100 days snowboarding and adventure
posted: December 18, 2013
Joel, getting everything he wants in life in Annupuri, Japan
I first met legendary pro Snowboarder Dave Downing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, BC in the winter of 2008.
It was my third winter in the Canadian Rockies after finishing college in Ontario and moving out west to board. I spent that weekend at Kicking Horse riding with my good bud Matt and some of the most amazing people in the industry to celebrate the opening of their Big Mountain Centre.
After taking Dave’s money at the poker table, I only had one question for him: “Where is the one place in the world I need go to ride?” His answer changed my life, and I booked a flight to Sapporo in the winter 2009 with my best friend Jay. From that season on I’ve never missed a winter where I leave the country and/or continent to explore the mountains somewhere else in the world.
Earning turns in Fieberbrunn, Austria
Three seasons have passed since that trip and I’ve been able to ride the Rockies (in every US state), Cascades, Sierras, Coast, Columbia, the Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges on multiple occasions. It’s now the beginning of the 2013/2014 season and I’ve made a HUGE commitment to myself to be on my board 100 days this year.
I know it won’t be easy. I work full time. My car has already broken down twice this season. I won’t see some of my friends and family until the end of May. And here I am again, preparing for a flight to Tokyo on Christmas Eve. This time, more than 10 of my best friends will be joining me.
Why am I doing this? Because this is everything I want in life. It brings me to a place where nothing else matters other than those moments, and, because it’s an adventure.
When it pukes in El Pas de la Casa, Andorra
I’m not looking for the biggest lines, the longest runs, to stomp double corks or for a sponsorship; this is about living that moment and everything else that comes with it. Neck deep Japanese pow, gnarly BC pillow lines, taking risks with friends, being out of cell service, digging out cars after 90 cms of snow, eating cheese from French farms, drinking Sangria from Spanish wineries, eating ramen at weird Hokkaido noodle houses, the unexpected closed Alp roads, sleeping in vans and making friends all over the world.
I think that relationships, experiences and getting wild (in moderation?) are what’s important in this life, and why everyone needs to find what makes them come alive. For me, that’s snowboarding.
Floating in El Pas de la Casa, Andorra
Joel is a people solutions partner on our people potential team, working with our recruiting and onboarding systems. One thing he never travels for snowboarding without is a book, room for a bottle of booze and extra space to keep it light and leave room for any sweet pick-ups along the way.