Friday, February 11, 2011
museum displays and good times in snow
The last few weeks in and around whistler (since the world champs in spain) have been interesting. We got some rain pretty high which limited us to park and pipe riding for a few days. Then got just enough snow to ride in the backcountry, but you had to pick your landings carefully as some were not as deep as they appeared. Some wind, some sketchy avalanche conditions and finally a bit more snow and safer avi conditions.
I've taken my new splitboard out on a few missions to scope some new terrain, and we've had some really good days shooting. I've been stoked to be riding and shooting a lot with my good Kiwi friends Will jackways and Abby Lockheart. We've been joining Gaeten Chanut, Martin Gallant, Marie france roy, Leanne Pelosi, Robyn van gyn and others randomly for the last few weeks to get some stuff done. It's been rad riding with everyone and seeing them all send. A few days ago we were out for marie's first day in the backcountry since hurting herself last year, and i can easily say she hasn't missed a beat which was rad to see. I love seeing people come back from injury strong and riding well. That day was epic sunrise to sunset riding (my friend jeff's view of the day and me buried in a pow slash - http://pattersonimages.blogspot.com/2011/02/one-of-better-days-out.html).
martin gallant checking the morning zone for some laps.
In between the shooting days i was invited to the Whistler Museum's opening and to help cut the ribbon of their new olympic exhibit, in which I have a bit of my olympic gear. My stinky boots that i loved, a pair of goggles and a shot of a switch back 5 from the Games. It was pretty cool to see my stuff on display with some other whistler athletes' stuff. I'd never been in the museum prior and i have to say it's pretty cool. Basically the history of the area, town personalities, athletes gear, and photos of naked people. Usual museum stuff. Check it out sometime when you're in whistler.
I also went to Calgary for a few days for the Burton Canadian open. The comp was pretty fun although with a chinook blowing in calgary it was minorly (read majorly) windy for those few days. The Open series is trying out a new judging format call Live Scoring which is interesting for sure but i think they have a few kinks to work out for it to work great in halfpipe. But it's going in a good direction.
Anyways, I battled the wind for the second comp in a row and just missed finals by 0.5 point on 100! they were taking top 10 to finals and i got 11th. bummed. However, it being an Open I felt obliged (or egged on by Cory from Snowpark technologies; head digger for the Open) to poach numerous runs in the finals. They had night finals for the first time (at an Open) and the pipe was riding good, minus the ever present wind. congrats to kohei Kudo and kelly clark for taking the wins.
I've also had a few missions thanks to my good friend matt (although not necessarily his fault). I blitzed out of calgary that same night as the pipe finals and was in squamish at 2am. at 7am i received a phone call from Matt asking if I could come into the backcountry to help him and a few other buddies drag his sled out which had broken down a few days prior while we were shooting. I'd be a few hours late. an hour later he called again, saying it was getting bluebird up top and to head to his house and bring his camera gear out there.
What i thought would be a somewhat mellow-ish day taking a few shots and dragging a sled out turned into a nearly 12 hour mission. Punching trails, digging sleds, taking a few photos, having the tow ropes break at nearly the top of a big hill, and sending matt down the cat track in the dark with no headlights or brakes made for a very long day. With a lot of laughing and swearing depending on what was happening, eventually the sled got taken out and we all headed home for food and much needed sleep.
A few days later, at the end of a splitboard mission day, matt decided to spin his truck around on a pretty icy corner of a dirt road. I heard his truck disappear around the corner, and thought he made it. then i heard the tires spin and the truck slid into the ditch. After an unsuccessful first exit attempt left his truck deeper in the ditch, we spent the next 2 hours filling in the ditch with rocks and snapping tie downs as we tried to tow his truck out with my car. Thankfully we eventually got it out (we weren't exactly close to town) to end off another long day.
Usually our days finish past sunset and you just head home no problems. But both of those 2 days are days i've come to expect and pretty much just laugh the whole time as they happen. If nobody gets hurt and everything eventually gets taken home it's all good and worth some laughs. It's happened to me before and will probably happen again so I'm always willing to help out my friends as much as possible.
Whistler's forecast is for a fair bit of snow this weekend, so hopefully it'll be deep until i leave on tuesday for 2 world cups in quebec city and calgary.
As i mention in the title of the video, i sometimes forget i have my cameras with me. I get so excited to ride sometimes i forget to pull them out, for stills or video. good thing there's professionals on hand to document!
thanks to matt domanski, jeff patterson and gary pendygrasse for pointing cameras at us lately. much appreciated.
a custom build we saw in the parking lot. Has a 4 stroke engine and it get multiple people up there in style (although slowly) is all i got out of the owner
something you have to be ready for in the backcountry. broken machines and a bunch of rubber necking friends to laugh at you. matt domanski getting ready to ask for a tow out.