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january 2008 articles

friday 18th january

Well the UK 2007 streetboarding nationals were HUGE - a really good comp with a high level of riding, and also a great promotional tool for streetboarding as a sport! Read the write-up in the Streetboarding.com UK2007 review.

But time has moved on since the last article - and we now reside in Canada...

Vancouver airport lobbyWe got up at some ungodly hour and arrived at Gatwick only to find the flight delayed for a day :(

When we eventually arrived at Vancouver Airport, our friend Rachel picked us up and we got our first look at Canada.

View of Vancouver from Highway 1...It had just recently snowed, so we were greeted with a snow-covered landscape.

We journeyed to Rachel & Farmers appartment in Abbotsford, a small city 1 hour from Vancouver - which was to serve as base for our excursions.

CJ & Farmer in front of Mt.BakerWe spent New Years eve in Farmers cabin in the US; a large permanent wooden trailer in Kendal Valley, Washington, about 3/4 hour away from Mt.Baker - our New Years day ski resort destination.

Wow, was that a cold night..!

Mt.Baker was our first day back on snow, and it was good to be sliding around again - the air is very cold here, but seemingly less chilling than back in Europe.

A couple of days later the four of us drove to Mt.Cyprus - one of the Vancouver ski hills. The snow here was very wet, but we had a good day until I stove my knee into a rock - ending my session for that day!

Anvil Island (on left), in Howe Sound, as seen from the road to Whistler...

CJ and I packed our bags, as Rachel & Farmer were moving house, and drove Farmers car to Whistler so we could recce for accommodation and jobs - one of CJs NZ Treble Cone work collegues Christine putting us up for the duration (thanks Christine!).

My reaction to seeing Jonny Scully again..!We had not been there 10 minutes when I walked straight into a friend from both years in Wanaka - Jonny Scully - who had lived both seasons with Tassie Ben!

It was so funny to see him, couldn't have choreographed it better if you had tried...

After methodically searching for accommodation for 2 days, we wound up our efforts and spent the remaining 2 on the mountain.

CJ at Whistler base station CJ & Jonny on the slopes Jonny, CJ, Nina & Kyle chilling on a cat-track before dropping into the trees

SOOOOO much powder - it is so totally different from Europe - floating in between the trees through powder like a liquid, its such a different experience and one I must thoroughly recommend...

Christine and housemate Jenna took us through Khyber Valley, a 25 minute powder tree-run from top-to-bottom culminating in a natural boardercross - really taking it out of the legs!

CJ deep in tree powder, moments before taking the wrong turn and having to hike outWanaka friends Jonny Scully & Nina joined us next day, showing us lots of off-piste tree runs and natural hits.

It was one of these runs after lunch where CJ & I dropped too low, resulting in a difficult 45 minute hike out. NEVER AGAIN!

Had a great day with them, it was especially good to see Jonny again and catch up after a year and a half.

We returned to Abbotsford on the 5th day, returning to Rachel & Farmers new place - further out of town, and crackhead-free!

Last 3 hours of the journey driving blind to Rossland - unfortunately the driving snow does not show up...Another few days and we were off on the 9-hour trip to Rossland to meet old Wanaka housemate Shez and check out the town.

I have never been in such crazy driving snow, driving blind in the night with only a single set of tyre tracks to show you the way.

CJ & Shez chatting in the Mountain Shadow hostel in RosslandRossland is a very small town at the bottom of Red Mountain ski hill - almost fairytale-looking with a single lit mainstreet edged with low one- or two-storey buildings. Shez joined us when we arrived at the Mountain Shadow hostel, and we soon met her housemates John & Adam and friend Jamie at the town pub.

Old mineshaft into Red mountain, complete with rail tracks for deposit removal The hike out took us past the old processing plant and silos My crappy 32 boots finally gave up the ghost in Rossland...

We spent a couple of days snowboarding Red Mountain (actually Red &anp; Granite mountains) and being shown the locals secret spots, including some mineshafts excavated from the backside of Red, and one hidden man-height shaft with rail track on the floor, where small ore-wagons ran.

The front of Johns house in Rossland - backyard snow park round the back ;o)During the evenings we ate barbeque at Johns and hit the boxrail and kicker in the backyard park constructed in his garden.

It was extremely cold, but shouts from the spectators kept the nightime session going till the late hours!

Farmer & Rachels new place in AbbotsfordOn our journey back to Farmer & Rachels in Abbotsford, we decided that Red was the better choice all factors considered.

We have therefore arranged to take over Shez's accommodation at Johns when she leaves next week...

So looks like we're moving to Rossland for the next 3 months!