“The Highway” is an emotional story about my sister and I and the life lessons that she taught me along the way and how skiing helped me deal with it all.

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The Highway

Introducing Salomon TV

10 years ago  Salomon Freeski TV was formed and 5 years later Salomon  launched Running TV. To celebrate the 10th anniversary  were joining forces to create #SalomonTV. Feast your eyes on the 2016-2017 Fall/Winter teaser! And good luck thinking about anything besides skiing today. Get ready for winter as its #TimetoPlay!

Moments Notice Into The Deepness Of Japow

Winter was off to a slow start here on the West Coast. Unusual weather patterns moving across our mountain ranges brought rain to high elevations right before a cold snap which left us with bulletproof, rocky and marginal conditions. With no snow in the long-term forecast, the morale of the ski community was an all-time low and après ski after one run became common practice. In early January all this changed — well, at least for me. I was up at Whistler Mountain helping Ryan Weese and Philip Lake take down all their Salomon demo skis off the mountain when I saw I had missed a call from Jeff Thomas. I remember him telling me at the beginning of the winter, “Make sure to answer your phone if I call you. It’s probably important.” So I scrambled and called back as soon as possible, which ended up being the greatest phone call of my life. He asked me if I wanted to fly out to Japan in two days to go skiing! I dropped everything I had planned and said yes with excitement.

Two days later, Jeff and Blair Richmond picked me up from my house and off we went to start our long and epic journey to Japan. We met up with Chris Rubens at the airport, boarded our plane, and met up with the rest of the crew including Grant Gunderson and Tristan Knoetzer on the other side of the pond. We exchanged a few high fives and loaded all our bags onto the bus and off to mountains we went! We arrived to our hotel in Rusutsu a few hours later in a huge snow storm and five-foot snow banks. Shortly after, our awesome and funny guide, Tatsuya Tayagaki pulled up in this sweet little motor home which was caked with three feet of snow. Super tired, we all grabbed our bags, went to our rooms and off to bed.

Going up the gondola the next morning, I started getting anxious about what my first real pow day of the year was going to be like. Having no clue how much it snowed overnight, we were hoping for the best. We all gathered at the top and Jeff told us to throw on our GoPros and go for a run. We raced into the trees and all you could hear was hoots and hollers all the way down as we skied two feet of fresh blower pow. Just that first run was worth the trip. Laughing and high-fiving we headed up for our next run. The boys took out the cameras and shot us trenching through the pow, blowing through pillows and airing off every natural feature in sight. It was so deep we were constantly gasping for air whenever we could get a chance. This set the tone for what the next two weeks were going to be like. One of my most memorable parts of the trip was skiing 45cms of pow at night in Niseko! It was something I never really got to do before and had such a blast with the boys getting fully white roomed in the dark.

The conditions were so good that a few of us changed our flights and stayed an extra week. Our extended stay was a little different, as the sun was shining. This was quite bizarre as we had not seen it for the first week we were there. So, we decided this was a good opportunity to go do a little ski touring and explore Japan’s backcountry. We got to see some amazing views and ski some great runs. All in all this was a trip of a lifetime. I got to ski pow every day — three of which were the best pow days I have ever had — followed by an onsaun to refresh the body, hang out with an awesome crew, and last but not least take in the Japanese culture. I feel so lucky and fortunate that I got that call from Jeffy that one afternoon in January and can’t wait to go back to Japan in the near future!

Bluebird Pow Day To Remember

Cold weather and precipitation had brought that white fluffy snow that we all love to our mountain tops on November 2nd. This could only mean one thing,  skiing was in my near future.

The next morning I met Kyle Long at 6:30 at lot 8 to start our ascent to Husume. For the first half hour we hiked up the run with our skis and boots on our backs so we could reach the snow line and make our first transition of the day. We then continued our journey skinning from there to the bottom of our couloir we had picked out for the day. As we approached the bottom, we were a bit concerned that this 30 cm’s of storm snow did not bond well with this harder crust below. So we dug a pit and deemed it to be safe so we proceeded with setting a boot pack straight up the couloir. This was definitely a good physical and mental test, breaking trail through deep pow got the legs pumping, the lungs burning but the stoke was keeping us moving forward. Before we knew it we were standing at the top eager to get some of the first pow turns of the year.

We had planned on eating our lunch up top but to our dismay a group of three was climbing up the backside of Husume. We scrambled to get all our gear into our bag as neither one of us wanted to give up that fresh pow. I dropped in first and had the time of my life skiing some early light winter pow! I waited and watched Kyle come ripping out of the bottom with a big grin on his snow covered face. We then decided to go have lunch up by Blow Hole and headed down from there to enjoy a few wobbly pops at the Brewery! Great way to end and awesome day.

Cheers,

IMG_2183 K Long hiking up from lot 8IMG_2190 Good morning HusumeIMG_2306 Fresh water to refill our bottles IMG_2200Husume in all its gloryIMG_2282Boot packing straight up the gut IMG_2219The final few steps to the topIMG_2223Still need a lot more snow to fill in those crevasses.IMG_2255Kyle slashing up a turnIMG_2198Spankies looking a little boney

Here is a short clip of the awesome conditions we had! Bluebird Pow