Season recap of Zach Halverson

This summer I ventured far down south to the land of the Andes. My friend Leo Ahrens and I boarded a plane to Santiago, Chile on July 10. After three days of canceled flights and sleeping on airport floors we were greeted with lack of luggage. Luckily Leo was randomly sitting next to his highschool janitor who offered for us to stay at her nieces apartment for the night. She fed and watered us and in the morning our bags made it and we hopped on a bus headed to Pichilemu to catch some surf for a few weeks. By the time we made it, it was dark and we realized that we had forgotten to make any reservations for a hostel. With no idea where we were walking we started down the road with a full ski bag and duffel bag each. Looking like two lost gringos a lady took pity on us and invited us into her house and offered for us to stay the night. With her lived her brother and his boy, her two daughters and one of her daughter’s daughter. ’twas a full house but it felt like a good home. Leo and I stayed up late with the younger crowed and had a conversation via broken spanish and google translate.

Three weeks later it was time to hit the road and we headed to La Parva to meet up with fellow Dubsatch crew members Carston Oliver and Eliel Hindert to partake in the Eye of the Condor film and photo contest. The Eye of the Condor is a contest that is five-day long and you have to make a five-minute edit and produce five photos. Amazingly we swept the thing winning the photo and the video aspect. Next on the trek was the Redbull Powder Disorder in Las Lenas, Argentina. The Redbull Powder Disorder is a Big Mountain competition that has man-made features involved in it. Conditions were extremely tough from high winds but the comp was pulled off. Props to Jim Jack for another great time. The road continued back to Chile for the Chilean Freeskiing Nationals at Ski Arpa. I had a near miss with a boulder on my second run but i managed to pull off 12th place. Making our way back to Santiago we parted ways after our month and a half log trip and I flew back state side to switch gear and pick up my hiking boots and backpack. After five days at home I got on a plane again and flew to Cuiaba, Brazil and started a three and a half month-long trek thru the Amazon Basin. Using canoe and foot power and battling bugs, fungus, infection and disease our twelve man group made home in the jungle. Two weeks in I got bit by a spider and the bite got infected with staph infection. Luckily I caught it in time and healed up in a month with two little scars.

December rolled around and the snow was dumping in Alaska so I called up my friends Leo Ahrens, Sam Cohen and Nate Cahoon and we set off on a camping trip in the woods of Turnagain Pass. I was all going as planned with the food and equipment packing but the morning we were planning on setting out the winds and snows picked up and it was blowing 100+ mph. We decided to press on anyways. The temps were cold, -20 Fahrenheit.  It was a tough trudge in with 50+lbs sleds but after a few hours of switching off breaking trail we made it to a sheltered area and put up tents and made a snow cave. It was home for a few days. We battled the avalanche conditions for a while but ended up calling the trip off due to horrible avalanche conditions and lack of stove fuel. Back in my home town, Girdwood we thawed out and arranged a bush plane flight. The next clear and sunny day we took to the air. It’s amazing to look at the mountains from the air. The snowpack settled and became bomb proof and we got to ski all the peaks I’d dreamed about for a few years. It was a great weeks. Leo and Nate took off back to the lower forty-eight but Sammo stayed for a while to enjoy the great snow with me.

The road started to call us though so we packed up the truck and went to Mt Baker, WA to shred some epic side country. We then rolled up to Nelson, BC to stay with a few homies (PJS founder) and shred Whitewater; but then we caught wind of a comp going on at Kickinghorse so we continued north to Redbull Wrangle the Chute. I ended up taking second and Sammo took third. Stoked! We then drove back to Nelson and then continued to Montana. In Montana i caught a flight to Seattle and met up with the Tecnica/Blizzard team for a fun week of shooting powder shots. Now I am still in Seattle working on building a purse seiner fishing boat that I am working on this summer. We plan to finish in a few weeks and head of the port on the 4th of May. Its going to be a two-week motor to get to port in Whittier Alaska. Its been a great season!


Back on the front lines

It seems this past fall and current winter tuques and headbands have been a hot item around the Nelson area. Orders have been  high and I’ve been stoked to say the least! Its been awesome working on headbands again, as once I started making hoodies they fell to the wayside for sure.

Not only have the crochet pieces been popular with the Selkirk College students, but local shop Valhalla Pure Outfitter have also bought a bunch for their store. This is the first shop PJS has been in, and its super exciting! Being the super stoked person I am, just had to go snag a picture of the tuques in store once they were tagged up, also thought I’d post up some pictures of some Nelson crew rocking their PJS! Enjoy.

One of the PJS Tuques for sale at Nelson’s Valhalla Pure!

First year SROAMies, Alex and Sam.

Room full of PJS, 4 Selkirk students rocking two headbands and two tuques.

Some tuques before they went north for Zach in AK.

That’s my update on tuques boys and girls!


The Nelson Vibe

I thought it might be a good idea to do an update of well… life? I guess. That being… my life, and the life of PJS, whats been going on and what my plans are for the near future. I’m living in Nelson right now to take part in the SROAM program (Ski Resort Operations And Management) at Selkirk College. The program is what I was expecting, and in another light, an experience I was not expecting. Right now is the middle of exam time for semester one, a rather scary time since semester one is the most difficult of the three semesters in the program. Amidst trying to focus on Purplejumpsuit, and having skiing run through my brain like the addiction it is, I’ve had to share my focus with classes. Accounting, computer programs like Word and Excel, and business communications, (the classes I hadn’t thought to much about for a ski hill); along with the many very ski focused courses like Tourism,  Ski Area Planning, Lift Functions Maintenance and Operations, and the important Risk Management class.

After the first semester, I’ve surprisingly come to the conclusion that I have no desire to work outside. Mechanics isn’t my strong point, and if I’m going to be outside in the snow, I want to be skiing it, not standing on it. So that makes Lifts a bit of a useless class for myself… minus the fact it is rather rad I’ll know how one works and all the crazy stuff it takes to maintain. Even if it’s not the career path I want, it’s some rather awesome stuff (it will be even better next week when the exam is over!)

A project we’ve done that has helped me to figure out the career I want, and lead me in that direction, is our Career Profile assignment. For three of our classes we had to interview someone in the industry (one guy interviewed Nancy Greene! how rad is that?) that has a career we are interested in. It gave everyone in the class the opportunity to receive great insight from a true professional and learn if they would still really enjoy that career. I interviewed someone working for a ski magazine, because I slightly fancy writing and photography is a passion of mine, and magazines tend to be a nice mix of the two. After the interview I’m still rather keen on the career path, if I can’t focus full-time on Purplejumpsuit to make a living, I’d like to perhaps work with a magazine, either that or be an events coordinator. That career seems awesome too, could you imagine planning something like TELUS World Ski and Snowboard Festival? Would be a crazy accomplishment.

Not all our time has been spent in the classroom during this first semester. For the lifts class we were able to make a trip up Wh2O (whitewater ski hill) to take a hands on look at the lifts. After that we went on a field trip, one of three we have this year, to a bunch of mountains in the area. We got to hear from the General Managers and many other very important people from Lake Louise, Sunshine Village, Norquay, Panorama, and Fernie, along with checking out some really cool stuff they got at the hills and see how they run. It was a fun trip, but I’m looking forward to the next couple field-trips much more, when we get to go skiing on them!! Woot woot.

Wh2O has been open fully since the 10th, I’ve gotten 7 days in so far, not as many as the boyfriend who has 14 but that’s okay by me! I’ll catch up. Been having some boot problems but they are slowly getting fixed and I’ll be in tip-top shape soon enough. Whitewater has been getting dumped on with the white stuff lately and it’s just getting more and more epic, drops and pillows and endless pow, just how I like it.

This seems like enough writing for now, so I’ll leave you with an edit! Gonna be a bit backwards and put the pre-season one up next week, such is life, I’m much to busy.