Document type : vocene
Date : 2016-01-05
Description : VOCene #28 2016
Content :
Varsity Outdoor Club
VOCene #28, January 5 2016

** In This Issue:

** Special Features
* Happy new year!
* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant

** Recent Trip Reports

** Upcoming Trips

** Message Board Highlights

** Ms. Manners

** Special Features
* Happy new year!

Welcome to another year of outdoors shenanigans with the VOC!

* Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant

Neil Mackenzie was one of the VOC's most talented members, and one of its most enthusiastic and capable teachers, until his tragic death in January 2015 on Mount Joffre with Stephanie Grothe and Elena Cernicka. To preserve and honor Neil Mackenzie's memory, Neil Mackenzie's parents and the VOC are working together to provide a grant for any VOCer planning really cool outdoors shenanigans somewhere in the world. The preference is for climbing in Scotland, but any self-propelled outdoors adventure which you couldn't do without this grant is fair game. If you have a big idea for a trip somewhere in the world, but particularly in Scotland, you might want to apply for this grant. Full details are here:
( . Deadline for submissions is January 29, 2016.
We look forward to reading the applications!

** The Usual Suspects

** Recent Trip Reports
* After years of trail- and hut-building, Jeff Mottershead goes the extra mile for one hapless snowshoer by becoming the trail himself ( .
* Several VOCers braved logistics, faff, and blue skies for a weekend out at Taylor Meadows. (
* Several VOCers happily made their way up to Brew Hut ( .

** Upcoming Trips

Ice Climbing trip, date to be fixed · Mon. Jan. 4th - Wed. Jan. 20th (
Hi all,
I'm looking for some to go ice climb with any day any time until the 21th of january. I'm leaving Canada at this date and i'm pretty pissed off not having touch the ice so far and I really deeply wanna do that before leaving.
I also can lead in WI4 or WI4+, and i'm confident with leading a rope over 4-5-6 pitches. I also might have a car for going either in the rockies either to Pemberton but as i don't really know the area, if someone knows more, i follow!

Concerning the date, i put a random date because as i finished my internship i can be available any time any days until the 21th of Jan.
My only concern is the gear I couldn't bring from France. I dont have any ice screw and ice axes but i'm ok for the rest with the help of the VOC gear.
If anyone is interested Let me know!

AST-1 Block B · Tue. Jan. 5th - Sun. Jan. 10th (
Note: As of November 26, both sections of block B are full.
Note: As of December 1st, a third AST-B session has been added. Deadline is December 15th.
The VOC is once again partnering with Canada West Mountains to provide its members with discounted avalanche skills training (AST) courses, with the intent of helping mitigate the risks of backcountry winter activity. This is Block B of three AST-1 sessions offered.
Note: All participants must be intermediate+ level skiers or snowboarders, i.e. able to handle various snow conditions – powder, crust, etc. Individuals who are interested in participating in a snowshoeing based should email Fangwen Zhao directly.
Once confirmed, there will be no cancellations, refunds or rebooking to a different date but you can sell your space to someone else if necessary.
Deadline to register is Dec. 4th 2015
See message board for more details

Frost fest needs your help! (Jan 5 & 6 ) · Tue. Jan. 5th - Wed. Jan. 6th (
Frost Fest is the mini-version of Clubs Days. The VOC gets a table on Tuesday Jan 5th and Wednesday Jan 6th from 10am to 4pm in the SUB (Student Union Building), at the Pit/clubroom level. We are there to promote the VOC and get some additional stoked members.
Come out and help us for an hour or so by standing at the booth and tell interested students about your amazing adventures with the club so far. There will be music and maybe some cookies:-) Helping out during Frost Fest counts as work hike hours (give back to the club for all the benefits your get as a member). You can sign up by editing the wiki page and enter yourself below for the times you are available to help out at the booth. See you there!

***Avalanche Companion Rescue Course @ Wreck Beach*** · Thursday, January 7th (
Hey all AST 1 prospectives, new backcountry skiers, or prospective members of winter VOC trips! We've heard from y'all that you're super stoked to learn how to travel with minimal risk in the mountains this winter! That's awesome; but unfortunately we live in Vancouver and a proper mountain with snow is nearly a 30-minute drive from campus. But have no fear; your solution is here! I know we're all mountain people, but why not learn the skill of companion rescue on Wreck Beach?! This is one of the 5 major learning goals for AST 1 courses, and dramatically reduces your influence as a liability on winter backcountry trips.Clinics will discuss avalanche companion rescue, which is the skill to save your partner if they were to get caught in an avalanche. Note: This is NOT a substitute for a proper AST 1 course; please do not take this course and opt out of AST 1. We merely wish to provide practice for VOCers to refine their rescue skills and create an environment of learning
low-risk travel practices in the backcountry. This event will be hosted bi-weekly on Thursday or Monday evenings, so if you don't make it out now surely sign up again for the next event! Get stoked to get safe out there!!

VOC100 - Centennial Commitee · Thursday, January 7th (
As some of you know, The Varsity Outdoor Club will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2017. This celebration will involve three initiatives:

(Ed.'s Note: Presumably, particularly given how the three initiatives part of this agenda article was in bold, there were some initiatives that were meant to go in here instead of white empty space. I'm going to dedicate this segment of the newsletter to audience participation instead. What three key initiatives do YOU think the VOC100 celebrations need to focus on in order to succeed? Fresh tracks?  Free samples? If you have a Cards Against Humanity deck handy for some reason, why not deal yourself out a hand and see what answers you can put together.

Better yet, please volunteer to help instead. The VOC will have 100 years of an unthinkable amount people being enabled by this club to reach some of the most beautiful parts of BC
, and we should celebrate that.)

It is necessary that we work together to organize these events and compile this book. No one person can do all of this work alone. This is a call for help! VOC is a longstanding organization that depends on the active participation of all of us. I'm sure we all realize how important this club is to many people.

We need people to
* Recruit VOC members to the Centennial Organizing Committee
* Contact VOC alumni to invite them to the events and ask for them to contribute their personal pictures and stories to the Centennial Coffee Table Book
* Organize the Centennial Banquet at a venue in Vancouver
* Contact organizations having VOC alumni as members to advertise our three Centennial Initiatives
* Parse and compile alumni submissions for the the Centennial Coffee Table Book
* Edit and Publish the Centennial Coffee Table Book
* Study the history behind the formation of VOC, and write a historical introduction for the Centennial Coffee Table Book
* Organize The Centennial Trip on the weekend of the Centennial Banquet
* More!

This is a lot to handle. Please contribute what you can!

Morning Trail Running in PSP! (beginner friendly) · Fri. Jan. 8th - Sun. Jan. 31st (
This is not your usual VOC trip but an ongoing "adventure" into the deep dark forest of the Pacific Spirit Park. (will renew the trip every month)
When: every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday/Sundays starting Friday (Jan. 8).
Meeting point: University Blvd. + Acadia Rd. (locations will be flexible on weekends)
Time: 7:30 a.m.
You can drop-in when you like. We jump into puddles. Work up a good sweat. Get lost sometimes. Would love you to join!!


Workhike - Skins and other skis stuff repair night - (No experience required) · Wednesday, January 13th (
The basic idea is we check all the skins for all the skis, if they suck we fix em. We will start with the tall rack. Time and more details TBA. Maybe people can bring useful repair equipment? Celebrate at Koerner pub after :)
I think our ideal group size is ten, but we can be quite flexible. This will be a great oppurtunity to learn new ski repair skills.
The start time is quite flexible, just let me know what time you are coming. I don't imagine us staying past 10pm. Feel free to text me at the time to see if we still need help.
Somee thoughts:
Mainly, I think we will do a lot of re-gluing. Does anyone have experience with this? Does it work well? What are the tips and tricks? Is it amenable to an assembly line? I imagein at least a quarter of the skis need to be reglued (about 20 skis). From what I understand you have to remove the old glue, then apply new glue and somewhere in the process it smells really bad. Irons are apparently also involved. I think
Lots of the skins also have other issues. (too short, too long, bad glue, bad connecty-tail-thing)
After we are done, we can all go celebrate at Koerners pub!

Winter Social · Thursday, January 14th (
Ho ho ho, welcome back from your holiday adventures. Come round for a chance to share your stories and mishaps over some food and a beer.

Santa needs you! To make this event happen. Food will be served in a potluck fashion in the VOC club room around 7pm. So bring your tasty dish and we will see who is most worthy. Beer will be drunk at the Pitt pub which happens to be right beside the clubroom. Unfortunately the pitt is 19+, but you can still hang out in the clubroom by the food if you cant drink.

Don't forget to bring eating utensils and surfaces. And use the sign up tool to say what you will bring so people can plan their dishes accordingly.


Winter Longhike 2016 · Sat. Jan. 16th - Sun. Jan. 17th (

Winter Longhike is coming up!

This is an introductory trip for winter camping. We'll be a large group of keen people that want to experience a totally new face of the white backcountry.

We'll be having great fun and learning new skills such as building our very own snow shelter ( (or if you're ambitious enough, a snow castle). There will be a prize for the most elaborate snow-cave :D

Other activities likely to happen include (but are not limited to):
* Backcountry food cook-off
* Sing-alongs
* Great skiing on Sunday


This is a beginner friendly trip and if you've never seen snow you're more than welcome to join. This is trip is also, ski-, snowboard-, and snowshoe-friendly.

Although beginner friendly and relatively easy, do not under estimate Winter Longhike - it is still a trip to a backcountry location where your survival depends on your actions and equipment. Due to the massive size of the group you will not be micro-managed - you are responsible for your own safety and actions this especially includes asking for help. If you have some common sense and can follow simple instructions this should be not problem. There will be plenty of experienced people around that will be happy to help you if you ask them, but there won't be assigned instructors.

You should form smaller sub groups (easiest is with the rest of the people in your car) and look out for each other; this will be sorted out at the pre-trip meeting so have no fear.

Check out the wiki page ( for more information and post any questions on themessage board (,115747) .

** Message Board Highlights
-Nice discussion on backcountry emergencies taking place here (,101452) .
-Midweek skiing faff (,115330) !

** Ms Manners
Ms Manners is the VOC's resident expert on mountaineering and outdoors etiquette, and answers questions from VOCers once a week in her advice column, here. Do you have a question for Ms Manners? Email the VOCene editor and it will be forwarded on to Ms Manners, with a reply posted the following week.

Hi Ms Manners,

I've done some weekend-long skiing trips a couple times, but never longer trips than that. I'm about to go out for a week-long hut trip. How do I make sure I get enough calories?

What To Bring


Good question! Veenstra's excellent 'How To Pack' ( slideshow covers the basics. Most people eat about a kilo of food per day at most, and you'll be burning  a LOT of calories by skiing every waking hour for a week straight. Meal planning can be pretty personalized depending on how active you are and how much you eat in the backcountry, so that's out of scope for this article. That said, I've found that if you want to make sure you can decide to load up a meal with enough calories to recharge after a long day of skiing, bring a stick of butter along.

Grease is basically one of the three essential backcountry food groups. It's that, couscous, and, I don't know, water or something (Ed.'s note: Ms Manners is not a nutritionist). It's calorie-dense, fatty so your body burns it over a longer period of time compared to suger, and, at least after a long day of skiing, it makes anything taste amazing.

I've seen many a butter-enhanced meal in the backcountry, although I can't recommend all (or even most) of them. I've documented them below:
* Butter And Mushroom Stew: Literally like a pound of butter, melted and simmered, with big portabello mushrooms thrown in. Add a ridiculous amount of seasonings to taste.
* Butter Hot Chocolate: Hot chocolate always tastes pretty watery. Adding butter fixes this issue. Delicious. Add rum to taste. This recipe comes courtesy of Jeff Taylor.
* Deep-Fried Anything: Yesterday's dinner, cheese, bagels, sandwiches, trail mix if you're desperate...
* Just sort of adding butter to a meal: The slightly saner option compared to any of the above. Not as catchy though.
* Eating it like a bar: AKA the 'Sam Viavant Maneuver' (Ed.'s note: I've never actually seen him do this, but if I heard he'd done this I wouldn't be too skeptical), this option is for advanced backcountry culinary enthusiasts only. I can only recommend it if your stomach and metabolism are built like a coal furnace. Big sticks of cheese might keep better if the temperature ever goes above -10C, and keeping it next to your warm body in a jacket pocket is not recommended.

Stay energized,
Ms Manners


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