Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ski Bum

My wife called me a Ski Bum today. I couldn't disagree. Skiied an exotic locaton this morning: Emmigration Canyon. Elevation from 6500 ft to 7800 ft. 2400 vertical. High country in the low country. The only difference was that there was low avy danger.

Peaked out just as the sun was rising.

Bart on a run into Red Butte Canyon.

Jon riding the ridge. I've always believed skiers can't do what snowboarders do, i.e., futz around with gear, get stuck upside down because your legs are stuck together and bindings don't release, hop around like a jackrabit when the terrain tilts up, but lately I've noticed that snowboarders can actually do something cool -- surf the off cambered ridges.

They can also run straight into trees. I don't have much room to talk since I did the exact same thing recently. I still smell like a pine tree.

After the drop into Red Butte, we climbed back up to the ridge, and made an east facing run that rivals the high country runs. Snow was nice.

Surf is up.

Dude . . .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chutes in the Kingdom

Skiied in a place affectionally known as the "Magic Kingdom." Start at ~5500 feet, end up at over 10,000 feet. And there are lots of "chuting" possibilities.


We settled on an unnamed north facing chute. Snow in the upper chute was nice and fluffy.


We encountered some cliffage, a minor obstacle. Some rope would have helped though.


Sam jumped (kind of) off.

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The results were spectacular, just not in the way we anticipated.

The apron was nice.

All smiles now.

We'll be back for this one.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Foothill Skiing

Foothill skiing this morning above the Huntsman compound. Views were nice. Skiing was not so nice. Kicked off a sluff than ran 500 feet. And I trashed my skis on the rocks.



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Monday, January 21, 2008

Buy Cousin Chris' Arc Teryx Jacket

2007 XCR Version. Size Large.

Has been worn a couple of times (on the metro in Washington DC). The tags are still attached.

$275 plus shipping (UPS Priority).

Cousin Chris gets pro deals, so he can afford to wear a jacket twice and then get a new one.

In other news, I had an active weekend. Despite being buried at work, I managed to ski with Ethan on Friday afternoon at Alta. On Saturday, I got out in the BC with some fellow biker dudes -- Tim White and Trent Duncan. Our attempt to ski some unnamed chute failed, but all in all it was a good time.

Then, yesterday, I watched Bike Yoda, the Jedi Master, ride a narrow snow trail, while I rode my brand new carbon Cannondale snow scooter -- it's a Scalpel that works really well on snow if you (a) sit on the top tube, (b) push yourself forward with the uphill leg, and (c) steer it like a bike/scooter. I tried to pedal it, but it wouldn't stay on the trail. Snowbiking is a good way to develop pedaling, skills, and concentration.

I haven't been on the bike for a couple months now. I've kept my fitness up by rising with the sun and doing special Chuck Norris exercises in the snow. But I can tell I've lost a bit of bike muscle. Hopefully, the spinning motion will come back. To you dudes riding the hamster wheel, good on ya (snicker snicker).

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Dawn Patrol up Neffs. At 5:43 am, it was hard to wake up. I've been dragging lately. I wanted to stay in bed, and would have stayed in bed had I not known that my partner was waiting at the trailhead. I got dressed, drove 10 minutes to the trailhead and drank a slushy Coke. The approach into Neffs made me question whether it was worth it, but as we started to skin up into the aspens and pines, and as we topped out on a ridge, I was glad I made the effort. Plus, I got to ski a new line. Next time I'm laying in bed I'll remind myself that it's always worth it.

Here's a picture from a few days ago of Zenger (credit to Juan again):

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

While You Were Sleeping

Credit for the photo above goes to Jon. Skiied Mt. Aire this morning -- the Northeast face that you can see driving down Parleys. 2700 vertical and 3 hrs door to peak to door. Left at 5:30 am; got home at 8:30 am. Not a bad morning run. In the interest of full disclosure, while the skiing was good off the face, there was a price to be paid at the end. In truth, much of the run isn't as glamorous as it looks:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Powder Day (Again)

We've had some funky weather lately, e.g. 16 feet of snow at Snowbird in the last month, which has resulted in some funky lighting, interesting photos, and really good skiing. Today, we skiied the south slopes of Alta and logged about 4600 vertical in about 4 hrs. At the Powder Keg, we log that much in under 2 hrs (yes, I'm thinking of that race again and already; it plagues me). Saw Jack Dainton, a fellow biker dude, enjoying the snow. And I had the honor of breaking trail up Flagstaff for the Powderwhores (Noah, did you get a video of me laying down freeride big mountain firsties?) and several others.

As for the photos, I like this one:


More here:

January 12, 2008

Thought the quality isn't great, this says it all:

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Got some good skiing in the last couple days. Skiied Bartman's Emmigration stash yesterday. Shortly thereafter, he hit ebay and purchased some AT boots. Saw the sunrise this morning. As Splitboarder Jon Esquire says, "if I couldn't do this and all I did was work, life would suck." Yep, it's magical.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

It appears I'm out of touch and that I've been tagged at least twice. First things first, the following are now "it": DH, Nate, Sohm, TN.

1. In truth, I barely qualify as half a samurai. I'm half Japanese, half Chinese, and grew up in Gunnison, Utah. But for my asian ancestry, I would be a cowboy instead of a samurai. I've tried the cowboy thing, but no one takes an asian guy with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat seriously. And me with a full on mullet (in 1991) looked pretty funny.

2. I am a nerdy samurai. I was the South Sanpete School District spelling champion for grades 4 though 8 for four consecutive years (5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades). In 8th grade, I was 2nd place in the Deseret News State Spelling Bee. Had I won, I would have been on ESPN. That was probably the only chance in my life I had to be on ESPN. Maybe I'm not cut out to be a bike champion. Sigh. Note: I'm not that great a speller; my mom just quizzed me a lot.

3. The feminine side of the samurai occasionally shows too bright. Case in point 1. I took a class from the dean of the law school. One of the few days that I attended, I was sitting towards the back in the shadows, and was whispering the answers to a friend who had been called on. The Dean said, "maybe I should just talk with your friend, it seems SHE knows the answers." I responded: "actually, it's a he." In the Dean's defense, my hair did not quite conform to BYU standards.

Case in point 2. Cousin Chris hit a deer in Nephi and I went to help him fix his truck. We went to the service station to borrow a tool, and the mechanic referred to me as Cousin Chris's WIFE.

Case in point 3. While living in Las Vegas, I was asked out by a male. He volunteered to take me to a club and "get me in some trouble." I declined.

4. I have been a cycling fan for a long long time. Even though I have only been seriously racing for a few years, I have always loved the sport of cycling. I remember waiting for the daily newspaper to track the Tour de France results. I remember getting the paper in 1989 and learing that Greg LeMond had beaten Fignon. In 9th grade, I got an old steel framed bike and gave it a sweet fluorescent green and white fade paint job. I also got a Decente stars and stripes jersey. On my first ride out, I tried to beat a pickup truck around a corner, went down, broke my ankle, and tore up my knee. As a result, I have two screws in my ankle and a scar on my knee.

5. The samurai used to be slightly chubbier. Though I've always been active, there was an inactive period in my life when I got a bit chubby. In 1993 I went on a mission and got chubby. In 1995 I got back and started running. That year, I ran up Rock Canyon as fast as I could several times. On the road, I could easily sustain sub-6 minute miles for 10-12 miles. I got skinnier. Then I got married in 1997 and got chubby again. When I graduated from BYU in 1998, I was an Orvis flyfishing guide for two summers and ate lots and lots of really good food, and got even chubbier. I think I topped out at around 165. In 2000, after my brothers made fun of my out of shape arse on a bc ski trip, I decided to whip myself into shape. I am no longer chubby.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's Always Worth the Climb

Back to work. Had a good vacation -- ski to vacation ratio was over 75%. Climbed a lot of mountains, had some good snow, and was able to spend a lot of time with the family. The skiing has been so good this year, I'll be a bit sad to direct my focus on the upcoming bike season. Until then . . . .