A picture of Ultra-runner/Ultra-drunk Brownie is up for Pic of the Year in our local newspaper. After looking through the pics I have to say I was drawn to the fuzzy fox babies at first, but then I figured we have to keep true to our friends. I voted for this shot, as should you!!
This year has already seen over a dozen deaths linked to the slopes. Between the numerous avalanches both in bounds and out, the skiers slamming into trees and the few lost in the snow, this years season has really caught my eye as to the deadly nature of the outdoor game.
While risks are taken when ever we venture out doors, we know and understand that nature is all powerful and regardless of the amount of training or gear, accidents do happen and people die.
I stole this from Brownie without permission as I am certain he stole it form someone else without permission! This was stolen from his post on his upcoming Triple Century Attempt!!! For those missing out a Triple Century is running 100 miles while drinking 100 beers in under 100 hours!!
Today the high is expected to break a whopping 8 degrees, and with it that cold toting around a 1 1/2 year old is not fair to him. To make matters worse there is no snow on the ground, which means there is little to no chance of coaxing a laugh out of my son if we are outside. So lets see, my outdoor options are pretty slim.
Here are a few of the reasons we do the things we do during these colder months!!
If you live anywhere near a destination ski resort then you probably deal with the same scenario that we do a few times per year; an old friend from far away is bringing his/her family for a ski vacation in your neck of the woods and they insist that you come spend some time with them while they are near.
It's not that you don't want to see your friend, it's just that you hate to revert to acting like a tourist in what is essentially your home terrain. You meet them at their condo at 8:30, but they aren't ready to get out the door till 10. After buying full-priced lift tickets and another round of Starbucks you aren't on the first lift till 11. On the first run someone's rental gear falls apart or hurts too badly so it's back to the rental shop. Then lunch. Then finally everyone gets their first good run in around 2, but all of the frustration has them exhausted by 2:30....
You just wasted an entire day on the mountain waiting for people.
But all selfishness aside, your presence may have made the situation even worse for them. You know the scenario for getting on the mountain quickly. You have all of your own gear and a pass. You were happy with a Clif bar for lunch while everyone else needed an $11 burger and fries. Even if you kept a smile on your face all day long and you kept the jokes and conversation rolling, even if you reassured them that you're really just there to enjoy their company (be it true or not), deep down these people see you as someone who is just sitting around waiting on them, and that is going to compound their vacation frustrations.
I try really hard to accommodate my out-of-town friends when they come around. I want them to go home thinking that the day they spent with me on the mountain was they best day of their vacation. In order to do so I have a set of rules or guidelines that I go by that minimizes frustration and increases excitement for everyone involved:
For those not familiar Off-Piste simply refers to virgin or untracked snow. "Piste" being any marked slope or run and Off Piste being well off the marked trail whether it is a few meters or truly wild ground. Although if the area is not a designated ski area it is generally referred to as "Backcountry".
Now that the semantics are out of the way I have compiled a list of gear you should have if planning any Off Piste riding this winter.
"It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much @#%&ing fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles." - Clark Griswold, National Lampoon's Vacation
Lets get one thing straight right now, I love the southwestern U.S.. To me there is no greater part of our great country than the one championed by Cactus Ed. I realize that everyone will say their part of the country is the best, and that is fine, but wrong! I am of course kidding (but not really) HA.
I have yet to find a place in this great country that warms my soul quite the way the desert southwest does. For those of you that have never been to the great red and orange expanses of our country you have no idea what you are missing. Whether you have traveled to this gem or not I implore you to check out guide company Just Roughin' It for your first or next trip!!
The opening line on their about us page speaks volumes!! Any company that can free themselves from the stresses of the world by quoting Clark Griswald as the first line on their About Us page have got to be good people.
When in a survival situation you really need to ensure you are not making the situation worse than it needs to be. Your situation is bad enough if you are hopelessly lost and disoriented, however you must become more self sustaining than you ever thought possible.
Have you ever heard the quote "Necessity, who is the mother of invention" - Plato.
Well in a survival situation you will live this mantra.
Do not be limited to the form and function of the gear you have on hand. Think outside the box. Explore your equipment piece by piece, know it love it and imagine. Here is a chance to unleash your inner child and your long suppressed imagination.
Works for me!!!