|How I got started skiing year-round: Snowboarding has long been a passion of mine. Like most, I started out riding the lifts, but always wanted more when the season ended. This led to an endless search for that last "patch" of snow, which took me to the high volcanoes of the Oregon Cascades. The thought of riding each month out of the year and starting a "streak" hadnÕt occurred to me before, but after visiting the turns-all-year website for information on trips and routes, I decided it would be a good time. Now I'm hooked and each month brings new adventure.|
Criteria for what counts as a ski trip: I like to be on my board as much as possible, so I count both lift-served and backcountry, though I try to get out at least once a month to the backcountry. I try to get at least 1000 vertical to count it as a Ņtrip.Ó Generally, in Oregon I can get over 2000 vertical in the backcountry every month in one run without making laps.
Biggest threat to my streak: Injury and/or climate change. Any bad injury can break anybody's streak. My current streak had actually started earlier, but after about 7 months I herniated a disc in my lower back and had to have microscopic surgery. Since then, IÕve been careful how I exercise, and snowboarding actually seems to help by keeping my core strong. As for climate change, I remember going up to the Palmer snowfield when I was about 14 with my uncle and seeing how much snow was still there in September. ItÕs pretty obvisous that our glaciers are shrinking. ItÕs amazing to compare some of the old photos from Timberline Lodge in the 60Õs and 70Õs to those of the summer of 2005.
Type of equipment I use: Splitboard, 164 Never Summer Titan with Voile skins and hardware. IÕve got a pair of Ride SPI bindings on right now, but I usually prefer Drake bindings. I pack my solid deck, a 160 Burton Custom, when itÕs not suitable for splitting. In the early season, I'll use snowshoes for the approach. I ride Burton Ion boots, but just purchased some Driver XÕs which should be better suited for the backcountry and skinning. I pack my gear in an Osprey Exposure 66 pack or my Dakine Poacher.
Strategy for skiing through the low season: I try to ride early in the month, often the first weekend. If worse comes to worse, I know I can usually go up to Mt Hood and head above and beyond the Palmer snowfield. During the late summer/early fall, IÕll pack my board on my back and head towards the White River glacier and the Hogsback.
Worst and best backcountry ski trips: Worst Š I went to Tumalo Mtn in June Õ06 and it rained hard all day and was so foggy I could barely see 20 feet. I still count it as a good trip though. Best Š I have two. The first was in June of Õ07 to Mt Scott (Crater Lake) and the second was in July of Õ06 at Snowdome on Hood.
Skiing activities in the past year: Great backcountry outings at Diamond Peak, Mt Scott, the western Oregon Cascades, and Mt Hood. Several great winter pow trips to Mt Hood Meadows and Bachelor for lift served.