So, I haven't written anything on this blog in a while. I have lots of excuses for that though. I’ve been writing lots of stuff for other people, seriously, check it out here: http://www.newschoolers.com/membernews/195966/cydwhit
I’ve also been skiing a lot, instead of just writing about skiing, which has in turn made my ski writing much better. The biggest reason though that this blog has been a wee bit dead is that I have been busy putting together a bunch of work in my portfolio and then shoving it under the nose of anyone who will stand around and listen to me. Seriously, check it out, it has words I wrote and pictures of a bunch of awesome people. I have business cards now too, ask me for a business card, it makes me feel professional when I hand them out.
Check out my portfolio here: http://issuu.com/cywhitling/docs/final_draft_all_pages/1
Now that Spring Break has officially sprung though I thought it was only fitting to write up a post about what I did last week and why I am stoked since this was definitely one of my all time best spring breaks.
Due to a weird confluence of events I was invited to the First Ever Jackson Hole Ladies Freeskiing Group Shred Pinkname Invasion of Doom (FEJLFGSPID for short) This is the kind of thing that rightly filled my parents (and I would assume the entire female ski community) with trepidation. Luckily I was equipped with what my father likes to call my “Chastity Beard” so all was well.
I set off for Jackson Hole with a light heart and a heavy car, unfortunately I did not even make it Couer D’Alene without mishap. I was supposed to pick up a mysterious Canadian somewhere in Couer D’Alene. When she sent me the address to rendezvous I followed it to Post Falls. When I finally made it back to Couer D’Alene I wandered the streets and parking lots until she deduced that the weird guy in the beard, carhartts and sandals was her ride for the next ten hours. Once on the road things went a bit smoother, except for an awkward gas station encounter with a girl who I am pretty sure is in my Econ class and a few minutes where I though the car might die forever.
In Jackson Hole we were greeted with rap air horn noises and tacos. I like tacos and these were not bad tacos, the trip was off to a good start. For the next three days we skied, harder than I have ever skied before, it turns out that keeping up with these ladies was no easy task, especially weighed down with my fanny pack and flapping gear.
I also wrote things about women’s skiing but they are not really worth saying again. I’ll leave it at women are cool and skiing is cool. Therefore women’s skiing is cool. I’m not really one for feminist empowerment style agendas but this week was full of good attitudes, stoke and progression that not only advanced women’s skiing but also improved my body image, even while eating a lot of Mexican food.
It’s more than a little cliche but this was a solid Spring Break trip. There were hot springs and Thai food restaurants, there were smelly socks and stinky Subarus. There was also a sense of community and stoke that is very rarely found, I’m going to blame that on awesome people though. A big shoutout goes to my skier foster parents, Erika and Zach who made sure I had a floor to sleep on and told me to shower sometimes. Also a huge shoutout goes to Maddie for forcing us to all eat to together and to everyone else who shared floors with me, thanks for not hurting me when I snored and for putting up with my blind flailing once I took my contacts out. Finally, thank you to Orage and Blackstrap for making this event possible!
After the gnarly stoke of the Women's’ Session I was mentally prepared to head home, back to reality. Instead the stars aligned and I was able to meet up with Sander and Bo, two men who make me proud to be an Idahoan skier. My first two real days of any kind of touring blew past in a blur of boot-packs, booters and skin-tracks. Luckily for all of my companions, avalanche danger was low since I’m pretty sure if there had been a slide I would have just whipped out my probe and waved it excitedly. (I’m still a little bummed I didn’t get to use the probe, or that cool little blinky thing I had to wear on my chest.)
Finally break was over and it was time to head home. As I set off with Tetons in my rearview mirror I was sure my spring break adventures were over. 6 hours later and I was fast asleep in a parking lot somewhere near Missoula, a few more hours of driving and Car Talk re-runs and I passed out again, this time in the Lookout Pass parking lot.
After a day of rest at home I was back out, this time in more familiar territory. Somehow I convinced James that we should do something stupid and check out a zone we explored last summer. Still high on the last week of exploring I resolved to rappel a couloir. I zealously overpacked, loading down my bag with ropes, carabiners, cameras, gummy worms, harnesses and Snickers Bars.
Touring: Am I doing it right?
Unfortunately once we made it to the zone it became apparent that we didn't really need to rappel anything. This meant that I carried an approximately 50lb bag that included 70 meters of rope for 8 miles for absolutely no reason. Unperturbed we skied a line, only to be met with the worst bootpack out of my life. I think I “hit the wall” more times in that last 50 yards than all of last season combined. At the top I reminded myself that all good adventures must hurt. I also took a selfie since when Cory Richards did that it seemed pretty cool. Unfortunately mine didn’t turn out to be quite as inspiring as his, I guess I need to be closer to death next time.
After a cossack park lap with expedition backpack we finally said our goodbyes to the muddy mess that is Schweitzer and headed for home one last time. Now school is starting back up again and in two months I get to stop doing stuff and making things for grades and start trying to do stuff and make things for a living. Look out for (hopefully) more frequent updates on the blog!