Friday, December 3, 2010

Looking Ahead

Now that the season has officially started and I have a couple days under my belt, I’ve been able to look ahead and plan details for some trips I have on the docket for the season.  For those wondering if all my blog posts will just be boring day trips to local mountains, the simple answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT!  About half of my riding will be local mountains, while the other half will be weekend (or longer) trips to various mountains and resorts across the region, along with a few backcountry hiking trips, and one cat ski trip.

Whistler/Blackcomb is always a multiple weekend destination for me every season.  Last year I made it up there four separate weekends and spent a total of 8 days on the mountain.  The greatest thing about Whistler/Blackcomb is there is such an incredible amount of terrain I still haven’t completely explored both mountains in the two years (and roughly 15 days) I’ve spent there.  This almost guarantees there will be some good stories to tell after each day I ride there.

I made my first trip out to Colorado last year and spent time at Breckenridge and Copper Mountain around New Years.  Being my first time in the Colorado Rockies, I was blown away by the amount of ski resorts within driving distance and how soft champagne powder really was.  It was an easy decision to make a plan to head out to Colorado again.  DBro and I currently have a week and a half long trip planned in late January/early February that would put us in Aspen for the Winter X Games followed by a week in Summit County riding as many mountains as we can.  The stoke level is quite high for this trip.

The trip I’m probably most excited about is my first cat expedition with Big Red Cats out of Red Mountain in British Columbia (  DBro and I met the owner at the Ski and Snowboard Convention in Seattle back in October and booked a buy one get one free trip for late February.  NP and SN also got in on the trip, along with two other friends.  I’ve always wanted to get in on a cat ski trip and have priced them out multiple times in the past, but none came out to as good of a deal as this was.  It was waaaaaay too good to pass up!  Now if only I could find a good deal on a heli-ski trip……

Along with the cat ski trip, I’m hoping to get more into back-country boarding this year.  I’ve already looked into the required avy gear (beacon, probe, & shovel) along with a certified Level 1 avalanche course, but haven’t pulled the trigger on either yet.  I don’t plan on going big my first year out obviously, but I really want to get my feet wet and tag along with a few other riders who are accomplished back-country enthusiasts.  The cat ski trip will help a get me into it a little bit, but I really want to do a bit of hiking at Baker for some turns.  I blame TGR’s "Deeper" for pushing me to go, well, deeper, if you will.

There are also a few other weekend trips planned throughout the winter.  Schweitzer in Idaho for New Years, Bachelor in Oregon the following weekend, and perhaps even a late season trip to Tahoe.  Schweitzer will be a more prominent destination this year, as my parents recently bought a condo within driving distance that I’ll have to take advantage of.  I hope to add at least 3 or 4 new mountains to my resume along the way.  Whatever way you look at it, this season is shaping up to be a really good one.

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