Sep 30th, 2010
I recently took a trip to the southern part of Chile, near Osorno on a Transworld trip. My crew was The North Face snowboarders Lucas Debari and Xavier De la Rue , TWS photographer Scott Serfas, filmer JOE CO Carlino , writer Ben Gavelda , fellow rider , Canadian legend and trip organizer Shin Campos as well as 3 Argentinean guides: Jorge, Nico and Paula . Our mission was to ride the inside of a volcano, someone told us that the last time the volcano erupted was in 1982. Not bad. Although, this last year’s worldwide tectonic activity (Haitii , Chile, New Zealand ) made me wonder …what if? But, what are the odds?
We first arrived in Chile. That’s right, I flew in a plane on 9/11. Now I may seem superstitious with my last two comments but I am not at all, I’ll stare down a black cat while walking under a ladder on Friday the 13th any day, especially to go on this kind of adventure.
We jumped on horses from the valley rode them up the mountain for 2 1/2 hours, with other horses and donkeys carrying our camping gear, food, generator, gas, splitboards, boards. When we reached snowline, our horses were having a little bit of problems, one of them fell to its side and we decided it was time to give them a break say ”Gracias bueno caballo,” suck it up and unload all the gear, put it on our back and split board up to the refuge we were wanting to get to. One hour of splitboarding up the mountain with 80 pounds of gear on you for your first splitboard experience is perfect. Because after that, everything seems like a piece of cake. It was awesome, after a couple falls on my side and realizing that putting weight on your heel is the way to go. I made it up and then we rode back down and picked up more gear and food and this time, I had a head lamp on…The mission started nicely, I knew I was up for some good days …
The weather was very bad, but snowing, we decided to go down a couple more times to get the rest of the stuff. Our refuge was cool. Right at tree line, 8 bunk beds, a table, a wood stove. Good thing I had some solid ear plugs since a couple guys were snoring pretty loud, one guy was grinding it up and one other French guy one was talking in his sleep….in French. If I heard him, I would have been the only one understanding him. Good or Bad? We all had a good book and a headlamp. I slept on the top bonk away from the wall. So it was already getting extreme.
I turned 30, it’s my B-day. We wake up and the weather is half decent. We decide to move some gear up closer to the rim of the volcano. We are getting all the tents and some of the food up there. Two hours later, the weather moved in and we had to leave the stuff against a big boulder and get our first run down that thing. Totally blind but the snow was sweet. It was awesome. Lucas hit Xavier on the way down, then they both got sprayed, haha! Then I got it back. That night, I chopped some wood, We had a full on Milanos pasta dish cooked by our Italian chef Debari , we played a game of catchos, we DJ’d on Jo COs computer , we drunk wine and Pisco. It was awesome B-day! Thanks to all you guys who made that day very special. I wish my girls were here!
Chilled….chopped more wood.
We wake up its half decent again so we decide we are making the push to the rim no matter what. And here we go. We reached the rest of the gear in decent visibility, what a view from up there, it’s gorgeous, you see lakes, other volcanoes…Then we packed everything on our backs and we started splitboarding up again. Then, WHITE, can’t move, we need to hang for a while and wait, hoping for a clearing to keep going. It finally happened and we got going we couldn’t see much but we were side traversing, on splitboards, not knowing where I was going to was the weirdest feeling ever. Pretty awesome though. Then we reached the Rim, wow, we could see the inside, all the lines, only for a moment, and this moment’s gone. We then picked a spot to set up camp, had mac and cheese, read and passed out.
Thanks to THE NORTH FACE for the ”Inferno ” sleeping bag, I was hella cozy…-40 C bag…can’t go wrong. Although we had to sleep with our wet liners inside the sleeping bag and leave our shelves to ice up in the lobby of our tent. Good night! I can still hear the snoring of 4 tents away. Doesn’t matter we are on a volcano.
We wake around 7 am to the most beautiful view you have ever seen. And I actually opened up the tent door and saw Xavier about to drop in his first line. Holy smokes Lucas, wake up, lets go, Xavier is about to drop in! And it was the start of a very very very fun day of Volcano riding and splitboarding across the crater, hiking back up using an Ice axe. It was all new and fresh and we were the fortunate ones up there. Vini, Vidi, Vinci
That night we saw the storm starting to roll in so we packed the tents up and had the sickest longest run at sunset with 60 pounds of gear on my back . Holy back leg! We had a wicked dinner of sausages and the rest of the Milanos spaghetti sauce. We did it. We rode the volcano, I wished we had one or two more days in there but, hey…we got to ride POW in September. Happy BDAY David!
Chile National day, 200 year celebration, its pouring rain and the wind is howling, We decide to go down that day. We rode with so much gear to snowline…then the horses are in holiday…ho ho! We had to down hike the whole mountain with most of the gear on us… ouff…what a day. We then decided to go to Bariloche ,Argentina (3 hour drive) and go PARTY!. We celebrated Chile day in Argentina and the completion of our mission. We sent it that night! YES we love to party! Especially when there is something to party about! Nice to meet you all on that trip, it was an awesome experience and I hope to live more of these type of experience again and again.
Sep 9th, 2010
The YES family played golf last weekend at the iFound Mike Page Invitational in Quebec City. Booer, Jager and vodka were flowing every 3 holes. Romain and Megan were the stars of the game, DCP sucked but had a couple good shots after the 10th hole.
Romain managed to jump naked into the pond on the 14th hole, walked out of the pond in knee deep mud and duck shit, put on his ripped boxers and drove his golf ball for one of the best shots of the day, landing within birdie distance. Madison was loving the golf cart and rallied them pretty good. Megan stayed sober but wishes she hadn’t.
Jul 19th, 2010
Every summer, after a good snowy season, I love to break off entirely from snowboarding and go live the Jungle-Ocean life. Sure, I have been snowboarding in the summer, and I of course loved it. I still do. I used to ride Blackcomb public pipe everyday of the summer, then Camp of Champions, or I would drive down to Mt Hood and ride at High Cascade or Windells snowboard camp.
I usually love to ride until May and then wait until August for the snow to cover the southern hemisphere mountain peaks. I then usually go ride in August, in NZ or Chile or Argentina. One summer I even made it down to Patagonia. The Southern Hemisphere winters have been more my style for the last few years.
As much as I love snowboarding in the winter, I love surfing in the summer. But it wasn’t always like this. I started surfing 10 years ago. I didn’t grow up near the ocean. I would go surf 2 weeks a year at first. But the last 3-4 years I try to get somewhere around 2-3 months of the year in the ocean.
The Ocean is where I recharge (similar to a long hike in the mountains) I love it because to me riding a wave is just like going through life. Good things come to those who wait. Like being patient for a set or maybe for an opportunity. Sometimes the waves are clean, glassy, perfect… they are smooth.
But sometimes, waves can be choppy, windblown, frustrating, closing out.
Just like life.
Sometimes you feel like just gliding and some other times, you feel more aggressive and just want to carve the shit out of the wave.
Just like life.
In many ways, surfing is very similar to snowboarding.
Eight years ago, former Burton pro Derek Heidt and myself partnered together and bought a little shack in Dominical Costa Rica. Shack it was, like not being able to touch the refrigerator when you were wet, or Jesus Christ lizards hissing at you when you tried to get boards out of the bodega. But it was our home while we visited. As well as friends and others passing through to surf or adventure here. We stepped up the Blue Shack last year and built a super sweet casa. The Blue Shack is now a jungle beach home for us all and best of all, the “office” overlooks Dominical beach.
My wife Megan and daughter Leighli also enjoy the summer at the beach and Jungle. Megs of course also loves to surf, and Leighli is learning to love the loud wild ocean. And you just can’t beat the fact that she has grown up with monkeys, iguanas, and toucans in her back yard, just like squirrels. We are fortunate to have found a beautiful community, with amazing people here in Dominical, Costa Rica. Leighli is stoked, as every time we get down here it seems to be “piñata season”. Every kid she knows (including herself!) has a birthday to celebrate.
Besides surfing and the obvious, the reason why I love Costa Rica so much is the biodiversity that exists here. Thousands of kinds of insects, birds, animals, trees and plants. We have these tropical storm downpours, where it rains for 5 minutes and the next moment it is totally sunny. The people are great, the sunsets and the sunrises, the wilderness, the wild side of central America, no-laws Costa, the ocean, the mountains, the jungle, the fruits, the local food, the monkeys.
There are a couple things here that have really touched my heart, and have encouraged me to become involved more with our little community here in Costa. Our friend Jenny Smith, founder of Community Carbon Trees Costa Rica, is responsible for planting hundreds of thousands of trees here in this region. One of her projects included re-foresting a farm with 21,000+ trees, 19,000 of which she harvested the seeds and growing them herself before planting. One important thing here is that she works with local Ticos and their farms, and every single one of those trees needs to be maintained and cared for up to 3 years before the trees can be set free in the jungle.
As well as planting many different species of trees, to bio-diversify all the areas she re-forests. She makes sure she has a variety of trees for the animals, fruit trees for bees, shade trees and hardwood trees. Jenny and her crew do everything possible to ensure that all of the trees are compatible and create a perfect harmony for the animals and for the creeks to start reappearing and honey bees to come back and pollinate. Planting trees in a tropical climate close to the equator is one of the major proven things that really helps to cool down our planet. (The farm that Jenny planted the 21,000 trees on has dropped six degrees in temperature over the last 3 years.) So by planting trees here you can actually contribute to your own carbon emission offset.
Scope the website and Sponsor a tree!
Or join the Facebook page to keep updated with the latest news:
With Spy Optic, I have a YES pro model goggle. Each goggle sold raises $6 towards replanting trees through Jenny’s organization. I believe this not only a legit cause but also an important one. Last season Spy and myself planted 356 trees. Get your Spy-Yes goggles and contribute to the Cause:
Here in Dominical, our local beach break is very heavy and intense. With a huge river mouth coming into play, especially each rainy season, this creates crazy currents, sand bars constantly changing, rip tides, and incredible undertows. Most of the time it can be pretty heavy, and this is why its known as one of the most consistent breaks in Costa Rica. Each year, our lifeguards save between 300 and 400 lives. But unfortunately sometimes they lose some.
These guys are pros from California to Jersey, and have brought local kids into the program and taught them some incredible skills to help this community. This is why, we need to support our local lifeguards, and are constantly looking for ways to spread the word on its importance! Check out their Facebook page:
This past 4th of July, my wife and her friends helped to organize a huge fundraiser for the Dominical Lifeguards and their cause. Silent auction, margarita bar, bake sale, raffles, bbqs, and live music. We had Spy Optic sent some Moto goggles down, The North Face contributed some dry bags, and most of the local business and artists here contributed amazing prizes for the raffle and auction. The day was super fun, and also a success. Nearly $10K was raised for these guys. If you feel like donating anything ever, please do! It’s a great cause, and if you ever get down here to visit, you will see what a fantastic community this is to support.