Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Music my Escape

With my broken back I have had to seek alternate ways of spending my free time. These past 6 months I have explored my artistic side with listening to music, reading, and playing guitar. Recently I have attended a ton of shows and I wanted to take a moment to list the various artists I have seen live in my life including those I have more recently seen in the past couple of weeks all in chronological order.

-Brand New and The Movielife
-Bumbershoot: Presidents of United States of America, Death Cab for Cutie
-Sasquatch: Arctic Monkeys, Matisyahu, Queens of the Stoneage, Death Cab for Cutie
-Jack Johnson, G-Love and Special Sauce
-Rusko (club trinity)
-Gas Lampkiller
-Bumbershoot: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Neko Case, Decemberists, Bob Dylan
-Rusko (Showbox Market)
-Beat Connection (The Sunset Tavern)
-Black Mountain and The Black Angeles
-Deck the Hall Ball: Cake, The Black Keys, Broken Bells
-Portugal. The Man (WWU PAC)
- Fresh Expresso
-Block Party: The Head and the Heart, Beat Connection, Cave Singers, Luminares, Battles,
-Concert at the Mural: Seapony, Gold Leaves
-Concert at the Mural: My Goodness, Black Mountain
-Summer Camp: Portugal. The Man
-Bumbershoot: My Goodness, Charles Bradley, Big Boi, Lemolo, YACHT, Hall and Oates
- The Walkmen and Fleet Foxes (The Paramount)
- Identity Festival: Drivepilot, Datsik, Nero, La Riots, Boomba Shade, Rusko, Pretty Lights, Kaskade
-Blitzen Trapper (free show at Easy Street Records)

I can't wait for all the shows to eventually add to this list.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Healing Process

Wow these couple of weeks have been a lot harder than I thought. Healing is not easy, accompanying the general pain from breaking your back, there is the constipation from the pain meds, loss of sleep, bummer vibes from not being able to go outside, and loss of independence.
I am trying to see the positive in this and take the opportunity to do things that I don't normally get to do when I am always headed out on a new climbing, or skiing adventure. I would love to read more, learn to play an instrument, hang out with friends I don't normally get to hang out with. I guess its just hard though as I still have a general lack of mobility and the dull pain I have throughout the day. The root may be that I am just at a loss for the stoke I had before the accident. This is as relaxed as I can get sitting with the brace...

Its hard to be stoked when I don't know how long I have to wear my brace, when I am going to be able to lift things, start PT, or get my rods and screws out. Being such an active person, I feel like a caged animal, and tend to pace around the house ( I mean I should be stoked that I can let a lone pace). Once over this initial couple of weeks I think I will be able to come around and see more of the positives, but its just really hard right now when I sit and stare at my computer watching ski vids of guys ripping huge alpine lines, or sending big rock routes things that I would have filled my spring and summer with.
Ok, on another note I was able now with my free time compile a little video from my ski season. I do have to admit I had probably the best winter ski season of my life with the exception on how it ended. I was able to get nearly 30 days of skiing in from Opening day at Mt. Baker, to a sweet mid week bluebird pow day, to many days of first chair freshies on 7th heaven. On second thought I should not be as bummed as I am, I had a great ski season and next year I will be back shredding even more days than this year!

2010-2011 Ski Season Video

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Season Ender

A little over two weeks ago I was getting pysched to head over to Spokane to ski with some friends at 49 Degrees North a small mountain just North of Spokane. It was closing weekend for the mountain and they were offering free lift tickets. We crashed at my buddies place in Cheney and woke with an "alpine start" the next morning (more like sleeping in till 9 am).

We made our way to the mountain with a few stops along the way for provisions and another buddy. Eventually we got to the resort and suited up for the big day of shredding, around 11 am.

Nick, Retan, and I rode our first run from the top down some steep mogul dominated run with very unconsolidated snow (think heavy mash potatoes). From that run I knew we were going to have to stick to the groomers for the rest of the day, or just get worked from poor quality snow conditions.

Midway through the 3rd run of the day, the trail converged with the terrain park. I was not accustomed to this since my home mountain, Stevens Pass has a completely separated park that requires a pass and has a single entrance at the top of the park. The reason I mention this is that the way Steven Pass has set up it's park, it limits the riders to only those interested in hitting the features and not the general riders from the mountain. This prevents additional traffic and confusion near the take off and landings of the features.

Anyways, I dropped in and headed for the smaller of the two jumps on the right, a jump that was 3-4 feet in height. As I approached the jump two skiers crossed into my line. Typically prior to hitting the jump I speed check a couple of times to insure that my initial jump off a new feature is controlled and that I don't over shoot the landing. Well with the skiers now in my way I just straight lined for the jump to avoid hitting them. I hit the jump with full speed.

As I soared through the air (only a few seconds passing) my legs slowly rotated beneath me. I cleared the landing zone and proceeded to land directly on my back way past the landing zone in the flat, ~10-15 feet from the lip of the jump. This all happened so fast I had no time to react and counter the rotating motion. A few seconds after impact I came to, I don't believe that I blacked out, more like browned out. I was in total shock on the ground, barely able to take a full breath and realized I could not feel my arms or legs.

The loss of feeling in my arms and legs made my stomach churn, because I realized I could potentially be paralyzed. As I accessed my other injuries I could feel that from the impact I drove my skis into my right side, causing extreme pain in my ribs/abdomen. My left knee had contacted my left eye causing immediate bruising. My buddy Nick Gaddy quickly rushed to me and a couple other skiers were at my side, so Gaddy then rushed to gather the Ski Patrol.

The Ski Patrol loaded me onto a toboggan and I got to enjoy a bumpy ride down to the Patrol hut. Once inside the hut they accessed my injuries and thought it was necessary to call an air evac. They apologized that they had to call the chopper (later I found out why: $15,000 for a 10 min ride to the ER).

I was loaded onto the Heli and took the short trip to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA. I was bummed that I couldn't see out the window, as it was my first ever trip in a helicopter (maybe next time I can fly in one when its not an emergency!).

Upon arrival at the hospital I was transported to the ER, and taking to get X-Rays and CT scans. They determined that I had fractured my T9 vertebrae and fractures in my T8 and T10 vertebrae as well, with potential transient paresis (means potential paralysis non-medical terms). I was set then for surgery the next day, Sunday.

My Mom and sister who were in Pullman at the time were able to come visit me that night in the ICU which was so nice to have comforting faces. The next day surgery was postponed till Tuesday and I spent the following days in a half trance like state drugged to the gills with morphine and kept company by my Pops (I was sooo stoked that he drove all the way from Seattle to be with me when I went into surgery). Every three hours a new nurse would ask me to squeeze their hands and push on their hands with my feet, as well as continually placing new IVs all over my arms. Each new nurse was confused why there were so many random new IVs in my arms. In addition to the continual interaction with a new nurse my bed would shift into a new position automatically to insure that I would not get bed sores, the only problem being that it would keep you awake all hours of the day.

Finally after two surgery postponements I finally went into surgery on the 13th of April. Right before surgery the Doctor had me sign a release wavier that released him from being accountable for the potential weakness in my legs when they rolled me over onto my stomach for surgery. My Pop was confused by this term "weakness in the legs", it was then better defined by the Doc as paralysis in plain English. Not having a choice I signed the form and went under the knife for the next 4 hours. They placed two rods and multiple screws in my back to stabilize it.

I then spent the next two days recovering back in my room, and slowly walking the day after surgery. My Pops felt it was important to get me back home ASAP so that I could escape the clutches of the 3 hour wake up calls of the nurses and psycho occupational therapist.

Finally after 7 days in the hospital my Dad loaded me into the car and we made the long 5 hour drive back to Seattle. Ever since I have been on the mend safe at home with the parents, getting stronger everyday. I am walking more and moving less robotically each day, or at least trying to move as normal as one can with a plastic brace around my back and chest.

Overall this experience has been extremely eye opening. I could never have imagined that such a small choice like jumping off a small feature in the terrain park could have had such a huge impact on my life. I could have been paralyzed by this and I am grateful everyday that I wake up and I am able to wiggle my toes. I also am blown away by the amazing friends and family that I have. Everyone in my life has been so supportive and generous in the past couple of weeks I am overwhelmed by the people I call my friend. I want to thank each and everyone that has sent me a little note, card, care package, or sent healing thoughts for my family and me. I still have many weeks of recovery and reflecting to do on this accident, but I know that I will walk away with a new sense of appreciation for life and the people that I get to share it with. Thanks again everyone and remember life is short so send it big in every way possible each and everyday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Message from ouray, co 

Made it to ridgeway, co at about 9 last night. We made it in a single push from the tri cities leaving at 2 am. Was really stoked on SE Utah right near arches. Totally double rainbowed out on the landscape and sunset (will add photos later). Now we just ate some pancakes and had some viva coffee. Then we are off to the ice park to send some sweet lines...

Monday, January 17, 2011

The value of powder baskets

Last weekend, I was skiing the back country with Austin and Logan (two buddies from WWU) when I realized the value of powder baskets. These handy little guys screw right on to your trekking poles and provide sufficient float to propel yourself while skinning.

- Posted using Carrier pigeons

Location:Table Mountain, Mt. Baker WA

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Summer Re Cap Part 1

I waited a long time to recap the adventures that I went on this past summer, but as 2010 comes to a close and I think of the adventures that I would like to go on in 2011 its nice to have a record of this year.

I started off the summer climbing South Early Winter Spire with my brother, Nick. This was his first multi-pitch climbing experience so I chose a fairly straight forward route that I had previously climbed before. Our objective was the South West Rib (5.8). It was a great trip, the only downside was that we had run out of water and I became super dehydrated by the time we reached the summit. I learned that I may have a salt deficiency on this trip, and needed to change what I brought to keep hydrated, like electrolyte tablets.

Over the previous winter I had taken up skiing again after 9 years of snowboarding. I had a buddy hook me up with some used K2 tele skis and I was able to get out and ski a bit that winter. I didn't really like the feeling of a free heel when going down steep descents and did not want to put the effort into really learning the art of knee drop tele turns. I chose to buy a AT set up with BD kilowatts (95mm underfoot) and Marker Baron Bindings. My first tour on the new set up was Mt. Adams (12,276 ft). I teamed up with my buddy Pat, a great skier that has a ton of backcountry experience. Our objective was the South Spur route and hopefully ski off the summit. We slept in the parking lot and had a alpine start. The climb went amazing skinning the whole way up. It got a little tricky as we got close to the Lunch Counter, but it was overall pretty easy. The descent was hands down some of the most rad skiing I have ever done, corn is almost as good as fresh pow. The only downside to the climb was the end of the descent, I hadn't eaten much the whole day or let alone drank any water, and as soon as I tried to eat some beef jerky I through it up. I continued to dry heave the rest of the way back to the car and passed out as soon as we got to the auto. I might have learned my lesson on hydration on this climb...hopefully.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Study break

I am studying for a super hard final finals week, but last night I was kicking it with a friend and we watched this rad clip from this skater, Richie Jackson. Check it out!

Pirate Skateboarder