Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cain Early Season

Just went out for some turns on Sunday up at Mt. Cain. The snowpack was a little thin down low but the snow was lovely for the Island. And to top it off, it was sunny. Ahh. I treasure those days on Vancouver Island. Enjoy this little video I shot.

Friday, October 8, 2010

France's New Blog

Hey everyone. France has a new cooking blog called Beyond The Peel. You can check it out here. There's lots of great recipes, cooking techniques and tips, photos and videos are coming soon. She's also here on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Photo Montage

I've been super slacking on the blogging the last couple of months. So, instead of making a bunch of blog posts to catch up on all the adventures, I'm just putting up a bunch of highlight photos. Photos aren't necessarily in the order that they happened, and there are a lot of photos. Enjoy. Also, I should hopefully have a couple of videos to share in the near future.

Bill skiing the beautifully spaced 3 o'clock trees in the Mt. Cain Backcountry, the gem of the North Island.

Bill skis the fin. I loved the lines in this photo.

Joshua heading into the trees. 3 o'clock trees. Mt. Cain backcountry.

Bill. Sky. Powder. And then the sun came out.

Bill on another lap through 3 o'clock trees.


One of Bill's bindings broke on a late January attempt to ski Mt. Brooks in Strathcona Park. Bill had to ski down with one ski. Sucks.

A lonely bird and the Straight of Georgia.

Shasta and France at Kye Bay, one of our favorite beach spots in the area.


Colorful shell on the beach at the Comox Spit.

France and clouds.

The beautiful north face of Mt. Washington, where I work.

Steve flew out from Alberta for a week of skiing.

We had great snow and sun, a rare commodity on the Island, while he was here. Steve enjoys the sun and pow in the T1 trees in the Mt. Washington backcountry.

My turn.

And again.

I liked the light on this one that Steve snapped of me.

My sweet puppy doesn't have much hair so she likes to snuggle up in a blanket. She must be a Sprague.

I couldn't take my eye off of this peak around Mt. Cain.

I really want to ski this line, or at least take a photo of someone skiing it from this angle.

I found a driver on the ridge so decided to play some golf.

Craig in the west bowl of Mt. Cain.

And lower down in the west gully.

Who says skiing in jeans isn't hot.

Bringing back sexy.

Shasta and her cape.

The Ginseng Chute and our tracks in it when Steve was visiting.

Joshua overlooking the ocean.

Steve with a heavy pack on our two day trip to try and ski Mt. Myra in February.

Joshua a few hours later when we reached Tennant Lake where we'd make camp for the night.

The view from camp towards Myra.

Dusk at camp.

The terrain up into the alpine was uber convoluted and very time consuming. It ended up taking us a lot longer to get up to the alpine than we expected. Here I am after booting up some exposed and scary 50 degree snow. Glad that the angle is mellowing out.

Our highpoint in the alpine. By the time we made it here, we had to turn around so we could make it home on time for me to go back to work the next day. I'll be back for Myra in the spring now that I have a better idea where to go.

Mt. Myra as seen from Buttle Lake.

The beauty of an avalanche.

This is my favorite shot of the year so far. I snapped this one of Steve skiing the Ginseng Chute.

Sun and Ridgeline. Mt. Washington Backcountry.

Last week a storm roared in out of the Gulf of Alaska dropping a meter of cold, fluffy powder. The result was the best skiing of the year and fortunately it coincided with my days off. Frank, or what you can see of him, really glad to be out touring today.

Frank's son Nick enjoying the goods as the sun came out for a little bluebird action.

Frank loving the pow.

Frank in really deep.

Yeah, it was a really really good day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Life Update

Lots has been happening in the last month. Work has been in full swing and quite busy, although the season has had a general lack of snow everywhere in North America this year. We've seen lots of rain on the Island though. Sweet...not. Anyway, Christmas was wonderful and France and I now have a new member in our family. No, France is pregnant or had a baby, we got a new dog! We've also decided to no longer foster dogs as it's too emotionally difficult so our new dog, Shasta, is for keeps. She's a total sweety, that we got from the SPCA in Nanaimo (about an hour south of where we live). She's a 7 year old, American Bull Dog/Pit Bull mix and a very gentle, people loving dog. We're happy to have her!

I've also gotten out on a few tours. The snow is definitely not what I've been spoiled with in the last few years and the weather is so erratic here that it's hard to get the good snow windows to coincide with my days off. However, it always feels great to be away from the resort, put the skins on the skis and be in the stillness of the backcountry. One thing that the Island sure has going for it is that it is definitely not crowded in the backcountry.

On December 23rd I went for a quick solo skin up to the old closed down ski hill at Forbidden Plateau, about 30 minutes from my house. The resort closed in 2000 due to consistent low snow, but since it had snow at the moment I thought I'd check it out. The old runs were definitely very overgrown with nasty alders and saplings, and the low snowpack made the ski down generally bumpy and inconsistent, but there was 4 inches of light powder and the sun came out half way up. All in all it was just a nice day to get some exercise although I don't think I'll be returning to the area anytime soon.

Happy to be on the skins. Hadn't had them on since mid November.

Found some cool rime/frost formations on the trees.

The sun and blue ski emerges above the abandoned ski lift.

The view before dropping in.

On the 30th of December, I went backcountry skiing on Mt. Cokely, a 1600m peak about an hour and a half south of Courtenay. Cokely also used to have an old ski hill there that was shut down due to low snow, although unlike the one at Forbidden, the removed the lift so you can't even really tell that there was a ski hill. Our initial plan was to ski the main bowl of Mt. Cokely, but sketchy dust on crust conditions with bad fall potential over water falls made us retreat to mellower ground. Here's Bill skinning towards the main bowl before we retreat with our tails between our legs.

We then took a lap down mellower terrain and found dust on crust conditions. Here's Bill skinning back up for the second of 5 laps we made.

On our 4th lap we decided to try a different aspect where the wind had blown more of the pow in to. We found about 5 inches of nice wind blown powder on top of a crust. It was definitely the best skiing of the day. Bill skiing the nicer snow.

On the skin back up from lap 4 we crossed under some fun little cliffs and spotted a short little chute that looked fun we threw the skins back on and had to ski it.

Bill heading in to the little chute.

And in it.

The ski out to the car was also good as we found some nice pow through mellow trees.