196 Search Results for "absaroka range"
- From: TetonGravityResearch
Description:Words by Kim Havell and Jason ThompsonImages by Jason ThompsonUpon graduating from Montana State University in 2004, photographer Jason Thompson joined Big Sky’s Ski Patrol and also worked as a mountain guide in Washington and Alaska, steadily building a career in adventure photography. His focus is on creating skiing and climbing imagery that captures the essence of action adventure.With a style that Thompson describes as “raw and unposed”, he strives for simplicity. His images are the product of his lifestyle, telling stories inspired by nature, adventure, and the human experience. At twelve years of age, Thompson decided to pursue photography with an old-school Olympus camera. He took photography classes in high school while shooting action photos of skiing, backpacking, and soccer.Thompson is currently on an expedition to University Peak in Alaska with friend and ski partner, Forrest Coots. When asked about Thompson, Coots shares, “JT has a strong skill set built from years of guiding. He is comfortable climbing and skiing big lines, while also shooting, which allows him to capture that raw-feeling. His images reflect his travels through the mountains via ice climbing and ski mountaineering in iconic locations around the world.”The Start—Insights from JasonAs a kid, I was drawn to the mountains and loved the winter months. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest I was exposed to some of the finest mountain terrain in the lower 48. The Olympic Mountains served as my launching point for adventuring as well as capturing the escapades with my camera. The Washington experience extended from childhood through high school.A high school friend gave me a flyer for Montana State University. That was the first time I realized the power of marketing; there was a skier on the front page of the flyer. I was sold. I had also seen many of Kris Erickson's pictures and read many of Hans Saari's words. It was an easy move to a place where two creative adventurers that I had looked up to had made their home base. In the fall of 1999, I moved to Bozeman, without ever having been there, two days before classes started. Five years later I graduated with a degree in photography. The community in Bozeman welcomed me and it’s been home ever since.Breaking ThroughFor me, the photography process has more been a series of ups and downs with a continual ebb and flow. There have also been great moments that have provided me with bigger surges.In 2008, Tyler Jones, Seth Waterfall, and I received a Hans Saari Ski Exploration grant for a trip to Mount Shkhara in the Republic of Georgia, located in the Svaneti Region. I had to plan a major trip from a climbing/skiing perspective as well as from a photography perspective. It was a great learning exercise. The expedition was powerful for the three of us, visiting a place that we knew little about. It left a mark on me in my young photography career.In issue #36 of Alpinist Magazine I had a double page spread. The article, written by Joe Josephson, was about ice climbing in Hyalite Canyon here in Bozeman, Montana. I was humbled and thrilled at this incredible opportunity to be involved.InspirationDuring my junior year of university, Kris Erickson came in and gave a talk to my photography business class. It was groundbreaking for me. I remember being blown away by the images he was showing, the adventures he had been on, and the people and places he had seen. It was an inspiring forty minutes for me. I remember thinking that, yep, I could do that for work.Since then I have had a chance to get to know Kris better. The insight he provided that day and since then has motivated me to follow suit in many ways and has helped me to carefully evaluate how I mold and shape my photography and my brand. I have heard Kris mention so many nuggets of wisdom over the years. When I used to shoot slides, I built myself a light table, made of out of cheap plywood and plexiglass. I would write quotes or ideas that I had heard which inspired me or had caused me to take pause. Some of my favorite nuggets written on that light table were from Kris. I wish I had kept that light table—somewhere during the many moves I lost it.SafetyI have always wanted to be a photographer and that has always been my number one goal. But, I tactically decided early on to pursue ski patrolling and guiding in order to give me a solid foundation of management, in particular from a safety standpoint. I heard Will Gadd explain his philosophy and outlook on life as a “positive, negative outlook.” Meaning, the universe is out to kill us. As Will put it, if you get hit with that piece of ice that is your fault. No one else can be blamed for that. He preached personal responsibility. I agree.As a ski patroller at Big Sky Ski Resort, I learned a lot over the years about avalanches and helping others with medical incidents and avalanche mitigation. I also started mountain guiding, spending time in the Alaska Range and on Mt Rainier.I have a very open dialogue with athletes with whom I am shooting. Safety is number one. Just because there is a camera does not mean that you have to accept a risk that you wouldn't normally take. The industry trend is to make everything look very sexy. Often times the careful calculations are not shown or exposed. That is one of the things I want to bring to the table as a photographer. Showing the process of how the hazard is being evaluated and what steps are being taken in order to minimize “our” exposure to that risk or hazard.The Creative ProcessThe creative visual process has only begun to take shape in the vertical terrain. I think that we have just seen the beginning. As a visual adventure artist I try and pre-visualize how an athlete will ski a certain line or climb a certain line. I use the athlete as my brush stroke on a blank canvas to generate the exclamation point to the already stunning landscape.Hans Saari stated this idea beautifully: “ The vibrancy of the line means everything. Like a cello, there is no sound until the string is taut. The more you struggle, the tighter the string, the greater the music.”The BusinessWith the current status of the industry, it takes creativity to approach the visual side of things and to see things from new angles. If I use a business model that my mentors used previously, chances are that I probably will not last too long in this industry.The digital age has shifted many things. But, I believe that relationships propel us forward. It’s the human connection. As a viewer of images, you are drawn to the content that captures that soul. One of the quotes that I had written on my plywood light table twelve years ago was from Kris Erickson—“It’s about the relationships.“Just like any business that is starting out, a plan of action has to be put into place. Still, taking that first step into the unknown is still probably one of the biggest adventures upon which I have embarked. But just like climbing or skiing a big objective, after the first few pitches your nerves calm down. I have been able to realize that “yeah, I can do this.” It’s something that you have to commit to. It’s a lifestyle. Creative artists pour their lives into doing what makes them passionate.PartnershipsTime spent with friends exploring and adventuring inspires me the most. I've found a greater personal joy in the expedition style shooting versus the one-day shoots. It is a chance to get to know my subjects in greater detail and see more of their personalities shine.There are several folks with whom I really love working:- Ice climber Andres Marin has been a great friend of mine for a very long time. His energy is contagious. Andres has a drive for perfection and professionalism that is very admirable.- Forrest Coots and I met for the first time while in Chile during the fall of 2011 on a ski trip. We meshed right away. I enjoy Forrest's desire to take trips to places that require some thoughtful planning. Forrest and I have sat in our tents during storms and shoot texts back and forth dreaming about trips and different ideas that spark our passions for skiing in the mountains.- Tyler Jones and I met in 2005 while we were guiding for the same company. Tyler has since gone on to finish his AMGA guiding certifications as the youngest American to complete the process. His meticulous attention to detail is somewhat astonishing. Tyler is one of my best friends. From the Republic of Georgia, Montana, Alaska and La Grave, our mountain time has played a huge role in our friendship. I've learned a ton from Tyler in regards to hazard mitigation.- I was recently on a shoot with Conrad Anker. His vision, dedication and outlook on life is inspiring. He would prefer to talk about his new route the “Nutcracker” than talk about his last summit on Everest without oxygen. His psych for climbing is contagious, his energy transcends generations, his talents are inspiring to watch, and his mentorship helps many. Conrad never stops learning and he is a proponent for adaptation. That’s just rad.The Future of the IndustryI believe the future involves a lot of creative collaboration. Sharing ideas and collaborating can be very rewarding. It will most likely evolve and morph on a much larger scale. I know of some climbing projects that are in the works based on wide scale submissions from climbers willing to submit content from a whole season’s worth of footage from one location. So instead of one or even five filmers being involved, there will be fifty contributing work.Career Highlights- Every year I make a little more money than the previous year as a photographer.- Having my first image published in a Patagonia catalog and then having them re-license it for a store display in the Seattle store—that was a goal of mine that year and it felt really good to nail it.- Being awarded the Hans Saari Ski Exploration Grant for a Ski trip to Mt Shkhara in the Republic of Georgia.- Double page spread in Alpinist Magazine #36- The moment I realized that I actually had an audience that was listening to me and actively following my work. It was a moment that shifted my mindset and challenged me to work even harder. It wasn't just my mom who was looking at my pictures anymore.- Being asked to give a talk at Montana State University in the same business photography class in which I had heard Kris Erickson give his talk.- The friends I have made and the many interesting people that I have been fortunate to meet over the years because of photography.- Being invited on the Cerro Castillo ski trip in Patagonia with Drew Stoecklein, Chuck “The Pit Viper King” Mumford and Forrest Coots to work on and create the short film “Take The Ride.”To view more of Jason's work, drop into http://www.jthompsonphotography.com
- Blog post
- 4 weeks ago
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- From: TetonGravityResearch
- 4 weeks ago
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- From: TetonGravityResearch
(Teton Village, Wyo.) - Award-winning action sports production company and lifestyle brand Teton Gravity Research (TGR) has become the first to acquire the new Gyro-Stabilized Systems (GSS) C520 system, the most advanced five-axis gyro-stabilized camera platform in the world. GSS, which specializes in the development of leading-edge camera systems and other custom stabilization technologies, has awarded TGR a number of exclusive benefits that position TGR as the premier carrier of this platform.
The GSS C520 is the first fully upgradable and interchangeable portable gyro-stabilized system, able to accommodate a range of existing cameras like the RED Epic and Sony F55 that shoot at 4K resolution, as well as future advancements in camera technology. The portable platform allows TGR to capture stunning, Ultra HD cinema, about four times the resolution of regular 1080p HD. Widely predicted to become the new worldwide standard for HD programming, 4K footage approaches the limits of what the human eye can process. The Cineflex Elite, the current leading gyro-stabilized camera system, maxes out at 2K (just above 1080p).
“In terms of technological adoption, this may be the most significant step TGR has ever taken,” proclaims Steve Jones, TGR co-founder. “We’re able to mount the GSS system on helicopters, automobiles, boats, planes, and all sorts of other vehicles to shoot the most stable, crisp, clear aerial/motion shots ever captured. In the near future, people will come to expect their content in 4K, and TGR will lead this Ultra HD movement through our feature films, television series, and commercial work.“
“The GSS C520 is the most highly sophisticated 4K digital cinema system in the world,” adds Todd Jones, TGR co-founder. “This platform has the potential to redefine aerial cinematography at the highest levels of filmed entertainment and reshape the way we see motion pictures.”
“We’re longtime fans of TGR’s athlete-driven productions in some of the world’s wildest environments, so they are a logical launch partner for us,” says Jason Fountaine, GSS Managing Director. “It’s taken us almost two years of development to bring this system to market, and TGR will have the first chance to show everyone what’s possible. We can’t wait to see what’s created with it.”
- Blog post
- 1 month ago
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- From: TetonGravityResearch
On Monday, March 18th, after a two-day approach and five years of scouting, Jeremy Jones dropped in on the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, kicking off the final leg of a snowboard odyssey that has captivated the world since the premiere of TGR’s Deeper.
Joined by legendary snowboarder Brian Iguchi, and Exum mountain guides Zahan Billimora and Brendan O’Neill, Jones descended the Grand’s Otterbody face, a high hanging snowfield with hundreds of
feet of exposure below it. A massive storm cycle yielded 27 inches of new snow only a few days before the descent, making the line a very touch-and-go operation.
Just getting to the line was a massive effort. “We broke it up over two days, It’s about 5,000 feet to where we camped on the lower saddle. We spent a day getting to that point.” Says Jeremy Jones. “The next morning it took about five hours for the last 2,100 feet.”
Most of the route was hazardous, not just because of the exposure, but because of the new snow as well. “It was really questionable whether the snow bonded to the previous melt/freeze cycle,” says TGR’s Steve Jones who was onsite directing the shoot. “They went up Sunday night with the notion just to look at it on Monday. The whole decent is a no fall zone. If anything were to slough or slide, it’s game over.”
Conditions were stable and the group made the descent, but not without a few incredibly tense moments. At one point, Jones, Iguchi, and Billamora had all made an initial repel onto the Otterbody face while O’Neill skied toward them and triggered a large amount of slough. The three below were sheltered as the snow passed over them, but there was no way to tell that from the camera angles.
“It was pretty emotional in the sense that at a point I wasn’t sure if I was going to watch my brother and two friends get sloughed off the mountain,” says Steve Jones. “From our perspective it looked like the slough was bearing down on them. It was a really tense moment for everyone.”
The tension didn’t end there. When the group arrived at a mandatory 400-foot rappel, there was so much snow accumulation that the anchor was nowhere to be found. Instead of using a set anchor, they had to make a new one. Testing out a new anchor with a 400-foot drop isn’t exactly ideal.
These trials are typical for a descent in Grand Teton National Park according to Jeremy Jones. “I’ve tried to have the Tetons in my last two films,” says Jeremy Jones. “[They] are a tricky range, and probably the toughest place that we’ve tried to shoot in the last five years. Two of the last five years I’ve wrote it off right from the get go.”
Jones says that Grand Teton National Park was one of his main motivations for going to terrain that was only accessed by foot. “I was running out of terrain, but I realized that there is so much terrain in the park.”
When asked where Higher will take him next, Jones’s reply echoed his never-ending sense of adventure. “Higher is an evolution of everything I’ve done in snowboarding. Where that shakes out, I don’t know. We’ll know in a couple of years when it’s done.”
- Blog post
- 2 months ago
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- From: kimhavell
Photo: Grant Kaye
Remote, bold, and mostly unknown, some of the dream, big mountain lines lie deep in Alaska's mountains and are accessible only by helicopter. Over the season, we will cherry pick the modern gems of ski descents from one of the greatest places on the planet for big mountain powder skiing: Alaska, The Dream Factory. It will be a display of mind-blowing, inspiring, and intense moments as we ask the heli-guides and owners to cherry pick a run from each of their permit areas. This is a look into what is possible by some of the best operators in the world and their talented guides, clients and athletes.
Buddy Love - Cherry Picking No. 2 - Points North Heli
The Worm Glacier is a Points North Heli (PNH) treasure. Sitting at the Southern entrance of the Chugach mountain range just north of Cordova, Alaska, the Worm zone offers a vast number of options off the peaks lining its valley. Terrain ranges from the 3,000ft warm-up run “Guilt Trip” to spines galore. The stand-out, however, is a peak named “Buddy Love” that, according to PNH Chef and tail guide Nathan Stone, “is undoubtedly the brains and beauty of the Worm Glacier. Flying in, if you can make it past the temptations viewed on approach, your eyes become fixated on this lone peak at the head of the valley.”
The prominent peak of Buddy Love is roughly 2800 vertical feet and a consistent 50-degree angle pitch. It is named after one of Cordova's most respected citizens and good friend of PNH, Bud Jansen, AKA “Buddy Love”. A third generation Inuit tribesmen, Bud is a central figure of the land-locked community. PNH photographer and friend Keoki Flagg explains, “Like most who were born and raised in Cordova, Buddy has made his living as a commercial fisherman. This giant of a man has a gentle, easy-going manner and he is engaged and committed to supporting any and all activities that help the community thrive.” Janson also owns the famous “Pro Shop” in Cordova, and the Worm Glacier and many of its runs are named in honor of him.
When Kent Kreitler put the first descent down Buddy Love it was pre-PNH as well as pre-most heli operations in AK. Kreitler was based off the Maritime Maid boat in Prince William Sound, close to the current Points North base. The first descent was documented in TGR’s film, “Harvest”. The segment opens with Kent charging from the top, airing over a rock outcropping, and then sending it to the bottom effortlessly in about eight turns.
Countless pros and film companies have visited the area over the years and superstar big mountain skier Wendy Fisher calls it the best heli run of her life. Pro snowboarders Mitch Toelder, Flo Orley and 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Seth Wescott have also charged multiple routes off its face.
As Guide and Co-Owner, Jessica Sobolowski-Quinn shares, “Buddy Love used to be a peak I often skied with Kevin (Quinn – husband, guide, & co-owner). The landing zone is small and the adrenaline I would feel on the toe-in would stay with me for the first three turns skiing down. It’s exciting! Dropping onto the massive spine is intimidating, but as soon as you’re a quarter of the way down the run appears, the rollover fades away, and you are skiing a beautiful, consistently steep slope to the bottom.”
Sobolowski-Quinn adds, “It was a special moment when one of our guests, KC, skied it. She is a mom of three and in her forties. I was overcome with pride and awe. It's not often you see a lady just ripping the you-know-what out of a line like Buddy Love and doing it just for the sheer joy of doing it.”
Photo: Court Leve
PNH company man Stone describes the run:
“On the west aspect there are fluted spines, top to bottom. The apron is littered with gaping crevasses that catch your eye like an S.O.S distress signal from a pocket mirror. Due to its sun exposure, this aspect is rarely skied. But in the right conditions, it will be what you dream about.
Panning around to the northwest aspect, Buddy Love proper, is a beautiful A-framed layout. The tip of the peak is rarely landed on by helis as it occasionally can have wind scoured rock formations and a miniscule landing area; so about fifty percent of the landings are in the saddle just below the summit. This is where I set out for the quick climb to the top.
Once on the summit, as I double check my gear, the bass drum in my chest is increasing in velocity and depth. Peering over the tip of my board, the view is peppered rock and small cliffs scattered about the entrance. Beyond that, the only visual is the valley floor 3,000 feet below. Classic AK roll.
There are safe points. But if you are caught in the wrong area, it's taking you top to bottom in a hurry.
With a consistent 50-degree pitch, I have no problem finding the accelerator in the first turn. From there it offers several routes—my personal favorite being fall line. I work the mountain from right to left. A third of the way down, a distinct rib just calls for turns. Shedding snow forms rivers on both sides of me, and yet more concentrated on either side of the spine. I make a few surf-style turns, whipping the tail while scrubbing speed in the same motion. A smooth lip. Take off!
Airing a small cliff band, I am now in the gut. The belly of the beast. I have two choices at this point: wait out the slough train, or, my choice, hammer down, working left toward the shoulder, letting the snow fall away from me.
Getting to the bottom third, the thought of pointing to the finish line comes to mind. But keeping one step ahead, I lock onto the open seracs and depressions on the left side of the apron. All of the snow I've been avoiding is now catching me and its destination is the danger zone. Smashing the pedal to the floor, I exit right, just before the slough nips at my heels to pull me back fall line. Arms raised, yelling in ecstasy, I realize that I made it. And I rode it how I wanted.”
Be safe in the field, shop for all your avalanche saftey gear online at Backcountry.com
- Blog post
- 2 months ago
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- From: mitchtolderer
Praxmarerkarspitze is a remote peak in the Austrian Karwendel mountain range that Mitch Toelderer had always wanted to climb up and ride. He had been looking at it for the last couple years, but he never saw a good track. At the end of February, the conditions were looking good so Max Zipser, Bibi Toelderer-Pekarek and Mitch Toelderer gave it a go.
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- 2 months ago
- Views: 101
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- From: leelau
Backcountry skiing usually isn’t a naked sport—one needs something to wear. Much like our birthday suits, all clothing is pretty much the same though, right? I thought I'd be a bit of a loss for words when Outdoor Research asked me if I'd like to try out some clothing. Luckily for them I'm usually quite verbose, so this winter found me fully kitted out in OR (Trailbreaker Pants; Ferrosi softshell hoody, Incandescent Puffy, Extravert gloves)
Outdoor Research Clothing winter 2012 - 13 - Selkirk Lodge - Feb 2013 from Lee Lau on Vimeo.
I wrote about OR’s gear after first using it for a few early season days on the Canadian coast. Since then I've skied this kit in more coastal conditions and some Selkirk interior pow. With a variety of weather conditions ranging from hardpack to neck-deep blower, from -20 degree C to pineapple express 0 degree schmoo. I daresay that I've had enough time to tell how OR’s gear will do.
Ferrosi Hoody, Trailbreaker pants. Duffey Lake Road, BC
First off, the Trailbreaker Pants are insanely good. You can get all the technical features from provided links, so I won't bore you with them. Here's a list of Pros:
• Cargo pockets that are big enough for things like a VHF radio or a map
• These very same cargo pockets zip from bottom to top (pockets that zip top to bottom are useless for radio antenna)
• Cordura patches on bottom of leg. These help prolong pant life from crampon or ski edges. I note that I'd like the OR patches to be a bit wider. Being a hack, I have some cuts on the outside of the patches.
• Pockets accessible even while using a harness.
• Ass that doesn't wear too quick.
• Fabric that resists snow sticking to it.
• Zipper pulls that can be used with gloves.
• Integrated gaiters.
• Zippers at the end of the legs where you can zip open to accommodate ski boots.
Last but not least, I absolutely positively love the super long thigh vents. At first I pooh-pooh'ed the idea of needing leg vents in softshell pants. Now I can't do without. This simple feature extends the useable temperature and comfort range of these pants. About the only quibble with these is that it would be nice to have some sort of integrated belt. Anorexia victims like myself usually need a belt to keep my pants from showing plumbers crack.
The Ferrosi Hoody is also an excellent layer. It’s light and packable, and I was surprised at the Ferrosi’s usable temperature range—it vents so well. I came to enjoy annoying my touring partners by never taking it off during climbs, then not layering over it when it came time to ski down. More surprisingly, it has a good deal more water resistance than expected, making it great for anything short of a downpour.
A bit of adding frosting on the cake—the Ferrosi is wearing quite well. It has no wear and tear at scuff points where backpacks usually abrade. There are few downsides to the jacket, largely attributed to its minimalist design—the outside pockets are quite small so you can't do things like stuff skins or VHF radios in them (use the larger inside pockets for that). Also pocket location could be a bit higher as things like backpack hipbelts interfere with access.
Incandescent Puffy, Extravert gloves
I can't say too much about either the Incandescent Hoody or the Extravert gloves. These are basic clothing items. The gloves in particular look thin and cold but are surprisingly warmer than expected. I also had the (dis)pleasure of using them when shoveling out from under 80cms of way-too-close-to-rain snow that fell in a 20 hour period. The outer layer of the gloves wetted through, but the inner layer was dry, much to my joy. The gloves lack a removable inner liner so if they do wet through, it’s tough to dry them out.
The major issue I have with the Incandescent puffy is that OR incorporated a YKK two-way zipper in it. That zipper allows it to be zipped from the top or bottom, but it has a bit of a catch on it, making it a bugger to operate in the cold without removing your gloves. In my opinion, cold-weather effectiveness of any piece of gear is dramatically reduced if you need to de-glove to use it properly. It's a shame because the jacket is light, warm (800-weight down is about as good as it gets) and minimalist—no useless accoutrements for urban alpinists like hood adjustments or too many pockets—so it’s very packable. The temperamental zipper did limit the Incandescent jacket to hut-based or après-ski activities.
Incandescent Hoody, Extravert gloves, Selkirk Lodge, BC
Check out the Outdoor Research Alpine Ski Gear Guide available at Backcounty.com
- Blog post
- 2 months ago
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- From: drewrouse
Vail has quite the reputation with out me writing one word about it as a subject you probably already have an opinion on the place. However after living here for 15 years and growing up skiing this place with my family before that I know some of its secrets so perhaps I can add some perspective both as a former gaper and a long time local.
Essentially a 5 mile by 5 mile expanse of ridges and huge open bowls that happen to sit at the south end of the Gore Range which creates a jagged cloud trap to catch any precipitation and funnel it towards Vail. It is the reason that there can be 5 inches on the report at mid vail but the back bowls and Blue Sky basin will receive feet as happened just this last storm cycle. On a good year well over 400 inches of super light Colorado fluff fall back there a few miles from the village.
The terrain here is mostly mellow but trust me there are some steeps and cliffs if that your thing. I spoke with young big mtn up and comer Christian Nichols formerly of Ski Club Vail’s Big Mtn Team and he told me that its legit terrain for him and the rest of the team to have to train on to prepare for contests at mountains that are much more highly regarded as steep and technical. The terrain parks at Vail are looking better than ever with a brand new 22 foot super pipe this season and always innovative rails and eagle counties little secret, lots of log slides in the trees if jibbing lumber is your thing.
Lines can be long on weekends or big powder days but there are ways to get away from the crowds. Show up early with a plan and get ahead of everyone and you will be lapping untracked powder for hours or show up late when its dumping and go seek out some stashes. Ptarmigan cornice and the ends of the ridges in the bowls are some of my favorite places to look for super deep wind-loaded leftovers. As a kid I can remember loving to go out to inner and outer Mongolia bowls just because there was no one ever out there and there was a lot of terrain to explore. Its not that steep but it is always worth a look if you want to find some solitutde.
The resort has a bunch of easily accessible side-country, which means you can usually find fresh snow even weeks after a storm if you know where to look. East Vail, The Minturn Mile, West vail trees…. It would take you years and years to ride all of the lines located a short walk from Vail’s ropes. Just remember here in Eagle County more often than not we have a sketchy snow pack with lots of depth hoar and a recipe for slabs that step down into bigger slides so use good sense and remember your Avalanche gear if you are wanting to venture out. Seems almost every year someone is lost in an avalanche around here and its definitely something that’s always in the back of my mind.
The snow is not the only attraction here, Vail does a pretty good job of putting on events and concerts all year long almost. With the Burton U.S open making its Vail debut, this coming weekend it looks like they are just stepping it up. Things have never been better as far as nightlife goes and bridge street, will keep even the most seasoned partiers happy. Check out the George if you want to chill or Samana Lounge to get your groove on.
Some of the things I have heard is that Vail is flat and its crowded, full of gapers, extremely corporate, expensive, my aspen friends call it a truck stop and yada yada yada. So what, a lot of negative things are true about this place and people always hate on the biggest for whatever reason but subtract that and what do you have. A huge expansive mountain with a pretty fun town, pretty easy access from Denver, via a very well maintained highway that doesn’t close often enough for my liking. Check Vail out, you may have the time of your life here whether it’s a deep pow day or a night out on the town, I know I have.
Skier Drew Rouse
Photo Ben Koelker
- Blog post
- 3 months ago
- Views: 99
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- From: outdoorresearch102344
All of us have mountains and lines that beckon to us every day, every season, every turn—Giants that loom in the periphery of our memory and thoughts. These monoliths sleep in our wildest dreams. And sometimes they creep slowly, after years of hoping and wanting, into our reality. These lines turn into days of our life that we’ll never forget. They trump weddings, graduations, and other celebrations because they represent an achievement that others can’t understand unless they spent that day with you, saw you make those turns, and felt what it was like to be in those places. These mountains and lines are officiators of greatness, if only in our own psyche. But they signify greatness that you’ll never forget (and may never surpass) because being invited into the wild by a mountain is like heaven’s doors opening for your welcome.
This December the OR team was called into the living room of one of our favorite peaks, a mansion that stoops over their existence every day they've ever skied in Washington’s North Cascades. Each time they've ventured into the threshold of this esteemed range, they've cautiously dusted off our shoes at the door hesitantly asking, “Are you sure?” But the mountain has been a gracious host. Polite and accommodating, serving up everything they'd hoped for as an intimidated guest.
On our 15-hour mission in December, the gates opened with an honest certainty. Snow stability and freshness we’re expected as they climbed the nearly 7,000 vertical feet to the summit. After skiing that same distance in warm sunlight, but cold crystallized powder, back down to the valley floor, they were only half way done with the mission. They still had to go home. They still had to get back to the tiny house two drainages and another climb away. Their day and night we’re not over.
Invitations can be just like that. You can’t make assumptions based on your R.S.V.P. The party might go on for longer than you’d hoped. And mountains are surprising hosts, often temperamental. But, sometimes they let you slip out the back door, going unnoticed, like the quiet guest who sat in the corner, barely uttering a sound, but soaking in all the glorious sounds, smells, and sights, of people enjoying the time that they are alive.
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- 3 months ago
- Views: 134
- Not yet rated
- From: jeremybenson
If you were at a lodge in BC, you would be crushing it.
“All you focus on is waking up, skiing all day and getting ready to do it again the next day,” says James Heim, “With the skiing being so close to the lodge you literally roll out the door and can be skiing amazing lines in no time.” Heim, a BC resident and star of numerous films by MSP and Sherpa’s Cinema, has been on three film trips and numerous personal trips to backcountry lodges around BC. Matchstick Productions has filmed several segments at Golden Alpine Holidays’ Meadow Lodge with the likes of Heim, Eric Hjorleifson, and Mark Abma. Other film companies have followed suit, Candide Thovex and Sweetgrass Productions both made trips to Icefall Lodge to film last winter. Filming at a backcountry lodge is great because, “The whole crew is already out in the mountains and so close to great filming terrain,” says Heim, “You can't get caught up in day to day life, instead you focus solely on getting out there and shooting.”
Sure, backcountry lodges are a great place to film a sick segment, but they are an equally great place to go shred with your friends for exactly the same reason. Here’s the basic idea: Get a group of like-minded friends together and rent a lodge for a week. Jump in a helicopter, get dropped off at the lodge. Wake up, eat, go skiing, eat, go skiing, eat, sauna, drink beer, sleep, repeat for one week (in roughly that order). Stephane Reindeau, a Revelstoke resident and owner of Tough Guy Productions, has spent time at various lodges around BC and says, “The backcountry lodge environment allows you to enjoy gourmet cuisine and fine camaraderie, in the middle of beautiful mountains, and the powder skiing is unparalleled. This is the dream, and the experience is unprecedented.” That’s weird, I’m pretty sure I’ve had that same dream…
Look, it's BC powder!
The Canadian Province of British Columbia is home to some of the most dramatic and remote mountains in North America. In addition to countless cat and heli-skiing operations, BC is home to roughly 30 commercial backcountry lodges. Backcountry lodges have played a part in BC’s rich mountain history and they continue to evolve with our modern backcountry skiing boom. From the Coast Range to the Rockies, there are lodges and huts littered throughout western Canada’s mountains.
The Backcountry Lodges of British Columbia Association’s (BLBCA) website lists 27 commercial lodges that offer skiing. Most are privately owned and operated while the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) manages some. Countless other hike-to or sled-to lodges exist throughout the mountains of BC, but that’s another story entirely. Generally situated at or near treeline, these lodges provide an ideal base for mountain exploration. When it’s storming you can ski the trees and lower elevation terrain around the lodge. If it’s clear you can head up high and access alpine peaks, chutes, and glaciers. Most lodges are so remote that they are accessed exclusively by helicopter. Icefall Lodge, for example, is a 20-minute heli-ride away from the nearest heli-staging near Golden, BC. Twenty minutes in a helicopter is a damn long time, prohibitively far to walk, so you can rest assured that no one else will be out in your zone.
The Icefall Lodge in British Columbia.
Larry Dolecki, owner and head-guide of Icefall, started his lodge because, “there is so much terrain in BC, but you are limited by road access. The helicopter gets you out there, then there is no one else around.” With groups ranging between 12-16 people, depending on the lodge, there is plenty of snow and terrain for everyone. “You show up and ski right out the door, no driving, no racing for first tracks,” says Dolecki, “Atmosphere is a big reason lodges are becoming more popular, sharing powder with a group of friends.”
Lodges are typically rustic, they are located in the middle of nowhere after all, but they do offer many of the creature comforts we’ve all become used to. Electricity is standard at pretty much every backcountry lodge, and in BC style this is usually from some sort of “green” energy source. Most lodges use hydroelectric or solar power to charge their batteries and when all else fails, they have a gas powered back-up generator. Wood stoves provide heat for the living areas and drying out skins, boots, and other soggy ski gear. Some lodges also feature a designated drying room where all the stinky ski gear can dry by propane heat and fester in its’ own stench. A few modern backcountry lodges have indoor toilets, but many still utilize the good ol’ frosty outhouse. Most lodges pull their drinking water from nearby fresh water sources, many have holding tanks and running water, while others rely on human power to bring water in buckets, either way it’s some of the best tasting water you’ll ever have. Wood fired saunas are common, and when coupled with a watering-can hot shower is the perfect way to wind down after a long day hiking for face shots. Some lodges even have satellite internet so you can maintain your status and give your friends the F.O.M.O.
You could be skiing powder in Canada right now.
All lodges are different, but most offer both guided and self-guided skiing. Some lodges require you to have a guide, and with avalanche paths longer than most ski areas it can be nice to have someone with terrain familiarity showing you around. Guides are often included in the price, or they typically run around 300-400 bucks a day, when divided among a group ends up being pretty cheap to have someone break trail for you all week. Depending on your group’s level of backcountry savvy you may be able to opt for guiding yourselves, a slightly less expensive option.
As for food, the full spectrum of options is generally available, from catered gourmet to do-it-yourself. I love eating mac-n-cheese and quesadillas all week with my bros, but having someone cook for you is undoubtedly easier and way better, albeit slightly more expensive. Waking up to hot coffee and breakfast, and coming home to soup and snacks before a delicious dinner everyday is worth a couple hundred bucks in my book. There are catering companies in BC who specialize in lodge trips and will prepare your week’s worth of food, boxed up and with recipes, to take with you on a self-catered trip to save you the hassle of figuring it out for yourself.
Skinning with your friends is the best.
Plan ahead, lodges tend to book out early nowadays, so making your reservation up to a year in advance may be necessary. In fact, a couple of the ACC lodges, like Fairy Meadows and Kokanee Galcier, are so popular that they work on a lottery program for reservations. Group leaders can usually book an entire lodge, then fill it with their favorite shredding partners. Booking the whole lodge is the most cost effective approach and brings the price per person down significantly. You can often book just part of the lodge, or help to fill a partially booked week, in which case you’ll be sharing with other folks who are there for the same reasons you are, so they’re probably pretty damn cool. Expect a catered and guided week to cost around $1,800-$2,200, far cheaper than a week of heli skiing, and arguably as much or more fun.
If you’re planning a trip to a backcountry lodge in BC, here’s a few helpful tips. Canada is not part of the United States, you’ll need identification to enter, I suggest a passport. Flying to Canada is expensive, and getting around once you’ve landed can be a pain. I recommend driving whenever possible, this saves on airport transfers, car rentals, baggage fees, and you can bring groceries and a small amount of alcoholic beverages with you.
Things are more expensive in Canada, so bring the maximum amount of alcohol allowed, a case of beer, or 3 bottles of wine, or a 750 ml of liquor per person, they will probably check at the border. If you’ve had a DUI in the last 5 years, don’t even try to cross the border.
Bring earplugs, one loud snorer can keep you up all night, every night, and the better you sleep the harder you can charge.
Avalanche training and experience traveling and skiing in avalanche terrain are a must; hire a guide if you are the least bit uncertain of your skills. Know your gear and how to use it. A backcountry lodge trip isn’t the right place to try out your new backcountry boots for the first time because, as James Heim says, “There’s nothing worse than being in an amazing location for a short time and spending most of that time either fixing your gear or practicing avalanche rescue when you could have done that before hand.”
Do some online research or talk with friends who’ve been to a lodge to find the one that best suits your needs, there are lots of options. Lodge operators are extremely helpful for planning and can assist with finding guides, catering, and details like lodging before and after and your trip.
My backcountry lodge experiences have resulted in the best ski trips that I’ve ever been on. The stress free environment, comfortable lodging, and access to incredible terrain are without equal. In my opinion, there isn’t a better a way to spend your money on skiing and spend time in the backcountry.
A few helpful online resources:
Going on a backcountry hut trip, be sure to load up on Avalanche Safety gear available at: backcountry.com
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- 4 months ago
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Forrest McCarthy midway throug Forrest McCarthy midway through a 120 mile traverse of the Absaroka Beartooth Mountains. Photo by Jim Harris
- From: kimhavell
Description:Forrest McCarthy midway through a 120 mile traverse of the Absaroka Beartooth Mountains. Photo by Jim Harris
- 4 months ago
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- From: kimhavell
Chris Davenport skis a chute in Antarctica. Photo by Jim Harris.
“Through The Lens” is a regular column on TetonGravity.com that highlights the work of a photographer in the ski and snowboard industries. The series exists to celebrate the photographers who bring us extraordinary imagery, to get to know who they are, and to understand their process.
Jim Harris is a TGR success story. An athlete with an artistic eye and a photographer of great strength and perseverance, Jim hit the big time from an unlikely start. Through honest and thoughtful posts on the TGR web forums, Jim unwittingly developed a huge following and grabbed the attention of industry players. Proving himself time and time again in the field and at the computer, Jim has photographs, stories, and drawings featured across varied media spots, print and online, in the world of adventure sport. He is humble, adventurous, and bright, and gets things done.
Jim has been behind the lens for Sweetgrass Productions, Powderwhore Productions, Camp4Collective, First Ascent, Powder Magazine and more. From scaling 20,000-foot peaks in Bolivia to descending steep couloirs in Antarctica to negotiating a pack raft down Alaskan rivers, this motivated talent keeps at it as he proves that with heart and hard work, success will be a reality.
Jim’s sincere and straight-up approach resonates with his audiences. Follow his creative journeys as “GnarWhale” on TGR and as Perpetual Weekend online at his Blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter sites. www.perpetualweekend.com
Forrest McCarthy melts water at a ridge line campsite as a storm rolls in. Photo by Jim Harris.
I was first interested in photography when I was a kid playing with this all-metal Nikormat that my dad had brought back from Japan a decade or two before I was born. I didn’t develop a twitchy shutter button finger until I was around 16 and started documenting the graffiti scene where I grew up. Looking back at those boxes of prints, I was pretty much just mechanically recording ephemeral art. A few years later I extracted myself from that scene by moving to Montana where I enrolled in Wildlife Biology and Fine Art courses. The blend of planning, creativity, daring, and community that made the street art scene compelling also runs through mountain culture. It didn’t take but a few weeks in Montana before I began pointing my camera at people on mountains.
Studying Wildlife Biology seemed like a good route to finding a job that combined adventure with critical thinking, plus I was good at plant and animal identification. An empirical science education has proved to be a good framework for learning about the world, even though I never took up wearing one of those flat-brim Smokey hats. The fine art courses were just for kicks, but I regret missing the memo that my university had a Photo Journalism school.
Andrew McLean skis the Chugach Mountains in Alaska. Photo by Jim Harris.
While I’d been registered on TetonGravity.com’s message board for years, I rarely visited until I moved to the Wasatch Mountains in 2007 and discovered it offered a way to meet backcountry touring partners. Then I began posting photos of ski tours and that led to invites on more missions. One of those photo essays prompted Gordy Peifer to offer me a spot on one of his Straightline Advenutures Ski Camps, and another trip report garnered an invite to shoot with Powderewhore Productions in Alaska. That AK trip, in turn, resulted in my first print-published words and photos (Powder Magazine 40.1 “Beast out of the Earth”). Then I won a TGR and Smith Optics photo contest where the prize was an Ice Axe Expeditions ski cruise to Antarctica.
I was sharing just for the sake of sharing and that idealism struck a chord with people. If I suddenly couldn’t sell photos and stories about the sort of trips I like to take, I’d be okay going right back to doing them just for the intrinsic rewards.
Hi-fives with Andrew McLean after discovering and skiing a rad chute in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. Photo by Jim Harris.
Media-makers who also are high-performance athletes hold a role I admire. Photographers who can climb and ski alongside top athletes are the ones who, most often I think, bring back something insightful to share.
Galen Rowell about tops my list of “photographers I wish had reincarnated as me.”
Christian Pondella has crafted a career shooting photos with skis on his pack, an ice axe in one hand and that shines through in his photos.
The Camp 4 Collective team brings boots-on-the-ledge perspective to their productions and it’s apparent in the art and illustrations of Renan Ozturk, Jeremy Collins and Adam Haynes.
Leslie Anthony writes with legitimacy in his words and Fitz Cahall’s Dirtbag Diaries carry that too.
What all of them have in common is this gonzo journalism approach where, because they can hang athletically, they’re able to convey a first-person narrative that offers candid, humanizing insights into the lives of super-human athletes.
On the business side, I admire the people who help others to create content in our ski media ecosystem. When done well, enabling other peoples’ creativity is good for one’s own income. The TGR Forums empowered me and I hope the web ad revenue more than pays for the server space.
Photographers Adam Barker and Chase Jarvis both open source some of their knowledge via web interviews and tutorials. They’re investing their knowledge in aspirant photographers while legitimizing their expertise at the same time. It’s both altruistic and shrewd.
Sunrise on Illimani, Bolivia, while the city of La Paz still sleeps. Photo by Jim Harris.
I want to be a really good storyteller. Sometimes when I speak, my thoughts branch into a tangent, then a tangent of that, until I’m caught in a spiraling fractal of storylines and everyone has stopped listening. So it takes some intention for me to spin a story well. Photo essays keep me on point and the narrative jogging along.
At some heady level, wilderness adventure stories like the ones I want to tell are another variant of Joe Campbell’s monomyth: the hero marches off into the wild, conquers something untamable, perhaps then realizes that the real conquest happened inside his or her head, and then returns home to share the new wisdom.
My challenge is that I don’t want to just tell those stories but want to actually watch them unfold too. Going up and down difficult mountains with interesting people carves as close to living that myth as I know how to get.
Alan Schwer hops down a steep ski line at 19,000 feet on Volcan Pomarape, Bolivia. Photo by Jim Harris.
The business-side of working as a self-employed creative is a murky learning curve. There’s no roadmap to “making it” and even things as dry as sending photos for an editor to review turn out to involve diplomatic maneuvering. Many working photographers will tell you that your photos are only valuable if you keep ‘em squirreled away, unseen by anyone but the editor, right until they appear in print. While I see the wisdom in that approach, the only reason I’m paid to take photos now is because I’ve enjoyed sharing pictures in the past. So, I’ve continued to post photos on TGR, though I’ve become more strategic about sharing.
The ski photo world is a tough one to find recognition in, in part because much of it has fallen prey to this syndrome of collaborative competition where somebody says “Oh! Look at what they’re doing. We should be doing that too.” Photo buyers, photo makers, and athletes all push one another to converge. One outcome is that photographers face an uphill battle when it comes to creating marketable work that also conveys individual style.
On the other hand, who wants to feel like they’re leaving money on the table because they’re too elitist to take routine photos? Faced with that question, I’m no strict idealist. I’m not exactly shooting decorative cupcakes, but I’ve dug into commercial projects, studio opportunities, and jobs outside the ski industry. Sometimes they feel like art school assignments where students replicate some Old Master’s painting. Even if it’s not an approach that I’m particularly interested in, it’s impossible not to glean something useful. Those Elinchrom-lit sets are great for learning technique but they’re not where my aspirations lie.
Tyler Jones leads a climb in the Waddington Range while Seth and Solveig Waterfall follow. Photo by Jim Harris.
When I was about ten I was way into these Redwall books about mice doing medieval things. My parents took me to a reading by the author, Brian Jacques, at the neighborhood bookstore and he described to us kids around him that he’d worked as a sailor, and a truck driver, and a milkman, and some jobs that I’ve forgotten before he eventually became a writer too. The notion that one could do a lot of things in a lifetime, rather than be stuck with just one profession, took root in my ten-year-old cortex that day.
Photography has been my main focus for the last year or two, but it’s not my only outlet. I still dabble in woodcut printmaking, painting, shooting video, writing, and teaching. If this photo gig stops working out, I’ll always have the latitude to sidestep into one of these other roles.
Solveig Waterfall skiing from the summit of Mt Waddington, BC over a cavernous crevasse. Photo by Jim Harris.
One thing that distinguishes me from the pack is that I like unstaged, one-take, expedition shooting. Long and difficult trips are full of little victories and disappointments and they make for great photographic moments. As a member of an expedition team, I share credit and blame for the ups and downs I’m chronicling. Every bit of the process from planning, traveling, climbing, skiing, cooking, laughing and just surviving together is rewarding.
There are a couple big hurdles to being an expedition shooter. One is keeping one’s gear alive in the cold, wet, sandy, camera-killing places. That takes diligence but isn’t rocket surgery. Another is that one has to learn to suffer with grace. That takes practice and some balanced brain chemistry.
The biggest hurdle, however, is managing the dual loyalties of being both a weight-pulling team member while also caring enough about one’s audience to stop helping your buddies and grab the camera. Jabbing a camera in someone’s face in a cruxy moment can be a bridge-burning move. It takes a pretty keen awareness of the group dynamic plus articulate communication to balance photographic and team needs.
Before leaving for our first trip together, ski mountaineer Andrew McLean told me he was willing to ski for the camera but that he didn’t intend to re-hike anything for a missed shot. If you’ve skied with Andrew, you know that he zips uphill then right back down. Either I had to bully him into slowing down or learn to be quick on the draw, get the shot the first time, and not sulk when I misfired. I went with the second approach and haven’t regretted it.
One-take shooting is an ethos I’ve embraced. Shooting actual skiing down actual lines, as opposed to the ubiquitous one-turn-wonder approach, feels truthy. As a bonus, there’s a lot more skiing involved in a “work” day.
Chris Davenport skiing in Antarctica. Photo by Jim Harris.
Three years ago, three friends and I spent a month backpacking and then rafting across Wrangell St Elias National Park. That trip changed my view of what’s achievable by a small, unsponsored team. I felt empowered by our success and humbled by the times I faltered.
Back at home, I tried to summarize the story via a long column of captioned photos. The resulting trip report garnered a lot of attention that I never expected. Something about our mix of ambition, unique route, and amateur status really resonated with people, and not just the outdoorsy ones. Traffic poured in from Digg, Reddit and other link-sharing sites.
Years later, I’m still feeling the reverberations of that trip. I’ve been back to the Wrangells once and have plans for another trip this year. I’m also packing today for a crazy Mexico adventure that I’ve been invited on because a couple of Alaska’s most-audacious wilderness travelers saw my photo essay and thought I’d be a good fit for their team. Looking back, it is comical how many doors have opened for me based on something that I never guessed would have much impact.
Forrest McCarthy midway through a 120 mile traverse of the Abaroka Beartooth Mountains. Photo by Jim Harris.
There’s been this recent uptick in the ski industry’s acknowledgment that what we do is risky. At a fundamental level, action sports culture pushes the idea that “advancing the sport” or “pushing the envelope” is the loftiest goal an athlete can strive for. I think that presumption deserves some scrutiny because it is steering our risk-taking. We’re not going to revert to blue-square level skiing in movies but it’s worth acknowledging that there are perhaps less death-defying ways to “advance the sport.”
For me, that means looking for trips that are challenging because they’re remote, or because they require an endurance component, or because they offer a quirky perspective on the norm. Both writers and photographers search for unique angles. As someone with a growing grasp of both pursuits, I’m positioned to connect interesting story ideas with smart photos.
Jim Harris' Powder Magazine cover photo. Skier unknown.
A few years ago, I watched an acquaintance trigger and then swept by an avalanche. It was formative. It changed how I communicate with partners, how I plan for a tour, and is a continual reminder to make conservative choices.
Soon after that incident, I began teaching avalanche classes. Now that I’ve shifted to proselytizing wilderness skiing for a living, teaching the prophylactic aspect of it feels essential. Not only does it feel like righteous work but teaching avy classes also helps keep my skills honed.
At the other end of the spectrum, one of my photos is running on the cover of the new Powder Magazine Photo Annual. For someone who’s only been making a living as a photographer for just over a year, it’s like putting boots on at 9:30 and somehow still catching first chair. That cover isn’t recognition I’d expected to have so soon in my photo career, but I’m grateful for it.
Want to shoot like Jim, start with some high end DSLR camera gear available at Amazon.com
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- 4 months ago
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Tyler Jones leads a climb in t Tyler Jones leads a climb in the Waddington Range while Seth and Solveig Waterfall follow. Photo by Jim Harris
- From: kimhavell
Description:Tyler Jones leads a climb in the Waddington Range while Seth and Solveig Waterfall follow. Photo by Jim Harris
- 4 months ago
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- From: gregfitzsimmons
The snow has been stacking up in Revelstoke. On Jan. 11, the first stop of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face is scheduled to pop off. Photo: D.CARLIER.
The Swatch Freeride World Tour Is Ready to Go
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by the North Face, and the action will go down on Mackenzie Peak at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Dubbed “Mac Daddy,” the face is a perfect venue for the best in the world. And, this year we actually get to see the best from all over. For years the North American-based Freeskiing World Tour and European-centric Freeride World Tour have run mutually exclusive contests during the winter, each crowning their own “World Champion” at the end of the season. This year, however, the tours have come together to create a unified world tour, aimed at pitting the best against each other and determining an indisputable World Champion in men’s and women’s big-mountain skiing and snowboarding.
The six-stop tour has handpicked venues throughout the world for big-mountain freeriding. In addition to this week’s Revelstoke comp, the FWT will stop on the Italian and French sides of the Mont Blanc in Courmayeur and Chamonix, in California’s Sierra Nevada at Kirkwood’s cliff-strewn Cirque, in the Tyrol Range where Fieberbrunn Pillerseetal exemplifies Austria’s terrain, and culminating in Switzerland at the infamous Bec de Rosses venue for the Swatch Xtreme Verbier.
Around 60 competitive big-mountain freeriders from all over the world have been posted up in Revy for about a week waiting for a weather window to run the contest. Just as the competitors started arriving, so did the snow. Upwards of three feet of snow has blanketed Revelstoke and set the “Mac Daddy” face up with insane conditions for Friday’s comp.
Among the competitors are TGR’s Griffin Post, Colter Hinchliffe and Ralph Backstrom.
Mackenzie Peak, the FWT venue, is just outside of the Revelstoke Mountain Resort Boundary. Photo via FWT.
“It has been snowing ever since we got here,” says Hinchliffe, who has been diligently icing and resting a banged up leg in the hopes of being able to compete. “Friday is supposed to be full-on bluebird, primo conditions. The fact that we’re waiting for the conditions to be right is going to make for a good show; it should be really sick.”
Post agrees: “It’s snowed probably two to three feet on the venue. If the snow locks up it should be all-time conditions.”
Relying strictly on a visual inspection — rather than being allowed to get into the venue to size-up airs, probe landings, and see first-hand what the conditions are like — athletes are constantly mulling over photographs of the “Mac Daddy” face to get familiar with the terrain and choose a line or determine a direction to head out of the start gate.
“There are two dramatically different options,” says Post. “Skier’s left is far more playful and flowy; whereas the skier’s right is more gnarly and exposed, it’s traditional big-mountain skiing. I’m pretty sure I’m headed skier’s left to get into some doubles and ski the less-exposed zone. I think the skier’s right is going to sluff super hard and with all of the new snow it is not the day I would want to ski it.”
“At this point I am doubtful rather than hopeful for Friday,” says Hinchliffe, “If I am feeling good Friday, though, I am looking at the skier’s right side of the venue, it’s exposed getting in but then there are a couple of nice features on the right side and that direction leaves a couple of options down low — a little roller or a third and fourth cliff. As far as the top, I’m looking to rip the face on the top and maybe find something to jump off.”
A skier gets deep in the fresh snow at Revelstoke. Photo: B. Long
With the merger of the North American and European tours, there are a lot of new names for fans US-based fans of big-mountain competitive skiing and snowboarding.
“The talent in men’s skiing is so deep,” says Post. “Pretty much every skier out there I’m excited to watch. There are younger guys who are super hungry and older, seasoned guys who are a little smarter. A few guys in particular are Sam Smoothy and Markus Eder, I always like watching Tabke, of course. It’s such a stacked field, it’s crazy how many really good skiers there are up here, and it’s anybody’s game.”
Hinchliffe shared his thoughts on the competition field.
“I am pretty stoked to see what Johnny Collinson is going to do out there," Hinchliffe said. "He seems to be feeling good right now, and he’s definitely not suffering from a leg injury. He’s been out there doing threes off of everything he can find. We’re on a similar wavelength. The standard Tabke show should be cool to watch, too. I’d like to see O’Meara kill it, I’m sure he will. I’m excited to see who pops up and who shines.”
Stay tuned for a recap of the comp.
Click Here To Watch A Live Stream Of The Event
Official Start List:
Snowboard Men Last Name First Name Nationality Hometown Carlson Tim USA Stevens Pass Rodosky John USA Jackson Hole Badoux Emilien SUI Valais Alpes Van Helfteren Irian Holl Luebke Sammy USA Squaw Valley Rizzuto Jamie CAN Fernie Guillot-Diat Ludovic FRA Villard-de-Lans Annetts Matt USA Jackson Hole Charlet Jonathan FRA Chamonix Routens Aurelien FRA La Grave Rouge Joel SUI Alpes Vaudoises Backstrom Ralph USA Squaw Valley Orley Flo AUT Hochfugen Snowboard Women Last Name First Name Nationality Hometown Mouthon Anouck FRA La Clusaz Lucas Casey USA Kirkwood Yates Shannan USA Snowbird Mouthon Elodie FRA La Clusaz Rozies Margot FRA Pyrenees Bock Aline GER Innsbruck, Arlberg Lazzereschi Iris USA Squaw Valley Dewey Laura USA Snowbird Ski Men Last Name First Name Nationality Hometown Slemett Leo FRA Chamonix Mont-Blanc Lyons Charlie NZL Mt. Olympus Kappler Ryan CAN Revelstoke Coirier Adrien FRA Les Arcs Heitz Jeremie SUI Les Manecottes Gauthier Laurent CAN Whistler/Blackcomb Hinchliffe Colter USA Aspen, CO Salencon Nicolas ARG Bariloche Guri Kevin FRA Les Menuires Lindberg Willie SWE Rikgransen Post Griffin USA Jackson Hole Ducroz Aurelien FRA Chamonix Chickering-Ayers Silas USA Mad River Glen, VT Eder Markus ITA Klausberg Smoothy Sam NZL Treble Cone Lopez Julien FRA Tarentaise Tabke Drew USA Crystal Mountain Barkered Reine SWE Are, Sweden Hausl Stefan AUT Arlberg Michaud Seb FRA La Clusaz Collinson John USA Alta / Snow Bird Fornell Dani AND Ordino-Arcalis, Vallnord Nelson Luke CAN Fernie Ogilvie Benjamin CAN Fernie Haunholder Matthias AUT Fieberbrunn Daiek Josh USA Kirkwood Bijasson Mathieu FRA La Clusaz Collin Sean USA Squaw Valley O’Meara Kevin USA Squaw Valley Ski Women Last Name First Name Nationality Hometown Gundersen Pia Nic NOR Anstadblaheia Segal Natalie AUS Jackson Hole Slinning Anne May NOR Aalesund Wright Crystal USA Jackson Hole Walkner Eva AUT Dachstein Lercher Sonja CAN Blackcomb Paaso Jackie USA Squaw Valley Maxfield Ashley USA Jay Peak / Peak Hargin Christine SWE Ramundberget Wallner Nadine AUT Arlberg
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- 4 months ago
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- From: brennanlagasse
The International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) is held every two years in a major mountain region of the world. It is regarded by snow science professionals as a top conference, bringing researchers and practitioners together to report on experiments, exchange theory and share their experiences in the field to better understand the science of snow.
This past fall, ISSW took place in Anchorage, Alaska, where John Barkhausen, a student at Alaska Pacific University, discussed his findings after organizing a field study to test the theory of electrical interference and avalanche transceivers. The topic has been discussed in many snowcentric circles across the globe for several years. However, a recent YouTube video posted by Stuart Pitches is arguably what has brought the topic into the households of a majority of everyday snow folks.
The video clearly shows that when a GoPro camera is on and in close proximity to a searching avalanche transceiver it can cause interference. The GoPro can facilitate false signal readings, which ultimately may negatively impact the searchers attempt to locate a buried avalanche victim. With so many people using GoPro’s and other helmet cameras while also utilizing avalanche transceivers in the field, it’s obvious there are reasons for concern. The range of interference has been identified as variable depending on model, but the bottom line is that these cameras do influence the working mechanics of avalanche transceivers.
What John Barkhausen discussed at ISSW was not solely related to helmet cameras, but electronics as a whole. Not only are skiers and riders who employ the use of avalanche transceivers increasingly using helmet cameras, they also tend to carry radios, cell phones, GPS devices, other types of cameras or an iPod. Simplistically, the answer to if electronics influence transceiver function is yes. However, the real question is to what degree? Even if helmet cameras were deemed unsafe for use do to the manner that they influence avalanche transceiver function, many backcountry experts support to use of cell phones in the field, as they can provide a necessary point of contact to initiate rescue efforts.
At ISSW Barkhausen placed several electronic devices including a RFID tag (Alyeska lift ticket), Spot emergency locator, cell phone, iPod, radio, digital camera, and GPS unit in the near vicinity of a searching avalanche transceiver to measure the effects. He tested for how the transceiver would be influenced in terms of a searching pattern as well as its receiving range. He used three different transceivers including a Pieps DSP, Barryvox Pulse, and BCA Tracker DTS.
Ultimately, Barkhausen found that none of these electronic devices produced negative impacts on a transmitting beacon. That was big news, as some outfits had initially thought the use of, say, a GoPro or even having a digital camera in ones pack might throw off the ability of a transceiver to function as it’s been designed. He also found that no particular brand of transceiver was more or less affected than the other.
However, Barkhausen did find that within a range of 17 inches, electronic devices will alter the ability for a transceiver to search for a signal properly. Above 17 inches, interference is minimal, but within that distance, problems are persistent. This is also evident in the video shared by Pitches. The safest way to insure you will not alter your transceiver’s ability to function properly when in search mode is to do what you are taught in an Avi I course — keep your transceiver at arm’s length when in search mode. That way, you should be at least 17 inches away from any electronic interference. The International Commission on Alpine Rescue is reportedly considering that the 17 inches be replaced by about 2 feet (24 inches) for all electronics to ensure a safe distance is met by all users. It’s also important to think about turning your electronic devices off entirely when in avalanche terrain.
As you can see in Picthes video, when your avalanche transceiver is being altered by electrical interference, you will either see erratic numbers or false triggers on your display window and/or overall range will be lost. You might also get false distance readings as well as wrong directions to follow when attempting to search. Even if you don’t have a purely analog transceiver, you will still get so much interference that instead of improper numbers and directions the beeps you are supposed to listen to and follow while searching will be filled with static and thus rendered inaudible.
Clearly, more study is needed to be able to provide full conclusive data regarding different brands and products that represent the most risk for users. According to Barkhausen’s work, iPod’s and GPS units seem to create the most interference of all the electronic devices, although from Picthes video GoPro’s don’t seem to be too far off in terms of potential negative impacts. I’m sure more study and conversation on the subject will be forth coming in the weeks/months ahead so we can all better understand the issue as a whole.
Barkhausen is scheduled to follow up this years presentation at the 2014 ISSW in Banff, Canada, but in the meantime, take home points in the now are to make sure you always perform a transceiver search at arm’s length. If you’re on a snowmobile, get off it to perform a search, so as to not allow any electronics (spark plugs) or noise to influence your search. Also, think about turning your electronic devices off and stowing them away from you transceiver when you are spending time in avalanche terrain.
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- 4 months ago
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News: Patagonia Signs Kye Pete News: Patagonia Signs Kye Petersen And Pep Fujas To Global Ambassador Team
- From: TetonGravityResearch
Kye Petersen is now a Patagonia Ambassador. Photo via Spatziba.
Ski Athletes Pep Fujas and Kye Petersen Join Patagonia as Part of The Company’s Growing Ambassador Line-Up and Expanded Commitment to Snow Sports
VENTURA, Calif. — Patagonia Inc., a leading designer of core outdoor, surf and snowsport apparel, equipment, footwear and accessories, is pleased to announce that Pep Fujas and Kye Petersen have joined the company as Ambassadors. Both individuals embody the company’s core values, come equipped with a life-long dedication to skiing and a desire to ride in the best outerwear possible. As a company, Patagonia has increased its focus in the snow sports category with a major update planned to its outerwear line in Fall 2013. Fujas and Petersen, like other Patagonia Ambassadors, will collaborate closely with the company’s designers to provide first-hand input on every aspect of product performance and design.
“We’re excited to welcome Pep and Kye to the Patagonia family,” says Josh Nielsen, Patagonia’s Global Category Marketer for snow sports, “Both athletes embody the values and direction of Patagonia Snow and we look forward to working with them closely as we continue to build and evolve our technical product range to meet their needs and the needs of the core end user.”
Kye Petersen, hailed as one of the most talented multidiscipline ski athletes of his generation and winner of the 2012 Powder Magazine Full Throttle and Best Natural Air awards, notes about Patagonia, “I wanted to partner with Patagonia because of their quality, long-lasting products. Everything is well thought out and simple, nothing you don’t need. I like how the product is trustworthy and also the fact that it’s made from recycled materials.”
“I think my skiing style fits with the brand as I’m often exploring new mountains by foot and finding myself deep in the backcountry of remote and pristine mountain ranges,” continues Petersen. “I’m also spending long days in the mountains in all kinds of conditions and putting my gear through rigorous testing. I’m super stoked to start a collaboration and help each other continue to get better in what we are doing!”
Pep Fujas is now a Patagonia Ambassador. Photo by Chris Benchetler.
Fujas, a ski film icon regarded for his innovative approach to skiing and distinct style says, “Part of the reason I joined Patagonia is that they practice exactly what they preach. The company philosophy isn’t just a moniker or marketing scheme, it’s a way of life that is lived by each and every employee, one which is mindful of their impact on the natural world from creation and design to production and distribution.”
“Patagonia has the highest quality products and they take pride in every garment they make,” continues Fujas. “I know with Patagonia that they have so much experience and have made quality gear for so long that I will be able to perform without having to think about being cold or wet or uncomfortable.”
Fujas and Petersen join a team of Ambassadors that includes Josh Dirksen, Carston Oliver, Ryland Bell, Forrest Shearer, surfing’s Malloy Brothers, Gerry Lopez and climbing’s Tommy Caldwell, Sonnie Trotter, and other notable athletes at the height of their sports.
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- 4 months ago
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- From: warpigsinfin
About the Reviewer: 5'10", 190 lbs, 33" waist skiing backcountry pow in the Teton Range of Wyoming. I bought a pair of the size LARGE Trewth Bibs but they were too long and baggy for me so I traded them in for a pair of MEDIUMS which fit me perfectly. I wear size LARGE in Trew jackets, but prefer their size MEDIUM pants. I got my hands on a pair of the 2012/2013 Trewth Bibs from Trew Gear and have skied ~15 backcountry days in these pants.Ideal uses for the Trewth Bib:*resort riding in any temps/conditions*sled riding in any temps/conditions*backcountry riding in colder/deeper conditions (these pants could be too warm for sunny spring tours)*the deeper it gets, the happier you will be with these overbuilt, snow-shedding, water-resistant bibs!*any mountain activities in cold/wet conditions that don't involve a lot of crampon us (these bibs are too baggy around the boots for safe crampon use... unless you duct tape them tightly around your boot)The Good:* super durable fabric feels really solid and blasts through the brush without a scratch* overbuilt seams to prevent tears and splitting whilst unintentionally tomohawking* full-length zips offer plenty of ventilation for warm days, long, hikes, avoiding swamp crotch while skinning, and stripping down for whatever reason...* beefy water-resistant zippers throughout* loads of large, functional pockets (three up top, two at the waist, and two cargo pockets on the thigh)* belt loops in addition to bib suspenders* adjustable velcro powder gaiters with elastic and hooks to keep them strapped down* comfortable, loose fit (doesn't restrict movement while skinning or bootpacking)* extra fleecy layer under the butt to keep your tush warm while riding lifts or sitting in the snow* exceptionally overbuilt cuffs won't get shreddedThe Bad:* full-length side zips are more likely to fail catastrophically than the half-length side zips of other pants* elastic strap material used for bib suspenders could be more technical and durable (it feels like it will lose its elasticity and wear out quicker than the rest of the pant)* sizing is a little tricky (I wear LARGE Trew jackets but the LARGE Trewth bibs were too big and baggy. The MEDIUMS fit me just right.)* thigh cargo pockets restrict uphill movement when full of stuff (as should be expected, I suppose)Overall Assessment:These pants are ideal for resort, slackcountry, sled, and heli-accessed riding. They are also great for backcountry touring in colder/deeper conditions. Even with full-length side zips, I found myself sweating in these bibs when the temps were above freezing. These bibs are stylish, comfortable, technical and durably overbuilt. At $420 the price is most certainly right...
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- 4 months ago
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- From: kimhavell
“Through The lens” is a regular column on TetonGravity.com that highlights the work of a photographer in the ski and snowboard industries. The series exists to celebrate the photographers who bring us extraordinary imagery, to get to know who they are, and to understand their process.
Tristan Greszko, a gifted athlete and photographer based in Jackson, Wyo., is known for his creation and adaptation of unique angles in photo and art imagery. Greszko enjoys working in various artistic mediums including alternate photo processes, screen-printing projects, film, and other creative outlets. His work on projects like the Tiny Jackson Hole video in 2011 catapulted him overnight into the public realm. And, as local lore goes, he is one of a handful of skiers to straight-line “Once is Enough,” a serious and steep line in the JHMR backcountry.
Greszko took art classes in high school and later began to develop his photo skills through on-snow work in Vermont. After moving to Jackson in 2006, Tristan co-created the Teton Artlab, developing this multi-purpose, non-profit venue to provide affordable workspace for local artists. The lab maintains a quirky and creative atmosphere in which artists congregate and collaborate.
Keep an eye out: With his distinctive captures and creativity, Greszko explores new ways to share his world of photo and art from a deep well of talent.
1. The Start.
In 2005, I moved from Atlanta to Vermont for a job snow reporting at Okemo and was in charge of shooting “Photo of the Day.” I also bought my first camera and shot the now-defunct Vermont Freeskiing Open. The years between 2005 and 2010, I spent almost every waking hour immersing myself in photography, learning, failing a lot, and collecting a few decent images here and there.
In 2010, after 4 years working in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort marketing department, I left my job to devote more time and energy to being a professional photographer. By that spring, I felt I had a strong portfolio and a skill set competent enough to finally, truly call myself a photographer. And now, two years later, I feel like I'm starting to produce some great images. So, I feel like, in many ways, I'm just getting going.
2. The Inspiration.
The most obvious choice is my dad, though it comes with a big footnote. The older I get the more I realize how similar we are in so many ways. He had a rare, boundless curiosity about the world, a mischievous sense of adventure, and was obsessive about his interests, which I very clearly inherited. He was a technically perfect, beautiful skier, had a dark sense of humor, tinkered with art and photography, and had a passion for the mountains that bordered on religious fanaticism.
The footnote is that both of my parents died when I was 14. I was just a naive little kid in 9th grade when it happened, so I say all this after many years of reflection, coming to terms with it all, and you know, building up a bit of a mythology about who he was. It's hard to say if I'd be as driven or independent as I am today if I had a more normal, happy childhood, but his influence is undeniable and I couldn't imagine a better life in spite of it all.
There are a few industry people that inspire me, too, right now.
Steve Casimiro of Adventure Journal has a wonderfully articulate way with words and images that explain this eternal search and the insatiable lust for adventure that we're all seeking. He does it casually and poetically, and very well.
Curt Morgan of Brain Farm Cinema … Well, there's no one like Curt out there. We went to the same high school back in New York. He has accomplished some very big things to say the least.
Tahoe photographer Andy Bardon is a good friend of mine who shares a similar aesthetic and work ethic, and is a machine in the mountains. It's been awesome seeing him start to blow up.
3. The Future.
I think my goals are pretty simple. I'd like to sustain a lifetime of exploring, adventuring, and being curious about the world, and working really hard and dreaming big. I'd like to think that my work inspires people to live better, and seek out richer, more rewarding experiences too. Hopefully, I can continue to find amazing people along the way to share the adventure with — finding and keeping interesting, passionate people around me is always an important necessity. And, as for my dreams, well, I'll just keep those to myself for now. I like it better that way.
I'm at a point where I'm confident, have some momentum, and feel like I can do some big things if I start pushing and putting my work out there. I like to fly under the radar and evade unnecessary attention but when I think about where I've come from in the past few years — and what I'm capable of now — I'm really excited for the future. I'd like to step up into a much bigger arena and work with bigger clients: The North Faces, Patagonias, Red Bulls and National Geographics of the outdoor/adventure world.
4. The Business.
I like this quote by artist Chuck Close:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
The most important thing I've learned is to get out and actually DO what you want to do. It’s important to go out and TAKE it instead of sitting around waffling about it. If you pursue something long enough, you'll find an audience, and you'll definitely find a way to get by, and probably thrive. A lot of people think giving it all up and moving to the mountains is crazy but I think the opposite is true. It’s crazy how most people live —working in an anonymous job in an anonymous city. I work hard to stay afloat but it rarely feels like I'm truly working, at least not in the way it felt before I moved to Jackson.
5. The Source.
I like shooting with the unknowns — the people who you've never heard of and who ski harder than most and keep their mouth shut about it. Skier Andrew Whiteford and I shot a lot when we moved to Jackson and he's done really well for himself. Good friend and ripper AJ Puccia has been another favorite athlete. There are a few other shots of people you've probably never heard of that are some of my favorite photos ever. These are all athletes that can do anything you ask, happy to shoot, look good while doing it, and are super humble at the same time.
I crave frequent change, stimulation, and novelty. Lately, I've been shooting a lot of random personal projects like some short videos of this summer's crazy wild fires (in Big Piney, WY and Jackson) and photos of the Northern Lights that were going off in Jackson in the early fall. I've also been road tripping all over the West for the past two years shooting a whole range of weird, amazing locations. And, I just completed an exciting Teton aerial shoot that I've wanted to do forever.
6. The Industry.
Remote control/drone platforms are definitely next in line to blow up big time. Where the military goes, so goes civilian technology. I bought a Cinestar 8 multi-rotor helicopter this past spring. It's already allowed me to shoot some stunning photos and video, but I'm basically still operating with training wheels. When it all comes together, the cinematography and unique perspectives are really stunning.
7. Career Highlights.
-Construction of the JH Tram - I have thousands of shots of every step of building the new JH tram over the two-year construction period. No idea what I'll ever do with them but it's awesome to have been the sole photographer on such a piece of history that's so close to the community.
-Tiny Jackson Hole - I spent a ton of time, 400-plus hours making that video and the response blew me away. It was a labor of love for sure and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
-Alpinist Spread - Alpinist 33 featured the Grand Teton as that issue's mountain profile. One of my favorite shots ever run was a double-page spread on the opening page of the article, Grand Teton: A Map of the Wild by Renny Jackson. Given the Grand's influence on American alpinism, it was an honor to be in such legendary company.
-JH Tram Heli Shoot, 2009 - We did a sunrise shoot of the new tram with Corey Gavitt of TGR. It was my first time shooting out the door of a helicopter, with patrollers throwing bombs below us, patrollers dropping into Corbet's, and the new Tram in perfect morning light.
-TGR/Erik Roner ski-BASE of Cajun Couloir - Erik Roner is an amazing guy and completely nuts. So, seeing him ski base Cajun while perched up above in the old tram was a really special thing though the anxious anticipation beforehand was really intense.
-Aerials in Indian Creek - the first time I shot climbing with the “Octokopter “- also completely terrifying flying the helicopter off the top of a giant boulder and trying to ease up next to a climber 80 feet off the deck but overall it was a great success and learning experience. It took me another three months before my first epic crash!
To follow Tristan:
- Blog post
- 4 months ago
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- From: patclayton
Matt Shortland skis deep powder at Bridger Bowl. Photo: Patrick Clayton
The meager November snowpack glued down, then it dumped. After the previous season of deep slab instability, patrol breathed easier this year. A wall-to-wall opening followed by a steady stream of moisture had us skiing like it was February. A December to remember comes your way...
Photos by Patrick Clayton and Charlie Bolte
Corey Seemann making waves at Moonlight Basin. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Patrol route, The Bitter End, Bridger Bowl Montana. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Roy Taylor slashes through Moonlight Basin. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Shane Cottom airs the ridge at Bridger Bowl, Montana. Photo:Patrick Clayton
Bronco face. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Patrick Gannon gets pitted at Moonlight Basin. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Moonlight Basin ski patrol, Dead Goat avy. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Lone Peak, Big Sky, Montana. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Vinnie Urgo, Bridger Bowl, Montana. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Slushman's, Bridger Bowl. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Matt Shortland on the spine at Bridger Bowl. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Bridger Range and the BBC. Photo: Patrick Clayton
Roy Taylor, through the trees at Moonlight Basin. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Vinnie Urgo, 2 inches an hour on the ridge. Photo:Patrick Clayton
Roy Taylor machs down Moonlight Basin. Photo:Charlie Bolte
Shane Cottom on the ridge, Bridger Bowl. Photo:Patrick Clayton
Corey Seemann, Big Sky, Montana. Photo: Charlie Bolte
Thanks to Bridger Bowl, Moonlight Basin, Big Sky, Ski Patrol, Shane Cottom, Matt Shortland, Vinnie Urgo, Brandy Miller, Matt Wieland, Corey Seemann, Pat Gannon, Roy Taylor, Ian Bailey, Neal Zucker, Adrian Dingle, Scot Chrisman, Chris Rennau, John Spriggs, and everybody that brought the stoke this December.
- Blog post
- 5 months ago
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- From: patclayton
Description:Bridger Range and the BBC Photo: Patrick Clayton
- 5 months ago
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