Everyday Pursuit

Check out the Latest Edited: http://www.newschoolers.com/watch/639848.0/Everyday-Pursuit?c=1&o=10&t=6 . Filmed at Squaw Valley, Northstar, Boreal, and Donner Summit. Shot and edited by Daniel Meece

Northstar Park report 11/21/2012

Today I decided to head up to Northstar despite the rainy weather. When I first got there it was partially drizzling and very cloudy. However, after about an hour of skiing in the rain, the sun began to shine on through. It actually ended up being quite a nice day for skiing.

That being said, if you are looking for a fun pre-season park then Northstar is not the place for you. The park is extremely crowded and actually quite dangerous in my eyes. There is no organized flow and many of the people are just skiing for the first time without a care in the world of their surroundings. Furthermore, all the features are extremely small. I do understand that it is just the start of the season, but at least throw up a decent sized rail or two for the experienced riders.

The park starts out with the choice of a mini up flat bar (1 foot by 1 foot) on the skiers left hand side or a two foot flat box on the right. Next up is a skate style 12 foot flat box on the left side or a extremely wide 10 foot flat box.  Following the skate style flat box, is two down rails each about 12 feet long and both round bars. These are probably the two most fun features in the park. The only problem is that they are so close together that people scrubbing speed in between makes for some interesting bumps. On the right side of the run there is a small double barrel down rail.

The bottom part of the park is the most chaotic with two lines to choose from. On the skiers left there is a small 5 foot table, into an extremely wide flat-up box, ending with a t-bar stall. On the other hand, you can hit a 4 foot double barrel flat rail, into two extremely small rollers/jumps,  and end up with a 10 foot-up dance floor.

Overall, this park is only entertaining for about the first two runs. On the positive side of things, Northstar does offer two full-length groomer runs. As a result, if you are looking to make some real turns, than Northstar is the best place for you to go at the moment. However, if you want to ride a fun pre-season park then I would recommend you head up to Boreal.

I will be sure to give an update of Boreal’s park in the near future as I am heading up there tomorrow.

Should park passes be mandatory at all mountains?

When I first heard about a park pass I thought that it seemed like a major hassle and a waste of time. A park pass is something that some resorts have began to require in order to have access to their freestyle terrain. In order to acquire one of these passes you must first watch a video that teaches you how to be safe while skiing in the park. Some resorts may charge a small additional fee to get one of these passes as well. If you are only visiting a place for a short amount of time I can understand why you might not want to waste your precious vacation time learning about park safety, but there can be many benefits to such a thing.

The most important thing about a park pass is that it will stop clueless people from skiing through the park without any regard to the dangerous freestyle terrain that surrounds them. Too many times, I have seen people cut across landings of jumps or stand in unsafe spots that could not only get themselves injured but could cause injury to others as well. People need to be educated on the proper ways to handle yourself while skiing in a freestyle terrain park in order to maintain a safe environment.

Not only will the park pass make resort’s terrain park’s more safe, but it will also cut down the amount of traffic in the park. Im sure that a less crowded and hectic park is something that everyone could appreciate. As you can see even though a park pass may seem like a hassle at times there are clearly some strong benefits to administering one.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments about the park pass!

 

Northstar Park Report 12/14/2011

I’ve been pretty busy with the semester coming to an end but got a chance to ride Northstar today. They’ve done an excellent job creating a fun park with the little bit of snow they are working with. The only park open is still pinball. The top section begins with a 5 foot flat box followed by a 5 foot triple barrel flat rail. After this, you can hit a 12 foot flat box on the skiers ride or go left to a 10 foot down box. The top part of the park ends with a really fun 12 foot flat rail. 

I was really glad to see Northstar made some bigger jumps in the middle section of the park. This section starts with the same small five foot step down immediately following the top of the park. Next, there is a new really fun double jump line. The first jump is about 10 feet followed by a smooth 15-20 foot table. The second jump is nice because you can take it big and the landing is still really smooth. After the jumps, their is a small pole bonk and two mellow rollers on the skiers right hand side. 

The bottom of the park has a good amount of variation. The skiers left hand side features a 10 foot down lift tower tube, into a 10 foot circle down rail, and a 13 foot down square donkey rail. The skiers right hand side begins with a 10 foot rainbow box, into a 22 foot flat box, followed by a square A-frame rail. Next you have the option of a 14 foot circle down rail or 22 foot roller coaster box. 

The bottom of the park ends with a pole jam into a 15 foot square down flat down rail on the skiers left. On the other side, there is a slanted wall-ride into a lift tower tube spine. 

Overall, I am really happy with the new park set-up. It’s nice to hit a little bit bigger sized jumps. Now if only we could get some more snow so that they could build up the DC straits! Pray for snow!

Three Essential Things You Must Have in the Backcountry

Skiing in the backcountry is one of my favorite parts of our sport, but it can also be very dangerous if you do not know what you’re doing and fail to take the necessary safety percuations. If you plan on skiing in the backcountry, or outside the bounds of a resort, then make sure that you always have someone else with you. Skiing alone is very dangerous because if something happens to you, then there is no one out there to help you. Secondly, make sure that you check the avalanche conditions and try to avoid skiing in the backcountry when avy danger is high. Although checking the avalanche danger is a good starting point, this does not mean that you are completely safe from avalanches just because the avalanche danger is low. Therefore, you need to be prepared with the vital equipment in case you do encounter an avalanche while you are out in the backcountry.

Here are three essential tools that you should always have with you when skiing outside the bounds of a resort:

1.) Avalanche Beacon: An avalanche beacon is used to find someone that has been buried in the snow from an avalanche. It works like a GPS tracking system as it indicates the direction of where your buried companion is located. In order for a beacon to be effective, both people must be wearing one or else it is a useless tool. As I said earlier, it is crucial that you always ski with someone when venturing into the back country in case you do get buried in an avalanche so that they can find and dig you out.

2.) Probe: A probe is used to find the exact location of a person buried in an avalanche. The beacon can only do as much as point you in the general direction of where the person is buried. Once you believe that you are on top of them, then you use the probe by submerging it into the snow in hopes that it pokes your buried friend. After you have probed the snow and find the exact location of your friend then you can begin to dig them out.

3.) Shovel: Both the probe and beacon are useless if you do not have a shovel to dig the buried person out of the snow. Avalanche shovels are nice because they can fold up and fit into most backpacks so that you can still ski without them being a burden. The shovel is a crucial tool in quickly uncovering your buried companion and ultimately saving thier life.

Although the three tools I listed are a good start for back country safety, they are just the bare essentials. It is crucial that you have at least these three things as minimal safety percuations, but there are many other things that you can bring to help protect yourself. When heading out into the backcountry, you should try and equip your pack back with the necessary items that would allow you to survive through at least one night, even though you may not be planning to be out that long. Mother nature is unpredictable and you never know what could go wrong while skiing in the backcountry. Therefore, the better prepared you are for the unknown variables, the better chance you have of suriving. Some other good things to consider when heading into the backcountry include water, food, matches or a lighter, first-aid kits, and sleeping gear.

Overall, the backcountry is a great part of our sport and should be taken advatange of. It’s awesome to get out into areas where no one else is around but mother nature and the people that you are with. Just make sure if you do decide to venture outside the bounds of the resort, that you understand what you are doing and are equipped with the necesarry safety tools.

Park Report: Northstar 11/30/2011

Today I got a chance to head up to Northstar for some morning riding and it was awesome. Altough it was a little windy up top, there was hardly anyone there and the snow was really good. Since my last park report, Northstar has done a good job at switching up the set-up and putting in some bigger sized features.

The only park they currently have is still located on Pinball. The beginning of the run starts with the same 4 foot flat box. Following this, is a triple barrel 4 foot flat rail which flows into an eight foot down box. The down box is perfect for trying 270’s on if you have never done one before. The next feature in the park is a square 10 foot flat bar. This is a fun rail, but I just wish it was a little bit longer. After this, comes a 15 foot flat box that is set-up skate style, with no jump on, and then the top section of the park concludes with an eight foot step-down jump.

The middle section of the park begins with a 10 foot down box. Once again, this feature is fun, but could be a little longer. Following this, is a ten foot up box and a 20 foot down circle rail. The down rail is currently one of my favorite features in the park and is set-up really well.

The bottom section of the park features a down flat box, follwed by a 10 foot slightly up lift tower tube. The lift tower tube is extremely smooth to the point where it doesn’t even feel like you are on metal. The next feature is an option of a barrel bonk or a flat rail stall. Finally, the park ends with a 10 foot dance floor box, followed by a small square down rail.

Overall, I am very happy with the changes Northstar did with thier park. The new features that they added make this park a lot more fun than it was before. Now if only we could get a real sized jump up then I would be stoked! So let’s all do our snow dances and pray for some precipitation to come to Tahoe!

The Skiing Lifestyle

To some people, skiing is just a hobby that they enjoy doing every now and then when they have free-time. Others, like myself, have embraced skiing as much more than a hobby and more of a lifestyle. 

The reason that I say skiing is more of a lifestyle for me is because it has impacted my life in so many different ways. It has been the deciding factor in where I went to college, where I live today, the people that I hang out with, the music I listen to, and so many more different parts of my life.

I am originally from the the East coast  where I was born and raised for the first eighteen years of my life. When I graduated high school my passion for freestyle skiing caused me to pack up all my belongings and move 3,000 miles across the country to a place I had never been in my life. I had heard that the skiing in Lake Tahoe was amazing, and with the Univeristy of Nevada, Reno only being  thirty minutes away, I was sold. 

When I arrived in Reno I didn’t know a single person. Luckily for me, I was able to find others that shared the same love for freestyle skiing and we were able to relate to one another even though we were from completely different parts of the country. After attending the University for four years, most of my closest friends are the people that I ski with on a regular basis. 

If it were not for skiing, I have no idea where or what I would be doing with my life today. I know that you probably aren’t supposed to make the decision of where you attend college based on what the skiing is like, but I’m glad that I did. Skiing gives me so much joy and excitement that I couldn’t imagine life without it. I plan on skiing for the rest of my life and I couldn’t be happier that I ended up in such an amazing place like Lake Tahoe.

Please feel free to share your story of how skiing has impacted your life!

 

 

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