THE SEASON IS FINALLY HERE-TIPS ON GETTING STARTED

It’s finally here. The mountain has opened. Now is the time to prep for an epic season. The first thing you’re going to do is try to find all of your gear. Which bag has your gloves in them, how about your goggles and base layers. Is your jacket and pants stashed in your pack or are they in the closet. Once you pull out all your gear it’s time to check it out. Do your base layers look good or do they have a blow out? Maybe it’s time to get new ones. Are your gloves in working order? A lot of times the leather on your gloves will dry out. You can recondition them with Hestra Leather Balm or Nikwax Glove Proof . Speaking of Nikwax, you will want to reapply the water repellent coating on your jacket and pants. I use Nikwax TX Direct Spray On. It’s easy to use, just spray it on. It works every time. You will probably need new socks. I don’t know about you but my dryer consumes at least three or four a year. A goggle check is a must. Did you step on them? Are the ventilation holes still protected with foam? Is the lens scratched? By the way, don’t use the squeegee thing on the thumb of your glove to wipe your goggles. It’s bad for your lens. Alway use a chamois or the bag that came with your goggles. I don’t know why they put those things on the thumbs of gloves and mittens. It’s probably collusion with lens companies and glove companies. Oh, and you should probably buy a new beanie. You deserve it.

The next thing you should do is pull out your skis and or snowboard and your boots. Is everything in working order. If not you should bring it down to the shop for possible warranty consideration. The warranty guy is amazing. Go to Amber, she’s the best. She will write you up. Brenden is O.K., but his handwriting sucks. Next you should check your edges with your fingernail. If you feel any burrs you should have them sharpened. If the base of your skis and snowboard is a little white you need a wax. You should probably get a wax anyway. Some wax their boards every time they ride. If you want to do it yourself we have everything you need. You can come on down and have one of our expert technicians look at your board or skis and they can tell you what needs to be done. We can test your ski bindings with our electronic binding tester to make sure they are safe. Yes, electronic binding testers are a thing.

The consensus around the shop is that the most important thing for getting ready for the season is snacks. Jen likes to make her own trail mix. Michael is a die hard Clif Bar guy. Chuck likes beef jerky. Andrew likes Milky Way bars, but he warns the structural integrity is not great, so if you fall you will have a mess. So to err on the side of caution he suggest Snickers. The peanuts shore up the rest of the bar. Now if you have read my other blogs you know I am opposed to Snickers. I just don’t like nuts in my candy. There you have it. Some great tips for the start of the season. Oh, and don’t forget to buy a Sno-park pass.

CLIMBING MOUNT SAINT HELENS

The first time I heard of Mount Saint Helens was when I was 10 years old. It had just erupted and my family and I were getting ready to move to Seattle from Detroit, Michigan. It was both excited and frightened. The wild west coast was something with mountain ranges and oceans and erupting volcanoes. Twenty years later I was living in Portland when I first climbed Mount Saint Helens. My friend Jim and I drove to Cougar, Washington, and went to the local bar and grill where they held a lottery for permits to climb the mountain. Nowadays you can go online a purchase the permit; ahh technology. We won the lottery, got our climbing permits, and slept the night in his Jeep, which sucked because Jim neglected to tell me snores a water buffalo. Now I don’t know if water buffalos snore, but I imagine that if they did they would sound like Jim. The next morning we headed out on the trail with spirits high. The hike was about 5 miles and gained 4,500 feet. The trail wove through the woods until we got to a huge field of boulders. Hopping from boulder to boulder for awhile it finally thinned out. Next came the pumice and ash. It was slow going. You would take one step and slide back half a step. It was overcast and snowing. We kept going for what seemed like an eternity. Suddenly we pushed through the clouds and it was bluebird sky. It was a gorgeous day on top of the mountain. We could see Jefferson, Hood, Rainier, and Adams poking out over a sea of clouds. We sat for awhile soaking in the view and headed down. Looking back it was one of the best days of my life. I highly recommend it.

Andrew and Dan ascending.

Recently I was talking to two guys from the shop, Andrew and Dan, who climbed Mount Saint Helens back in June. Both moved to Portland a few years ago from New York state. They didn’t know each other, but weirdly attended the same college. Andrew has been snowboarding since he was 8 years old. He loves pizza. His favorite topping; just cheese. He’s a purist. Dan has been skiing since he was 5 and snowboarding since he was 13. His favorite food; chicken wings. Favorite sauce; the time-honored Hot Buffalo. Another purist. Pizza and wings. Classic New York.

Andrew on the ascent.

They camped overnight and hit the trail at 4:00 am. They took the Worm Flows Route which is almost 11 miles and ascends nearly 5,700 feet. Andrew was using his Arbor Coda Splitboard with Burton Hitchhiker bindings. Dan was skiing on Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis and Marker F12 Tour EPF Bindings. Dan actually hiked up in his Rossignol Alltrack Pro 120 ski boots. They both had Dakine Heli Pro 24L Backpacks loaded with water, snacks, shovels, avalanche probes and Pieps tranceivers. The ascent took them about 6 hours. They were on the summit by noon. It was perfect weather. Blue sky all around. They hung out awhile drinking it all in and then came the fun part. The descent.

Dan at the summit.

Andrew contemplating his descent.

They took their time enjoying the ride down. It took them about and hour and a half to cover about a 4000 ft. descent. For both of them it was their first real big mountain. They both said they had the time of their lives. Cheers Gentlemen.

Dan and Andrew at the summit.

WHAT’S IN YOUR PACK-SNOWBOARDING

I remember back when I used to go snowboarding, I don’t anymore, too many gapers on the mountain. I would get up at 4:30 a.m., turn on the T.V., pop in a snowboarding video to get stoked, and pack my pack. Since I don’t snowboard anymore, I had Michael, a U.S. Outdoor snowboarder, tell me what he puts in his pack.

The first thing you need is a pack. Michael rocks a Burton Day Hiker 28L. It has enough room to carry everything you need for a day on the mountain. One of the most important things that I always have on me is a beanie. Probably because I’m bald. There is nothing worse than cold raindrops on a bald head. Michael likes the Burton Waffle Beanie. Always carry an extra pair of socks. He likes the Burton Merino Phase Socks. Always go for the Merino wool. It just sounds cooler. When it comes to keeping your hands warm I would go for gloves. They give you the freedom to give certain gestures. No not that one, the hang loose sign brah. But Michael likes the Dakine Team Baron Mitt. Mitts just keep your hands warmer than gloves. Next for a good piece of layering clothing he wears the ThirtyTwo Rest Stop Polar Fleece. When he gets too warm he just takes it off and stashes it in his pack. One of the most essential pieces of equipment a snowboarder has are goggles. Michael likes the new Anon M2 Goggles. You can change your lenses quickly with the new magnetic lens interchangeability. You need a good tool if something goes wrong with your bindings on the mountain. Like when your beginner girlfriend decides she is actually goofy foot on the top of Palmer. A good one to use is the Dakine Stance Driver. Hydrate or die. You need liquids when you are riding. The Hydroflask water bottles are the best. They keep hot things hot and cold things cold. Trust me I have two. Now we come to one of the most important things to have in your pack; snacks. Michael alway carries Cliff Bars. Now personally I’m a Milky Way man. I can hear all you Snickers people out there, but I just don’t like nuts in my candy. It just seems weird to me. These are just a few suggestions for things you need in your pack for a day on the mountain. If you take issue with any of them, don’t tell me. Take it up with Michael. It’s his list.

On-Snow Demo At Timberline Lodge – Sunday, March 6th

As the world turns and seasons shift, many of us find ourselves pondering the future; of what lies ahead and so on and so forth. But, why? The future can’t be told, assumed obviously, but assumptions will only get you the ass end of a bad deal, and bad deals aren’t something we’re accustom to at U.S. Outdoor. Instead, we would like to give you the chance to step into the future (quite literally) with a time honored ski and snowboard on-snow demo day!

On March 6th, 2016, U.S. Outdoor will be teaming up with Timberline Lodge and a battalion of brands so you can ride the wave of the future via next year’s quiver. GOOD deals will be made on 2016 and 2017 skis and snowboards! Fates will be sealed. Assumptions will be banished. Just make sure you register first! You can register online here or register at U.S. Outdoor. Registration prior to the event is free and will save you money! More details below.

2016-On-Snow-Demo_WEB

LOGISTICS

Start Time: 9am

End Time: 4pm (Last demos out at 2:30pm)

Where: Timberline Lodge

When: Sunday, March 6th, 2016

How to register: REGISTRATION will be held ONLINE or IN-STORE at U.S. Outdoor. Registration will conclude at 6pm on Saturday, March 5th. Pre-registration is free and registered participants will not have to pay to demo.

Non registered participants will be charged a one time fee of $25 that will be donated to Portland Mountain Rescue.

VENDORS: DINOSAURS WILL DIE / K2 SKIS / K2 SNOWBOARDS / BURTON / ARBOR / ADIDAS / SLASH / LIB TECH / GNU / DC / SALOMON / YES. / JONES / NITRO / CAPITA / UNION / THIRTYTWO / RIDE / NOW / VOLKL / ARMADA / LINE / ATOMIC / LANGE / DYNASTAR / BLIZZARD / TECHNICA / NORDICA / SMITH / GYRO / SPY / VONZIPPER

Burton Mountain Festival 2015

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Head up to Mt. Hood Meadows for the Burton Mountain Festival.

January 2-4

Time: 9 AM-8 PM
Location: Mt. Hood Meadows
Category: Special Events

The 2015 Burton Mountain Festival will be this weekend January 2-4 at Mt. Hood Meadows. Try out the latest snowboard gear for free, jam out to to the après ski entertainment and introduce your kids to sliding sideways in the Riglet Park.

The main attraction will be the Burton Demo Tour with free Burton demo gear to try out. Credit card and ID required. Parent or guardian’s signature is required for participants 18 years and younger. The Riglet Park is open to kids 6 and younger.

Gear Demos
January 2-4 | 9 AM- 4 PM
Main Base Area

Party in Your Park
January 3 | 11 AM- 12 PM (Register in the Burton Lounge Tent 9 AM- 10 AM)
Shipyard Park

Riglet Park
January 2-4 | 9 AM- 4 PM
Main Base Area

Apres Entertainment
January 3 | 4 PM- 6 PM
Main Base Area

Burton Girls Ride Day
January 3 | 4 PM- 6 PM
Main Base Area
Main Base Area
January 3 | 10:30 AM- 5 PM

2014 Burton Mountain Festival

Head up to Mt. Hood Meadows and check out the 2014 Burton Mountain Festival! It takes place Saturday through Monday ( January 18-20 ), you don’t want to miss this. There will be a Burton Demo Tour where you can check out and try the latest equipment by Burton for free! You can test out the goods each day from 9am to 1pm. For this you will need your ID and a credit card, if you are under 18 you will need to have a liability release waiver signed by a guardian or adult.

Don’t hesitate to bring the little ones along, the instructors will be running a Riglet that can keep the kids entertained on a course made for fun.

There will be a chance to win some prizes in the Burton Know contest just as long as you are ready to show off your slope skills.  Hope to see you all this weekend!