Observations of I-80

The time came to make the big drive across the Great Plains to the Intermountain West. From my Wisconsin hometown that means a lot of time on Interstate 80 westbound. I took some time to rest and simply be at home for just a bit, but soon had to get ready for the big drive and a chaotic schedule. I had lined up a rather busy December getting ready for the upcoming winter that included observing instructors in an AIARE avalanche level 1 & 2 as well as a Rescue course to prepare for an AIARE Instructor's Training Course coming up in January. It was an ambitious timeframe, but I felt good about my plan, and at some point ya just gotta go for it. 

^I had a week off between seasonal labor efforts from

Summer's End to the Fall That Never Was

The end of summer came quickly with so much time left to the run around of a small young family and the sports, gymnastics, family parties, birthdays, and the like. It flew by like time seems to do more often than not in this phase of life I find myself. I had big hopes for fall mountain biking and the beauty of the changing colors. However, a wet cold winter blast came in early and spoiled all those fall ideas. It exacerbated the skier's itch I had boiling up in my blood, but did little to serve the to-do list I had in mind. 

Spring Rains and Summer in a Breeze

The spring rains came and summer has gone like a warm breeze. I got so damn busy that the last months have felt like they have passed in the blink of an eye and all of a sudden it is middle of August. I got a new job as Trails Coordinator for the local County government in my little corner of Wisconsin, and between the learning curve of the work, family obligations, travel, and trying to find time to paddle and ride my mountain bike the time flew by like the breeze. 

^Sunset on Lily Lake. This is the lake I grew up on. The whole idea of

Winter Wrap-Up and So Close to Home

Time got away from me the last part of winter. I had so much going on after my Japan trip that I let the posts on this website fall behind. So I will do a big wrap-up post to give a highlight reel from the last part of my winter into the spring skiing. I started out in the Upper Peninsula Of Michigan at Mount Bohemia and the Porcupine Mountains for Midwest Telefest, rolled back to Utah for a variety of content and guiding work, judged a junior free ski comp at Taos New Mexico, had the old college buddies come to town, skied plenty of Ogden backcountry with the local homies, did a lot of backcountry ski guiding, my wife and kids came to visit me in Utah, bought a new snowmobile, and wrapped it all up with a couple last crusher content days with the fellas before hitting the road back across the Great Plains of America to my hometown in southeast Wisconsin. It was a hell of the finish to winter, and here are some of the highlights.

^Right after Japan I rolled up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Niseko of My Dreams

I first came to Niseko over a decade ago as a young hard charging pro skier to shoot for a movie project with Sweetgrass Productions that became the movie, Signatures. That movie is still one of my favorites and this place is as well. Niseko Japan is near and dear to my heart by this point, and I am so grateful to have made some real friendships there as well over all these years in returning every year since. I have built a trip package through my business, Vertical Integration, that has built on all the knowledge and experience that I have gained over the years skiing there. This year I had a really great group of friends buy the package deal to take advantage of all that Niseko has to offer.  

^Driving in Japan is always a bit of an adjustment on the right side

Emotional Utah Quick Hit & Gracious Midwest Holidays

Shortly after returning from the Austrian Alps I was loading back into another airplane to head to Utah for some guide training work and some ski industry content work. I was also looking to keep getting in shape for my looming Japan trip just around the corner of the calendar. 

^I grabbed a late night flight and kissed my wife, kids, and pup goodbye.

To the Freeheeler European Opening Festival and Back

Early in the fall I received an assignment to write an article for the Freeheeler Magazine out of Europe, and a subsequent invitation to come do a presentation on the concept of the article at the Freeheeler European Opening Festival at Hintertux Glacier ski area in Austria in late November. 

^I grabbed a big flight across the pond to Munich and spent a