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Jekyll & Hyde? April 3, 2007

Chugagch Life, Son!
Some days in Alaska are gloriously epic, and some could possibly resemble an average Saturday in Cleveland. Yesterday was one of the former, and here’s what it felt like:

With one knee down, you brace yourself against the incoming rotor wash. Suddenly, it’s hurricane winds all around you; bits of snow become flying bullets, and unattended bags get swept into the air. Flying chunks of ice not withstanding, you observe the giant metal bludgeoning devices attached to the bottom of the heli, on which it will hopefully land. It will sometimes land on the snowboards in front of you, unless you manage to pull them out of the way.

Then you get in.

Dan Milner said it best when he asked, “Do they put monosodium glutamate in heli fuel?” Heli-riding is addictive - even the chairlift is an unbelievable rush when you’re in heli mode, let alone the plundering of acres upon acres of fresh powder in the sunshine. You could probably choke on all of the adrenaline, except that when you breath all you can come up with is huge gulps of pacific mountain air.

Hours afterwards, your hands still shake.

Other days, like today, you wake up to find cloudy skies, with completely flat light, grouding Heli ops and rendering resort riding in Alyeska’s above treeline terrain a vertigo inducing crapland. So, you wait, eat Reindeer Sausage Pizza, and ponder whether you should deign to go watch Bode Miller and Ted Ligety race. (Ed. Note: Ligety, a gold medalist in some 2 planked event in Torino and Hyde to Bode’s Jekyll, was out with CPG yesterday too. We got to see a line or two of his, and share some vittals in the Alaskan spring sun. Our verdict: meh. We woulda rather partied with Bode.)

Comment below if you don’t want us swept off a cliff by rotor wash.

Update: Suddenly, it’s Jekyll again; our there’s an openning in the weather, and we’re pumping up into the Chugach at 12:30. This is Chugach Life, Son!

The Great Alaskan Invasion April 1, 2007

Reportedly, Alaska is the best place in the world to snowboard. The GR is here to find out; we’ll spend the next 8 days riding Alyeska resort, pumping up in helis, dancing, and drinking beer in the sprawling non-metropolis of Girdwood, AK. Here’s what we’ve learned after 24 hours:

- The front page of the Anchorage Daily, on this particular day, asks the following questions:

  • Did a favored Ititarod musher cruelly beat one of his dogs?
  • Will barges filled with oil spill in the Prince William sound? (Ed. note: Oil is sweet.)
  • Should helicopters be authorized to shoot wolves? Planes? And if so, should they continue to receive the standard $150 bounty per wolf?
  • - Everyone in Girdwood smokes rolled cigarettes, and some locals wear spikes of metal on their shoulders. Fire up that Parliment, gaper!

    - In every great small town, there is a greater town drunk. In Girdwood, his name is Pando, and he gets very upset if the jukebox at the Chair 5 bar stops playing music. He’s seen Jane’s Addiction 13 times, and claims that Perry Farell once pulled a tampon out of his ass during a concert: “For protection!”. We believe him!

    - At the resort, there is a Christmas chute but no Hanukah or Kwanza chutes. The New Year’s chute is sublime and wonderful until you are in the icy narrow part. At that point, you believe in any God that will hear your prayer.

    - As of press time, there are many aspiring women ski racers working out in the hallway just outside our door, drilling with jump ropes and ladders placed across the floor. They haven’t had as much to drink as we have. Olympian Bode Miller is also in this hotel, or in a nearby bar, preparing for the U.S. Alpine Championships. We imagine that at this moment, he’s rocking out to this Iggy Pop lyric: “I am the world’s forgotten boy/The one who searches, searches to destroy”

    Should you post comments? Yep, unless you wish us to be buried underneath an avalanche.

    The X-Games Are Comcastic! January 29, 2007

    Ah, the winter X-games. Undisputedly the best live snowboard action that graces our TVs and DVR hard drives, we’re always stoked for this mid-winter madness. Usually, we’re so fired up that we go on an X-games rampage… viewing, re-viewing, re-viewing and blogging while severely intoxicated, until these pages are filled with more X-games madness than you can shake a stick at.

    But today, we’re sort of struggling with interesting things to say due largely to the catastrophe of nuclear meltdown proportions that occurred in our area early Saturday afternoon. More on this in a minute, we need first to get in the zone of positivity.

    - Steve Fischer is f’ing back. Breck represent, y’all, and peace Shaun White.

    - Andreas Wiig, our favorite Viking warrior, absolutely killed it this weekend.
    - Mono Skier X is a cool new event, especially since it will give many of this year’s Skier X competitors a place to compete next year.
    - Travis Rice is still the f’ing man. And Todd Richards is on to something when he quips about Math vs. Style — if you seriously think that a flat front 1080 should compete with T Rice’s double inverted madness, you should kill yourself. Seriously.

    OK. So undoubtedly, if you made this far, you’re still wondering, what is this catastrophic misfortune you speak of?

    Here it is: Saturday morning, with our heads still reeling from Thursday night’s incredible women’s pipe final, we awoke, determined to waste a perfectly good day to ride sitting in front of the TV and consuming the Live ABC broadcast of the men’s and women’s slopestyle contests. Except, when we switched on ABC, we were treated to a pre-recorded broadcast of some kind of benefit awards show for the United Negro College Fund.

    The emotional roller coaster of this development is difficult to describe, but it was something like this: disbelief… frantic channel surfing… rage and hatred… then a brief attempt at understanding that eventually resulted in more rage, hatred and a severely jungled apartment. Finally, we settled on just being really fucking pissed at everyone involved: ESPN, ABC, Comcast, the city of Washington, DC, and finally the United Negro College fund. (Who the fuck says ‘Negro’ anymore anyway? Fucking tools.) Actually, we suspect that the real culprits here are ABC, which has always sucked donkey balls, and Comcast. There is a word to describe this situation, which could also be used to describe the feeling you get when someone drops a giant deuce in your mouth. The word is “Comcastic!”

    It was sort-of like, if you are fired up for the superbowl, drinking beer and eating nachos, and when you flip over to CBS at 6 PM EST on Sunday, they’ve decided instead to air Golden Girls re-runs. CBS is all: dude, you can always get the superbowl on iTunes, but Golden Girls is really popular in your area. Did anyone else have a similar experience? Or was our urban swampland the only part of the country lucky enough to get the UNCF shutout? Fuck, we need to move out west again, stat.

    Rider’s Block January 16, 2007

    In life, there’s few certainties, and many speculations. For example, a certainty might sound like
    Winter on the east coast has been the crappiest in 25 years, and this sucks giant donkey balls,
    while you could speculate that
    The weather patterns have turned, and soon it will be winter as long as you do a snow dance!
    or that
    The planet is warming, and this is bad. You could also just roll with Can I cab 180 over that rocky mud patch there?


    Either way, when your current certainties suck, speculating is lame. And boring. What isn’t boring is The Block TV Show, a reality series about the Block Hotel, a Tahoe snowboarder haven founded by Marco Frank Montoya, the quintessential rider warrior columnist, and Liko Smith, a Las Vegas hotel chieftain of sorts.

    The question is — can G4 TV actually show us the real Lake Tahoe? The answer is — Tahoe soldiers boardsliding to their death down a large and steep metal staircase with a flat landing covered in 3 inches of snow, just for the chance at a free snowboard and a shot at another contest sponsored by The Block. Regardless of the drugs, sex and snowboarding so explicitly present in the adverts for coming episodes, we’re thinking that we’ll continue watching this shit.

    Seen it? Holla below.

    Snowboard Video Roundup December 17, 2006

    It’s on. The snowboard season is finally fucking on. To prep for this season’s snowboard mayhem, we picked up copies of three of the new crop of of
    snowboard videos, Mack Dawg Production’s Follow Me Around, Absinthe Film’s More, and That, the Forum Team video. There are many more great films out there, but these are the three we got first, and definitely all of ‘em are worth owning. But in case you are rocking the Ramen budget, here’s a handy guide to help you decide which to pick up first.

    Follow Me Around That More
    Reasonable? Completly unfucking reasonable.
    Andres Wiig throws a back rodeo 7 off a 9 million foot cliff onto an avalanche prone 62.5% pitch. It defies logic and reason.
    Beyond Reason.
    Eddie “Titanuimspine” Wall, drops 113 feet onto a flat landing. It’s crunchtastic.
    Totally Unreasonable.
    Travis Rice and his gyroscopic brain? Nico Mueller, MFM, and Droz? Yes, please.
    Soundtrack Questionable. We completely sweat Mack Dawg soundtracks, with their ability to resurrect dead soldier songs; except, this one might have gone too far. Out of the gate, we were bombarded with Chicago. With tasty cuts from Wolfmother and NOFX, we were almost back into it, but then inexplicably MDP decides to skewer their audienace and pollute Eero Etala’s part with Dexy’s Midnight Rider’s “Come on Eileen.” Assholes. Solid. Shit we know and new shit that we are now stoked on. Ridonkulous. Somehow, the Absinthe guys are music geniuses, digging up incredible classics, overlooked, underplayed, and well-hooked indie favorites, and future pop anthems. Alright.
    Liner/Extras Who cares? A forum catalog. Lame.totally.lame Some assy CD that we’ll never listen to.
    What is the Coolest New Style? Eddie Wall
    Eddie Wall
    Stevie Bell
    Stevie Bell

    Marco Frank Montoya
    Secret Bonus ??? Clever Forum Product Placement You’d have to be really intoxicated to miss ‘em, which has happened to us several times already.
    In a Nutshell Eurotastic!! Buy Forum!! Travis Rice

    So there it is. Have you seen another film that you think tops one of these? Perhaps the new Standard or TGR flick? Get your comment on below.

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