Grand Prix, Dew Tour & Rev Tour

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I apologize for the lack of posts this month! Finals with school, work, and skiing have kept me beyond busy. Two weeks ago Copper Mountain held the annual Grand Prix ski and snowboard halfpipe competition. The Visa U.S. Freesking Grand Prix is an Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) "Platinum Level" event and opens the International Ski Federation's (FIS) FIS Freestyle World Cup every season. The World Cup is especially important for skiers this year because it now qualifies you to get on the U.S. Olympic Freeski team. I was actually wanting to compete in the Grand Prix this year, but work, school, and then a couple weeks of Bronchitis kept me off the hill. Fortunately I was able to be there the day of the woman's qualifiers and finals and men's finals. There's something about watching and riding halfpipe that makes me so happy... it's just so FUN!

Breckenridge local and CMC student Duncan Adams in the Men's Final!

Last week was Dew Tour at Breckenridge, which unfortunately wasn't at all like past Dew Tours. The lack of snow and open terrain made the crowds at Breckenridge very congested. The design of the course made it very difficult for spectators to get to viewing spots and the little festival tent area they put up every year was just short of a disaster. On top of that, they took out female freeski again this year, and they were really strict about giving out credentials, so a lot of the female athletes couldn't even get guest athlete passes. I guess you can't win 'em all, I just hope this isn't a trend!
Here's an awesome GoPro video from Dew.

On a brighter note, last Tuesday at Breckenridge Ski Resort was an extremely exciting day for the Ski/Ride community as Kevin Pearce spent his first day back on a snowboard after nearly two years. Kevin was a halfpipe rider and Olympic medal hopeful when he received a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) two years ago at Park City, Utah while training. At the time, Kevin was said to be the one who would take the gold from Shaun White. Since then, he has spent his time relearning how to eat, talk, walk, and dealt with seizures, eye surgeries, and balance problems. I saw him quite a bit lapping the park chair. He was like a little kid at Disney World. It was so awesome to see.

The quote "I Ride For Kevin" seen all over the world turned into "Ride With Kevin."
Shortly before his accident in 2009 and first day back on his board in 2011.

There are countless videos about that day, but this is a really good one.

Finally, this week is the USSA Revolution Tour aka Rev Tour at Copper Mountain, which is an amateur version of the Dew Tour. The talent is still insane with a bit younger participant crowd. Copper has done an awesome job with all the competitions and rail jams so far this season, especially with the lack of snow.


You Know You're A Coloradan When...

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I've read a few of these "You know you're from Colorado if" things on Facebook, so I decided to make my own version.
You know you're a true Coloradan if...
  1. It snows 12 inches and you don't expect anything to be cancelled. 
  2. You know who Ullr is.
  3. You have to get a new windshield once a year and have snow tires year-round.
  4. You would rather be freezing outside all day than sitting inside, and think it's morally wrong to not enjoy a beautiful day.
  5. You think people that don't participate in outdoor activities are weird.
  6. You think it's hilarious that people in other states waste their time cutting their lawn, blowing leaves, and plowing 3 inches of snow off their driveway.
  7. You have no accent at all, but can hear other people's and make fun of them.
  8. Your sense of direction is based off what ski resort you're driving towards. 
  9. Going to the gym, yoga, etc are to get better at your regular activities, not be your regular activities.
  10. You think that May is a totally normal month for a blizzard, and getting stranded because I-70 closed is put into your weekend schedule by default.
  11. When someone says "it's going to be a fun year," you know they actually mean the span of time between the first resort opening and the last resort closing.
  12. Halloween is during the winter, not fall.
  13. There are three seasons: The Season, Not-The-Season, and Mud Season.
  14. You know that also means: Jobs, Some Jobs, and No Jobs.
  15. You think Urgent Care is for people who hurt themselves and feel weird about going when you're sick.
  16. 75% of your friends live in a different house every season.
  17. The most important thing when choosing a new house is how close it is to the mountain, how many people you can hold, and how cheap the security deposit is knowing you're going to lose it.
  18. If you're originally from another state, you're ashamed to admit it.
  19. A goggle tan is a status symbol.
  20. You don't put the bar down and you spend the entire chairlift ride silently hating whoever did.
  21. You know what the Continental Divide is. 
  22. You have at least two friends who have or have attempted their own hat-knitting or sweatshirt-making company.
  23. You prefer to work Thur-Sun and have off Tue/Wed.
  24. You ask other locals their home resort before you ask them what town.
  25. You've gone off-roading in a vehicle that was never intended for such activities. 
  26. You go out and live in the wild without internet or cell phone service for fun.
  27. You always know the elevation of where you are and anything below 8,000ft is low elevation.
  28. You know what dog belongs to what local store and find it shocking or confusing when you see "no dogs allowed" signs.
  29. If you live in a resort town you're lucky to have two year-round neighbors.
  30. You'll stomp and destroy an invasive flower plant, even if it's in front of tourists in a public place or in another persons yard.
  31. You actually know that South Park is a real place, you've been there, and you catch all the Colorado-references on the show.
  32. You know that Aspen looks nothing like the scenery on the movie "Dumb and Dumber" and it was actually filmed in Summit County.
  33. You would rather get pulled over by a cop on the road than by the Forest Service patrol on the trails.
  34. You base someone's driving ability by what state is on their license plate. 
  35. Ski and snowboard instructors are not professional skiers and snowboarders.
  36. You wonder what the heck people in the South and Midwest do for fun. 
  37. If a website doesn't tell you how its packages are delivered you can forget about getting it. 
  38. You know what a "Trust Fund Baby" is, and you know its natural habitat is Aspen, Crested Butte, and Telluride. 
  39. You avoid the white ribbons of death and rocky backcountry during pre-season.
  40. The yellow parking lines in parking lots are completely irrelevant. 
  41. You hate ski racks at night because they make every car look like a cop car.
  42. You believe that "Gaper" and "Tourist" are actually ethnicity's, and that they generally come from Texas and Overseas. 
  43. You think jackets are for skiing and sweatshirts are for daily winter activities.
  44. You drive with your brights on before it's even dark during migration season, but you feel like you don't even need headlights in the winter when the moon is out.
  45. You know that there's no point in scraping your car off after a snow storm when you can open and close your door for the same result.
  46. You base your entire years plans on whether it's going to be a La Nina or El Nino season.
  47. "Humid" is over 25% and you think the only other state this dry is Arizona.
  48. Even if you had important plans, you're slightly depressed when you wake up and realize there's not enough new snow to alter your daily routine.
  49. You know that the ones who complain about "tourists and gapers" all season are always non-native, new, seasonal ski bums from the Midwest.  
  50. You laugh at people who are "fishing" in any water source visible from a road.


    Thanksgiving 2011

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    Hello from Wisconsin! I think it's official, Thanksgiving in Wisconsin is going to be annual for me. It's been the best trip back (not counting my Minocqua visits) since I've left. I flew in Wednesday evening and went out that night with a good 40 kids from my high school to 4 different bars in town. I hadn't seen them all in years so it was good to catch up. Apparently it's going to be a yearly event, very excited about that!

    Courtney, Mallory, Kelly, Me, Sydney

    The next day was Thanksgiving and we had most of my mom's side over at our house. Can you tell we're Packer fans?

    Me and two of my aunts.
    Ethan, Aiden, and Eoin with their mom Robin and cousin Maddy in the back.
    Me and my beautiful Grandmother!
    Me and my older brother. My mom: "Be serious!"

    Then yesterday me and mom went shopping on Black Friday. I have worked retail since I've been 16, so it was really fun to be on the opposite end of things for a while. Me and my mom both scored some awesome deals. She definitely spoiled me a little bit and I'm so thankful! Today is a laid back day until I fly out tomorrow. I'm excited to get back to the mountains, but I look forward to all the festivities again tomorrow!

    Happy Thanksgiving from the Gingras Family!
    - John, Linda, Eric, Ali, Dillon & Dan


    Moving Forward- Danny T's Recovery

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    You may remember my (blog post) last year about pro snowboarder Danny Toumarkine who was in a riding accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury. 10 months out he's doing awesome and released the trailer for his new documentary. Check it out and remember to wear your helmet!

    "On January 3rd, 2011 Danny Toumarkine took a horrible fall while snowboarding in Montana. Danny was care flighted to a local hospital where he spent the next 33 days. During his time at the hospital Danny underwent 4 brain surgeries as a result of impact trauma to the left side of his head. Danny is very lucky to be alive.

    This video is a trailer to the full length video which will be released on January 10th, 2012. It documents the time before and after the injury and will come out a week after Danny's return to the snow.

    For more information on Danny's story check out:


    Bragging Rights & Blizzards

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    Sorry that this entry and the last were so close together. Sometimes things just come up and you have to blog about them! So, NOT TRYING TO BRAG OR ANYTHING.... (Okay, yes I am), but my best friend Ashley is A POSTER in December's issue of Freeskier Magazine, and my dear friend Angeli is ON THE COVER of November's Issue of Skiing Magazine. AS IF THAT WASN'T ENOUGH... four of my dearest friends (Ashley Battersby, Grete Eliassen, Keri Herman and Devin Logan) were officially announced as 4 of the 10 members of the first U.S. OLYMPIC FREESKIING SLOPESTYLE TEAM! And Devin was also announced as a member of the halfpipe team, what an accomplishment! Guess I will have to start saving up to go watch them in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games!

    I am BEYOND proud and so so SO honored to have such talented friends!!!

    In local news...
    If you don't live in Utah, Wyoming, or Colorado you probably didn't hear about the crazy blizzard that has been blowing through since yesterday evening. Up to two feet of snow was supposed to drop in places, yet my drive to the grocery store this morning revealed that we currently have less than we started with, haha! From 9News.com:

    "DENVER - After wind gusts reached over 80 mph in some areas on Saturday, it will be another windy day on Sunday, including in the mountains where the wind will combine with snow to create blizzard conditions in some areas. 

    9NEWS Meteorologist Ashton Altieri says a second surge of energy on Sunday will create more powerful wind gusts up and down the Front Range.

    Saturday afternoon winds hit 99 mph 7 miles northwest of Berthoud in Larimer County and 90 mph at the NCAR Mesa Lab on the south end of Boulder.

    Here is a list of the most extreme wind gusts observed in Colorado through early Sunday morning...

    Tenmile Peak: 115 mph (5 miles south of Frisco)
    Peak 9: 115 mph (Breckenridge Ski Area)
    Berthoud Pass: 113 mph
    Kenosha Pass: 101 mph
    Loveland Pass: 100 mph"
    (Read more of this article here.)

    There are also three other things I want to mention that are going on in Summit, but I thought I would just link you to The Summit Daily, where they tell the story best!


    Blog Updates & Breck Opens

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    Breckenridge opened yesterday on 11/11/11 for it's 50th Anniversary Season. (I had to work and I'm super bummed about it, so we're just going to pretend that I was there.) It was an absolutely beautiful day and the weather couldn't have been more perfect. (Check out the opening day video here.) (And check out the opening day album here.)

    Courteous of Breckenridge Ski Resort's Facebook Page.

    On another subject, I added the "labels" feature on the right of the homepage for anyone interested in reading about certain subjects. I also added the "Places To Go, Things To Do" page which has been and will continue to be a work in progress. Not sure if it will ever be of use to anyone, but hey, you never know!


    First Shred of 11/12!!!

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    Yesterday Keystone and Copper opened. I've gone to Keystone the last two years in a row and the lift lines have been crazy, so me and my friend decided to switch it up and go to Copper... Glad we did!!! The lift line was very pleasant compared to previous years at Keystone, so we got to take around 10 runs in the few hours we were there. The weather was absolutely perfect. There wasn't a cloud in the sky until around 1:30pm and it was in the mid 40's all day. It felt a little funny when I first got on my skis, but half way down the run I was linking turns like skiing never ended. Copper also had an awesome opening day park with several jibs AND two impressive sized kickers. Big props to Copper for that one, it's hard to get two jumps up this early! I didn't really ride anything in the park, mostly because I'm not ready to fall on my newly-healed arm after surgery, and also because I have this weird theory that riding park on opening day is bad luck. (My worst nightmare is to fall and break something during pre-season. Haha!) I enjoyed watching everyone else though!

    Here are some picture's of opening day and Copper's "Bouncer Park" courteous of Woodward at Copper and Copper Mountain!

    A sequence of my friend Dave, who is also a coach at Woodward at Copper.

    On another note, a few of my friends went to Keystone and also had a blast. They said the lines weren't as bad as previous years and the opening day park was awesome (as always). The new EpicMix photographers were also out in action, which you can read more about here.

    Here are some pictures courteous of Keystone Resort!


    Open For Season!

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    I haven't updated in a while and I apologize for that! I had surgery last Wednesday on my arm (long story), and midterms were keeping me busy! Arapahoe Basin opened on the 13th and Loveland opened on the 14th. They duke it out every year to see who can open first, and this is the first year I've been here that ABay opened first. I actually haven't ridden yet, so I don't have any of my own photos to show you... Here's a quick video though!

    After two years I can say that I am honestly unenthusiastic about the 45 minute lift line plus the lift ride up for one short "white ribbon of death" run. I guess I am too impatient these days... I'm more about the skiing than the waiting. I did however buy an "Epic Pass" for the first time, which is pretty exciting for me. I had previously bought the local pass, which only gave me 10 days at Vail and Beaver Creek, so I have only gone to Vail a few times. It's not that I'm sick of riding Breck, but I am very much looking forward to spending lots of pow days at Vail and Beaver Creek and exploring new mountains (praying for another La Nina season). Vail is so big!!! It was quite a bit more than I have previously spent ($500 vs. $650), but $650 for unlimited and unrestricted access to 7 resorts is pretty insane. If you live by any other big resort in the U.S. you can expect to pay $1,500 for a season pass to one mountain, ouch!

    Ignore the 2-year-old photo! Hahaha!

    We got our first big storm of the season last night, which is affecting most of Colorado and not just Summit County. Pre-season storms are always bad because the snow is still wet and heavy, which makes the roads a lot more slippery. Not to mention it's not any fun to ski in... unless you like quicksand!

    Out my living room window.
    Photo courteous of Snow.Com's facebook page. Breck Main St.
    Photo courteous of Snow.Com's facebook page. Breck Main St.


    Catching the Quickest Season of the Year

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    I'm not even sure that fall can be considered a season in Colorado. One day the leaves are green, the next day their yellow, the next day they're orange, and the next they're gone and there's 6" of snow on the ground. All of these photos were taken within two weeks time, most of them taken within a week.

    Country Boy Mine, French Gulch, Breckenridge, CO
    Country Boy Mine, French Gulch, Breckenridge, CO
    Country Boy Mine, French Gulch, Breckenridge, CO
    French Gulch, Breckenridge, CO
    French Gulch, Breckenridge, CO
    Boreas Pass, Breckenridge, CO
    Boreas Pass, Breckenridge, CO

    Boreas Pass, Breckenridge, CO
    Good Morning!
    Vail Pass, Vail, CO Courteous of Vail's facebook page.
    Vail, CO, courteous of my friend Nicholas Eubank.
    After the first winter storm, Breckenridge.
    After the first winter storm, Breckenridge.
    After the first winter storm, Breckenridge.
    Currently Breckenridge... fall, where have you gone?

    And oh yeah, winter has officially arrived at Wolf Creek Ski Area, check it out!


    Aspen Adventure

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    About a week ago my boyfriend called me and told me he fell off a roof at work and was on his way to the hospital with an ankle the size of a watermelon. Luckily he didn't injure any tendons or ligaments (which is worse than a break), but he did have a really bad sprain. After the initial worry we were both pretty bummed because we had planned on doing a lot of hiking this fall.

    Two days ago we decided that we would rather go to the Maroon Bells and not really hike than not go at all, so we loaded up, crutches and all, and made an adventure out of it. We went to the Maroon Bells that morning, shopped around Aspen, and adventured (as much as we could) around the Highlands and Snowmass Village. The weather was absolutely superb, we couldn't have asked for better. We definitely should have worn shorts, though!!!

    We got lucky that we went on a day when the buses weren't running so we could drive right up to the Maroon Bells parking lot. The staff was also extremely helpful and courteous. We didn't have a handicap pass but they let us move up from the overflow lot to the front lot and park nice and close. Unlike Hanging Lake, you don't actually have to hike to the lake at the Maroon Bells, it's only a short walk from the parking lot. (There are some pretty awesome and lengthy trails past the lake, but obviously those weren't going to be happening.) This was a good thing because he was on crutches, but a bad thing because it was kind of crowded. We made it down to the end up the lake which was good enough for me. Here are some pictures in no particular order of the Maroon Bells and the road up to them! I'm bummed we didn't get to actually hike, but it's something to look forward to next summer/fall!

    It's no wonder than the movie Dumb & Dumber was all filmed in Summit County. Aspen doesn't really look anything like most people think it looks like. It's not "village-like" at all, but more so a small city. If you're from Wisconsin, it reminds me of a mix of the 3rd Ward in downtown Milwaukee and the town of Lake Geneva mixed together. I could never live there, too much traffic. It was fun to shop around there nonetheless.

    Last but not least, Snowmass Village. Out of the three Aspen Mountains I haven't ridden in the winter (Aspen, the Highlands, and Snowmass), I think I would like Snowmass the best. It was beautiful with all the changing colors.


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