Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am such a thoughtful friend

I’m a people watcher. One of my favorite things to observe is how people spend their money. For instance, I get a big kick out of people who buy economy cars and then spend a bunch of money on accessories and upgrades. Hardly seems worth it to me.

On the other hand, I’m sure there are those who look at how I spend my money and time and think I’m nuts. In fact, my sisters are among them.

But hiking up hills and skiing down on fat skis makes me really, really happy. In a way I don’t know how a car or any other earthly possession possibly can.

So this morning when we had just gained the ridge and we were sidehilling a bit and Rob’s binding broke in the exact same way that Dug’s did a few weeks ago, I was heartbroken. This was Rob’s first outing in a couple weeks, there was over a foot of fresh snow, and just like that he was done.

If Rob weren’t a foot taller, but more importantly, three boot sizes bigger than me, I would have just given him my skis. Instead, I watched him limp back to the car with his binding held on by a Voile strap, realizing only after it was too late that I didn’t give him the keys, so he’d be stuck outside freezing his kibbles and bits off until I got back.

Apparently it was a bad morning for guys named Robert, because I also discovered when we got to the top that Bob was no longer with us. We thoughtfully dropped into Cardiff without him.

Deskinning at the top:




Can’t-wipe-the-smile-off-his-face Aaron:

Back up to Cardiff Pass and down towards car. Tyler took the camera and snapped this photo of me:

On the way out, we came across a nice little kicker. Which Aaron didn’t hesitate to hit. Unfortunately, my cold finger hesitated to hit the shutter button, so all we have is the landing.

Aaron’s lack of any hesitation whatsoever to hit this kicker while all of us cool skiers skied around it like girlie men has compelled me to take at least a one week hiatus from having righteous indignation towards knuckle-dragging snowboarders and their hip-hop arms.

Instead, I shall forthwith make fun of telemark skiers. Tele skiers have their own self-righteous attitude, with sayings such as “free your heel, free your mind” and “drop your knee or drop the sport.”

I say, “fix your heel and fix the problem.” And openly mock tele skiers leaning back and making bad alpine turns when the terrain gets challenging. (But truth be told, watching a good tele skier shred a technical line is something to behold. And I don’t tele simply because I find skiing challenging enough, and I don’t need to make it unnecessarily harder than it already is. That and skiing tele is stupid. Ha!)

Back at the car, I got a text from Rob indicating he had hitch-hiked down. Nevermind that his shoes were in my car and he would have to go to work barefoot. Bob hitch-hiked the other way and made it back up to the parking lot a few minutes after we got there. He had fallen in with another group and skied down Superior.

I guess the old saying “there are no friends on a powder day” is true after all. Not that there was ever any doubt.


  1. I did not even realize Bob had started with us. I guess that is the downside of starting in the dark with another group nearby.

    Sorry Bob, it would have been good to ski with you again today.

    And Rob... man I am sorry. That was a bitter pill. Get that binding fixed and let's hit it later in the week.

  2. I just watched that video. That is some amazing camera work. Its gotta be from a heli, but its very smooth and very close to the action, makes me think it might be some fantastic jib work...

  3. Adam, that footage was shot by Derek Weiss of Piton Productions (pitonproductions.com). Derek has a remote control helicopter that he straps to his pack and carries to the top of the hill, then he launches the bird and films with it, straps it back on, and skis down.

    There was a nice little writeup about him in Powder a couple months ago. I love the irony of man hauling helicopter up the hill rather than the other way around.

    He's not bad with a still camera either--you can see his trip reports at fritzrips.com.

  4. Ha! That never occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense after watching the footage. So I was right on both accounts, its a heli-jib ;)

    I love when people get innovative like that.

  5. As much as I would like the sympathy, the Voile strap worked like a charm as long as I stayed in deep powder and rode way in the back seat.

    Something about a thick rubber strap running laterally across the bottom of your ski tends to be a little grabby when you hit anything packed down...

    I was picked up by the first car that passed me as I was hitching down. Thanks Scott Whipperman - and I'm humbled by your 67th dawn patrol this year, good one.

  6. SBJ, I appreciated your additional info about Piton Productions. I became aware of them a while back from some cycling videos they did (also awesome). I even blogged about it - http://kanyonkris.blogspot.com/2008/11/good-utah-biking-videos-by-piton.html

    I'm afraid you guys are getting so spoiled and hooked on all this good powder that the withdrawals are going to be wrenching. But that's a good problem to have, no?