Apr 30, 2009

Ucluelet and Clayoquot Sound Kayak Training

I am getting stoked about the next week. I will be spending 9 days on Vancouver Island learning and expanding my skills in order to be an overnight assistant kayak guide. I will be working with SKILS to achieve all the necessary skills and information. 9 days camping in Ucluelet and the Clayoquot sound.... meeting new kayak enthusiasts and learning more about this beautiful part of British Columbia... doesn't get much better than that.

Crossfit training has been going well. I feel stronger already. Training session number 6 coming up today-looking forward to it in a type2 fun kind of way!

This week I also found out that I got into teacher school at SFU... I begin in September! woot woot!

live, love, laugh,..DREAM!

Apr 27, 2009

Garibaldi Neve: Ski Touring

Ski Touring the Neve has been something I've wanted to do since I got introduced to the wonderful world of backcountry skiing. The Neve is a point to point traverse that can be done in either South to North or North to South direction. Most people begin the traverse at the Black Diamond parking lot in Squamish and finish at the Garibaldi Parking lot further north off of highway 99 towards Whistler. Last year most of the crew had done the traverse in that direction but really disliked going down 9 km of tight switch backs that were mostly ice; therefore we decided to try it going the opposite way. I jumped aboard this time (having some free time in between courses, and looking for a job etc). 

Saturday morning we did some car shuttling (in order to have a car at the end of the traverse as well as the beginning) and began our trek on the road towards Garibaldi Lake. We were lucky enough to hike the first 3 or 4 km with skis on our packs (really not that lucky...hahaha. It is amazing how much heavier the pack gets with skis tied to it). We eventually put on the skis and finished up the switchbacks... at least it felt a little shorter with the walking start?!? We had a gorgeous day so the 4km ski across Garibaldi Lake didn't feel as long and we had some beautiful sights to look at and let minds wander off. We arrived with plenty of time to cook in the sun (so nice to winter camp outside without shivering in the dark) and watch the sun set across the lake and rest behind the mountains. 

The Burton hut was crammed with folk so we decided to set up camp outside; seeing that we brought tents we figured the weather was nice and the sleep wouldn't be too cool. Well, we were wrong about the warmer nights: it was still mighty cold and I had to put on all of my clothes throughout the night... Unfortunately two of our party decided to head back down the switchbacks and home due to lack of sleep etc. 

Then there were three Andrew, Kala and I headed off toward the Neve. The sun was hot, the climbs steep, the crevasses big and the scenary magnificent. We climbed hard through the heat and managed to score some sweet turns on spring snow conditions down the Neve, across the sketchy Gargoles, to Elfin lakes, across Paul's Ridge and down from Red Heather to the parking lot and celebrate at the Shady Tree in Squamish.

 The traverse has it all, ups and downs, trees, and glaciers. I was feeling the heat of the sun going up the glacier and had to stop and drink tons of water. My knees were causing me some problems half way through the traverse but I pulled through with some Ibuprofin and mental strength. The snow happen to be pretty awesome for our turns and the ski out was easy and quite peaceful. 

Another great weekend spent in the mountains, on skis with fantastic friends. 

I am truly enjoying my time in Vancouver since my return from South America. We live in a spectacular part of the world so go out and play!

Paul's Pictures here

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!

Apr 24, 2009

Crossfit Vancouver

 About a week ago I did some more research about a particular type of training program known as Crossfit. I had heard of this method of training for some time but life events etc didn't quite match me up with it until now. 

It hurts, it is hard, it is technical, demanding, and it is FUN, ADDICTIVE and I am so pumped about it. I can't wait to learn more about it, the exercises, the workouts, the protocol, the people. I know I have what it takes I just need to find it in there somewhere where it is nicely stored away within my head, my muscles and my bones. It is a type of cross training that covers so many different aspects of fitness. As I progress through my sessions I am sure I will have thoughts, feelings and questions about it all. For now, it is refreshing, and I can already feel my brain switching powers from the long slow hurt to the quick fast type... I am learning how to push myself with speed and power again. It is going to take time and I look forward to results. 

For now I am off to the mountains for my second and most likely last ski tour of the season. We are going to battle the Neve Traverse. I better load up on the sunscreen as it is supposed to be sunny and beautiful!

live, love, laugh,...DREAM!

Apr 21, 2009

Snow to Surf: Fig Rolls takes Bronze

This past weekend Andrew, Angie, Paul and I headed to Comox Valley to take part in the annual Snow to Surf Relay Race. It is a relay race comprised of 8 stages and 9 team members (downhill ski, nordic ski, run x2, mtn bike, kayak, road bike, canoe x2people). Mark and Nicki were kind enough to invite us along on their team and organize the logistics for us. It is a huge event that the entire town gets into and funny enough is taken quite seriously by most...

I was pretty excited to race in the kayak leg as last time I took part in the race (about 3 years ago or so) I was a runner... Nice to experience something different. The water was mighty choppy so I was pretty content to be sitting in a fibre glass sea kayak rather than a surf ski (especially since I have not been in a surfski for over 7 months... yikes). 

Mark flew into the transition in the top 20 for sure and the rest of the crew that had been done had come to see me off just in time; which was very cool. My paddle was pretty good considering the lack of paddling training during the travels. It was really fun with the waves (tough as well...). The most embarrassing/comedy portion of my leg was getting out of the boat to pass on the wrist band to our roadie, Dave. My left leg had fallen asleep while kayaking and when I tried to step onto it I collapsed not once, not twice but three times in front of the crowds.. That little hill suddenly felt like a mountain and I wasn't too sure how I would manage the exchange.. I ended up holding my left leg and limping up to Dave for the pass off.. I also managed to score an interview with the local tv guy due to my beautiful performance... SO if you happen to check out local Comox news I will most likely be on there stumbling out of my kayak... Slick, I know. 

The team did great! (even with the barge of canoe we ended up with). Such a fun race. Fig Rolls managed to come in third in the Open Mix Category. 

Some Pictures from the weekend that Paul took here

Live, Love, Laugh,...DREAM!


Apr 16, 2009

Back in Vancouver: First Ski Tour of the season Lizzie Lake

Two days back in the city and I already found myself running in the trails and backcountry skiing....

Spending four days, three nights out in the backcountry with good friends, fresh pow and amazing mountains how could one not be in heaven? What a beautiful way to begin my time back in Vancouver… backcountry skiing with three great friends! None of us had ever ventured out to Lizzie Lake cabin hut prior to the long weekend. Noone had probably wanted to try the 8 hour logging road slog up to the lake and then the heinous ski up through the steep trees to get to the inspiring Shangrila Gates just to get a couple of days of skiing in… well, let me tell you we have been missing out… This area has huge potential for massive amounts of fun… the terrain is vast and varied, steep, mellow, open, trees, scrambles etc etc etc… the hut: well,…its rustic but does the job. Fits 6 comfortably, 8 a little less comfortably and more than eight… hopefully your all good friends.

Skiing up with folks that have been on the skis the entire season was a humbling experience… I won’t lie I got tired, stuck in holes and was just plain old slow… but as the weekend passed on I felt the old legs come back at least a little and the turns were beginning to feel a little less forced. I truly love the backcountry… My sanctuary from all of life’s worries and hardships….

The new set up was fabulous.. My new Dynafit boots and bindings were comfy my new G3 Aviatrix were fast and light.

I’m hoping to get at least one more weekend in before I head out again to do some training courses on the island and in Mexico.

Live, Love, Laugh,…DREAM!


(look forward to some write ups about my trip in South America, more pics etc etc.. I know I am doing the catch up thing… tough when there is so much adventure in life…)