Christmas, New years, Raffle Winnings and snowboarding at Guardsman Pass!

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0
This blog update needs some serious refinement but I decided to post it now so I could get it online and start  thinking about our next update.
Wow been almost a month since our last update, been busy and honestly bit lazy since the holidays. Cna be tough to hop on the computer after sitting behind one 60 hours a week at work.

After going to 3 free “Know Before You Go” local avalanche clinics it came time for my official avalanche training at Brighton called “Backcountry 101” this is not a level one certification class(Need a splitboard) more of a precursor to one. It consisted of one 7 hour night class session and a full day in the brighton side country with 3 other students and 2 snow safety instructors which in my case happend to be one of the avalanche control experts from Brighton and their lead avalanche Dog handler.
Here’s some pics from my day in the field at Brighton “Backcountry 101”
Brandon showing how to cut a block out for an ECT test.
View from our field training area
Ifyou have a Brighton season pass this class is only 40$ compared to 150 at the Utah Avalanche center and all the gear you need is rent-able at any local REI or may other retail
or backcountry outlets. That 40$ could save your life.


It’s no secret that snow across the entire lower 48 has been pretty abysmal this year(relative to normal) and Utah is no exception, not as bad as Tahoe or Colorado but still pretty poor, December was the driest on record.

Here’s a video Ryan took of him and I at Brighton with his Contour HD(I forgot my helmet mount for my GoPro, sorry Ryan) during what turned out to be a half ways decent snow day, not a full blown pow day but at least we had 5-6 of fresh to ride off of groomed runs instead of rocks trees and ice.
For Christmas Eve we did a little shopping and went to a greasy spoon for breakfastBloodies and then headed up to Park City to spend the day with Lizzy, Ryan and Laura where Ryan and I practiced with our avalanche beacons in the local park and the girls had cocktails and made Christmas cookies.
For Christmas Day we choose to participate in a tradition born in New York City, Movie theater and Chinese food.
View from the theater parking lot
We slept in until noon made a quick lunch and then went to see “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” at one of the great local theaters. As far as the movie we were blown away great movie that had some of the most graphic and disturbing scenes I’ve ever scene in any theater in fact we saw a few people walk out about a 3rd of the way through the movie because it was so violent and graphic, the realism is what really did it. Now I’m reading the book and it’s even better than the movie!
 
After the movie we went home to spend some more time relaxing and trying to find somewhere good that was actually open Christmas day evening for dinner. After surfing the web for reviews and making 7+ failed phone calls we settled on a Asian restaurant called Cafe Trang where I ordered an amazing Pineapple Chicken red Curry. It was Aubrey’s first time having good Thai curry(actually anyThai food she enjoyed) and we both LOVED it! That’s good for me because Thai food’s one of my favorites and now that she knows a dish she likes we can get curry more often and while I wouldn’t say it’s good for you coconut based current isn’t terrible for you either.
 
Jalapeno, habaneros and cream cheese rolled
into crescent rolls Yum
There’s a glut of free avalanche clinics and classes available out here, I goto every one I can because their all put on by different people and organizations with different agendas and viewpoints. When it ceoms down to it you can never have enough snow safety training and free swag. I’ve been trying to get the Minnesota crew together for one of these and we had the perfect opportunity when the Utah avalanche center announced a really well organized and well vendor funded 21+ snow safety event hosted at the Snowbird(the resort Aubrey works at) Tram club bar and restaurant. As I mentioned this one had a huge amount of vendor support and they were even selling raffle tickets to win everything from powder skis, helmets , goggles, beenies, gloves pretty much everything you can imagine. I convinced everyone to go and we ended up buying 50$ in raffle tickets when we saw how few people actually showed up. Not only did we win something but we won a 600$ pair of powder skis, a 120$ helmet, 100$ watch, 50$ gloves, a hat, stickers and a bunch of other junk. We took our winnings and stumbled up the mountain(literally) to have some apps and libations at Aubrey’s restaurant The Aerie so we could see the new million dollar remodel, try the quinoa fritters and meet her co-workers

Click to see the huge pile of gear they were giving
away at this particular snow safety event.

 

 

.

The Aerie lounge with one of Aubreys coworkers
pulling a photo bomb behind Lizzy and Ryan
Here’s Ryan covered in our winning’s once we got home
Winners rolled into crescent rolls with
Cholula for New Years eve
    For New Years eve evening we invited some new friends(Logan and Erin) out for a two quick cocktails at a local dive bar in then back to the house for some pretty kicken appetizers Aubs whipped up that afternoon.
         
 I started drinking mimosa’s at about 10:30am(not sure what I was thinking) and while I don’t really remember being intoxicated I do remember being extremely tired, I sadly did not make it until midnight but neither did Logan so I don’t feed so bad.
Since we’ve gotten here we haven’t had cable or really any TV so we’ve been watching all our TV on my work laptop and listening to music on my 20$ clock radio alarm clock with a headphone jack. We did good saving all summer and didn’t really buy anything or go on any vacations and we needed a new TV at home and something for music in the bed room anyways so I splurged and bought us some electronic presents for Christmas.
TCL(Samsung reject) 40in LCD and Vizio 200w Soundbar total cost for both 400$ shipped. Sure there’s better places I could have spent money(Splitboard or Heli sking)  but we’ll get lots of use out of this even after we get home.
As our first piece of Art Aubrey and I bought together is a Jamie Pierre print from the Levitation shop here in Salt Lake, Jamie Pierre was set to be the new Mountain Ambassador at Moonlight Basin MT(Where Ben works) this winter died in a early season(pre-resort opening) avalanche at Snowbird in Gad chutes. All revenue from the sale of these amazing prints go to supporting his wife and children. For those who aren’t familiar with Jamie he holds the world record for the highest cliff jump at Grand Targhee WY and was featured in many Warren Miller,TGR films and GoPro commercials. I figured this would be a good reminder to us of our first winter in Utah and a personal reminder to me that no matter how much training or gear I have bad things can happen to the best of the best so be careful and conservative so I can live to ride the backcountry another day.

The following Thursday we got 3-5 inches of wet sleety mashed potato snow which were thankful for so I decided to take the day off and work so Aubrey and I could actually get in a day at Brighton together here’s a quick video from that day.

Just updated my GoPro Firmware and forgot to set it back to 1080p widescreen 🙁 sorry for the wierd music was tryingt o find something that wouldn’t’ set off Facebook’s copyrights violation video blocking.

I’ve been scoping out the local easily backcountry since this summer looking for the ideal place for Aubrey and I to go for our first backcountry experience. I knew for avalanche safety reasons it would have to be south facing and low angle and somewhat close to civilization in case one of us got hurt. So after much deliberation and planning I chose Gaurdsman’s Pass it’s a 2.5 mile hike from Big Cottonwood canyon toward park City. The pass is what separates Salt Lake County from Summit County(Park City)
 

This hike included a 10,132 foot summit hike once we got to the pass just to get the 360′ view, you can see the top of the summit in the upper right section of the above picture. This is why where here to get away from all the tourists, boots and fur and ski resorts so we can earn our turns with the rest of the real mountain folk.
 
1-8-2012 Gaurdsman Pass
Thats my girl

Weather station ontop of the wind blown summit
We got some very good news the day I’m posting this(No mom Aubrey is NOT pregnant) that this wierd weather pattern we’ve been stuck in since early November is finally moving out and even the most conservative of snow forecasters agree the old system is moving out and the new system is moving in around January 16th and we should have at least several feet of fresh new snow by the end of the month.
This equates to several feet of new snow over the next 2 weeks
 
THIS is why were here and what we’ve been waiting for! Look forward to some epic incoming powder day GoPro video incoming over the next few weeks. Mental note pick up GoPro pole……
 
 

Visits from friends, lost and found iPhone, Moochies and snow?

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

Lots going on this week where to even start with this long overdue update, so last Monday we continued our As soon on TV food tour with another  “Diners Drive ins and Dives” location called Moochies (see DDD episode online 
here) Moochies is an old little hole in the wall down by the U of U campus that specializes in Meat Ball sandwiches and authentic Philly Cheese Steaks(cheese-wiz + provolone DAM!) another best so far, nothing I’ve back home can compare to the philly cheese steaks from this place , I can only assume this is how awesome they taste in Philly. I scored a great groupon deal for next weeks “as seen on TV” restaurant stop to Pat’s BBQ another old school local favorite where people stand in line for hours to get their “burnt tips” more on our upcoming Pats trip in next weeks update.
Tuesday was another “Know Before You Go” Avalanche class this time at Brighton resort up Big Cottonwood Canyon a few minutes from work.
I went to one of these seminars a couple weeks ago but this one had more speakers, Brighton avalanche and patrol staff and some first hand accounts of locals who had been in past and recent avalanches. They also went over all names of the backcountry areas around Brighton and how the Backcountry gates and policies worked and went into detail as to what was going on with the local off resort snow pack. So at the end they did a raffle where they asked questions I answered a question and got a killer Eddie Bauer First Ascent knit hat that matches my north face puffy jacket, score! I start Backcountry 101 at Brighton Thursday night so it was nice to meet some of the instructors. Also it sounds like I’m going to get the opportunity to help with the avalanche dog training which is something I’ve wanted to do since learning about these incredible animals.
Ops’s snack table 🙂
Friday was my holiday lunch at work and since it’s a small office here in Salt Lake their able to treat us to a nice holiday meal, lets just say I ate crab cakes, prime rib, twice baked potatoes and fancy desserts until I was literally sick to my stomach I guess that’s what I get for being a gluttonous heathen sinner 🙂
After my work lunch I left work early to pick up Robin at the SLC airport and finished up working from home until Aubs got done with her never ending training program and studying for her Aerie job at Snowbird. After picking up Aubs we went to the Hog Wallow Pub near the base of Big Cottonwood for the girls to get caught up over a couple micro brews.
Hog Wallow Pub, BCC skierboarder hangout

After beers we made a whole foods run so Aubs could grab some ingredients to make her incredible vegi spaghetti and wait for Canada to arrive from the airport around midnight, we were riding the next day and I had been up early and wanted to ride early the next day so I went off to bed. The following shenanigans unfolded while I tried to sleep.Princesses and Pineapples 

Canada finally arrived after picking up the rental car and eventually we all made it to bed by around 3am(yea I was cranky)
The next day some of us hopped up and some of us crawled out of bed to head to Brighton, groomers were good but due to an uncharacteristic lack of fresh snow riding anything steep or in the woods is pretty much out of the question unless your brave the closed signs and have a dedicated rock board and helmet.

Now onto the lost and found iPhone, with the group I didn’t have my normal helmetphone speakers plugged in so I could talk to people and help direct the group. I must have taken my iphone out of my pocket to take a pictures or send a text and never zipped up my pocket and then I took a head over heals tumble and my phone popped out and without it feeding my helmet music I never realized it , yep dumb early season mistake. As soon as we called it a day I threw my jacket in the back of the car with the rest of the gear and drove off assuming it was safe in one of my many cavernous jacket pockets, we stopped at Hogs Wallow to meet Lizzy for some apps and libations and headed home.

After bringing all my gear in and getting into something more comfortable I realized I started looking for my phone in earnest after checking and re-checking all my gear and the car several times I realized sometime was terribly wrong.

So I did what any good iphone owner would do and pulled up my account on icloud.com apples new cloud additional with iOS5 that lets you access all the information you back up on the cloud as well as use “Find my iPhone” via a PC instead of needing another iPhone(or iOS device) I was nervous before I even clicked on the “Find” button but my heat sank when the picture came up showing the current location of my phone.

Yep that’s right it was 9pm and my iPhone4 was less than a 100 feet below the Crest express lift at around 9500ft(3000meters) and I was at home sitting behind my computer looking at it on Google maps in my base layers.  Good news was I knew where it was , had it’s rough GPS coordinates(within 10 meters) and at least 2 other iPhones I could use to pinpoint it. bad news was is I had no clue how much battery I had left and whether or not it was sitting on the surface where I’d be able to walk right up, grab it and head out on my merry way.   between work and finding a place to live Lizzy hadn’t really had a good opportunity to ride since she’s gotten here so she wanted to ride Brighton the next morning I figured I could use the help finding my phone so after some time in the hot tub I sulked off to bed with a heavy heart and hopes that I had at least a 5050 chance of finding it the next morning.

I woke up the next morning and my phone was still responding to location requests which meant I had battery power left and hopes that I could find my phone via the “find my phone” loud audible ping alert.

Crest express is one of the only 3 lifts running so Lizzy and I headed up with hopes we’d find it right away and be able to enjoy a nice day of riding relieved that I didn’t have to buy a new phone.

Getting off the lift I double checked the location of my phone versus the top of the and according to the map it was exactly where I took the fall and I sent the “play sound” signal. I watched the map displaying both my location and the last known location of my phone get closer and closer to each other as we made our way down the run until according to the map I was right on top of it, Lizzy and I sat on the side of the run and I could hear a very faint sound I can only describe as the sonar ping you hear on submarine movies. We looked everywhere on the surface visually but couldn’t find it and the “pinging” noise stopped. Hoping my battery didn’t just die I sent another signal for my phone to make the ping noise. This time we could clearly hear it and follow the noise to a patch of snow about 12 way up the hill. I still couldn’t see it but I could certainly hear it somewhere under the rock hard wind blown snow pack. For some reason at this point I got a little frantic and started punching my was through the snow but it was so hard all I was doing was packing it down and muffling the noise further. I then lifted my boot and kicked the snow with my heal resulting in a large rock like piece of snow and my beeping phone com tumbling out.

YES found my phone under the rock hard snow!!!

Finding my phone I was obviously relieved and Lizzy and I spent the next 4-5 hours riding on a warm, wonderful , bluebird day.

Lizzy and I finished up at Brighton and then headed back to CottonWood Heights where Lizzy headed home to Park City and I met up with the rest of the crew for lunch at our new found favorite and oldest restaurant in Utah called Ruth’s diner(See more about Ruth’s diner in previous blog entries) up in Emigration Canyon.

After a late lunch we went home and Canada packed up his things in preparation for his flight home at 8pm that evening but before his trip home we headed up to Lizzy’s so Robin and Canada could see Park City and Lizzy’s local haunt called O’Shucks.

Aubrey and I were exhausted and both had early morning work commitments so we left Robin in Lizzy’s very capable hands for a night on the in Park City.

The next day Aubrey and Robin made a trip to Snowbird for an actual powder day

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!

Ruth’s Dinner, Emigration Canyon, Black Diamond and Backcountry.com store visits

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

Pretty chill over the last few days, just hanging around the apartment trying to not spend money and waiting for the new storms and snow to make their way east.

We continued onto stop 3 (#1 was Crown Burger and #2 The Red Iguana) of our “As seen on TV” (Diners, Drive in and Dives this time, Food Network) restaurant tour to an 80 year old Utah classic called Ruth’s Diner see the youtube episode segment here.

Tucked 12 way up Emigration Canyon we arrived around noon and the place was PACKED. It was a 40 minute wait so we put our name in, grabbed some complementry coffee from around back and continued our drive up the canyon to take some pictures while we waited our turn.

Back to this amazing meal, for starters just for stopping in they bring out what they call the “Mile High Biscuit” as the restaurant is about a mile above sea level. About the size of newborn baby this giant carb bomb melted in our mouths and induced copious salivation, easily the best I’ve ever had anywhere period hands down.
Everything they serve is farm fresh, local, sustainable bla bla bla all that good stuff. I had Ruth’s Classic combo eggs, hash browns, pancakes and insano good fancy bacon, Aubrey was more adventurous and had the Crab and Avocado Omelet which consisted of real and fresh succulent crab meat, avocado, green onions, tomatoes and cream cheese with their amazing signature made from scratch hollandaise sauce which we requested on the side for group dipping and calorie control. One of the best if not THE best breakfast I’ve ever tasted, simply amazing. We’ll be coming back as they have several dishes including but not limited to whats supposed to be the best mac’n’cheese in the entire state that we’re dieing(yes that’s how I spell “dieing” deal with it) to try.
After we stuffed ourselves silly at Ruth’s we decided to to hit up two stores we’d been waiting forever to visit in person, first was the Black Diamond Equipment Company storefront where we picked up Snow grain classification card for my upcoming avalanche training, the Wasatch backcountry Touring Map #1 and some random stickers and post cards.
The second stop was someplace I was really waiting to see the Backcountry.com storefront I’ve spent countless hours surfing their site and making a snowboarding, backpacking and canoeing wish list. For those of you not familiar this is the backcountry store to end all backcountry stores. Tramdock, Dogfunk, Whiskey Militia and Steep and Cheap are all part of the backcountry.com family of online retailers. We didn’t buy anything but it was a super cool place lots of people sitting around watching snowboard and ski movies(also known as “snow porn”) eagerly trying out and picking up new gear they purchased online. This place had a great vibe kinda like walking into google headquarters but for the serious outdoorbackcountry enthusiast.

After our day  of mostly window shopping we made yet ANOTHER run to target for dinner where Aubs picked up ingrdients for one of her always wonderful and healthy dishes consisting of cage free organic chicken breasts topped with avocado and baby swiss, saffron infused quinoa and a spring mix side salad topped with glazed walnuts and cranrasberries.
Now onto the boring stuff , we started reading Water for Elephants for our roadtrip and finished it this morning while laying in bed, wonderful period book(1930’s) about life in a travling locomotive circus. Tonight we rented the movie from iTunes so were going do the Book Vs Movie comparison from the comfort of the couch.

More storms forming on the horizon as this dreaded slow moving high pressure system moves out tomorrow night with moderate storms incoming sometime between Wednesday evening and Friday morning. More info on projected incoming storms over at http://wasatchsnowforecast.com/ , these guys are great please take moment to visit their page.

That’s it for now hopefully everyone is doing well, things are going good and were having a great time but we sure do miss our family , friends and of course the Harley and Molson our dogs who are home safe, sound and spoiled with grandpa and grandma.

Take care and we hope to see some of you sooner rather than later!

Powder Day, Alvin & Lizzy, Crown burger and my first GoPro video attempt

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

A nice storm started shaping up in the pacific early last week and finally rolled into northern Utah Friday evening dumping a foot of fresh fluffy Utah powder by the time I jumped out of bed Saturday morning. I threw my gear in the car grabbed my new never before used GoPro Hero2 and headed out for Brighton about 15 miles from where were currently staying. Being it’s pre-tourist season I ended up in the second row of cars parked right near the already spinning lift, things were looking good lots of fresh snow and no crowds to contend with.  The previous evening I messaged Snowvols a Utah local who I met online at snowboardingforum.com , Snowvols is friendly and experienced backcountry rider originally from the south who runs marathons for fun, this should have been my first hint that keeping up to this guy was gonna push me hard but that’s why I’m here right?

After meeting up Snowvols and Ryan from http://www.snowboardingforum.com we headed up the crest express for our our first turns of the day. Surface conditions were perfect soft, fluffy and fast. Previous to this storm riding the woods and black diamonds was totally out of the question but now with the fresh foot of snow we could carefully venture out into the woods and closed sections with somewhat less worry of rocks and other “snow sharks”, I still bounced off lots of rocks and trees but no real gear damage and lots and lots of heavenly faceshots. After chasing Vols for 2 nonstop hours of epic early season riding my lungs were burning and my back aching. I said my goodby’s to what I hope will be our Brighton shredding crew so I could get home to Aubs who was enjoying a a well deserved morning of newspaper , coffee and relaxation.

After I changed out of my gear we headed out for the dreaded “move to Utah for 6 months Target run” to get everything we needed to get by, food, shampoo, garbage bags, and a something for Aubs to make her healthy and tasty fresh fruitvegi smoothies. 2 hours and 250$(eek!) later we eventually escaped from the black hole also known as Target.
One of the things I really love about Utah is no matter where you go your have mountains literally surrounding you on all sides. See this shot of a random 7-11, yes they still exist here even without gas pumps yep you guessed it slurpy , candy and Cheetos heaven.

After we puting away our bounty of commercial items from Target we decided we were to tired to actually cook anything we purchased we headed to the most famous burger join in Utah, Crown Burgers.We first heard of CB on one of our favorite food shows Man Vs Food when he did a Salt Lake City episode which you can watch on youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scrHXwyLc0Q Their famous for their Pastrami topped double cheeseburger jammed with onions , tomatoes, lettuce and fry sauce. If you don’t kow what Fry sauce is your not from Utah people here put that stuff on everything. Everyone makes it differently but fundamentally it’s a combination of ketchup, mayonnaise and pureed pickles with small changes in the level of herbs and spices and it’s dam tasty and near heart attack inducing on site.

                               mmmmmm crown burger, I’ll be eating plenty of these to replenish ride calories
Sunday we planned to try and see Lizzy who just moved here ahead of us from Minnesota and Alvin a Salt Lake local who spent time working in Glacier and Tahoe with Lizzy and Aubs in for a little reunion of kindred spirits. We started out the night at the desert edge pub in Trolley Square near the university just outside of downtown and continued to 3-4 of his favorite bars restaurants. Per usaul I was happy to be designated driver so the 3 of them could have some drinks and remissness about old times gone by. Was great to see Alvin again as he makes us all laugh until we can’t breath and our abs beg for mercy.

The above shot is from the giant maple trees growing out of the sidewalk that haven’t even lost their leaves yet. Not many places where you can ride a foot of the best powder on earth and then 20 minutes later be longboarding or playing disc golf comfortably with only jeans and a sweatshirt……heaven.

Seriously?

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

I wanted to stay at Walmart for awile so I could see if anyone was crazy enough to take a second look at what I can only hope was a shirt designed for a “bad Christmas sweater” contest. Anyways people here are just as weird as Walmart people at home they just wear more makeup and tighter pants.

We made it!

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0

Outside of me not paying attention and almost letting the car run out of gas(yes it was chugging and sputtering) somewhere in the middle of Nebraska at 11:30pm at night the trip was pretty uneventful. We made a brief stop in Lincoln to grab some terrible bar food, stretch our legs and then drove on and spent the night in some hodunk town off of I-80 somewhere in Wyoming,  Woke up had our breakfast and headed out to park City where we hooked up with Lizzy, Laura for an amazing dinner and met 2 of their many new found Park City friends.   Would love to live there but I’m a canyons guy and it’s just too far from where we work and play. no matter I’m sure we’ll be seeing them a couple times a week at least.

Is this thing working?

posted in: Winter 2011-12 | 0


First blog attempt(Ever) I only have a few minutes but told myself as part of my pre trip preparations that I would at least try and get this started and try to stay with it throughout the winter.


Still have so much to do and not making much progress, not bringing my PC so I picked up a 1TB mini external hard drive for this winters photos’s, video and itunes library. Also finally picked up a GoPro Hero2HD been saving those best buy certs for over a year now and when the new Hero2 came out I knew it was time so we had it for our road trip.


Gonna miss the dogs so much been taking them them to play lots of disc golf, the dog park at Battle Creek which they love and lots of little drives, walks and trips before we go, I’m thankful for the warm weather so far hope it holds out another 10 days.


For those of you that don’t know I’ve been given the opportunity to live in Utah and work out of our office in Sandy Utah just a few miles away from Big and Little cottonwood canyons containing resorts like Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Solitude.  After several grilling interviews Aubrey got a gig at what should be one of the most exclusive restaurants in the ski world, Aerie on the top floor of the Cliff’s lodge at Snowbird under new management and after a multi-million dollar remodel they hope to blow people away with their new chef, staff and menu should be a great view at least during her work day, it’ll be great for her to finally be working literally up in the mountains again.


It’s going to be interesting as we don’t know where were gonna be living 2 months from now but we have a month of access to a furnished apartment until we find something suitable in the Sandy or Cottonwood Heights areas close to where we work and play.


More to come we haven’t even started to pack yet and were down to almost 10 days before we have to hit the road so Aubrey can make it to start her training.

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