Thursday, February 26, 2009

Board Insiders

Hello! I just got back from a two day stay up at Stevens Pass where I was testing boards for Awesome. Basically a select group of riders gets to demo a bunch of boards, get video footage and interviews, and rate the boards. I think it's going to be a really helpful website for people who aren't sure what board to buy because you get to know the riders and their style and you can choose your board that way.

I really can't even put into words the epic-ness of the powder. Might I add, it hasn't even snowed in Washington like this so far this year, so it was due time for some serious pow-pow. I started out riding the Forum Craft 152. This, I discovered, is a flexible park board. Being that it was a 152, I can't say that it was too bad in powder either! It was the most flexible board I've ridden, and I loved the pop off of basically anything. Kickers, jumps, bumps, whatever. It was super fast and fun! I'd have to say another one of my favorites was the GNU B-Pro 152. I'm partial to the boards above 150, so this was an awesome board. Banana and Magne-traction technology. The Magne-traction is awesome! I found that I was holding an edge really well, especially on those annoying traverses, but it's also a ripper in the pow! I had some of the best runs of my life on the backside today, even throwing in a little cliff drop :) I would totally pick up one of those boards if I had the mooney.

So overall, it was a great way to spend a few days off. Oh yah, I forgot to mention that we got to stay in a cabin in Bering, about 20 miles west of Stevens Pass. Hot tub, chill people, and a little Vitamin R ;) I need to get myself one of those someday...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jackson Hole!

David and I just got back from spending three full days of snowboarding in the most wonderful place in the world - Jackson Hole! I got to stay with my friend Anne in Wilson. After chillin in Wilson for four nights, I think that I grew pretty fond of it. It's closer to Teton Village than the town of Jackson, and since I'm not super into partying hard every single night, I don't mind being away from the bars. They do have one cool spot called the Stagecoach, but it doesn't have the same offerings as the town of Jackson. Anyway, the first day we went up to the hill, we woke up to a crisp clear day...not a cloud in the sky! It was beautiful. David and I hopped on the tram with some local friends and off we went. The quality of the snow wasn't the greatest, but I'll take it since we've had a lack of snow in Washington these days. We rode around with our friends until they had to work, hitting up Bivouac Woods off of Sublette and Paintbrush-Toilet Bowl off of Thunder. David found a pretty good size cliff to drop near mammoth drop they call "Hollywood". The landing of Hollywood was a little sketch, so he avoided that one.

I'd say overall, it was an amazing day. We spent the afternoon at Nick's Cowboy Cafe and then went home for some beacon practice in the backyard. Anne offered to take us for a hike up Mount Glory on Tuesday and I was super stoked! It would be my first real Jackson Hole backcountry experience.

We woke up the next morning, ate breakfast and made coffee, packed up and headed out for Teton Pass around 10 am. Our friend Laura met up with us too. Mount Glory is on the north side of the pass. It takes about an hour to hike up the bootpack and it was pretty grueling. I like to blame it on the altitude, but I was so tired! Once we got to the top we enjoyed an endless view of the Tetons and other surrounding mountain ranges, along with a plethora of lines to ski! We decided to take a safe route since Jackson's had a pretty bad avy year and went down Twin Slides. It's basically adjacent to the bootpack and takes you right back to your car.

Wow, what an amazing day. We ended up hanging out at the Mangy Moose for a while after taking a few runs at the village and then headed home for some R & R. Wednesday was our last day, so we made it out to the village fairly early to get in a full day of riding. We started up with a hike up "The Stairway" to the top of Casper Bowl. It's steeper than the Headwall hike, but it's shorter too.

We played around at the top for a while and then decided on a line over on the northside of the bowl on a south facing slope. We thought that since the sun had been on it, it would be fine but it turned out to be a pretty rough ride. I feel like if we had waited about two hours to do the hike it would have been perfect, but oh well. When we reached the bottom of the bowl, we decided it was time for lunch. Lunch turned into a couple beers and a margarita, and we got pretty sloppy. The sun was out and the vibe was great. We went and took a few runs with Anne over on Thunder where she was hosting. We topped off our trip with a ride up Sublette, taking Peppi's Ridge down some challenging terrain and then racing down Slalom to hit up the Moose for some more brews.

The trip turned out to be one of the best ever! Fun, friends, snow, sun, beer, and backcounty. I'm so excited to move back next year, but this time with David. See ya in November, Jackson Hole!