I’m baaaaaaack… and stoked about mountain bikes

Long time no bloggy. This is what happens when:

a. You destroy your posterior cruciate ligament by snowboarding into an aspen tree at Beaver Creek (in too tight trees looking for untracked powder).

b. You spend a looooong time trying to fully recover from surgery and complications and, well, recovering from PCL replacement surgery is hard.

c. You start spending more time mountain biking, and rediscover how awesome and rad it is.

d. You realize that you’ve been basically ignoring your blog…because Facebook. And Twitter. And Instagram.

It’s much easier and quicker to share and post things via Facebook than it is to blog. But I don’t like that the things I post to Facebook basically disappear into the interwebs ether after a few weeks. So I’ma start blogging again, now with 100% more mountain bike and backcountry stoke. I’m kinda over ski resorts, stay tuned for another post on that someday.

Thanks for checking. Stay stoked peeps.

Mountain biking Mt. Elbert

The descent down Mount Elbert is totally awesomesauce. Prolly the most fun 14er to mountain bike in Colorado.

Say it ain’t so, Jake: Burton to end Vermont snowboard manufacturing

Burton Snowboards has announced the impending closing of their Vermont snowboard manufacturing plant. From the Burlington Free Press:

“The environment here is not very manufacturing-friendly… a board costs more to make than you than you sell it for,” Burton CEO Laurent Potdevin said Tuesday. Burton will keep its global headquarters in Burlington.

Specifically, the CEO said, labor costs, real estate and utility expenses made it difficult to turn a profit with boards made in Vermont. Health care benefits are among the factors making manufacturing here expensive, he said. It costs “significantly less” to manufacture in Austria, where Burton has made boards for more than 25 years, he said.

I won’t even go into the “health care benefits” issue, being that Austria has tax-funded universal health care, and the health care debate is currently raging, and the main difference between health care in the U.S and health care in Austria is profit, and..oh, wait, I said I’d not go there.

Burton already makes most of their snowboards in Austria and China, but it’s sad that a company that once made all their boards in Vermont is totally pulling the plug on U.S. board manufacturing.

My second snowboard was a Burton. As was my third. And my fourth. But my fifth, a splitboard, was made by Voile in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. And my next snowboard purchase will likely be handcrafted by a backcountry-loving dude in Silverton, Colorado, USA.

Oh, and if any soon-to-be-laid-off Burton employees are looking to move out West, Voile and Venture are hiring:

Ski and snowboard production workers Looking for anyone with experience working with a combination of wood, fiberglass, and composite materials. Ski and snowboard building includes wet lay-up of wood, fiberglass, and composite materials. Hand bending and fitting of steel edge material. Router cut-out of plastic base material. Band saw cut-out and machine sanding and grinding of skis and snowboards. Email your resume to jobs@voile-usa.com or call us at 801-973-8622.

PRODUCTION TECHNICIAN Full time seasonal worker needed to assist with all phases of the production process at our Silverton, Colorado factory from April through October. No experience necessary but a positive attitude, strong work ethic and passion for snowsliding are a must. For a complete job description and application email info@venturesnowboards.com.

Here’s a little old school Jeff Brushie to cheer you up:

Westword serves up the Colorado ski and snowboard info

From a January 25th "On The Edge" post on Westword.com: "Photographer/ski bum Scott Limbird sent the above photo of Vail from yesterday, a day he called 'ridiculous.'"

Westword has what may be the best Colorado outdoor/ski/snowboard blog/column/thingy going. The alt-weekly’s “On The Edge” feed has been bringing home the bacon since it launched. And you thought Westword just did music, food, art and bar reviews for hipsters, medical marijuana dispensary listings, and ads for, um, “escorts.”

Their secret sauce? Multiple bloggers/writers feeding the beast, producing a solid delivery of content in Goldilocks form – not too much, not too little, but just right. The content is useful and entertaining, thoughtful and informative, short and visual – all the stuff you want without a bunch of marketing bull (the regular feature “Gear you want but don’t need” is classic).

Some recent posts of note:

You should check it, RSS it and get your knowledge on.

Now if only they could improve their lame page re-re-re-reloader, I mean slideshow viewer.

Copper Mountain wants you to cheat on your steady mountain (for $39)

It’s the modern-age-old question for Colorado skiers and boarders: “What pass you got?” As in, what season pass did you buy/get/commit to?

Since the Great Pass Wars that began in the late 90s, the choice for many Colorado residents is either the Colorado Pass or the Rocky Mountain Super Pass. Both are outstanding values for anyone who hits the slopes more than five or six times a year (like, duh, why wouldn’t you?), and if you snu-snu (yeah, that’s the name I’m giving to the practice of skiing or snowboarding, since no one has ever come up with a good name to describe both, and I know it’s from Futurama, why do you think I chose it, besides I’m not sure if the Futurama writers didn’t abscond it from someone else even though I guess I could Google it and maybe find out if it’s a reference to something, but, and anyway I might change my mind down the road ’cause it’s my blog and I can do whatever I want, including writing really long and dangerous and ill-advised run-on sentences in a convoluted parenthesis explanation scenario that would be better off in a separate post but now that I’m on a roll I think I’ll just keeping rolling with it, ooh did you see that snowboarder who jumped into the opening ceremony of the Olympics, jeesh talk about pressure but he stuck it so mad props, oh hey is that my mac ‘n cheese on fire on the stove?) a bunch you can get your cost of snu-snu down to pennies a day. Almost.

But the problem with buying one pass or the other has always been your friends who bought the wrong other pass. It’d be great if all your friends had the same pass, and you could all snu-snu together all the time, but people gots their loyalties, and who’s to question loyalty to a mountain?

Anywhoo, Copper recently debuted their Swinger’s Pass offering any season pass owner a Copper lift ticket for $39. Just show up at the Copper lift ticket window with your other ski resort season pass and they’ll trade your 39 greenbacks for a day of snu-snu. From their Interwebz:

End Mountain Monogamy and Come Get Some!

There’s no question of loyalty here. It’s just a day riding a mountain with easier access, free parking and fewer crowds. Any season pass holder worldwide: Sneak over to Copper Mountain for a day and pick up the Swinger’s Pass for the easy price of $39! Get to Guest Services or to the Ticket Windows of Copper Mountain to purchase this sexy deal. This product cannot be purchased online.

Don’t have a pass to anywhere? Check out the High Four.

Deal is subject to change. Not valid 3/12 – 3/27/10 or 4/5 – 4/9/10. Limited to 1 day per person.

Not a bad deal. Now you can go snu-snu for cheap with a friend who has the other pass and get some strange. On the slopes, people. I know what you are thinking, and I would never resort to sex to promote snu-snu. And neither would Intrawest. I mean Pwder. Pshaww.

Buy some gas, get some cheap Colorado ski resort lift tickets deal is back

The half-price lift ticket gas purchase deal is back, now at participating Shell stations. Resorts in Colorado offering the BOGO deal are Copper MountainMonarch MountainPowderhorn and Winter Park. Props once again to Monarch for not having any weekend restrictions (not including their blackout dates).

Details (with blackout dates and days) can be found on the Ski Free Colorado website, or just head straight to the list of participating gas stations.

Colorado ski bum Charlie Toups jailed for illegal camping

If you’ve skied A-Basin in the couple of seasons, then you’ve probably noticed the truck camper belonging to hardcore ski bum Charlie Toups parked in a lot near the CDOT garage.

Jason Blevins of the Denver Post fills you in on the mysterious man in the camper with a story on his arrest:

From the story:

Toups first ran afoul of the Forest Service, which prohibits living on public land, in 2007 when he was back living in Loveland in the ski area parking lot.

So, he fired up his most recent home — a tired Ford, its hood and doors closed with ropes, its bed topped with a dilapidated camper. He rattled over Loveland Pass, towing a trailer full of old skis and a rusting Honda motorcycle. He landed in the Colorado Department of Transportation utility lot on Forest Service land next to Arapahoe Basin ski area.

On Nov. 14, five months after a Forest Service cop issued Toups a ticket for camping on public land in the CDOT lot, they came for him with a warrant for his arrest.

Toups had missed two mailed summonses, sent to an Aspen-area post office box he never visited.

While there are other ski and snowboard bums living part of the year in parking lots, snow caves, campers, buses, cars, trucks, yurts, teepees, closets, porches, sheds, garages, and attics, few seem as dedicated to skiing as Toups.

“I ski because it is a portal, a gateway to health,” he said, noting that in all his years on skis he has never been injured. “But when I moved into that lot, I was desperate. Sure, I may live like a bum, but I do not behave like one.”

Here’s hoping that Toups is soon back on the slopes.

UPDATE: There’s now a FREE CHARLIE TOUPS! Facebook page. It has 583 fans as of 9:45 p.m. MST on Monday, Jan. 11.

UPDATE 2: Charlie is free, receives deferred prosecution.