16 March 2011

Skiing With Bepi

We have enjoyed our month in the Italian Dolomites. We have been able to ski most of our days. We would have been lost without the guidance of our new, good friend Bepi. We skied together 2-3 days a week. 

Yesterday, we said our final goodbye. It has been raining here for the last three days, so our final time together was not sci alpinismo, but a quick Grazie por tuto and a handshake for me, kisses on the cheek for Kristin. 

 Bepi has been leading the way since our first day. He blazed the trail in deep powder and Kristin and I could not keep up!

 Bepi always knows the best spots for skiing, the best views, and the safest conditions.

 After a particularly sticky day, Bepi took us back to his garage and waxed our skis. He always took care of us.

 Piero visited for four days, and so the four of us skied together. I think Bepi saved the best tours for this week.

 Bepi was at our house every morning at 9am on the dot, with skins on his skis, ready to go! With his deep knowledge of the Dolomites and skiing efficiency, we traveled together to the most beautiful locations.

 Even when we were tired, he pushed us another five minutes to get the best view for our lunch break. When conditions were bad on the way up, he somehow knew where to find the good powder on the way down.

And every ski day ended with a stop at a local bar along the way: to have a beer (or house wine) that we earned.

Thank you, Bepi, for taking us under your wing. You have taught us much, so that even when you weren't skiing with us, we knew where to go. Though, it was never as much fun without you. Your laughter and kindness were absent on those days.

We hope you have one more beer, for us, because you earned it!

09 March 2011

Ten Days in Torres del Paine: Global Test Photo Essay @ Backpacking Light

Another photo essay published in Backpacking Light Magazine. This one is free, so make sure to check it out! Also, comments, likes, and shares are much appreciated.

Ten Days in Torres del Paine: Global Test Photo Essay @ Backpacking Light

07 March 2011

Photos recovered

I recovered all of the photos, except for this one. 

I also realized that my perfect ski day didn't end perfectly because I didn't fall asleep with Kristin.

Every day since has been amazing, both with Kristin and in terms of skiing. And here are a few pictures of that "Perfect Ski Day."

So maybe I don't want you to hate your job. That was mean. But I do want you to love your life. I do.

04 March 2011

Best Ski Day Ever


Yesterday it was snowing hard, all day long. We went cross country skiing and had a blast. And we knew that today there would be deep powder for skiing.

We started our day with hearty granola (that Kristin made the day before) and natural yogurt from the local Coop. We added kiwi, banana and orange. So, we're off to a good start.

We had decided that since it snowed so much, we should make the most of it by going to a ski resort. This has been verboten so far, but we had agreed that we'd try at least one ski resort while we're in the Alps. So, today it was!

I picked Marmolada, because yesterday it reportedly got the most snow . . . of any ski resort in the world (70+cm). Marmolada has a gondola that climbs 1800 meters (6,000 feet). And, it is not very touristed as there are few hotels and no towns near it. Perfect.

Kristin and I skied off-piste all day, enjoying knee-deep powder, face shots, and burning legs. I had some spectacular falls, but it didn't matter. It was pure joy.

Lunch was awesome. Last night I made some Lentil burgers, adapted from a recipe on 101 Cookbooks. I added carrot for moisture and a hint of sweetness, and ground-up garbanzo beans for protein. So today we made open-faced sandwiches, with the Lentil patties on top of multigrain bread, smothered with sauteed onions, tofu slices, spinach, and local soft cheese. The meal was completed with a few bites of chocolate.

We finished our day of skiing by racing down to the chairlift to catch the very last ride back to the top... for one more run. As soon as we offloaded from the lift at the top, they literally shut down the ski lift. We took our time skiing all the way to the bottom again. It felt great to have the last run of the day.

A few kilometers of driving and half a chocolate bar away, we stopped at the entrance to a canyon that is only a few meters wide but has walls that are 100 meter high. There are tons of frozen waterfalls along the sides, as well as a small river down the center. We took a leisurely stroll up and down this canyon. There were some ice climbers on one of the frozen waterfalls. It was just a really cool experience, and we were toasty warm, all bundled up in our down parkas and fatty mitts.

Finally at 7pm, we arrived home. We immediately unpacked our ski gear and hung our clothing and boots to dry above the radiator.

Then we started preparing dinner, which was: pumpkin gnocchi with peas, walnuts and aged-cheese; and a salad of spinach, red pepper, tomato, carrot, cucumber, garbanzo beans, and Kristin's vinaigrette.

See, today was perfect.

Well, almost.

I have spent the last three hours trying to recover the photos on my SD card. Photos that I accidentally deleted before I had them backed-up on my computer. I am still working on it.

So, if I can save the photos then you can be sure that I'll post them up here this weekend.

If the photos are gone forever, then only Kristin and I will know some of the incredible things we saw today.

Luckily, I backed up my photos before we left this morning. So, below are three photos taken on my jog before sunrise this morning. This is the town that we're living in for a month here in the Dolomites.

(OK, there may not be such a thing as a perfect day. But every day with Kristin feels like it is for me!)

02 March 2011

Wake. Eat. Ski. Eat. Sleep.

Yes, I'm alive. And no I haven't forgotten how to use a computer. Our days are just packed .

We wake at around 7 and are on our skis within 30 minutes of leaving our house. Then we backcountry ski for several hours. On our way home we usually stop for a beer (our friends) or wine (me and Kristin). We eat like champs, all evening. Dry out our gear, wash our clothing in the sink, and maybe relax to a book or American tv show on our laptop.

The next day we repeat.

The view are spectacular. The people here are amazing. The food, so tasty. And Kristin is just the perfect partner for everything.

So, what does this mean for you? Fewer blog posts. But that's ok, because you'd probably just get more jealous.

Thanks to Piero, Toni, Viviana, Bepi and Fele for making this all possible!!! Stay tuned for more photos that'll make you hate your job.

The Global Test: Nine Days in Parque National Los Glaciares, Argentina @ Backpacking Light

The Global Test: Nine Days in Parque National Los Glaciares, Argentina @ Backpacking Light