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#301 Armada

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 07:01 PM

The snows starting to die down :sadno: I really hope we get another good stretch of snowing.


Ya. All the mountains are straight groomers at the moment. Looks like snows in the forecast for the next week. Not lots but a good +5-10cm's a day.

Edited by Armada, 03 January 2013 - 07:01 PM.

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#302 schlaBAM

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 12:55 PM

boarded mount washington on the island over the break 4 times - testing out the new gopro, took some quality shots!

Was bluebird for 2 days, but the visibility on the 31st was pisspoor and you couldn't see anything until late in the day. Cold, windy and foggy, not worth it. Still decided to ride park while attempting to see where the rail began, lol.
For nearly a 5 metre base, the park is terrible. Barely any features, I know they have tons more.
The snow was alright, not as great as the stuff I get out here on Biggie but hey it's coastal snow (I was told it's the lightest its ever been and that's a lie)
The back country wasn't that skiied and so after hiking a bit (attached photo) there was some pretty decent snow on the backside. Still had a fun time!

I also realized the "residue" that I thought was impossible to get off of my crowbar lenses are actually tiny stress fractures. I have a 250 dollar gift certificate for oakley, so this summer I'll get a new set of goggles completely (these are almost 7 seasons old), just don't know if I'll get the Airwaves or another set of Crowbars..
Posted Image

Edited by schlaBAM, 04 January 2013 - 12:59 PM.

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#303 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 10:53 PM

I always wondered how high or low ^ their din settings usually are on those bindings?

I ride on a 10-12 but they create unbelievable pressure on the bindings.Going at those speeds need to let the bindings be able to quick release to avoid injuries but not release at the wrong time (Which is by far the most annoying thing if you're a skier, everything is going fine until for some reason your ski falls off) :lol:


Podium worthy.


Made for FIS-level ski racers, the Marker Comp 20.0 EPS Ski Binding reinforces your confidence when you're topping off at speeds of 64mph while you race down the steep slopes of Kitzbühel. This ultra-burly binder clamps your boots with a DIN setting that goes up to 20, and the binding utilizes a Biometric WC toe system and a Twin Cam Comfort step-in heel for state-of-the art performance. A Magnesium Sole Holder reinforces the binding’s strength and solid hold.
  • DIN range of 11-20 for World-Cup-level racers
  • Recommended Skier Weight: 130+ lbs
  • Twin-Cam Heel's unique soft-entry feature allows you to step in more quickly and easily, even in difficult snow conditions
  • AFD (anti-friction device) Gliding World Cup plate offers a precise release unhindered by dirt, snow and ice buildup
  • Biometric WC toe system
  • Solid, lightweight magnesium components ensure you're well equipped to handle high-speed icy runs
  • Stand Height Without Ski: 18mm
Most world cup racers will have their bindings set at just under the highest DIN setting.

You never run any binding at the highest setting , always at least one number down from the highest.

I run a binding whose highest setting is 14 , and i set it at 12 .
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

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That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#304 Harbinger

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

People still ski?
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#305 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

People still ski?

And spam apparently as well.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

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#306 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

And spam apparently as well.




This thread is for members of CDC who have an interest in skiing , and wish to discuss that interest .

Please do not post if your only contributions are negative comments that are deriding the other members who are participating in these discussions .
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#307 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

This thread is for members of CDC who have an interest in skiing , and wish to discuss that interest .

Please do not post if your only contributions are negative comments that are deriding the other members who are participating in these discussions .

You did note the string of spam posts by this poster over the course of couple minutes did you not?

If you have a problem with my posting take it up with the Mods.

Edited by Wetcoaster, 05 January 2013 - 05:31 PM.

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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#308 Armada

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:31 PM

You did note the string of spam posts by this poster over the course of couple minutes did you not?

Dolt.

And spam apparently as well.


Don't need this in my thread.

Unless you're here to discuss snowboarding or skiing get out, thank you.

People still ski?


Ignorant statement. I love snowboarding, snowboarders and riding with my snowboard buddies, there's no difference between the two just different style because at the end of the day both of us are doing what we love to do in our own unique way.

The reason skiing and snowboarding grew so apart in the 80s-90s because of how "rebellious", cool, hip, new, etc it was from skiing. Most ski resorts didn't allow snowboarding till the 80s. Thanks to newer technology skiing's really grown. You've got twin tips now which is huge for park skiiers, fat all mountain powder skis, and many other different rockers and cambers. Watch "All I Can" or "Superheroes Of Stoke" to understand the revolution of the sport.

Both are phenomenal sports and you gotta love em.

boarded mount washington on the island over the break 4 times - testing out the new gopro, took some quality shots!

Was bluebird for 2 days, but the visibility on the 31st was pisspoor and you couldn't see anything until late in the day. Cold, windy and foggy, not worth it. Still decided to ride park while attempting to see where the rail began, lol.
For nearly a 5 metre base, the park is terrible. Barely any features, I know they have tons more.
The snow was alright, not as great as the stuff I get out here on Biggie but hey it's coastal snow (I was told it's the lightest its ever been and that's a lie)
The back country wasn't that skiied and so after hiking a bit (attached photo) there was some pretty decent snow on the backside. Still had a fun time!

I also realized the "residue" that I thought was impossible to get off of my crowbar lenses are actually tiny stress fractures. I have a 250 dollar gift certificate for oakley, so this summer I'll get a new set of goggles completely (these are almost 7 seasons old), just don't know if I'll get the Airwaves or another set of Crowbars..
Posted Image


Phenomenal picture!

GoPro Hero 3 Black? I got the Hero 3 Silver took some great pictures and videos over the break.

Edited by Armada, 05 January 2013 - 05:41 PM.

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#309 Squeak

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

This thread is for members of CDC who have an interest in skiing and snowboarding , and wish to discuss that interest .

Please do not post if your only contributions are negative comments that are deriding the other members who are participating in these discussions .


Fixed for you ;)
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#310 Squeak

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:33 PM

I will admit - I am saving up for a downpayment on a house - so snowboarding has fallen to the wayside.

But I did go on Dec 16 to Whistler - and it was good.

(When we went it was 34cm over the previous 24 hours)

May get a day in near the end of January; and then another in mid February.

Edited by Squeak, 05 January 2013 - 05:33 PM.

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#311 Armada

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

I will admit - I am saving up for a downpayment on a house - so snowboarding has fallen to the wayside.

But I did go on Dec 16 to Whistler - and it was good.

(When we went it was 34cm over the previous 24 hours)

May get a day in near the end of January; and then another in mid February.


Definitely an expensive sport when you take everything into consideration.

Conditions haven't been as stellar as the past 2 weeks but forecast looks good for the future.
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#312 Wetcoaster

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

Don't need this in my thread.

Unless you're here to discuss snowboarding or skiing get out, thank you.



Ignorant statement. I love snowboarding, snowboarders and riding with my snowboard buddies, there's no difference between the two just different style because at the end of the day both of us are doing what we love to do in our own unique way.

You do not "own" the thread.

My response was to a poster that blanketed the first page of topics with one line spam.

If your tightie whites are in a bunch take it up with a Moderator.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#313 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:34 PM

You do not "own" the thread.

My response was to a poster that blanketed the first page of topics with one line spam.

If your tightie whites are in a bunch take it up with a Moderator.


I do not claim to "own" this thread .

Whenever your contribute to a thread , the levels of negativity and hostility seem to rise due to the contempt you show for other members .
I do not want this to be the case in this thread .

I have not/will never report anyone.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#314 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 06:44 PM

Fixed for you ;)


Thanks Mate :) I should have said have an interest in riding , especially pow ::D

34cm day , sounds brilliant .
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#315 hockeyville88

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Please stay on topic folks. This thread has been started with good intentions and it's a fairly uncontroversial subject. Let's keep it that way

Thanks :)
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Sig credit: GoaltenderInterference. Thanks!

#316 Armada

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 11:01 AM

Finally had the first dose of knee deep dry soft pow last night through the trees this season. Went with 4 other friends and just weaved through each other.

I swear the best time to go for great snow is during a blizzard, hucked a nice 10 foot cliff I didn't see after hitting a nice kicker in the snow and just ate it but landing in that soft pow is amazing. Wish it was like that everyday, best of 2013 so far.

Could relate to this video so much


Edited by Armada, 07 January 2013 - 11:28 AM.

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#317 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 03:53 PM

Finally had the first dose of knee deep dry soft pow last night through the trees this season. Went with 4 other friends and just weaved through each other.

I swear the best time to go for great snow is during a blizzard, hucked a nice 10 foot cliff I didn't see after hitting a nice kicker in the snow and just ate it but landing in that soft pow is amazing. Wish it was like that everyday, best of 2013 so far.

Could relate to this video so much

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WRKcQ-BT8U


mate sick video , the way they edit at the start is brilliant :)
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#318 Wetcoaster

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

Loved to ski but my knees are so bad (hockey related) now as I age, no more.

Used to regularly ski Red Mountain on holidays during university and in the 1980's I had a part ownership in a 5 bedroom house at Whistler along with several other lawyers in our firm.
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To err is human - but to really screw up you need a computer.

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

Illegitimi non carborundum.

Never try to teach a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

#319 silverpig

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

boarded mount washington on the island over the break 4 times - testing out the new gopro, took some quality shots!

Was bluebird for 2 days, but the visibility on the 31st was pisspoor and you couldn't see anything until late in the day. Cold, windy and foggy, not worth it. Still decided to ride park while attempting to see where the rail began, lol.
For nearly a 5 metre base, the park is terrible. Barely any features, I know they have tons more.
The snow was alright, not as great as the stuff I get out here on Biggie but hey it's coastal snow (I was told it's the lightest its ever been and that's a lie)
The back country wasn't that skiied and so after hiking a bit (attached photo) there was some pretty decent snow on the backside. Still had a fun time!

I also realized the "residue" that I thought was impossible to get off of my crowbar lenses are actually tiny stress fractures. I have a 250 dollar gift certificate for oakley, so this summer I'll get a new set of goggles completely (these are almost 7 seasons old), just don't know if I'll get the Airwaves or another set of Crowbars..


Nice picture. I boarded Mt. Washington a few years ago just after they had that huge dump of snow around new year's. I didn't like it much. I'm not a great boarder and found that all of the routes had long flat (or uphill!) stretches that I got stuck on a lot.

I just did a run at Sun Peaks last week which was good fun. I really like the Morrissey run. Sun Peaks is good because it's a good mountain with good snow, but it is relatively quiet - we walked on to all the lifts and the max wait was about 15 seconds.
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Moo

#320 Armada

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:47 AM

If you're a local park rider I have good news.

The Stomping Pad on Cypress is going to be finished by tomorrow! Featuring small, medium, and massive kickers and more! This is the start of their whole new park terrain.

In other news, does anyone have anything good to say about Hemlock? I keep hearing nothing but good, I've heard its powder mountain. Also heard the 1st rule about Hemlock is don't talk about Hemlock. :lol:

Edited by Armada, 10 January 2013 - 08:48 AM.

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#321 Jägermeister

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

In other news, does anyone have anything good to say about Hemlock? I keep hearing nothing but good, I've heard its powder mountain. Also heard the 1st rule about Hemlock is don't talk about Hemlock. :lol:


I'm here to inform you that you have broken the 1st rule of Hemlock, and that you will be held accountable.
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#322 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:23 PM

What's in it for slopestyle skiers?

A reaction to the IOC's decision to include ski slopestyle in the 2014 Olympics

Posted ImageBy John Symms
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

Posted ImageMatt Morning/ESPN Action SportsWinter X Slopestyle champ Sammy Carlson now has a shot at competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
About 10 years ago, the U.S. Freeskiing Open slopestyle was the biggest, most prestigious slopestyle event in skiing. If you won the U.S. Open, you were the best slopestyle skier in the world. That's why everybody who could ski slopestyle came to the U.S. Open. And they all wore "FIS Sucks" stickers on their helmets. It was nearly a universal sentiment in a sport that had been invented by skiers down on the FIS-itization of moguls and aerials.
Now, for better or for worse, slopestyle is a FIS and an Olympic sport. Just like that.


It gives me a funny feeling. Like it's good, but it's not good at the same time. It's like that action movie where they're looking down at a sea of dead bodies and the guy takes a drag off his cigarette and gives this sneer that says he's relieved that the fight is over and his enemies are dead but he's nagged by guilt at the brutality. Or like when your friends are talking about how lame Hootie and The Blowfish is and you're thinking to yourself, "I mean, they're not my favorite band, but I think they've got some pretty decent songs."



Posted Image
Christian Pondella/ESPN Action SportsBobby Brown, better get ready for 2014.

I was very excited about the news that halfpipe was going to the Olympics. Bigger audience, bigger lights, bigger playing field, bigger international participant base. Superpipe was going to get supersized. But then I started hearing that some freestyle greats were baffled that superpipe opted for the rings. Because for over a decade of existence, the freestyle offshoots of halfpipe and slopestyle grew into something big. Big enough to be a major asset to skiing's governing bodies, but not necessarily the other way around. Why share the good thing that you made on your own?


And what's in it for the skiers? After pipe got in, it seemed to me a silly question to ask. But, see, when pipe got in, it was after a steady, dedicated effort that lasted about a decade. Bad side: The fight to put pipe in the Olympics outlasted an Olympic-sized career or two. Good side: After all the waiting and talking and deliberating, the ultimate decision seemed organic. It seemed like everybody had really thought this one over.


And then after all that courting, after all that work that halfpipe put in, the Olympics goes and gives it up to slopestyle on the first date?


Through most of the 10-year fight to put pipe in the Olympics, the word was that slope would never get there. There were simply too many variables to ever lend itself to be official.


In halfpipe, everyone skis the same pipe regardless of letterhead. While weather and snow conditions may vary, the standard competition halfpipe is 22-feet in curvature. But in slope, different rails and jumps at each competition make it an excellent sport for strategy and creativity, but, frankly, a tough sport to judge, much less standardize to an Olympic level.


And as slope follows pipe to join Nordic skiing and ski racing at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, I can't help but wonder: Didn't these guys choose freeride to lose the rules?

What do you think armada ?

I think anything that give these athletes a bigger profile is a good thing , though i hate rules in "freeskiing" .

Edited by The Ratiocinator, 12 January 2013 - 03:26 PM.

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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#323 Nathan MacKinnon

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

Was up at Seymour the other day. Terribly icy, almost no powder :(. Had a full out faceplant in the gladed terrain.

I want a Go Pro too :(
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+1 this post!

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#324 Armada

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

What's in it for slopestyle skiers?

A reaction to the IOC's decision to include ski slopestyle in the 2014 Olympics

Posted ImageBy John Symms
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

Posted ImageMatt Morning/ESPN Action SportsWinter X Slopestyle champ Sammy Carlson now has a shot at competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
About 10 years ago, the U.S. Freeskiing Open slopestyle was the biggest, most prestigious slopestyle event in skiing. If you won the U.S. Open, you were the best slopestyle skier in the world. That's why everybody who could ski slopestyle came to the U.S. Open. And they all wore "FIS Sucks" stickers on their helmets. It was nearly a universal sentiment in a sport that had been invented by skiers down on the FIS-itization of moguls and aerials.
Now, for better or for worse, slopestyle is a FIS and an Olympic sport. Just like that.


It gives me a funny feeling. Like it's good, but it's not good at the same time. It's like that action movie where they're looking down at a sea of dead bodies and the guy takes a drag off his cigarette and gives this sneer that says he's relieved that the fight is over and his enemies are dead but he's nagged by guilt at the brutality. Or like when your friends are talking about how lame Hootie and The Blowfish is and you're thinking to yourself, "I mean, they're not my favorite band, but I think they've got some pretty decent songs."



Posted Image
Christian Pondella/ESPN Action SportsBobby Brown, better get ready for 2014.

I was very excited about the news that halfpipe was going to the Olympics. Bigger audience, bigger lights, bigger playing field, bigger international participant base. Superpipe was going to get supersized. But then I started hearing that some freestyle greats were baffled that superpipe opted for the rings. Because for over a decade of existence, the freestyle offshoots of halfpipe and slopestyle grew into something big. Big enough to be a major asset to skiing's governing bodies, but not necessarily the other way around. Why share the good thing that you made on your own?


And what's in it for the skiers? After pipe got in, it seemed to me a silly question to ask. But, see, when pipe got in, it was after a steady, dedicated effort that lasted about a decade. Bad side: The fight to put pipe in the Olympics outlasted an Olympic-sized career or two. Good side: After all the waiting and talking and deliberating, the ultimate decision seemed organic. It seemed like everybody had really thought this one over.


And then after all that courting, after all that work that halfpipe put in, the Olympics goes and gives it up to slopestyle on the first date?


Through most of the 10-year fight to put pipe in the Olympics, the word was that slope would never get there. There were simply too many variables to ever lend itself to be official.


In halfpipe, everyone skis the same pipe regardless of letterhead. While weather and snow conditions may vary, the standard competition halfpipe is 22-feet in curvature. But in slope, different rails and jumps at each competition make it an excellent sport for strategy and creativity, but, frankly, a tough sport to judge, much less standardize to an Olympic level.


And as slope follows pipe to join Nordic skiing and ski racing at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, I can't help but wonder: Didn't these guys choose freeride to lose the rules?

What do you think armada ?

I think anything that give these athletes a bigger profile is a good thing , though i hate rules in "freeskiing" .


Anything that helps the sport of skiing grow is a huge. To have it on such a big international level such as the olympics is great news.

I know there's mixed opinions on both sides but personally skiers should embrace the fact that they can represent their country on arguably the biggest sporting event in the world. I'm excited to see what happens and we'll go from there.

Was up at Seymour the other day. Terribly icy, almost no powder :(. Had a full out faceplant in the gladed terrain.

I want a Go Pro too :(


Just tune up your edges and you won't even notice the ice. I love the new snow making machines and the sheer amount of them on Cypress. They've been pumping out snow all night and conditions are fairly decent. Snow might not be amazing cause of the recent sun but luckily we had that 80cm dump 2 days ago to make a solid record breaking base this early on the locals.

I'll be heading up tomorrow for a nice +8hour run with the GoPro!

Edited by Armada, 12 January 2013 - 04:03 PM.

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#325 Armada

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Super duper duper icey right now on the locals and looks like there won't be any snow for another week just sun.

Edited by Armada, 14 January 2013 - 12:39 PM.

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#326 Armada

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

Good news everyone!

Snow is finally in the forecast after almost 2 weeks of sunshine (Which I admit was nice) it will be great to finally get some snow in the forecast for the coastal mountains.

http://www.snow-fore...ckcomb/6day/mid
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#327 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

The snow burst through the trees with no warning but a last-second whoosh of sound, a two-story wall of white and Chris Rudolph’s piercing cry: “Avalanche! Elyse!”
The very thing the 16 skiers and snowboarders had sought — fresh, soft snow — instantly became the enemy. Somewhere above, a pristine meadow cracked in the shape of a lightning bolt, slicing a slab nearly 200 feet across and 3 feet deep. Gravity did the rest.
Snow shattered and spilled down the slope. Within seconds, the avalanche was the size of more than a thousand cars barreling down the mountain and weighed millions of pounds. Moving about 7o miles per hour, it crashed through the sturdy old-growth trees, snapping their limbs and shredding bark from their trunks.
The avalanche, in Washington’s Cascades in February, slid past some trees and rocks, like ocean swells around a ship’s prow. Others it captured and added to its violent load.
Somewhere inside, it also carried people. How many, no one knew.
The slope of the terrain, shaped like a funnel, squeezed the growing swell of churning snow into a steep, twisting gorge. It moved in surges, like a roller coaster on a series of drops and high-banked turns. It accelerated as the slope steepened and the weight of the slide pushed from behind. It slithered through shallower pitches. The energy raised the temperature of the snow a couple of degrees, and the friction carved striations high in the icy sides of the canyon walls.
Elyse Saugstad, a professional skier, wore a backpack equipped with an air bag, a relatively new and expensive part of the arsenal that backcountry users increasingly carry to ease their minds and increase survival odds in case of an avalanche. About to be overtaken, she pulled a cord near her chest. She was knocked down before she knew if the canister of compressed air inflated winged pillows behind her head.
She had no control of her body as she tumbled downhill. She did not know up from down. It was not unlike being cartwheeled in a relentlessly crashing wave. But snow does not recede. It swallows its victims. It does not spit them out.
Snow filled her mouth. She caromed off things she never saw, tumbling through a cluttered canyon like a steel marble falling through pins in a pachinko machine.
At first she thought she would be embarrassed that she had deployed her air bag, that the other expert skiers she was with, more than a dozen of them, would have a good laugh at her panicked overreaction. Seconds later, tumbling uncontrollably inside a ribbon of speeding snow, she was sure this was how she was going to die.
Moving, roiling snow turns into something closer to liquid, thick like lava. But when it stops, it instantly freezes solid. The laws of physics and chemistry transform a meadow of fine powder into a wreckage of icy chunks. Saugstad’s pinwheeling body would freeze into whatever position it was in the moment the snow stopped.
After about a minute, the creek bed vomited the debris into a gently sloped meadow. Saugstad felt the snow slow and tried to keep her hands in front of her. She knew from avalanche safety courses that outstretched hands might puncture the ice surface and alert rescuers. She knew that if victims ended up buried under the snow, cupped hands in front of the face could provide a small pocket of air for the mouth and nose. Without it, the first breaths could create a suffocating ice mask.
The avalanche spread and stopped, locking everything it carried into an icy cocoon. It was now a jagged, virtually impenetrable pile of ice, longer than a football field and nearly as wide. As if newly plowed, it rose in rugged contrast to the surrounding fields of undisturbed snow, 20 feet tall in spots.



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‘I Couldn’t Breathe’



Saugstad was mummified. She was on her back, her head pointed downhill. Her goggles were off. Her nose ring had been ripped away. She felt the crushing weight of snow on her chest. She could not move her legs. One boot still had a ski attached to it. She could not lift her head because it was locked into the ice.
But she could see the sky. Her face was covered only with loose snow. Her hands, too, stuck out of the snow, one still covered by a pink mitten.


A narrative of interwoven words and multimedia.



Using her hands like windshield wipers, she tried to flick snow away from her mouth. When she clawed at her chest and neck, the crumbs maddeningly slid back onto her face. She grew claustrophobic.
Breathe easy, she told herself. Do not panic. Help will come. She stared at the low, gray clouds. She had not noticed the noise as she hurtled down the mountain. Now, she was suddenly struck by the silence.
Tunnel Creek

The Cascades are among the craggiest of American mountain ranges, roughly cut, as if carved with a chain saw. In summer, the gray peaks are sprinkled with glaciers. In winter, they are smothered in some of North America’s deepest snowpack.
The top of Cowboy Mountain, about 75 miles east of Seattle, rises to 5,853 feet — about half the height of the tallest Cascades, but higher than its nearest neighbors, enough to provide 360-degree views. It feels more like a long fin than a summit, a few feet wide in parts. Locals call it Cowboy Ridge.
To one side, down steep chutes, is Stevens Pass ski area, which receives about 400,000 visitors each winter. To the other, outside the ski area’s boundary to what is considered the back of Cowboy Mountain, is an unmonitored play area of reliably deep snow, a “powder stash,” known as Tunnel Creek.




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It is a term with broad meaning. The name is derived from the Cascade Tunnel, originally a 2.6-mile railroad tube completed in 1900 that connected the east and west sides of the Cascades, a boon for the growth of Seattle and Puget Sound. The mountain pass that it burrowed beneath was named for the project’s engineer, John Frank Stevens, who later helped build the Panama Canal.

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Wreckage after the Wellington, Wash., avalanche in 1910, which buried two passenger trains marooned by snowstorms outside the Cascade Tunnel and killed 96 people. Rescue workers transported bodies from the scene on sleds. Museum of History & Industry
In late February 1910, ceaseless snowstorms over several days marooned two passenger trains just outside the tunnel’s west portal. Before the tracks could be cleared, the trains were buried by what still stands as the nation’s deadliest avalanche. It killed 96 people.
Bodies were extricated and wrapped in blankets from the Great Northern Railway, then hauled away on sleds. Some were not found until the snow melted many months later.
To skiers and snowboarders today, Tunnel Creek is a serendipitous junction of place and powder. It features nearly 3,000 vertical feet — a rarely matched descent — of open meadows framed by thick stands of trees. Steep gullies drain each spring’s runoff to the valley floor and into a small, short gorge called Tunnel Creek.
The area has all of the alluring qualities of the backcountry — fresh snow, expert terrain and relative solitude — but few of the customary inconveniences. Reaching Tunnel Creek from Stevens Pass ski area requires a ride of just more than five minutes up SkyLine Express, a high-speed four-person chairlift, followed by a shorter ride up Seventh Heaven, a steep two-person lift. Slip through the open boundary gate, with its “continue at your own risk” warning signs, and hike 10 minutes to the top of Cowboy Mountain.
When snow conditions are right, the preferred method of descent used by those experienced in Tunnel Creek, based on the shared wisdom passed over generations, is to hopscotch down the mountain through a series of long meadows. Weave down the first meadow, maybe punctuate the run with a jump off a rock outcropping near the bottom, then veer hard left, up and out of the narrowing gully and into the next open glade.
Another powder-filled drop ends with another hard left, into another meadow that leads to the valley floor.







Allure of the Backcountry



Tunnel Creek is, in the vernacular of locals, a “hippie pow run” — breezy and unobstructed, the kind that makes skiers giggle in glee as they descend through a billowing cloud of their own soft powder and emerge at the bottom coated in white frosting.
Despite trends toward extreme skiing (now called freeskiing), with improbable descents over cliffs and down chutes that test the guile of even the fiercest daredevils, the ageless lure of fresh, smooth powder endures.
But powder and people are key ingredients for avalanches. And the worry among avalanche forecasters, snow-science experts and search-and-rescue leaders is that the number of fatalities — roughly 200 around the world each year — will keep rising as the rush to the backcountry continues among skiers, snowboarders, climbers and snowmobilers.
The backcountry represents the fastest-growing segment of the ski industry. More than ever, people are looking for fresh descents accessible by helicopters, hiking or even the simple ride up a chairlift.
Before 1980, it was unusual to have more than 10 avalanche deaths in the United States each winter. There were 34 last season, including 20 skiers and snowboarders. Eight victims were skiing out of bounds, legally, with a lift ticket. And many of the dead were backcountry experts intimate with the terrain that killed them.
“It’s a cultural shift, where more skiers are going farther, faster, bigger,” said John Stifter, the editor of Powder magazine, who was a part of the group at Tunnel Creek in February. “Which is tending to push your pro skiers or other experienced, elite-level backcountry skiers that much farther, faster and bigger, to the point where there’s no margin for error.”
No one knows how many avalanches occur. Most naturally triggered slides are never seen. Those set off by humans are rarely reported unless they cause fatalities or property damage.
But avalanches occur in Tunnel Creek regularly. Its slopes, mostly from 40 to 45 degrees, are optimal for avalanches — flat enough to hold deep reservoirs of snow, yet steep enough for the snow to slide long distances when prompted. The long elevation drop means snow can be fluffy at the top and slushy at the bottom. Temperatures, wind and precipitation change quickly, and something as welcome as a burst of sunshine can alter the crystallized bonds deep inside the snow. And because Tunnel Creek is outside the ski area, it is not patrolled or specifically assessed for danger.
In March 2011, a University of Washington student was caught in an avalanche in Tunnel Creek. Having been carried into a stand of trees, he was unburied by friends within minutes and found dead. Three others were partially buried about an hour later when the ski patrol’s arrival set off a second avalanche.
Many of the most experienced locals view Tunnel Creek with a mix of awe and fear.
“I’ve always been a naysayer of Tunnel Creek,” the snowboarder Tim Wesley said. “I’ve seen a big avalanche back there before. It has about 2,600 vertical feet. Not typical. The snow changes a lot in that distance. That’s the reason I always have a second thought about Tunnel Creek. In Washington, there’s a saying: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. And it’s true. You’ll be on the chair and it’ll be freezing, and then all of a sudden there’s a warm breeze that smells like the ocean.”
Even those who are not leery of Tunnel Creek on the best days heed the pass-it-on warning of the experienced: stay left.
To head straight down to the bottom is to enter what experts call a terrain trap: a funnel of trouble and clumsy skiing, clogged with trees and rocks and confined by high walls. Few go that way intentionally.


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Chris Rudolph, the effervescent 30-year-old marketing manager for Stevens Pass, knew the preferred route down. Tunnel Creek was his favorite at-work diversion. Earlier that weekend, he mentioned plans for a field trip to Tunnel Creek to a select group of high-powered guests and close friends.
The operations manager for Stevens Pass agreed to pick up the group in one of the ski area’s trucks at the end of its descent. From the bottom of Tunnel Creek, it is about a half-mile trek through deep snow to U.S. 2, then a four-mile ride back to Stevens Pass.
At 11:32 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 19, heading up the mountain, Rudolph sent a text message to the operations manager.
“A big posse,” Rudolph wrote.
A Plan in Motion

Like many ideas that sound good at the time, skiing Tunnel Creek was an idea hatched in a bar.
It was Saturday, Feb. 18, the afternoon light fading to dusk. Outside the Foggy Goggle, a bar at the base of the ski area, the snow continued to fall, roughly an inch an hour. By morning, there would be 32 inches of fresh snow at Stevens Pass, 21 of them in a 24-hour period of Saturday and Saturday night.
That was cause for celebration. It had been more than two weeks since the last decent snowfall. Finally, the tired layer of hard, crusty snow was gone, buried deep under powder.
Rudolph promoted Stevens Pass with restless zeal. In seven years there, he helped turn a relatively small, roadside ski area into a hip destination.
He unabashedly courted ski journalists and filmmakers to take a look. They, in turn, gave Stevens Pass star turns in magazines and popular ski movies, raising the area’s cool quotient.
Rudolph was the oldest of three children raised in California’s Bay Area by outdoors-minded parents. The young family pulled a pop-up Coleman camper around the West and skied at the areas around Lake Tahoe. The grown siblings continued to vacation with their parents, climbing peaks like Mount Whitney in California and Mount Rainier in Washington.
Rudolph peppered his language with words like “rad” and “stoked.” But he was no simple-minded ski bum. He was an Eagle Scout with a marketing degree. When he applied at Stevens Pass years earlier, he sent a video of himself speaking, skiing and mountain biking. He included a bag of popcorn for the viewer. He got the job.
Children knew Rudolph because he kept his pockets full of Stevens Pass stickers. He starred in self-deprecating Webcasts promoting Stevens Pass. He wrote poetry on his blog and strummed a guitar. He drank Pabst Blue Ribbon, the unofficial beer of irony and the hipster generation.
Tunnel Creek was where he took special guests. And it is where he wanted to take the tangled assortment of high-caliber skiers and industry insiders who, as if carried by the latest storm, had blown into Stevens Pass that weekend.
Many of them happened into the Foggy Goggle on Saturday night.
Among them were professional skiers like Saugstad, 33, a former champion of the Freeride World Tour. There were reporters and editors from Powder magazine and ESPN. There were executives from ski equipment and apparel companies. There were Stevens Pass regulars, some with broad reputations in the niche world of skiing, glad to spend time with the assortment of guests.
“It was a very, very deep, heavy, powerful, strong group of pro skiers and ski industry people,” said Keith Carlsen, a photographer and former editor of Powder.
Rudolph was the connecting thread. Some visitors, like Saugstad, were at Stevens Pass for a promotional event aimed at expert female skiers, sponsored by Salomon, the ski equipment maker. Rudolph skied with the group all day Saturday. He organized and hosted a catered dinner for the women later that night in Leavenworth, a serious outdoors town dressed as a Bavarian village, 35 miles downhill to the east.
Powder had come to spotlight Stevens Pass for a feature article on night skiing. When the magazine’s editor, John Stifter, arrived by train to Leavenworth two days earlier, he found Rudolph’s car waiting for him. Inside were keys to the car, keys to a slope-side cabin and two Pabst Blue Ribbons in the cup holders.
At the bar, Rudolph mentioned an idea to a few people: Tunnel Creek on Sunday. Invitations traveled in whispers and text messages, through a knot of friendships and slight acquaintances.
Meet at the fire pit, on the stone deck at Granite Peaks Lodge, at 11. Rudolph thought his Sunday morning staff meeting would end by then.



Chris Rudolph

30, Director of marketing at Stevens Pass
View Slideshow


Elyse Saugstad

33, Professional freeskier
View Slideshow


Keith Carlsen

38, Photographer and former editor of Powder
View Slideshow


John Stifter

29, Editor of Powder magazine
View Slideshow



As darkness enveloped Stevens Pass on Saturday night, stadium-style lights flooded the slopes in white light, and snowflakes fell in cotton-ball clumps.
Rudolph and those with the Salomon event left for dinner in Leavenworth. Stifter, 29, and Carlsen, 38, headed outside to work on their article for Powder.

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Several of those with plans to ski Tunnel Creek the next day huddled around a fire in front of Tim Wangen’s trailer. Among the assembled were Jim Jack, in red pants, and Tiffany Abraham, in red jacket. Keith Carlsen
“I skied just off the trail, not out of bounds, but in the ski resort, to shoot some of these night shots I took,” Carlsen said. “And in tree wells I was, like, neck deep — easily nipple deep, wading around in snow, trying to get my angle. There was so much new snow.”
With the daytime crowds gone, the nighttime atmosphere was festive and the faces were familiar. Families played in the deepening snow. More serious skiers and snowboarders sought the freshest powder.
There are no public accommodations at Stevens Pass, only a parking lot available to a few dozen campers and recreational vehicles. As the evening wound down, several of those with loose plans to ski Tunnel Creek the next morning huddled in the R.V. lot around a fire. Carlsen continued taking photographs. Stifter and others ducked inside one camper to watch homemade videos of others skiing Tunnel Creek over the past couple of decades.
“So it’s something they skied often,” Stifter said. “Not something like, ‘We’re going to go ski Tunnel!’ Not like a once-a-year deal.”
The flames in the fire died to orange embers. The last beers were sipped empty, and people slipped into the night. The campers were blanketed with snow.
Beyond the lights glowing from the ski area, snow still fell over the ridge, too, in the vast darkness of steep meadows and narrow gullies just past the western edge of Stevens Pass.
Each snowflake added to the depth, and each snowflake added to the weight. It might take a million snowflakes for a skier to notice the difference. It might take just one for a mountain to move.

Powder can induce you make to decisions that seem to overide your common sense
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#328 Armada

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:09 AM

That's a phenomenal story! ^Thanks for sharing it mate!

I need to head down to Stevens Pass this February during school break and enjoy those deep pow days.

Forgot to mention its been a year since we lost Sarah Burke (RIP). I plan on buying a t-shirt to help out the foundation.

VANCOUVER — The husband of former freestyle skiing star Sarah Burke has helped start a charitable foundation in her name.
Burke, a four-time Winter X Games champion in superpipe skiing, died last January after a practice accident in Utah.
She would have been a gold-medal favourite for Canada next year in Sochi, where halfpipe skiing makes its Olympics debut. Burke, a pioneer in her sport, was instrumental in getting superpipe skiing added to the Olympic program.
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The Sarah Burke Foundation, run by Burke’s husband, Rory Bushfield, will raise money to provide scholarships to athletes and donate to organizations Burke supported.
The first fundraising efforts will come through the sale of necklaces, T-shirts and goggles, all branded with Burke’s name. The necklace will include a snowflake pendant that’s inspired by the tattoo Burke wore on her foot.
Burke was born in Barrie, Ont., and grew up in Midland, Ont., before moving to Squamish, B.C.


http://sarahburkefou...on.com/support/
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#329 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:13 AM

This is getting really frustrating , i know you have posted only minutes ago armada , but when i log into the thread it only shows me up to post no 330
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.


#330 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:19 AM

That's a phenomenal story! ^Thanks for sharing it mate!

I need to head down to Stevens Pass this February during school break and enjoy those deep pow days.

Forgot to mention its been a year since we lost Sarah Burke (RIP). I plan on buying a t-shirt to help out the foundation.



http://sarahburkefou...on.com/support/


RIP Sarah , one helluva skier and person , i thought it was a reall great gesture when the canucks honoured her at the start of a game last year.

Yes that article is both engaging and enlightening , even though it has a tragic end .

Take care when skiing the back country brother , and if you have any doubts about the snow-pack , just walk away.
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The Real war is not between the east and the west. The real war is between intelligent and stupid people.

Marjane Satrapi

tony-abbott-and-stephen-harper-custom-da

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.

Aldous Huxley.





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