Another 4 days spent sanding, priming and painting the deck of SS Breezy. Also a few hours spent on the jet ski engine. Timing chains are fiddly but finally got it in properly (touch wood). Once the ski is done I am hoping to build a a flyboard! See the video below...
Newest project is 'Breeze'. Everyone said I should burn it, so I decided to fix it. Lots of work to be done!
North Korea declares a state of war against America.
I fly to America to speak after NASA.
A series of unfortunate events...
So it has been awhile since my last post. Working as a ski instructor leads to a very busy life. First in the news is the state of my chilli plants I grew back in October. You can see they have really grown! I am super happy about this. I hope everything else this year grows in the same way, not only for myself but also for the world and it's economy. Something I am not happy about is the disorder of my writing. I can hardly write anymore, most my sentences are extremely basic, courtesy of too many nights out and lack of sleep.
If anyone out there is keen on skiing and wants to be a ski instructor I highly suggest it. This season has definitely been one of the highlights of my life. As a friend just said to me, "You have the whole package" being a ski instructor. Fitness from skiing everyday, making great friends who have the same interests, earning money from doing what you love and learning new skills about life everyday.
2013 has definitely been the best new years so far. The eve began with a very fun ski lesson with an Australian girl after which drinks started early at our humble abode. There was something really fun about bringing in the new year with people who loved the snow and shared your passions. Blessed with a night of extremely heavy the snow, the 1st provided huge amounts of 'faceshots' in the powder.
On the 5th day of the new year I was invited on a backcountry trip, 4 hours of hiking showed me how unfit I really am. The day before the trip were plagued with scary stories of avalanche mishaps. I was also forced to buy a bit more safety equipment, a beacon and a probe. I really hope to find more friends who love the backcountry and alpine hiking.
Unfortunately I can't tell you the name of the place we hiked. We were led by our head guide who wouldn't give us the name of the area or any choice in the direction we were headed. We started the trip with a ski lift ride up a very isolated mountain with only a few skiers. Sticking our skins onto our skis we started a 30 minute 'warm up' hike up which turned into a 2.5 hour sprint to the first peak.
While hiking I decided to take off my helmet, goggles and gloves. I was sweating throughout even though it was -17 degrees disregarding windchill. I knew sweating in the snow is very silly, as soon as you stop moving you will freeze. Sure enough as soon as I reached the peak, my body rapidly cooled. Next time I will manage my temperature better, it was just hard with no breaks and keeping up with people much fitter than you.
I have skied powder many times before. I have skied fresh tracks after a 1 meter dump over night. Even so, I have never felt powder snow like this before. Over 3 meters of snow has fallen in the area with no one to ski it. As kid I always wondered if you could ski in the clouds, I now realise you cant do that, but you can ski on 3 meters of virgin snow; in my opinion something that gives the closest sensation or feeling.
Overall, the backcountry hike was an amazing start to 2013. I really hope to do much more of it before my return to Perth. I hope everyone had a great christmas and new years. I wish you the best of luck for 2013.
It has been a while since my last post because of many things, amazing snow, amazing night life and teaching people how to ski. This trip to Japan has really been the best thing I have ever decided to do and there are so many reasons why. Ski trips have to be by far the best holiday you can have, but there is always that dread of the last day coming too soon. A 10 day ski trip doesn't guarantee you amazing snow or noticeable progression. My trip is over 110 days long, theres no need to be selfish about a 'pow' day!
I arrived in Niseko on the 19th of November. The lifts hadn't started yet but there had been a 1 meter dump of snow over-night, I had to get up the mountain. I put the skins onto my skis and started the long hike up the mountain. What normally takes just under 10 minutes on the chairlifts took me nearly 2 and a half hours.
Nearing the top of the first section of the mountain, a steeper 'black rated' slope faced me. Skinning up was not be possible as skins are designed for gradual slopes. I un-clicked my ski boots and was immediately hip deep in powder snow. The slope in-front of me was only about a 150 meter hike but as I tried walking upwards I found myself digging a wall in-front of me. I now realised the benefits of having skins or snowshoes, there was no way to climb without these aids. Extremely frustrated, I put my skis back on, skied down the section I had just climbed up to find another way around.
The first run of the season was spectacular. The clouds dissolved to reveal the sun, in-front of me was a ski run that I had worked almost 2 and a half hours for. After multiple face shots of powder, I coined the term "Asahi Powder" obviously meaning 'Super Dry' Snow.
Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki is definitely the number one hostel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. The hostel is situated in Akasuka which is one of the oldest regions of Tokyo, there are many restaurants and tourist attractions.
Getting there is very easy as explained on their website, however, if you are arriving late (after midnight) then things get slightly more complicated. The train station which is closest to the hostel closes after midnight. The next cheapest way to get there is to take a train to Ueno then take a taxi which costs about 1000yen. The Tokyo metro is very easy to use, just make sure to print out a metro map or download the iPhone app ‘Tokyo Metro Subway’.
As soon as I arrived I was warmly welcomed by both staff and guests. The staff are extremely helpful and friendly. There is a great communal area with kitchen, computers and seating area; this is where I made most of my friends in Tokyo! The communal area is open 24/7 and everyone is made welcome.
The rooms of the hostel are generous by Tokyo standards. The beds are very solid king single bunks, so there is no creaking when you or your bed buddy moves! The room I stayed in had 4 beds with its own toilet, bathroom and shower (separated for efficiency.)
Overall, the Khaosan Tokyo Kabuki is a great hostel. I loved the fact that all guests made friends easily. The price is also very reasonable.
At 10pm the night before my last day in Tokyo, I realised that I had tonns to do. If I didn't visit a municipal office in Tokyo, my working visa would be revoked. My GoPro battery died, I needed a new one or no home video. My kitchen timer for pan shots also decided to explode when I was disassembling it for fun. Ironically, while I was doing this, an American girl I had just met commented on how mechanically inclined and useful I was. I had heaps to do, so I had another Sake with the 'Hostel Crew'. A Malaysian made an addition to my list; drive a new toyota race car around their test track.
I got into bed at about 2am. For you wealthy, sheltered kids out there, this is early for a hostel. At 2:30am the next weak soul entered the room, keys grinding at the key hole, lights ignited, the toilet suddenly a symphony of annoying noises. The friendly Mexican introduced himself to me, began to explain how tired he was and complained about having to fly out at 4am that morning. I was the last one laughing when 5:30am came round, his repeating phone alarm finally a routine to my ears.
Very tired and moody, my final day in Tokyo ended up with a bit of Ying and Yang. I had found a new battery and kitchen timer for my GoPro, and I also managed to drive the new Toyota Mark X. On the contrary, it was a Sunday so I'm probably going to loose my visa, and I didn't win the raffle to drive a new concept vehicle. Next stop, the ski fields.
March 2013 marks the end of my student life; no more three month holidays, instead, I will be working a full time job, some might say a real contributor to the Australian economy. Before what I see as the end of my freedom, I decided to work a full season as a ski instructor in Japan. A company based in Niseko has offered me a position as a CAT ski guide and instructor. A dream come true for me; or anyone with a powder (skiing) addiction.
My chilli seeds finally became seedlings :)
I was always an expert at procrastinating during exams but I was much more creative when it came to packing for this trip. Horticulture (Chilli plants), golf and learning how to use new adobe software were just some hobbies created by the need for packing. People say that you always forget at least one thing and luckily this time it was just a USB cable for charging my GoPro.
Being on a budget I was lucky to score AirAsia flights to Tokyo for $130AUD. The catch was that the flight left from Kuala Lumpur (KL) airport in Malaysia. I had to fly to Singapore, then drive up to KL.
I stayed up till 5am mounting the bindings on these skis...
The 3 day drive up to KL meant that I stayed at a few different places; Johor Baruh, Serembang, and KL. Being paranoid that a Malaysian might break into the car to steal my skis (Obviously a high demand for powder skis in Malaysia) I brought them into each hotel, the looks and questions given were quite humorous!
Arriving in Tokyo at 1am turned out to be a mediocre nightmare. Trains stop running and an hour taxi ride would cost too much. I managed to take a train to Tokyo station and walked the rest of the way. Unlike Paris, no one tried to rob me.
Overall, Tokyo is an amazing city. When a country doesn't need a tourism industry because their economy is so strong, the true culture and heritage of the country remains. Below are a few photos of my trip so far. By the way, blogging is really hard.
My name is Man (Pronounced 'Mannnnnn') and I am one of the founders of Ausproducts. It is 1:36am and I had the great idea of starting a blog! Hopefully this blog will generate a massive audience which will then lead to massive company revenue! After googling 'How to write a blog', I've decided to write a little bit about myself as well as the the formation of Ausproducts as a company, so here goes nothing.
In 2008, a friend and I decided to start an international company of colossal proportions. Our business model was based on Amazon.com, but for some strange reason, suppliers did not take well to 16 year old wanna-be tycoons. We tried everything to get distribution rights but were never taken seriously. While my friend dissolved into the life of an engineering student, I decided then and there that the world is a mean place; Ausproducts would have to design and manufacture its own products.
Over the years many projects have formed in many different areas. We currently have projects in smartphone application and product design, composite material technology and camera stabilisation. One of our innovations will actually be featured in the 2013 Aeromat Conference. It is a very exciting time as a some of our innovations are in the patent approval process. While our own products are developing, our current aim is to generate enough revenue to continue product development. Our first revenue generating product is the Lighting to 30-pin Adapter for the new iPhone 5; What a cheap, reliable, useful, thoughtful and amazing surprise Santa present!
Hopefully I have given you some insight into Ausproducts, I hope you will stay with us as we continue to grow.
P.S. Either stare at Officer *ockwood, or watch this ski video a friend made of us in Niseko, Japan!