12 Search Results for ""meet the moment""
- 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: outdoorresearch102344
Every moment in the mountains lends an opportunity to learn. A lifetime education awaits those willing to explore, watch, and listen. And sometimes we meet purveyors of the knowledge, people who have made it their intention to understand the intricacies of the snow, and share what they've learned about the many varieties of a snowflake. These snow aficionados are our greatest educators, devoted to dissecting the element that brings skiers life and death simultaneously.
The tiny house arrived in Utah at the beginning of a storm cycle that would invigorate the mountain community with pow turns, while burying a weak layer in the snowpack that would require trepidation in the backcountry. In the two weeks the tiny house lived in Utah, many slides were seen and experienced by skiers and snowboarders across the Wasatch. Instead of playing their usual roles in this act, they became the audience and learned from a friend of the Utah Avalanche Center, Trent Meisenheimer, a passionate snow safety ambassador who grew up at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Following Trent and his father Bruce (a man who should be put in the Ski-Loving Father Hall of Fame) into the special ski stashes of the Cottonwoods (yes, they still exist), the OR team investigated their own capacity to learn and re-learn what they already thought they knew. You're never too experienced in the backcountry. And there is always something new to digest.
“Education is the process of living, not preparation for the future.”
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- 2 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.
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- Blog post
- 4 months ago
- Views: 202
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- From: kimhavell
It is a human condition to seek adventure and challenge. The temptation to test both possibilities and limits is strong in some — Swedish ski-mountaineer Andreas Fransson pursues this temptation.
On Friday, Oct, 5, at the Adventure Film Festival in Boulder, Colo., Mike Douglas and the team at Switchback Entertainment will premiere a film that traces an astounding few years of global ski adventures in Fransson’s life — “Tempting Fear.” It will show at film festivals worldwide and will release online as part of Season 6 of Salomon Freeski TV in 2013.
Fransson is from the north of Sweden and grew up skiing in the Finnish mountains as well as in Riksgränsen, on the border with Norway at the extreme north of Sweden. From the age of 14 he quit other sports to focus completely on skiing. Finishing school, he did back-to-back seasons in Riksgränsen, the Alps, and Mount Hotham, Australia, earning a living by teaching and guiding skiing. But, it was through the exploration of the Norwegian mountains that he found his passion for steep and wild lines. The next obvious step for him was to move to Chamonix.
I spoke with Douglas, who is in Whistler, Canada, getting films ready for the ski season as well as with Fransson, who is ticking off a few impressive first descents around the magical towers of Patagonia, a region generally known as an alpinist mecca.
Andreas Fransson and Mike Douglas. Photo courtesy Switchback Entertainment.
Part 1: Interview with Mike Douglas
Teton Gravity Research: You dealt with heavy and serious subject matter in a sport that tempts more than just fear- did it scare you making this film?
Mike Douglas: Well, luckily for me, Bjarne Sahlen did all the heavy lifting. He was out there filming Andreas in all the crazy spots, so physically, I had the easy job. After 'The Freedom Chair', I wanted to do something different. I find Andreas' story and thoughts intriguing. Early on I asked myself if this was the type of project I wanted to take on. The decision wasn't easy. I've lost a lot of friends this year and this film provokes the question of whether or not it's all worth it. It's a question I find myself often asking.
TGR: Why did you feel it was important to tell this story? Why did you decide to do this?
MD: Andreas couldn't be further away from the stereotypical American view of what an 'extreme skier' is. He's calm, thoughtful, intelligent and doing things that nobody else is. I met him after he joined the Salomon team last winter. At that point we were looking at doing a 5 minute episode of Salomon Freeski TV about him. After reading his blog, I realized that he shared so much insight and information that it would be impossible to do his story justice in a short format.
TGR: What was it like working with Andreas? Did you walk away with a better understanding or respect (or not) of ski mountaineering?
MD: Andreas has been great to work with. He completely put his trust in me. I have full respect for the person he is and what he does, but I don't necessarily agree with all his opinions. After watching the film over and over, I am not really sure what I think. I share a lot of his opinions, but at the same time I think we have different views of risk.
As a filmmaker, I'm just looking for interesting stories. I find the world of alpinism and ski mountaineering interesting and sometimes harsh. It makes me laugh how uptight people are about the details of how a climb or descent was done. There are people out there who refuse to give Andreas credit for his first descent of the south face of Denali because he had to down climb some sections to stay alive. The nice thing about Andreas is that he doesn't let the haters get to him. He's very comfortable with who he is and what he does.
TGR: What do you admire most about Andreas?
MD: He's a really nice guy! While we were working on the film he came to stay with my family for a week in Whistler. My wife was impressed with how great of a house-guest he was. She'd have no problem if he wanted to move in with us [haha]. Aside from that, it's his intellect. He's a very smart guy.
Andreas Fransson. Photo courtesy Switchback Entertainment.
Part 2: Interview with Andreas Fransson
TGR: Did skiing the South Face of Denali put you on the map? And, was it a turning point or a stepping stone?
Andreas Fransson: On who’s map? I guess it did in the media, but I had done far more difficult things in Chamonix before I went to Alaska to do something I felt that with my experience I could and should pull off. But of course once I had done this better-known line, things got easier with sponsors and the media. The funny thing is I had no idea of the impact it would have – I just wanted to ski this line.
TGR: How do you make decisions about risk and routes?
AF: I think it is a very open dialogue in the game of mountain decisions. It usually comes down to how much you want something and how much risk you are willing to take. Then you get to put your values on top of that. Whatever you do other people will judge you. I simply want to do things I define as fun that will give me something, maybe wisdom, in return and at the same time stay alive. There is no law book in the mountains, and one has to meet reality at every instant.
TGR: How did you feel making this film? What do you hope audiences get out of this? Why were you willing to share your journal entries?
AF: It was fun. I learned so much and I got to work with really talented people like Mike and Bjarne. It gave me a medium through which to share my thoughts with others. I made the decision to be open a few years back and I don’t think it would make sense to say no to doing so with an even bigger audience. I hope that people will enjoy listening. I don’t claim to say anything wise or with value in any other sense than it’s fun to ponder the mysteries of life and existence.
TGR: What are your hopes and your future in pushing the limits of skiing?
AF: I can’t promise anyone I will push anything. That’s one of the reasons why I keep quiet about my objectives. I simply don’t know what I will do next year or how my life will change. I feel steep skiing is a very intuitive thing to do. If the mountains, the weather and I are ready at the same moment then something fun can be done, but there might be periods when the combination of these three do not match.
TGR: What is the significance of temptation and risk to you? What scares you?
AF: I don’t fear death, but sometimes I fear not being able to realize the dreams I have. The temptation is to realize dreams before one is ready – the risk is we won’t get the perfection in the match.
TGR: How do you set your mark for risk versus reward?
AF: My gut feeling does it for me. If something feels worth it, I’ll do it. If it doesn’t, I’ll back off!
TGR: How do you decide on your next projects? What are your parameters?
AF: First of all I don’t like to talk about specific projects, but I think there has to be a general challenge involved. It can be difficult, have a rare beauty, be remote, or involve a physical or psychological challenge – any of these can turn on my inspiration.
TGR: What was it like to work on a film of your life as a skier to date? Does it feel like a risk?
AF: It’s great in many ways. And, now I can leave that behind me. The risk I see is that I get to talk more and more about skiing and have less and less time to actually do things. But I think it is part of my journey. First I have to have something to later be able to renounce it. It’s easy talking about renouncing things that are not your reality.
TGR: You are currently doing some exciting descents in Patagonia. Tell us more.
AF: We have two weeks left here. I got help from my friend Colin Haley, who knows this area well. He pointed out the Whillans ramp for me and said it would be one of the greatest ski descents to do in the world. [Note: Fransson did the first descent of this last week.] Once we are here we assess objectives and then go and try to do them. It’s really hard though. No one has ever tried to do the things we are looking at and there is no information. There are really long approaches. But that’s part of the game rules which makes it all much more interesting and fun.
TGR: Tell us about a few of the other things going on that help balance your expeditions.
AF: Yes, I have much to juggle, but I like challenges. I have a wonderful girlfriend with whom I want to spend time. I am working a lot for my sponsors, doing the Swedish mountain guide program, and I’m a ski editor for Epictv.com. I also try to run and climb, and I do yoga every day.
TGR: What do you admire most about Douglas in getting to know him on this project?
AF: Professionalism, creativity, the importance of detail and storytelling - it all comes from Mike so you could definitely say I admire him for that. Also, I’m very impressed with how nice, kind and generous of a person he is.
- Blog post
- 7 months ago
- Views: 378
- Not yet rated
- From: media-75233
With a final score of 10 - 9, Team Americas takes the SWATCH SKIERS CUP trophy from defending champions Team Europe. More exciting news also comes out of the day, as organizers proudly announce a 3rd edition of the event to be held in Zermatt, Switzerland for February 2013.
Valle Nevado, September 7, 2012 - Due to unsafe snow conditions on today's intended Backcountry Slopestyle course, athletes and organizers took a last minute decision to change plans and hold a tiebreak-style match with only three riders from each team on a higher venue with better snow conditions. After the uncertainty and suspense of the final day, and due to amazing performances from its chosen riders, Team Americas emerged victorious, winning the 2nd edition of the SWATCH SKIERS CUP.
Cody Townsend (USA) 1 – 0 Mathieu Imbert (FRA)
Chopo Diaz (CHILI) 0 – 1 Marcus Eder (ITA)
KC Deane (USA) 1 – 0 Paddy Graham (UK)
Changing the format of the event at the last minute was an extremely difficult decision for organizers and athletes alike. The variety of riding that both the Big Mountain and Backcountry Slopestyle heats offer is a trademark of the SWATCH SKIERS CUP, and everyone involved was wary of losing out on the freestyle component of this progressive event. However, thanks to the quick action of the organizers, and incredible riding by the athletes, the event was able to showcase cutting-edge riding in a high-mountain venue behind Valle Nevado ski area.
Each team had to choose only three riders to compete in the tie-break.
“I chose my guys based on a combination of their motivation and enthusiasm in the moment and their abilities as creative freestyle skiers, because what I want is to push the level of riding at the event. If we would have won today we would have won with style,” commented event co-founder and Team Europe captain Sverre Liliequist.
Event judge Mark Abma also had praise for the riding of Team Europe.
“Markus Eder's run was amazing, spinning 360s in both directions and incorporating a rodeo 540 and a rodeo 720, all off of the natural terrain found on this backup venue,” said Abma.
In the end, however, Team Europe couldn't stop the charge of Team Americas. With the score tied after the first two matches, it was up to KC Deane (USA) and Paddy Graham (UK). Paddy was building an impressive run, but took a hard impact on the landing of one of his airs, putting his knees to his chin, bringing his run to an end. Deane dropped in with a huge backflip at the top of the face and finished the run in impressive style, thus winning the tiebreaker and the SWATCH SKIERS CUP trophy for his team.
The conclusion of the second edition of the SWATCH SKIERS CUP is also a victory for the event itself. Organizers are proud to announce today that the next edition of the SWATCH SKIERS CUP will be held in Zermatt, Switzerland in front of the legendary Matterhorn from the 9th through the 16th of Februrary, 2013.
The event born in the minds of Sverre Liliequist and Kaj Zackrisson is here to stay. Swatch Proteam member Kaj Zackrisson comments: “This is a dream come true! We are very excited to announce that we will meet next February in Zermatt. We knew from the beginning we had a super fun event concept, and this has let us attract the best skiers in the world. Get ready for more!”
Freeride World Tour standout and mountain guide Samuel Anthamatten responded enthusiastically to the news that the event is coming to his home town.
“Zermatt is proud to host the 2013 edition of the SWATCH SKIERS CUP. The playground we have here is endless — surrounded by the highest mountains in the Alps, Zermatt offers challenging venues and a spectacular panorama. The local community will live the event with passion and we are looking forward to welcoming riders and guests for an amazing time!”
The two team captains for the next edition have already been confirmed. Cody Townsend (USA) will lead Team Americas and Kaj Zackrisson (SWE) will be in the driver's seat of Team Europe. Until they meet in the shadow of the Matterhorn, Team Americas will proudly guard the SWATCH SKIERS CUP trophy, their names now engraved on this piece of ski history.
- Blog post
- 8 months ago
- Views: 199
- Not yet rated
Daron Rahlves, Jess McMillan A Daron Rahlves, Jess McMillan And Chris Davenport Ski The Ring Of Fire
- From: drahlves
The Spyder Active Sports Land Yatch is seen parked in front of Mount Lassen in California. Skiers Chris Davenport, Jess McMillian and Daron Rahlves have been on the road skiing volcanoes out of this rig for the past two weeks.
Words by Daron Rahlves
On May 2, Captain Grant, our event director at Spyder Active Sports, hit the road in the Spyder Land Yacht from HQ in Boulder, Colo. After one stop in Salt Lake City to pick up Jess McMillian, the two were back on I-80 West to meet up with Chris Davenport and myself at Whole Foods Market in Reno, Nev. This is where we loaded up the back garage with the food cache we were going to rely on for this epic trip called the “Ring of Fire.”
The team’s mission: to climb and ski 16 volcanoes from California to the Pacific North West Cascades, practically back-to-back in a two and a half week period.
My plan was less of a commitment, but still a mission in itself: to tour for four days and ski five volcanoes.
Starting in California with 10,457-foot Mount Lassen and 14,162-foot Mount Shasta, I was committed on the trip through Southern Oregon for 9,495-foot Mount McLoughlin, 9,182-foot Mount Thielsen and 9,065-foot Mount Bachelor.
What an opportunity to top-out on iconic peaks and score creamy corn in prime May conditions. It was a pleasure to hang out with Davenport, who has so many experiences summiting amazing mountains all around the world and the enthusiastic charger, Jess McMillian. I was eager to learn a few tips on preparing and achieving these ascents.
Jess McMillan, Daron Rahlves, Jim Morrison and Chris Davenport on the summit of Mount Shasta.
I’m always hungry to ski. Growing up in Tahoe I learned to appreciate the mountains. Then taking on a racing career, it kept my skiing experience locked into resort skiing. My desire to see what’s out there and work to get it is at an all-time high. My interest is not all over the planet, but more of what’s out my back door and this trip was a dream opportunity. From Cali to Southern Oregon skiing volcanoes and taking in the surroundings of old growth forests, pristine lakes, ancient lava flows, wide open panels and terrain filled bowls after earning it delivers a stronger connection to the adventure.
The weather was just what we needed. We scored with clear nights and sunny days with calm winds, or none-at-all. On some days, you could light a match on top of the peak.
Daron Rahlves blasts down Mount Shasta.
Northern California and Southern Oregon turned out to have a lot more snow than I expected. We could start skinning right from the road or parking lot and even had to walk in over a partially snow covered dirt road 3 miles to the McLoughlin trail head.
Days started with wake up calls from 3:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. for the best climbing conditions and to limit the physical exertion by avoiding the intense solar radiation. Hulk Shakes, Bare Naked Granola, Greek Yogurt and fruit fueled us up for days on the Ring of Fire tour. Clif shots, gels and electrolyte drinks / water were mostly what I consumed on the way up to keep the pace moving and keep Dav and Jess close. Dav would get so fired up on the hiking and at times I’d shake my head when I was dripping wet and my heart was pounding. My motivation was to take one step at a time to ultimately ski down, but deep down I can say that his outlook made for a better experience and made me take in the beauty of what we were doing and where we were.
Chirs Carr, Jim Morrison, Jess McMillan, and Chris Davenport after skiing the West Face of Mount Shasta.
Reaching the top was a great feeling and then to share it slapping high-fives from excited friends tops that off. We had a variety of snow conditions, but most vert was dry, smooth chalk to buttery corn on the open faces. Then it went into the trees and made for the most fun tree GS skiing chasing each other through a maze, picking lines at speed. When it tightened up and we had trouble locating skin tracks and were surrounded by massive trunks and an enclosed canopy from the trees, I was able to help out the team with navigation using my Garmin Rino to track back the route. It was total disorientation in those old growth forests and without a GPS we would have added on lots of time and expended a lot more energy.
Oregon's Mount McLoughlin as seen through the trees.
To put eyes on home base was a huge relief. Now we could wind down and most of all the feed was on! Protein waffles, egg scrambles, recovery shakes, fruit, Red Bulls, jerky, cookies and water. Heavy caloric intake sessions would then be followed with packing up the drying gear lying in the sun and then the wheels began to roll to the next one on the hit list. We had all kinds of great snacks for the road trip and then once we found our next place to post up, we ate like royalty with in-house recipes a Whole Foods nutritionist planed out for us.
Chris Davenport updates his Twitter and Facebook followers from the summit of Oregon's Mount Thielsen. Follow him on Twitter @steepskiing see more updates at #volcanotour.
Thinking back to the trip a recurring moment that set it apart was reaching the top of each volcano, we could then see the next volcano and look back to the one we did the day before. To see where we were, standing on what we just climbed and then gazing out to the north for the next day was a very cool feeling.
Thanks to Dav for dreaming up the Ring of Fire Tour and to Spyder and Whole Foods Market for helping us make it happen.
Follow the adventure at blog.spyder.com and think about getting after a few or all of these volcanoes yourself. My favorite was Mount Thielsen. It was the full package, with skinning, booting, rock climbing to the summit, great views and the best skiing I had. We left the Land Yacht at 6:08 a.m. and got back by 11 a.m.
Daron Rahlves skis from the summit of Mount Thielsen at break-neck speed. He also hits a pine tree like a slalom gate. Awesome.
Thanks to Johnny Cash for putting these words into my head on the daily climb, “I fell into a burning ring of fire, I went down, down, down and the flames went higher…” The broken record effect kept me plugging away.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
- Views: 352
- Not yet rated
- From: outdoorresearch102344
When you find a place that’s good, stay there. The ski dream tells you that traveling from snowy destination to winter wonderland is the guaranteed way to find powder. Yes, you may see the world of ski areas and communities. Just make sure you’re there long enough to enjoy a few storm cycles. Once you’re out of the pattern it becomes more and more effortless to miss this storm or that one. For the tiny house and crew, driving away from Whitewater before a 70-centimeter cycle was our pattern mistake.
We may have not skied the best day in five years at Whitewater, but we did meet all the folks who would once we left. One of those folks was local patroller, Orry Grant, otherwise known as OG. A blonde hair, blue-eyed, hiking-machine, and unassuming bad-ass, Mr. Grant is without a doubt skiing powder at this very moment, regardless of what moment you are reading this. As a patroller and member of the avalanche control crew for Kootenay Pass, the Nelson native breathes ski-lifer.
Orry Grant embodies Kootenay mountain culture being born in Nelson, living in Revelstoke for years, and knowing the nooks and crannies of the best ski zones in the Koots. Coincidentally, one of our first impressions of the OG was in Kootenay Mountain Culture, a beautifully designed magazine that pays homage to the people, places, and centimeters that make BC a skier’s heaven. The Kootenays are a blessed place. For people like Orry Grant, that place is home.
Choosing Orry was really just another gift for the tiny house crew. We missed the major, epic storm, but we got to feel like we were helping make things happen for the Whitewater local. With a recent G3 sponsorship and a spot on the ambassador program for OR, Orry’s life just became that much more entrenched in the world of skiing. And for that, the skiing community should feel grateful.
A smile goes a long way. Orry’s kind demeanor and smiles (plus his assistance as a patroller) will undoubtedly keep many people out there skiing. It will definitely bring us back to Whitewater. That and the hopes of hitting the storm we missed.
- 1 year ago
- Views: 532
- Not yet rated
- From: randolph
May 1, 2011
As the sun set on the month of April, a small group of us found ourselves camping at the mouth of Lamoille Canyon, NV. Anticipation was high as we settled into our sleeping bags with visions of climbing and skiing the little slice of central Nevada known as Terminal Cancer Couloir.
Our group was however missing two members. This mission was originally the brainchild of our good friend and competitive freeskier Tamara Guttman. After spending several years exploring the Tetons and San Juan’s, Tamara and her companion Justin Theemling found themselves in the Sierra Nevada in time for the 2009-2010 season. In February, 2010 Tamara was diagnosed with stage four, metastatic pancreatic cancer.
Throughout the rounds of treatment, Tamara’s courage and positive attitude were nothing short of inspirational and in the fall of 2010, she shared her goal of visiting the Ruby Mountains to ski T.C. Tamara maintained her goal and as she started yet another medical trial in March and she felt as though reaching her goal would be obtainable as the winter turned to spring. Unfortunately, Tamara’s liver was not as strong as her heart and mind. On Tuesday, April 26th, the doctors at Tahoe Forest Cancer Center informed her that her body could no longer take the invasive treatment. That was a very bad day.
Although she was physically beat up, she and Justin decided that they would not roll over, but rather they would search out alternative treatment methods. As this was obviously a higher priority than skiing, there was no doubt that it was the right time to launch an assault on T.C. on her behalf.
The morning of Sunday, May 1st was cold and clear. The boot pack up the base of Terminal Cancer got deeper as our team ascended higher. By the time we were climbing the heart of the couloir, we found ourselves taking turns breaking trail in the waist deep winter snow. As we reached the crest of the notch, we were met by the warm sun and we soaked in the moment and reflected on the beauty of the glacier carved canyon.
Although Tamara and Justin were on a separate mission to Ashland, Oregon to meet with doctors who specialize in eastern medical practices, they were BOTH with us in spirit. A bright bouquet of yellow spring blossoming flowers accompanied us on the climb and we planted them in the snow at the entrance of the line. This was not done in a morbid sense, but rather as a way of celebrating the mission and to include their adventurous spirits with us on our journey. It was comforting having them watching over us as we descended the couloir through the perfect untracked powder snow.
At the end of the day, the feeling of accomplishment was high and our team could not have been more proud of taking care of some unfinished business in the Ruby Mountains of Nevada for our good friends Justin and Tamara.
Words and Photos by Randolph Green
Skiers: Randolph Green, Ty Hargroder, Jonathan Cracroft
Additional cast members: Matt Blodgett and Sam Wells from Driggs, ID as well as Bruce from Spring Creek, NV and his dog Cody!!
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 2327
- Not yet rated
- From: media-75233
May 16, 2011
Emeryville, California – Clif Bar today introduced Meet the Moment, a celebration of athletic adventures and the places they happen. Whether it’s action, adventure or the thrill of the chase, Clif Bar wants people to share how they Meet the Moment by uploading inspiring photos and stories at www.MeettheMoment.com.
Clif Bar will award three people who upload the most inspirational and creative Moments by July 31 an opportunity to pursue their dream adventure. Each winner will select the adventure of their choice (up to a maximum value of $12,000) - be it trekking the Amazon, chasing the Tour de France, riding a wave at J Bay, extreme boarding at Marmot or any other athletic adventure they’ve dreamed about.
To protect the places people play, Clif Bar also will donate $5 to one of five non-profits dedicated to protecting outdoor places each time someone creates and uploads their first Moment. To further support these conservation and preservation efforts, Clif Bar will double its contribution to each non-profit if people submit 10,000 Moments by July 31. All told, Clif Bar, the nation’s #1 energy bar, could contribute up to $125,000 to the five organizations.
The five non-profit beneficiaries that people can select from to direct a $5 Clif Bar donation on their behalf – Leave No Trace, International Mountain Biking Association, Surfrider Foundation, Access Fund and Winter Wildlands Alliance – were chosen for their focus on protecting the places where people Meet the Moment and their dedication to ensuring that outdoor spaces will be preserved for future generations to experience their own Moments.
Meet the Moment will culminate Oct. 1 with Clif Bar’s first National Day of Action, an inspirational day of volunteer activities making a positive and lasting impact on the outdoor places and spaces where memorable Moments occur every day.
How to Post a Moment
Anyone is invited to upload a photo and share their Moment at www.MeettheMoment.com. The Moment can be described in “magnetic poetry style” by choosing from a bank of words that will be placed on top of the photo to create an individualized postcard. People can also opt to add their own words to their postcard.
Once the postcard is complete, it can be posted to a photo gallery on www.MeettheMoment.com. The gallery is designed to serve as a visual community of people sharing athletic adventures and stories.
Once submitted, Moments will be plotted on four different “energy maps” that will track the location of like-minded individuals, the number of Moments dedicated by sport, the number of Moments assigned to each non-profit and the feelings Moments created. People also will be able to scroll over Moments in the Moment Gallery and on the energy maps to learn the story behind each postcard, with the goal of inspiring more Moments of outdoor adventure.
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
- Views: 1206
- Not yet rated
- From: media-75233
CLIF Bar - Meet the Moment - Kirt Voreis' Moment
- 2 years ago
- Views: 179
- Not yet rated
- From: filmtour
Wow! That is all we can say about the New York City premiere of Light the Wick. The night started out innocently enough; Dana Flahr, Dylan Hood, Dash Longe and Ian McIntosh were all on hand to sign posters and meet the audience.
The crowd started building, and the vibe was looking as though it was going to be something special -people were clutching their Mount Snow lift tickets and various swag given out by the team from Eastern Mountain Sports in Soho. And then.....
Flashback to the previous night in Boston - we were sitting around after the movie ended, having a good time and getting stoked for the upcoming winter. The conversation shifted to the NYC premiere, and there was a sudden moment of inspiration. Perhaps we were inspired by Jeremy Jones' Deeper, where Jeremy and friends earn their turns by hiking and climbing some of the most incredible lines ever filmed (premiering at the Gramercy Theatre in NYC on December 3). Or perhaps it was inspired by the hiball / vodka drinks. In any case...
Flashforward to NYC. Irving Plaza was packing up quickly, and Ryan took the mic and began to give out the usual assortment of killer swag and prizes from our sponsors. A V.I.O. HD cam went to a very stoked woman only weeks away from her first ski trip of the year (that's what we love to hear). Prizes from The North Face, TGR apparel, Hiball and more were thrown to the crowd or raffled off. A pair of Volkl skis were given out.
And then it was time. Just as Dana was about to give away a pair of Atomics, TWO names were called out instead of one. A pair of stunned women came up to the stage, and in one of those moments straight out of a Clint Eastwood movie, stared each other down with their arms hanging loosely on their sides. "There can be only one", Dana said calmly. Dash quickly stepped in and kept the peace, if only for a moment.
The showdown was set, the matter of resolving it yet to be determined. The crowd rose - realizing they were now on the spot - and, after a few tense moments of back and forth, made their collective decision. Push-up competition!
The contestants were game. It was on. And, at the end, after an incredible effort by both (while not an official number, by my count the final pushup total was 1,675-1,674), the winner stood victorious with a well-earned pair of Atomic Bent Chetlers, ready to face the world and enjoy the Light the Wick premiere on the massive screen.
We will have to see if her feat can live up to the standard set by Jeremy in Deeper. Come find out for yourself - December 3rd at the Gramercy Theatre. Tickets and information at: http://www.tetongravity.com/tour/deeper/event.aspx?tid=731.
Special thanks to the guys from the Hoboken Ski Club for their help in making this event run so smoothly, and to Shuteye Studios Photography for taking pictures at the event (www.shuteyestudios.com)
- Blog post
- 3 years ago
- Views: 467
- From: CodyTownsend
Rookie years equal pressure. The pressure to perform, the pressure to impress and the pressure to stand and deliver. When last December rolled around I got the call to come out to Jackson to stand in front of the TGR lens. Immediately I was beyond psyched. Jumping up and down with stoke. Then the reality of the job came in. This is TGR. This is the big time. Oh shit.
Then winter rolled around and I drove on into Jackson to meet up the crew for the first time. Immediately the greenhorn nerves were washed away. Not because of any particular shreddage on my part or neccesarily anything I did to quell the pressure, but because I walked into a crew that was just like any crew of life long ski bums. TGR's stoke for all things snow, humility to the mountains and love for the sport made it seem like the film days where more just 'shred-with-your-buddies' days. It was an infectious vibe that kind of summarized my ski season.
I slept on a the floor more than a couch. Slept on the couch more than a bed. Tallied 20,000 miles on my odometer. Truck stops and gas stations became sort of a personal kitchen. Saw the sunrise more than the sunset. Made perfect turns, fell on others. Stumbled upon new terrain, rediscovered old terrain. Landed on my feet, landed on my head. Got snow in the face, got snow down my back. Made new friends, lost old friends.
It was truly a season that defines skiing to me.
So that being said, here are some pictures from along the way. Cheers.
**Sights like these are the spice in the curry of life**
**Stairway to Heaven. Following Jeremy Jones to the gateway**
**In in with JJ**
**Evening Snow in Utah. What we live for as skiers.**
**Shroder Baker trenching in Jackson with Josh Nielson and Tigger Knecht capturing**
**Todd Ligare airing out the bottom of Breakneck in Jackson**
**Rachael Burks punting under Cody Peak.**
**A new beast. Finding gem's like this is what makes those countless days of sledding and hiking worth it.**
**Secret Spine Wall. Sorry, can't tell you where this is because when you find it on your own, it'll be that much more satisfying.**
**The one moment of the season that didn't fall into the "ski bum" category. Top of a competition face in Austria for the Swatch/O'neill Big Mountain Pro**
**Tracks from nowhere laid down by yours truly.**
**Sending it over the waterfall in Utah. Adam Clark below shooting.**
**Nothing more needed to say**
- Blog post
- 4 years ago
- Views: 604
- Not yet rated