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April 25, 2006

It's All Over !!

Saturday was my last day of work! It was just me and Lori (one of the managers) so thankfully it was fairly quiet all day. After work everyone from the 2 smaller satellite stores when to a local Sushi restaurant for dinner to celebrate the end of the season. I had the 'mixed sushi' - a plate of 10 pieces of various types - which was very nice,

Sophie had Tempura for starters and the Teriyaki Beef for main - both of which were excellent.

Afterwards we went to the main village square at the base of Whistler to watch the Telus festival finale, the Big Air contest.
A huuuge kicker, landing ramp and drop tower had been constructed for invited skiers and snowboarders to launch themselves off and pull off some pretty ridiculous tricks.

They had 3 tries and on each run had to do a trick involving ever more rotation - firstly 540*, then 720* and finally 900*.
I got some video which I will edit and put up when I have a moment.

Following the contest was a concert with a performance from 'Blackalicious' - which again was good fun.

Sunday was the last day of operations on Blackcomb (and the last chance to try and win an iPod. Sophie and I were in the lift queue for 7:15am but although coming close unfortunately didn't win. We went to the top of 'Spankys Ladder' - a small hike which accesses solely double diamond terrain, and although conditions were a little too icy to ride down we got some nice photos instead. The rest of the day was spent cruising around in the sunshine getting some last photos and then hitting the park to work on those grabs and spins.

In the afternoon we went to Whistler Park, all was going well until Sophie tried a backside switch 180* off a jump. She fell over and in the process of putting her hand out to break her fall... dislocated her right ring finger at the second knuckle.
I won't go into the gory details - suffice to say it looked vile (see the x-ray pictures) - but 4 hours in the medical centre and a vast quantity of $$$ saw her fixed again.

So yesterday and today was spent on my own riding the park for a few hours. I practiced 180* spins, I added some new grabs to my repertoire and (after about an hour of trying and repeatedly face-planting) I successfully completed a 360* spin! So I'm quite happy now :)

I'll try and get some photos up on the web in the next few days (we've got a few)

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2006

The Countdown begins

10 Full Days left in Whistler and plans for the next leg of the journey are slowly being made, but there is plenty of time to talk about that later.

Been up the hill for the past 3 days, spent my time almost exclusivly in the park working on grabs (Indie: sorted, Melanchollie: almost there and Crail: Just starting) as well as trying to get my 180* spins looking slightly better, no major accidents but some very close calls... ;o)

Last night myself and SK attended our first Telus Festival event - the Filmmaker Showdown. The Showdown was open to anyone - ameteurs/pros/groups or individuals - the entrants had 72 hours to shoot, edit and produce short films of about 4 minutes in length on any subject.
There was a sellout crowd of 2000 people to watch the 8 best films from a total of 56 submissions.
The films we saw where all very good and ranged from the generally strange 'Attack of the 2nd Dimention' (Whistler gets attacked by a laser-beams-for-eyes triangle), to the slightly scary 'Now you Know' (Scream style serial killer stalks woman and teaches her traffic law) to finally the outright hillarious 'Stiff Nosed Dick' (A New York Private Eye - played by a stuffed dog puppet - tries to track down a womans lost cat), no prizes for guessing some of the jokes in that film...

Tonight we're off to the 'Photographer Showdown' so we'll let you know how that goes.

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 05:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2006

At Last...

Phew, So an impromptu 2 hour break from work has finally given me the chance to get this website in order and up-to-date, so what has happened since that far off date of April 5th?

Thursday night was our staff party, an hours tubing followed by drinks and snacks in the 'Longhorn' Bar.
We all met at the main store - which had closed early especially - for 6pm and started to drink the free beer. We all had a couple and about 45 minutes later with tickets in hand made our way up to the Tube Park via the gondola.

The Tube Park consists of a small hill with straight chutes cut into, you sit in your tube (a glorified tractor inner tube) and side down. The various techniques employed for sliding down included the 'run-and-jump' and the 'spin'. We had a couple of little races and a small snowball fight before being kicked out at closing time around 8pm.
The Longhorn was the next stop. More free beer flowed and some snacks of Nachos, Enchiladas and Chicken Wings appeared.
By the time the shots started to appear we had all drunk a fair amount. The first shot I think was a 'Jager bomb' - a glass of Red Bull with a shot glass of Jagermeister sitting in it, just tip it back and drink...
I don't remember the second round of shots arriving, only a glass being thrust into my hand and being told to 'drink'. Bad Idea.
The contents turned out to be 'Barcardi 151'. A Dark Over Proof Run - illegal in many countries due to its excessive alcohol content - 151% proof or 75.5% by volume.
The effects were quite startling and immediate on me so I quickly wondered to the toilet ;o)
Upon my return - despite feeling infinitely better - the doorman informed me I was 'done' and had to leave :o( - arse.

So Myself and SK made our way home, I made one final call on the big white telephone before heading to bed.

The next day at work stories were rife about the night before, various peoples drunken antics on the dance floor and what certain people did after leaving the bar.
The best goes to 'Scottish Neal' who left the bar (completely tanked) at about 12, was left standing next to the bus stop ready to catch the 12:15 bus but somehow woke up 7 hours later in the Police Drunk tank having been arrested! The various details of how or why still elude him, but he does remember some handcuffs being put on him. Nice one Neal.

Next event to happen was the arrival of SK sister Hannah to Whistler, her bus arrived at about 1am on Sunday the 9th so we walked to Creekside to meet her.
She sent Sunday morning recovering from the trip then went into Whistler with SK to get her snowboard gear for the week, in the afternoon I joined them in the Longhorn for some beer (but no Bacardi 151 this time...) and Nachos.
That evening we watched the final "Fire & Ice" of the season. The build a big gap jump at the base of Whistler in the Village and about 8 guys and girls from Ski and Snowboard school jump off it and do various tricks, they then add a ring of fire to really 'heat things up'... The show started quite late but it was really impressive especially the final run when all 8 came down about a second apart each doing backflips or massive spins through the ring and landing infront of the crowd.
So Monday dawned bright and cloudy, It was Hanna's first time snowboarding so I took her to the learning zone (complete with magic carpet) on Whistler. She took to it really well and was linking turns within a couple of hours, SK was acting as official photographer and documented the whole thing. After a couple more hours we ventured onto the Magic Chair... The first time off the lift was a small disaster (complete with emergency stop) but we survived and the following attempts to dismount the lift chair were much better.

Monday night dinner was courtesy of the Mongolie Grill which was very nice.

Tuesday saw more snowboarding but this time we took the gondola to the very top of the hill and rode down through the family zone all the way to the base. The weather was slightly nicer so we all worked on our goggle tan lines. Hannah was slightly more achy by Tuesday evening so had obviously used a few more muscles :o)

Wednesday was a rest day so we got up bright and early and caught the 8am bus to Vancouver. The morning was spent walking around Down town through all the shopping areas and seeing the sights, including a trip up the lookout tower.
We met with Hannahs friend from University, Sarah, at 4:30pm and all went for a bike ride around Stanley Park. Hannah used Sarah's Boyfriends bike so Myself and SK had to make do with rentals.
The rentals bikes were a cruel joke - probably designed to make you repent for something bad you did in a previous life, evidently I wasn't Gandhi. After and hour of repenting cycling around we left Hannah who was going to spent the night in the City and got the last bus home to Whistler.

On Thursday morning Hannah arrived back on the bus and went up on the hill for a few hours with SK, they did a few long runs down the mountain and had a good day.
On Friday Hannah decided to have a rest day and wonder around town (do some shopping, have a spa etc etc), We had just had a big dump of new snow so I decided to go snowboarding for a couple of hours. I had some fun runs through the trees and down some powder runs however the visibility wasn't great. Ben joined me for an hour at the end of the day and we did a couple more tree runs before heading to the base.
For Hannahs last night in Town we went to the Brewhouse (you haven't heard that name in a while) for dinner and drinks. SK had a cannelloni, Hannah a Salmon Penne and I ate Steak and Prawns, 'twas very nice. Afterwards we went into the bar and met with Sarah and some of her friends for more beer.

I was working on Saturday but SK, Hannah, Sarah and her friends all went Snowmobiling from the sounds of the stories it was absolute chaos (more than you can probably imagine) but I'll let SK tell you about that one. That evening Hannah caught the bus back to Vancouver to catch her plane back to England.

- - - - - - - - - -

I have spent this morning working in Summit. The past week has been Whistlers (unofficial) Mexican week, where the village is inundated with visitors from Mexico. The stories of peoples 'foot fingers' hurting, consistently fitting boots 2 sizes larger than normal and 50 families all with the same name are too numerous to list here but it's sufficient to say the week was carnage.

This week in Whistler is the 'Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival', I quote "10 Days, 10 Nights of Mind Blowing Music, Arts & Sports" can't argue with that. I'll get some photos later in the week but there is a large stage built in the main square where bands play each afternoon - including *gasp* 'Jurassic 5' later this week. There are also loads of events such as a Superpipe competition, Big Air contest and 'Stompede' to name a few.

Combined with over a foot of snow in the past 3 days and more on its way this is shaping up to be quite an amazing end to the season. I've got the next 4 days off so I'm hoping to get up the hill as much as possible.

There are some new photos in the Gallery (I'll get all the titles updated when I can) and I'll try and get some of the Festival as it happens this week.I've got some new video as well so you may see a video or two appearing... I'll keep you posted.

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

April 05, 2006

Final Freshtracks

I always spend ages before writing one of these just staring at the calender trying to remember what I've done, more often than not the answer is - work and snowboard, so these blogs start getting a little repetitive - today's entry... is no different.

Saturday: Worked, highlight was a conversation with a family which went something like:

Me: So where are you guys from?
Them: We're from England.
Me: Right... Where in England?
Them: County called 'Hampshire'.
Me: Right... Where in Hampshire?
Them: Oh, place called Basingstoke.
Me: Ah ok, I'm from Reading.
Them: Really? You sound totally Canadian, we didn't realise...

Both my Boss and I were completely dumbfounded.

Sunday: Myself and Ben went up the hill for a few hours, we spent most of the time in the park doing jumps and rails then did a couple of runs on the piste.

Monday: Myself and SK did Fresh Tracks. Took our time over breakfast then did a few runs on the fresh corduroy before spending the rest of the day either on the pistes practising 180Ëš spins or in the park doing 180Ëš jumps and some rails/boxes. By the end of the day we both had the 'frontside' variation pretty much sorted - so were particularly happy.

That night it was Karaoke at the 'Crystal Lounge' Bar, we met with a couple of friends from work who were already in good spirits when we arrived. SK attracted the attention of the wig wearing drunk hockey fan within minutes, so he provided ample amusement until the singing started. First up to the mic was SKs newest admirer, having removed his T-shirt and declared to the crowd he 'wasn't gay and liked the ladies' he tried to sing something, I can't remember what it was, only that it was painfully funny to watch.
All in all it was a great fun evening - all the more so as I didn't have to sing... maybe next time.

Yesterday all the spinning and jumping from Monday caught up with me and I woke to a raw shoulder (still not recovered from that back-flip incident)
We had a rest day and spent the morning wondering around town looking at the end of season sales and the afternoon in the cinema watching 'Ice Age 2' - which is alot of fun :o)

Today my shoulder had recovered so we did Fresh Tracks for the last time. We met with a couple of girls from work and had a nice breakfast. It was a glorious morning so we got some photos as we came out of the Roundhouse and as we rode to the base - see the photo album.

Today was the Summit 'Poker Run'. We were in the same teams as the Curling, except me, my team had generally disbanded so I was put in SKs team made up of the Summit Bosses... Playing cards were stuck to certain lift towers over Blackcomb mountain and we had 2 hours to ride to as many as we could collecting photographs of the group at each location.
It was pretty good fun and we got to ride in some areas of the mountain I hadn't been to before - including the Kiddie learning zone - complete with a ride on the magic carpet...

I finished the day off with some physio on my knee and shoulder. Both of which are feeling a great deal better for it. The details of how my physio made 'my neck go crunch' make SK feel rather ill so I won't discuss them here :o)

Tomorrow we have another Summit party so I'll let you know how that goes.

Posted by edwardnorthridge at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)