This last weekend was awesome. Friday night I dressed as a ninja turtle, got on a bus with 50 of my closest friends also dressed in 90s garb, and shredded the gnar all weekend long at Kicking Horse. Sidenote: I don’t know if “shredded the gnar” was ever actually said in the 90s. Why am I writing about this in a blog on a forestry website? Because my job lets me do the things I want to do, and I’m going to attempt to relate forestry to skiing somehow.
Those are my skis. They are pretty sweet. I take them all over the mountain and they perform pretty solidly everywhere. How does forestry relate to my skis? The core is made out of wood! Wood is strong, light, and the perfect amount of flexible for an awesome ski. Someone at a ski shop asked me not too long ago why I chose a wood core ski over a composite or foam core and I had him convinced that a wood core was pretty much the only way to go after talking to him about it. Wood is stronger than most people realize. For example, check out this failed motivation speech/board break attempt. Wood is strong.
Right now there’s a protest going on by Castle Mountain in SW Alberta. I wonder how many of those people realize there’s wood in their skis. I also wonder if they know they would never have been able to get to the ski hill without a forestry access road. Did you know mountains actually employ foresters to design cutblocks that are optimal for skiing? (EDIT: I understand “mountains” don’t employ “people”, but occasionally ski companies do) Narrow, vertically oriented cutblocks are a great example of tourism and forestry coexisting. This is even written into BC Ministry of Forest planning documents.
One of my favorite things to do while on the hill, much to the dismay of everyone I’m skiing with, is identify all the trees I see… and all the distinguishing features of said tree… in Latin… I’m sure it annoys some people but it keeps me entertained when going up the chairlift in the freezing cold. The trees on the BC side of the mountains are particularly interesting. There’s a little bit more than just the pine and spruce that we have on the Alberta side. Another fun ski trip activity; find a dead tree and go inspect it for pine beetles. I know, I’m a nature nut/nerd. FYI – John Acorn the Nature Nut was one of my University professors.
Working in the forest industry in Alberta lets me do what I want to do. I wanted to go skiing last weekend. Forest industry jobs offer you lots of flexibility, as long as you’re getting your work done. I worked early on Friday, and left early and took off to Kicking Horse. Another awesome part about living in forest communities in Alberta, you’re never too far from the mountains.
Feel free to comment about you’re Nature Nut nerdiness in the comments below or on facebook!