Blue Skies

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I woke up this morning to a beautiful blue sky and a sea of white waves. The three day storm is finally over, and ended up dropping a total of 29" here in Breckenridge! On Monday only the peaks had a little bit of snow, and now here's a picture from 8am this morning.

Yesterday I drove me and my roommates up to A-Basin for a pow day, here's a picture Rachel took on the way up!

It's safe to say Colorado is making up for the poor snow season last season and late start to this one. What an amazing season this is going to be!!! I had money saved up last year that I put in a "fun account", and I finally spent it on some much-needed snow gear. It's going to be a season with way above average snowfall and way below average temperatures. If you're a new rider in Colorado or a parent with a kid in Colorado, here are some fantastic gear ideas.

What I bought:

Demon Snow Impact Shorts: $55.00
This is the unisex version of Demon Snow's impact shorts. These are great for any season... and I should have invested in these a long time ago. I was going to get the female version, but these offer a lot more hip protection, which is mainly where I need it. If you don't want this to happen, get a pair!
Black Diamond Covert Avalung: $220.00
The most money I have ever spent on something I hope I never have to use. If you like to go out of bounds into the back country or hike up peaks, this is a must-have. For some odd reason I have noticed a large amount of riders who have beacons (mentioned later), but not avalungs. The average time it takes to find and dig out someone in an avalanche is about 20 minutes, and without an avalung you can only survive being buried for 15 minutes. What's the point of having a beacon if they're going to find you dead? An avalung allows you to breathe for 60 minutes, and also doubles as a backpack for all your gear.

Under Armour Cold Gear: $50 - $70 each
It is going to be a CHILLY season. If you like to stay warm and dry without looking like the Michelin Man, invest in some mid to heavyweight base layer gear.

Midweight PhD SmartWool Socks: $20 a pair
Until SmartWool, I never found socks that could keep my feet warm enough. Not only do they keep you warm and dry, they have extra padding where your feet need it most. My parents bought me a few pairs for Christmas last year and I still think that was the best present ever. ($20 a pair may sound expensive, but I think diamond earrings and designer purses are expensive... and useless!)


Avalanche Beacon: $200 - $550
A beacon is a device that's strapped to a skier/ snowboarder/ snowmobiler underneath their jacket. If you get buried in an avalanche it acts as a personal locator, and will help rescuers and/or your friends find you a lot faster than they would without one. As soon as I get a job this is going to be my next investment.
Other Impact Clothing: $20 - $120 +
Again, great for any season. It really depends if you ski or snowboard and how you're most prone to falling. My roommate Rachel just purchased the knee/shin pads below... last season she had a bone-deep gash on her leg that needed stitches. Unfortunately it usually takes a good accident before we want to invest in protection. In words of wisdom... buy it before you hurt yourself.



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Well it's finally here, ski season! Sunday was opening day at Loveland, and yesterday was opening day at A-Basin! Two weeks later than last season, but I can't complain because my first day of the season was a POW DAY! I woke up at about 6:45am (skiing is probably the only thing I'll get up before 8:30am for. You know what they say... Coloradan's will drive 2 hours in 12 inches of snow to ski but can't get to work when there's 4.)
 The blizzard was supposed to start at 3am, but I looked outside and it hadn't snowed a flake... and there wasn't even the slightest hint of a blizzard on the way besides the fact that it was cloudy. I had high hopes because this is supposed to be a La Nina season, but Colorado's weather is always unpredictable. I grab all my stuff, put on my ski gear and head out the door to what? Yeah, rain. My jaw dropped in disgust and I almost debated whether I wanted to go or not... but no way in heck was I letting a little rain ruin my first day of the ski season! I left the house around 7:30 and literally no more than 10 minutes later this is what the roads looked like:

As I said... Colorado is predictably unpredictable. It took me about 50 minutes to get to A-Basin though it usually takes 25-30 minutes. It's safe to say I'm one of those annoyingly slow drivers in bad weather... and proud of it. I don't plan on totaling another car this year (you're welcome mom and dad). Though just for clarification, I was not at fault for that... and they actually ended up fixing that small section of road this summer, thank God! Apparently I was one of a few cars that got pulled into the ditch there. ANYWAY, I finally got to the mountain and drove into a parking lot with around 6-8 inches of fresh snow on it.
 "I knew I should have brought my powder skis!" I thought to myself. I was kind of in denial because we hardly got any snow last season, much less on the first day! I met up with some of my friends a few minutes later and we hopped in the lift line. The lift line during pre-season is usually ridiculous but the new lift they put in this summer made things so much faster. We rode until 12 and the weather got bad enough that I decided I would leave before the roads got any worse. The temperature also dropped more than 10 degrees, so I was definitely not dressed properly. Despite the blizzard and having the wrong pair of skis with me, opening day was a blast! I'm not nearly as out of shape as I thought after not doing anything all summer. I really want to go today, but it's 13 degrees outside right now, and windy! I thought it was supposed to gradually get this cold... I am not prepared for this! Yikes!

The new 4 seat high-speed quad! A huge improvement from the old 2 seater!


No More DOOD-Tour!

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Ahhh, finally the pictures have arrived! As I said in my last entry, my friend Riley who is a 18 year-old professional photographer was in town from Salt Lake City. We met around 10:30 Saturday morning and headed over to the Middle Fork of the Swan River 4x4 trails in Breckenridge. I have driven this trail many times, and knew it would be the perfect trail for some good quick shots since we were limited on time. The first half of the trail was full of big muddy puddles because of the recent snowfall, and the upper half still had snow on it... Off-roading over snow was definitely a new experience, but so fun! We only had time to drive up a few miles, but I made it to a mine called Tony's Mine that has some incredibly preserved mine buildings. Here are some of my favorite shots!

(I have a video on my videos page of me crossing this same river in June. 
The water level was so much lower this time around!)
(I thought the hat, glasses, and boots would fit the old mining style!)

(Who said girls can't drive? I get it done on AND off road!)
On another note, news has just been released that female freeski has been welcomed back into Dew Tour! The Dew Tour, which is hosted in Breckenridge, Vermont, and Utah, decided to take female freeski out of the competition last year. The decision caused quite an intense stir, especially since there weren't any female snowboard events that were taken out. Quite a few of my good friends, Ashley Battersby, Anna Segal, Angeli Van Laanen, and Dania Assaly have already registered. I'm very excited for all of them!! It was bad enough to see the males making more than double the females for placing in the top 3 when the females are throwing almost the same tricks. It's kind of messed up how a 7ft tall guy can make millions a year for dunking a basketball and a 5 foot girl makes barely enough to survive for going inverted over a 70 foot gap.



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Yesterday was a pretty good day. My friend Riley who is a professional photographer was in town from Utah. I took him off-roading and we got some awesome photos. Then later we drove down to Lakewood for the Earlybird Rail Jam. But I'll save all those details for a later entry when I have pictures.

Unfortunately I have had a horrible streak of luck the past few weeks. I moved out to Colorado last summer because I got my dream job at Woodward at Copper. I wasn't able to work this summer because I had two back surgeries, so unfortunately they didn't have any open positions for me this season. I'm bummed beyond words, I loved that job. I also won't get to go to Park City this season now (where a few of my best friends live), since I will no longer be able to ride there for free through Woodward]. Then last night on my way home from Lakewood I got pulled over and received $170 speeding ticket... I wasn't speeding. I purposely DON'T speed for that reason, and I think the cop actually meant to pull over the SUV which was in the next lane over and in front of me, blocking me from the cops radar in the first place. Then, the other night, while trying to play sober peacekeeper between some of my guy friends, after kindly driving 6 of my friends home all over town, I somehow became the target of all the mayhem... none of them have yet to apologize. On top of all that, I missed my favorite artist at a small private venue in Denver, I got the stomach flu, I spilled hot chocolate all over my favorite shorts, which happened to be white, and ruined them, and the entire sole of my favorite pair of boots in the entire world decided to peel off in a day. Not to mention the massive scar I now have on my leg from my freak bike accident, and the recurrence of the tumor in my back for the 3rd time since having it removed twice this summer.

I guess no matter how good of a person you try to be sometimes things are just going to go wrong. I'm a person of faith, and I believe very strongly that every event, good or bad, happens for a reason... even if it takes a long time to realize what the reason is. I often use quotes and songs to help me get through my rough times, so I thought I'd share two. The first is a quote from a show called One Tree Hill. I don't actually watch the show, but I love the quote. The second is a song called The Realest Song by one of my favorite (reggae) bands, the Konshens.

 "Looking back on what I said all those years ago, all the hopes and dreams I had, I've come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you wanted them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I'm a failure. The important thing is not to be bitter over life's disappointments. Learn to let go of the past. And recognize that every day won't be sunny, and when you find yourself lost in the darkness and despair, remember it's only in the black of night you see the stars. And those stars will lead you back home. So don't be afraid to make mistakes, to stumble and fall, cause most of the time, the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most. Maybe you'll get everything you wish for. Maybe you'll get more than you ever could have imagined. Who knows where life will take you. The road is long and in the end, the journey is the destination."

Sorry it's a little hard to understand, it's Reggae so their English is a bit different... By the way, "Jah" is their word for God.

Dis is a prayer to the father,
Guide my steps as yuh sit on your throne.
Show mi di way fi get mi food an mi water,
(Show me the way to get me food and water)
And do nuh mek mi grudge nobody fi dem own.
(And do not make me grudge nobody for their own.)
Whole heap a people mek badmind tek dem ova,
(Whole heaps of people let badmind take them over)
Cah dem a try fi face it all alone.
(I call them and try to face it alone)
So mi a call pon di strength of the father,
To help mi fi work fi mi own.
Keep badmind outta mi heart,
Keep negative outta mi thoughts.
Mi know seh it easy to pree di wrong way,
(I know it's easy to pray the wrong way)
So Jah Jah please guide mi everyday.
Keep badmind outta mi heart,
Keep negative outta mi thoughts. 
Most high bless me yeah, guide and protect me yeah.
Di strength that mi woulda tek fi badmind anotha man
(The strenth it takes to badmind another man)
Help mi use di strength and try find a betta plan
(Help me use this strength to find a better plan)
The time me tek I wish mi did have somebody life
(The time it takes to wish I had someone else's life)
Help mi pree mi own a life and try fi set it right yeah
(Help me with my own life and try to set it right)
Mi nuh wah fi pree nobody fi dem links
(I don't want to pray for anyone else's connections)
Help me to go out deh go look mi own a tings
(Help me to go out and get my own things)
And I'm not perfect, I'm just a man
That's why mi call on yuh Jah fi keep mi strong
Well father mi give thanks fi life as mi wake up,
(Well father, I give thanks for life as I wake up)
Cause ah yuh mek it still a gwaan.
(Cause you make is amazing)
And even when mi day nuh turn out like mi want it to,
(And even when my day doesn't turn out like I want it to)
Mi give thanks and mi move on.
(I give thanks and I move on)
Badmind live inna di soul and di heart of men,
(Badmind lives in the souls and hearts of men)
Dis fight is not an easy one.
Jah Jah elevate mi and mek mi a betta man,
Help mi to overstand.


Winter On It's Way!

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I woke up this morning to a very peculiarly bright room. Not the "it's a sunny day out" kind of bright, or a "I left a light on" kind of bright, but more of a glowing aura. It took me a second to register my groggy brain, but as soon as I realized what was happening I booked it up the stairs to our main level. I rounded the corner and was nearly blinded by the light. Our patio door curtains were left open and revealed the most beautiful sight for a skier or snowboarder- The first legit snow storm of the season!

I shook my roommate Adam awake who had fallen asleep on the couch, and he ran to the window like the house was on fire. Two of my roommates, Adam and Frank, are new to the mountains from Pennsylvania, and the idea of snow in October is extremely foreign to them. We sat there admiring the big "fatty" flakes that fell ever so gently, and my roommate Lexi started walking down the stairs a few minutes later. Completely unaware and still half asleep, she stopped dead half way down and squinted out the window. She rubbed her eyes and looked again, and got a facial expression I won't forget.

"No way! NO WAY! NO WAY! WHAT?! OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH!" She started yelling, and ran the rest of the way down the stairs. "AHHHHHH!!!" She screamed, and turned around and high-fived me. "Does Rachel know?" I asked her.
"No!" She yelled again, and we sprinted up into Rachel's room.
"Get up, get up, get up!" We yelled, and Rachel sat up wide-eyed and confused as ever in bed. Her dark blinds were shut tight, so Lexi ran over and pulled them open.
"AHH!!!! OH MY GOSH!" She yelled, and we all ran downstairs, joined by our newest roommate from Norway, Sig. We were like little kids on Christmas morning who just discovered a living room full of presents.

We all stood staring for a few minutes, until Adam and Rachel decided to try snowboarding. (Clearly there wasn't enough to go snowboarding, but their excitement and determination was too cute to ruin.) They ran for their rooms and met again in the living room with full snowboarding attire. Me, Lexi, and Sig watched them attempt to snowboard out back for a while, until they decided it wasn't going to work just yet. We all went out on our deck and decided to build a snowman instead.

(All of my roommates, minus Frank.)
 Lexi, Rachel, Adam, Sig

Some more photos!

Later in the day the snow was still around!

Needless to say winter is well on it's way, and I can't wait to ride!



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This past Wednesday and Thursday my favorite producer/artist (not DJ) called deadmau5 (dead mouse) was in Denver. His tickets have been sold out for months, but I luckily found a ticket for Wednesday night online. It ended up being the most insane show of my life, and I decided there was no way in heck I could miss Thursday. Luckily I found a ticket online for the same price they were selling for before they sold out, AND my Thursday class ended up being canceled... PERFECT! It's safe to say I will be living off Mac N' Cheese for the rest of the month, but it was so worth it. deadmau5 is an internationally known producer, and I knew I may not get the chance to see him for a long, long time. It was definitely one of those "you're only young once" things. Both nights I had a huge group of friends raving with me, and it was by far the funnest two days of my life... as well as the best two live shows I've ever seen in my life. I would do that all over again in a heartbeat!!!! Here are some pictures from Wednesday and Thursday, and at the bottom is a video from my iphone of some clips from Wednesday's show. (It's mostly for the light show, since my iPhone couldn't really process the sound when it was that loud.)




College Scholarships

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I was recently directed towards a website called CollegeScholarships.org and noticed a blogging scholarship. I have always wanted to apply for scholarships, and I have read through them before at my college, but I never actually applied. It was alway so confusing- Does this apply to me? Do I qualify for this? Who do I send this to? This scholarship was by far the easiest one I've ever applied for. My name, my gpa, my college, my blog, and a short essay, done! Though that would probably be one of the most exciting things to ever happen to me, there is only one grand prize winner, and I can't imagine how many people apply. Nonetheless, it was extremely worth the few minutes to take, so if you're looking for a scholarship, that's the site for you!

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