Oscar (left) and Finn grab a quick snack at Crystal Hut, Crystal Ridge @ Blackcomb Mountain, elevation 6,053 feet.
[Oscar (left) and Finn grab a quick powder day snack at Crystal Hut, Crystal Ridge @ Blackcomb Mountain, elevation 6,053 feet.]
Well it’s been an amazing winter (as a sabbatical badger) chasing the snow and espousing the ski bum ethic to my sons.  The season began in December in Alaska and took us to Japan for two weeks in January and then on to Vancouver and Whistler, B.C through March! It’s time to come back from our little Shangri La as the world shifts gears and life becomes very strange due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So tomorrow we begin a long drive home to Alaska , a bit earlier than planned.

portrait on chairlift with sticker of skiing badger on chairlift
[A serendipitous discovery on chair # 83 of the Crystal Ridge express chair at Blackcomb, “The Sabbatical Badger”.]
Sabbatical Badger bumper sticker, stick figure drawing of a badger upright with skis and poles
[The Sabbatical Badger, my spirit animal, an evolved upright form of the common badger with a heightened sense of balance and coordination while sliding in snow.]
[My wife Melinda and me at the Zojoji Temple (増上寺, Zōjōji) in Tokyo during the New Year Holidays. Zojoji is the head temple of the Jodo sect of Japanese Buddhism in the Kanto Region. The Tokyo Tower (a scale model of the Eiffel Tower)]

[Finn dropping into Blackcomb Glacier, Whistler-Blackcomb, late February.]
Just a quick update to let friends and family know that we’ve gone through the logistical jumping jacks, shipping via air cargo a ridiculous number of ski bags and hockey duffels, a VW bucket seat inside a dog kennel (that’s another story) and a suitcase full of books back to AK.

[claiming our earthly possessions at the Vancouver airport before heading to Japan]
[Rosie the borrowed Westie, channeling my inner hippie outside our cabin south of Whistler, preparing for the big drive back to AK]

[the route back to AK via BC and YT. 30 hours, one night sleeping in the van in snow and -10 F temps.]
Finn is proud to say he got a million vertical feet skiing this winter in more than 50 days! Our stats from Whistler alone are below (I know it looks like he needs my help to get to 1M ft, but the app isn’t perfect).

[Finn’s Whistler-Blackcomb ski stats via the EpicMix app]

[Jonas’ Whistler-Blackcomb stats via the EpicMix app]
We hope to be back to Juneau by March 28 and hope to find a way to reconnect with friends though in some new virtual way as we plan to hole up for 14 days just to be safe. Looking forward to spring in AK and to working together with the community to be smart and keep each other safe.