Dinner at Lizzy’s, more westbound friends, gear upgrades, Know before you go and GoPro down!

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

After 2 short work weeks this one seemed to last an eternity, when I finally left at nearly 7pm Friday night I had over 55 hours in and was ready for a Saturday morning of snowboarding, dinner at a friends and lazy Sunday around the house.

Along with our first “In & Out burger” experience after work Friday night Aubrey and I went to a hole in the wall Japanese restaurant with an extensive authentic menu called Koko’s Kitchen. With a large ethnic variety of takeout customer traffic I had high hopes but long story short it ended up being a good value(large portions+cheap) but the quality of the actual sushi left something to be desired, I’m thinking we should have gotten some of the warm food as that’s what everyone picking up takeout had ordered. We red boxed “Crazy, Stupid Love” on the way home and settled into the couch for Friday night movie night.

I woke up to reports of 3 inches of fresh snow overnight at Brighton, measly amounts by Utah standards but with almost the entire inter-mountain west being mostly dry we’ll take whatever we can get. Weather people say storm windows is gonna start opening around mid December and we sure wish it would hurry. While I wished for more snow Saturday was nice the sun was out, temps were good and lift lines non existent one you left the base area. I was by myself so I figured this would be as good a time as any to try our my newly stickied GoPro snowboard mounts and new Smith Turbo Fan Prophesy goggle.

First off I was told ahead of time to be wary of using the included sticky mounts on my snowboard but I figured if I attached it carefully I’d be fine.

The mount was a giant fail boat but short entertaining HD video
Click YouTube Link for HD /
Back to the drawing board on snowboard nosetail mount project have to buy something free solution is not going to work out.  Also didn’t have time to fully charge battery so I spent the remainder of the day testing the still photo mode of the GoPro Hero2.
Brighton opens this week for night skiing, it’s lit all the way from the top of Crecent lift to the base, total night riding acreage is about the size of AftonAlps but much narrower and longer of course.
Old smiling Bob here(Above) is telling me about how much fun it is to hike to the “unlit” adjacent potions of the mountains for take moonlit runs back to the base.

Not to bad, a little bit of fresh and almost nothing iced over yet

Looking off the backside of Brighton, that’s all off resort hiking area I plan on becoming very familiar with this winter but not without a partner and my avy gear.

    Ahh Solitude

Looking towards the base of Brighton

Looking up to the highest point of Brighton, need more snow to get Great Western lift running to access 🙁

After Snowboarding we drove to Lizzy’s place in Park City for beers and nice dinner of spagetti and lamb meatballs with her room mate Laura and too many of their new friends for me to remember.

Thats LizzyLaura and soon to be Ryan’s place like 2 blocks from Park City Mountain Resort lifts
Smith Prophesy Turbo Fan  OTG Goggle

So this brings me to a brief product review of my new goggles(see them at the end of my above video), I’ve always wanted winter goggles I could wear a pair of prescription glasses under so when I happened upon a 50% off coupon for smith optics web site I jumped at the opportunity. Although not 100% necessary being able to wear my glasses with goggles might come in handy in the backcountry while studying snow crystal charts, distant snow surface conditions, making slope angle estimates. These are also the “TurboFan” series which have a high quality fan built into the top center with a two stage switch built into strap. You can see the black switch on the right hand side of the above picture. Iv’e had fans built into previous paintball goggles and they were a godsend, this concept works wonderfully especially for those of us that wear face masks that tend to send your warm moist breath directly up into your goggles. So if you wear glasses(their fine with or without glasses) andor ever have an issues with goggle fogging for your active winter activities save your pennies and invest in a par of these you will not be sorry. They also leverage Smith’s AirEvac Goggle+Helmet integration system which I take advantage of with the Smith Helmet+Goggle combination.

I attended my first in person avalanche training seminar last Thursday called “Know Before You Go” it’s a free program they have all over the state that consists of a 1.5 hour presentation followed up with questionanswer and very basic in store equipment(beacon, shovel, probe) demonstrations. This is a very basic free presentation only meant to inform people completely new to the danger of avalanches winter travel in mountainous terrain. The presenter(whose name escapes me) is the real deal, he was a Heli guide in the Chugach range in Alaska for over 6 years with many appearances in both Warren Miller and TGR films. He is now the head of avalanch patrol at Alta ski resort and the sole operator of the onsite howitzer used to control far off difficult to reach avalanche danger zones, this guy is the real deal and has seen and done it all including being dug out of an avalanche and digging dead and critically injured best friends. See a great video of what these guys do to keep us resort folks safe here.

My actual hands-on, classroom and avalanche field training starts at brighton in 2 weeks, now that I have all my own “Avy” gear I can take this 3 day class and spend time at the local Beacon practice fields located at

SnowBird, Solitude and the Canyons. I almost hiked and rode Gaurdsman’s pass Saturday afternoon but didn’t have any water or backpack with me not to mention was alone so I thought better of it and went home instead of possibly getting myself in over my head 3 weeks into our winter adventure. I spent ALOT of time researching and talking with experts(online and in person) about the various avalanche beacon brandsmodels with an emphasis on rangesensitivity and ease of use.

My Black Diamond AvaLung backpack, K2 rescue Shovel, Black Diamond Avalanche Probe and Pieps DSP Smart Transmitter, all set just a few more minor items to add to the list!

Friends Incoming!

Our good friends Robin and Canada are getting into town on Friday to visit and of course go snowboarding and skiing this weekend. Canada’s one of our good friends and Afton Alps ex first tracks crew member who moved to Southern California the summer before last, we miss him and his antics, it’ll be nice not to be the only nerd in the house for a couple days. Robin’s one of Aubrey’s long time friends from Bennigans who’s studying to be a Doctor(MD) down in Kansas City were so excited to have them both staying with us and miss them bunches.

Canada and Robin 

Also another one of our good friends(met through Lizzy who moved to Utah ahead of us) and backpackingclimbing partners Ryan Wilkus is coming to stay with Lizzy for the winter. I’m really looking forward to sharing some epic backcountry experiences with Ryan and my new found friend and avalanche mentor Logan……say tuned for more pictures, video’s and stories from next weekend!

Lizzy and Ryan
 Love and miss everyone at home and abroad were doing fine and hope all is well with you and yours!