All posts by K2 Skis

MissFits Chronicles: Blondes and Blower

words by: McKenna Peterson

“Wow, snow boners everywhere” Pip Hunt wipes the condensation off the inside of the van window in order to get a better look at the 8-foot-high snow banks that line the skinny road. Laughter ensues, “seriously, how much do you think it has snowed since we have been here?…. Hey, you’re driving on the wrong side of the road again”

“Oh. Yeah, s*** I need to stop doing that”

Two weeks of overhead blower powder, getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road, and delving into the intimidating yet absurdly delicious Japanese cuisine[1] proved to be quite the adventure for the K2 Ski Alliance ladies. Pip Hunt, Amie Engerbretson, Lexi duPont and McKenna Peterson linked up at Hokkaido’s Kiroro Resort with one profound goal; to have as much fun as possible.

As we put on our skins and headed into the backcountry for the first day of skiing, we were all feeling some nerves. The sun was out, the snow was perfect, and we were following local knowledge to a zone of spines. Yes, spines, in Japan. Who would have thought? Cameras were queued and the pressure was on. When the face came into view, we each hurriedly picked a line and gunned it to the top. Naturally, we made Lexi, with more Alaska spine skiing experience than the entire K2 mens team[2] drop first. We watched as Lexi was consumed by billows of perfectly light powder, she let out a “wooohoooo” and disappeared from view. My eyes grew wide and powder panic overtook my soul like never before[3], “I am dropping next!” I yelled over the radio, “ready when you are”. Camera man Jefe’s[4] response turned my gut and slashed my pillowy visions, “Lex is a little hurt down here, the face is steeper than expected, standby”.

The words you never want to hear. How did the initial stoke of the ‘wooohooo’ turn into a regrettable ‘ouch’?

Lexi was ok, just a bit of shin-bang and a little wake up call for all of us. We had rushed into skiing those lines without second thought or a concise look. For that moment, and that moment alone, we allowed our ego’s to overtake our inner child and we went for the rowdy line. And when your uber-importante number 1 goal is to have fun, the rowdy line is not always the answer.

Together, we recounted the day and made a pact to prioritize having as much fun as possible throughout the remainder of the trip. We were in Japan, the land of hello kitty and unbelievable amounts of low density powder; we were going to enjoy every aspect of the experience. Powder shots were paired with Motown and portraits evolved into slow-motion hairwhips[5]. The point was to replace the ‘roars’ with ‘meows’ and deep breaths with giggles. We skied mellow pow and deep pow, popped pillows and hugged trees, we ate sushi and envisioned stomach aquariums, we even sang karaoke to the Spice Girls until the sun came up[6]. All smiles, all the time.

I think everyone can agree that in the world of skiing, laughter trumps intensity any day.



[1] We ate something from the ocean that resembled a baby armadillo, tasted like chicken

[2] Only slightly exaggerated

[3] This happens at least 25 times per year

[4] Actually Jeff Engerbretson

[5] Amie E for the win

[6] TLC and Destiny’s Child were mixed in for good measure

MissFits Chronicles: Travel Like a Pro

Words by: K2 Alliance Member McKenna Peterson 

As soon as the snow starts to accumulate, it is inherent ski bum nature to begin obsessively checking the weather in every corner of the winter world, develop instagram envy, weigh the consequences of dropping everything to chase a storm, and then…. end up staying home to ski the thin local snowpack on the weekends and continue to peruse the gram from the comfort of the couch. We all do it. But… What if? What if you used up the vacation time that you have been hoarding and hit the road with a couple buddies?

Here is a secret; 90% of the skiers that you follow on Instagram, you know the ones traveling the world and always skiing the deepest of the deep?… well, they are just like you; incessantly checking social media and weather predictions, throwing together last minute trips, and, yes, weighing the consequences of draining the bank account. The only difference is, they pull the trigger and deal with the aftermath in the afterthought.

Waiting Game

So next time you see that Japan is having a record season or that the snowpack in BC is unusually stable and absolutely blower… just send it. Seriously, what’s the worst that could happen?

Here are a few tips to help you throw together that last minute dream trip (think faceshots and après)

Location: Last minute storm chasing can prove to be the best decision you ever made, although it can have some hurdles. www.opensnow.com is a great one stop shop for snow predictions across the US and Canada. Learn to interpret a basic Doppler radar and keep an eye on what is happening, as forecasts can be moody and change on you. If you need more than a day notice for your ski getaway, look at the month-by-month snowfall history for your desired location and dates. Figure out where it has snowed the most and when over the past five years or so. Google is a big help with this one. For example, March is the best (and most unassuming) time to visit the Wasatch.

Travel: Driving seems easy but is time consuming, usually requires snow tires and 4-wheel drive, and it can be costly. If the drive to powder paradise is longer than 5 hours, look into flights. Tuesday is the best day to book a plane ticket (I don’t know why, but it’s cheaper). In order to avoid baggage fees; pack as much as you can into your ski bag until it weighs exactly 50 lbs and fill a carry-on and your backpack with the rest (anything that doesn’t fit, you don’t need). Always carry-on your ski boots. If traveling outside of the US, bus and train systems are easy to navigate and will bring you into the mountains for fairly cheap.

Lodging: Most resort towns have a city or a ‘non-resort’ town close by. Be willing to spend a few extra minutes on the bus in order to avoid resort inflation on the cost of a room. Online trip reviews and blog posts can be helpful in finding the right place to stay. Read up a bit on what has worked for the ski bums that have been there before. Package deals that include lodging, food and lift tickets are worth looking into.

Food and après: A long day on the hill is almost always followed by a bout of après. Try not to get too carried away; you don’t want to end up with empty pockets and a ski-hindering hangover. But definitely partake, meet people, have fun and reminisce on how rad you got that day. If in a foreign country, learn a little bit of the language. Think of the phrases you will use the most,  ‘thank you’ ‘excuse me’ ‘beer’ and ‘coffee’ are key. The costs of food can add up, make sure to keep all of your leftovers (and friends’ leftovers) for lunch the next day. If it is possible, try and cook your own breakfast, it will save you time in the mornings and ensure that you get first chair.

WaitingGame

Terrain: Make friends! Drop the shyness and get to know the locals. Starting up a conversation with someone at the coffee shop, on the hill or in the bar can be beneficial. Don’t be pushy about asking for beta. Usually, if you get someone talking about something they have a passion for (skiing, touring, etc) the info will eventually slip out and then you can start asking questions. If you are venturing off of the resort, definitely check the local avalanche forecast and avalanche history for that season. It is OK to ask questions, even in foreign countries where there is a language barrier; the ski community is friendly and wants to help you find the goods.

Social Media: Make sure to continuously post photos to your social media feed of you getting faceshots, standing at the top of cool lines, and drinking beer. Make your friends jealous. I bet they join you next year for another ski bum getaway.

The All-New Pinnacle 95

Here is an exclusive sneak peak at our new 2015 K2 Pinnacle 95. The all new K2 Pinnacle 95 features Konic technology, optimizes the construction materials and efficiently distributes them exactly where you need it, over the edge for maximum power and control. This redistribution maintains a strong, solid and responsive ski while reducing the swing weight by nearly 20%. Finally, hard charging doesn’t have to be hard to ski. Available in the Fall of 2015.

Road to Recovery: Maggie Voisin

K2 Skis: What’s one word that describes your current mood?
Maggie: Content

Not always a bad thing. Where are you at the moment?
Park City, Utah

I know you stay up on your pop culture. Have you become addicted to any TV shows since your injury?
(Laughs) I always get asked this but not yet.  I have a lot of school that should probably get my full attention.

Dedication, nice. How are you feeling physically?
Physically i’m feeling as strong as I can be at 6 weeks. I am just really looking forward to a strong recovery.

MaggieV
All smiles! Photo: Shay Williams

I’m sure you’ve been dreaming about skiing. Anything in particular? A certain trick a favorite slope course?
Lately I have been been reading a lot of articles and have been seeing lots of photos of the skiing in Japan. It’s been awhile since I have done any kind of skiing outside of the park and skiing deep pow right now sounds like such a blast and Japan seems like the place to go!

Japan did look epic. Two of your amigos got injured this season. What does it mean for you that two of your best friends are now in your situation (I.e Julia and Darian)?
I wish more than anything for those girls to still be out there killing it but unfortunately it doesn’t always work in our favor. I know with all three of us together we will push each other just as hard as we do when we are skiing. I think having them is really going to contribute to a huge part of my recovery.

MaggieV_Rail
Maggie in her element. Photo: Shay Williams

What have you been doing to rehab?
After surgery my doctor let me come home for the first six weeks and start my rehab out here in Montana. The first six weeks are the slowest and seem to me,  to be the least progressive but I’ve been really working on my, range of motion, swelling and working on engaging my quad. Also because I had a meniscal repair I haven’t been able to walk
for six weeks and i’m very excited to say that my 6 weeks is up!

Have any feel good advice for others going through an knee injury?
The best thing I have to say is to not dwell on your injury. I understand that’s easier to say then to do but try and find the positive out of the situation. Listen to your doctors, yours physical therapist and work hard to get healthy.

Have you been getting some school done in your down time?
Yes, school and physical therapy have been occupying most of my time.

When can people expect to see back on skis?
I’m hoping to get back on snow in the next 8 months. I’m going to have to work hard but i’m excited to get back doing what I love!

Have you been working with trainers to rehab?
I’ve done my first 6 weeks of rehab in Montana and now I’m in Park City training and rehabbing with the U.S Ski Team.

Any favorite songs lately?
Im going to have to say Blank Spaces by Taylor Swift just because thats what the girls and I used to blast before we went skiing.

MaggieVAir1
Air Voisin. Photo: Shay Williams

Who doesn’t love T-Swift? She’s a boss. Any last shout outs?
I would love to thank my family, friends, sponsors and everyone who has supported me throughout my skiing especially through my lows. I am so thankful to be in such a wonderful community of people and i’m looking forward to a fun and exciting future.

Team K2 – Clayton Vila

One of the most respected skiers in the game, Clayton Vila is known for his crazy urban antics and incredible style. From close-out rails on two story buildings, enormous death gaps on and off of features, wallride transfers, and stairset handrails barren of snow that kink, twist, and turn leaving no margin for error; Clayton does it all with flow and style. Not bad for a kid from Rhode Island. Don’t miss out on this incredible edit from Mr. Vila.

Team K2 – Reggie Crist

A member of the US Ski Team for ten years and one of the most accomplished X Games athletes of all time, Reggie Crist’s single career goal is to ski “as much powder as humanly possible.” Don’t believe us? Just watch his latest Team K2 segment. Reggie continues to film with large film companies and Stellar Media. Powder, spines, and more, click play!

Team K2 – Seth Morrison

Huge backflips to ski mountaineering, Seth Morrison continues to push the sport of skiing no matter where he is. Push play and enjoy the latest “Team K2” segment. Visit www.k2skis.com for more info and videos from Seth and the rest of the K2 Team.