Westbound Boarder

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    February 23rd, 2014adminCrystal, Snowboarding

    20140224-215820.jpgA few weeks ago, my mom and her husband had planned a trip to Seattle but had to cancel last-minute due to the crazy snow and ice storm they got in Portland – fortunately, they were able to reschedule their trip to this weekend.  And I’m really glad they did, because the Cascades received 7 to 10 feet of new snow (depending on which source you read) last week – crazy!  So for obvious reasons, the four of us (my mom, Jim, Drew and I) packed up our bags, got up bright and early on Saturday morning, and headed to Crystal Mountain Resort.

    We left our apartment around 6:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, big coffees in hand (I brewed my new sun-dried Ethiopia reserve blend from Starbucks – yum!) and rolled in to Crystal right around 9 (opening hour).  The weather report the previous day had promised that we’d see clear skies in the am and snow in the pm, but by the time we arrived the snow had already begun to fall.  Oh well, no bother, because we were all so excited to ride the fresh powder!  We threw on our gear, hiked from the parking lot to the lodge, and caught the first chair we could to the top (My mom, Jim and I parted ways with Drew halfway up the hill so that he could ride the easier runs).

    On our way up to the top (we were on Rainier Express, which we later learned the locals call “Rex”), the three of us were joined by a single skiier who just seemed to give off an aura of knowing the mountain.  So we asked him if he was a regular at Crystal (while clearly denouncing that we were “first timers”).  He proceeded to tell us that last year he rode at Crystal every single day it was open, but this year he hadn’t been much because he traveled to 27 resorts before Christmas (???  Is that like a resort a day???  Hi, can I have your life please???)  However, despite all his travels (destinations which included places like the alps – no big deal) Crystal was his home mountain and by far his favorite.  Wow, that was a pretty bold statement; however, despite not even have taken one run yet, we were already loving Crystal.  We ended our conversation by asking him where the best place to ride was and he said, “Norway; however its just opening and they won’t let you past the gate without a beacon, shovel and probe before noon.” (Later, we collectively decided that the old hoot was just trying to save all the good pow for himself…)

    We took a few runs down the bowls around the “Rex” and Green Valley lifts (the snow was great, but the visibility was pretty terrible), then we met a few of my friends who also happened to be up at Crystal at the top of Green Valley for a few runs before lunch.  One of the girls we met up with had been riding Crystal for years, so she knew what was up.  She took us on some fun runs that were somewhat off the beaten path (and thus less chopped up) and before we knew it, it was time for us to head to the lodge to meet Drew for lunch.

    We ate some excellent food at the Asian BBQ grill outside the lodge (my mom and I had chilli, while Jim had some awesome looking Korean beef) and rested our legs just long enough to prepare for our day, part two.

    After lunch, we took a few runs with Drew (it was “his lift” so he proceeded to show us how the rules of the line worked), then we headed up to ski the bowls under the High Campbell lift.  These bowls were pretty steep, and under any other conditions I might not have enjoyed them, but because there was so much powder I thought they were a blast – this was my favorite part of the mountain so far.  However, after taking one run down High Campbell, we were faced with a choice – take a few more runs over here, or attempt “Norway,” which we had heard so much about.  Jim and I opted for the latter, while my mom opted out.  So we headed back across the mountain to attempt Norway.

    To get there, we went down to the bottom, headed up Chinook then Rainier, and took the cat track over to Norway.  Once there, there are a few different gates where you can drop in, but since we arrived just before closing, they had already taken the gate markers out.  We wanted to try gate 7, but since there were no markers, we just guessed.  Anyway, to make a long story short, Norway was epic (we kind of kicked ourselves afterward for not heading over sooner!)  We thoroughly enjoyed our run down Norway, then our run from the top of the Norway lift back down to the bottom, and of course we made sure to tell my mom how much she missed out.  I think I can honestly say that it was one of the best runs I’ve taken in the past several years – and I’ve taken a LOT of runs!

    Overall, we had a ton of fun at Crystal, however I also feel like I didn’t really get to experience its true potential because the visibility was seriously lacking.  Hopefully one of these days I’ll head up again (and be able to post a FULL resort review report for you all!)


    We needed a pretty good ending to top our day – there’s this pizza place across the street that Drew loves, and while I’m trying really hard to focus on eating healthy, I lost the dinner battle three versus one, so I caved.  We ordered in a pizza.  Drew has always just ordered their “personal”-sized pizzas in the past, which he swore was the size of a large pizza you’d find anywhere else, so we all decided to share a large mushroom and sausage, hoping that it would be enough to fill our ravenous appetites (at one point we considered ordering two larges, but decided on a salad instead of the additional pizza).  I’m really glad we did only order one, because this thing was literally the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen in my entire life (okay, so I’ve been known to exaggerate in the past a bit, but this is no exaggeration!)  And if my explanation didn’t do it justice, hopefully the photo speaks for itself.  After only eating half the pizza between the four of us, we rolled ourselves into bed, full, sore and sleepy.  What a day.  I can’t believe it’s almost Monday!

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    February 16th, 2014adminSnowboarding, Steven's Pass

    If you’ve been following weather patterns in the Northwest at all this year, you’d probably know that we’ve had an extremely strange winter (in fact, this winter has been strange nationwide!  But especially so out West).  Seattle, which is typically well-known for it’s rain fall that pretty much doesn’t stop in the 9 months following September (although the longer Drew and I live here, the more we feel that this is a total myth, perhaps to keep the tourists away), has had a very dry winter.  It has been cold (sometimes dropping into the 20’s – very strange for this area) but it has been dry and sunny.  While dry might seem nice, dry in the city translates to one thing in the mind of a snowboarder – dry at the mountain.  The closest mountain to Seattle, Snoqualmie, didn’t even open until late January!  So you can only imagine my excitement when it started raining in Seattle, hard, early last week.  Rain in Seattle = snow at the mountains!  So on Saturday, Drew and I woke up at 6am, packed our bags, and made the 2-hour trek up to Steven’s Pass (our first time checking out this resort).

    We had a great time!  I started out my day by taking a few runs with Drew on the bunny slope, Daisy – he’s getting really good!  (I tried to tell him he was ready to graduate from green circle to blue square, but he wasn’t having it).  There were several inches of new snow, and the morning started out as a clear, crisp, bluebird day.  Next, I headed to the backside and alternated taking runs on Jupiter and Southern Cross.  There was so much new snow, the skiing on the backside was pretty epic (there were also a lot of people to show for it, although the crowds began to weed out after my first few runs).

    Around 12:30, Drew and I met for a quick lunch at the car (the lodge was a madhouse, so we wouldn’t even consider it) – our lunch consisted of bison burgers with chipotle mayo left over from our Valentine’s Day dinner the night before (yes, we know how to eat gourmet, even on the slopes!), organic apples and homemade coffee cake.  Thirty minutes later we were back at it, shredding the fresh pow like it was nobody’s business.

    On our first post-lunch run, I finally talked Drew into taking a run up the Brooks chair lift with me (I think I accomplished this only because he didn’t want to walk the extra 200 yards back to the bunny lift).  By this time, it snowing pretty hard, and we were stuck on an extremely slow 2-man chair that kept stopping due to the weather (the only one perk was that we were positioned right above the terrain park, so we got to watch the locals hit the jumps as we patiently waited for the lift to start back up again – at least that was mildly entertaining).  We took a run down and parted ways again (Drew decided he wasn’t quite cut out for the blues just yet, although I really beg to differ; he was doing awesome) and I headed up to the Seven chair, which takes you to the peak on the Steven’s pass side of the mountain.  I found a few more incredible spots of powder, but the visibility was getting so bad I knew I couldn’t make it much longer.  More importantly, though, I was starting to get nervous that we wouldn’t be able to get down the mountain in Drew’s 2-wheel drive car!  So we met back up again around 2:30 and called it a day.  And it was an epic one at that.  I don’t know if I fully believe it or not, but one article I came across this morning said that Steven’s Pass got 7 feet of new snow this past weekend???  Which brought it up from 50% of normal snowfall to 70%.  I wish it was next weekend already!!

    We got home nice and early since we left a little on the early side, took quick naps, read books while we sipped a pre-dinner glass of wine (I’m currently reading Anthony Kiedes’s autobiography, recommended by Danielle, and I haven’t been able to put it down!) and then we headed to dinner at Daniel’s Broiler to enjoy a delicious post-Valentine’s Day meal.  Typically these types of chain-y steakhouse restaurants aren’t my favorite, but the meal was surprisingly enjoyable (my scallops were incredible, although the mushroom risotto they were placed on top of wasn’t quite cooked all the way) and the service was great.

    All in all, Drew and I had a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend (yes, this holiday has finally reached the point where it spans an entire weekend).  And I’m counting down the days until my mom comes up to visit and we head to Crystal next weekend!

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    November 14th, 2013AndreaSnowboarding

    Last year was my very first Winter living in Seattle.  Needless to say, I didn’t know much about the ski/snowboard scene, or even have any idea about where I should go to ride.  This resulted in two things: 1. I traveled.  A lot. (After all, Seattle is a close flight to many wonderful resorts!) and 2. In times I wasn’t traveling, I spent my days riding at Snoqualamie, which is all of a 45 minute drive away, watching my boyfriend learn to ride.

    This season, I feel a bit more “in the know” around Seattle ski and snowboard destinations, but I did recently come across this great chart by Seattle Met.  I wish I would have found this last year!  If you live in Seattle, this is a must-read!

    Here’s to another great soon-to-be snowboard season!

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    November 13th, 2013AndreaAbout Us

    With snowboard season just around the corner, Westbound Boarder (via Danielle and Andrea) is back in action!  Be sure to check back often for awesome new content, reviews and stories as Editors Danielle and Andrea travel the world (or at least the Western US) in search of the season’s best pow.  Fingers crossed for an epic 2014 snowboard season! (Think snow!)

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    March 15th, 2013DanielleBoardalicious

    As I train for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon (running has helped my snowboarding stamina immensely), I have been battling a nagging calve pain for the past few weeks. I think I have finally figured out what has happened. Here is my frustrating story…

    When I started running longer distances (long for me at 5+ miles) in my year old shoes, my right foot started going asleep. Sever numbness DURING my run – so annoying. This I learned was because my right foot is a half size bigger than my left foot and my shoe was too small. Made perfect sense. The answer? Get a new pair of shoes. So I was fitted at the Salt Lake City Running Co. They watched me run on a treadmill and said that there is a small pronation and that I needed a more supportive shoe in the correct size. I thought that is what I was getting when I spent $150 for a pair of new Adidas.

    After I got my new shoes, I went on a run in them immediately. Planning to go 5 miles in my new kicks – I could barely make it 3. I was experiencing new calve and ankle pain NEVER felt before. The next two days I paid for it (and three weeks later I still am paying for it). My inner calf/ankles were shot, sore and in so much pain – predominantly my left calf. So I called the running shop. They guy on the phone said that you should never, ever feel that much pain from a new pair of shoes and that theoretically, you can buy a new pair of running shoes and run a marathon in them the next day – the fit should be perfect. He said I needed a new pair and should come in and not run in these shoes I was JUST fitted in.

    I went back to SL Running and the girl helping me said I needed a supportive shoe. I said that is what I have in my new Adidas I was just fitted in. Unknown to me that was not the case. For some reason the original looser fit me in NEUTRAL non supportive shoe – even though he told me I needed a supportive shoe. I am still so confused as to why this happened in the first place and pissed because I am now worried about my running progress as I train for the SLC Half Marathon

    Anyway…I traded in the neutral Adidas and got a pair of supportive Brooks. At first I didn’t really like them because I was still experiencing the pain, blaming it on the shoes still since the pain was still there  (when in reality I had a growing injury). For two weeks I have been giving 2-3 days in between my runs because it takes that long for my calf pain to subside. I run again and then I am out for a couple of days. Call me crazy, but with the confusion of all of these shoes, I kept blaming it on my shoes. So I went for a long 6.6 mile run last night (because after two days rest my calf was feeling good) in my old Nikes, because the ONLY pain I ever felt in those was a numb right foot (what I would give for that to be my only problem now). My run in these shoes felt wonderful! I was convinced last night that these Nikes were the right shoe. No calf pain during my run – just some really annoying numbness in my right foot! Solution, just get a size bigger of these old shoes.

    Well, I woke up this morning with my all too familiar calf pain. It was back – and with a vengeance. I could not believe it! So I immediately got onto the runners blogs and forms out there and it is quite clear what my problem is. I ran in a shoe that was not supportive enough and strained my calf. I knew it on that run with the Adidas that something was wrong (which is why I stopped 2 miles early). Anyway, I am super frustrated that this happened because I was fitted in the wrong shoe. Was the store just trying to promote the Adidas Boost – ironically it was the day the shoe launched when I got fitted? Why did he tell me I needed support and then give me a neutral shoe?

    As frustrated as I am with the avoidable situation, I am now focused on recovery. It looks like since my pain is not constant, I have not torn my calf. However a strain is present and a combination of massage, a runners stick, ice and dreaded rest should do the trick. I just purchased a runners stick on Amazon, and will ice twice my calve twice a day for 10-15 minutes. When my leg feels better, I will run and see if the pain returns and know if my treatment is helping and reevaluate at that point.

    Wish me luck and my word of advice is listen to your body on your run as these problems do not solve themselves.

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    March 3rd, 2013adminSnowboarding

    We’re at Snowbird today in Utah, and while it’s a little wet out, it’s snowing hard and we’re having a blast! Here’s a photo of us going through the infamous tunnel.


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    February 19th, 2013AndreaGiveaways

    Are you in need of a new pair of goggles? (or do you just want to replace your old not-so-cool-looking goggles with new ones?)  Then read on, my friend, because have we got a giveaway for you!
    But first, I have a funny story to share! (Keep in mind that I recently dyed my hair brown, so I can no longer blame this on a “blond moment”).  A couple weeks ago while getting ready to head out for a day of shredding at Whistler, I was telling Danielle about my awesome new pair of goggles – “I rode with them on the other day.  They fit well, they’re comfortable, and they’re stylish, but for some reason I can’t see totally clearly with them on.  It’s almost like they make everything foggy, in a sense – like there’s a film covering the lenses.”  As soon as the words came out of my mouth, it hit me.  I reached into the inside of the goggles and slowly pulled off a thin protective layer that had been covering the lenses.  I rode an entire day without even noticing it was there!  Anyway, moral of the story?  Don’t forget to remove your goggles’ protective layer before riding 🙂
    But now the part of this post that you really care about – the giveaway.  A few weeks ago, Anarchy Eyewear sent me a pair of their new Deflekt goggles to try out.  Now, I’ve owned my fair share of goggles over the years (for some reason, I seem to go through at least 2 pairs per year, partly which I attribute to my ferret who has eaten the lining out of at least 3 pairs of them).  These days its not that difficult to find a good pair of goggles for a reasonable price, but I do have to say, I really liked the Anarchy Deflekt pair.  My favorite thing about them was the fit – sometimes, especially for women since many of us have smaller facial features then men, it can be tough to find a pair of goggles that actually fit well and are comfortable (without making us look like we’re wearing an oversized scuba mask).  These goggles, though, are very comfortable, and they’re cute too!  I love how the design uses so many colors because they match almost every snowboard outfit I have.  My only advice to Anarchy?  I’d tell them to make sure they put in big block letters “remove film before use” – you know, for people like me 😉  (And I must note that the visibility was great once I did remove the film).  Otherwise, they make a pretty legit pair of goggles. And now one of you will have a chance to win a pair of your own!

    The Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a pair of Anarchy goggles.

    To Enter: There are four great ways to enter this giveaway, and you’ll receive one “entry” point for each way!  Using the entry form below, you can either comment on this blog post and tell us why YOU need a pair of Anarchy goggles, like Anarchy on Facebook, like Westbound Boarder on Facebook, and/or follow @WbBoarder on Twitter (and while you’re at it, send us a tweet and let us know why YOU deserve these new shades!)  Or you can do all four for extra entries.  The entry period will run from Tuesday, Feb. 19 and will close at midnight on Thursday, Feb. 28.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    February 19th, 2013DanielleBoardalicious

    Have you ever experienced a face shot (get your minds out of the gutter). I am talking about on the hill, you know when the snow hits your face, blinds you and suffocates you when you turn your skis or board. This is a phenomenon caused by really light and deep snow.  Scientifically, light snow has very low moisture content (less than 7%). This is the type of snow you see in Utah, Colorado and Montana. If you are from the West coast the moisture content of your snow is upwards of 50%. So whats the big deal? Well if you are asking that you have never experienced the light, cold smoke of the inter-mountain West, and well if that is the case, I am sorry for you.

    One resort known for their super light snow, is Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, MT. If you don’t know, Bridger Bowl is a flashback hidden gem of a ski resort outside of Bozo. One of our contributors, Rochelle who lives up there now was lucky enough to have a day off in the middle of a record storm. It was a couple of weeks ago it was literally puking snow up at Bridger and over a few days the storm brought over 52″ of cold smoke pow. Rochelle’s pictures speak for themselves.

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    February 1st, 2013DanielleBoardalicious

    We never let a year pass by without a snowboard trip and this year was no exception. Our good friend Cara works for Four Seasons and was able to score a killer room in the Blackcomb Village for basically free. Since Andrea lives in Seattle flying to her, to drive up to Whistler was a no brainier. So here we are at 8:45 am looking at the hill while it dumps snow! Not exactly…it is actually raining out. Boo. What can you do? We take this little trips each year and I never ever let the weather get to us. You never ever know what the weather will bring and you hope for the best and prepare for the worst. The bright side? It is supposed to clear up today and be sunny today and tomorrow. This means fast groomer days and more apres ski fun than if it was dumping out. And hey, I am OK with that.

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    January 30th, 2013AndreaBoardalicious

    I don’t want a burger, I don’t want a burger, I don’t want a burger.  Wait a minute, I think I read something about this once – the power of positive thinking?  I am craving a green juice, I am craving a green juice, I am craving a green juice.  There; does that sound better? On with day two of my Evolution Fresh juice ritual…

    7am: Alarm went off, and as much as I would love to say I felt GREAT… I felt okay.  We’ll leave it at that.  Even though I got a full 8 hours of sleep, I do feel like my energy levels are a bit lower than normal this morning.  And, not gonna lie, I really want a cup of coffee.  Okay, so I did cheat just a little bit (again) and made myself another glass of Teavana matte tea, but at least I didn’t fully cave and have coffee, right?  Also, I can’t completely confirm the validity of this statement, but I heard that the reason you’re not supposed to have coffee while doing a juice cleanse is not actually because of the caffeine, but more so because of the acidity of coffee.  Soo, I figured with my little glass of matte, I’m fine.

    8:30am: Normally, I don’t typically drink my breakfast (I have a green smoothie every morning) until I get to work (and after I have my second cup of coffee of the morning), but this morning I was STARVING!  As I was waiting for the elevators I actually felt like I was going to pass out.  So the first thing I did when I arrived to the office was bolt to the fridge so I could grab my breakfast.  After I downed my juice I felt satisfied, but still a little weak.

    9am: I really want coffee.  Really.  In attempts to try and curb my craving, I went into the kitchen to grab a glass of green tea, and of course saw a group of coworkers all holding fresh cups of coffee (and one person was even pulling a few espresso shots, while another was streaming her milk).  Ah the agony!  I stayed strong though…

    12pm: Just got out of a three-hour-long meeting (yes, three hours!) so after it was done I b-lined for the fridge to grab my second juice.  So far, so good today, although I have gone through points where I’m getting a tad bit light headed and dizzy.   And I’ve still had the off-and-on headache.  I can already tell that day 2 will be far worse than day 1…

    2pm: Surprisingly, I don’t feel as hungry today as I did yesterday.  Although I have noticed slight food cravings that I didn’t experience yesterday.  After my 1pm meeting ended, I decided that it was time to eat my daily dose of almonds (I need at least some protein!) – I grabbed a small handful of about 4 almonds, and before I knew it (approximately 22 seconds later) I realized that the entire bag was gone.  I guess I gave in to my food cravings a little bit (buy, hey, at least it wasn’t a big, processed piece of cake!)

    4pm: Remember my previous comment about not feeling hungry?  Throw that comment in the garbage!  I just opened up my fourth juice of the day – the Spicy Lemonade.  Despite the handful of almonds I ate a bit earlier (and I have a confession to make – I even opened up and stole a few from my portioned-out bag for tomorrow) I feel a lot worse today then I did at this time yesterday.  For the first time since before breakfast, I’m actually pretty hungry, but more than that my stomach just feels… empty (and kind of funky and waterlogged as a result).  Part of the reason I’m feeling this way could be because my afternoon has been pretty light on meetings (whereas yesterday I was rushing from one meeting to the next, so I didn’t really even have time to think about how I was feeling).  Or it could just be because today is day two, which apparently is the toughest for everyone to get through.  On the bright side, my coworker who sits next to me said he’s about ready to eat his arm off, and I guess I don’t feel that terrible.  That’s a bright spot, right?

    8pm: Day 2 is almost over!  I got home from work around 6pm or so, and I was SO hungry (I didn’t have my fifth juice before leaving – saving that one for later) so I immediately made my daily kale, cucumber, tomato and avocado salad that our coach recommended.  Normally I try to wait until at least 7:30 to have dinner, but not tonight!  And I swear, my salad was at least double the size of the one I made last night (instead of using an over-sized bowl I used a gigantic tupper – I’m pretty sure this was NOT was our coach had in mind when she recommended we eat a “small” kale salad!)

    Anyway, it’s already 8pm and the salad’s done a pretty good job of holding me over.  And (shoot!) I just realized I left some tea steeping in the kitchen that I started about an hour ago.  Well, so much for that.

    Aside from being full, though, I DO have something to look forward to – Danielle arrives tonight! We’re headed to Whistler for a long weekend full of snowboarding, and I cannot wait!  Although I’ll probably b ea pretty grouchy driver during our 4-hour drive up to the mountain tomorrow (Daniele and Cara – if you’re reading this, don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

    Now, off to clean my apartment, watch another episode of Downtown Abbey, then to the airport I go!  Day 3 is oh so close…

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