Start of winter 2018

Mt. Baker at dusk from the neighborhood.  November 2018

Wow.  It’s really been almost five years since I’ve written anything here?  I guess that’s what happens when I finally joined the modern world, got an Instagram account (@adamcu280 if you’re interested) and started posting there.  

So what’s new?  Let’s start with the skiing side of things.  I’ve been working with Lib Tech Skis for a couple years now too.  Lib Tech is a local Washington company that is now one of the biggest players in the global snowboard market.  They’ve been dabbling in skis for over a decade but have started really upping their game in the last few years and I’m excited to be a part of the newest generation of designs.  They also make killer surfboards and skateboards in the most environmentally friendly factory on the planet which just happens to be nearby on the Olympic peninsula.  They’re local, produce awesome shapes with zero hazardous waste, and are heavily involved with my community.  Plus, the reps are great neighbors and our dogs are best friends. 

Zeal Optics is another environmentally friendly company that I’ve recently partnered with.  They do things like plant trees for every set of goggles sold during certain times of the year and even make plant-based sunglasses.  What’s not to like?  

I’m still proud to be working with Backcountry Access (for over a decade!), Spacecraft Collective, LEKI, Saxx underwear, Quiver Killer binding inserts, 22 Designs, Crispi boots, One Ball Jay, Dissent socks, and Mt. Baker ski area

All smiles in the backyard!  Mt. Baker, WA.  December 2018.  Photo by Tess Golling

There are a few updates on the research side of things as well.  I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Mariana Archipelago and my colleagues and I just published a paper on the pilot whales there in Marine Mammal Science.  We’ve also started doing winter humpback whale research and have presented our findings at the Society for Marine Mammalogy conference in Halifax, Canada.  I’ve also been on a handful of research cruises in the Marianas, off the west coast of the US, the Aleutians, and Hawaii.  

Small boat work off Guam.  August 2018
Ski world meets whale world on Saipan.  February 2018.  Photo by Amanda Bradford
Sunset on Saipan.  May 2017
R/V Tiglax somewhere west of Adak, Alaska.  August 2016
NOAA Oscar Elton Sette off Lana’i, Hawaii.  September 2017
NOAA Reuben Lasker off Baja, Mexico.  October 2018

In 2015, 2017, and 2018, I participated in studies on the Vaquita in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico.  These poor critters are on the verge of extinction with probably less than a dozen left so it’s been an honor to be able to work with them in the hopes of turning the tide in their favor.  Fingers crossed for them because as they say in Mexico “hope dies last”.  

R/V Narval in the Gulf of California.  September 2018
Vaquita swimming near San Felipe, Mexico.  September 2018
Vaquita swimming in front of San Felipe, Mexico.  September 2018

The last time I posted anything I still had my old band Metalmücil.  Well, that project disbanded and I started my own “solo” career as the Bonin Petrels.  Most of the Bonin Petrels stuff was recorded all by myself on research ships with an electric guitar, 25 key MIDI keyboard, and my laptop.  In March 2018 I started a new band, the Season Passholes, with some friends from Glacier.  This has been quite an adventure and we’re excited to see what the future holds for this project.  

The Season Passholes rocking the Williamson wedding.  August 2018.  Photo by Anne Cleary

Ok, we’re all caught up!  Hopefully it won’t be another five years before the next update.


Adam Ü winter 2013-2014

Here’s yet another all-POV video diary for you to ignore! This one focuses on my 2013-2014 winter. This season started out slow for pretty much everyone but got rolling for me during a wonderful road trip through Japan in January and when I returned home to Mt. Baker, the PNW finally entered a more “normal” winter cycle.

As usual, if you’re looking for the sickest, most extremo progression of the sport with double corks off of massive cliffs and the nastiest spine descents in the most remote mountain ranges you’re in the wrong place. This, by most people’s e-standards, is pure FGP/meadow skipping.

Big thanks go to K2, K2 Japan, Scarpa boots, TREW gear, Backcountry Access, Scott Sports, and Mt. Baker Ski Area for supporting my winter endeavors.

Music: “Industry Douchebag” by The Bonin Petrels. If you can handle a bit of satire on the ski industry you can hear more of their songs at

Fall 2013

Let’s see, the last time I checked in I was chasing whales and dolphins in the Marianas.  What have I been up to since then?

Well, when the Marianas project ended I had about three days at home in Washington before I flew out to Norfolk to join a NOAA/SEFSC cruise chasing whales and dolphins in the Atlantic.  I enjoyed action and adventure on the Right Coast for five weeks and then made my way back to Washington for a short while before heading down to California for some well-deserved family and surf time.

After about a month in the Golden State I migrated back north for the winter, stopping in Ashland for a couple of days before finally making it home to Glacier.  Once I was finally home for more than a couple days I settled into a nice routine of mountain biking and music (if you dare you can hear some of my latest songs on the “Music” page).  For the first month or so we were loving the amazing biking conditions but for the past few weeks now the weather has been abnormally frigid and everyone’s getting a bit agitated at the lack of snow.

Mount Baker has been uncharacteristically bony thus far but we’ve still managed to get out and make some nice turns.  Since it’s now ski season that also means it’s ski publication season and if you check out the “Skiing Publications” page you can see some new stuff from Powder, Backcountry, Backline (DE), Mount Baker Experience, Fall-Line (UK), and Ski Canada.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few thousand words in photo form:

Allan and I enjoy some rare Bf. 0 conditions off Saipan


A few days later, I enjoy some Bf. 0 conditions in the Atlantic while on the NOAA ship Gordon Gunter


Spotted dolphins riding the bow.  That’s me in the red.


Imagine my surprise when I went to a bar in Charleston and found The Palisades, a Bellingham band, playing!


A manatee enjoying a dripping pipe massage in front of the USS Yorktown CV-10.  Charleston, SC.


Back in Washington, sailing with Kevin.


Spawned out pinks in Canyon Creek, Whatcom County WA.


USA!  Team Oracle winning the America’s Cup in San Francisco.


McConkey movie premiere, Squaw Valley CA.


West Marin, CA.


Marin Headlands, CA.


Thee Oh Sees!


Did a bit of driving in the trusty Suby and hit 200k on the way up to Artist Point.


Top of Table Mountain looking towards Mount Shuksan.


Mt. Baker opening day!  Skied Mt. Herman w/ Grant Gunderson and Tess Golling.


Mid-Summer Update!!! Yes, it’s hot out here.

I’ve been pretty silent on the blogging front for a few months, but that’s not because I haven’t been doing anything.  Au contraire!  Once May came around I switched from “Adam Ü – electric guitarslinger/powder snow destroyer” into my “Adam Ü – Marine Biologist” alter-ego and have been going pretty much non-stop.

My first assignment was for the NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, or PIFSC.  I assisted with a four-week survey of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, but instead of telling you my story I’ll just link the four weekly reports here.  Cop-out?  Perhaps.

Once the PACES cruise finished I had about 10 days at home in Glacier before heading out to the Marianas to take part in another PIFSC project, this time a small boat-based study of marine mammals around Guam and the main islands (Saipan, Tinian, and Rota) of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  This is my fourth trip out here for this particular project and my sixth (I think) overall.  Not much is known about the whales and dolphins around Guam and the CNMI so everything we’ve learned thus far is pretty new and exciting.  Once again I’ll link to the PIFSC blog as it’s already covering everything I’d want to say.  Also, if you’re so inclined, you can find our reports from previous field efforts out here on my “Marine Publications” page.

We’re not quite done yet and there are some new and exciting things that have happened since the Rota report (hint hint – alien/reptile dolphins!) so check back and I’ll let you know when that’s all ready to be reported.  Until then, here are a few photos.

IMG_0184 IMG_0196 GM-000031 GM-000039 PIFSC_20130707-ACU_3839 CNMI-000057

Season edit 2012 – 2013

Even though the season’s not quite done yet I figured I’d get a head start and make a video for the 12-13 winter. It was a good one that took me from my home at Mt. Baker to Japan, to the Coast Range of British Columbia and finally, North Cascades National Park.

Big thanks to John Trousdale for his DSLR footage and Rene Crawshaw for his followcam POV.

The song is “Sleaze Porch” by my band Metalmücil. That’s me on lead guitar and vocals. The whole album is available via digital download: links on

More information on white harbor porpoises

Ahh yes, as I sit here in Myoko fighting jetlag while watching giant snowflakes fall from the sky my thoughts drift back to… grad school and seabird surveys in the San Juans? Well, kind of, because I just got this paper from Arda Tonay and colleagues from Turkey. They compiled all the anomalously white harbor porpoise sightings across the planet, one of which (from August 2007) just happens to be the first record from the Pacific Ocean. It’s pretty cool to see my thesis and Keener et al. 2011 cited in this paper recently published in Hystrix, the Italian Journal of Mammalogy.

Metalmücil – “Go Home”

Well folks, here it is.  “Go Home” is the first album from Metalmücil, the loudest band in eastern Whatcom county!

Recorded over two days in April 2012 at Rogue Island Studios in Seattle and mixed/mastered by Eric Janko, this album represents my finest accomplishment to date.  Sure, there are a few little hiccups here and there but it represents the raw and rugged (and low-budget) sound that we were going for.  No Phil Spector overproduction, no indulgent string orchestration, just four guys (now three guys and one gal) with day jobs doing our best to be equal opportunity offenders. 

We’ll be playing a few shows in NW Washington from late Jan through mid-April, so don’t be afraid to check us out!  If you like what you hear or just want to support local music feel free to buy a song or 11. 

Metalmücil is:

guitar/vocals: Greg Bernier and Adam Ü

drums/vocals: Thomas Taylor

bass/vocals: Emily Hewitt (but Scott Peterson played on the album)


On December 21st 2012, Metalmücil played a show at Graham’s in Glacier to end the world.  Here’s our arrangement of the Tom Bloxton classic “Puffin” – written about a pretty-yet-mean species of seabird. 

In case you missed it you can catch us again at the Cabin Tavern in Bellingham on New Years!