A little catch up...

I have been working out technical issues with my new cell phone/digi camera and therefore the blogging has been at a halt until I had a chance to figure it out and get all the pictures I was taking off my phone. I got it all dialed in and now I have to catch this blog up to current events.

Over the last month I have been a very busy bee getting things in order for the kickoff of the season and actually making my ideas come to life. I have done everything from throwing a premiere party in Wilmot, Wisconsin and making my first turns of the season there, to an insane dream sequence on some crazy LSD induced Disney ride. The stories are rich and the photos can help tell it.

^This is my brother's new pup, Otis. I went to Wisco in the first part of December to throw a premiere party for Josh Madsen on his Telemark Skier Magazine tour. However, the first order of business when I got into town was to go meet little Otis. Such a little shit, I just love'em.

^My cousin Jamie, who won the grand prize DNA setup in the raffle at the show, is pictured here donning his new attire. Glad it went to someone who will get good use out of it getting snowmobile face shots in the U.P. this winter. The party went off with 150 people coming out to celebrate the beginning of the new season. Wilmot was blowing snow and opened up the next day. I love it.

^So of course we skied it. They had only two runs open and I was in an ensemble of gear that my cousin Tom and my Dad put together for me. My brother Tyler, cousin Tom, dad Mike, and I all got out to make our first turns of the season. It was a blast as usual and we even ran into our old friend Sam Barranco in the lodge bar where his daughter Dawn was tending the bar. It was an ironic and nostalgic experience to make my first turns of this season back home in Wilmot. The ski industry is a tough place to be doing business this year and the hard knocks had been getting to me, but going home has a way of putting things back into perspective. Thanks for that everyone back home, I needed it.

^I got back to SLC for a few days of work and then was off to Orlando to meet up with Christine to for a run at a childhood vendetta with Space Mountain at Disney World. I was greeted at the hotel entrance by this guy which if I didn't know better was trying to flash me a crotch shot. Weird how you see things a little differently through jaded adult eyes many years later.

^The classic castle scene at Disney with Walt and his little buddy Mickey enshrined in bronze in the foreground. It was interesting to see this place now as an adult many years after having ripped it up as a youngster back in the day. Christine and I had a lot of fun checking the place out again and settling her score with Space Mountain. When she was young she waited in line with her mother for hours and then chickened out at the boarding area. Since that day she had vowed to avenge herself and we carried it out only twenty-plus years later. Nice.

^Christine enjoying the parade with a new sense of accomplishment and exacted revenge. We had a lot of fun with the whole experience including a dream sequence on a Winnie the Pooh ride that was one of the most clinically insane things I have ever seen. This was a kid's ride too and this scene was straight out of a Beatles Yellow Submarine LSD moment. It was crazy. Seeing it now with a few more years under my belt is a way trippier experience then I imagined. Hilarious.

^After Disney madness I was back to life in Utah in an AAI avalanche level 2 course getting edumacated in the ways of the dragon. The class is taking it all in right here from UDOT forecaster Chris Covington. This was a really great class and I really did learn a lot of valuable information that I am looking forward to putting in my backcountry dragon fighting bag of weapons.

^This is an actual unintentionally triggered avalanche that we had pop on us in our class tour on the second day. A student took a short ride when he jumped in to dig a test pit. I guess the pit would have said that it can run. No one was hurt and the student was off the slab on his feet skiing onto the flank rather quickly. I think it was a real eye opener for some of the people in the class who have not really seen the dragon before. As most of you know I have fought the dragon many times now and it was really interesting to me to see the reactions from the dynamic group after the slide. The next day an instructor got washed out in some hangfire too, thankfully uninjured. Again, a bunch of students got to see the dragon's bite, and even swallowing a legendary guru of the snow science industry. If you play this game you will have to pay your homages to the dragon at some point it is only a matter of time before he finds you. They key is to be as prepared for battle as a soldier going into war with as many tools as you can acquire. I am doing everything I can to diversify my bag of weapons for another season's battles.

^Christine is looking back up at me from a gully at Alta where the avalanche danger is relatively low and moguled. This was exactly what we were looking for though to whip our asses back into shape with the late start of the season weighing down my legs. We had a good leg burn and got then got all set to head back home for X-mas.

^Deep into a long traverse across the country back to Wisco for X-mas and I am starting to feel the fatigue of it on the train ride from O'Hare airport up to Antioch where Christine's dad, Phil, is picking us up. I really have this route dialed these days. Which is good cause I am getting back home more often these days which is a real blessing.

^And this makes it all worth it. The gathering of generations all in one room for a evening of love and laughter with the best kind of people in the world. I always come back to Utah from home with a fresh outlook on my life and endeavors because of these people that are my inspiration and support. These moments are the best and I love them all.

So that wraps up a good month of running around and chasing down. I am back in SLC and back in the saddle now. I still have a lot of work and training to do to get ready for the even faster approaching "go time" of the season and I am ready to get after it with a new attitude adjustment and motivation for the winter. Check out some of my old blogs about the "Flow" from last season because this season is dedicated to it once again, and I am ready to ride it wherever it takes me. Here's to it.