Skiing the “gigglers” with Jim Jack

“Now you see why we call them the gigglers”, Jim Jack said with a nod and the classic ear to ear grin. After a quick laugh he was off again… dodging in and out of trees, milking the 3 inches of fresh snow. I was trying to keep up, the gladed slope was creamy and fast. 2500′ vert later, gasping for air in between giggles, the four of us were speechless. How the hell did the snow end up being that great? We were told in the parking lot that a rain crust had turned the snow into an ice rink. While skinning up, we crossed ice, rot, and crusted over sugar. We shared skeptical shoulder shrugs and discussion of the skiing “not being worth the long hike”. But, the promise of a beautiful view and chance of finding some nice creamy turns kept us going.

And, wow, I sure am glad we did.

This was three weeks ago, and just one of those days; those days that forever stay ingrained in your memory. Those days that reconfirm that there is a reason why we do what we do. A reason why we rise before the sun, venture outside in nasty weather, push our bodies to hike all morning just to ski ONE run… and a reason why we accept certain risks that parallel the passion to explore, adventure, and play in the mountains.

Five years ago I was accepted into a community of passionate people who share a love for the mountains and skiing. These friends, who have become my family,  have played a huge roll in shaping my life. The many faces with whom I  have had the pleasure to share a few turns all communicate a similar exuberance. They exude a zest for life and a love for one another. I can say with certainty that the compassion and camaraderie shared by this community was influenced by Jim Jack. His high energy, carpe diem, passionate, and caring attitude rubbed off on each and every one of us. He gave his love to us and taught us all to share it with one another. I am so fortunate to have been influenced by such a great man. As are we all. 

Now, lets make a point; as a community, to convey Jim Jack’s views on life, passion for the outdoors, and love for one another. Share a smile and a high five. Enjoy a good taste of R&R. Keep hiking. Keep laughing. And, in one way or another, you will find your own ‘gigglers’.



Sneak Peak: 2013 Blizzard WOMEN’S Freemountain Skis

The camper happened to roll into Mission Ridge, WA at the same time as the WWSRA demo. Sweet. We were given free range to explore the basically empty mountain while testing out many of next year’s skis. It hadn’t snowed at Mission Ridge in awhile, but with a couple quick hikes, it was easy to find some boot top pow. I was really stoked to be able to ski on all of the new Women’s Freemountain skis from Blizzard. And let me tell you… I can not wait to get home and jump on my Dakota’s.

Here is the lowdown: The Dakota, Samba, and Black Pearl

The Black Pearl returns, unchanged, for the 2013 season. With Flipcore Technology and an 88 mm waist, she lays it over on the groomers while not being afraid to venture off piste. A great all mountain ski for the days when the conditions are… well… like they are just about everywhere right now. Hard pack.

The Samba is the sister ski to the Bonafide, with a 98 mm waist and no metal. This ski totally surprised me, the soft flex made it the most nimble and playful ski I have ever been on. I effortlessly moved them from turn to turn on all types of terrain; groomers, frozen chunks, moguls… whatever lay ahead, this ski made it easy. I also discovered, excitingly, that this ski likes to jump. It must be a combination of Flipcore Technology and a soft flex… it had me popping off everything I could find. Finally, my personal favorite and ski of choice for the 2013 season, The Dakota. If you have anything to do with the ski world you have heard of Blizzard’s Cochise (2012 Skiing Magazine Ski of the Year). Well, the Dakota is the women’s version of the Cochise. She comes with 108 mm under foot and in 170 or 177 lengths. Charging, slaying, ripping, sending… whatever your on hill practices consist of, this is your ski.

Stoke level is high for next season.

Join the rodeo.