whistler day 11/lauren’s first ski day

Day 11: (run of the day: Jersey Cream?)

Last Sunday, Lauren, Katrina and I headed up to Whistler for the day. Lauren has been saying that he wants to learn how to ski since I met him so for his combined Christmas/birthday present, I gave him a lesson and day on the slopes. It probably would have been more wise for us to go before we went to Smith Rock because there was probably more snow then, but it still worked out!

We paid a UBC student named Michael to give Lauren a lesson and it turned out to be a great deal and experience! It was cheaper and he seemed like a really great teacher. I can’t remember my first ski lesson.

Anyway, as you can see from the video, Lauren did really well for his first day! He zoomed by other beginners. If he turns into a pro-skier, we can use this video in an emotional TV commercial.

I am in the second week of school now. I am taking Group Dynamics & Teamwork, Finance and Recruitment & Selection and also working as a Business Communication TA. It will be a busy semester but a different kind of busy than last semester I hope.

whistler day 8-10


whis-0Day 8: (run of the day: Glissando Glades)

Rob and I skied around Symphony/Harmony the day after the Men’s Hockey Final. This ski carrying technique is inspired by:

whis-2Day 9: (run of the day: The Bite)

This was from the weekend that Kat and I went up to Whistler when she was doing lots of skeletoning. I skiied with my roommate Nathan and friend Luke. Nathan got to try his new AT skis out on the way back to the parking lot!

whis-1Day 10: (run of the day: Whistler Bowl & Grand Finale)

On the Sunday of that weekend, Katrina and I skied together. She asked for powder so I brought her down this. She was not happy. You can see her in the picture but she kind of looks like a tree (hehe). It had snowed a lot over the couple of days before and there was lots of powder!! Cue muchos falling. I also met up with Lisa and Phillip for one last run which was lots of fun!!! So good!!

Whistler is open until late May this year, but I am not sure how many days I am going to get in. It was nice getting a ski pass this year, but I found it pretty stressful trying to find rides to get up there! Even though it is a great deal, I am not sure if I will buy a student pass again. Lauren and I are hoping to get up to Whistler this weekend so he can have a ski lesson. Pizza! French fries!!

babby’s first skeleton

Today was Family Day for the BCBSA (British Columbia Bobsled Skeleton Association) and because Kat is slidey slide, Scott and I got to slidey slide!! FUN!!! OF COURSE, YES, I’M FREE, LETS GO!!!!

skeleton rose
Matt’s photo!

I thought I would be more nervous before my first run, but I wasn’t as nervous as I am before going on high ropes courses, giving a class presentation or other such activities like that. I made Kat gave me 1 million tips but basically everyone just says ‘just lie there and try to be as aerodynamic as possible. sack o’ potato’ which I think is hard to prepare for. Anyway, Ivo (the coach) pushed my head down and pressed my legs together and off I went! Slidey slide!

… ok the first run was kind of terrifying. I think I thought about pressing my shoulders on the sled for about three seconds until I started going up on the sides a bit (WHAT KAT TOLD ME THAT YOU STAY IN THE BOTTOM WHY AM I GOING UP ON THE SIDES PANIC). And then I feel like I actually went into the straightaway away at the end totally sideways (I am exaggerating) and preceded to take what felt like six inch gouges out of the track as I bounced the sides of the track 12 times. Thankfully I was using the sled that Kat used which is made for skinny people because you can put your arms entirely on the sled and I didn’t touch the ice at all the whole day. Sorry sled.

Anyway so then we went back up to the top and I waited for my turn and thought ‘press your shoulders against the sled’ and then just as Ivo was about to push me he shoved my face down closer to the ice and said to look out of the top of my eyeballs so I did that! And this time I did much better at 99.59 km/hr (1st one was 98.29) and felt like I had good form. I think I have performance anxiety because as soon as I knew the finish line was coming and the big last turn I think I broke my form and hit one side of the wall and then automatically my body goes into flail mode instead of sack o potato mode and I hit the track back and forth (only 6 times this time).

Anyway it was really fun and I came in 6th the second run (out of 30ish beginners) and 2nd out of all the females! I think I was the youngest and definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum so that is pretty cool!!!!! Even though I think this is mostly based on luck and not necessarily skill (because I only did it twice, haha). I want to try and not flail all over the bottom half of the track so maybe I have to try it again! But I need to win the lottery first Charlie Bucket style.

january & february


– I went snowshoeing before new years with a couple of friends up to Elfin Lakes. We played Risk by headlamp light. It was fun. I have pictures but I haven’t had the chance to upload them yet.

– I am doing lots of school stuff. I also am working a lot. YAY $$$! And good experience.

– I am doing a regular Step & Strength fitness class and this week was harder than usual and it kicked my bum. I haven’t been climbing that much.

– Lauren bought his plane flights! He is coming around the end of April. Anyone want to sponsor him for a job? Anyone?

– I went to Ontario! Highlights include:

Visiting David/Steph/Dylan in Kingston. We had lots of catching up to do, we went rock climbing, out for dinner, had hot pot, and did some homework too. Their reading week is always a week after SFU so they all had some work to do (as did I).

Seeing my dad, Kate, Callum with Kat and Scott and watching extreme amounts of Olympics! We also had a family bonspiel, which was awesome, and ate dimsum, which was also awesome.

Liz came and visited! That was coooool!!! We went to the ice slides, saw an IMAX South Pacific movie, ate lots of shawarma, went tobogganing, skated on the canal, played board games and continued to watch excessive amounts of Olympics.

Non-highlights include: The plane ride back from Ottawa. Scott, Kat and I flew the same flight to Calgary, and then Scott and I were transferring on in Calgary to Vancouver. The plane was held up in Ottawa, and there was bad weather in Calgary = we missed the SkyTrain, and had to take a cab to Scott’s house and then Scott drove me home. He probably got home at 1:45am. I did not do well on my midterm the next day. I think if I am in school next time I am going to fly direct or leave a little more gap to get home. Zzzzz

– I am applying to be a TA for the summer. I hope I get it.

squamish climbing & a general update

climbing-2I know it’s cold in the rest of Canada, but Vancouver has been having a balmy winter! Last weekend, my roommate Nathan and I went up to Squamish for my first/his second climbing day of the 2014 season! In January! This is nuts! I decided to forgo skiing (possibly not the best year to buy a season’s pass…) and enjoy the 10 degree weather. It was lovely climbing and getting back into Squamish.

climbing-0 climbing-1 climbing-4We climbed 4 different “Squamish 100” cracks and I was equally rusty at all of them. It’s an entirely different type of climbing than the climbing in New Zealand. I even got to try a 5.11c crack called “Crime on the Century” which I was not very good at. It was lots of fun!

climbing-3Here’s a picture of that climb:

crimeofthecenturyI am not that good. Nate did it quite well though on top. He’s an awesome climber.

Other then that, a general update:

– House: I am living in a house with 4 other people (all working): Nathan, Josh, Leena & Edvin. They are all really nice. I’m not really sure how long I will be staying here because…

– Lauren: Applied for a Working Holiday visa last week and is on the waiting list. He finished his application in 9 minutes and apparently that means about 200ish on the waiting list. I hope they change the system soon. Anyway, he’s still planning on coming in March or April. YAY!

– School: I am taking: Project Management, Management Science, Business Communication, Managerial Economics and International Business. Even though this only adds up to 16 hours of class/week, it is a mad amount of work and I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up. When you get to upper division business classes, every class has a group project, so I have 5 different team projects with 14 different people that I don’t know. Scheduling nightmare. THANK GOODNESS Scott gave me a smartphone because there a ton of apps that make group projects way more efficient.

It seems like the workload also has kazumpled in my classes, but each component is worth less. Like I have a massive Management Science assignment due next week and it’s only worth 3%? And I have finals that are the size of normal finals but are only 20-30%? I am not used to this. Most Biz classes at SFU are based on rank, not by grade, so I just have to do better than the rest of the students in my class….

I am so thankful for Bell High School English department and Mom and Dad’s pre-preschool Excel training because that takes a load off of two of the classes. I am rocking at my writing class so far!

My schedule is insane. I’ll give you a sample of this week:

  • Monday: 9-12 Class in Surrey, 12-1 Transit to Burnaby, 1-2 Int Biz Group Meeting, 2-5 Class in Burnaby
  • Tuesday: 8-9:30 Homework, 11-2 Class, 2-5 Homework, 5-6 Class, 6-7 Office Hours, 8-10:30 Int Biz Online Group Meeting
  • Wednesday: 8-9 Study, 10-11:30 Proj Mgmt Group Meeting, 11:30-12:30 Rec Meeting, 12:30-1:30 Fitness Class, 2-5 Class, 6-8 Outdoors Club Meeting
  • Thursday: 9-11 Work, 12-1:30 Proj Mgmt Group Meeting with Charity & Venue, 4-5 Business Communication Group Meeting, 5-8 Class
  • Friday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_XaIuw6K6Q

Unfortunately they are starting roadworks at SFU in a few weeks, and that’s going to add on 20-30 minutes on to my commute. Grrr. /rant over

– Work: Luckily, I’ve only been working between 0-4 hours a week and that seems totally okay. I got offered some contracting work with my old non-profit job, but we’re still working on logistics and fitting it in.

– Ontario: I am going to Ontario soon to visit friends/family. I am starting in Kingston and then to Ottawa. I am excited but I have about seven hundred things to do between now and then and while I am there. That’s ok.

Ok that’s all for now. I have done some interesting stuff, but I’ll have to blog about it later.

whistler day 6 & 7

WHISTLER-0Day 6: (run of the day: Blackcomb Glacier)

The day before school re-started I managed to convince Kat that she should go watch the skeleton races going on so I could also go skiing (hehe). The day was pretty mediocre – some of the iciest skiing I have EVER been on. I decided that I was going to try skiing down the Blackcomb Glacier this day. It’s at the top of all the Blackcomb lifts and in-bounds, but you have to do a short 3 minute walk up the hill with your skis off to get to it. Because of my intensive ski-walking training in NZ, it was no problem (pant pant). It wasn’t the greatest conditions but I could see that on a powder day, it would be amazing!! I cut the day short because I wanted to get home to finish unpacking and because every muscle in my body hurts. Climbing and skiing are super duper tiring. My hips, ankle and fingers especially.

WHISTLER-1Day 7: (run of the day: Chunky’s Trees with Lisa & Phillip)

A few of us went up to celebrate Lisa’s 22nd birthday and it was INCREDIBLE!! In 24 hours, Whistler got 63 cm of powder and it was amazing!!!! The lines were absolutely massive (the line for the Creekside gondola went all the way over the bridge to the Starbucks), and stayed huge all day as not much of the mountain was open but it was all really worth it. We did a day of tree skiing and we all felt the thigh-burn of powder skiing. I love skiing with other people because you get to try so much more terrain and go places you haven’t been.

I’ve been finding it tricky to take good photos. I always find an excuse not to bring my camera (won’t fit in my pocket, will get wet, etc) and then don’t even take pictures (snowing too hard and it’ll get damp, my hands are too cold, having too much fun). Not sure if my pictures will improve or not.

2013 & 2014

A lot was done in 2013! It was an amazing year filled with new friends, old friends, travelling, climbing, new adventures, learning and lots of food experimentation.

I think it is also my fittest year yet. Even counting my lazy days in Fiji where I used the heat as an excuse not to exercise, I feel like I’ve gotten stronger and improved my cardio (slightly). A big moment was when I did my first pull-up!

I lived in many places: Wanaka, Christchurch, Suva, Christchurch (again), Vancouver!

I worked in many places: Mountain View Backpackers, Lakeside Hotel, Ernst & Young, Hume Doors & Timber, Vancouver Cliffhanger, Pacific Community Resources Society and 2 day-long jobs.

And I tried many new adventure activities: backcountry skiing, traditional climbing, backpacking, scuba diving, surfing, caving, outdoor bouldering, ridge walking, paragliding and participated in my first bouldering competition.

I am lucky to have had such a good year.

My most challenging goal for 2014 will be to climb the Chief in Squamish. I want to be able to switch leads, and not just follow. My other goals are a bit smaller, but numerous (Kat says they are boring): climb at least once a week, concentrate on my studies, climb at Smith Rock (Oregon), go to the US, venture farther east in BC, get a promotion at the climbing gym, volunteer once a week for at least 3 months, outdoor lead a 5.10d, get hired as a TA, win a scholarship, get a good co-op job and eat more naturally (I’m thinking once a week I am going to try to not eat anything that is made with prepared ingredients – but not sure if this is the best strategy).

Oh! And finish up/make a Fiji/NZ travel journal.

whistler day 5

WHISTLERDay 5: (run of the day: Rhapsody Bowl with Itai & Patric)

I went up to Whistler on Christmas eve with a bunch of students and it was fuunnnnn!!! We started off the day with Rhapsody Bowl (under the Symphony chair) which was great (knee-deep powder), but because the lift isn’t running you have to walk out (not as fun). I can’t wait for this chair to open because it looks like some great terrain! It isn’t open too often, but last year it opened in January so I hope this is the case again.

It was a beautiful day. I spent the day skiing with Itai and it was great! The conditions varied between EXTREME ice, and soft packed snow. We spent most of our time on the Whistler Peak.

They have blackout days on the student pass, so I won’t be going up again until the new year.



It’s good to be back home.

I have been sorting out a lot of stuff that I put off while I was away. Things that I have sorted out: cell phone, place to live for the semester, laptop, jobs (x2!), and catching up with lots of people. I feel like I’ve done more than this…..

Still working on: scholarships, loan applications, NZ taxes, photo & laptop clean-up, move, stock up for the semester, buy textbooks… I’m sure there’s lots more.

I’m moving into a house with 4 other people. It’s a pretty nice house, so I am excited for that. I’ve only agreed to the semester at this point, but we’ll see what happens. I put a sign at the climbing gym and that’s how I met one of the roommates. Everyone is working full-time and is in their mid-twenties. I am quite happy that it’s on a top floor (that doesn’t smell like bacon) and seems pretty bright and warm. Studying in a basement suite seems sucko.

I have been working quite a bit at the climbing gym as a belayer. The pay sucks, and the shifts are short, but I’ve been meeting lots of nice people and I get free climbing on the days I work (noice!). Given the prices of climbing in Vancouver, this is good… I hope I can work up to be an instructor. It’s a pretty good place to work because it gets busy when school is out and is less busy when school is in (how convenient!). I can also choose how much I work. It’s been a bit hard finding partners to climb with on the days I work, but I’m sure as I meet more people it will become easier.

I also managed to get 1 full shift with PCRS, the non-profit I used to work for. They offered me a few more shifts but I was already busy those days. I signed up with them as an employee and I hope I can keep working odd days with them because that would work well with my schedule as well. A lot of the times too, it seems like if you’re covering desk it’s ok to do some reading (school work!).

I got to see my good friend Cassy a few times which was nice because she is just about to leave on HER adventure! It’s too bad our exchanges and trips are on totally different time frames because we only had a couple of weeks together in Vancouver, and she has already left for the beginning of her 8 month adventure. See you in August!!!

Did anyone notice that Jackie and I made the same holiday cards? hahahhahahaa oh the internet

whistler day 1-4

This year I got a Whistler student season pass, and I’ve been able to use it a lot since I’ve been back! To qualify you have to be a full-time student for either fall or winter semester, but it can’t be co-op. I wasn’t sure if this was going to happen again so I decided I had to get one this year!

I am crossing my fingers for a couple of big storms to come in because there is a lot less snow than there usually is. Not very many runs are open, and it is really icy. It’s still relatively early in the season though so still lots of time.

I’m not sure how much skiing I will do during the semester. I hope to do a lot, but I just talked to my friend in 4th year and he said: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TAKING ALL THOSE CLASSES AT ONCE?” Oh dear.

The annual Santa ski day was awesome! This was my 2nd year going. I expect this to be an annual tradition’ I was pretty bummed I couldn’t go last year. This year just Scott and I went, and we ran into Rob & Adam there. It was lots of fun!!! We even got free beer because we were dressed up as Santas. I LOVE SANTA SKI DAY!!!!

santa-0Scott and I are in the front row in the middle-ish left. Scott has an electric blue helmet. You can see more pictures and bigger pictures here!

They let all the Santas have priority boarding on their new chairlift (a 6-seater Harmony express upgrade), but they had serious issues once a bunch of people got on. Seems like it was having power issues. I was waiting for Scott (the access was a terrible, narrow blue run with rocks everywhere), which worked out perfectly because they ended up shutting down the lift completely. There ya go, karma! It would have been too funny if 160 Santas got stuck on the new chairlift. That would be good advertising.

I’ve only managed to dip into powder on the Santa Saturday, when we went up to the Whistler Peak. That was awesome. Otherwise, rocks, trees and extreme ice are the way to go.

Day 1: (run of the day: Backstage Pass, off of the new Crystal Ridge chair)


Day 2: (run of the day: West Bowl with Scott, Rob and Adam, with lots of fresh snow)

Scott’s awesome Santa suit post-blue run

Day 3: (run of the day: Slingshot, but not by any big standards)

More snow please!
More snow please!

Day 4: (run of the day: Panorama with Mike, Tiff and Tiff’s UBC med friends!)

Mike's photo
Mike’s photo

What an (unexpectedly) AWESOME shot!!!