Winter's Back!!

My favorite time of year is back! We've had some good days splitboarding lately. It's still snowing and getting deeper by the day.
Welcome back winter!!

new season about to begin

first line of the year

i love the view of my splitboard punching a new trail

not happy at all.

this outhouse got buried last year. hoping for a repeat.

myslef, my wife kimmie, Leanne Pelosi and jeff keenan.

kim cracking an ollie

Jeff Keanan. popping through the trees.

me with a natural spinner

Leanne and myself. 'testing' our k2 splitboards.

kimmie getting her turns in

face shots!


dakine poacher pack and k2 panoramic splitboard. my favorite gear.

Rob Fagan playing.

heading home at sunset

NZ part 3- waves and caves

Pretty much every year I'm in New Zealand I make my way up to Raglan on the north Island. It's one of my favorite places to go surfing. If you surf, you should probably go sometime in your life and get some of the longest waves of your life. 3 awesome point breaks lined up one after the other. But there's not always waves and there's not always good weather to snowboard, so here's some surf photos and some of cruising around New Zealand.

This is why I go to Raglan. Indicators going off at low tide.

Life is a little different in New Zealand.

Tried to go caving at Waitomo caves last year but they were flooded out. Not this year. Into the abyss!

Down the Tomo. 30 feet down from the previous photo and after a pretty tight pich, this is what you're rappelling down.

Our guide challenged us to boulder around the this pond with claims of no customer ever making it. While a little slick, the bouldering in Squamish is tougher.


cave life.

When I arrive in Christchurch every year and make my way down to Wanaka, I'm always looking for this wave to work. A few hours off the plane and I'm paddling out into an overhead solo session at Magnet Bay, with only sheep to keep me company.

making the trek to Milford Sound on a day off from snowboarding.

Great scenery with great company.

Milford Sound.

Mitre peak in milford sound.

I know what you did last summer!

Supposedly the trout fishing is amazing in New Zealand. With creek water this clear it seems like cheating.

The Kea. It's an alpine parrot, famous for ripping apart cars at Treble Cone. Very curious birds and have an amazing orange patch under their wings.

My Raglan slashing. Point and shoot cameras are a little tough to shoot surfing with.

I'm in that Barrel somewhere!

Waiting for the 'Valley' section on indicators to wall up and start racing.

Raglan golf course. The sheep are a lot tougher to hit than you think.

The area around Rotorua is famous for hot springs and thermal zones. This little guy is spitting out sulphur and is hot enough to cook your hand

kimmies in the mist.

The world's best natural hot spring. Waterfall, perfect temperature, perfect depth.
It's amazing and this photo does it zero justice since we went at night.

I'm out of NZ! awesome trip!

NZ part 3: waves and caves

NZ, le riding

-Snowpark. Pretty much the reason everyone goes to new Zealand in august.

I managed to get 3 weeks of riding in New Zealand this summer. I showed up the day before the Burton NZ Open started (which was kinda stupid on my part) and left the south island right after a world cup a few weeks later.

This year the weather was pretty good. Pretty much sunny the whole time. Lots of wind, but at least we could see. After last year's club field experience I was definitely hoping for some good storms in the Canterbury Mountains to go back up there but it just didn't happen while I was there.

The last few years in NZ were pretty pipe heavy and I was looking forward to mostly hitting jumps at Snowpark. I did the 2 pipe comps that were going on and just missed the cut offs for both of them, but I didn't really ride pipe too much and all my boards were shorter than i usually ride. And they were all different boards that I was testing and didn't know which one I liked the most so I kept switching boards all the time.

-Production line tuning. K2, Ride and Unity boards

In the end I was super happy to just ride and hit jumps. My wife also was able to come down for the last week on the south island and check it out finally. So it was great to show her around. We headed up to Raglan on the North Island to get some waves for a few weeks afterwards. I'll get some north island photos up sometime soon.

Here's a few windy runs from the world cup. Being 6'2" tall, the wind always gets me. First run is me messing around in practice and the other 2 are comp runs.

so i lost my wedding ring in NZ

yeah. not even married a month and i lost my ring. awesome.

I just got home from 5 weeks in NZ and figured i should probably get around to posting some stuff about my trip.

I'd be been in NZ for a week and they got a massive storm. It snowed pretty much everywhere in the country. It never snows down in the lower elevations there. So it was dumping. And my rental car had some transmission issues. It couldn't really make it up to the hill so that was a small problem for me. My rental guy told me he had an extra car in Queenstown that i could go get. Sweet, just have to hope the subaru can make it to Q-town the long way around (it's flatter). And it was puking snow, so i didn't really feel like driving over the pass.
Anyhoof, I eventually make it down to Queesntown. I'm a little late and the whole airport is shut down (it's 5:15pm) due to the storm. Hmmmm. I'm supposed to meet a rental car guy in the airport. Well maybe i can call from the airport counter. So regardless of the very dark looking airport, the first door i walk up to opens and in i go and car the fellow from their counter phone, cause there's not a sole in the airport. So as i talking to him , the police roll up next to me.
They wait for me to get off the phone.

"How'd you get it?"
-the door opened
"did you set off the alarm? the roof caved in"
-uhh no i need to switch a rental car.
"hmm, ok"

they take my info in case i did make the roof cave in, and sit down. I need to call the rental guy back, very busy and doesn't want to help me due to the storm.
'you'll never make it to wanaka mate!'
-just came from there
'nah mate, too much snow. can't do it, you'll never make it!'
-i'm from canada, this is mellow.
'nah nah nah"

eventually he agrees to meet me at the airport so we can get my new car.
The cops by now have left me all alone in the airport, AFTER an alarm was triggered. I wait for a little while in the airport, then proceed to the door to meet buddy. Door's locked. hmmmm. other door's locked. and the other. ALL the doors are locked. Interesting indeed. Eventually I spot an emergency release button, so I climb up a wall and pop the door open. Victory! at least for the door.

Buddy picks me up and we go to his rental car yard. All the cars are buried. No shovels to be found. So being Canadian, I proceed to dig out and brush off the cars with my hands. No problem. Couple minutes later and we've got the 6 cars out of the way and I'm off in my new car.

I drive 20 minutes out of town and realize i've left my house key in the Subaru.
Back to the airport to get those.
Run over to the subaru and grab the key.
I jump back into the new car (Mitsubishi hunk of crap SUV) and it won't start! WHAT?!
So i get on the phone to the owner then to AA to come jump the car.
"is there an immobilizer switch on the car?"
no, started the thing twice already no problems and no sneaky buttons.

I wait in the storm for an hour for the AA guy to arrive. We mess with the car for 45 minutes. No luck. hmmm.
He asks me if there's an immobilizer on the car. no I looked everywhere.

Obviously not, as it was on the key chain. The aftermarket crappy looking keychain was the immobilizer. You needed to unlock the doors to be able to start the car. The owner didn't even know. Stupid all around (myself included). So, hours later I'm finally back off to Wanaka.

About 10 minuted form being home, I realize my finger feels a little light.
It was 11:30pm and snowing, I couldn't do anything about it. So I waited a while and called Kim to tell her the bad news. Surprisingly, she was ok with it as she thought I'd hurt myself.

I was pissed. I've never worn or owned jewellery in my life and i lost my wedding ring inside of 3 weeks! Not stoked.

My ring is made from Kim's grandparent's rings, melted down into a custom ring for me. There was no way i was losing that ring. At least not at the hands of a mere snowstorm.

The following morning, I hatched a plan. Find a metal detector. The ring pretty much has to be in the car rental parking lot right?

Back to Queenstown, rent the 1 metal detector for hours around and call the rental car guy to let him know my plan. "Sure thing mate. have at it" thanks

I start combing the parking lot through the 15cm of new snow. bottle cap, nail, washer, bolt, nothing, rebar in the cement, car. Metal detector works great at finding crap. I try for over an hour and I can't find the ring, but keep thinking that it's here in the snow somewhere. How can i make this detector work better?

Pile up all the snow into 5 chest high mounds of snow and scrape it down to cement.
Wand over the pile of snow with the detector.
Pull 2 inches off that pile, chuck it on the ground and wand over it again.
repeat, repeat and repeat until the pile is gone. More nails, more washers, another bottle cap. The detector just beeps and beeps and beeps. Annoying as hell.

I'm gonna find this ring.

3-4 hours into the digging, another beep. Yeah, yeah, what am i going to find this time. As i dig through the snow i spot a familiar corner with familiar lines.
NO WAY!! Found my ring! SOO STOKED! quickly text Kimmie to tell her the good news.

It basically took me all day to find it in a nearly impossible situation. So happy to find my ring. I still can't believe i found it. Needless to say, after that little mission I barely wore the ring the rest of the trip.



well at least a little bit of summer. It's been pretty cool in Squamish all summer. Big news for me is got married a few weeks ago. Ceremony on the lake, I came in on a canoe and kimmie and I left on it as well. Awesome.

That's been keeping me busy getting ready for that. A few days at Camp of Champions on blackcomb, which is always super fun. Lots of biking, climbing and skateboarding. and a fair bit woodworking. Trying to start up 1080 Wood. couple random photos below from a few of this summer's projects.

and now packing for another new zealand snow and surf trip. 2 days and counting and lots to do.



quick sign i whipped up to find the wedding.

cedar surfboard towel racks

Walnut coffee table with wedged tenons and maple butterfly keys

walnut and birds eye maple boxes and picture frame

winter ends??

all good things come to an end i guess. whistler blackcomb shut down today for the 2010/2011 winter. to say this season was epic would be an understatement. we were still able to ride down to the parking lot at base 2 on closing day. insane.

after seeing whistler's season stats on the video below, i thought i'd share my own so far for this season. i count my season from the start of the northern hemisphere's winter and ends when i'm in NZ usually.

season started on nov 18 for me
so far i've ridden 132 days
82 of them have been powder days. Lots in the backcountry and lots on the hill, just an insane year for snow.

there's still lots of snow around the mountains so whenever it's good I'll be splitboarding and looking for new terrain.
bring on the spring/summer riding!

Thank You For A Great Season! Love from, Whistler Blackcomb from Whistler Blackcomb on Vimeo.

valley of the chutes

i think between the photos and the video you get a good sense from rob fagan's and my trip to the "valley of the chutes". named after the valley of the kings as there's an egyptian theme to some of the peaks in the area. we spent 3 days camping and splitboarding in the mountains around squamish. it was super awesome.

in summer you have to climb 9-10 feet of stairs to get into this outhouse! and it's below treeline...

it was pretty nice out


getting there..

a couple teaser shots while i get everything together from the mission to the 'valley of the chutes'. see the photo from my last post.


fresh-ish wolverine tracks (from the previous afternoon)

2 days and 2 seconds

it's festivus time! i mean festival time. the world ski and snowboard festival in whistler is on again. and that means a few more spring comps in the form of Monster's "The Show"
I wasn't really feeling the need to ride moguls this year (there's been a lot of powder) so i skipped the first event and went in for the boarderstyle and halfpipe comps.
Boarderstyle consisted of a very short (and really easy) boardecross track, but with a park jump at the bottom and involved mandatory spinning. I put in a good qualifying time and was the top seed through all my heats and also was going in the first heat.
I hadn't raced BX in a very long time and it was pretty fun to be in the start gate waiting for it to drop. some riders were about ready to pass out from nervousness. The gate dropped and it was on. Being such a short course there wasn't much passing going on, but your spin on the last kicker really counted. if you came in third a good spin could put you into the next round. I was going to try to avoid being bumped by that method. So as we came around the final gate, i was in the lead and gave a quick check back to see where everyone else was. Little bit of a lead, sweet, so i flipped around and went switch into the last jump with a cab 540. The next round was a little tighter and i went cab 720 while in the lead, jon versteeg went back 900 and will jackways went frontside 540 right behind us (snowboard canada jon scarth's photo of this action is below)

The finals were jon, travis williams, yan devo (he'd bumped his way through with a cab 540 on the oakley O) and myself. The prize money was winner take all, and all of us having had a fun day, agreed to split the cash prior to the final run.

Travis and i were grappling right out of the gates. boards hitting, grabbing each other and jon managed to grab the lead. Close to the final corner jon lost his edge a little bit and both travis and i tried to pass on opposite sides on the outside lanes. unfortunately the outside lanes were slower. I was just able to get about even with jon and travis got squeezed out of the course. Jon boosted anothe back 900 for the win and me right behind with another cab 720.

there's a couple good posts up with some cool photos to check from the event..

the next day was the halfpipe 'contest'. It's not really a contest, but it is, and it's not really about the pipe, but it takes place in the pipe. This year there was a bell hanging above the lip to smash and a log positioned on the other side. With the pipe being good finally, i was pretty happy just to ride pipe. But to do well in this 'contest' you need to play by their rules, which aren't much, but they want to see you hit the rails and stuff. So i tried to get the bell with some air to fakies. i tried a bunch of times, and i missed the damn bell by centimeters a bunch of times. getting bored of missing repeatedly, i went for a few pipe runs. then over to the log. I thought a frontside alley oop 360 with some log action mid way through would be cool. however after a few triesi only kinda got it once, and then the nice pipe took my attention again and i went back to doing whatever runs popped into my head. I ended up in second place for the day. Guillaume morrissete took first and brad martin took second. I think guillaume's alley oop bell ringer got the prize for him. it was pretty sick.

snowboard canada and push write ups are here...
couple really fun days on the hill, and now we've got a few nights of festival-ing ahead of us. Going to watch the intersection movies tonight and then the pro photo showdown tomorrow night, which is the hottest ticket in town and always an awesome show.

then I'm off to try and get these little lines with the splitboard...


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