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August 22, 2011

Left Coast Visitors

My friend Jonathan Shefftz, "light-is-right" maven and driving force behind our "rando race gear for everyman" Internet alias, was in town for two days. I had missed him last year, and so busted it down to Paradise to get in a day of August turns with him today. For a pretty nice day, the crowd was extremely sparse, with only a handful of climbing parties on the mountain and no other skiers or boarders. Weird.

We chatted and skinned while catching up on each other's lives, kids, spouses and gear. Jonathan, who seemingly lives on GU while skiing, must have sucked down half a dozen of them during the day. I made do with a package of Shot Bloks and two Hammer Gels courtesy of Husky Cycling . . . This visit was a late replacement for a trip Jonathan had planned earlier in the summer that was cancelled because of the passing of his father, Melvin Shefftz, and he's been performing a touching remembrance ritual to his dad on each of his subsequent ski tours this summer. Afterwards, we did a couple of nice runs on the Upper Paradise, then traversed over to the Nisqually Chutes which still went, albeit with some healthy runnels and suncups - keep in mind this was August 22nd . . .

Jonathan chats up some Serbian tourists - they brought the 1.5 year old baby on an overnight to Camp Muir . . .

Lemurian spacecraft investigates the strange source of energy that is the Nisqually rock fall

Jonathan pays homage to his recently deceased father by reading aloud a newspaper passage, something his dad loved to do in the mountains

The third week in August and the Nisqually Chutes still go

August 2, 2011

84 Months

84 consecutive months of skiing.

I feel like a long-time AA member, valiantly standing up and proclaiming seven years of sobriety. Except in my case, it's been seven years of full-on intoxication.

It's meant the thrill of sliding over snow has never been more than 30 days away; the unequalled feeling of setting edges on some form of frozen water never far from my mind. Come September and October, with the languid heat that's sure to follow, I'm sure I'll be jonesing like Amy Winehouse at the Betty Ford Center - itching to bust out and score, but lucky enough to live in Washington State where, so far, the snow is never far away.

My student Elissa on the peak between the Castle and Unicorn, Tatoosh Range, MRNP - a solid "A" for the mid-term

Rainier wears its lenticular cap for the day, casting an "otherworldly" glow on the upper mountain

Previous Incoming Pages:

July, 2011

June, 2011

May, 2011

April, 2011

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January, 2011

December, 2010

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September, 2010

August, 2010

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China: Wandering in the Middle Kingdom

March, 2010

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July, 2006

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December, 2005

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October, 2005

"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .

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