite events of the year. It kicks off ski movie premiere season and gets everyone stoked for the upcoming season. This year’s premiere was even better than the last.

And I achieved my night’s goal to some extent.

Adam’s Level 1 Premiere Goals for 2013:

  • Get stoked for ski season: stoked
  • Watch the movie: I watched parts
  • Drink some beer: Thanks, “Budweiser”
  • Not enough to get thrown out of the after-party again though: check
  • Make it home this year (and eating at Village Inn at 3am, losing your credit card, walking back to the U dorms, sleeping in your car and driving home at 5:30am doesn’t count): Thanks, Liz
  • Write a better recap than last year: 125 words last year, 689 this year

I feel it’s safe to say that the SLC premier of Level 1’s Partly Cloudy was a huge success.

Reblog from My Sister’s Toast At My Wedding

A toast to my brother on his wedding.

I gave the following 2min (by bride’s rules) toast to my brother and his new wife earlier this evening in Park City, Utah:


Not too long ago, I noticed a young woman appearing in Adam’s Facebook photos.  Then on Instagram, I think, which of course Adam cross-posts to Twitter and Tumblr so you see the same photo over and over again.

But when Adam first mentioned Liz on his blog, I thought, “Aha! Adam really likes this girl.”

During one of my winter visits, we went skiing at Powder Mountain.  Adam had mentioned Liz was an excellent snowboarder but I didn’t think about the importance of that until our the first run as a group. As I stood at the top of the mountain, looking down to where Adam usually stops to wait for me.

I saw Liz pass him and stop to wait.  Then Adam caught up.  That was awesome.  I had an overwhelming feeling that things were right. Complete.  Everything was balanced.

Any vague sisterly concern about Liz I could invent, if pressed to do so, was nothing compared to seeing Liz keep pace with my brother and his special laws of gravity. You’ve heard that theme many times this evening but it is true and right.

Back that day at Powder Mountain, I started skiing down to meet them.  At which point I think they took off again but that’s fine.

I still feel that right-ness and balance today, during this wonderful evening celebrating Adam and Liz together. Look around at all these old and new friends. And old and new family.

Adam, I look forward to what’s next for you, as always. And I expect you to blog about it, so I can keep daily tabs from afar, please.

Liz, welcoming you to the family seems silly:  you fit right in the moment we met you.


It’s cliche, but the whole wedding experience was such a blur. Even before the shot ski and Fireball combo really gained momentum, I found myself constantly reminding myself take a few breaths and enjoy every moment of the wedding as they were happening. It didn’t work as the whole day/weekend flew by right in front of me. I often found myself almost detached from the experience, like I was watching myself from a set of bleachers on the side of the venue.

The toasts were especially tricky to recall in the days following the reception. Despite having an unusually high number of toasts from family and friends, I had trouble remembering anything that anyone said. Thus, I was pretty relieved to find that my sister had posted a written copy of her toast on her blog.

Great toast from my amazing sister. Although now I feel more obligated than ever to start blogging again. Thanks a lot, sis.