ski mountaineering

March 1st 2015 - Written by: Kelsy

Earn Your Turns: 101 Months in a Row


From suncups to blower pow, huge peaks to bunny hills, North Vancouver brothers Mike and Andy Traslin have been consecutively earning their turns every month of the year for the past…wait for it… 101 months. They’re not alone in the endless pursuit of ‘turns all year,’ but they sure are passionate about it.

The quest for earning your backcountry ‘turns all year’ is especially popular with zealous skiers and riders in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and of course here at home in BC. With huge peaks holding snow year round, especially the Cascade Volcanoes, it almost makes you wonder why every skier doesn’t do it.


Like Mike says — if you’re really jonesing for some ski turns in the fall, why wait? Just go do it!

In celebration of Mike & Andy’s 101th month (and hopefully hundreds more to come) here is a quick freeflow of thoughts from Mike, and some image highlights from the last 30 or so months: (more…)

December 1st 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Ski the Himalayas Season 3: Episode 7

Be thankful my friends, very thankful. I returned home to Tennessee this week to do the same, finding that many blessings in my past did not go unnoticed — if not delayed a bit by gratification. Thanksgiving was neither a holiday for vegans or the gluten free set in the Clark household, circumstances I prayed for on some pretty high perches with that foreign sense of adventure I crave equally forcing me to look toward the heavens.

When all you have is Clif bars, Mom’s cranberry apple dish and my brothers deep fried Cajun infused turkey beckons like a belly sized siren. With this singular and unsustainable venture into the cardio “Death Zone”, I replaced pounds I seem to have lost somewhere and restored brain functions that a high altitude explorer sometimes forgoes in the pursuit of lightness. Oddly I felt the same outcome, I was tired and satisfied… at only 500 feet above sea level.

Holidays at home are fun and every culture has a ritual, and in these rituals, no matter how foreign, we can observe each other and bond in the experience. In this episode of Ski The Himalayas, our team participated in a Buddhist Puja ceremony at a local nunnery in Muktinath, Nepal. Our goal: to have fun and pay respect to the mountains… what really happened is unforgettable and resulted in Jon Miller’s most memorable moment of the season.

November 2nd 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

The Making of Ski The Himalayas Season 3: Episode 4

Some days, actually many days, I wake up with nothing more than a hint of what may be possible. Seeing new things all the time motivates me — it’s my routine, a gig for life. At some point, after lots of plane tickets, duct tape fixes and miscommunications, Darwinian principles begin to crest. I call it “dumb luck”, it’s saved some great times from becoming total losses. This one in particular.

As our expedition to ski in the region of Mustang fails when horses can’t negotiate landslides that have pummeled the approaching hillsides, we’re stuck in a location I have hung in three other times on three other expeditions. The location is Jomosom, it’s like the Denver of Nepal. In this episode we reorganize our gear for the next leg of our journey to ski powder in the Himalayas and visit a village that not too long ago was a hallowed spot on the Annapurna Circuit trekking route. Today fewer visitors explore the town of Marpha, known for it’s apple brandy, and steps leading to 26,795-foot Dahaulagiri, as vehicles carrying time sensitive travelers pass by.

October 24th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Ski the Himalayas Season 3: Episode 3

Life is pretty short and sharing a Himalayan summit with good friends is rare — coveted even. Especially when an avalanche expedites your descent as the series ending reveals in Season 3 of Ski The Himalayas. Such is the nature of adventure sometimes. I grew up listening as GI Joe said “knowing was half the battle”… well, sometimes we see the other half, and we learn more from that “knowing”.

For me, it’s how you get there, how you get back and what you experience in between. That’s why I like sharing these videos — so that others can learn from our mistakes!  In this dialogue-driven episode, the outcome of our original plans becomes murky as we figure out that this will be no routine expedition. As the team stages for trekking to the region of Mustang from Jomosom, Nepal, we see how too many cooks in the kitchen and not enough translation can change travel direction quickly when you leave Kathmandu in the trekking high season.

October 17th 2011 - Written by: Kelsy

Ski the Himalayas Season 3: Episode 2

I ran in the dark hollow coolness of the Telluride valley this morning, winter’s bite is slowly settling in and the shadows of dawn are arriving much later now. Thumping foot after foot on frosted pavement, I ran with my wife and at the mercy of our galloping Tibetan Terrier, Blitz. I’m happy to call this place home. It’s a transitional season and a pleasure to watch time pass this way — as the mountains change form and winter takes shape.

I’m still loaded with anticipation of adventure — my endorphins sizzle as I gaze up valley and see Bridal Veil falls freezing and windy chutes filling. I expect to take my skis up into the mountains this weekend for the first time since July, It’s nice to spend a fall in the home mountain range and enjoying time with my family. Mountaineering in the San Juans can be really great training any time of year.

A year ago this week, I found myself at the mouth of the second deepest gorge in the world, my next three weeks in the hands of a horseman’s bridle. Ski The Himalayas Season 3, Episode 2 chronicles the day that occurred, this episode tops my list on most shocking cultural misunderstandings I’ve ever had!


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