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March 31, 2006

The Road to Recovery

So it's been a while since my last blog and to be honest not much has happenend.

My Flu got a little worse, peaking on Monday with a nasty fever, since then things have been getting better and now I'm almost recovered.

I went riding for a couple of hours on Wednesday with SK. We went to the learning zone to practice riding 'switch' (backwards). I haven't put any serious effort into it for a few weeks and it showed, by the end though I had improved.

I swapped a shift with a friend at work so I have today off. Both Ben and SK are working so I'm all on my lonesome. Probably going to go up the hill and hit the park - concentrate on rails I think.
The weather outside is really murky and its raining at the base, not very inspiring.

Highlight of the week has probably been the arriving at the supermarket of monster grapefruit.
Ed_Grape_Thumb.jpg Grape_Scale_Thumb.jpg
Ed with the monster fruit and it ready to be eaten

They were quickly consumed for breakfast yesterday morning :o) (the left hand picture also shows my ever improving goggle tan line)

Right I'm going to eat breakfast, wax my board and hit the hill

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

Upgraded!

Went to work yesterday feeling pretty nasty, thankfully it was the quietest day this season so I just sat behind the till and looked rough all day.

My two work mates - bother female - said I looked awfull and upgraded my "Man Flu" to "Flu"/"Woman Flu".

Had an early night last night, was in bed by about 8 and following some high strength Lemsip was quickly asleep for 9 hours.

Just woke up feeling alot better, not 100% and not good enough to go on the hill today for my spilt but hopefully I'll be well enough tomorrow.

Anyway, today is my Friday, last night 16cm of snow fell and nice weather is forecast for the coming week should be fun :o)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 06:41 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

Ill :o(

I'm Ill, I have 'Man Flu', its a form of the common cold which leaves one half of the population laid up in bed all day with lift threatening sore throats and headaches and the other half feeling just a bit 'under the weather'.

I'm in the former half so have spent the day on the couch drinking orange and watching movies. I'm feeling alot better now than I did yesterday so hopefully work tomorrow won't be a problem.

20cm of fresh snow fell last night - and about 50 more are forecast, conditions however are really murky so I didn't feel like fighting the cold and hitting the hill. Its meant to clear up on Sunday/Monday, so it should be nice when I finish working.

I've put some new photos in the gallery so take a look :)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 02:14 PM | Comments (1)

March 20, 2006

Party Time !

Spring has offically sprung here in Whistler, clear skies, sunny days and warm temperatures have arrived. The snow is soft and conditions on the hill are amazing :o) With the sun a certain party vibe has arrived in town.

I had a good evening on Friday to celebrate St Patrick's day, I finished work at 8 and went to a local bar to meet SK and a couple more friends from work for a 'fairly quiet' evening, once there I met about 15 friends from Ski School and so the evening quickly became anything but quiet...
Saturday at work was somewhat subdued but I managed to get through (with plenty of fruit juice and chocolate cake).

Yesterday was SKs birthday we spent the morning wondering around town for some window shopping/retail therapy, then went up on Blackcomb. We cruised around for a couple of runs before heading to the Crystal Hut to meet Ben and Christina (one of Bens bosses). They were both busy demolishing a famous waffle each so myself and SK both ordered one - fully loaded (blueberries, strawberries, cream, maple syrup and chocolate drops). There was a 40 minute wait so we went for a quick lap to kill time.
While on the lift uploading after our run we sailed past the Crystal Hut to hear/see the waitress walking around the table outside yelling "Waffles for Ed", a bit of frantic yelling and waving from the lift followed but we managed to get her attention!
Having filled ourselves to the point of bursting we dragged ourselves from the warmth of the hut and went for a few more runs.

That evening Myself, SK and Ben went to the Mongolie grill for dinner. Ben managed to create the heaviest bowl with SK next and myself left wondering what I had forgotten to add. It was a fun evening and SK even received a complimentary shot as it was her birthday - strawberry something I think.

Today dawned bright and clear again so we ventured back up Blackcomb we spent a few hours cruising the groomed runs racing down carving large arcing turns and jumping off the large rollers.

Plans for the week in brief:
- Another Lazy(ish) Tomorrow
- 60cm snow forecast for Friday and the Weekend
- I'm going to continue trying out all the Rental Snowboards from work. I'll let you know how it goes.

More drivel when it crawls from the primordial pool...

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2006

Tired Now...

So there ends a pretty hectic few days off.

On Sunday I got up the hill fairly early and cruised around on my own as SK was at work, she joined me on her split and we met up with a large group of fellow 'Summiters' who were out to celebrate a co-workers last day in Whistler. We skied/rode around in a horde of about 10 generally terrorising whatever got in our path.
Lunch that day were meatball, cheese and tomato sauce baguettes otherwise known as 'Big Balls', SK was given the task to ask the rather timid looking guy behind the till for "2 Big Balls please". Yes, we're childish but I don't care :oP

That evening we all went to the Longhorn (a local bar) to say our goodbyes and drink lots of beer :o) It wasn't a crazy evening but we made the most of the various drinks offers.

Monday - after a suitable lie-in - was spent on Blackcombs' "7th Heaven". The runs were all freshly groomed so we spent a few hours doing (very) high speed loops on the lift. Starting at the top in the shadow of the Peak and slightly exposed to the wind we would charge down the hill to the shelter and warm sunshine of the pistes below, on each loops we'd do bigger and bigger jumps off the various rollers on the runs - Great fun :)

Yesterday we had our mandatory dose of Fresh Tracks grease, I ate even more this time - I really should get a photo of my breakfast next time. Despite there being 7cm of fresh snow the night before there were barely 30 other people doing fresh tracks! As a result we got 2 fantastic runs down Dave Murray Downhill, we were only the 3rd people down it and as a result probably broke some form of speed records on the lightly snow covered corduroy.

At 9:30am we met with 2 of my old friends from Ski School - Brendan and Andrew - and set off to investigate the hill with them. We had a good time with them doing some interesting stuff such as one run down a double black - including mandatory cornice drop and an off-limits run following a lift line (enticingly called 'insanity').
I did my first cliff drop - small (by comparison) at about 6' - but it was still fun. I've got some video of Brendan and Andrew dropping 15-20 foot faces/cornices, which I'll try and post later - kinda crazy.

Today we again went up the hill but only managed a couple of runs before being beaten by the fairly torrid conditions - blizzard conditions at the top to fog at the bottom. Ugh.

I had more physio this afternoon, in short, it hurt - lots, but I *think* I'm at -2* so am just getting hyper extension back, only 3 more degrees to go - always nice :o)
Also my shoulder is nearly recovered after my crash on "Jimmys Joker" last week, if you didn't know I caught a heel edge while flying down a black run and did a 1.5 times back flip before landing on my shoulder, you now do :o)

I'm working for the next few days until Sunday so won't really be able to enjoy the fresh snow which is forecast - but I'll sure I'll find some decent powder hidden in the trees come Sunday.

Anyway, time for bed.

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2006

Guess Who's Back....

The Mole man is back...
mole_thumb.jpg
A stock image, but it looks the same

Hope I don't get to cold on the hill...

Today was my Friday, now starts 4 days off to enjoy the hill. No new snow (although some is forecast) so tomorrow I'll probably do (easy) trees or the park. I'll see how the knee feels.

I had a split shift yesterday so went boarding for 2 hours and got a couple of runs off the Peak which I had never done before - including my first double black, "Pacer Chute" a steep line on Skiers left of Whistler Bowl. All very exciting, made more so as I got to the top of it by accident, I was trying to take the easy traverse and started too high. It was a rather odd experience looking down this steep 30' wide chute surrounded by skiers - each of them wondering what a snowboarder was doing in Skier terrain.
I don't think I embarrassed myself too much in my decent - us snowboarders have a habit of looking a bit 'ungraceful' when things get really steep.

Either way I'm glad to have finally got one done - now I just need to tick the unofficial 'Triple Diamond' grade...

Work is going well. I have decided that fitting kids ski boots is probably the most frustrating thing anyone could try to do. However I decided to stay happy and smiling when fitting a family of 4 today. One 12 yr old girl and 3 triplet boys aged 9 - thought the parents had enough on their plate...

More drivel when it happens :o)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2006

More Trees, More Powder, More Grease....

Today we had a lazy morning, woke up at a normal time and lounged around. I decided my body had grown used to having greasy breakfasts and depriving it of Omega 8 and other essential oils - such as engine and crude, would be counter-productive to the healthy lifestyle Whistler as a whole promotes. So I reached for the frying pan.

bacon-thumb.jpgmeal-thumb.jpg
Would you like some bacon with your fat - and the finished article

Once that coronary creator was downed and having noticed it was puking with snow we decided to hit the hill - Blackcomb hill.

We got to the top and nearly froze to death on the lift. The wind was gusting to 70kmh and driving snow down the lift line. Not a pleasant experience.

We decided to hide in the shelter of the trees (again) :o) A couple of runs on "In the Spirit" was all we could manage before retreating to the warmth of home.

I've put some photos of the past few days adventures in the photo album. I have also added 2 more videos to the collection.
- The first is an 'Ed Cam' of "In the spirit", its pretty big and might make you ill but I hope you find it fun.
- The second is a quick comedy video of Myself and SK freezing to death :o)

Tomorrow I'm working, unfortunately I'm going to miss quite an amazing day on the hill but I should be able to find some good spots on Sunday when I'm next off.

More drivel as and when it happens...

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2006

Fresh Tracks, Tree Runs, Double Diamonds and more....

So this morning myself and SK woke just before 6am and readied ourselves for fresh tracks. 7cms of snow the night before wasn't record breaking but it was enough.
We uploaded on the Village gondola at 7:15am and having feasted on greasy fry-up, fruit, yoghurt, cake and orange juice we kitted up and hit the slopes at about 8:15.

We got fresh tracks down a couple of runs, the first 'Jimmy's Joker' had been groomed the night before so we charged down that putting in long arcing turns leaving behind large rooster tails of snow from the backs of our boards. 'Dave Murry Downhill' (the location of the 2010 Winter Olympic Mens down hill) was next, it hadn't been groomed and was a little choppy but it was still great fun as we were still some of the first down.

We did a few shortcuts through the trees between the pistes in search of more powder and had some good short runs.
We found out the alpine (the ski areas at the very tops of the mountains) wasn't going to open that day so left Whistler and went to Blackcomb.

While on blackcomb we unexpectedly met with Ben and a friend of his from work so teamed up with them. We were getting a taste for tree runs and the powder they offered so went beyond the ski boundary in search.

For those that don't know Tree/Gladed runs are (surprisingly) where you ski amongst the trees, Gladed runs have been selectively thinned and are slightly easier to negotiate. They are only ever advanced (or more) graded and so pose ever more challenges with (small) cliffs, drops, tree roots ditches and large banks of snow all adding to the 'fun' :o)

We did 'Outer Limits' - a double black diamond run (my first and the only double diamond gladed run on either mountain). It was great fun charging through knee deep snow like a band of lunatics, the various banks of snow provided ample entertainment when jumped off and even nearly going blindly over a 20ft cliff didn't detract from a great run.

We did another run called 'In the Spirit' which was excellent, on which SK had an encounter with a tree stump... I'll let her explain that one.

Following our 'arboristical adventures' we stopped for lunch, Rumour had spread of the excellent waffles to be had at the top of the mountain in the 'Crystal Hut', we decided to investigate.

The hut was cozy but we managed to find a small table in a corner, myself and SK ordered a 'fully loaded' waffle - with everything - Warm strawberries, chocolate, maple syrup and whipped cream washed down with a hot chocolate - a coronary waiting to happen :o)

After our feast we did another tree run then rode back to the main village, too tired and soggy to continue.

Tomorrow ~15cms forecast and its currently puking. We're planning on doing fresh tracks again but spending the day in the alpine doing bowls and more tree runs so should be amazing! Hopefully doing 'Khyber's Pass' an out of bounds tree run on Whistler, its a locals secret and probably one of the longest tree runs in the area.

Should be fun :o)

P.s. I've added the 'official' WhistlerBlackcomb video of the pipestyle contest into the video section, shows more of the action - as well as some great crashes...

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 04:44 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2006

Work

So I started work in Summit, 2 days of training to learn all the various ropes.
Learning how the rental process works, to fitting peoples skis and boots to returns and repairs. All good fun.
Furthermore I am now a fully qualified Ski techncian, having sat the exam and passed with 100% ;o)

I start work 'proper' at one of their smaller satelitte stores later this week working 8am-6pm. I work there Thursday, Friday, Saturday with a split shift on Thursday so I can get upon the hill. I may also be able to pick up a shift on Sunday in the main store, which would suit we well as with my new Midweek season pass I have to pay to ski at weekends.

Thursday night was a Summit staff party - Curling. Everyone met at the main store at 6:30pm and started to drink the provided booze. The bus left at 7:30 (with more drinking) and we were on the ice for 8:30pm - supported by snacks and an open bar...
I was in team 'Africa' - not sure how the name came about, but we had the same prowess on ice as you might imagine a team from Africa would have.
Curling is crazy difficult and we weren't up to the challenge. Trying to get a 20kg weight to slide about 30m is incredibly hard - especially as you can only made the stones speed up (slightly) by scrubbing with your brush (felt covered stick..)

Regardless of the problems it was a great night :o) some photos are in the album - unfortunatly my batteries died on my camera before I could get more.

I also spent some time yesterday editing together a video of the Showcase Showdown, I tried various things to make it a bit more exciting, but gave up and just made it a simple cut and paste job, you may have to watch it a few times to see everything - especially the height the second guy gets when entering the pipe, look top left...

** To play it you will need the Xvid codec just download and install **

Anyway, I'm going to get changed and get on the hill.

Quote of the moment:
Its time to seperate the awkwardly feminine from the possibly Canadian

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)