December 30, 2012

Dick Griffith Biography - Worthy Read

It was hard to stop reading Kaylene Johnson's biography of Dick Griffith, the prolific hiker/boatman/skier/wanderer.  Canyons and Ice (Ember Press 2012) chronicles the wilderness travels of Dick Griffith and describes an unusual fellow of extraordinary stamina and will. 

The biography is full of fascinating stories with Griffith quips like:
"It is the reality of life; mother nature wants us dead."

Johson's narrative of Griffith's adventures was spellbinding.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

December 9, 2012

World Disappeared

Kruser pulled up and giddily shouted, "the world disappeared!" 

Our world disappeared in a white cloud of powder emanating from our skis.  We skied, weightless in the ether of billowing snow, pulled by gravity yet floating dreamlike.  In that moment, the world disappeared and we existed in the alternative dimension of powder.

Near Revelstoke, we found over-the-head sense of wellbeing in powder levitation that cannot be adequately described in this blog.  
Levtitating Ski Pole
CMH Revelstoke "Shadow" Line by Dr. Snow
Must all things come to an end?  As the winter sun set, we pondered what tomorrow will bring.

Time to go
Photos by KRUSER

December 6, 2012

Cody's Kelowna

Kelowna, does it sound Hawaiian?  Alaska Airlines ticket agent thought so.  Sorry, it's not on the big island; it's in BC - the powder paradise of North America.
Kruser and yours truly found ourselves at Big White, Kelowna's local ski hill seeking the untracked experience.  Big White's more than a ski hill; it's 2800 patrolled acres with 2500 vertical feet of lifts accessing excellent Okanagan powder.  The Big White resort claims more than 7300 acres - it is big and it is white. 

We were so thankful that a colleague that grew up skiing Big White had shared such in-depth knowledge of the locals' stash.  Thanks to Cody's exceptional beta, we found the untracked stash and skied it and skied it until we were exhausted and could ski no more.
Hike to Cody's Stash
Kruser Enjoying Cody's Stash
Your secret's safe with us, Cody, powder seekers' honor! 

OK, maybe we told a couple of others (they were sworn to secrecy.)  mw and Doc joined Kruser and yours truly to make it a foursome on day 2.  Okanagan delivered with 3-6" fresh on mid to top of the Bullet Express where we found excellent untracked lines.  It was a great couple of days playing in the Big White powder.  And my ski bag didn't get routed through Kauai.

December 2, 2012

To Go or Not to Go

Twenty-one below Fahrenheit at today's proposed trailhead.  Our instrumented, web connected, and remotely monitored world of today is... cold.  What would we do without the miracle of the modern world where we can, with a laptop and wi-fi, sit in bed and discern weather at some faw away place? 

The answer to the question is:  go and find out.  Rather than exploring the cold world on skis, I'm virtually exploring it with a keyboard and computer screen.  Am I really better off with the miracle of modern technology?  We probably agree that such technology helps us prepare better for the conditions, identify really good conditions and avoid unpleasant or really hazardous conditions...  But, I sometimes wonder whether I'm happier with remotely monitoring (and preparing for) the conditions, rather than simply going and feeling it.

After last year's record snowfall, we're grieving for the loss.  By December 1, 2011, we enjoyed 25" of snowfall in my neck of the woods, but this season we find a total of 6".  Our nearby powder vortex of Turnagain Pass presently has 18"; one year ago there was 39".  For more armchair snowpack and weather monitoring see:

Maybe an outdoor pickup hockey game is the thing to do.  The ice is in great shape!