Tuesday, November 5, 2019


*This was saved in my drafts and written probably in the summer of 2018. I want to start posting again and this write up seems to fill in some of the blanks.

 I've had two ankle surgeries since my last post. I guess the plan before the first surgery was to go all out. I was going to drop out of school and go back to skiing.

On December 22, 2018 I got the first surgery. It was called a Subchondroplasty and consisted of an injection of a material that mimics bone, helping heal the initial bone defect. The first surgery was done by one of the most acclaimed surgeons in Canada. The problem with working with this surgeon was that he may succumbed to a confirmation bias, as he and my radiologist both missed a soft tissue injury that I had mentioned the symptoms of several times. Everyone makes mistakes though.

After the first surgery I was back in Ottawa, seeing a new surgeon for follow up appointments. In a new CT scan, a bone fragment that the previous surgeon thought to be not worth removing showed up as a problem. I also started to research the possibility of a soft tissue injury. I self diagnosed and brought it up with my new surgeon. I was so goddam right about it. A tear in the Peroneal Brevis causing inter-sheath subluxation.

With pain from both the bone fragment and the tendon tear I decided to stay in school another year and get surgery with a long window for recovery.

I'm still waiting on my application for Carleton's Industrial Design program. If I don't get in I go back to BC and back to the drawing board. I think I will go to Emily Carr for their ID program. Allegedly it's inferior, but honestly I don't think I can stand living anywhere that there isn't mountains. The sushi here sucks.

This ordeal has left me with some frustration about healthcare. An evident problem is Canada's long wait times. Luckily, my second surgeon is less in demand and was able to perform 8 weeks after the diagnosis. The first surgeon took over 6 months though, during which my ankle deteriorated.

Friday, December 1, 2017


You will need a pen, write down your answer selection and refer to bottom for answers.


1. What is the ender in Bobby Brown's Be Water?

a. Double Backflip
b. Double cork 1260° Mute
c. Cork 720° Blunt
d. Switch Double Cork 900° Japan

2. In the first of Candide Thovex's One of Those Days series, Candide jumps over a _________?

a. Swimming Pool
b. Multiple Cows
c. Police Car
d. Paraglider

3. Before Armada What was Tanner Hall's ski sponsor? 

a. Rossignol
b. Salomon
c. Elan
d. K2

4. Who currently hold the record for highest air in skiing? 

a. Joffrey Pollet-Villard
b. Simon Dumont
c. Joss Christensen 
d. David Wise


5. Which ski movie scene used Tears for Fears, Shout as its song?

a. MSP's Ruin and Rose, Marcus Eder
b. Superproof's The Recruitment, Sean Pettit
c. Inspired Media's Believe, Haines
d. Leve 1's Small World, Will Wesson

6. What backcountry freestyle skier is best known for the hood-over-helmet style?

a. Banks Gilberti
b. Mitchell Brower
c. Sean Pettit
d. Chris Logan

7. What pro skier owned Joystick Poles? 

a. Anthony Boronowski
b. Blake Nyman
c. Eric Pollard
d. Banks Gilberti


8. Scot Schmidt, legendary freeskier grew up in which state? 

a. California
b. Colorado
c. Montana
d. Wyoming

9. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa cemented his career with TGR by landing what trick on Pyramid Gap? 

a. D-spin
b. double backflip
c. double frontflip
d. 1080° mute

10. After Sammy C. and Bobby Brown who was the third skier to triple cork? 

a. Bene Mayr
b. Dane Tudor
c. Gus Kenworthy
d. Henrik Harlaut


D, C, A, D, C, B, A, C, C, B

Friday, October 6, 2017

Instagram highlights from Winter 2017 (in B&W)

First time sledding to a peak for me. Scary, but a lot less strenuous than touring. CC: Peter Wentz.

They're going to build a chair through this stash in the coming years. Dammit. CC: Jon Gierson.

Inbounds shred with good photo composition CC: Peter Wentz. (If you're reading this Thanks Pete)

Lately: decisions made

Shortly after my last post, I talked with my surgeon on the phone and booked to operate on my ankle. Shortly after that I was started to miss day after day of planting in interior BC. Looking back it was comical how much pain I was in, but I can be very determined. I quit planting 5-6 weeks before I was supposed to. A & G reforestation was very accommodating of my injury. They are a prime example of professionalism in the reforestation industry. I spent two months after that living at home in the city. I now regret how complacent I was in that period. Anticipation of school doesn't qualify as action.

Right when I decided to get surgery I got accepted into Carleton University in Ottawa. I had applied to the Industrial Design school there in January 2017 because I had a hunch my ankle wasn't going to heal on it's own. ID schools study the process of design for mass produced goods. This field reflects my obsession with tinkering and my passion for aesthetics. Studying ID also meant I could design products for the ski industry. Previously, I never wanted to be involved in the ski industry as anything other than an athlete, but making ski products seems so god damn cool. In addition, my previous experience skiing is a valuable asset. The decision to go to school seemed obvious in light of the surgery as I wouldn't be skiing 2017/18 regardless.

Upon arrival in Ottawa I realized how my priorities have shifted the last few years. I don't know if this is what I want to do. I might be bound to the wild, at least for one more year. Focusing on school though. After surgery I'll be training to plant trees and ski, while finishing my second semester. Right now I can walk, but not much else. I've improved my diet and I stretch daily.

It looks like my ankle is basically still broken from sept. 2016, but a lot of terms are being thrown around. My surgeon is going to fill that fracture up with a substance that induces healing. I totally lucked out and have what seems to be the best ankle surgeon in Western Canada. I don't know what the recovery time is going to be. School's ok though. I love my apartment and Carleton has the inverse of the guy/girl ratio of the ski towns that I'm used to. I've always tried to learn one new word a day and holy shit is that ever happening now!

MRI from early May revealing that I had been trying to ski on a more or less broken ankle all season.

This blog is about skiing but also, my life. I feel the need to write the following.

My mom died suddenly from an aneurysm a little more than a year ago, which was a big catalyst for change. I loved my mom very much. Barbara was the most giving person I knew. The death may have been why I ultimately made the call to go to school. My dad, brother, and I are getting closer. Who knows where we're at. One foot in denial and the other stepping towards better days, probably. Thanks to everyone who supported us since then, especially those grieving themselves. I wish this never happened but adversity is an irreplaceable education. It's made me a stronger and maybe even better person.

I had some good times with friends last year but other than that it fucking sucked. My half season of skiing was painful, I could barely plant, I was smoking weed constantly, and I had to push through heartbreak (not going there). I think I'm starting to be able to cope with reality. I quit weed again. It's something I've wanted out of my life for the last few years but haven't had the guts to face life sober. Things are really fucking clear without it, more than I even like.

So there's that.

77 more days until surgery. Study, stretch, think about skiing.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lately: Big Decisions

First off, I have wrapped up the ski season and gone planting once again. I managed to squeeze in a few motel shifts in the Kootenays and am now based in Princeton in a camp until the end of June. I'm with a good company (A & G reforestation LTD.) but I'm losing passion for the craft as I'm in pain all the time. I think my production is affected.

 I had a third MRI  on my left ankle in late April and though I haven't talked to my doctor yet, the immediate results don't look promising. I still have an ostechondral defect in the ankle, but as a have not talked to my surgeon yet I don't know if shows signs of improvements over previous MRI's. The report also lists soft tissue damage and other tendon issues. The day I received the report was a rough one.

For now I'm just going to push through the pain until I talk to the surgeon on the 31st of May. I got into Carlton University in Ottawa and if surgery is necessary I will get it sometime soon and go to school and start to pursue my career in Industrial Design.

If it looks like I can heal on my own I will consider skiing again. My skiing goals are still a large priority, especially as this last season was so compromised.  Technically I managed to ski this season, but the whole experience was held back and painful. I never once felt like a was skiing at 100%.

What one could call "the freedom of feet" is something I will never take for granted again. If getting surgery means I can do things like pick up soccer, or  even run, then it's worth taking a year off any high impact for surgery. I'm not myself the way I am now.

This is a summary of my thoughts at the moment, practically in bullet point. For now, I've got trees to plant, life decisions to make and a much neglected instagram to serve. I have some footage saved up but I'm waiting to make plans for next year to decide what to do with it for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Cut

In early Autumn 2016 Conor MacDonald, Peter Wentz and I sat down, ate sushi and pledged our loose allegiance to film together and make a monthly series. Five months later we all live under the same roof and have released our second episode.

I didn't imagine that this whole series was going to be a breeze but the difficulties of editing between three different people surprised me. We all have expectations and sometimes those expectations clash. We are still getting to know each other so communication is a work in progress.

I wasn't too involved in the January episode. The intro was my responsibility and I'm quite content with the results. We did a lot of brainstorming for the introduction and the title. The Cut came out a last minute decision. We named the series after a local slackcountry run and in the midst of a heavy brainstorm we settled on it. It may be a little plain but it encompasses aspects of our crew, largely Whistlerblackcomb but also the cut blocks which roads we use for sled access.

I wrote the two paragraphs above about a month ago and now we're about to put out our third episode. I was the editor for the second episode. I'm happy with the end product but frankly expected it to pick up a bit more momentum. Anyways, without further ado - the second episode of The Cut. 

Lately: Just enough progress

There's a pattern in coping with this injury. The pattern is this: I have some progress which slowly decreases and as it decreases I briefly lose faith. Somehow after each of these brief periods of hopelessness signs of improvement spring up and the cycle starts it self all over again.

I've been aware of this cycle since December, but each time my ankle gets sore it still gets to me. One of the things I've been working on the last 6 months is a general control of my own mind. The ability to focus, enforce self control, and be present are my main priorities. There's that, and having control of my own life, which should lead towards happiness.

-Jacob Boyd, Early March 2017