What is happening? Hope everyone is nice and caught up in the Olympic action. I know that I have had my eyes glued to the screen. It is great to see our athletes kicking ass. Go Canada Go! It is also super cool to see so many people come together and enjoy themselves. Every image you see from the games there is a swarm of red people with shit eating grins on their faces. In the cynical world we live in, we do not get to see or experience a phenomenon like this nearly enough. It is incredible how this event has brought out Canadian pride like it has never been seen before. I have never been more proud to be Canadian and I am very proud of all the athletes, especially my sister. Anyway on with life update.
I am currently writing this from the Vancouver airport. I have made it back from Whistler, did laundry, re-packed the bags, grabbed a ton of extra gear, managed to get a quick ski tour in, picked up my new Dynafit’s (so excited, thank you Dynafit), made it to Kelowna. My travel schedule is a little hectic but I think it should work out quite nicely.
The first stage of the travel started in Revy at 2:30 this morning. Then I have a 7hr layover in Vancouver, computer catch up time and watch the hockey game(so excited, can’t wait to watch Canada win another Gold)! From here I make my way through various connections until I end up in Geneva at 5:00 pm the next day. Yay, I fun plane ride. HAHAHA. Anyway, I fly to Geneva to meet up with Douglas , Kaj and the Salomon Freeski TV crew at the Salomon HQ in Anncey. From their we have an open schedule to travel around Europe chasing powder. I did this trip a couple of years ago and it was one of the best trips of my life. I am pretty excited to head back to Euro land, good coffee, good bread, lots of meat and cheese. Oh yeah some of the best skiing in the world as well.
That trip is two weeks long and then I get a couple of days before the next one starts. I am excited to spend sometime by myself in Europe. I am flying out of Geneva so visiting Cham seems like the natural choice but we will see what happens. I would love to see the mountains there, if anyone has suggestions let me know! From there I board a plane to a country on the North Western tip of the African continent called Morocco. Thats right, I figure after Europe I will have killed it hard enough to take a vacation. Hahaha….no I get to do something way better. Believe it or not this is a ski touring trip in the Atlas Mountains. Here is the objective of the trip:
The proposed 2010 Great Atlas Ski Traverse is a collection of descents from the summits of six different peaks in the Central High Altas Mountains of Morocco. The summits range in altitude from 3400m-4000m with the average descent being 800 – 1200m. Several peaks have multiple lines to ski with most objectives on the northern aspects of the mountains. Our traverse of the range begins on the south side of the Atlas near the Sahara in Ouarzazate. We continue traveling by road up the Dades Valley to the town of Skoura and turn north towards the second highest mountain in the range, Mgoun 4071m. Mgoun is the first summit of the tour, and from there our travel will lead us to the northeast, eventually arriving on the northwestern side of the range in Zawiya Ahansal.
With notoriously variable snowfall and general conditions, the months of March and April demand great versatility in adapting tactics to progress and complete the tour. The tour will cover the summits of Tignousti, Mgoun, Igoudamen, Wawgoulzat , Azurki and Aroudane. We will need lightweight tents for a few nights where we carry all of our equipment. The other nights we will have support with mules and a cook at camp. We will undoubtedly spend a portion of most days walking with all of our equipment, but most days should involve skiing from a summit and walking to camp or a village. Many of the villages in the region are limited to walking access only with Berber life dominating the landscape. For most people touring the region, their experience with the cultural element and spending time in these villages is a highlight. Using mules and village hostels within the GTAM, we can ski most of the peaks with medium packs instead of loaded to the top.
I know I’m scared too, it should be awesomely intense! The crew for this trip is exceptional and very experienced! By this I mean the people I am going with, Kristoffer Erickson and Kim Havell! Their backcountry resumes makes mere mortals like myself, feel nauseous with envy and nervousness. This truly is a trip of a lifetime and I am looking forward to learning from these experienced individuals! Going to Morcco and experinceing the culture, food and people will be another trip in itself. We get to spend two weeks over there and it should give us time to complete are objective as well as do some sightseeing. Very excited.
Well now you my plans for the next month. I will apologize in advance for the lack of blogging but I should be able to get some out while I am in Europe. When I get back it will be time to start skiing big lines which I am very excited about this year. So far it has been quite the year… very little sledding, no heli, a bit of cat time and lot of touring. That equals a love for skiing that has never been stronger. Thanks to everyone that has helped out along the way.