Document type : vocene
Date : 2011-11-23
Description : VOCene #33
Content :
VOCene #33  November 23rd,  2011
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In this VOCene:

I. Upcoming Events and Trips

1) Annual VOC Formal/Ugly Sweater Winter Social!  Wednesday, November 23rd
2) Vancouver Snowfest Gear Swap - Sat. Nov 26th, 10am - 3pm
3) Early Season Duffey- Keith's Hut- Nov 26-27  Sat. Nov. 26th - Sun. Nov. 27th
4) Marriott Basin ski weekend/ stay @ Wendy Thompson Hut  Sat. Nov. 26th - Sun. Nov. 27th
5) Beginner Friendly Daytrip to Zoa Peak - Sunday Nov 27th  Sunday, November 27th
6) 7th Annual Jared Stanley Memorial Mountain Safety Lecture  Wednesday, November 30th
7) Beacon Practice after Jared Stanley Lecture  Wednesday, November 30th
8) Banff Mountain Film Festival - Get your ticket through the VOC - Dec 1-2nd.
9) Feuerzangenbowle Snowshoe/Skiing Trip to Brew Hut (Beginner Friendly)  - Tentative - Sat. Dec. 3rd - Sun. Dec. 4th
10) Pre-finals Paul Ridge Day Mission- Beginner Friendly  Saturday, December 3rd
11) AST1 - AST2 Avalanche Skills Courses- Dec 17th and on

II. Trip Ideas and Partners Sought

III. This week in the VOC
 1) Past trips and events
 2) First Aid Courses at 40% Discount
 
IV. Miscellaneous
 1) Rewards and incentives for trip organizers
 2) Call for VOC journal articles - 54th edition!

V. Ms. Manners
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I. Upcoming Events and Trips

I love how full this list is getting :)

1) Annual VOC Formal/Ugly Sweater Winter Social!  Wednesday, November 23rd

Woop woop!  This is tomorrow!  The Gallery won't know what hit it! The annual VOC Winter Social at the Gallery (in the SUB, main level).  The amazing DJ Oker will be spinning for us, and if it's anything like last year this will be a great party! This will be a potluck, and the dress code is formal, or an ugly sweater (note, "formal" here is to be interpreted in the generalized VOC sense, including ski boots, 90's ski onesie's, etc..). We'll also be voting in our new Trips Coordinator and Membership Chair for next semester. If you are interested in running, make sure you show up or send a representative.
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/functions.php?tripid=140

Note: a few people are needed to volunteer at the door as a workhike.  If interested, see here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?1,79602
2) Vancouver Snowfest Gear Swap - Sat. Nov 26th, 10am - 3pm
This event will be replacing the famous MEC fall gear swap, and promises to include some great deals on ski setups, and other winter equipment.  You can also bring in your own things to sell.  More information available on the message board.
http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?1,78632

3) Early Season Duffey- Keith's Hut- Nov 26-27  Sat. Nov. 26th - Sun. Nov. 27th

This will be an overnight ski trip to the Keith Flavell Hut along the Duffey Lakes road. This trip is beginner friendly, but you should contact the trip organizer to confirm if you aren't sure if you are up for it.
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=172
http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79497

4) Marriott Basin ski weekend/ stay @ Wendy Thompson Hut  Sat. Nov. 26th - Sun. Nov. 27th

Another hut skiing trip along the Duffey! This hut has a heater, by the way :)
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=176

5) Beginner Friendly Daytrip to Zoa Peak - Sunday Nov 27th  Sunday, November 27th

This trip will be a beginner friendly skiing trip along the Coquihalla highway, up Zoa peak.  If you have any questions for her, Ms. Manners has confirmed that she will be there.
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=173
http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79509,79510#msg-79510

6) 7th Annual Jared Stanley Memorial Mountain Safety Lecture  Wednesday, November 30th

In January 2005, Jared Stanley, a UBC student, passed away while back country skiing on Mount Seymour. Every year, the VOC hosts a memorial lecture in his name. Jared's parents will be there sharing memories of him, and this will be followed by a talk given by one of Canada West Mountain School's guides, who will be addressing their views on safety in the mountains from the perspective of someone who is responsible for managing group safety. A highly relevant subject for the VOC!
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=168
http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?1,79294,79372#msg-79372

7) Beacon Practice after Jared Stanley Lecture  Wednesday, November 30th

Chris Y. will be running a beacon practice session in the field between the SUB and the bus loop, after the Jared Stanley Memorial lecture. Knowing how to use an avalanche beacon is an important part of winter backcountry safety. Please try to make as many of these practice sessions as you can!
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=174

8) Banff Mountain Film Festival - Get your ticket through the VOC - Dec 1-2nd.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is coming to Vancouver, and we are selling tickets! $15, come during gear hours, the price at the door will be $18. Dec 1-2 at the Ridge Theater, Dec 3 at Centennial Theater (North Vancouver).
http://www.accvancouver.ca/bmffworldtour_2011.htm

9) Feuerzangenbowle Snowshoe/Skiing Trip to Brew Hut (Beginner Friendly)  - Tentative - Sat. Dec. 3rd - Sun. Dec. 4th
What is Feuerzangenbowle, you ask? Well, come on this beginner friendly trip to Brew Hut and find out!  Or just Wikipedia it, but then come on the trip to taste it in a wonderful alpine hut!
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=134

10) Pre-finals Paul Ridge Day Mission- Beginner Friendly  Saturday, December 3rd

This will be a beginner daytrip to ski up on Paul Ridge.  Paul is known as a brilliant man who will help prepare you for your finals.
http://www.ubc-voc.com/tripagenda/details.php?tripid=170

11) AST1 - AST2 Avalanche Skills Courses- Dec 17th and on

Avalanche awareness and skills are essential for winter back country travel around here.  VOC members are strongly encouraged to take Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses, and every year we work out a deal with Canada West Mountain School to provide professionally tough courses. These usually combine classroom instruction and field practice at Seymour or Whistler.  These courses will be run in various blocks in December and January (and an AST2 course in Feb.) More information here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79165

II. Trip Ideas and Partners Sought

-Greg R. is looking for partners to run all of the trails in Pacific Spirit Park in a day.  Estimates range from 50km to 100km.  If your interested, or just like calculating things, check it out here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79588
-As the holidays often end up as a time for "planning ahead", there's a message board thread going for New Year's plans: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,77985 Last year about 30 VOCer's brought in 2011 in style at the Phelix hut.

III. This week in the VOC

1) Past trips and events

-A group of VOCers had an eventful ski trip down in the Mt. Baker area, involving great snow, a late night rescue, and head stitches. Check out the TR and photos here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,78562
-Another group went to Elfin Lakes/Red Heather on a ski trip.  Some people ended up on the wrong trail, but luckily everyone got where they needed to be.  As always, there are lessons to learn from the great TR: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,78807
-Another beginner friendly trip headed up to the Brew Hut this past weekend. Check out the great photos here: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,78667
-Some "intermediate" folk headed up to Telemagique Ridge to ski: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79240
-In what has become a powder-tastic recurring theme this season, a crew headed to Taylor Meadows to get some turns in. Phil T. fulfilled his normal responsibility of getting us excited about the snow quality: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?3,79586
-The mountaineering great Fred Beckey graced UBC with stories and pictures from a lifetime of adventure. To make it even more cool, he actually used a slide projector! Reminded me of those profs that still use overheads...

IV. Miscellaneous
 
1) Rewards and incentives for trip organizers

Woohoo, prodeals for VOC Trip organizers! In return for leading trips, you now get not only immense satisfaction, but cheap gear too!!
http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Discounts_for_VOC_Trip_Organizers

2) Call for VOC journal articles - 54th edition!

Time to start writing up those crazy memories of outdoor experiences this past year, or just turning your existing TR's into journal articles!  Every year, the VOC immortalizes the wonderful fun we have in the outdoors in the VOC Journal.  Receiving a journal is a priveledge of membership in the VOC, and it relies completely on submissions from people like you!  Check out the message board for more information about the deadline and types of things you can contribute: http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum5/read.php?1,79263

V. Ms. Manners
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Dear Ms. Manners,

In addition to being just generally weirded-out by VOC members (or "VOCers" as they seem to call themselves), I often find myself confused as to what the various sounds coming out of their mouths mean.  For instance, everyone is always talking about "faffing". "Faff" this, "faff" that... What is everyone talking about? Is this an important word to know?

Thanks,
AYL


Dear AYL,

As primitive peoples have for millenia, VOCers have developed linguistic patterns that help them communicate with their kind. In fact, this is a large enough part of the VOC culture that there's a glossary of terms on the VOC Wiki: http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/Glossary. According to the glossary, faffing is:

Faffing (verb), faf-ing: Wasting time by doing absolutely nothing, see also Clusterfuck. Technically you have to waste the time of others on your trip; just wasting your own time is not sufficient. Arriving at the trailhead with nothing in your pack and most everything scattered in your car is classical faffing.

Faffing is the bane of many VOC trips. With short days, long drives, and overly ambitious objectives, time is often the limiting factor to "success". So, VOC members often concern themselves with minimizing faff, in order to accomplish more. That's one reason you might hear the term a lot.  One prominent example of faffing is stopping at Tim Horton's on the way up the Sea-To-Sky highway.  In a paradox that has physicists scratching their heads, time runs faster in there. Any Tim Horton's stop that involves sitting down lasts at least half an hour, despite the fact that you have your food in minutes.

Not all faff is bad, however.  And not all faff is anthropogenic, either.  Sometimes the world just faffs on you and your trip, and there's nothing you can do about it (e.g. bad weather slowing you down). After this happens, the objective has to be scaled down (e.g. sleeping in instead of an alpine start), and subsequent faffing is embraced. In such a situation, VOCer's will revel in their short-lived freedom (seriously, relaxing on a weekend?).

Another reason you might hear the word faff alot is because it is a funny sounding word.  Despite popular opinion, the word does not come from the 18th century German mathematician Johann Friedrich Pfaff*. Although I'm sure he nursed his coffee and repacked his bag at the trailhead.  Rather, faff is a word of British origin, where it is commonly used as to "faff about". Wiktionary lists the American equivalent as "dicking around". According to Worldwidewords.org, the word came about in Scotland and Yorkshire as mimicking the sound of wind blowing in gusts. But faffing into the wind is not recommended.

Sincerely,
Ms. Manners

*Pfaff is the namesake of the "Pfaffian", a certain polynomial in the entries of a square matrix. If the matrix is antisymmetric, the Pfaffian squared ends up yielding the determinant of the matrix.

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