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!


Matt MacCallum Edit

Whitewater’s season has officially came to an end, spring is in the air here in nelson, it’s a love hate time for many of us skiers. I’m personally looking forward to school wrapping up in two weeks, moving to a new area and having much more free time to work on hoodies. Also the fact that Sunshine has a much longer spring season and I may get a few more days on snow! (slightly torn about that however, as I am not a fan of what happened recently to so many of their old management.)

Also possibly going to Sunshine later this spring is Matt MacCallum, and even though his season is still not over he decided to put together a little 2010/2011 edit to enjoy the memories. Now here it is for your enjoyment.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/22201663]

Kootenay Coldsmoke 2011

Whitewater was host to the epic coldsmoke event that happened this past weekend. Each year the event seems to be getting more and more well deserved attention, and whitewater seems to be doing a great job with keeping everything organized for all the fun stuff.  I was a volunteer for yesterdays slopestyle event, (basically a big mountain competition, set up for each rider to get one or two big hits) and I learnt just how hard kootenay locals can throw down.  People were sending 50 ft drops like it was nothing, many including a backflip as well. Although a lot of  the young hotshots lots skis in the process or at least tumbled once or twice, it was still an epic site to be had. I had planned to try and take some pictures from the top, but with all the rushing around, and the freezing cold, (nearly got frost bite standing up top for the 4.5 hours), I wasn’t able to snag any. I suggest anyone interested in the big mountain scene, touring scene, kootenay scene, winter events or just anyone wanting to know whats worth checking out next winter, take a look at their site and put it on your calendar!

The event has so much more going on then just the slopestyle, which is presented by Nelsons Valhalla Pure Outfitters, it has an awesome balloon sale going on at the retail shop, workshops going from beginner lessons to well.. anything.. A bunch of demo tents to try out lots of different gear, and other fun competitions like a poker run, a bank slalom, and a touring competition up and down both sides of the hill, weaving in and out of bounds taking about 3 hours.

For those interested, here is a link to the event! Coldsmoke event at Whitewater

Sorry if this post is a bit jumbled and hard to read, I have a million things running through my head right now with school and plans for the summer!


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.


New Beginnings! The SROAM Program.

Nearly a month ago, during late August, I found myself going through a large change in my life. That change would be moving out of my house of 18 years, away from my mommy and lovely home, and on to the great big world! Since then I have settled in with some roommates in the amazing town of nelson, attending school five days a week in the SROAM program (Ski Resort Operations and Management program).

So far school has been amazing, the class is so different from high-school in a very enjoyable way. One thing that’s crazy to get used too is the fact that I am one of only three girls in the program, everyone is so awesome though and we all have such similar interests (mountains of course!!). In that sense the SROAM program is a lot like when I worked on mount washington, most people on the hills are guys and everyone connects in that amazing way that mountains bring people together.

Last Wednesday one of our classes was spent hiking whitewater mountain, checking out the older lifts and a new one they are putting in for this season (lucky me!). Our teacher introduced us to lots of the people installing the new lift and it was so interesting being able to see that stuff done, hearing about all the work that’s put into it, and how much something like a new lift costs! I can’t even imagine that type of money, truly is such an expensive sport. Back home I’ve never been on Mt.Washington in the summer time, only ever winter, countless times, and its rather trippy to think about seeing as Mt.Washington is a very busy place in the summer. That being said, it was awesome being on top of Wh2O before the snow fell! Seeing everything open and green, picking out possible line for the winter with everyone from the class, getting more and more stoked for the season every day. Being with the same people in school every day is already creating a very tight group between the class, as a result there is going to be an awesome group riding here and lots of edits will be coming out, not all PJS riders, but lots of friends that can rip and I’m very stoked. Lots of pictures were taken on my good camera.. unfortunately I haven’t been able to get them on my computer yet so here is two pictures from the hike.

Across from Wh2O looking at white queen.

One of the trucks belonging to the workers putting in the new lift, very classy stuff.

Should have internet at the house within the week and putting new blog posts up should be easier, I know I say that every time.. but at least when the season starts it will be true! Lots more going on then.