Saturday, November 28, 2009

Nouvelle Provence still new

I just finished writing content for the Comox Valley visitor guide. A big focus was on agri-tourism, a growing trend that sees people travel places specifically to sample the produce grown locally. Working on it reminded me of an article I wrote for BC Business Magazine a couple years ago. The Comox Valley has put a lot of effort into attracting new farmers to the Comox Valley. This area, near my home in Courtenay, is home to a large percentage of available farm land on temperate Vancouver Island. The marketing effort is dubbed the New Provence. While I don't necessarily agree with the moniker I do know the local food tastes good!

Here's a link to my article in the June 2007 issue of BC Business Magazine:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two features in Explore's winter issue

I wrote a big chunk of explore Magazine's winter issue and you can see excerpts from both articles on the website. One is called Do it like an Olympian. The concept came from an article I wrote for explore last summer that was a collection of tips and tricks from pro athletes in a bunch of sports. The Olympian version was devoted to Olympic sports and focused mainly on technique tips, ways of improving performance at the ski hill, half pipe and cross country area. The other article was a round up of 50 things for winter. I included everything from destinations, activities to try and gear that will make this winter better. Check it all out on explore's website under articles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Life inside a ping-pong ball with Eric Larsen

I interviewed American explorer Eric Larsen earlier this year for Outside Magazine. The Q&A focused on his expedition to the three poles - North, South and summit of Everest - in one year. He is now at the beginning of his first leg, the South Pole, waiting for the weather to improve (120 kilometre winds have his party pinned) before he begins skiing. For someone so determined and focused he's a pretty down to earth guy. The only thing I don't get is how he handles the cold and boredom. He admitted to me that he gets really bored on these expeditions. Surprisingly enough skiing in a whiteout isn't that much fun and it's even less fun when you get vertigo. "It feels like you're stuck on the inside of a ping-pong ball," is how he described it. Sounds wicked. Sign me up. Seriously, I'm cheering for him. Follow his progress on his website,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Growing a Mo

There's nothing like a little facial hair to make a man feel manly. (Hmmm, it's the idea, not the reality, of the facial hair.) Having a home office I often sport a few days growth, but this month I'm growing it to a whole new length. This Movember, the month formerly known as November, I'm growing a moustache (see picture for one weeks worth of stache). And not some good looking, almost stylish stache either. No, I've got the porn star style on the go: full under the nose with a slight droop to bottom lip level on the sides. Very gross looking.

The reason I'm sacrificing my good looks is for Movember, a charity event where men grow moustaches for the month of November and raise money for prostate cancer research. At the end of the month we'll have a party with DJs and award the coveted Man of Movember award. So far I'm looking good for the self-explanatory Lame Mo award. I'll post a pic in a couple days. In the meantime if you want to donate to the cause head to my Mo Space. You can also find out how to join.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Paddling drills on my other blog

I write a couple blogs. One for Explore Magazine on gear reviews and my adventures and another for the BC Wilderness Tourism Association on BC's wilderness tourism industry. Today I posted a blog for Explore about a great paddling clinic I took over the weekend.

I'm an avid whitewater and flatwater kayaker. The clinic focused on using a wing blade paddle, designed for optimal efficiency. I use it sea kayaking or on my surf ski, a long, fast, sit on top kayak I paddle when it gets rough near my house. Hopefully improved technique will make it easier for me to surf my ski and do better in races.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Outside's Winter Buyer's Guide now live

When I wrote the post about my first article in Outside Buyer's Guide, a review of winter packs, the review was not live. It is now published online if you want to link right to it.

What's SUP?

A couple weekends ago I tried stand up paddleboarding. It's the second time I've given the sport a try and the first time I've done it in the surf. We rented a board for the weekend and headed to Tofino, on Vancouver Island's west coast. The surf was eight feet and falling throughout the weekend. I managed to find a fairly sheltered beach brake to get my surfing legs.

Josie Boulding, my wife, a photographer and videographer, caught one of my early attempts and I turned it into a little video. I swear, by the time the weekend was over I was getting some great rides. And check out that sunset ride - it looks even better after a couple beer.

Not sure if I'm ready to make the $1500 initial investment, but I can see why it's thought to be the fastest growing paddle sport in North America, according to a recent article in SNEWS, an online news service for outdoor retail shops. By Christmas there will be three magazines dedicated to the sport.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm in Outside's Buyers Guide

My first major assignment for Outside Magazine is on store shelves now. I reviewed winter packs for Outside's Winter Buyer's Guide. It was a fun assignment that I combined with some other great assignments skiing in B.C.'s interior last winter. I called in 20 or so winter packs and beat them up heli-skiing, heli-assisted touring, ski touring out of a lodge, on day tours, and on the lifts at resorts like Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Lake Louise and Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

I visited Icefall Lodge for Skiing Magazine (pictured, above and to right. That's me in the green jacket), Mica Heliskiing for Backcountry and Selkirk Tangiers for Backcountry, testing packs while skiing at each. It was an awesome winter.

While this was the first large piece of writing I've done for Outside I have penned a few shorter pieces that appeared in the monthly magazine over the last year or so.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My planets aligned in Westworld BC

In the fall issue of Westworld BC, the publication for members of the CAA or AAA in British Columbia, I have an article about some of the star parties and other celestial events this fall across the province, part of the UN's International Year of Astronomy. Not that there's much night sky to see these days. The monsoon has arrived on Vancouver Island. We haven't seen stars in a week. Hopefully we'll be whitewater paddling soon.

When the stars do part I'll be looking out for Jupiter, which has been close to earth all year. Watch for it in the south sky (hint: it's the one not blinking. Planets don't twinkle.) If no other night this fall is clear I hope October 27th is. That's International Astronomy Day.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Landing Pad in Skiing Mag

My article about the Landing Pad touched down in the pages of Skiing Magazine's October issue. Click here to view the article. It's a cool new product from a University of British Columbia engineering student/former snowboarder, Aaron Coret. Basically it's an inflatable bounc-a-rama to cushion landings in terrain park jumps. It will be built in the same factory as Bounc-a-rama too. They're planning a road trip for the pad this winter, so watch for it near you.