Winter X Games 2012 – Two Firsts!!

During the 2012 Winter X Games two things happened that have never happened in winter competition.  Shaun White's perfect score of 100, after already securing his gold, and Heath Frisby's front flip on a snowmobile.  

Congrats to both.  

Where will competition be in just a few short years?  I wonder.

Always raise the bar, and always…

Enjoy the ride!

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Winter X Games 2012: Sarah Burke Tribute

 

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Sarah Burke Remembered

Tragically, Canadian Sarah Burke, a pioneer in women's freeskiing, died Thursday January 19, 2012 from crash-related injuries, during a training run at the bottom of the superpipe in Utah.

She was 29 years old.

 

Admittedly, I knew very little about Sarah Burke, as a person, prior to the last few months.  I knew her as an athlete.  An athlete who was instrumental in creating change and awareness for women's freeskiing, a four-time Winter X Games Gold champion, and the person who single handedly lobbied the Olympic Committee to include superpipe skiing as an officially recognized discipline.  Her efforts proved successful. Athletes will compete in superpipe skiing in its debut during the Sochi Games in 2014.

Last month I attended the Winter movie premiere by The Ski Channel.  The movie is a montage of stories about life in the mountains, and the individuals that embrace their own dreams through winter sports.  One of the stories in the movie was about Sarah Burke and her husband Rory Bushfield.  Two young adults, with a passion for skiing, and new found love.

 

Sarah and Rory's story, for me, seemed to be the highlight of the film – their approachable genuineness, their happiness with life, their strength in pursuing their dreams.  I had the pleasure of meeting Rory at the premiere, a gentle, unassuming young man thrilled with the opportunity to meet fans and be a part of a movie.  I am sure just an extension of his daily approach to life.   

Sarah did not make the premiere that night, although prior to the film, during interviews with the athletes, she was mentioned and spoken very highly of, during the introduction of Rory.  There seemed to be an equally shared enthusiasm from all the athletes when Sarah was mentioned.  It was recognizable that Sarah was somebody special for all of the lives she touched.  

In the wake of Sarah's death her legacy has been quickly visible.  Her nation of Canada mourns.  The athletes of winter sports have poured out their support for Rory and Sarah's family.  The media has shown nothing but warm and wonderful stories remembering Sarah's life.  And her fans quickly raised, to date, $254,00 for the more than $200,000 needed in medical bills.  

Perhaps the most poignant event, and testimony to Sarah's life and legacy, will be the debut of superpipe skiing in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.  An event that would not take place if it were not for the efforts of Sarah.  

For me, Sarah's life has provided simple yet powerful messages: pursue your passion, live your life, create change, be genuine, and life truly is fragile… so Carpe Diem, and always, always, enjoy the ride.

God Speed Sarah.  

  

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S#*t Skiers Say

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The Ski Channel’s Second Film – Winter

If you did not have the chance to see The Ski Channel's debut film, The Story, last year – I highly recommend it.  I have always started my ski seasons off with a great ski film, it just seems to get me in the mood for the season ahead.  It builds excitement.  Warren Miller was traditionally the film that would start my season, and it still is part of the mix for sure, with stunning cinematography it's tough to pass up.  

However, the crew over at The Ski Channel manages to provide that same stunning cinematography and combines it with a heartfelt and inspirational message, something the Warren Miller films lack in my opinion.  After viewing last year's film, the first from Steve Bellamy and Rich Tavtigian, I realized The Story actually made a very profound impact on me with its very simple message of "Carpe Diem".  

I am heading to the premiere tonight, and hoping for the same experience!  Stay tuned. 

2010 – The Story

2011 – Winter

Enjoy the ride! 

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Mike Douglas – Embedded at Whistler

Getting excited about a new ski season takes on a whole new meaning – check out "Embedded".  Pro skier, Mike Douglas spends 6 days and nights on top of Whistler Mountain waiting for the new season to arrive.  This is what I call serious dedication to making first tracks! 

"This November, pro skier Mike Douglas will kiss his family goodbye, shoulder his skis and camera bag and embark on a never-before assignment – to stand watch on the Peak of Whistler Mountain waiting for winter to arrive.  Armed only with his computer, his camera and a sleeping bag, the 'Godfather of Freeskiing' will document the Inside Story of a mountain moving into winter. Find out if he has what it takes to make it up there on his own."

The Embedded Project

Day 1 of 6 – Patience

Day 2 of 6 – Control

Day 3 of 6 – Preparation

Day 4 of 6 – Count down 

Day 5 of 6 – Celebration 

Day 6 of 6 – The Master Cut 

 

 

 

You can keep up with Mike here, or follow him on Twitter here

Enjoy it up there Mike! And, as always… 

Enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

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5 tips for making your next expo a success

Snow Jam 2011

There are two things I always do at the start of a new season, first I kick the season off right with a great ski film, and second I always go to one of the large snow expos to gear up for the season ahead.  This year I will be attending Snow Jam in San Diego.  Having visited these enough times in the past I have the process down to somewhat of a science. And while there are no guarantees you will get everything you want at these shows, I have put together a few tips to help improve the chances you will walk out happy, and with some great new gear.  

Tip #1: Take inventory of what you need.  Prior to attending the expo, take a good inventory of what you actually need.  This is a great time of year to do it, both your clothing and equipment have been in storage for almost half a year, and while it may have been packed away in good condition, it may not be that way once you take it out again.  Get a list together of what you actually need to buy before the new season. 

Tip #2: Do some research Now that you have your list of what you need, start your research.  These expos are usually selling clothing and equipment from the prior season.  If you are looking for the absolute newest of new, you are probably not going to find what you are looking for, however, if you are ok with last year's models, and saving a good deal of money, then an expo is just the thing to attend. The shows won't have every model from last year, so you need options, and doing research is critical to providing you these options.  For example, if you are looking for a good all mountain ski, go to last year's gear guide, pick out four models that you believe would be a good option for you, and go to the show with these four options in mind.  You have no idea what will be offered at the expo so going with more options improves your chance of success.  I think four is a good number too, you will more than likely get one of your options.  The other important need for research is to determine pricing.  While these shows do offer you a good savings, many online sites now offer deep discounts too, so with a good sense of competitive pricing you enter the expo armed with the right info to make the right decisions.  

Tip #3: Get there early Now that your research is complete and you have a list of options, it's time to head to the show – but get there early!  Early means the first day of the show.  Most expos are several days long, and the longer you wait to attend the show, the slimmer your options are when you do get there.  Early also means, early on the first day.  The first day of the show, there is more product, more options, and everything is a little more orderly, meaning you can actually navigate the floor and see where everything is, so you can plan your approach to get what you want.  As the show goes on, things have been picked through and it starts to look like a battlefield.  I can't stress this point enough – if you want the best options, get there early.  

Tip #4: Beware of the goods, and the help This tip actually sounds a little more ominous than it actually is, but the first point is to pay attention to what you are buying.  All of the product that is on the floor at the expo has, more than likely, been at a retail space for an entire season prior; and, in addition, it has somehow made its way to the expo.  That is a lot of time on shelves, in storage, in transit, and who knows what else.  It does not mean these products are no good, it means you need to be diligent when deciding what to buy.  Here are a few things to keep in mind, outside of just the cosmetic check for dings and scratches: 1) for skis – make sure the serial numbers (located on the top sheet, or sidewall, at about mid-point) are the same, and that both skis are the same size; 2) for boots – make sure both are the same size, also check for serial or sku numbers when possible to make sure these are the same; and 3) for clothing – try it all on, the labels may be inaccurate for sizing.  

The second point to Tip #4 is to beware of the help when trying to get product knowledge or expertise.  Most of the people that are working at the expos are there to help – help direct traffic, help with checkout, help with keeping the expo orderly.  These people, while they may be winter sports enthusiasts, are not product experts.  Again, this is where your research will seriously pay off.  If you know what you are looking for prior to walking in the door you are that much ahead of the masses trying to get the same deal you are.  However, if you are looking for product knowledge, there are some company representatives around on the floor to help.  You can usually find them with their company badge on, and these are the people to get assistance from for product knowledge.  They are scarce and usually in high demand, so be patient.  

Tip #5: Remember the swag Expos offer a lot of swag – lift tickets, discounts on travel and lodging, branded promotions and a lot more. So make sure you make an effort to get it!  At the very least, if you don't end up buying anything, and you walk out with the swag, your ticket price for admission will have been worth it.  

Expos can be a great way to get some quality gear at great pricing.  If you do the research, attend the show, and don't end up finding what you are looking for, remember there are a lot of great deals to be found on the web.  Also, it's a fun way to start the season, the energy around a bunch of likeminded winter sports enthusiasts is palpable – so have fun! 

Enjoy the ride!

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