Saturday, June 26, 2010

Skiing in Alaska on Summer Solstice!

I decided to do a spur of the moment to Alaska to see my good friends Brooke and Mike! I had no expectations, so it turned into one of the most amazing trips. On summer solstice a friend Jake and I decided to hike up a mountain behind cooper landing, it still had a nice strip of snow the entire way down. I borrowed Brooke's telemark setup, which was quite interesting because I am not a tele skier. I had her little race skis so just arced some alpine turns tried to drop a knee, but was not totally successful. Hiking up we had amazing views of Kenai Lake and the Kenai river. Mountains just went for days as far as the eye could see. Alaska is really beautiful in the summer time very green, but not super warm, which made for great skiing. On the way up we saw some pretty large grizzly bear tracks, which made me a little nervous. I was also informed that there was a bear kill in the drainage that we had to walk out, but it was a few weeks old. As we walked down the drainage we started to see pieces of a moose, this was not a small moose either. There was definitely not much left to him besides legs and bones. We made is safely past the kill and onto the road for the walk out! It was perfect spring skiing and made for a great summer solstice day. Nothing beats being in AK for the longest day of the year. It never really got dark that night, we ended the day with some fishing!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Life is to short

A week ago a friend and fellow competitor Arne Backstrom Died while skiing in Peru. This has hit our small close knit ski community very hard. I was not really close to Arne, but got to know him over the last two seasons of skiing on the freeskiing circuit and he had a great impact on me as a skier and a friend. The first time I met him, he skied up behind me and asked me my advice about a line. I was shocked because one of the best male skiers in the country was asking my advice. (ha ha) He was always soft spoken and very modest about his skiing, he also had more passion for skiing then anyone I had ever met. Last year after I won the Freeskiing World Tour he congratulated me and I told him next year you should win this thing. He gave a smug smile and said that would be his dream and that was what he was going to work toward the following season. This past season I watched him ski so well on the tour and barely win the tour by a point. That was the last time I saw him and he was so happy to have won the overall tour! I will always remember the big smile on his face after he accomplished the feat of winning the Freeskiing World Tour.
Some of my best friends I have met through the freeskiing tour and after just one season of us skiing together we become very close. It is hard to explain, but when you are competing in a sport that involves high level of adrenaline and risk you gain a connection with people. There is also so much support between the men and the women which I have never seen in any other sport. The women support other women and the men and men support us as well. I will never forget all the people I have met over the last four years of competing. I hope to continue to build more memories skiing with these friends. We have had a lot of deaths to the community over the last couple years, but it never makes me regret what I do. It just makes me realize how short life is and how I want to always enjoy it and continue to ski the way I love to ski!