Author Archives: ruari

About ruari

a lover of the beauty of the mountains, coast and other wild open spaces. An adventurer and high-level snowboard freerider / snowboard mountaineer

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Grand Teton weekend warrior

Despite a non-guaranteed  weather window, my good friend John Mletschnig talked me into abandoning perfect conditions in the Rockies for a big weekend away to try the Grand Teton.  My boss gave me an extra day off, allowing a day … Continue reading

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Columbia Icefield

Tried the one day Mt Columbia in fresh snow, May 8. Turned around past the trench but just shy of the peak as not everyone was feeling up to it. A pleasant slog though! Amazing views. Lucky with the weather … Continue reading

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Couloir Select

Skiied a few couloirs early spring this year, in the generally low hazard that typified the latter half of this winter.  Turned around from one or two as well when things didn’t feel quite right.  Here’s a few photos from … Continue reading

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Wrangle the chute 2015

photo Drew Wittstock.  dropping in to day 2 comp run, Wrangle, Kicking Horse BC. After a season not even thinking about comps, instead focusing purely on work (as an avalanche technician, so not as bad as it sounds) and touring, … Continue reading

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Approaching Maturity – freedom by new means

“A man should have wings to carry him where his dreams go, but sometimes a pair of skis makes a good substitute” – Hans Gmoser, 1961. “I didn’t even get to sleep until well after midnight.  I was just wired … … Continue reading

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Snippets – a video

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Wapta Yesterday.

Now would be a good time to ski on the wapta, either multi day or a big day trip. many of the north and east aspect faces looked in good condition, particularly farther west (around vulture col and st nick … Continue reading

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Skiing with CJ

In early Feb I did a heliski guiding practicum in Revelstoke. A pineapple express was fizzling out, leaving us poor vis and heavy snow, with rain at lower elevations, but some really good powder skiing at treeline.  Temps were still warm, … Continue reading

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Weekend Warrior

…“Weekend warrior”… Not too bad, when your weekends are 3 days, midweek. Jan 27-29 was an exceptional weekend.  We’d just experienced an extraordinary heat event (well,for January in the Rockies), even for this warm winter, with temps well above freezing … Continue reading

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Tribute

Andreas. One of my greatest inspirations, and the greatest thinker of any alpinist of our time. I always wondered how it would go for you. So much time in inherently risky environments, but in the few days spent near you, … Continue reading

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Sherpas Cinema- Sculpted in Time

https://sherpascinema.com/sculpted-in-time/

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New Rockies Routes – Sulphur Mtn Skyline Crag, Mt Ishbel Slabs, Ishbel West Ridge

  In between unfortunate injuries ( a poor run; none for seven years and now three in twelve months…nothing lasting though) I’ve been fortunate to have some great partners this summer, both for enjoying superb days on some of the … Continue reading

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The Big One

Mt Temple SE Face First Descent. Louise Group, Canadian Rockies – RM June 1, 2014.  Unfortunately, I’d been wake for 24hrs at this point due to long day the day before.  Co-incidentally 1 year to the day after my first … Continue reading

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Assorted Spring Sweets – Ha Ling bowl, Silverhorn/Mt Athabasca, Wapta Traverse

I should have actually published this when it was written, but I could not work out how to upload more than one photo at once, and gave up in disgust. here it is: “To be perfectly honest; I have mainly … Continue reading

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One Hard Message

The peak referred to is the most striking looking line and peak in the background of the photo. my first view of it. Wow.   Well. Here I am. Thank God. Well, actually, that sounds a little melodramatic.  But the … Continue reading

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Supersweet Swiss Snow Smashing

a few excellent days with friends, during the best season Engadin-St Moritz has had in half a century. laugh out loud pow slashing run after run after run.

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The Rockies most laugh-out-loud fun run

A post actually written several weeks ago… I have to admit procrastination is a vice of mine at times. Some of it isn’t valid; for example my 2 week touring trip at the beginning of May has fallen through, due … Continue reading

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purcells gold.

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pillowland

by ian holmes

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Freeride World Tour – Kappl, Austria P.O.V.

https://vimeo.com/89665098

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pillow prescription

above; shot by Dave Cavanagh, McGill trees, Rogers Pass BC. better to be shot by Dave than run over by him skiing, I hereby testify! You’ve probably heard about it.  You’ve read it in the paper.  Heard speculation in the lift … Continue reading

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How to Ride Spines like a Boss. P1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m23BCAbBO4&feature=youtu.be a simple instructional video demonstrating how you, too, can dominate the steeps.

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Old Bangers

All photos by Shane Orchard; http://www.shaneorchardphotography.com , unless mentioned otherwise.

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FWT14 – Europe videos and wrap-up

Cormayeur comp run: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1a3t82_fwt14-ruari-macfarlane-courmayeur-mont-blanc_sport Chamonix comp run: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1aacfe_fwt14-ruari-macfarlane-chamonix-mont-blanc_sport Fieberbrunn/Kappl comp run: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1bor16_fwt14-run-of-ruari-macfarlane-fieberbrunn-staged-in-kappl-tirol_sport?search_algo=1 Kappl judges debrief: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1b5wf9_fwt14-journal-ep15-judge-debrief_sport?search_algo=1 Well, what a big month. gotta say, its been pretty emotional. I’ve high fived more new and old friends covered in powder than I … Continue reading

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Chamonix FWT run again I screwed up one thing, in this case getting lost and so hardly hitting my first cliff, but working my way up the rankings and ready to go harder next few stops

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courmayeur rest day

getting restless on an attempted rest day , in courmayeur for the start of the FWT.  heeby jeebys to kill! a wee ski mountaineering style descent with Matt Francisty, one of the only other competitors living in canada. Beginning the … Continue reading

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first air, first FWT stop. Courmayeur 2014

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FWT courmayeur: Italy

http://touch.dailymotion.com/video/x1a3t82

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Back on Track : Deepest days this season

Gearing up after too long without a faceshot; New Years day; foregoing the hungover misery of the masses, we had a superb long powder run at emerald lake, alabeit with cautious terrain choices, keeping out of the guts of the … Continue reading

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Freeride World Tour preparation

Leaving at the beginning of a long fine spell of weather in the southern alps, I braced myself for the bracing fresh air of the Rockies in late November, and promptly had a few deep days touring amongst the first … Continue reading

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Lippe Couloir, Mt Pembroke, Fiordland.

Words fail Fiordland.  I’ve found this several times overseas, my descriptions sounding dry and withered even to my own ears, facing blank or disbelieving of faces of the climbers I am trying to get through to.  But who can paint … Continue reading

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Mt Cook, the East Face, Raw beauty, and Tradgedy.

  Prelude: A few days in Fiordland again, this time with Sophie; a few nice pitchs of immaculate granite slab enjoyed (and on sophies’ part a few nice ski turns with a killer view); before the rain well and truly … Continue reading

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Back to Fiordland

Back to my heartland. Fiordland remains my favourite place on earth.  Conor, Naomi (siblings) and myself spent a disproportionate amount of our childhood playing amongst the mossy boulders and lush alpine beech forest of Homer Hut.  4 days after the … Continue reading

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Mt Fraser

Finally, I was done with my avalanche two.  I’d been doing alot of research on a beautiful peak I’d spotted in the Rakia headwaters two springs ago, from the Garden of Eden neve, and Shane Orchard was as usual, very … Continue reading

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Avalanche Level Two

I am normally chuffed to be back in NZ, but this time was pining for the summer and adventure left behind in Canada.  I had no job sorted when I arrived, and realized I needed to make something productive of … Continue reading

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home again + remarks action

plans to spend summer in the Rockies fell through along with our hoped-for work permits.  So it was back to NZ with regrets and no plan.  Trying to maximise my rock time, I tred the SE ridge of grotto solo … Continue reading

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Cruising – spring in Canada

Carl Fischer climbing Meathooksflat topped pillar in right fore -ground is Tower of Babel, a fun 5.8 adventure, especially when the heavens opened and poured on Dan Leon and myself halfway up. Good, hard, colourful quartzite..in one orange friction chimney … Continue reading

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Mt Temple N Face – finished project

In May last year I was relieved to finally finish my Mt Temple North Face project.  It was a drawn on saga and weighed on my mind; this face is not a friendly place.  I have been busy all winter … Continue reading

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retro couloir action some old couloir footage

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It’s Called Snowboard Mountaineering best spring ever for me, getting away from it all along the crests of the southern alps

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The triumviate

Ian shevalier and myself were rock climbing in heart canyon, and I commented on the pitch of easy ice still hanging by one crag.  The next day we were planning to ski miners, then crag; and he challenged me to … Continue reading

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The Mt Temple Project

The day before our current 20 degree C + warmup,I was lucky to accompany friends on their way to aemmers, then split and work a project currently motivating me to get out of bed at stupid o’clock… to ride every … Continue reading

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Freeride World Tour 2014

http://www.freerideworldtour.com/news-detail/items/top-freeride-world-qualifier-athletes-secure-their-spots-for-fwt-2014.html Thank goodness, I don’t think I could spend another season chasing FWQ points!

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Rossignol edit – inc. ishbel slab couloir

Rossi asked for a wee video summary of how my Rossignol ‘The Experience’ snowboard was treating me; so…  https://vimeo.com/64534248

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what we miss out on

this is inspiring; http://www.biglines.com/articles/who-fk-trevor-hunt

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work’s out! (scratching the itch – Slabathon. plus Stanley n Face and cragging

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Warming up – Aemmer’s, Commonwealth couloir, sunshine road chutes

patrolling at lake louise is drawing to a close..I’ve negotiated an early finish, this monday!  As things warm up I’ve also begun work on my lengthy ticklist, here are the results from one week (3 days off); Oli. Aemmers Couloir. … Continue reading

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BC in march; more than a last gasp

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