Susanna and I swung through Trout Lake on our way to Baldface to drop in on the ambassadors of soulboarding; Cholo Burns and Jenna Low. Trout is very comparable to Birken, both in terms of rural population density (maybe 30 peeps in town on a busy day), and to the caliber of the surrounding backcountry.
One big point of difference is the NoBoard Cafe. Full espresso shop with Breakfast scrambles… and it has a skate bowl next door(!) This is a community with priorities.
Cholo and the NoBoard posse are riding all kinds of epic lines – sans bindings. Literally surfing on snow with no attachment to the board whatsoever. Just balance, momentum and gravity. It’s fresh. It’s innovative. And it’s progressing rapidly. It’s the most free-thinking movement in the board community in over 15 years, for sure.
Check out the first NoBoard video below ‘Yes to the No’.
I’m not sure.. but I think we may have dined-and-dashed the NoBoard cafe(!!) We were deep in conversation on all things B.C., and i’m not sure we paid for our goods?!
Lifestyle in a nutshell : urban-mountain-fashionista-tranformer..
Our good friend Kumi is a bit like us; one foot in snowboarding, one foot in outdoor, and another foot in urban fashion all at the same time. Qoo spent 14 years with Burton Japan. She learned the backcountry riding with Craig Kelly and John Buffery.
Today she works at fragment design with Hiroshi Fujiwara. fragment defines Tokyo street culture, with work spanning product design, music, graphic design and more. We get to work with Kumi on both AK457, and the F.S.F. urban project, as both fragment design and FYi design are working together on both projects.
CFR makes the rack systems 95% of backcountry snomo-skiers and boarders use to mount their boards on their sleds. Dave has been building these racks for years now, and they are pretty much bullet-proof. Mounting your board on your sled takes a lot of weight off your back, and allows you to thread through tight trees that your board would hang up on; if you were carrying it horizontal on your back. The racks are crucial for serious sled access riding.
Cheetah Dave is a big mtn. ripper that slipped over the border and set up shop in Pemberton.. and never looked back.
Our good friends Yuske and Shoji arrived for a visit. Shoji flew in direct from Tokyo, and both drove to Pemberton tuesday night. Wednesday a.m. we met up with Dave and Mike, and we went for a tour in the ‘Pemberton Backcounty’. We just had a storm cycle move through on Tuesday; the weather cracked open on Wednesday, and it was beautiful conditions all day.
Yuske the sledneck!
TR in the zone..
After the sled approach we skinned up on split boards…
After a few hours we got on top… (Yuske-san standing on top)
This was [part] of the view from the top…
Shoji and Dave getting ready to drop.
Dave B. gett’ner..
End of the day unplanned bushwhack got us back to the trailhead at 8 P.M.
Having had a major storm cycle move through the coast range in recent days, Susanna and I decided to go out for a look today. Felt like the first day of spring, and ironically was also super deep snow. Winter kind of starting just in time to begin ending..
The Yamaha Phazer Mountain has a lot going for it. The ergonomics nearly match a modern motocross race bike for starters. The 500cc four-stroke motor is actually a very high-tech mill that’s essentially two YZ250F motors grafted into a 500cc twin. It’s fuel injected, and has a peak of 80 hp. at about 12,000rpm. It’s also the lightest four-stroke in the Yamaha range, at about 40lbs. less than the Nitro.
The downsides are 80 hp., just isn’t enough here in the Coast Range of B.C., where we have long, steep and deep ascents in thick snow. Up in the alpine, power to weight ratio becomes essential to get to where you want to go. What to do?
Well, add a turbo for starters. I used a Swedish system by MCXpress. It’s a rear mounted turbo that’s tucked under the seat, and is driven off of the exhaust. This doubles the hp. from 80 to 160 hp., when running a race gas mix of 50% 110 octane VP race gas, and 50% 94 octane pump gas, and 16 lbs of boost. BIG step in the right direction!
The MCX system consists of Turbo, intercooler, ECU, air intake, exhaust, blow-off valve, and all the requisite plumbing. Note: you need to add a head shim to lower the compression for the added boost.
Another problem with the Phazer is that the stock suspension sucks! With double the power the handling is bordering on outta control. Time to call Sweden again, this time to Ohlins to get a custom valved set of fully adjustable coil-over premium suspenders! Another huge improvement, actually, at this point it’s an entirely different machine altogether..
Other adjustments and updates included swapping out to a set of Apex Mtn. handlebars with heated hooks – which also raised the bar height about 1″. Moving the Yamaha powder skis in to the narrowest stance really improves handling in deep snow. Can side-hill and carve turns effortlessly all day long.
After destroying a guage cluster, I moved the unit down and mounted flush on the headlight shroud. Not only is it less prone to damage, I can actually see it while standing – which is about 90% of the time. The Boost guage is mounted at the base of the handlebars so you can keep an eye on it when pushing max boost, to make sure you don’t cross the line from max to grenade.
The Phazer is fast! It’s still accelerating hard and can lift the skis at 140kph. But that’s not really the point. I don’t know (or care) what the actual top speed is… we’re all about getting up in the alpine to play in the powder. You need that power and track speed to climb in deep snow at high altitude.
The last problem with the Phazer is that the stock 144″ x 14″ track is too soft. The lugs are not stiff enough and just fold when putting the power down. I upgraded to a 151″ x 14″ camoplast challenger extreme with stiff 2.5″ lugs. Huge improvement in traction and better float in deep snow.
Now let’s go back to bench-racing 101, and review power-to-weight ratio’s.
To put things in perspective let’s compare the Phazer turbo to say,
A 2008 911 turbo..
The 911 Turbo makes 480 hp and weighs 3500 lbs,
which = 7.2 lbs to move per hp.
The Phazer Turbo makes 160 hp and weighs 500 lbs,
which = 3.1 lbs to move per hp. hmmmm.
Let’s geek out even further..
The 911 Turbo makes 480 hp out of 3.6 L motor or 133hp per liter. Not bad.
The Phazer Turbo makes 160 hp out of 0.5 L motor or 320hp per liter!!! Hello.
For the 911 to have the same power to weight as the Phazer it would need to have about 1100 hp! Starting to get the picture?
With skills, you can go almost everywhere you could go with a helicopter in the Coast Range. Not to mention that riding snow with hp., is soo much fun! Gravity is no longer in effect. Going UP can be more fun than you ever had going down..
The 2009 pow marathon comes to an end. Today is transfer day and time to reverse our moves back to Pemberton. More fresh snow this morning. I love this place. Big PHAT thank you to Jeff Pensiero and Baldface lodge for all the hospitality and good times!!