Quick and Dirty Life

Skiing and mountain literature, photos, and innovative media
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DonJuanPakistan
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Quick and Dirty Life

Post by DonJuanPakistan » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:08 pm

Just got back from a month in Europe. Typical. But totally atypical. I almost didn't go. Had so recently gotten back from Argentina and losing Liz that a month on the road was indescribably daunting. I find myself explaining these deep feelings and concepts with fleeting phrases and description like the ones you're reading now. But what is life if not fleeting? Maybe a 140-character description is a more fitting medium than an epic.

Right, well. Starting where it all started. Or escalated, more accurately. Chamonix. I found myself in the cradle of ski alpinism with zero interest in the skintrack and glaciers that so stoked my inner flames for the last ten years. But there's plenty for the on-(or at least close-to-) piste skier here, as well. Flegere. Brevent. Good ski area-skiing. American style, almost. Had an FWT competition, got third. Good vibes and support from our crew in town. Never will compare to winning that fucker with Lizzy and Diamond waving the flag at the bottom. What could?

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On to Austria. Mega-high avie danger on all aspects above tree line. Mega-good and safe powder skiing in the forest below. Some comps were delayed, rescheduled, moved, bla bla bla but the freeskiing and the weissbier flowed naturally. Girls named Johanna, dairy farms, nordic ski tracks through the valleys, all kindle thoughts of "what if?"

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Back to Cham where Davide arrived from Park City. The crew, what there is of it, was together again. Dave's first night back we savagely shredded a night at the bar which, no one should be surprised, escalated beyond our plans for a somber dinner. The next morning we booked it down to Finale Ligure, one of Dave and Liz's favorite spots on the Med Coast, for its easy access, turquoise waters, nice limestone, excellent cuisine, and plentiful negronis. 12 or so like-minded Chamonix degenerates joined us and we ran amok for a few days trying to surf, hiking a bit, playing music, meeting locals, and going to the disco (on student night, as though we weren't pushing the bounds of social mores as it were).

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Back to Cham for a day, worried our blood had grown accustomed to the sun and salt of the coastal climate, we were pleasantly surprised to find shirts-off temps at the mid-mountain lounge/bar La Chavanne.

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I jumped in the car again the next day and headed for Androrra for the next round of competition. Andorra is a strange, tiny fantasy country comprised entirely of tax-free shopping and sprawling ski resorts. Also, beer is $2, shots are $1, and with a weather hold keeping us in our free lodging throughout the week you can imagine what a bunch of freeride savages did to the place. There were moments when I wasn't sure if our hosts (hotel owners, bartenders) were about to call the cops on us, when in fact they would join us dancing on the tables instead. Sometimes American debauchery and bravado starts wars, sometimes it brings about world peace. Throughout this trip it was consistently the latter.

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After Andorra I booked a few days in Barcelona before my flight home. It was a great change of pace from the party lifestyle to get some good R&R while seeing the amazing museums, churches, and art galleries of this fantastic city by the sea. Just kidding HAHA sucker. Start the day around noon, brunch at 2, naps at 9, bars at 3am, bed when the sun comes up, repeat.

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Back in Seattle now. Apparently its been summer for weeks. There's no snow on the mountains. I go to Alaska in two weeks for more ski racing. I think I just coughed up part of my liver. Asi es la vida, compai. Life is too short not to blow your wad in Barça. Abandon all plans for the future and empty the bank account. Smoke em if you got em.

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skykilo
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by skykilo » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:20 pm

Looks like a great tour around Europe. What type of glasses are you wearing in that selfie!?

We're supposed to get some pow here tonight.

E_$
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by E_$ » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:36 pm

How many fingers is the John Lennon--Hunter S Thompson lovechild holding up? Mushrooms.

Outstanding report, DJP, enjoyed the prose and storytelling. When you were but a glimmer in Hunter's kaleidoscopic eye, I toured Finale Ligure and Barthelona in the same trip--this was pre-mtn-addiction period. Fine places.

I'm heading to Cham and/or Italian Alps in mid June. In a typical year, worth bringing the skis?

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DonJuanPakistan
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by DonJuanPakistan » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:00 am

Sky, they're fivedollar street shades from the Goticos district by the Picasso museum.

Wherly, June is for the 4,000m'ers. So if you wanna go big game hunting that's the time. Otherwise its always easy to rent/procure whatever mountain equipment you might need over there.

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huevón
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by huevón » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:38 pm

I visited l'Alps around June in 2013 and had some of the same questions E$. I got a little hot for skiing a 4 kilo myself but decided against it; DdM recommended against exposing myself to the objective hazards on Mount White. I ended up alpine cragging from the Envers des Aiguilles hut in the close vicinity of many civilized money pitches.

PeteH
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by PeteH » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:42 pm

Excellent. Hemingway would be proud.

ryanl
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by ryanl » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:55 pm

When I was in golden over the new year someone asked of I liked my skis. I said yes. They said tabke sure rips the shit out of them. I said, tabke? You mean the writer? Great read DJP. Have fun and luck up north!

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huevón
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by huevón » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:05 pm

PeteH wrote:Excellent. Hemingway would be proud.
The Sun Also Rises? Please, no bullfighting! Except the imaginary ones :P

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skykilo
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by skykilo » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:44 am

Just say no to ED. Unless it's extreme depravity. Of an appropriate type.

E_$
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by E_$ » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:04 pm

Thanks for the info. fellas, and nice trip there heuvon! Hope I can manage a fraction of that kinda fun. Must get in touch with DD, if he's still out in those parts...

smoke'em if you got'em is the clarion call of -- and for -- the depraved. one of me favorites.

Alex
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Re: Quick and Dirty Life

Post by Alex » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:29 pm

DonJuanPakistan wrote: Back in Seattle now. Apparently its been summer for weeks. There's no snow on the mountains.
Corn skiing! Bring a paddle(lurk). John and Adam went back to Larrabee (I guess they wanted it themselves after your 2010 trip). John sure shreds.



Nice writing. Have fun in Alaska.

*Sky fixed it for you

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