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November 29, 2011

Husky Cycling Fundraiser

It's always good to get the inside scoop on matters of sport straight from the protagonists - tonight was a unique lecture/Q & A event with famed sports psychologist Dr. Dan Tripps and Garmin-Cervelo pro cyclist Tyler Farrar, held at the new Northcut Landing facility across from University Village. Dr. Tripps peppered his talk on commitment and passion in sport with fascinating anecdotes about a diverse range of athletes and coaches including gymnast Kathy Johnson, backstroker John Naber, basketball coach John Wooden, land speed record holder Craig Breedlove and the Mariners' own Edgar Martinez. He made a strong point for trying to exact the maximum from each of our performances and concentrating on doing everything within our power to perfect those things we can actually control, without getting too fixated on the "win." Dr. Dan and Tyler both donated their time, and the event was a huge success for Husky Cycling from a fundraising standpoint, with a standing-room only crowd.

Tyler was just himself, chatting like any down-home PNW dude about winning the biggest bike races in the world. He conceded that the sprint game might be a bit different now that HTC is no longer there and willing to dedicate an entire team to helping one rider win, and let slip a few "secrets" - the Garmin-Cervelo low-gluten dietary regime doesn't seem to make much difference to him, though he eats what they cook for the team at races, he thinks Mark Cavendish is still going to be fast in 2012, and he loves going fast on skis when he isn't riding his bike. He even admitted to being an avid randonnée skier, with a brand new Trab Stelvio XL/Plum/TLT 5P setup that he's been up Granite Mountain and Mount Hood with in the past week. Nice, and great for the cross-training, but it might be better not to tell Jonathan Vaughters about that randonnée stuff . . .

I quizzed Tyler Farrar about his new ski setup after the lecture   Gary Louie photo

November 16, 2011

Season is On

I've been laid up for over a week with the worst respiratory cold I can remember in my life - and missing some of the normal early season preparatory events like the Northwest Snow and Avalanche Summit. The NSAS was held November 13th at the flagship REI store on Yale Avenue, and featured a number of local and imported avalanche forecasters, educators, and seasoned observers hoping to pass on a story or two to help a fellow backcountry enthusiast avoid a similar situation somewhere down the road. The "talent" included names like Karl Birkeland, Karl Klassen, Rod Newcomb, John Scurlock, Garth Ferber, Oyvind Henningsen, Mike Richardson, and Zach Guy. If you missed it this year, you'll have to wait until 2012. In the meantime, there have already been several avalanche incidents and at least one high profile death in the US this season, so shake off the complacency and keep your eyes and ears open.

The snowpack is gradually building as we speak and people are skinning most of the local areas. Crystal and Baker are set to open this Friday, November 18, with Summit West and Stevens Pass scheduled to spin the lifts on Saturday. Here's a shot from Kevin today at Summit West - maybe a little weedy, but the next few days should take care of that. See you on the hill!

Kinda defines the term "meadowskipping," with the meadow still in evidence - my new coat packs about as small as that snowball on her hat!   Kevin Curd photo

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"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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