Tuesday, August 25, 2015


It turns out this blog still get a few page views. I'm happily surprised once or twice a day someone stumbles on here and checks it out. In the last few years this blog has almost been forgotten. So instead of being apologetic and making promises to myself and followers I'm just going to write today for the first time since mid winter.

My last post featured a video I made on Feb. 18. My workplace gives me some free lift passes to pass on to friends as a Christmas gift every year, and my friend Tom was living in Whistler with no pass (bad decision making). Tom took the lift ticket but would spend his whole day on the camera. It hadn't snowed in a long time and since then we'd experienced all sorts of thaw/freeze cycles so calling it hardpack was almost an understatement. Regardless, weeks of skiing in these conditions made everyone adapt and ski in different styles and take new lines. Largely a lot of fast skiing and landing in transitions. So it wasn't super conventional and I'm happy with the end project.

It was dry for a while until mid March when Whistler was hit by some snow. By this time people had lost faith in skiing and stashes were left every where, Whistler had been abandoned. I got a few more shots in this period but regrettably didn't get any in the backcountry.

Right at the end of March I went to Kicking Horse for Wrangle the Chute without yet being registered. I literally begged and thanks to the organizers got in the night before. I had an ok qualifier run and ended up sitting in fifth. The finals run ended badly. There was a little drop I chose to hit last minute above my main feature and got stuck  in the landing in some heavy snow and skied past my main source of points. Somehow I ended up tenth. There was a good party and my cousin was there randomly so I got over my losing attitude pretty quick.

Also,  I met into the TGR crew in Kicking Horse, the conditions weren't ideal for filming in the area so they were skiing the resort. I was trying not to be a fanboy but I probably was. Thanks to Lauren, Connor, George and Camilla for letting me tag along on that trip.

The location of our first planting camp: Adams Lake

After kicking horse, I had just one week skiing left before I had to got plant trees. Due to the low snowpack the ground was ready to plant almost a month earlier than normal. We started out around Kamloops. This was my third and toughest season of planting. I was on a contract so hard my average earnings dropped 40% from where I had left off the year before. A week in I dislocated my shoulder rollerblading and missed 6 days of planting. April just sucked and I wanted to quit the contract badly. Eventually things improved but I never got to the earnings I had in the year before, even though I was more experienced. I've learned to love planting trees though and was willing to do an extended contract in Ft. St. John. so I could make the money I needed to get a snowmobile. Our crew was tight though and I came out with a bunch good stories. Money isn't everything.

Artisan's Mackenzie camp - all wrapped up really

Mackenzie BC's main attraction - the worlds biggest log crusher

This was one day in the North Adams area near Clearwater BC.  We showed up to the super steep block in one of the hardest rainstorms I've ever seen. As you can see below, the day ended well. 

After finishing with Dynamic reforestation I managed to tag on two more shifts at the end of the season with another company called Artisan. This camp was in Mackenzie and had some extremely fast and sandy land. I manage to get a personal record with 4320 trees in a day. I was tired but happy and healthy at the end of season.

In another post I'd like to get into treeplanting a bit, because it's almost as much fun as skiing in the sense that you're in the outdoors pushing yourself mentally and physically. I also had to switch phones in the middle of the season and am now missing a bunch of great photos.

My truck was in rough shape for the journey back to Vancouver but with some white knuckle driving, a spare fan belt and luck I made it pack from Prince George in a day. I would've continued planting in Northern Alberta for August but I had a date for shoulder surgery.

Over the years of skiing and abusing my body doing other activities I've dislocated my shoulder somewhere between 20-30 times. This means that it had become unstable and was due to come out increasingly often. I had a Arthroscopic Labrum Repair aka the Bankart Repair. Basically, the cartilage that lines my shoulder socket that had been ripped out after all the dislocations  was re attached via anchors buried in the socket. I'm now 14 days out and feeling pretty good. My arm must stay in a sling but at this point have no pain  and it's a fight not to use the bad arm. What's most remarkable is that the three entry points are almost completely healed.

So these days I'm not doing a whole lot. I've just started to get out of the routine I had the week after the surgery. I was on painkillers and didn't work on anything, even my progress in the plot of GTA V was negligible. I'm focused again though, and about to finish my season edit.

So that was my summer. Manual labor and surgery, all for skiing though.

Everyone knows summer sucks anyways.