Ski Blog... Been doing this since 2005!

October 16, 2008

The Economy and Ski Season (h/t Alpengluhen)

Interesting commentary on the Economy and ski industry:

Most of the customers stated that they were thinking of pairing back their season for financial reasons. Destination resorts seemed to be big losers, with the following reasons:

1. Cost of airline tickets has gone up significantly
2. Cost of flying with gear has gone up
3. Most resorts have pushed their pass prices up again
4. Their stock portfolios have sunk radically

Which brought a renewed interest in the local resorts. Several folks were asking if it was worth buying a season pass, and just driving up. How long the snow stays fresh, etc. It's been interesting. Could this year see the rise/return of the local resort vs the destination resort?

I'm conflicted on this one. On one hand, having a larger money flow in for classes would be a nice change (I currently just brake even for teaching, which is why I have two jobs). On the other hand, it will mean larger crowds, and less fresh snow for me. Tough call.

As an aside, most of those mentioning #4 as their primary reason for skipping their trip(s) were shocked to hear our responses. Several of us have been playing the stock market for awhile and have invested heavily. Two of the guys in the shop are working there because they've already made their millions and now want to do something fun and rewarding. It's was fun to break people's perceptions of 20/30 somethings with a ski job not knowing anything about stocks.

I won't get too political but more than one person at Brian Head has mentioned that Barack Obama will be horrible for the ski industry. It is evident that prices are so high that only the affluent can afford to ski. Certainly only the rich can afford condos and second homes at ski resorts.

Barack talks about raising taxes on the "rich" making more than $250k per year. That is going to cause them to cut back on the ski resort homes and on their vacations. We have to keep in mind that skiing is a luxury item and it is the kind of thing that can be eliminated in bad economic times or when taxes/gas prices/airfare/etc. go up.

I am selfish. I own a second home that will not sell at Brian Head. The housing market is in the tank. Stocks are down. The economy is slowing. I am scared that I will not be able to sell my condo after Obama is elected. And he will be elected based on everything we now know.

Posted by Justin at 12:34 PM | Comments (10)

John at Steamboat Springs Blog has First Hand Account of ABasin

Check the first hand account of the WROD start of ski season at A-Basin.

We skied A-Basin and then Loveland today for their opening day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the snow was very good with only a few hard spots.A-Basin was pretty crowded with long lift lines but Loveland was wide open with a perfect run that had a steeper pitch for Alden to find his carve on. Alden must have been the only little guy there because we got interviewed by the Rocky Mountain News soon after arriving and then the Denver Post a few minutes later. We had a great day and I couldn't help but picture many more with him and my 2 yr old daughter Neve on Mt Werner in Steamboat this season. We have already been in training for several week watching ski movies to inspire us for the coming season.

Good times bro. Look forward to hitting Steamboat with you.

Posted by Justin at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2008

Rough Season for Off-Piste at Alpengluhen

Frequent commentator and fellow blogger Off-Piste at elpengluhen reports some seriously bad news:

After a full day of 4 and 5 year olds I assisted in a restocking run to the mid-mountain lodge. Up the chair with 10 lbs of sausage and 8 gallons of water. Returning at the bottom, I was involved in 3 person collision, where I got hit head on. My right arm is broken in multiple spots along the radius. My left was spared apparently thanks to the wrist brace I was wearing (although the metal brace was bent hard). Helmet was broken, and my left eye crushed.

Vision is slowly coming back to my eye, my face is finally starting to lose the swelling, and my arm itches like crazy. Typing is slow and difficult right now.

SkiPatrol's general opinion was the helmet saved me from any further damage. Best case I can be back out for some spring skiing, but the prognosis isn't likely. For now my season is over. And my bed calls for more sleep.

ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET. You never know when something is going to happen.

Thoughts and prayers bro. Get your dome straight and your arm back together. It could have been worse, but damn dude, it still sucks.

Posted by Justin at 12:49 AM

December 25, 2007

Road Trip AZ

Got a new link to Road Trip which is a blog dedicated to the state of Arizona and all of the beauty that it contains. I played football and wrestled for a 2A (now 3A) school, Wickenburg, and during the course of my 4 years wrestling varsity and two years playing varsity football (since I suited for home games as a Freshman and Soph but did not travel), got to see most of the state. My personal favorite places around are Payson, Prescott, Flag, Heber, Pinetop/Show Low, and the rest of the mountain towns that stretch from the Bradshaws to the White Mountains. As most readers of the site know, one of my favorite things to do in the summer was to Jeep, but sadly, I sold another Jeep which makes my third Wrangler that I have owned, loved, then sold in favor of practicality..

RTAZ has an article about snowmaking at Snowbowl and describes a little bit about Sunrise and the hypocrisy of their stand on snowmaking. Not super long or detailed, but he sums it up nicely.

Check out the site if you are interested in more on the debate.

Posted by Justin at 01:13 PM

December 06, 2007

Warren Miller Takes on Global Warming

Got sent a link to a new skiing blog today and was reviewing it. Came across this article from the Pimp Daddy of skiing, Warren Miller.

If you are to believe Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who also received an Academy Award for his documentary about global warming, everyone should immediately sell any ski or snowboard equipment they own and give up their futile search for powder.

To that scenario I say, “Forget it, Al!” All weather is unusual and the snow will show up and everyone will forget all of the doom and gloom of last winter...

After many years of traveling the world, everywhere I’ve filmed the weather was always unusual. Do I think the unusual weather conditions during the last decade are based solely on internal combustion engines?

A resounding, “No!” ...

There are many other factors besides Al Gore that affect the overall temperature of our planet. Of great significance are solar flares and cosmic radiation. One solar flare explosion can be the equivalent of several dozen atomic bomb blasts. When the radiation collides with the earth’s atmosphere, it causes more clouds to form and they lower the overall temperature.

So put all of this information together and chances are you will be making your winter reservations at the same time based on when we had them last year. Scientific evidence relating to potential snow conditions is completely irrelevant to your winter vacation plans.

So get out in the garage and tune up whatever you will be riding on this winter, get your body in shape and try not to get freaked out by Nobel Prize-winner Al Gore. Even though he did invent e-mail and the science of global warming in the office of his air-conditioned, 22-room home, that is fortunately a very long way from any ski resort. Or, at least, it’s a short flight in his private jet.

Warren Miller makes movies too. Probably better documentaries than Al Gore does.

The UK Independent has this article on changes in solar activity that may just hold the key to Global Warming. Color me surprised when they point out that this gigantic ball of molten energy that appears for approximately half of each day and causes the hemispheres of the Earth to experience hot and cold cycles called “seasons” based on the amount of energy the receive from it may actually be more important to the temperature of the globe than the Carbon Dioxide emissions and “greenhouse gases”.

What is problematic is that the Independent's editors think that the prospect of a mini-Ice Age, starvation, and famine provide a "RAY OF HOPE" to combat global warming. I guess that perspective relies on you believing Global Warming is a major problem and not a cyclical event caused by the molten ball of gas we call a "SUN". I am afraid that the cure may be worse than the disease.

Sunspots – dark magnetic blotches on the Sun’s surface – come and go in a roughly 11-year cycle of activity first noticed in 1843. It’s related to the motion of super-hot, electrically charged gas inside the Sun – a kind of internal conveyor belt where vast sub-surface rivers of gas take 40 years to circulate from the equator to the poles and back. Somehow, in a way not very well understood, this circulation produces the sunspot cycle in which every 11 years there is a sunspot maximum followed by a minimum. But recently the Sun’s internal circulation has been failing. In May 2006 this conveyor belt had slowed to a crawl – a record low. Nasa scientist David Hathaway said: “It’s off the bottom of the charts… this has important repercussions for future solar activity.” What’s more, it’s not the only indicator that the Sun is up to something.

...Following the discovery of the cycle, astronomers looked back through previous observations and were able to see it clearly until they reached the 17th century, when it seemed to disappear. It turned out to be a real absence, not one caused by a lack of observations. Astronomers called it the “Maunder Minimum.” It was an astonishing discovery: our Sun can change. Between 1645 and 1715 sunspots were rare. About 50 were observed; there should have been 50,000.

Ever since the sunspot cycle was discovered, researchers have looked for its rhythm superimposed on the Earth’s climate. In some cases it’s there but usually at low levels. But there was something strange about the time when the sunspots disappeared that left scientists to ponder if the sun’s unusual behaviour could have something to do with the fact that the 17th century was also a time when the Earth’s northern hemisphere chilled with devastating consequences.

Scientists call that event the “Little Ice Age” and it affected Europe at just the wrong time. In response to the more benign climate of the earlier Medieval Warm Period, Europe’s population may have doubled. But in the mid-17th century demographic growth stopped and in some areas fell, in part due to the reduced crop yields caused by climate change. Bread prices doubled and then quintupled and hunger weakened the population. The Italian historian Majolino Bisaccioni suggested that the wave of bad weather and revolutions might be due to the influence of the stars. But the Jesuit astronomer Giovanni Battista Riccioli speculated that fluctuations in the number of sunspots might be to blame, for he had noticed they were absent.

Looking back through sunspot records reveals many periods when the Sun’s activity was high and low and in general they are related to warm and cool climatic periods. As well as the Little Ice Age, there was the weak Sun and the cold Iron Age, the active sun and the warm Bronze Age. Scientists cannot readily explain how the Sun’s activity affects the Earth but it is an observational correlation that the Sun’s moods have a climatic effect on the Earth.

This is hugely problematic. Global Warming is not a problem. We are at the top end of a solar cycle and the direction that things go from here is uncertain. Does the Earth continue to heat like a hockey stick, which is completely unsupported by both historic evidence and by the results of any scientific study? Historic evidence has very dire predictions for the Earth. Historic predictions are that the Earth will experience a cooling period like it has several times over the last several million years. And if it is like the mini-Ice Age, that may mean starvation and famines, not simply rising ocean levels and more storms.

Posted by Justin at 11:46 AM

November 23, 2007

Colorado Snow Blog

Another new blog out there worth a read. Colorado Snow Blog is a good read and is getting added to my links.

He has news on the latest storm:

Finally, a winter storm has hit the state albeit short-lived. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) seems to offer only clouds and cold weather. The following new snow is being reported around the resorts in the last 24 hours.
  • Arapahoe Basin: 3 inches
  • Breckenridge: 6 inches
  • Copper Mountain: 4 inches
  • Crested Butte: 1 inch
  • Keystone: 4 inches
  • Loveland: 3 inches
  • Vail: 4 inches
  • Winter Park: 6 inches

This is good news for Colorado.

Posted by Justin at 10:21 PM | Comments (2)

Colorado Snow Blog

Another new blog out there worth a read. Colorado Snow Blog is a good read and is getting added to my links.

He has news on the latest storm:

Finally, a winter storm has hit the state albeit short-lived. Tomorrow (Thanksgiving) seems to offer only clouds and cold weather. The following new snow is being reported around the resorts in the last 24 hours.
  • Arapahoe Basin: 3 inches
  • Breckenridge: 6 inches
  • Copper Mountain: 4 inches
  • Crested Butte: 1 inch
  • Keystone: 4 inches
  • Loveland: 3 inches
  • Vail: 4 inches
  • Winter Park: 6 inches

This is good news for Colorado.

Posted by Justin at 10:21 PM | Comments (2)

October 23, 2007

Eagle Valley Blog Reports on Big Storm

Caroline at Eagle Valley reports on the latest Storm to come through:

With new snow being frequent and deep, there’s no way that the early season this year will disappoint. A storm over the 19th and 20th dumped 12″ at Aspen and 20″ at Beaver Creek. Though the weather is set to warm up in the valley this week, it will undoubtedly stay cold in the high elevations, and with such a thick base already, will make a complete melt unimaginable.

“Winter is officially here after a weekend storm dropped 20+ inches at the top of Beaver Creek Mountain. With Opening Day, November 21, less than one month away, now is the time to get out your skis or board and get ready for the 2007/08 season.”

Check out the blog. I am adding the blog to my sidebar. I would post to Caroline's myspace blog, but it certainly isn't skiing related, but is hysterical. She dropped me a not about 6 months ago when she was doing design work and I was able to help her set up the servers, databases, and software for the site.

Anyway, check out the link and the site.

Posted by Justin at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2007

Injuries and Workouts Article at Rokovoko

Rokovoko has an interesting article on workouts and injuries to check out. Interesting stuff on an ACL injury:

Stay in shape, stretch, train, eat right, be cautious, and guess what -- injuries still happen sometimes, as Steven Cohn, of Bethesda, Md., found out a few years ago skiing at Whitetail in Pennsylvania.

“I was carving turns down the mountain,” he recalls. “I was pleased about the natural, fresh snow, my body’s performance and ski equipment. Suddenly, my forward visibility was limited by the rapid decent of the terrain before me. I was airborne. Not a problem. However, in direct line of my landing stood three young ladies … chatting (probably about their cell-phone reception) in the middle of the trail.”

Among the thoughts that flashed through his mind, Cohn says, were “What the #*?!” and “avoidance mid-flight maneuver.”

“I tried the later,” he says. “My landing was harder than anticipated. My left leg (downhill) didn’t get the message and didn’t hold its edge. I fell forward and toward my left. My bindings didn’t release and I felt and heard two distinct pops in my left knee. Ouch! [Deleted expletives.] That was special! I was dragged off the mountain and given an ice pack. After being asked to sign liability release forms ... I got in my car and my wife drove me home.

“The following morning I visited the neighborhood hospital. The physicians confirmed my diagnosis of a torn anterior crucial ligament (ACL). The next week was spent obtaining second-through-seventh opinions. Some physicians advised to learn to live with a locking knee or a knee that had unlimited swiveling capabilities. Some advised me to wear a knee brace. However, without surgery there would be no more skiing. Others said they could operate and rebuild the joint. I’m an active guy and wanted to ski again.”

My mom does Canine Agility and about four months ago tore her meniscis. She is having trouble with her ACL after the surgery and her knee is severely weakened. We were talking about strengthening exercises last night as I was coming home from the Condo.

Check out Highly Obsessed for Adam's horror story about Canadian healthcare and his ACL injury.

Posted by Justin at 06:05 PM

September 25, 2007

Helping Out with Linux

Got an e-mail from a peer today who was in Linux hell. New Redhat server trying to run mysql and wordpress and for whatever reason the install was not working right and kept blowing up.

My first response--send me a shell prompt and a root login. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN.

So it is hunt and peck and pray time.

Two hours and a dead phone handset later and we have the server working, but there is something funky about her firewall, internal network, DNS, or something. The server works for me to the outside world and I can get to it, but she is having the page blow up.

Now, I am not asking for help or trying to figure out life's little mysteries. It just made me feel pretty good to do some troubleshooting and some Linux sys admin work for the first time in the last year or two. I sat there and busted out an old dusty O'Reilly book on mysql and was feeding her command line info. Trying to explain what "pwd" and "chmod" and "chown" and "mv" and "ls" were. And she keeps telling me, if you just wanted me to move that directory to this location, I can drag and drop it. Why you keep telling me to mv blah /blah/blah?

Good news is that it is for a new blog up north and I am so stoked to see it up and running. I know the author and read her myspace page and it is hysterical. I will post a link when it comes up.

Posted by Justin at 10:37 PM

September 20, 2007

Site Blow Up Yesterday

Yesterday, I went to publish a new post and the site blew up. Every single static page got wiped and would not rebuild.

Problem was that the server's system status reporting was saying that I was over my disk space quota and when I used MT to rebuild the homepage and other pages, it could not write to the directories and publish.

So if you noticed the site was down or you got a blank page, this is why.

Posted by Justin at 03:19 PM

August 10, 2007

One Week Job

Ian who was formerly at "Drift" - see sidebar - has a new project that is well worth checking out:

One Week Job

How it works is simple!

Any individual or corporation from across the country can offer me a job for one week. The job could be absolutely anything, anywhere in Canada, from garbage collection in Toronto, to working the counter at a Starbucks in Kelowna, to working the family farm in southern Saskatchewan, to a suit and tie corporate position in Halifax.

After finishing my degree, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t settle for a career that I am not truly passionate about. My goal is to gain a better understanding of what this career would look like and inspire the many others of my generation in similar situations to commit to going after their passions.

Any proceeds you are willing to pay me for my weeks work will be donated to the Make Poverty History campaign, dedicated to tackling the issue of child poverty in Canada. Yes, there is child poverty in Canada. Make sure to read more about it and what you can do in the ‘child poverty’ section!

I am continuing to travel the country week to week, working different jobs and recording my experiences with blog entries and video clips posted to the homepage.

Sure beats the hell out of touring the country doing nothing. Figuring life out, travelling, donating to help poverty. Props bro.

Ian is a good guy and has been awesome to work with. We post stuff back and forth and his new project is pretty cool. He does great work editing things and putting the whole package together.

Stop by and wish him the best. And if nothing else, it is awesome to talk trash and I make sure to ask him "aboot" Canada. The first episode is from Toronto and you get the Quebec French Canadian Accent too. Damn, it is worth checking just for that alone.

Posted by Justin at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

July 14, 2007

South America Info from Unofficial Andes - Las Lenas

New blog on my blogroll - Unofficial which has some good stuff on South America including this post about Las Lenas:

Las Lenas was opened in 1982 and has since become the premier Argentinean ski resort. There is no town within an hour of Las Lenas but there are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Most people who come to ski Las Lenas stay at one of the hotel/apartments that are located right at the base of the mountain. However, if you are looking to stay for the season or are on a budget you can try and land a bed in one of the gringo ski bum apartments.

Las Lenas is known for having some of the most extreme lift accessible terrain on the planet. From the top of the Marte chairlift you can access hundreds of chutes descend in all directions that open up into wide-open faces. Below this there are groomed runs which fan out on Las Lenases front side. Grooming here, like most South American resorts, is OK at best. Don’t be surprised if you see a major wipeout on every lift ride. This is largely due to low intermediate skiers skiing on very inconsistent groomed runs. If you don’t mind hiking or are one of the nut jobs who enjoy it, Las Lenas will offer you truly spectacular runs which seem to go on forever. If you dont feel like hiking, Las Lenas also provides heil-skiing and cat-skiing.

The Nightlife in Las Lenas goes on 7 nights a week till around 9 a.m. If you are looking to party as much as ski Las Lenas is the place for you.

I still want to take a trip to South America, but money just ain't there right now. From what I understand, a week trip down there and a stay in the apartments (read hostels like accomodations) is dirt cheap. Transport, lodging (with 20 sweaty dudes in bunks), lift tickets, and food can be had for under a grand. Portillo has bunks for around $80 per night.

Las Lenas offers apartment style accomodations that if you sleep 7 in a huge apartment, the price per day for lift tickets, transport, and lodging runs around $600 per day FOR SEVEN PEOPLE. That is about $85 per person to stay and ski. Food is extra. Not sure if they have other arrangements for individuals to share housing like Portillo's dorms, but Unofficial Andes probably has more info.

Posted by Justin at 12:04 PM

May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Remember the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and thank them for their sacrifice. And remember those that fought and died protecting us. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.


MURFREESBORO, TN (h/t wizbangblog)—Heather Southward Golczynski pulled six more letters out of her mailbox Tuesday, sent from across the nation by people touched by her husband's sacrifice and her son's courage.

Her husband, Marine Staff Sgt. Marcus "Marc" Golczynski, was killed in Iraq on March 27. At his funeral in April, Daily News Journal photographer Aaron Thompson captured Marc Golczynski's teary-eyed son, 8-year-old Christian, accepting a U.S. flag from his father's casket.

It was a picture of a moment that moved many Americans and stirred national interest in the Golczynskis' story.

There is nothing more honorable than being in service of others. Our military members don't get paid much (I still remember trying to make ends meet as an E-3). They work long hours. They do dangerous work. And far too often they get called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.

When you see them, thank them for their courage and remember those that weren't so lucky.

Posted by Justin at 04:35 PM

May 27, 2007

Official Seal Generator (h/t Willisms)

Got a cool link to a seal generator from Had to try it out. official seal

Posted by Justin at 10:45 PM

April 16, 2007

Much Love for Vermont April Dumps (h/t Sparkie at Say Anything

First off, Sparkie over at Say Anything posted this and offered the following caption:

Killington, Vermont - Noon on Saturday. That is not manmade snow either. The last two thurs/fris up there have yielded 24” and 18” respectively. Currently that area is about 8” into a 30” dump scheduled to end sometime tomorrow. The skiing on Saturday was f**king brilliant. The only thing like this I can remember recently was 2001 when that area got approx 48” during the first week of April. Anyone on the eastern seaboard who skis - Monday/Tuesday might be a sweet time to come down with a ‘48 hour flu’. Wink wink.

Say is my first stop in the morning as far as blog reads and Sparkie offers some great commentary. Never knew my boy was a two planker who suffered from similar bouts of the flu as your truly.


Posted by Justin at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

March 21, 2007

The PSIA and Teaching Part Time

Alpengluhen has a great article on the challenges of improving as a part time instructor:

The part that isn't easy to realize is just how large of a gap there is between levels 1 and 2. The testing changes from general skiing ability to a realm entirely different. Book knowledge, teaching abilities, and general skiing all need to increased by several fold. Wherein lies the problem.


Working at a smaller resort has it's advantages until you reach the concept of advancing, where you run into the unspoken barriers within the organization. Working with beginners is about 90-95% of any instructors' job regardless of location. Typically busy from open to close with a minor break for lunch. With a larger resort though, it's possible to pass off a class to another instructor giving you time to practice what's needed for your exam certs. The sad truth is that working regularly with beginners degrades your own skiing abilities as an instructor (mainly you become sloppy in your form).

The advancing tests aren't about the ability to make it down run XYZ in one piece at Level 2 (or 3), they're more focused on the ability to get down a run gracefully while fully utilizing the standards of balance. Did you engage those edges? Actively pressure the fore and aft of the ski? Maintain a balanced stance? Were you able to "dance with gravity"?

If you're a weekend warrior or part-time instructor time becomes your enemy here. When downtime arrives, it's typically at your second job, which has nothing to do with riding. In short, you've now encountered the ugly side of the professional organizations; the unspoken desire to keep the ranks to an exclusive group of full-time professionals. There are part-time and weekend warriors who have made it to the level of DCL, it's taken them years to achieve this rank. I've met two and both of them are amazing instructors and people. While talking with my DCL this weekend over my leveling exam he expressed the difficulties many of his own instructors were having with this very issue.

Go check out the site. It is one of my favorites. Always good info from a part time instructor who has a day job Mon-Fri. Lots of good info and fun reading.

Posted by Justin at 12:28 AM

March 20, 2007

Back to the Mission

Yesterday, I had a reader who recently stumbled on to my site (and said as much) criticizing the direction of my site, the narrative content, and that I spend time on issues as opposed to simply talking about skiing or pow or whatever else he was looking for. I want to go back to my Mission Statement that is linked at the top of the page:

I will try to pass along information that is useful and occasionally talk about new products or new things happening in the industry of interest to skiers and boarders. When I get bored, I might take a jab at some political matter of particullar interest to me, my friends, or folks in the industry. Maybe that is the environment, growth, new resorts, spotted owls, the McDonaldization of our ski culture, wages at resorts, etc. Nothing too serious like wars or elections or that sort of thing. I don't write about my political beliefs at this site, I do that plenty at other blogs.

First, how lame is it to have a Mission Statement? I feel like some cheesy Corporate Suit for even having one. This is a forum to discuss issues, not just conditions. To discuss the things that are being done right in the industry, not just what is wrong with it. And for people to get information. I love people that post comments and publish all of them (though I reserve the right to not post objectionable material). I started the site to discuss affordable family skiing and to describe the way that I obtain that. Discuss the pluses and minuses of different resorts as well as other topics. I didn't create the site to post about how spiritual the ski experience is. That is something personal that belongs to each individual. I don't believe that skiing is simply a "passion" or a "way of life" or some other nonsense that makes it sound like some Eastern Religion about enlightenment by way of powder days. It is a sport and an industry. We may engage in the industry or sport because of a deep enjoyment of nature or powder, but there is no need to question or comment on why each of us skis or how committed we are to the spiritual nature of skiing. The fact is that we all enjoy the same sport for our own personal reasons.

The industry is run by companies like Intrawest, American (well not as much anymore), Vail Resorts Inc., Burton (not skiing so much as snowboarding but snowsports is the merger of both), K2, and so on. The Olympic sport is run by the IOC and governing bodies that determine the rules of competitions. 90% of US ski areas are on Forest Service Land, meaning that the corporations are regulated by the Forest Service that permits their operations. Every single one of these entities do lots of things that I don't particullarly like, but in the end we depend on corporations to take the massive risk of operating a business that completely depends on the weather. Bad weather and resorts don't open or people don't come. Bad weather and gear doesn't sell and the local gear shops go out of business.

I weigh the benefits of skiing Aspen or Vail versus Wolf Creek or Brian Head. $80+ for a day of skiing versus $40. I weigh owning a slopeside condo at Brian Head that is 7 hours away versus renting versus owning in Park City or Pagosa Springs which are much further. I weigh number of ski days and affordability of a season pass versus vertical feet and acres when choosing where to go. I might take a couple trips a year to somewhere else, but because of cost constraints I usually go to Brian Head with the family. The most important thing to me is affordability and accessibility. People like me (upper middle class suburbanites) are the lifeblood of this industry. We buy condos and spend money at the resorts. But increasingly we find ourselves unable to ski because prices keep rising. The income threshold at which folks can afford to ski keeps rising. This site is about expanding skiing to more people and more families. Providing information so that gapers and families that want to go more often can.

Posted by Justin at 03:19 PM

March 14, 2007

New Feature - Ski Forums

I added a new feature at the top SKI FORUMS that is an online discussion board.

I have been playing with it all day to get the style to look similar to my site and to the photo gallery. Check it out and post 'til your heart is content.

Posted by Justin at 06:01 PM

March 11, 2007

For Adam at Highly Obsessed - Vlad Radmanovic Snowboard

Adam over at Highly Obsessed posted an open letter to Vladomir Radmanovic, the Lakers player who was recently fined $500,000 for his snowboarding accident:

On Friday, you admitted that your recent shoulder injury wasn't a result of slipping on the ice after all; rather, it was due to a spill you took while learning to snowboard for the first time. First, I want to commend you on finally telling the truth. You panicked at first, causing you to lie about the nature of your injury, but common sense prevailed. Well done!

Vladdy (can I call you Vladdy?), you seem to be getting a lot of flack for snowboarding when you're in the middle of a five-year, $30 million contract that pretty much explicitly says, 'don't go snowboarding'. In fact, I believe the last words your coach told your team were "You guys take care of yourselves. This is a time when things can happen." But that is neither here nor there; I'm here to tell you to ignore the critics! By learning to snowboard, you have gained cred in a commnity that buddies like Kobe and Phil could only dream of. You are finally on your way to your true calling. It's time to ditch your basketball career and hit the slopes, buddy. And we in the snowboarding community are ready to welcome you with open arms.

Adam, we got one up on your letter. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has this little nugget on his blog about the recent Suns-Lakers game:

Did you catch a glimpse of the "Go Suns" snowboard near the Lakers bench on Sunday? It was not-so-subtle shot at Vladimir Radmanovic, who lied to his team about how he suffered a separated shoulder before acknowledging a snowboarding accident and being fined $500,000.

It was the work of Suns superfan Michael Levine, whose regular displays of affection for the Suns are well-known to those who sit near him. He also has created such props as Raja Bell and Tim Thomas masks, "Trix" cereal boxes, Tim Duncan pacifiers, Milwaukee Bucks hunting gear, Braille signs for the officials and the classic "I'll have the mango salsa" sign for Chris Kaman.

Levine said that the Lakers coaches, athletic trainer, Smush Parker and Ronny Turiaf all laughed at the snowboard Sunday. So did everyone else who got the gag. The Lakers and the snowboard sign will be back April 13. Will Radmanovic?

I am offering right now to buy Kobe a season ski pass at Aspen if it helps. I heard he just loves Colorado and three years ago spent a ton of time in the Aspen area. Matter of fact, the Lakers let him have time off so that he could travel back and forth. Not sure if it was for business or pleasure...

Posted by Justin at 04:00 PM

March 08, 2007

I Read Books

So I am on a recent ski trip with my buddy Tim. As is usual custom, Tim wants to quote or describe his laundry list of philosphical reading and asks over and over, "Have you read so and so?" No, dude, I have kids.

I need books with lots of pictures. I read more philosphical writings of Elmo and Big Bird than anything. So when my buddy Matt at The Ski Journal sent me their new hardback Frequency-The Snowboarders Journal book, I was stoked. Massive Big Mountain photos. Yeah it is snowboarders, but when you are hitting 55 degree slopes, it is awesome whether you are on skis, a snowboard, an old inner tube, rollerskates... whatever. Pictures are good. Especially pictures of big mountain skiing and snowboarding. The articles are great reads too, but the pictures... The hardback is just beyond awesome and the magazines are perfect for the coffee table as a conversation piece.

I am adding a link to Frequency over on the side next to the Ski Journal and both are worth checking out. They have an editor and staff blog for both and both are awesome reads.

Posted by Justin at 01:30 PM | Comments (2)

February 28, 2007

Global Warming and Godwin's Law

For those of you unfamiliar with Godwin's Law of Internet Discussions, I am posting wiki's summary:

Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."[1]

Godwin's Law does not dispute whether any particular reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued,[2] that overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided, as it robs the valid comparisons of their impact...

There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin's Law. Thus Godwin's Law serves to impose an upper bound on thread length in general.

Just a primer for Ellen Goodman's article in the Boston Globe in which she makes the following statement:

I would like to say we're at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.

I add this to Heidi Cullen of the Weather Channel's Statement from December on her blog:

If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. (One good resource if you don't have a lot of time is the Pew Center's Climate Change 101.)

Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a Seal of Approval. Clearly, the AMS doesn't agree that global warming can be blamed on cyclical weather patterns. It's like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather.

This is scary stuff. And this is not scientific stuff either. The Scientific community should not run around intimidating scientist that offer alternative viewpoints or compare them to Holocaust deniers.

Global Warming Alarmists want us to believe that Global Warming is caused almost completely by man, is going to lead to massive hurricanes and rising ocean levels, is going to continue exponentially, will destroy the polar icecaps, cannot be reversed, and requires massive changes to our way of life or the entire world is in danger. And if you deny it, you are a Holocaust denier and should be ridiculed or stripped of your scientific credentials. I don't like scare tactics and while the science supports the existance of Global Warming, the rest of the Alarmist's argument is a political statement, not good science.

Again, I will point to things that we can do to save the Earth that do not require Global Warming to doom the planet as a motivating factor. First, we can recycle. Second, we can conserve electricity and gas. We can do tons of things to do that including car pool, turn lights off, use low energy lighting. We can drive cleaner vehicles. We can drive vehicles that fit with the size of our family, not with the size of our genitals.


Posted by Justin at 11:05 AM

February 16, 2007

New Blog - Alpengluhen

If you leave me a URL in your comments, I usually go and check it out. I prefer trackbacks if you are going to post something to say about a post I have done because then it allows readers to come over to your blog via mine and read your comments. So there I am and I get acomment from Aplengluhen blog.

Like I said, I usually either e-mail you back or stop by your site and since he didn't leave e-mail, I browsed by. Awesome blog. So check at the right and it is added to my links. Another ski instructor like Jon at giving the low down on things like preparing for trips, tipping instructors (which if you don't do, you are a dirtbag), the industry, etc.

Stop by and check the articles out and leave some comments. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Justin at 03:00 PM

February 02, 2007

New Blogger - Erich

Erich is one of the regulars in our group that roadies around Southern CO, Utah, and Arizona. We worked together at a previous customer of mine and I will forever be indebted for him turning me on to Battlestar Galactica by busting out the Season 1 DVD's on our last roadtrip.

He is heading to Telluride this weekend for the annual Superbowl Ski Trip. He is absolutely the most clueless person when it comes to professional sports that I have ever met, and because he is so disinterested, he uses the weekend to get cheap accommodations at Telluride each year.

Waiting to see what he has to say, but I have never heard anything negative about Telluride.

Posted by Justin at 11:37 AM

January 26, 2007

The Weather Channel Has Blogs--Seasonal Affective Disorder

Did you know the Weather Channel has blogs?

It's the dead of winter. Snow is on the ground. The sky has been gray for what seems like forever now. It's enough to get you down, and it does. Millions of Americans suffer varying degrees of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is linked to a biochemical imbalance in humans that reacts to lack of light...remember the daylight hours are shorter in the winter. Symptoms can include fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, craving high carbohydrate foods, and weight gain. These symptoms usually subside in the spring.

Increasing your exposure to light can help improve your symptoms. The American Psychiatric Association recommends walking outside and rearranging your home or office so that you are exposed to more window light. Severe cases of SAD can be treated with light therapy. It has proven to be an effective treatment for SAD. It usually involves exposure to bright light for 30-90 minutes a day.

I think I may have SAD. Symptoms can include

  • fatigue--I always seem run down after a hard day skiing
  • lack of interest in normal activities--I am almost complete uninterested in work or taking care of myself. Hell, when I am at the mountain, I barely shower, shave or clean up at all.
  • social withdrawal--I barely even talk to anyone during ski season that isn't going up skiing with me
  • craving high carbohydrate foods--Me, ski day, pasta or Chinese food, nuff said
  • weight gain--have you seen me lately?

So here is my cure...

  • Time off work to cope with my new found mental illness (as opposed to my other long standing mental illnesses)
  • Tanning bed in the condo to help with light therapy
  • A more understanding boss that cares about my fragile mental health and allows me to take most of the winter months off so that I can deal with the problems my SAD causes

SAD is no laughing matter. I may never be able to work again during the winter months due to the debilitating nature of the disease.

Posted by Justin at 04:22 PM

January 11, 2007

Park City / Deer Valley Reaches Out to New Media for Freestyle World Cup Event (h/t Rocky Mtn Voices)

From Rocky Mountain the following about Deer Valley and Park City trying to reach Gen X / Y:

When Deer Valley Resort wanted to reach the Gen Xer’s and Y’s to market the Freestyle FIS World Cup, they turned to social networking and new media distribution like YouTube. Erin Grady, Deer Valley’s Communications Manager, worked with the Park City Chamber and Visitors Bureau to create a short, 5 minute Video Podcast that could be uploaded to YouTube and linked to blogs, MySpace pages, and web sites where local skiers hang out. “We knew that the younger crowd gets a lot of their information through interactive mediums, so that’s why we selected social media and podcasting,” said Grady. Since the event includes free concerts from The Samples and The Wailers (the reggae band made famous by Family Man and Bob Marley) in addition to the freestyle competition, the web is a perfect medium to reach out.

Video Below:

Posted by Justin at 02:42 PM | Comments (2)

January 06, 2007

Welcome to Drift - Canadian Ski Resort News

Added a new blog to the blogroll. Check out Canadian Ski Resort info at Drift.

Note to folks that read my site--if you post comments and leave an e-mail or url, I usually check it out and or e-mail you back. I get bored with my day job where I sit on the computer all day and so most of my day is spent blogging or pretending to work or taking long lunches or going to Starbucks or ducking out of work four hours early to go skiing. Notice how blogging and pretending to work probably aren't going to get me fired, yet, my long lunches and Starbucks runs or half days to ski probably will. If you have good stuff to read, I will add you to my links and you may very well save my job.

I dig this site and two other new ones, Rippin' Skiers and Jon Lawson at My Snow Pro, a lot. (Links at the Right) I don't have any sites in the blogroll that aren't either serious eye candy (which JP and Alex at weknowsnow provide lots of) or great content (which everyone on the list has). I get off topic and rant from time to time, so my links give me fuel to provide content. So shoot me a link if you see something on the Inter-web-a-mathingy that I should be aware of that does not involve Canadian Pharmacies, various enlargements, or Britney Spears limo shots. I get plenty of links and comments and trackbacks to that. But you can't get enough Canadian Oxycontin, can you?

Posted by Justin at 02:54 AM | Comments (1)

January 03, 2007

What to Remember on Your Ski Trip - from Jon Lawson

Jon Lawson at has a list of what to remember on you ski trip and how to prepare and pack. I posted a similar article from Megeve Mike earlier this year. From mysnowpro:

So now after I told you of my personal issues, you may ask yourself, "why should I listen to this guy". Well, I used to forget more, and I am better now. Also, if you were to pick up my instructor jacket you may be amazed at the weight. Lip balm, sunblock, cell phone, space pen, class list, neckgator, camera, ipod, trail maps, canting shims, accident forms, snacks, sometimes lunch, etc... You get the picture. A good instructor is always prepared.

So here are some ideas to get ready for your first ski day of the year.

Make a "clothing man". Have some fun with this. The night before (or week), dress an imaginary person on the bed. Jackets, vests, softshells, pants, hat, gloves, socks, gloves, long underwear, boots, goggles, glasses, and neckgator. Perhaps even put your skis and poles next to everything. In the pockets of your jacket, put your sunblock, lip balm, and SKI PASS or ticket. Then lay your next outfit on top of the previous one. You may not need an extra jacket or pants, but please have extra socks! BTW, long thin socks are the best. Thick socks or two pair make your feet sweat, freeze, and fall off. Not a pretty sight.

I am going to add helmet in my case and my sons and brother's case. I ski trees a lot and like to get off piste. I have this major fear of hitting a rock or stump and going down onto something and smashing my grape. It would totally suck to end up brain damaged or something. Drooling and slurring my words. I would be like Lou Holtz on ESPN's College Gameday. Better yet, I picked up some new earphone pieces called "Tune Ups" for my Giro helmet and they have a built in Motorola microphone and headset that doubles up for playing my iPod. I also will add that a Motorola Radio and Portable GPS are good to have. The GPS is good for tracking where you went and better yet, when combined with the Radio is good in case you get lost. Especially helpful if you load it with trail maps which are becoming increasingly available.

I always keep a neck gator in my pocket, regardless of whether it is 40 degrees out. This last week, I left my fleece liner for my jacket and a crazy windstorm showed up at around noon. I had my neck gator and my neck and legs were warm, but my torso was seriously cold.

Two things not to bring--zig zags and or a pipe, and a flask. Keep in mind that drinking and skiing or smoking up and skiing numb your senses and extremities and are just bad news. And never forget your bathing suit. You gotta pack it if you want to hit the tub after a long day. Worse yet, it is winter at the resorts and they are kinda tough to find in the winter. We have a public sauna and hot tub at our condo and they generally frown on wearing boxer briefs or going commando in the tub. Especially when you are as white and fat as I am. So I bring my European speedo and normally wear my chest and back hair out with a good gold chain around my neck. Italian style baby.

Posted by Justin at 12:46 AM | Comments (1)

December 06, 2006

Jeff Legwold's Rocky Mountain News Blog Answers My Question

Jeff Legwold at Rocky Mountain News has a Broncos Blog and answers reader's e-mails. Well, he answered mine this week. Here is my question:

Q: In terms of quarterbacks in Denver, the bar that Cutler has to (meet) should not be Hall of Famer John Elway, but rather the two guys who started in Denver since Elway or the two quarterbacks drafted this year before him. Brian Griese’s second season as a starter, he led the league in passing efficiency with a rating of 102, won 11 games, and led the team to the playoffs. In three seasons in Denver, Jake Plummer has led the team to three playoff appearances and an AFC Championship Game and had seasons of 10-6, 10-6, and 13-3. Griese won a national title, and Plummer led Arizona State to within two minutes of a national title. Vince Young and Matt Leinart contended for or won the Heisman, won national championships, and are both struggling this year. Consider that in four years in college, Cutler never led his team to a single winning season and he played at a very mediocre program where there were no expectations. Vandy does not prepare a quarterback for expectations in the NFL, especially Denver.

What is it that makes Jay Cutler a better quarterback than either of the last two in Denver (Griese, Plummer) or the two drafted in front of him this year (Young, Leinart) -- all four of whom have played in Rose Bowls, finished top three in the Heisman voting, and either won or came within a play of winning a national title? Is Cutler’s talent so great that he overcomes the lack of expectations and big-game experience in college and outperforms these players who came from winning programs where they stood out?

He had a great response:

Interesting thought on it all. In terms of Cutler as a prospect, having lived in Nashville for two of his seasons as a Vanderbilt starter and having seen most of his games either in person or on video, I think what he did at Vandy was something that weighed in his favor when compared to the others on the board. He consistently performed, with few, if any some years, pro prospects around him in the Commodores offense, and he did it in what most scouts believe is the elite conference in the nation, especially when you're talking about pass rushers across the board year after year.

One general manager told me before the draft, "The question is not how Cutler would do at USC, the question is how Matt Leinart would do at Vandy?'' Cutler was the Southeastern Conference's consensus Offensive Player of the Year at Vanderbilt, it simply is one of the most difficult things anyone has done in college football in recent years. Leinart was surrounded by NFL draft picks, including another Heisman winner and a second-round pick in the backfield alone. The tight end was a draft pick, several linemen were draft picks over his career.

Scouts weigh all of those things, too. Cutler also never missed a game despite the punishment he took throwing the ball. He even ran the option the first two years and in his final two years was blitzed plenty because the Commodores didn't often slow down opposing pass rushers with a consistent running game. So certainly he got credit for all of that. That said, plenty of scouts also questioned the fact he didn't have a winning record, though I don't know how he could have.

Two words--Tim Couch. Same SEC. Same top notch arm. Same type of underachieving program, Kentucky. But Couch was a much better prospect, so good in fact that he went number one overall.

Every single thing that Jeff Legwold said about Cutler is what was said about Couch. And the same question marks were there. But Cleveland ignored the question marks. The difference between Cleveland and the Broncos is that Cleveland was horrible and an expansion team. The Broncos were 13-3 last year and 7-4 when they handed the franchise to Cutler.

They still are struggling to overcome that move. It would be a shame to have the Broncos and this single move set the franchise back that far. That is the problem with Shanahan in Denver. He gets credit for being this great offensive genius and no one questions his moves. This is one that should be questioned. Here is the main reason why which I responded to the blog forum:

Cutler is the QB of the future, but why not wait another 5 games to decide if Jake is the QB of the Past or not and let the season play out? Ideally, Jake’s performance over the next 5 games would determine whether he remains in Denver or gets cut and help make the decision of who starts or if there is even a competition next year. It seems to me that Plummer is already out the door and while that is not the worst thing for him, Cutler, or the Broncos, it leaves the team with Cutler and Brad Van Pelt and no proven backup to turn to next season should Cutler struggle. Find me another proven veteran backup that has won 33 games the last three years and been to the playoffs all three. At very least it makes sense to find out what you are going to do with the backup position next year.

This decision to start Cutler now means that there is no training camp competition next year. That decision has been made for next year too and that will make it difficult to attract a proven veteran backup. Does it make sense to make this kind of a commitment to a rookie and to put so much risk on the franchise? If Denver fans want to run Jake out of town after going 10-6, 10-6, and 13-3, how will they handle a sub-.500 season?

Posted by Justin at 02:12 PM

December 03, 2006

JP at We Know Snow Has Some Eye Candy

JP at We Know Snow (aka Colorado Backcountry) has some seriously sick shots of the latest dump in Colorado.

I gotta give props to JP and his crew, especially Alex at Colorado by Alex. Both sites are on my favorites to the Right. JP and Alex are awesome photographers and if for no other reason than their photography skills, you gotta stop by their sites. Reading their exploits is even better.

Wil at 120 Days had an ill fated trip with JP last year at Steamboat that when told in person over an adult beverage had me dying laughing. Hitchiking back into town after getting lost in the backcountry and wedged next to huge cliffs. Ah, the joys of the season going full steam.

It is tough reading about my boys in CO tearing it up on sick powder days while I am stuck in AZ and my place up north has a whopping three runs open. But if you are jonesing for some pics and some pow, check the links.

Posted by Justin at 04:14 PM

December 02, 2006

Adam at Highly Obsessed Changes URL's

Adam at Highly Obsessed has changed URL's. Poor dude lives in Eastern Canada and the snow is seriously sucking--check that seriously lacking.

Show some love and drop by the new URL. Update your bookmarks. Etc.

If you don't read his site, start. He updates it frequently and has lots of good stuff. Anyone that has torn knee ligaments but tells his ortho that he is gonna blow off the arthroscopic surgery until snowboard season is over should get some props.

Plus the dude lives in Canada. He has to deal with whatever that other weird language they speak up there is. No, I don't mean French... I mean words like A-boot, as in, "What are you guys talking a-boot." No clue dude. I will have to prep to ski with him by drinking like 30 Molsen's and watching Strange Brew like 20 times. =) "Eh, Stop making fun of Canada you hosers." I watched an interview with one of the Phoenix Coyotes the other day and between the whistle from the missing five front teeth, I could barely understand his sentence because every other word was a-boot or eh. At least it isn't like the NBA where they ask "Know what I sayin'" after every sentence. And then, in Phoenix, we have Steve Nash. A damned Canadian NBA player. I can just imagine the combination... "Wanna say hey to my boys in Canada, eh. Know what I talking a-boot?" The very thought of hearing that makes me cringe.

Posted by Justin at 12:41 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2006

Wil-Aid - Help a Blogger / Ski-bum Out

Wil is my boy. Phoenix native. IT Freak. Sports Nut. And Web Pimp extraordinary.

The last several months have been rough on him. He has had all kinds of crap happen to him with his business. From getting stiffed on work to having unethical folks just plain rip him off and disappear. The dude is self employed and had a job that allowed him to work remotely from Steamboat. He certainly isn't living the life of a king up there, but like most of us, can't survive on the $7.00 that they pay, especially with his web design skills. Small towns don't pay for crap for web folks anyway, so now with changing companies, he lost most of his stable work and clients.

We were chatting at a restaurant in downtown PHX two months ago about life in general and things seemed to be picking up. New job. New company. Well, now they stiffed him on $1,500. Dude has got to get back to PHX and back to work and is stuck in Steamboat at a friend's condo until the end of the week and has been using our buddy Jon Wade's corporate pass to at least get some riding in since he doesn't have any work coming in. Then he has got to make the trip back to Phoenix this weekend so he can start looking for work again after his boss screwed him. So that is his hard luck story.

Dude is about to panhandle to raise money. "Out of Gas trying to get to Phoenix for the Holidays"... you know the type.

So please help hook a brutha up. For just $1 per day you can feed some poor kid in Africa according to Sally Struthers. Screw that. For like $20, you can help a ski bum get back to his real job and earn a living again. Wil is a good guy. It would be a shame for the dude to have to start manwhoring again. He thought that was over when he kicked the junk. (j/k) =)

Posted by Justin at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2006

Testing New Template Changes

I added a display of category names at the bottom of the entries.

Just testing the changes.

UPDATE: Added the numbers of entries in each category and for each month as well as added links to the categories of each entry at the bottom. Fairly minor stuff, but something to track how many entries I make per month and to track which categories I am making entries to.

Sad part is that Personal and Phoenix Sports are almost as popular as Brian Head and General Skiing. You can see which resorts I am spending time at.

Gotta make changes every so often or the site gets stale. =)

Posted by Justin at 02:02 AM

November 01, 2006

New Site Up - Ski Television

I get all kinds of stuff in my inbox. Offers to advertise for various things, some of which are awesome like the Colorado Pass. Others are just "hey, check this out." Today, I got a "hey, check this out" e-mail from Rob Butler at Ski Television from Canada.

So, hey, check this out. Nice looking site. Great stuff. There is a new blog there that is getting up and going. They have all kinds of cool stuff from there sponsors, etc.

Stop by and check it out and I am sure Rob will e-mail me when he gets the site complete. For now, hopefully he will include more blog entries and more content shortly.

Posted by Justin at 02:07 PM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2006

Ski Video up At Steamboat Blog

Gotta link to Jon's video of his son Alden throwing down in on the short runs of the hill across the street from his house.

My kids are dying to get the skis on too. I got Jarrett a season rental this week of 107's and some rear entry boots. Smokin' deal on season rentals in PHX at Ski Pro. $80 for the season and includes boots, skis, and poles until April. I ain't talking brand new twin tips or anything special, but he needs another year before he steps into Jakes K-2 125's and boots from when he was 6.

I straight up have the hand me down thing going. I bought Jackson some new pants and am looking for a jacket. Jake got his jacket that I bought last year but loaned to Jacko back. Jarrett inherited Jake's jacket and pants. Lindsey is all girly so I have to buy her crap that is pink and has fur on it, I am sure. She has another couple of years before we stick her on skis anyway.

I totally dig riding with Tim, Erich, Taufiq, Dan, Jake and the rest of the part-time crew that we roll with. But Jake and Jackson are the most fun of all to ride with. I can talk them in to doing stupid stuff and we have moderate co-pays on our health insurance. The rest of us are gonna start breaking hips pretty quick--well, not quite, but we have real jobs and in the back of our minds the thought of explaining to the boss how we broke our leg on a "sick" or "telecommuting" day would just kinda suck.

If you don't have kids, you are missing out on the fun of them explaining how they learned to "pizza" not "french fry" and doing wedge turns down runs named "Weenie Roast", "Bunny Hill", and "Fuzzy Wuzzy First Time Rope Tow". Then shortly after that, you miss the fun of them thinking that they can handle runs like "Suicide", "Widow Maker", and "Yard Sale". And Jackson and Jake are both cocky, so I trash talk my 10 year old kid and 12 year old brother. Especially Jackson, because as an older brother, I have no obligation to preserve his self esteem. And as an uncle Jackson has no obligation to Jake either, but Jake is still a better skier, so Jack gets it from both sides. Good times.

I figure I have about half of this year left before they are embarrassing me and trying to get my to jib and keep up with them. They can stay on the greens in the terrain park with the snowboarders. I'll take quad burning powder runs all day instead.

Posted by Justin at 09:10 PM | Comments (1)

October 25, 2006

Wil at 120 Days is Actually Alive

Wil at 120 Days of Powder is actually alive. Still waiting to get the scoop on the offseason and his plans at Steamboat for the upcoming year.

Wil and Jon at Steamboat Blog are both linked on the sidebar and keep me up to date on the happenings at the Boat. Steamboat is up for sale and Jon has more on that at his site. Intrawest and Fortress are both looking.

I guess this means the season is getting going again. Wil is back blogging, Jon is posting more often, and JP at Colorado Backcountry is ripping it up on the new sled and hitting waist deep pow. I just grabbed my son Jake some new boots today and grabbed a season rental for Jarrett for the year. 110's just seem wrong to me. I am going to try snowblading on them.

Drop by Wil's site and check it out. Last year he had tons of great posts, pics, videos, and such.

Posted by Justin at 06:18 PM

October 24, 2006

30" in 24 Hr--JP and the Gang Rip It Up

JP at Colorado Backcountry has some sick shots of thigh deep powder from this weekend. Face shots galore.

Stop by his site and it will get you in the mood for the season to get into full swing. I was jonesing just looking at the pictures.

Posted by Justin at 02:15 PM | Comments (1)

September 26, 2006

JP Has Some Sick Shots of Berthoud Pass from Saturday

JP at Colorado Backcountry took several pics this weekend hitting the dump. Several are knee to waist deep. From the shots, it looks like the storm brought a decent amount of snow.

JP always has me jonesing. He bought a new sled and spends his time hitting backcountry stashes all over the Divide.

If you are not a regular, check out his site. He does not post as frequently as I do because unlike me who hangs at my condo at the resort, he is hiking and often camping in the backcountry. The pics he posts are phenomenol.

Posted by Justin at 10:19 AM | Comments (1)

September 18, 2006

When It Comes to Blogging and Skiing, I Must Be Doing Something Right

I keep forgetting about Yahoo and all of the other search engines out there because I almost always use Google. I guess I could ask some Internet Butler dude, but I usually Google things as opposed to Asking Jeeves or Yahooing. But that is just me.

I have been seeing a steady rise in traffic as my search results status has risen on Google. Well, when it comes to skiing and blogging, the results are in at Google and my site pops up right at the top. Type in "ski blog" as a search term or "skiing blog" and I am number one and number three.

More here:

Posted by Justin at 09:57 AM | Comments (3)

September 14, 2006

New Link to Steamboat Blog and First Snowfall

I added a new link to Steamboat Blog, which is a Steamboat based blog that I read quite a bit last year. 120 Days of Powder has not had an updated post and Wil does not return phone calls, so I am unsure on their status for the year. But neither here nor there. The good news is that snow is falling in Colorado.

The storm dusted the Mount Zirkel and Flat Tops Wilderness areas and came with a half inch of rain in town during the weekend. The Yampa river was flowing about 50% above average over the weekend which should be great for fall fly-fishing in the Steamboat Springs area if the precipitation keeps up. Last year we had a really wet fall in comparison to the several previous years followed by a great ski season. This year seems quite a bit wetter over the last 6 weeks with even more strong bursts and showers that linger even longer. No one knows what that will bring but it sure seems like a good sign. The weather has also gotten dramatically cooler over the last week or two. People are starting to make that extra effort to get in their fill of summer sports and put up winter essentials like new skis, the tent sale this year has been packed.

Good times. I still have to head north to get my place ready for 2006-07 and make sure the heater is on low so I don't burst any pipes.

Posted by Justin at 02:58 PM

September 01, 2006

First Tracks Online

I have a new link at the top to First Tracks online and a full syndication of their news content. Marc at FTO sent me the following in an e-mail:

Oddly, FTO started as more or less my own personal blog before the term "blog" was even coined, detailing my days patrolling at Jay Peak in Vermont. This was back in the early 1990s when browsers were text only without even fonts, colors, or even bold or italics. Over the years it just snowballed. It's more than I can handle now sometimes.

Check FTO out.

Posted by Justin at 10:35 AM

August 19, 2006

Turning One as a Blogger and Ski-Blog's Day in Court

I know I have arrived when my blog is actually used as evidence in a court case. Again, my brother is getting divorced. Sad story and long story and we shall keep it short. His wife, well, it is a divorce, so figure she ain't happy about it. They had a hearing on Thursday and she kept bringing up things to demonstrate how well he was doing finacially and literally her lawyer kept asking him if he goes skiing, goes to Suns and Cardinals games, and is living the good life. Her lawyer started quoting things from my blog asking him direct questions about it.

I explained in an e-mail what a blog is several months ago. I don't have any rules. I write what I feel like. Keep politics and personal issues to a minimum, but it is my journal about my life. I just leave the key to my diary next to the diary itself. And this blog is a diary of my life as a skier. I mix in some stuff about other sports whenever they strike me, especially local Phoenix Sports because it is summer and I gotta blog about something.

So the whole thing got me thinking that I am writing the autobiography of not only my ski life, but the story of my interactions with the people around me and my experiences. Jeremy is caught in my diary because he is a part of it. As are my kids and Tera, Brian Head Resort and my Condo Complex, several other resorts... Dan, Erich, Tim, Taufiq, Jake, Keith and Kaylie, Nat and Jeff, the people that I randomly talk skiing with. If my work or my brother's wife or my family or friends wanted to search my site for how I live my life, they have got most of the story. I have opened up a huge chunk of my life to the world for inspection, review, and ultimately judgment. Maybe not judgment of whether I am a good person or not, but judgment about whether my thoughts and deeds are worth reading about. And if you are here, you are reading it. =)

So guess what, I am just turning one as a blogger. A year of what I did and where I went and who I am and who the people around me are. A year that I can review and remember. Pictures of people and places and days and pow and my friends skiing with me.

I want to thank the people mentioned above as well as my Dad and Jeremy for making our condo happen. My wife and kids for putting up with me being gone for days and weeks remodelling or doing what I love. The people that read the site and leave comments and e-mail me and work with me like John at Sunlight, Dax at Big Sky, Dave at Snowbowl, and Tyler at Alta. It feels so much like some cheesy Oscar speech, but the rest of the folks that I really want to thank are bloggers that have influenced me like Rob Port at Say Anything; Ken and Will at Willisms; Wil and JP at 120 Days and Colorado Backcountry; several other bloggers who I read daily; and most of all my blogfather Bill Roggio. Bill and I became friends through his site in 2004 and he embodies what courage is. He is who encouraged me to start my own site.

So I am in the process of updating the site and waiting for my official kick off to 2006-07 to change the banner at the top. Adding some personal pictures and touches and making the site a meeting place for the guys that I ski with. Constantly some friend of mine who I have not talked to in months goes to the site and sends a comment e-mail. It has been a great year. Maybe the best year of my life so far. But mostly because of the relationships with the people that I ski with.

I had a falling out with one of my best friends about a year ago where we stopped speaking for better than a month. Said some crappy stuff and got pretty nasty to each other. And at the end of it all, we had a heart to heart. He said life isn't just about what you believe or what you do or who you are, but about "relationships". How you influence other people around you. Whether it is being a missionary in Thailand or Nepal, or just being a father or a friend, it is the company that we keep that dictates so much about our life. And I remember walking down Bear Paw at Red Lodge when I was a complete novice in Montana at 18 skiing with my lifelong friend (and my step-brother Josh who just won't leave me, Zach, and Jer alone), and the two of us teaching Jacob how to ski for the first time on the Greens at Sunrise (and me being scared of blues). Powder days when we both skipped work and got stuck in Show Low during the USC-Oklahoma game.

This was the first year in several that we didn't ski together. Not over being angry because we have had close to fist-fights over pick-up basketball games. Even if we hated each other, I like to think he would tolerate an 8 hour drive for a good powder day with me. But because of the hectic stuff in his life, his work, and his other commitments. A huge regret about last year is that a friend of 15 years and my first real ski buddy as well as one of my closest and best friends missed an entire season with me when I owned a slopeside condo in Utah and put in 30+ days. His name (technically it is not just his name as he shares it with my son) is not in the blog and I ain't mentioning it until it is in a sentence involving the words--pow, epic, sick, deep, quad-burning, yard-sale, and possibly the phrase "idiodic, testosterone driven insanity".

I am going to be putting together my "goals" for the year shortly, but note that this is number one. I know you have a nice set of Atomics cause I bought 'em on E-bay for you, so wax them up and get ready.

Posted by Justin at 11:28 PM

August 13, 2006

Site Updates

Joni and I have gone through my photos from 2005-06 and created several new banners for the top of the site, including several that are personal photos from trips with Erich, Jeremy, Dan, and my sons to Brian Head.

I was talking to Jeremy last night and showing off the site to him and he mentioned how our best laid plans to take tons of photos and photoblog did not happen. We were wondering out loud why. Well, the reality is that most days that we went out skiing had such low light and were overcast. We barely went out when it wasn't snowing and any conditions other than fresh weren't worth skiing. Honestly, that is kinda sad. But for the most part it was because we were doing the condo remodel and had so much work to do.

Well, now we are making plans for 2006-07. Jeremy is staying in Montana until at least the late fall so it looks like I will start the season doing the Montana Run--Brian Head to Alta to Big Sky to Billings and back the same way. Probably just after Thanksgiving so that I get to my Mom's after the Fall Semester's Finals are over. (Mom is a teacher and so is my Step-dad)

Jackson's skis are getting bindings mounted as we speak and I am finishing up the final touches on the condo. I will be posting shortly on the site changes and on the prep for the season that we put in. Just taking care of the little stuff for the season and buying things early to save money. If you wait much longer the prices start going up.

Posted by Justin at 08:01 PM

June 02, 2006

Canadian Healthcare Update

Adam at Highly Obsessed has been having some knee troubles. I have covered the process of getting an MRI in Canada and the umpteen month wait list, but it turns out that he could drive to Buffalo and get his MRI the next day for $450. Well, he got the MRI and went in to the Ortho in Canada for the results. NOT GOOD!

The folks in Buffalo think I tore my ACL. The surgeon is apt to believe them (and rightly so. Also, I don't think I've mentioned this, but this surgeon is a great guy, very smart, and coincidentially operated on my mother several years ago when she shattered her wrist while in-line skating. But that's another story altogether).

There is a chance, depending on the type of tear, that it will heal on its own. But regardless, the surgeon recommended getting scoped. That way, they can at least have a look at where I tore the ACL/the severity of the tear. If I don't need anything done, then no procedure is performed and away I go. If I do do need some work done, they will perform it then.

So of course, this being Ontario and all, when will I get the surgery? Six to eight months from now.

Six to Eight months. It is free, but by then, the problem could already be partially healed and need further treatment. His Doctor told him basically, just go about your business. Not a lot you can do but wait six to eight months.

But healthcare in Canada is FAR FROM FREE. You see, Canadians pay huge amounts for their healthcare in the way of taxes. And for their hard earned tax dollars, this is what they get. They get universal healthcare, it is just universally frustrating to wait months for routine proceedures.

We take a lot of things for granted in this country, and if you have no healthcare coverage at all, a six month wait for free care is a good deal. But for the 10-15% of our population or so that does not have any health coverage, this may be a good deal, but for the other 85%, I think I would rather pay my copays and my $350 a month premium contributions to my work's plan, and get in right away and get quality healthcare.

There is an old saying: you can have quality, speed, or low cost service, but never all three. When it comes to my health, waiting months for an MRI or Arthroscopic surgery is not an option. I don't mind paying more to get my care quickly and at the highest quality.

Posted by Justin at 12:25 PM

April 29, 2006

Hosting Matters Hit by DOS Attack

The Good Folks at Wizbang explained why my site was down yesterday.

The reason for the problem: Hosting Matters is experiencing a Denial of Service attack. They're working to block it now.

More info on DoS attacks: Wikipedia: Denial-of-service attack.

UPDATE at 4/28/06 8:43:47 am:

Although LGF is also at Hosting Matters, we were moved to a different network after experiencing a similar attack. (That's why we're still up.)

UPDATE at 4/28/06 8:48:17 am:

I may have spoken too soon; some parts of the LGF system are beginning to act a bit flaky.

UPDATE at 4/28/06 9:27:25 am:

The attack reportedly originates in Saudi Arabia.

My site was very flaky yesterday and this explains why. Lots of blogs are hosted at Hosting Matters and they have been an awesome host for me. DOS attacks are just plain mean. I hope that Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia is not upset anything posted at Ski Blog. The last thing I need is a cyber-jihad declared on my site. I mean, I supported the indoor ski area in Dubai. What more can a skier like me do?

I'll admit that I did watch the recent South Park episode with Mohammed in it, so maybe it has something to do with that. Good times! But we are back up and running now.

Posted by Justin at 06:37 PM

April 11, 2006

Oh, Canada--Adam's Healthcare Woes

(BTW, I am trolling for some comments here. I am bored now that I can't ski or think about skiing every waking moment.)

Last month, I wrote about Adam's issues with getting an MRI on his knee that he injured. Adam lives in Toronto and has been waiting for them to make his appointment for his MRI. Well the results are in.

I've been hounding the poor folks at North York General Hospital for two weeks to get a date for my MRI. After the third call in two weeks, I got the call I had been waiting for.

Previous to getting this call, I had thought a date for sometime in May or June would have been a disaster. It turns out that was wishful thinking. After preceding the date with "are you ready?", she told me my date was July 23rd.

Holy ****. That's in four months.

And what if I need surgery?

My plan right now is this: I have spoken to a couple of people that speak of a magical "cancellation list". I have asked to be put on said list. Whenever someone cancels, people on the list are called sequentially. If you happen to answer the phone, you are in luck. You get an MRI within a day or two. If you don't happen to answer, however, you are simply skipped; the MRI clinic doesn't want to play phone tag at the last minute.

But everyone in Canada has free healthcare. It is free. And everyone has it. So in Canada, I would wait months for my MRI (that is not really free when you see how much they pay in taxes) all so that someone else can have their healthcare also be "free". Everyone is equal. No choice. No option to pay more for better care. No Mayo clinics. Just equality and ubiquity. Guess what, equality is overrated. Waiting months so that everyone has the same healthcare does not sound so good when you have a possible torn ACL that could take a year post-surgery to heal anyway.

I hope Adam gets his MRI shortly and gets healed. I know that I pay through the nose for my HMO that I barely use. But I also know that when my wife needed multiple CT's, Ultrasounds, and MRI's last year, that we never waited more than a day or two. It is expensive and we pay for our insurance, but we have choice. I can't imagine losing a season of skiing because I have to wait four months to get an MRI. Or risking permanent damage. But maybe a torn ACL is not the kind of thing that is considered an "emergency". If your HMO in the US tried to get you to wait four months to get an MRI when you had a torn ACL, trust me, you would be in court before I could say Malpractice Attorney.

Posted by Justin at 08:34 AM | Comments (9)

April 09, 2006


JP over at Colorado Backcountry is hating life right now. He busted up a couple of vertebrae and is out for the rest of the season. And on top of the injury, I have to make sure and add some insult.


Get that spine back together bro, cause we have some riding to do this year. I am rolling up to Colorado next year for certain and making plans to ski with Wil at 120 Days and Mike at Heavy Winter.

Not fun. All of us have had our injuries this year. My knee, Wil's entire Body, and now Mike at Heavy Winter is reporting what may be the most disturbing of all:

I’ve begun to realize something not all together good about my self. Namely, my hair is beginning to look like the exact opposite of Jay Leno’s. Where his is mostly gray with a black chunk in the front, mine is mostly black with a gray chunk in the front. As you might imagine, this is a bit distrubing.

Good times. Enjoy the offseason boys and let the planning for 2006-07 begin.

Posted by Justin at 04:49 PM | Comments (3)

February 28, 2006

Wil at 120 Days is About to Call it Quits for 2005-06

Wil at 120 Days of Powder is talking about calling it a season after hurting himself yesterday.

It was a pretty killer day, but once again it was a day that ended in me getting hurt. This time I injured my right elbow pretty severely when I landed a kicker, amid our double-black tree run, with my arm behind my back being slammed into the mountain…
With work, injury, and life all calling I couldn’t help but feel that yesterday could be goodbye until next winter. With 39 days left in the season I’m sure that my mind could be changed pretty quickly with a little healing, some re-stocking of my savings, and a big storm front, but for now the hat is hung up.
Bills, work, and responsibility call, but, strangely enough, I’m not really dreading it. Work is the price you pay for money, and being broke is the price I’ve paid for powder. In my estimation it’s been worth it. A little irresponsibility now and then goes a long way toward making life worth the price we pay for living it comfortably.

Wil's site is probably my favorite read on the net about skiing. JP over at Colorado Backcountry is a close second. Wil is from Phoenix (go Suns) and has kept me from going insane from the lack of snow down south with his daily entries about how sick Steamboat has been this year.

The sad part is that the demise of 2005-06 is setting in for all of us. Today is the last day of February and with it, the start of higher temperatures and dreaded Corn and Spring Conditions. There are another several good days of skiing and a monster storm tracking through Brian Head this week and next, but I am starting to see the finish line.

I am going to try to head to Steamboat and get at least a day in this year with Wil before he completely calls it quits and still need to head up and hit Big Sky and say hey to Dax as well as meet up with John at Sunlight Mountain. I was hoping to meet up with JP while I was in Colorado.

I am not writing my swan song just yet, but there are so many people I met this year through the blog that are winding down their seasons. It is almost depressing. I just keep thinking November is just a few months away. Good news is that the condo is done at Brian Head and I am moving there full time this summer to finish my MBA at Southern Utah University.

Posted by Justin at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

December 03, 2005

CBS4 Denver Ski Blog

CBS4 in Denver has a ski blog that merits checking out. I am throwing my hat into the right with Wil at 120 Days.

One dude, one truck, a couple of rugrats, a quiver of skis, an iPod and a job that my boss doesn't miss me. A recipe for an awesome winter.

I would love to post periodically if I have something worth saying. =) ... And rip it up this winter.

There are two big reasons to live in Colorado -- the Broncos and Skiing. The Broncos season might interfere with my weekend ski plans and blogging until the first week of February, but I don't think anyone will mind.

Check them out for more info.

Posted by Justin at 08:41 AM

November 24, 2005

120 Days of Powder

So I am sitting here distraught that I am at home for Thanksgiving for the first time in three years instead of skiing, despite making huge preparations for spending the entire winter travelling the rockies and living in my new Condo at Brian Head. Then I get an e-mail from Wil at 120 days of Powder.

You should check us out at which chronicles our exodus from Arizona up to Steamboat, CO.

Wil is living the good life and fighting the good fight at Steamboat. Yesterday, Steamboat opened and Wil already has a day up on me. I have to throw some serious props his way for leaving the Arizona life behind and heading north to be a bum. I went through his Flikr page and was looking at the pics of his days in Phoenix. Two of my cousins went to (and dropped out of) the same high school he did back in the late 80's. (Go Huskies)

Head on over and bookmark the site.

Posted by Justin at 11:00 AM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2005

Colorado Backcountry from JP

JP at Colorado's Backcountry Skiing Blog has some seriously awesome info about A-basin this season. I have yet to drive the 14 hours north to Summit County and ski the half a dozen open runs at A-Basin, Copper, and Loveland, but judging by his experiences, you need to buy wax on the way up to get rid of the scars.

Early season is hit or miss. As I explained in my A-Basin section, folks buy the season passes and it gets so crazy crowded, that JP has probably spent more time in the lift lines and the bars than actually on the slopes. It takes 45 minutes in line to take a lap. You have to get there early and be done by 11 or 12 when all the folks that were too hungover to make it up early get there.

Bookmark JP's blog. Well worth reading and awesome photos too. Official SHOUT OUT.

Posted by Justin at 12:38 AM | Comments (1)