Japan, as everyone knows, is a magical powder wonderland. Little anime trees dancing on picturesque mountains buried to their branches. Curry for lunch. Cute kitty cats doing their cute thing all covered in fluffy white fluff.
The best place to snowboard in the entire world? Don’t take my word for it. Here is Army Capt. James Bassette, 30, who arrived at Camp Zama outside Tokyo in October, has been skiing and snowboarding regularly this season.
“I’ve probably gone six weekends. I don’t know if this is a normal season, but the amount of amazing champagne powder is on par or better than British Columbia (in Canada). It’s effortless skiing through it.”
It is a normal season but dangerous for some as a United States Air Force airman was recently injured on a snowboarding jaunt.
Air Force Tech Sgt. Amy Lynn Koehler-Warren, occupational safety manager for the 374th Airlift Wing, issued a warning to all service members in country.
“This sport is fun but can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not followed.”
She then advised them not to exceed their experience and skill level, inspect and maintain gear, obey posted signs, not stop on the slope, never snowboard alone, stay on-trail, wear a helmet and let someone know where they are going and when they will return.
Breaking: Natural Selection announces stop two, a Canadian-on-Canadian affair at Baldface Lodge’s new Valhalla!
The world’s greatest professional snowboarding competition starts today and what thrill, what abject thrill in this day and age of cancelled sport and postponed.
Per the press release:
As the Natural Selection Tour heads north on the road to Alaska, the Tour stops this week at the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface for a backcountry freestyle showcase featuring an all-star, all-Canadian rider list. Ten British Columbia-based riders will be pairing up with regionally-based filmers in a new, progressive format that will allow for maximum expression and style. They will be riding some of North America’s most inspiring, untapped terrain at Baldface’s new tenure in the Valhalla Ranges from March 1-7. A highlight show featuring the riders’ best lines and standout action from the week will broadcast March 19, exclusively on Red Bull TV.
Travis Rice, pro snowboarder and the Tour’s creator explains, “This is a unique year that calls for adaptability. Frankly, I am really excited about the showcase format and that we are adding another dimension to what the world witnessed in Jackson Hole. Full-spectrum snowboarding has been historically captured on film, so we are inviting top filmers to team up with riders and deliver something truly dynamic for all those that tuned in to the Tour’s first stop. The riders are excited about this format and I can’t wait to see what they create.”
Six invited men and four women includingBeau Bishop, Dustin Craven, Craig McMorris, Spencer O’Brien, Leanne Pelosi, Chris Rasman, Mikey Rencz, Marie-France Roy, Mark Sollors and Robin Van Gynwill work in small teams throughout the week to find and ride an all-natural, backcountry freestyle line, while also capturing a video part. The two components, the line and video part from Baldface-Valhalla’s dynamic terrain, will be considered with 70/30 weight by the Natural Selection judges and nomination committee. Judges will use the same criteria as used in Jackson to score overall impression focused on the rider’s chosen line and risk, flow and amplitude, creativity and tricks, and finally, control.
The top scoring man and woman from the Bronco Natural Selection at Baldface will be revealed during the Red Bull TVbroadcast. Each will take home a Model Year 2022 Polaris Snowmobile of their choice and secure an invite to go head-to-head against the top three men (McMorris, Ferguson and Bang) and the top woman (Sadowski-Synnott) coming out of Jackson Hole, at the inaugural Natural Selection Tour super finals: The HempFusion Natural Selection at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge from March 20-27.
Very fine though a shame Mikkel Bang will not be present, seeing the event is taking place in his country’s version of heaven.
At least he gets to go to Alaska for the finals though.
Epically wet winter leads to much snow atop Hawaii’s tallest mountain: “I mean this is insane, right? I don’t think there are too many people who can say they’ve snowboarded in Hawaii!”
Maunakea, the Big Island of Hawaii’s tallest volcanic peak, has received near-record snowfall this winter drawing many rippahs. There is no resort, no lifts, lodge or peppermint schnapps infused hot chocolates for apres but there is plenty of room to shred.
Vermont native, Aaron Todd, for example has waited and waited for this moment since moving to Hawaii in 2018.
“I mean this is insane, right?” he declared after multiple runs from the summit. “I don’t think there are too many people who can say they’ve snowboarded in Hawaii. When I was coming up here I saw the snow thin out, so I was a little worried,” Todd said. “It’s a little icy, but I was able to get some nice runs in.”
He heard a rumor that it snowed in Maui last year and will be checking forecasts etc. to catch if it happens again.
Shreddahs are allowed to drive to the top then have their spouses collect them at the bottom.
A likely bummer for the spouses but better than having to sit on a beach and take pictures of a husband or wife surfing.
The absolute worst.
Woman surprised by bear as she attempts to use outhouse near mecca of Alaskan snowboarding: “I sat down on the toilet and immediately a bear bit my butt!”
There are surprises and then there are surprises. Like, finding an extra Taco Bell burrito, unpaid for, in your bag is a surprise. Going into an outhouse near the mecca of Alaskan snowboarding, though, and becoming bitten by a bear from below is a surprise.
But let us meet Shannon Stevens who was on a backcountry adventure with her brother near Haines.
You certainly recall Haines from every recent snowboard film ever.
In any case, Shannon and her brother were staying in their yurt when she needed to use the facilities.
Out she went to the outhouse, opened the door and…
“…sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I sat down,” she told The Associated Press. “I jumped up and I screamed when it happened.”
Her brother, hearing the commotion, rushed out to find Shannon tending to her wounds. He assumed she had been tasted by a mink or squirrel but no, she told him. “I said, ‘There’s a bear down there, we got to get out of here now.’”
The next morning they found bear tracks all around the property but Shannon is not mad. “I expect it’s probably not that bad of a little den in the winter,” she said.
What a lovely person.
Listen: The very sad world turns its lonely eyes to the mountains and finds hero in big mountain wild man Chuck Patterson!
The scene, pure Orange County noir, playing out under street lights in t-shirt warmth.
Chuck Patterson is wearing a long-sleeved flannel and flat-ish brimmed hat.
He describes the action, well, and let us soak it all in first.
I don’t normally post things like this but last night’s situation really bothered me. Date night took a turn after watching an abusive scene go on for way too long at the restaurant. It’s too easy to look the other way and not say anything but you could tell that she was so scared, and I don’t blame her. We cut dinner short to try and do the right thing. My girlfriend Trish tried talking with her in the parking lot while she was waiting for him in the car; in hopes to empower her in feeling safe and strong and that it’s not ok to be treated like this and letting her know we were there to help. He came out and after a few words we watched them drive off, but we were worried for her safety and decided to follow him and found the right moment to let him know no man can ever treat a woman this way. Apologies for the profanity; just about lost it!!Sadly this happens to so many people, and it’s rapidly on the rise in these challenging times. If you are in an abusive relationship, please know there is help. Don’t spend another night scared, feeling helpless. And if you see something, don’t stand on the sidelines, STAND UP, you can make a difference… do something about it, if it’s safe to do so. The National Domestic Violence Hotline 800.799.SAFE (7233)
Now, can you deny the man the world most needs is Chuck Patterson?
On the scene whenever justice is in demand?
He would absolutely smoke The Silver Surfer.
A Marvel franchise that would make The Incredible Hulk green with envy.