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If You're Thinking of Skiing in Japan; birthday style

Last year I hopped on a last minute plane to Tokyo.  It felt pretty special to celebrate my birthday two years in a row in Japan!  I guess that's the perk of a winter birthday.  And working at the airport:)  I skied for 7 days on the "If You're Thinking of Skiing in Japan" trip, and this birthday vlog was day 3.  Keep your self braced for the last two episodes, where we wonder if the snow is actually too deep, and then the sun comes out and we ski blue bird powder in the high alpine zone.

Part 2 is a lifestyle piece, filled with our delicious dinner and Meredith Eades' brilliant game of GUESS THAT TREAT! Hilarious.

 

 

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NEVER SUMMER STILL HAS AN OFF SEASON

The Top Letting the sweat cool for a hot minute, before getting to the skiing part.  I really love hiking for my turns.  As I get more fit mentally and physically, the uphill part doesn't seem to get easier, just faster.

The Top

Letting the sweat cool for a hot minute, before getting to the skiing part.  I really love hiking for my turns.  As I get more fit mentally and physically, the uphill part doesn't seem to get easier, just faster.

Remote Training

     Though I spent the last few years in Jackson, I have mostly worked seasonally since graduating college in 2010.  In the summer I was raft guiding on the Middle Fork and Main Salmon Rivers in central Idaho, and in the winter I was in Jackson, skiing.  For the first few seasons I figured the manual labor I did all summer would translate to some sort of conditioning for the winter.  After countless crashes, chronically sore shoulders and neck, and too many other aches to recount, it quickly became apparent that if for no other reason, conditioning in the gym was imperative for injury prevention.  Finding the appropriate training while on the road can be really tricky though.  Having a community is a huge component to successful training, and moving biannually isn’t the most conducive to creating community.  As I began to work year round in Jackson, I was able to train more regularly and slowly build back the strength I lacked.

     

    This last summer I transitioned back to a more seasonal lifestyle; I was afforded the opportunity to work at Temple Basin in Arthur’s Pass, NZ through September.  As the spring (N. American fall) came closer I really began to worry about my strength and thoughts of injury started running through my head.  After work ended I knew I wasn’t going to be in one place until mid- December but needed a ski specific plan to hold myself accountable to no matter where I was.

     I reached out to Crystal at Wright Training back in late September from Christchurch, NZ.  I was looking for a two session a week training program that I could do outside of a gym (because I wasn’t near any gyms) and in conjunction with training for a half marathon.  Crystal mentioned the “remote programming” service, because it gave me the freedom and "community" to take ski specific fall conditioning with me, wherever I went. 

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     Training is everything, and it is through the times I haven’t been able to train that I have fully realized this As an ex-ski racer I started working out almost year round for skiing at an early age.  Upon quitting racing I stuck to the “I don’t work out” mantra for a number of years.  I was a raft guide, skier, hiker, and over all pretty active person, "the outdoors are my gym."  Because of my body, and previous injuries it was only a matter of time before I realized I needed to put a little extra effort into my physical strength.  Putting the effort in the gym pre-season flushes out much of the soreness and fatigue one might experience in the first weeks of skiing without any training.  It builds a foundation from which one can continue to build upon, and the foundation can quickly disappear if one is not diligent.

     I believe that the best conditioning for skiing, is skiing.  And when it’s not winter, running, biking, kayaking, hiking, and all activities outside are imperative alternatives, but focusing on smaller, specific muscles is also imperative.  WT’s remote training program is tailored for the individual athletes, therefore focusing on sport specific training needs.  As a skier we focused mostly on agility and lower body strength.  Most of my work outs included a healthy dose of jumps, squats, Jane Fondas, and core strengthening.  And yeah, I was definitely sore the first few weeks.

     Just because you don’t have access to a gym or community of people to push yourself with doesn’t mean you have to put pre-season training to the wayside.  Whether you are working in a remote location, simply traveling around a bunch, or looking to do the workout programs in the comfort of your own backyard, Wright Training’s remote program can keep you strong and ready for the seasons ahead.  

ASSOCIATED LINKS:

http://jhwrighttraining.com/ 

http://jhbabeforce.com/ 

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If you're thinking of skiing in Japan; Episode 1

Thanks to all my sponsors for helping me out on trips like this one!  Intuition Liners for making my touring boots stiff and warm.  LaraBar for supplying me with endless mini bars to stash in all my pockets.  Darn Tough socks for being the best wool socks ever.  And thanks to my friends for putting up with a camera in their faces.  Luckily Japan is one of the most accepting places to have a camera out all the time anyway.

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Iceland; part 1, the preparation

Three weeks ago I was invited to travel to Iceland with Cam McLeod and Kaytlin Hughes in search of couloir skiing and raw adventure.  As most people think of skiing in Iceland as an expensive trip accessed from sailboat, we decided to rent a camper and drive to the West Fjords in search of adventure guided solely by ourselves.  Over the span of 2 weeks we planned the trip and before we knew it we were sitting in the Keflavic International Airport waiting for Marion to pick us up and unite us with our camper, home for the next two weeks.  

For those unfamiliar with Iceland, the island is about the size of Ohio.  The population of the country is 330,000, making it just over half the population of Wyoming, the least populated state in the US.  Because of it's shape and geology, one cannot travel as the crow flies very easily.  There is only one road leading to the West Fjords, and high winds and extreme winter weather makes the drive treacherous even in late April.  Though the mountains are a bit bigger and more commonly visited in the North Fjords near the city of Akureyri, we heard the West Fjords offered some incredible skiing in a more remote and less visited area.  Ísafjörður is one of the bigger towns in the West Fjords, and it is here that we are basing our trip from.

We decided to travel with a camper because it gave us the flexibility to move around and explore places we are interested in going to.  With people primarily exploring the fjords from boat, we are interested in exploring the endless skiing opportunities just off the road in towns like Thinggeyri and Flateyri.  Many may I add, are first descents.

Driving to Ísafjörður.

Driving to Ísafjörður.

 

Keep posted for part 2, the freedom.

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Top 10 of Winter 2014/15

Well... Here I am, finally posting on my blog after sitting motionless for more than 6 months.  I have countless drafts, but never felt I had enough content... well reading the drafts now makes me realize I truly am my biggest critic.

I will ease into this thing again, and start with a list.  

Not in order of importance.

1.) "Pretty Faces" nomination for film of the year at the Powder Awards

2.) Hakuba, Japan... seriously mind blowingly incredible

3.) Many Many thanks for helping me achieve my goals; Skilogik, Mountain Hardwear, Intuition Liners, CAST touring, LARAbar, Giro!

4.) the Aplocolypse

5.) The Winds, 6 days of it

6.) realizing skiing is quality over quantity, and all about the friends you share those days with

7.) Coaching the JHSC freeride team (short but sweet)

8.) Bonking on Teewinot Mountain

9.) Sticking to my gut, following my heart, and being confident in my wonderful self, oh and doing backflips finally!

10.) Last tram on closing day! Topless lady shred down the bowl!

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Mountain Hardwear bound!

So excited to join the 2014/15 Mountain Hardwear Ambassador team!

 

Keep your eyes peeled for a webidose series following my winter adventures around the world!

#findingwinter

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Pretty Faces premiered!

After years of anticipation we managed to make it happen!  Unicorn Picnic Productions (Lynsey Dyer, Hilary Byrne, Sophie Dannison, Sasha Motivala, and I) tirelessly worked all summer to make our dreams come true.  With pale skin and bags under our eyes by late September, October finally arrived and the movie spread its wings and flew away from Gregory Ln.

Well folks, we did it!

Boulder Theater, CO 09/30/14

Boulder Theater, CO 09/30/14

The world premier at the Boulder Theater was a triumphant success.  Hundreds of people lined the streets the night of the show and the 850 seat theater was sold out nights before.  To say the least it was one of the best nights of my life.  Watching our hard work on the big screen with an audience of electric and captivated viewers went beyond my wildest dreams.

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Hilary and I shared our excitement right before the show began, finally having a moment to understand the magnitude of our accomplishment.  "Whoa, this is a big freakin deal!"

It has been a different kind of summer for me, having guided much less and worked in front of a computer much more.  It was a dream job, and a real job, and now we can show the rest of the world what we meant by "Story of a skier girl".

The ladies that stood on this stage are women who have chosen to live a life a little less conventionally in pursuit of their passions and dreams.  From skiers to filmmakers to editors to producers to volunteers to so much more, Pretty Faces is a job well done.  It couldn't have happened without the support of so many, and will hopefully continue to touch the hearts of so many for years to come.

 Cheers!

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Top 10 of winter 2013/14

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Top 10 of winter 2013/14

1.) Almost 500 inch base at JHMR's closing Day, countless powder days

2.) Pat's home cooking

3.) 2nd place Telluride Freeride World Qualifier 4 star competition

4.) Lady Corbets Shred Day

5.) The amazing ski family I have

6.) The Headwaters, Moonlight Basin

7.) The flexibility of working at the Mangy Moose and Lotus Cafe

8.) Pretty Faces, Unicorn Picnic Productions, my GoPro

9.) Skilgok

10.) The spring skiing I'm about to have in the Tetons!

 

Lists are hard for me, but looking back on this winter I am so thankful for the people I have met and the places I have gone.  I hope next year brings as much happiness and excitement as the years past.  Skiing will always be a part of my life, but I recognize the importance of retrospect and appreciation for the incredible life I am leading right now at this moment.  

 

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Here for a minute

Finally, after five plus years of commitment issues I have decided to do a birth right trip.  I am going to Israel!  Yes, I am Jewish.  My friend Ian Hoyer always referred to himself as Jew-ish, and I found I related to that terminology quite nicely.  Culturally Jew-ish.  As I begin to pack for my departure tomorrow I can't help but laugh at the full plate I managed to accrue over the past month.  Now I have to be happy with what I accomplished and hope for the same full plate upon my return on December 2nd.

Here I am, finally on the world wide web as allierood.com and scrambling to get my life in order just before I disappear off the grid for yet another three weeks.  In looking back on what I have been doing for the past three years, it is pretty incredible to say I have spent about 200 of those days deep in the Frank Church Wilderness floating on a boat, and another 300 plus in the Rocky Mountains floating on snow (when Ullr has enough praise).  I have been living the ultimate seasonal life, with an off season cushion enabling me to go on the Grand Canyon in April, and Israel in November.

October is always the hardest month for a raft guide because it's the reintroduction month.  After spending multiple months away from "the real world" it is time (for me at least) to turn my cell phone on, reconnect with past employers, and essentially start back from where I left off.  In the most positive sense of the term, summer has been a time warp.  What happens there stays there, and no one really has a clue as to what I do or where I go.  I don't have time to do much in the summer besides work and sleep, so most Octobers are a blur of moving, job hunting, and a scramble to condition my legs for the winter.

It's November now.  I have a job.  I'm working on a film.  I have already skied, and can hardly sit still waiting for December.  From there, winter will be in full swing.  For now, I will leave Jackson to fill in, and put my excitement and anticipation for winter on the back burner as I get excited to embark on this coming adventure in a not so snowy environment. 

Classic View of Grand Canyon 

Classic View of Grand Canyon 

River of No Return, Last trip of the season

River of No Return, Last trip of the season

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