Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Last sunday I headed down to the coffee shop for my regular Americano.....they should be called Canadiano's by the way, and I ran into a friend of mine, Jack Noesgaard from Whistler. I met Jack up at the lodge and he worked for us as a fly fishing guide. He also owns The Loft Hair Salon in Whister and has trained me in boxing. He is a renaissance man and was down to take his Cessna 172 for a flight. He asked what i was doing and I had to say nothing so he said get your stuff ready we are heading to Tofino for the day. You couldn't get a better day for flying. It was clear blue skies, no wind and warm. We stuffed my Santa Cruz into the plane and away we went. The flight was absolutely spectacular as we took off from Squamish, flew out the sound, over the Straight of Georgia and crossed Vancouver Island. The mountains of the island were incredible and the views stunning. As we got closer to the coast I could see the swells were lined up perfectly and it was glassy. Perfect conditions. We landed at the airport and walked across the street to Long Beach. Jack also brought his employee, Florian over and as they cruised the beach and lounged in the sun I headed out for some surf. I managed to catch a number of great waves and couldn't believe that I was sitting in the lineup after being in the coffee shop in Squamish a couple of hours earlier. After my session i headed back to the beach, got changed and enjoyed a Cohiba Robusto as you can see in the picture. We then headed back to the plane and Jack let me fly most of the way back home confirming my thought that one day I would like to get my pilots license. Awesome day with awesome people. We had apres at the Watershed Grill in Squamish by the river. What a wicked is about timing. Thanks a lot to Jack for such and amazing day and flight.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Back to my Adopted Family

Well this past week I was back in Hartley Bay. It felt great since the last two winters I had been up there training the teams for the All Native Basketball tournament and since I was coaching at Quest this year I wasn't able to be up there and I was missing it. I was up there representing King Pacific Lodge for our student mentor program and we spent a couple of days interviewing all the students and community for positions at the lodge this year. The students did a great job in the interviews. Our timing was incredible as we arrived on the day that the community fishing vessel, The Qitonsta, was sent to its final resting place. The Qitonsta was owned by Ernie Hill Sr. and sank in the harbour after a very heavy snowfall. This boat ran the waters north to Alaska, west to Haida Gwaii and south to Namu. The boat was towed from the harbour and sank in 900 feet of water in the bay in front of Hartley Bay after a miraculous recovery from the bottom of the harbour. This boat had been in operation for 40 years. It was a very emotional day for the community. Commercial fishing boats in a native community are like family members. The boats provide food for the whole  community, they provide transportation, and they provide real education for the youth as they work on the boats under the leadership of elders of the community. I thank the community of Hartley Bay for allowing the staff of KPL to be a part of this special and intimate moment in the history of the village. As Ernie Hill Jr, Eagle Chief, said " the demise of the salmon runs mirrors the demise of the fishing boats of our community." Cam Hill, the grandson of Ernie Hill Sr. and close friend, felt the loss deeply and I felt privileged to be there with him. The picture above is of Eva, Cam's wife, on the day she told me I was going to be adopted into the Raven Clan. My name is T'aam Laan, Steerman of the Canoe, and I am part of the community and the loss of the the Qitonsta affected me as well. Thank you to the community of Hartley Bay for allowing us to be part of this special day. I am looking forward to going back up in April to run an Outdoor Leadership Program for the youth. Thanks to Cam and Eva, Mr. H and Lynn for their amazing hospitality as usual while we were up there. 

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend Update

Well the snow conditions were not so great this weekend but I still managed to get out a few times. Friday after work I had a quick workout and managed to get up to Red Heather and back to Seabus pretty quick. Saturday, Jen and I, after a late start, changed scenery and headed to Mount Seymour. Again the conditions were very poor, zero visibility and very mild conditions. We managed to get up to the 1st Peak. Big Sea was really happy as you can tell. She seems to be getting into better shape and her leg seems to be getting stronger, especially after the full throttle sprint down the ski run and back to the truck. Yesterday I had a great guide and went out on a wicked trail run in the snow and ice. It was a cruisy 10km through some great forest north of Valley Cliff. Today was rain again but I managed another ski tour with Michelle up to, you guessed it, Red Heather and afterwards a basketball scrimmage with the guys team. Bryce and I were on the same team so we couldnt fight and get kicked out. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Beautiful Humpbacks

Thought everyone would enjoy this video. These are the Humpbacks that we see feeding in their traditional waters of the Pacific Northwest. At this time of the year they are down south in Hawaii and Mexico mating and giving birth. This video was sent to me by my friends Herman and Janey. They are whale researchers on the North Coast and lead a very unique life in the heart of the GreatBear Rainforest. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Well finally today I went on my first ski tour with the big guy. As you can tell by the picture i was all ready to go. Now if you think I look a little embarrassed its because I am. The WWI Fighter Pilot Retro Toque was not my idea. I am a distinguished Rottweiller. Dont let this picture fool you....i can be vicious and sever arms on command. I figured if this is what it took to hit the backcountry then fine, I can deal with it. Anywho, Boss and I went into the city which gave me most of the day to rest. We headed up to Mt. Seymour where they allow puppies like me to get into the backcountry. Well we headed up the trail and it felt amazing to be in the snow. I was so excited that i didnt know which way to run so i just ran as fast i could in any direction I felt like. I rolled around in the snow numerous times and i couldn't keep the smile off my face. Little did I know I should have saved my energy. We headed up the well packed trail. Anytime I got off trail I could barely move because the snow was so deep. As we got higher up the mountain the winds became ferocious, blowing upwards of 90kms an hour, some gusts i am sure were more. There was a storm force wind warning on the coast and it was hitting pretty hard up here. It was snowing heavily and the visibility as we got higher became almost nil. I thought this was cool for awhile but as we got higher the trail became covered and i found myself wallowing in the deep stuff. The big guy kept laughing, I think it was at me. I looked pretty funny i guess since i was snowblasted and covered white except for two black eye holes, thank goodness for the toque(kidding, i left it at home when Norm turned his back). Anyways we went for about an hour and finally I started just sitting in the snow and not wanting to go on. When Norm stopped I would run to him and sit on his skis. I was concerned for Norms safety which is why I stopped. It had nothing to do with me being out of shape and fresh off the couch. Anyways Norm kept on going higher and I had to follow. Soon we could barely make out the winter safety poles. I couldn't believe how windy it was.  Thank goodness Norm finally turned around, I was more than happy to head down. My bad ankle was holding up pretty well and I know Norm wanted to get me out here for some training to build my muscles back up. On our way down we linked up with the ski hill. Norm took off his skins which gave me time to build a nest in the snow and act like a husky or wolf. Snow is an insulator you know. Norm didn't waste anytime going down. I almost got run over by two snowmachines going up the hill and then had to dangle down the hill to keep up the big guy. The hill was hardpacked so it was easy to hammer down. We got back to the car and went to Deep Cove for Apres.....course I had to stay in the car where I took a little cat nap. It was an awesome tour, mother nature was full on and it was great to be in the middle of it. Now I am on "my" bed resting and waiting for our next adventure. Thanks for to you later......Big Sea(Sea Puppy).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This moment.

"On the surface; I am an average person, but to my heart I am not an average person. To my heart, I am a great moment. The challenge I face is how to dedicate everything I have inside me to fullfilling this moment."

Red Heather Magic

Well after a two day recruiting trip to Kelowna and spending a bunch of time in the car and on gym bleachers I had to get up for a little workout today. So it was back to Paul Ridge and Red Heather. I was not super excited about the tour because I have done it close to 15 times this year and i just wasn't expecting much. I blasted up to the hut with not much traffic for a sunday. From there it was Red Heather magic. The subalpine there has been incredible all year and today was no different. The place energized me again. It was sunny with a high cloud cover. The views were incredible and inspiring as usual. Every time I have been up here it has been awesome. I got to the high point and took it all in. From there I crushed a few lines and cruised back down to the parking lot to see my third parking warning of the year. I made my donation and left. I managed to catch the second half of the Superbowl. Wow, what a game. Man do i love sports. Nothing compares to winning(well a few things but different). Looking forward to the Haida Gwaii at the end of the month.