Archive for the 'Tahoe' Category
Check out this pic of a bench in front of “The Grove” cafe in SF Marina District. Billy Kidd still being represented with a pair of his signature Hart skis. Billy Kidd and Jimmie Huega (son of lift op in Squaw Valley) were the first American men to win medals in the Olympics in skiing (1964). Four years after the first televised games in Squaw Valley which celebrates the 50yr anniversary of those games this year. Ski history is cool. Read “Skiing Heritage” my favorite ski mag. You can check in out on Google books.
I was listening to some reggae in Pandora and this music came on from Tommy McCook. I hit the option to read more about him and this is what came up:
“The leader of the legendary Skatalites, tenor saxophonist Tommy McCook was among the most innovative and influential Jamaican musicians of his generation, a prime catalyst behind the evolution and international popularity of ska and reggae. Born in 1932, McCook learned to play sax while attending Kingston’s Alpha Cottage School, an institution for wayward boys; upon exiting the school at the age of 14, he toured with the dance bands of Eric Deans and Roy Coburn, emerging as a highly skilled jazz player. Between the late ’40s and early ’50s, he also frequently collaborated with the famed Count Ossie, lending his talents alongside those of the Rastafarian hand-drummers and chanting vocalists who comprised Ossie’s group. In 1954 McCook relocated to the Bahamas to join a dance band there, and in the years to follow his mastery of jazz became increasingly pronounced.
McCook did not return return to Jamaica on a permanent basis until 1962, arriving in time to help push the developing ska sound to the next level. In 1963, he was approached by Studio One musical director Jackie Mittoo to lead a new group he was forming dubbed the Skatalites; McCook initially declined the offer, but by mid-1964 he accepted the role of bandleader, drawing on his extensive knowledge of jazz and R&B to add distinctive new dimensions to their sound.”
I found it interesting that a guy born in the 30’s was one of the most influential guys in Ska music in the 60’s. I never associate the 60’s with anything related to the thirties, but that is just ignorance. Anyway, I love saxophone and ska and had never heard of Tommy McCook.
I guess when I think of Ska I think more about The Specials. I know Ska started way before that but that is my association They call that era the “Ska revival. The Specials added the punk to the ska and rocksteady styles. I grew up on Selector and the Specials. I was too young to go to shows and everything but I loved it. My brothers were a little older so they were all about it.
Here is a little specials:
Of course I was into The English Beat as well. Thay were under the same label :”Two Tone” that The Specials formed. They had a 50 year old guy in the band that played for Desmond Dekker. So there you have that connection back to the early Ska days.
Let’s hear some Engilsh Beat
I was reading about The English beat and I found out that Ranking Roger who is the distinguishing voice in the band went on to form general public, which I knew, but I did not realize that two other guys from the band, cox and steele went on to form Fine Young Cannibals.
Let’s roll out some FYC, it has been awhile for sure.
I can’t remember what the hell I did this week. That is what happens when you stay home for a week. The days just blend.
Here is some SELECTOR
That was the first week in awhile that I have been home every night. Feels great. I just chilled with my son. We hit the park two times a day. I did have to do some work. I was in Sacramento helping Squaw slang season passes. They are “giving them away” this year which is sweet. I was posted up at an REI. I love REI. I bought a beach cabana. Unfortunately I had to miss the pond cross that I talked about so much. Here is a link to the video. JT Holmes, Cody Townshend, and Tim Dutton won with the 2 men and baby. Three people on four skis. Awesome. My favorite part was Jeremy Jones trying in skis in tribute to Shane McConkey. Funny part too was Tom Burt stacking trying to get across on a snowboard. Check it out for sure.Cushing Crossing http://www.tahoetopia.com/
Let’s go back in time to the The Slackers:
Toots and the maytals 54-46
Let’s get up into NO doubt
Let’s end it with the hives
Free running, check out this levi Meeuwenberg:
I thought the parkour was ok until I saw this video. This guy is ridiculous. It shows how being able to absorb landings in certain ways is the key to survival in sports where you jump off of stuff.
CHECK out The Moseley Method on Faction: Sirius 28/XM 52 Wed. 7pm EDT
Was in Squaw last weekend. On Sunday I was filming for a documentary about Squaw starting with the Washoe Indians settlement there. They guys filming were not skiers and they had this special camera called a “RED”. Some fancy camera that looks like 35 mm but it is digital is how I understand it. Conditions were very difficult. Wet snowfall from a couple days before on top of slush that was frozen at 10am in the morning. Plus since they did not ski we were limited to where we could go. I forced some stuff on KT including a 360 over the camera off of a semi-cornice dropping into East Bowl. Sketchy because when I landed my outrun was crust/ new/old snow moguls with chunk on top. After that I found a spot where I could air over this rock then ski out some bumps that had a little slush on them. After that I had them shoot rock garden as a long shot with a 300. We did not have time for much more because I was scheduled to be at the pool party up top and help emcee. I asked the guy if we were good and he said, yes, but could you do something spectacular! I started cracking up then I had top go.
Sometimes it’s hard to explain to non- ski filmers, what it takes to actually shoot good footage. In general I think people underestimate what goes into getting one good shot in a ski film. The time it takes to wait for conditions and planning the details. Not to mention the cameraman who are mostly former pros who whip in and out of lines with all the camera gear including tripods. I am always amazed when these crews try to shoot the stuff themselves instead of just hiring someone like Tom Day or Scott Gaffney.
I spent the rest of the day at the pool up top in Squaw. They had an air guitar contest. After watching a few people go I jumped in myself. It looked too fun. I found it to be harder than it looks. When I watched the other guys I kept thinking , why did he not do this or that. I did the” on the back Ac/dc move,” I did the big facial expressions, the riffing on the neck of the guitar, I am sure there is a name for that. My favorite move was when I took both hands off the guitar as if it was playing itself. In the end, I felt like I was off the music by forcing some of the moves. And I could not remember some of the moves I wanted to do. It was hard to do well. I found out they have a world Air guitar championships. I checked it on youtube, Daonoji, the world champ, reminded that I forgot to smash the guitar of course. Awesome.
Here is a good air guitar song:
Van Halen eruption:
Of course, that was followed by a bikini contest. The girl who won was very good a working it. There was this one girl with a better body but she did a model walk like you might see in a Miss America pageant. The judges were not impressed, they wanted to see booty shakin, which was a little surprising because the judges were all girls.
Not a bad weekend I guess. I camped on the couch and watched celebrity apprentice Sunday night. I watched Joan and Melissa rivers just embarrass themselves to no end. It was painful, I thought the mom was the most out of line and the most ridiculous. The whole thing was quite entertaining. Jesse James is going to win for sure. That Clint Black guy is just a weirdo.
Last Friday I flew home from a week at Wiegeles in BC for some heli-skiing. Great conditions, skied every day. The following Sunday was Shane McConkey’s memorial in Squaw. Everyone came out to honor SuperShane. Many stories were told. His mom told one about Shane as a two year old getting on the chairlift and getting tossed into a snow bank hard. They thought he was hurt bad and she was trying to get him to point out where it hurt. He had is arm straight out and so they assumed it was his hand or wrist but then they figured out that he was pointing at the stopped and swinging chair crying because he thought he had missed it. His mom showed him that he could take the next one and he stopped crying immediately.
Jt Holmes talked about how Shane was always into “the old” meaning, the old steal your money trick until you absolutely needed it. Jt spoke bluntly about Shane’s atheism and how he did not believe in any “crap” like “everything happens for a reason”. Therefore it just sucks that he died. He told the story of when he was bringing Shane’s stuff back from their tragic trip in Italy. Jt thought he had lost or had stolen his $650 dollars. Of course, he looked in Shane’s stuff and found his money. “Could it be that on the day Shane died he was playing “the old” steal your friends money until he needs it trick?” asked JT.
They all had said that they were Shane’s best friend which Scott Gaffney pointed out was kind of funny and spoke to how much love and respect they all had for Shane and how he showed them the same. The endearing part was when Shane’s wife took the podium and said in her cool, sly South African accent: “listen boys, he was my best friend”. I was really moved by their relationship, which seems incredibly genuine and powerful.
As a dad I really lost it when Shane’s dad Jim spoke. He was brief but was overcome. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to lose your son. It makes me cry right now just thinking about it. Jim was a legendary skier in his own right and of course knew the risk Shane was taking. But from my experience knowing Shane, he was a meticulous and careful person so I am sure his dad, as did all of us, never believed anything would happen to Shane.
I first met Shane in a Squaw gondola. I had not done much in the ski world yet and he was the man. He had long hair in a pony tail and Oakley blades on. Our conversation was short. It was not until after I won the Olympics and got invited to go on a Matchstick trip in Canada with Shane, Davenport and Morrison, that I got to know Shane. Killer right. Check it off the list. It was awesome. In one particular scene Shane skied a thirteen stager where he lost his ski on one of the 20 foot cliffs in the middle of this crazy line. He snapped in back on and shredded the rest. You can see it in “Ski Movie”. It was at this point that I reconsidered my thoughts of getting into the business where Shane and Seth made their name. It was humbling and great fun and an honor to ski with him. I drove the getaway car for him when he a based a building in Vancouver which was a total rush. I was already a fan of Shane’s but from that trip on I became a super fan of Shane’s and just like so many others loved being entertained by him. I did some more skiing with him over the years and spent some time with him. I was incredibly impressed when he competed in the gravity games in the big air contest with a switch back flip and a switch back full. I loved his skiing technique. I had always heard he was a former racer that was recruited by Burke Mountain Academy when he just 14. He was so crisp and over his skis all the time.
Most recently I had been getting some late night emails from Shane where he had dug up some ballet skiing and was giving a general heckle to the whole sport. Of course, he looked a little closer and found me in one of them and re-sent the link around with a note that said, “ my favorite part is 2:07” the time code where I appeared. One of last times I was at his house was to buy a pair of Spatula’s off of him. He had just moved to K2 and I wanted a pair of his signature game changing skis that he invented. I not only wanted them because they were the best things at the time to ski pow with by far, but I thought it was cool beyond belief that he had seen and responded to an issue and problem in skiing that existed for so many years and essentially solved it. I gladly paid about $450 for those skis and I have and still use them. I took an interview for my radio show during that time as well, which I will replay now.
Playlist: Van halen, Gnr ,Scorpions, nirvana
I am tired from lapping KT-22 yesterday. The coverage is amazing and the snow is awesome on the right aspects.
I missed you guys last week but I was slammed. We were filming in Tahoe for Warren Miller. Conditions were great. I had mentioned last week that we did some shooting in Squaw with Daron and Jamie but we got clouded over. The following days we hit Alpine meadows and did some early-ups on all parts of the mountain for a three days. We did some out of bounds stuff in Munchkins which was very cool. I had never been out there and was impresssed with terrain. A little sketchy but fun. When the snow socked in again we did a bunch of tight powder shots in the trees. It is really the only option when it socks in but some of the shots turned out great. Three or four pow turns here and there. When the weather cleared up we got Alpine really good. Cold powder out in Estelle bowl and we were able to ski some actual lines. After that we drove straight to Kirkwood to film in The Cirque, a rowdy part of the mountain that is permanently closed. The weather was clear and it was untracked but it was pretty boney. Lots of rocks just under the surface. I was pretty sketched out about but Daron Rahlves and Jamie sacked up and charged some big lines. As the day went on we skied more stuff around the cirque but Daron’s first line was definitely the highlight. He charged it through some sketchy sections and stuck it. I was really impressed. On the second day at the very end of the day we hike out to a place called emigrant aka California chutes. Emigrant is al arge face with probably about 1500 vertical and some good nasty features. We ran out there fast and Daron laid down another blaster. The only bummer was that about two minutes before Daron dropped in some other dude had hiked up from the other side and hit Daron’s line to a tee which sucked for filming purposes. He still diced it however and pretty much made one turn for every five of the other guy’s. D straightlined this chute that the other guy made ten turns in. I think it will still show well on camera. I skied another line but kind of slow and conservatively. The snow was money though. We did a ton of hiking over those five days and I was beat for three days. Every day I woke up fatigued. Slept well though. Rahlves has killer photos of the session on his site.
I took some days off and went back down to Marin. My son and I took our skiff out every morning and cruised around the bay. He is 18 months and he loves it. He goes into the closet in the morning and brings out the life jacket and starts thrusting it towards me as he says “boat, boat”. He likes to ride up on top of the center counsel like a dog. We stop and check out all the seals and birds. Usually there are a lot of seagulls and pelicans but right now there are also some Canadian geese. I did not know they hung out here by the water. The seals look cool right now as well. They are kind of white with spots. The bay is really calm this time of year even though it is a bit damp. Jack does not seem to care if it rains or not he is still game.
I hit up Aspen for a day. I Stayed at the St Regis which is always nice. I was there skiing with the top sales people from company called Galderma. They make Cetaphil etcetera, I guess they I have a great sunblock that I am going to try. We tore up Ajax mountain even though the weather was not great. It was sleeting and foggy and miserable but the skiers put in a strong performance, skiing until the buzzer even though we soaking wet.
I also hit Stratton, Vermont last weekend. When I got there it was raining and starting to freeze. The parking lot at the restaurant was a double black diamond. The to car I was in got stuck on the flat a couple times. Walking was dangerous. The following day I skied with some guys who bought a day of skiing with me through a company I work with called Sentient Jet. The guys were cool and great skiers. The mountain was a lot better than I though it would be however I experienced two firsts: I had never seen a mogul run closed down because it was too dangerous due to the ice. Secondly I have never ducked a roped to get first tracks on corduroy while the cat was still grooming. I had a really good time skiing very fast. We hit some bumps and the park a bit which I was very impressed with. I was sure the park landing would break my heels but the groomers have it down to a science out there. I though it was my first time to Stratton but it turns out that I had been there before when the weather was foggy and clearly I was too back in 1998 right after the Olympics.
It took me 14 hours to get home from Stratton to Tiburon and everything went smoothly. I could have gone Paris in less time. On both flights I sat in front of women that never shut up. The first flight I had t move, this woman was crazy. Even when the jet engine revved up she raised her voice to talk to the person across the aisle. I wanted to strangle her. She was in her fifties but she talked like a sixteen year old. In the second flight I had these two chicks behind me that chatted the whole time about he nothing but one of their friend’s husband and purple eyeliner. One kept giving the other one heat about how small her eyes were. I turned around to look at them and figured out that her eyes were small because her cheeks were like greatfruits due to the fact that she was carrying an extra 100 around. Travelling is a nightmare.
Wow this is getting ridiculous. The snow has been falling for a week. We have been out shooting storm footy for the Warren miller film. Squaw has been great. Sessioned mainline pocket with Daron Rahlves and Jamie Burge early. They were really killing it, stomping everything. A couple of local kids pulled up on us and one of them boosted off the skiers right cornice airing over all the rock. I decided to take the same line. Since he showed me the straight air I threw the 70’s continental back flip. It was large. Much larger than I thought. I got to my feet but I was over rotated and slapped it to my back. I was pissed so I went back up and did it again. This time I set a lot less rotation and put it on my feet perfectly but I just sunk in deep, my skis grabbed and it pulled me over. Pissed me off. The back flip is a no brainer for me. I figured out that my skis were center mounted. Lame. The mark is too far forward. I would have done it again but the public was hacking the pocket and we had to move onto Silverado. More on that after of this Fabolous here:
We hit Silverado and teed up a cliff with a sharky takeoff. Daron hit it first. He super g’d into it and pre jumped the takeoff about ten feet back. It was classic. When he landed he slapped back but skied away in a cloud. He had so much forward motion when he hit it because of the speed he took I figured if I backed off a bit I might have better shot of sticking it. I skied up to the take off and cowboyed the rocks in a forward position, knees up. When I landed the opposite happened. I dug in and fell forward again. Pissed me off. Then the clouds came in and we were hosed. We did some tight shots against some rocks. It was a fun day. I really enjoyed skiing with Daron and Jamie. Daron is a sick skier, Super G world champ, Downhill champ, won the Hannenkahm, also won the X games in Ski Cross. Daron has been doing a bunch a filming since he stopped racing and he works his ass off on it with enthusiasm. I think he is determined to go down as the best skier ever. He may take a medal in the skicross in Vancouver then I will no longer be able to say I am the only skier to have medals in the X games and the Olympics. Damn it. Jamie has been killing it for years. Jumping over trains etc. Here is a little Bush:
Daron took off the last few days to race in his signature race the Silver Belt Banzai at Sugar Bowl . We have been filming in the meantime around Alpine Meadows. We got out to a cool area called Munchkins 2 the other day. It was a little scary with the new snow and avy danger etc. but after I made five turns and it was stable I felt a lot better. We had a guy with us who was local and dug a pit to assess the snow but still it is always stressful. You know when you are having a discussion over the radio that sounds like this it is a bit freaky:
Siig: so what’s your exit strategy?
Me: I am thinking if the slope starts to go I am going to cut right out into those rocks. Over
Siig: I don’t that is a good idea because to could get drag down across the rocks and into the chute below. Over
Me: 10-4. Jesse what do think?
Jesse: I think if it goes you should head for the left side spine and try to grab a tree.
Me: Ok, that sounds good. Siig, I am going to try to go left and grab a tree if I get in trouble. (Over)
Siig: 10-4, just know that after the chute it opens up considerably if you have to straightline out of there.
Siig: cameras ready: 3-2-1
It turned out to be stable and we stayed out there for three hours getting shots. We skied out to the road and got picked up by Mike Vale in his pick up full of snow and cold beers. We had been on the hill since 6am and that beer tasted great.
G love and special sauce:
We hit alpine again with blower powder and a skier named Errol Kerr. A Squaw Valley native, Errol’s dad was from Jamaica and Errol has decided to ski for Jamaica in the Olympics in Ski cross in 2010. He is one of the three top American skiercross racers but the US team decided to only fund Casey Puckett and Daron Rahlves so Errol went on his own. He is an awesome skier on and off the course and I expect to him medal as well. We got into Estelle bowl which is a rad area skiers left of the summit skier’s chair at Alpine. Of course we were shooting tight shots in the trees but I could tell the skiing there is rowdy. The public were barreling down on us all day. Sometimes filming is not glamorous, but the movies are rad.
I saw those guys in montego bay once. Late night, like three in the morning. Some guy accused us of stealing his weed and pulled a knife out. Scary. That was when we were with the Real World/ road Rules crew.
Here is some Rage against machine:
Where do I begin. This guy just steps in more s$@# that anyone I know. This time he actually pissed me off which is hard to do especially since I love Bode. This time he tried to say that his competitors skied like wussies when he lost to them at the World championships in France last week. Totally unacceptable. I understand that he thought the courses where built so tough that you had to ski defensively, but to talk smack about the guys who beat you is only acceptable in a judged sport like moguls if your name is Jonny Moseley.
Here is some rage against the machine.
Did you guys see that Red Bull Skyscrapers: They gave 100k to a guy who did a 20 foot air. They should have consulted us on how to build an urban jump. It is a lot harder than it looks and the Icer guys paid their dues. I think red bull did not sponsor the Icer because they thought it was weak.
Up here in Squaw Valley. Dumped overnight. 16-20 inches of nice snow. Over the weekend we shot, I skied with some friends and my brother Rick. My brother Rick is my favorite person in the world but he is a real character. He taught me everything I know and chaperoned me around the world competing in freestyle. He was a better skier for sure. He won all the alpine races as a kid and was the top moguls skier as well. We did Nor-ams and World cup together in freestyle. On Nor-ams we were 1-2 all the time. Rick did one year of world cup and then quit because his back was always jacked up and could not sleep well on the road. He went back to school to be a Mechanical engineer. Anyway, he has never cared about ski equipment was always been sponsored his whole life including a run with Nishizawa, anyone remember those guys. Now Rick gets his skis from me and recently I gave him a brand new pair of Head Mojos with new binders. So when I saw him this weekend I asked where his skis were and he said he can’t find them. This is the problem with getting free stuff. This is true in life. Easily earned=easily forgotten.
This past weekend in Squaw was Olympic Heritage weekend in Squaw. It was the kick-off to a slew of celebrations upcoming next year here in the Squaw and around around the North side of the Lake to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley. In addition it will be 60 years since the founding of Squaw Valley. I did the microphone duties for the gala to raise money for an Olympic museum and for the celebration next year. We had a room full of Olympians including a woman who carried the torch in 1960 and skied the downhill in the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck. We had Tamara McKinney there who until recently was the most successful American female ski racer ever. Only recently Lyndsey Vonn has tied her.
Sunday morning we hit Silverado at Squaw for some Warren Miller shooting. Got a couple shots off and then the storm came in. Snow was good and I was happy to get something. Last time I went up we froze behind a rock for and hour and went home because the light was no good. We are headed back up there tomorrow, should be really good after the recent dumpage. Saw a bald eagle this morning.