Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Snow Gear Bag

So these two pictures are what is available today to carry your snow gear to and from the mountain. The image here is the Dakine Boot Locker, it is a pretty nice bag. It is the exact dimensions of my carry-on suitcase (22x15x13) even if the image is misleading, it is still 4200 cubic inches. Although this can probably carry all of my gear (coat, snowboard pants, hat, gloves, socks, etc.) it still seems a little inconvenient to carry around. It does have a shoulder strap, but it goes from corner to corner and is not all too useful for hauling a bag this big. This version of the bag is nice, 2 tone 600D Polyester, although both bags have tarp-lined boot compartments, this bag also has class. The plaid is a nice touch.

This second image is the Burton Rider's Bag. It measures 21x14x16. I am not a fan of this bag. Even though it includes a fleece lined goggle pocket, the pocket is exposed and the goggles can still get damaged, even if the fleece keeps them from getting scratched. Another feature that I actually like are the vents on the boot pouch. You don't want this thing to retain all of the water that is likely to sit in this bag when all of the snow eventually melts off your boots, thse drainholes are a good idea. This bag is enormous, it measures out at about 4700 cubic inches. This thing will even hold your helmet and probably your kid if he doesn't want to walk to the car from the slopes.

However this is just an ugly bag, which is what you can expect from Burton these days. Except for most of the the Shawn White collection, most of their design work has been deteriorating over the last few years, this bag is just one example. Although I think this bag gets the job done, and the shoulder strap is a bit more functional than the Dakine, I still think that there is a better solution.

I think this might be the better solution. It incorporates the tarp-lined boot compartment with enough room for all of your other gear, but packages it in a backpack that can be easily carried. I think I want to keep a shape similar to the Dakine, but lengthen it out a bit to give it more room. I also want to incorporate a fleece lined hard case on the inside to protect those goggles.

In order to make it easy to travel, the harness system will be removable and stowable, but easy enough to put on and take off so that there isn't a lot of down-time. Currently I use an Arc'Teryx shoulder harness for most of my climbing and backpacking applications. It has a big velcro patch, so attaching it is easy, and a simple modification on the upper adjusting straps makes sinching this thing up a breeze. I swap this thing between my full size backcountry pack, my two big wall haul bags, and a rope bag, so I know it works. For the waist harness, I think I want to go with hard plastic mesh, nothing fancy. I want it to stow away without detaching it, so it can't be bulky, and since this bag is going to see mostly street use (to and from airports and mountains) there is no need for the additional comfort of bulky padding.

I played around with a few shapes, but for what this bag is going to do, I think the straight dome shape is the most useful, I think Dakine got that right. (#3 here)

So the only question I have left is my exact ddimensions. It has to be at least 22" long, but I think I may want to add another 4 inches to accomodate the hard goggle case, but that will bring this beast to 26", and when compared to most packs, this is pretty tall. That will take this pack (on an average man) to about the middle of the back of the skull. That is pretty tall, considering the straps will likely be attached at about 16- 17" from the bottom of the pack so that the weight of the pack rests comfortably on the waist. Because of the boots, I don't think I want to use a "stay" system on this bag, even though a full back framesheet might be nice so that this thing keeps its shape and keeps the boots from digging into your back.

I already ahve most of the patern done, I'm just making the final decisions on length and zipper placement on the top part of the bag, as you can see the Burton and the Dakine use almost exactly the same zipper layout, I'm not sure if I want to buck that trend, it seams to work here.

If you have any suggestions, just leave them in the comments. And if you want one, we'll talk, this thing is not going to be super cheap, and the Dakine is only $50 (and backcountry.com has it for $44). And if you know my work (note my backcountry backpack, haulbags, and ropebags, you know it is going to be bombproof.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Park City Adventure... Part 2

So day 2 started with a bang. C-dog and I went out for a morning board, and it was awesome. We found a nice little jump and got some small air, going to work up to the big stuff. I had problems with my goggles, so I looked like a snowman by the end of the morning. We broke at lunch, and went and picked up the rest of the crew to head out for the afternoon.

Little Guy and I started out in the Rental Shop at Park City Resort. You can see his cheesy little mug here getting fitted for boots. He was pretty excited.

This is Little Guy on his skis for the first time. He had a good first run, getting used to sliding around on the snow. He was smiling and laughing and yelling "faster, faster!" I'm not so sure about faster at this point, but the smiles were a very good first impression.

The second run did not go as well. He did really well for about 3/4 of the hill but then ended up doing the splits and that didn't quite work out as well as we had hoped, he was in some pain. "I feel his pain," (said in Bill Clintonese). So we took a break and sat on a picnic table for about 10 minutes, he was crying and cursing the skis between sobs. He did not want to go back out. I didn't blame him.

Then I remembered that a friend of mine suggested we get an "edgie wedgie." This is a little thing that keeps the tips of the skis together so that he can't do the splits. So we went to the gear shop and found a whole bunch of them. The clerk asked Little Guy what color he wanted and he picked green. "Dad, my coat is green."

So here is Little Guy modeling his new best friend.

It was all down hill from there. We took 2 runs with the edgie wedgie and he was happy as a clam. Then we went in to a bar and got a burger, chips and a hot chocolate. When we got done with our break, we went back out for 10 (that is TEN) more runs down the bunny slope.

Just so you don't get confused, we didn't ride up the lift to the top of the bunny slope, I picked up Little Guy on my shoulders and carried him to the top. The lift was on the more advanced bunny slope, and I didn't want to chance anything on this trip. I want to ease him into skiing and not freak him out, I want him to be comfortable with each step.

This is kind of what I am doing with him when we go climbing, just a little higher each time, and a little farther away from me each time. So sense in getting scared if we don't have to. I figure he is only 2, so I have plenty of time to work up to the hard stuff.

Anyway, I was dead tired. The run was a little less than 1/2 mile long, and I ran down in front of him each time down, and carried him each time up, so 1/2 mile down, half mile up for 14 runs makes about 14 miles of work for me on foot. Every time we got to the top, I wanted to sit down for a couple of minutes, and for those couple of minutes all I heard was "Dad, lets go, I want to go down, I NEED to go faster, faster Dad, stand up, go NOW."

It was awesome, but I will tell you, I was so glad when the mountain closed. I was dead tired. That was not the worst of it though, when I was carrying him up for the last time after he got to ski his final ski with C-Dog, I turned toward the ski shops instead of heading up to the right to the top of the slope.

Little Guy hit me on the head with his mitten and said, "Dad, wrong way, go that way, up there, not down here." It almost broke my heart to tell him it was over. I had been avoiding the subject for about 10 minutes on the hike up. I told him we had to give the skis back, and he screamed, not yelled, not cried, he screamed, and people looked, and they stared.

He was freaking out, and he continued to freak out even when we were in the gear shop giving back the skis. The guy inside that fitted his boots asked if Little Guy fell and didn't like it, I told him that Little Guy has torqued that we had to stop, the guy "high fived" me. "This," he said, "is the best case scenario." So he sat down next to Little Guy and told him that they would be open tomorrow and then wrote Little Guy's name on his skis and told him that he would keep his skis right behind the desk so that he could get them in the morning. This calmed him a bit, but when we left, he cried all the way back to the cabin, he fell asleep, but he was still crying, I kept asking if he was ok, and C-Dog kept telling me that he was. You can see above that Little Guy was all smiles during his day of skiing (full disclosure this was our lunch break.)

It was truly one of the best adventures ever.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Park City Adventure... Part 1

Rockin' wife, being the rockinist, let Little Guy and I go on an adventure. So sad that she couldn't come with us, she was really looking forward to hitting the slopes and hanging with some of our awesome cousins.

But, in good giving fashion, home girl let Little Guy and I load up the Land Cruiser head up to Park City by ourselves, without any adult supervision (until we got to Park City anyway, where she probably has spies and stuff).

This is Little Guy and me clutching our "Blankies" on our way out the door. We are hoping that Little Guy gets some good time on the slopes tomorrow, it will be his first time skiing.

Wish us Luck...!

Winter Adventures

So, my crew woke up early this morning to get ready for our big Park City ski week, only to find out that Twin #1 has pink eye. So sad for the little guy. However, because I have the rockinist wife ever, instead of Park City, I headed up to Sundance for the morning. Apparently there was a huge accident behind me in the canyon, that made a lot of sense when I had the entire mountain to my self for a couple of runs.

No joke, I was boarding about 12-14 inches of fresh powder, it total white-out conditions. It was crazy, normally I just wear soccer shorts under my snowboard pants, and normally that works out just fine. But now when you continually have to wipe of an inch of snow from your knees on your way up a chair lift. My knees were frozen, until I started down, then it was my cheeks, lips and chin that were frozen, forget the knees.

Other than my board not having a good wax job (in years), boarding was just about perfect. Some of the deeper stuff slowed me down considerably, but I did venture onto one jump, and the landing was like hitting a big marshmallow, it was great.

This guy was just getting ready to drop over then next ridge. he is covered in snow, and he never even fell... Let the snow adventures begin.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Due to technical difficulties (the new cameras we just bought) we will not be airing the Morning Market Call for the rest of the semester. The problem is due to the fact that we bought 2 new cameras, but they record at different color quality and the video splicing looks terrible. We are working to correct the problem (buying new cameras).

So all of you that look forward to seeing me anchor the Morning Market Call will have too look at the archives and relive the market ups and downs of that past few months.

We will be returning in January, so cheers to the new year.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


So last week I got out climbing for the first time in a while. Chris and I were going to go up really early, but opted to sleep in a bit, and it was a good thing we did, the weather was really nice. If it would have left early, it would have been really cold and we would have ended up on the old standby aid climb Meadow Muffin (5.12a) on Bolt Slab. That is because we can aid with gloves on. But leaving later let us start out on some amazing face/ crack climbing. The fingers got a little chilly on the rock, but otherwise it was great.

This climb is on Ed and Terry Wall in Rock Canyon. I climbed this twice that morning, once following the Main Crack Route (5.7) and then again following the Call it a Knight route (5.10a). Both climbs are just under 100'. I've linked the climbs to MountainProject.com in case you want to check out more details.

I didn't know what these were rated when we climbed them, but I thought that Main Crack was a little too easy, and Call it a Knight was pretty tough.

The fingers on these climbs were thin, but solid. This is a definite must do if you are going to be in Provo and don't have a lot of time to climb. The approach is a blast (as you can see Chris on the decent after a good morning climb), you head up to the far right side of Red Slab where you will find some fixed lines to the base of Ed and Terry wall. You can climb Red Slab, but I have not found those climbs to be as much fun. However if you have the time, it makes for some great multi-pitch without having to do a hanging belay.

This morning was quite the adventure. My brother-in-law Shane and I loaded up the car at 5:15 this morning to head up the the hill country. We decided to go up to Eagle Mountain, because we have had so much luck there before. I think last time we went we took about 30 shots at a crow that was circling above, unfortunately he was a bit too high.

But this morning was going to be different. We were going to get there just before dawn, and then sneak up on the jack rabbits when they were just getting out from under their covers and getting in a good morning stretch.

So rabbits beware. Here is what we would have seen if we had actually seen a rabbit this morning, and if shotguns came with scopes, and you could shoot a rabbit that you found a picture of on the internet, transferred to PowerPoint, and used basic shape tools to draw on a scary looking set of sights.

So the moral of the story is we walked around Eagle Mountain for about 2 hrs, saw one rabbit that was too far away to shoot, then pretended to track him for the next half hour while getting excited every time we saw rabbit crap that was in one of several hues of the brown family, cause you know, "We are getting so close...!"

So hunters beware, those rabbits are wily little buggers, especially if you opt for the two stocking hat approach, cause if one is too small for your head, two apparently do a much better job.

Friday, December 05, 2008

This Just In... VICTORY... Brig's Blog Un-Hijacked

Can you smell it? The sweet smell of Victory. I have successfully wrestled my blog back from the cold death grip of privatization and exclusivity. This blog will now and forever remain public.

That said, for all of you interested in stuffy Cape Cod, gated community, plaid pant wearing, Kristal sipping, fuzzy picture looking, secret handshake giving blogs, Stephanie will be moving the family blog to what she affectionately calls "Witness to Insanity" which I think is a description of either anything that Little Guy is doing at any given time (including sleeping if you have been following this blog for a while) or that dinner she made a couple of days ago on "try a new recipe night." And if you want to see national Geographic quality pictures, come here, because that is usually where I steal them from.

I can say that because I don't think Stephanie will wallow in in the filthy slums that are public blogs (even this one). Hello? Hello? Yep, I think I'm safe. Anyway, you can get to her new blog and sign up for the only stuff you wanted to see anyway...pictures of the babies.

Anyway, this blog will, going forward, be a compilation of a few different projects that I am working on including The Climbing Chronicles, My Idea Journal, and the BYU Graduate Finance Association Morning Market Call which you can see here.

The Climbing Chronicles is a blog that I used to support that gave out helpful climbing tips, travel information and gear reviews. I am going to just do that here so you can all see where I am going on my adventures, and which appendage has been irreparably damaged this time.

My idea Journal is something I am going to start doing online. I have lots of good ideas, and up until now I have kept them under wraps in secret notebooks, but one thing I have learned lately is that those ideas out into the open creates traction. If you like one of my ideas, and want to give me cash to build prototypes, that is very cool. But I will be blogging my new ventures here in this section. This includes my new image consulting firm that I am working on right now. So keep an eye out for my new ventures. All comments are welcome.

As for the Morning Market Call, I usually anchor the call on Wednesdays, but I will be on next Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday is going to be a regular market call, but on Thursday we are going to get the GFA (Graduate Finance Association) presidency together for an end of semester free-for-all. It should be interesting, you won't want to miss it. If you are concerned by the picture here, you may want to note that the cameras really do add 60 - 132 pounds.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Automaker Chiefs Do STUPID Things for Money. Senators will Say Even STUPIDER Things to Give it to Them.

Wow, in today's news the auto chiefs were on Capitol Hill begging for cash. First, these idiots drove to the meeting, from Michigan. Do they really have time for this? These guys are busy, I don't even think they have time to wait in line at an airport for a commercial flight, let alone DRIVE to DC for a 6 hour meeting. I'm pretty sure these guys have better things to do with their time.

I thought this was stupid until I read this:

The CEOs of GM, Chrysler and Ford Motor Co (F.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) all promised to refocus their businesses on higher fuel efficiency vehicles and lower production costs as conditions of any federal bailout, and the heads of GM and Chrysler said they would consider a merger if that was also a condition.

"I would be very willing to look at it seriously," GM CEO Rick Wagoner told the Senate Banking Committee, adding that merger talks earlier this year were dropped on concerns GM did not have the financing to merge with Chrysler.

Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli said his job would likely be the first to go in a merger with GM, but if that would save Chrysler and its workers "I would do it."

The merger idea was pressed by Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett and Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

"I'd like to see that happen," Corker said. "I hope that's an outcome... our country cannot really deal with three separate automakers."

Serious..? Is it that inconceivable that the country would have 3 automakers like it has for what, 100 years? What else can't this country deal with? Maybe this country can't deal with 100 senators, especially retarded ones.

So, now is the senate going to pass a law mandating monopolies in this country? Maybe there should only be one car dealership in each state. Maybe there should only be one grocery store in each city. Maybe there should only be one beauty salon, restaurant and gas station.

Idiots? Definitely. What do you think?

You Decide

So it is that time again when My Crew is looking to move. Right now we have offers in San Jose CA, Austin TX, Houston TX, and Columbus OH. The jobs are pretty comparable. Here is what we are thinking, let us know what you are thinking...

San Jose CA - 35 minutes to surfing, 3 1/2 hrs to Yosemite, 4 hours to Tahoe. 75 degrees and sunny everyday. high rent, but somebody has to pay for the sunshine. Have some awesome family in town.

Austin TX - Green Belt climbing, Good Food, family close by, good weather year round, moderate rent.

Houston TX - Awesome Culture, Awesome Food, Awesome People, family close by, WEATHER SUCKS, low rent.

Columbus OH- Home of the Buckeyes, good friends close by, 4 seasons, Red River Gorge 4 hrs away (awesome climbing), I get 40 % off Stephanie's bras/ PJs. moderate rent. Have family about 4 hours away.

So let us know what you think. You can even bid (offer cold hard cash) to convince us to live by you, or if you think we might pick your town and that makes you a little bit sick, you can file a restraining order and post a summary of it in the comments section.

Post away.