Vancouver Adaptive Snow Sports (VASS) Challenge Cup (Feb 26, 2009) – Video

Click here for HD version

Event hosted by VASS

Video of Mark Hopkins and Jess Sloss in Action at the VASS Challeng Cup at Grouse Mountain.  An Interview I had with Mark Hopkins will be posted later.

Advertisements

Day 27 – Pizza turns on Skis & Down-Unweighting on Snowboard

I had a Twitter conversation this morning with an avid skier Gillian Shaw (@gillianshaw) from Vancouver Sun.  She wrote an article called “Google Snow Report” in which it states “Skiing is 30 per cent more popular as a search term than snowboarding” and “Canadians search for the word ‘snowboarding’ more than any other country in the world.”  Now I understand why the majority of my readers are from Canada, some from the United States of America, and few from overseas.  Although lots of great Snowboard videos do come from the United States of America.  The two I watched recently that I really liked are “I ride Park City” and “Bear Mountain’s A Walk in the Park”.

Since reading that skiing is becoming popular again, I decided to take my Rossignal Bandit B2’s out for a run.  When I got up on the mountain I was hungry so I had a Vegetarian Pizza in the Cafeteria.  I then headed out to the slopes doing “Pizza” turns with my skis.  Instructors refer to Snowplowing as “Pizza” so kids can understand it better.

Last year the once and only time I was on my skis I took a lesson.  During my first run of last season, the Instructor took my class down a steep Black Diamond Run, I got freaked out and basically slid down the hill on my butt.  I decided to start on green runs this year and work my way back up to Black runs by the end of the season.  I stayed at Paradise (Bunny Hill) for an hour practicing my pizza turns.  My legs were getting pretty tired after a few runs so I started doing parallel turns.  The Snow was “Bullet-Proof”.  It was basically ice because of the rain from the past few days and the freezing temperature tonight.  If you look carefully at the photo below, you will see footprints in the snow, the skis can basically slide over these footprints without leaving a mark in the snow.

"Bullet-Proof" Snow at Grouse Mountain

My feet were becoming numb after an hour in the hard-boots (ski boots) so I decided to change into my soft snowboard boots and go riding.  I took a snowboard lesson 2 days ago at Cypress which improved my riding quite a lot so I decided to take a lesson here at Grouse too.  My instructor is a CASI level 3 Instructor and an Evaluator.  We worked on down-unweighting turns to prepare me for CASI 3 that I will be taking eventually.  Since the snow was bulletproof, there wasn’t really much room for mistakes.  Falling down on ice means bruises and injuries.  I struggled with it at first but by the end of the lesson I was doing moguls on my snowboard.  It was the second great lesson I had this season. Now I just need lots of practice to familiarize myself with these new techniques.

Aside from the hard-packed snow, Grouse Mountain was beautiful, clear, and warm tonight.

Grouse Mountain was Beautiful, Clear, and Warm tonight

Day 21 – Last day of 2008 @ Grouse Mountain (Video)

Song is Mos Def – Wylin Out

Day 21 – Last Day of 2008 @ Grouse Mountain

This morning started out with high winds so the chair was not open to the public until 10 am.

imgp5963

Canceled Morning lessons due to High Wind

We all stood around the base waiting to hear whether the Tram will be open or not.  Some of the Instructors started shoveling and salting the ice on the ground.  Lots of customers decided not to wait and went home instead.

Instructors Shoveling

Great Team Effort !!

Instructors Shoveling

The staffs got to the top of the mountain right before 10 am, it was the most amazing view I have ever seen.

Grouse Mountain - The Cut @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Beautiful Scenery from the Tram

Grouse Mountain - The Cut @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Grouse Mountain @ 10 am December 31, 2008

Ally and Eileen

After the general public started getting on the mountain and the staffs finished setting up the signs, we decided to go for a run.  Since most of the general public went home instead of waited for the tram to open, the mountain was pretty empty the whole morning even though the tram was open to the public.

Fresh Tracks at Grouse Mountain

My friends and I went out and rode around for 2 hours.  We did the green run, the blue runs, and then the black and the double black diamond runs.  When we went down Purgatory (Double Black Diamond Run), the powder was so deep my friend C. decided to go for a big jump (see video).

Purgatory @ Grouse Mountain (Scott & Chrystal in the photo)

C. got really big air then landed right before a tree and banged her forehand on the tree.  Her forehead was pretty swollen afterward.  She also lost her goggles so we had to stop to look for it in the deep powder.

imgp5991

Half way down purgatory, we decided to cut to the left to see what Outer Limit was like.  When we got down to the bottom of Outer Limits we saw beautiful untouched powder in the trees on the other side of the cattrack.  It was not roped off so we know the fresh powder in the trees is still considered inbound and there probably won’t be any avalanche danger.  We decided to go for it and it was amazing. We got to a part where the trees were too dense to board in and realized the only way back to the chair lift was to hike out.  My friends had one foot out and tried to skate out.  I made the mistake of taking off my board and stepping into the snow.  I sunk to my waist in the powder.  It took awhile to climb back onto my board and eventually climb back to the trails that led to the chair lift.

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching against the beautiful backdrop of Vancouver

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Snowboard Instructor teaching

Grouse Mountain Staff got onto the cover of the newspaper

My friend got onto the cover of a newspaper.

Pikachu visiting Grouse Mountain

and finally, Pikachu came for a visit of Grouse Mountain.

Day 20 – Singles?

We had another big dump of snow overnight at Grouse Mountain so the Cut, Centennial, and the Peak was amazing though the fog was so dense that we were only able to see a few feet in front of us.  At one point I couldn’t even see the snow underneath my snowboard so I had to guess whether I was going uphill or downhill next.  Last year when the fog was this dense in mid March, I took a wrong turn on my last run and went back to Olympic instead of the Gondola ending up to be the last few riders on the mountain (which was a bit scary).

I went into the singles line at the chair lift today because the group line was half an hour long.  I joined a pair of girls in the groups line with the teenager behind me from the singles line to form a group of four for the quad chair.  The 2 girls asked us “singles?”  The teenager behind me said “yeah…” then he paused, then said “But…I have a girlfriend…”

I finally got to teach a snowboarder how to do tighter turns down a blue run today.  It is quite exciting because I got to ride powder with a student.  At one point when I was on my heelside looking back at my student’s turns while he was following behind me,  I caught an edge and tumbled a few metres down the hill.  Then I heard a little kid saying, “Mom..Look ! an instructor fell…”

When I was teaching skiing a couple of years back, our supervisor told us to fall in front of our students intentionally once in a while so students will see that instuctors are not perfect.  The theory was:  if an experienced skier falls down even after years of training, then it is only natural for a beginner skier to fall.

Day 7 – Grouse Mountain – Patches of Ice (Dec 15, 2008)

It’s been a bad day following a string of unfortunate events.

Ok, maybe not that bad.  Today I went up to Grouse Mountain for some night riding.  Since I had such a great experience on the opening day I brought my short park board with no edges thinking tonight will be just as fun.  I did a warm up run at the “Cut”.  I was following about 10 feet behind a 14 year old snowboarder, and all of a sudden, he fell and tumbled down the hill so I tried to steer around him.  Little did I know that we were both on a Big Sheet of ice on a pretty steep slope.  So the minute I got on my heel edge, I fell too and started sliding down the hill fast on my butt.  I tried many times to dig into the ice with my board to brake but it did little to slow me down.  After the big patch of ice, I sat there trying to figure out whether it was my board (with dull edges) or the fact my legs were still burning from riding in powder at Cypress yesterday.  Maybe I should have stretched.  As I sat there pondering these issues, I saw other snowboarders one by one either falling on their butt or tumbling down the hill like we did the minute they got onto the patch of ice.  Through the evening, I fell many more times on different patches of ice all over the hill, and now my wrist hurts.  I better start wearing my wrist guard again to prevent further injuries.

Aside from my falling down, it was a clear and beautiful night.

Groues Mountain Night Scene

I got to meet Mister and Mrs. Claus.

Groues Mountain Santa

It was -9 ºC  or  15.8 ºF.  The Snow Guns were pumping, just avoid the sections between the Snow Guns, that’s where the ice patches were.

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

The riders at the Terrain park on the opening day were all back in school so the Terrain Park seem pretty empty.

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

Grouse Mountain Night Scene

%d bloggers like this: