14 Search Results for ""sit skier""
- 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
- Views: 163
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- From: gregfitzsimmons
The promise of precipitation was too much to ignore. A series of late November storms were lining up on the Pacific and barreling towards the Sierra Nevada. A lot of dialogue was swirling around about the systems, though, with everyone wondering, speculating, and predicting a full gamut of outcomes. Ranging from torrential rains up to 10,000 feet that could force the Tahoe communities to start from scratch, to rain at lake level foreshadowing copious amounts of blower above 7,000 feet. It seemed like every pow-starved skier and rider in Northern California fit one of two molds: Negative naysayer or eternal optimist.
For us, it was a worthwhile gamble on the last weekend of November. We knew full well that the potential rain would be a huge drag, forcing our crew to baton down the hatches of our West Shore cabin, watch football and drink whiskey in close quarters to pass the time, and ruminate and brood over what could have been. The other option that proved to be the impetus for us loading in the truck, weathering the pissing rain en route to Tahoe, and risking cabin fever can be summed up by one stat that had our heads spinning: The series of storms — if things lined up and it all came to a cold fruition — could drop as much as 100 inches on the Sierras.
It seemed like a no-brainer; we opted to head to Tahoe.
Friday afternoon was shit. Unrelenting rain followed us from Santa Cruz to Sacramento, but we held onto hope as we started climbing in elevation toward Donner Summit. If the temps started to drop as we climbed, the rain would turn to pow. But, as we crested Donner Pass, at 7,056 feet, the Truckee River raged with runoff and the thermometer on my dashboard read 36 degrees. That night was spent sipping on whiskey and hoping it was pounding up high.
Those predicting rain and a wet weekend nailed it for Saturday. We woke up early to check the snow reports, and drove to the base of Squaw hoping to see something different than what we read online. But, soaking wet tram operators greeted us in front of the closed tram doors. “Not today, guys,” they said beneath dripping hoods. “It’s snowing hard on top but the winds are too strong.”
So, biscuits and gravy in Rosie’s dining room — a Tahoe City institution — were followed immediately by IPAs at Rosie’s bar, which lead to pulling slots and playing cards at the Crystal Bay Casino. The precipitation didn’t stop, but neither did the winds. Kirkwood was spinning its chairs while getting buried by wet snow, but the chairlift-halting winds had most of Tahoe’s mountains in a holding pattern.
Finally, late Sunday morning the rain at lake level turned to heavy wet flakes that accumulated quickly. As the winds started pulling back in the late afternoon we pulled ourselves away from the slot machines and headed up to see what was happening at Mount Rose — the semi-secret hidden gem on the eastside of Lake Tahoe. With a base elevation of 8,260 feet, Rose offered a solid option to rectify the weekend and sample the snow. Skin tracks winding up to the Mount Rose backcountry were promising, 40-plus inches of fresh were sitting untracked on the mountain after two days of weather closure, and we decided to sit around one last night to see if Monday was a-go.
“That shift in weather on Sunday morning was very much expected,” said OpenSnow.com's Joel Gratz. “That was the cold front from the final storm that came through. That whole weekend event wasn’t one storm, but was a series of a few storms that drew a lot of moisture off the Pacific, which also drew a lot of warm air. That final storm was strong enough on Sunday morning to pull in colder air from the north. It just took a stronger storm, a stronger piece of energy, to drag that colder air down.”
As Mount Shasta was getting buried beneath 18 feet of snow, our guys called in sick to work on Monday. It proved to be a solid decision.
From Squaw to Mount Rose, the lift lines were sparse on Monday morning. Most of the pow-hungry masses were either at work or just over the weekend’s waiting game. But, Monday proved to be an all-time, early-winter day for the patient few whose priorities are straight.
Storm totals of 42 inches on the upper mountain at Squaw and 45 mid-winter inches blanketed Mount Rose, and bluebird skies sat over all of Lake Tahoe. The waiting game proved to be a war of attrition, but Monday’s conditions rewarded the patient.
What’s this mean looking forward and for everyone in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho?
“There’s a difference between an individual storm and a general weather pattern. What happened last weekend in Tahoe was a series of individual storms, but what were tracking now is an overall change in the weather pattern,” Gratz said. “The storm pattern is going to shift to a different orientation which should hopefully bring in colder air for more areas and give some new areas a better chance to see snow. That’s not a guarantee that we’ll see big snowstorms, but at least it sets us up for the PNW, the northern Rockies, and down into Utah and Colorado to have better chances of consistent storms over the next few weeks. That’s the key: consistent cold storms. Some might be big and some might be small, but at least we’ll have [storms] every couple of days, which is the most important part when considering good powder skiing.”
So, here’s to hoping that all of our communal patience pays off this winter just like it did for us in Tahoe last weekend, because my body can’t handle much more waiting-game whiskey and my wallet definitely cannot take one more hand of “maybe-tomorrow-will-be-blower” blackjack.
It was a bluebird pow day at Mt. Rose on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.
Is that a Soul Pole?
Cutting a rug at Mt. Rose.
Straighten up and fly right.
Time to track the living shit out of this.
And now we can all breathe a sigh of relief, winter is here.
Don't Miss Out On Another Storm, Stay Up To Date On Snowfall In The TGR SnowLab
- Blog post
- 5 months ago
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Interview: Chris Davenport On Interview: Chris Davenport On 50 Classic Ski Descents Of North America Book
- From: SamPetri
A skier drops in to Terminal Cancer Couloir in Nevada, one of the lines featured in the book 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America.
Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America is a large-format compilation book of iconic and aesthetic ski descents from Alaska to Baffin Island, from Tuckerman’s Ravine in New Hampshire to eight states in the western U.S. and the three western provinces of Canada.
Created by ski mountaineers Chris Davenport, Art Burrows and Penn Newhard, 50 Classic Ski Descents taps into the local knowledge of contributors such as Andrew McLean, Glen Plake, Lowell Skoog, Chic Scott and Ptor Spricenieks with first person descriptions of their favorite ski descents and insightful perspectives on ski mountaineering past, present and future.
TetonGravity.com recently sat down with co-author and pioneering skier Chris Davenport in Aspen, Colorado, and flipped through the pages to see what it’s all about. We found it is one of the best hit lists out there, as no one skier has descended them all. As they say, game on!
A crew stands on top of Polar Star Couloir on Baffin Island and gets ready for a classic descent.
Sam Petri: Tell me about how this book came together.
Chris Davenport: Penn Newhard, myself and Art Burrows, we were talking about it for a couple of years, but we really started working on it in January of 2010 - getting the framework, building the list of the 50 classics. You know, what were the mountains going to be? Who were we going to get images from? Who were we going to talk to? We really wanted to have a lot of contributors.
Nobody has skied all of these mountains. There is not one person who has skied all 50 of these. So we really need to rely on the expertise of some of North America’s most well known skiers. These people right here. They represent not only a huge amount of history in the sport of skiing and ski mountaineering, but they also represent all the different regions, so we kind of started building this list. Like, who were the people we want to include in the book? Who has great stories to tell? Who has got great images we can use? So we went through building that list, talking to people, doing the legwork, and then by April or May we really had everything we needed to sit down and start building the book.
It’s sort of like running a marathon, the first mile you are like, “Oh my god am I ever going to finish this? This is already hard.” So the first 10 pages it was like, “holy shit, are we ever going to get through this thing?” We bit off a lot and the more conversations we had with people, the more we realized how much was really out there. Certainly, I pride myself on knowing a lot about great places to ski. That’s what I do, but you know, for instance, the Polar Star couloir in Baffin Island, I didn’t really known much about that and we started talking to people like Andrew McClain and Hilary O’Neill and they were just like, “This is just the most incredible line on the east coast.”
Skiing Polar Star Couloir.
SP: What were the criteria for a classic? What defines a classic?
CD: Yeah, that’s a good question. I think the main thing that defines it is it has got to just grab your eye. You have to look at this and just go, “Wow, oh my gosh, look at that line.” It really has to jump off the page at you.
I think there has to be history to it. I think it’s got to be aesthetic. You know, most importantly for me was the aesthetics. Take Tuckerman’s Ravine, for example. I mean, it’s a super aesthetic glacial cirque with an incredible amount of history and it’s really popular. A lot of people go up there. Huntington Ravine as well. But then there are other ones like Baffin Island. This couloir has only been skied like half a dozen times, but it’s just in a super striking part of the world. We wanted things that were going to be inspirational or aspirational, where people would go, “Wow, I wonder if I could ever do that?” And things like Tuckerman’s, where people are up there every week in the spring. It was a nice blend of things. We didn’t want it to be super exclusive, you know like, “The Gnarliest 50 Descents On The Continent.” We wanted it to be a good collection – a variety, I guess you’d say. So we got the east, and then we get to right outside Aspen. I wrote this story, “Breaking The Glass Ceiling.” I wrote this one because we skied the second decent of the east face here on Pyramid, and this is probably the most classic line in all of Colorado.
CD: It had only been skied once and it was in 1978. It sat there for 28 years.
SP: Who skied it first?
CD: Chris Landry. We went up there and it hadn’t been repeated. This line over here had been skied, but nobody had gone off the summit, down the Landry line. So we did the second decent and once we did it and word got out that we just did the second decent, people flocked and were like that’s the glass ceiling. It broke and people came down and started doing it, so here is a story that I wrote about that experience and why this face is unique. It is pretty burley climbing.
University Peak in Alaska, "probably the most burley peak in the whole book," Davenport says.
Climbing University Peak.
SP: Were there any lines that you guys argued about being a classic?
CD: I would say there wasn’t any argument, but there was definitely deliberation about things like, “Do we put this in there?” We originally had like 70 mountains that we needed to chop the list down to 50. There was deliberation because there were ones we didn’t have good photos of and there were ones we just didn’t know that much about. This peak is super badass, University, probably the most burley peak in the whole book. It has only been skied twice. 7,000 vert. It’s ones like this we were like, “We have to put this in there.” Even if hardly anyone is ever going to get to do this, it is so rowdy and so awesome, we’ve got to put it in there. And some expeditionary kind of stuff in Alaska. Pontoon peak in the Valdez area is a super classic peak.
Pontoon Peak in Alaska's Chugach Range.
SP: I’ve been up there. Last year I camped up there, sort of near Pontoon. I just went and skinned around for 10 days, just outside of Point’s North Heli’s zone. Yeah, Kevin Quinn is the man.
CD: Yeah, he knows a ton of people.
SP: Pontoon is badass.
CD: You’re right. And this is a super classic photo of Meteorite in Valdez. This is the first decent. This is a really good story. Eric Pehota writes about Trevor Peterson missing out on the first decent because he got wasted the night before. They couldn’t find him and these guys Scott Markewitz, Eric Pehota and Kirk Jensen, they got it. Trevor was left behind.
SP: Ha, that’s funny. So you put heli lines in here, too?
CD: Yeah, because, I mean, the mountains don’t care how you access them. Like I said, the aesthetics and the beauty of it all is open to anybody. And yeah, there are some things that are accessed by helicopters and there are some things that certainly are only human powered access, and we felt like those were both valid ways of going skiing. We are not trying to say like, “Oh, heli-skiing is bad or you have to be a ski mountaineer to be able to do these things.” There are plenty of classic lines out there that you can walk up, and there are some you can fly to. And yeah, we talked about that. Do we include things that have heli-skiing or not? That’s just the way it is in Valdez. There is heli-skiing there. And you can’t just say we’re not going to put that in there just because it’s mechanized. But that was definitely a discussion, for sure. Yeah, we wanted a good variety. We wanted this book to appeal not just a hardcore, but also the beginner, the guy that is just getting into it, and to have it be really inspirational. We wanted people to have this book and have it be their hit list.
SP: We’ll, it’s cool that no one has done all of them yet.
CD: Yeah, I’ve skied like 25 or 24 of them. That’s a lot. Maybe someday somebody will be like, “You know what? We’re going to do a project to ski the 50 classics that these guys wrote about.”
Get Your Book And Get Out There
- Blog post
- 6 months ago
- Views: 349
- Not yet rated
- From: sampope
In April, I spent 12 days camped between Cordova and Valdez, Alaska, on the Woodsworth Glacier at the base of the famed Pontoon peak, in the Chugach, filming Ralph Backstrom, Todd Ligare, and Griffin Post for Teton Gravity Research’s newest film, The Dream Factory.
Todd Ligare, Griffin Post, Ralph Backstrom took sleds from Valdez almost all the way to Cordova, Alaska — a 25-mile trip through the Chugach.
We used snowmobiles to cover the 25 miles from Thompson Pass, and though we started in Valdez, our camp was actually closer to the town of Cordova. While camped, we used some of our limited SAT phone time to get snow and weather reports from the guys at Points North Heli, who are based out of that town.
Todd Ligare, Griffin Post and Raph Backstrom hike for their turns.
Though everyone knows Alaska for its heli-skiing, it’s a little-known-fact that many of the same zones that are accessed by high-dollar heli clients can also be accessed by snowmobiles. To our knowledge, we were the first group to use sleds to get that deep into the range. There’s some sweat equity involved, but unlike heli skiing, you won’t be panhandling on the streets of Anchorage to buy a plane ticket back to the Lower 48. Unless you wreck your snowmobile, which is easier to do than you might think.
The sun sets on the TGR campsite.
Of our 12 days out there, probably 10 of them were sunny, but we did have a couple down days. Anyone who’s spent any time filming up there knows about the Alaska Slow Roast; sitting around in a lodge or hotel waiting for something that is completely and utterly beyond your control — the weather. Roast time can be anywhere from a couple hours, to a day or even weeks, but there are always distractions: the Internet, movies, trips to town. One might even occasionally indulge in an adult beverage.
But the glacier takes the Roast to a whole new level. When the weather is bad, there is literally, NOTHING TO DO. You can sit in the tent and stair at the walls, you can walk outside and stare at the mountains. You can contemplate your wasted college degree, lack of a 401k, or any kind of long term plan. If your iPhone has any battery power left, you can play Tiny Wings. The options are pretty limited.
Anyone who knows Griffin Post, knows that he’s a motivated guy. To my knowledge, he’s the only professional skier with an M.B.A. In fact, while we were roasting in the tent, he was outside making real estate transactions on the SAT phone. No joke.
On the second day of our Glacier Roast, Josh Swierk, owner of the Robe Lake Lodge, showed up to help us pass the time. And being a true AK local, he showed up with several, semi automatic weapons. We were all excited, don’t get me wrong, but for Griffin this was a totally different thing — it was the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream. You see, Griffin skis big lines, takes big air and he dreams big. And Griffin’s dream was to fire a semiautomatic weapon, off of a moving snowmobile. And it just so happened that we had a snowmobile AND a semiautomatic weapon. Actually, a few.
And so for most people, while the AK Slow Roast is an opportunity to sleep, waste time and complain a lot, for Griffin, it was the opportunity to fulfill lifelong dreams and you don’t get to do that every day.
- Blog post
- 1 year ago
- Views: 303
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- From: salomonfreeski
On March 8, 2004 aspiring freeskier and coach, Josh Dueck, awoke from a ski crash to realize life would never be the same. Paralyzed from the waist down, josh made a decision to make the best of a horrible situation. The result is one of the most inspiring stories we've ever seen.
The full-length documentary film can be seen at a film festival near you, or can be downloaded in the latest Salomon Digital Magazine for iPad here http://www.salomonfreeski.com/others/minisites/ipad-magazine/
- 1 year ago
- Views: 17
- Not yet rated
- From: media-75233
September 14, 2011
By John Clary Davies
At the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Josh Dueck had big expectations. The Kimberley, B.C.-native wanted gold. With 10,000 onlookers, many of them sporting the “Go Josh Go” T-shirts his wife had made to raise money so his family could stay near the mountain, Dueck finished fifth.
“Honestly, it was more disappointing and harder to digest than finding out I was paralyzed,” Dueck said. “Because I had geared myself up for this moment, this fairytale story.”
In 2004, Dueck was paralyzed from the waist down after overshooting a jump. At the time, he was an aspiring coach in Canadian freestyle skiing, working with young talents like Riley Leboe, TJ Schiller, Justin Dorey and Josh Bibby. Six years later, Dueck’s first Olympic campaign wasn’t a total disappointment. He won silver in the slalom the day before the downhill, and the ensuing media attention lead to talks with Mike Douglas about doing a Salomon Freeski.TV webisode. Douglas thought he had such a good story, he decided to make a short film about Dueck with cinematographer Jeff Thomas. The film, "The Freedom Chair," which tells Dueck’s inspirational story, premieres Sept. 15 at the International Freeski Film Festival in Montreal. Tetongravity.com caught up with Dueck, who is also the world record holder in high-fiving, to talk about his accident, racing, the film, and his first love, skiing powder.
I was pretty quick to drop the shovel whenever I could, and I put on a helmet and did a speed check and three-quarters up the in-run wasn’t fast enough, so I went to the top. It was an uncommon starting point but it was spring and slow. It felt a bit fast and I thought I was going to slow down. As I was going up the transition and up the face of the jump I knew very well that I was fucked.
There were some athletes down there hanging out and [the doctor] said, ‘I just need to talk to Josh,’ and he closed the door and he’s looking at me and smiling but has tears coming down his cheek and says, ‘Dude, you’re going to kick ass in a wheelchair.’ And I was like, ‘fuck me.’
'Before you know it, though, we’re going to get you back in the mountains skiing a sit ski,' [the doctor’s] saying. Right away I was like, 'I can be back in the mountains!' It gave me something to look forward to, and that was huge.
No matter what I do and how I react it’s not going to change what happened. No matter how mad I get or how many tears I cry it’s not going to change it. So fuck. Lets’ get a grip and move forward.
People just started flooding into the hospital. I got to witness dozens, hundreds, thousands of people in the hospital over the first month. People just started filtering through because this is a make or break moment in this kid’s life, so they started coming through the hospital and they’re nervous and it’s awkward.
The unanimous reaction was like, 'dude, you didn’t deserve this.' My wife was like, 'if everybody is feeling sorry for you, you are going to feel sorry for yourself. We need a beer fridge, we need some posters and get the TV out of here.' The sound of a beer getting cracked puts everybody at ease.
That momentum was crazy and put a ton of wind into my sails and made it as effortless as can be. I’m as average as they get. I was never really that confident but suddenly the momentum and positive energy was insane. ... It was like, alright, 'I’m going to get out there and give ‘er.'
It was second to none to be in front of the home crowd, like when I was looking down at the crowd — and in the slalom start you can see the finish area and you can see the faces of 10,000 people that are down there. I can see my old coach, the kids I used to coach, and friends from all over.
That whole attention from the media and crowds is what attracted Mike D[ouglas] to approach me about filming a Freeski.TV episode. I’ve known Mike D for a long time, but I never thought he would approach me for a Freeski.TV episode.
I got wrapped up in a great community of people. The freestyle world has been so good to me and that made a great story and Mike had the foresight and wisdom to tell a great story. It’s the first time anybody has ever been able to tell my story the way I wanted it to be told, the way it should be told.
Jeffy [Thomas], he is the hardest working motherfucker I know, and he’s like, 'I just put a little segment together,' and it was banger. Oh my god. 'Is that really what you guys were seeing?' That got me so stoked.
[The film] has given me the confidence to dream anew, to dream something I always wanted to do.
I hope that more filmers want to take a chance and want to show a slightly different aspect to get down the mountains. We’re attracted to pillow zones, jibbing as well. There are a handful of us trying to do the first backflip on snow. The hype is happening. There are more guys that are trying to express themselves on snow in ways they never thought possible.
I want a butter three, I want to backflip. In the film, I was dropping some good 40- to 50-foot cliffs. I want to sequence that. Pillow lines. There’s so much more to be done, so much more to be shared.
[My wife] was never overly sympathetic. She’s not holding my hand, but always encouraging me to challenge myself. One of my most ridiculous things I’ve ever done on snow — I got caught above a zone on cliffs and I’m like, 'Holy fuck, I can’t hike out of here. I can’t ski off of this. If I miss it then I’m going to tomahawk down.' And she’s like, 'no, you got it.' Well, she loves me. So, alright. I just shifted and pointed it and stomped it and it was like, 'oh my god.' The greatest feeling in my life was hitting those lines.
I have a few years left of hard charging and then I’ll pull the plug. I want to start a family, but I’ll always be a soul skier and pow skier as long as I can be.
If you haven’t challenged yourself or created positions to move forward physically, or in your sport, or in any different capacity, I don’t think there’s a neutral. If you aren’t challenging yourself to move forward, what you think is neutral is actually slipping back.
"The Freedom Chair" trailer:
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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- From: sbcskier
A trek through the Wapta Icefield traverse in the Canadian Rockies armed only with goods purchased at that bastion of patriotism known as Canadian Tire. Can it get any more Canadian? Pass the Pilsener
I’ll tell you what: I ain’t no frickin’ writer, but just sit down and read this because I didn’t skip out on the ice-fishing tournament to stay home and write a story nobody would read. I’m frickin’ serious. It all started last year after hockey when my buddy Daryl—who misses a lot of games ’cause he’s always doing trips, even outside of the province—piped up in the middle of a discussion I was having with our goalie about how cool it is to go sledding on nearby Riding Mountain, elevation 1,016 feet. I mean 310 metres. “You ain’t seen nuthin’ till you’ve seen the Canadian Rockies,” Daryl said, looking all distant, like he was daydreaming out loud. Well I was all fired up after the game, so I cracked another Pil—sort of over by his face, which snapped him outta his trance—and shot right back. “Well, what the hell are we doing here in frickin’ Manitoba then? Let’s go!” And that’s where it all began, right there in that sweaty dressing room.
ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | AUTHOR: DARYL'S BUDDY | PHOTO: DARYL'S OTHER BUDDY | ISSUE 10.2
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- 2 years ago
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Mack Jones and Colston Vb, good skiers and good people, that being said, they come from opposite sides of the ski spectrum. Party partners by night, these guys are completely different when they get to the hill. Mack slays parks all over the west coast while Colston spends his winters scouting lines and following the snow, where ever that takes him.
Colston VB Blasting Through Some BC Pow
Mack Jones made the move out west from Ottawa, leaving behind its rolling hills and parks for big mountain and a bigger scene. This man skis like a beast, stomping landings the way they should be stomped, and in my opinion has the best trick selection of anyone coming up that I have seen. Lately Mack has been on his grind, filming with Voleurz, PYP, and Toy Soldier Productions, no doubt putting together solid segments with all of them.
Growing up in Rossland B.C, home to Red Mountain, Colston got his start skiing the deep white stuff and sending big rocks. His urge to ski pow and drop cliffs never waivered. He has been able to steer clear of the bright tall tees and gang signs that suck so many into the park game. With his consistent hard work and an almost concerning never ending smile, Colston is now starting to make some noise in the big mountain scene, competing all over the coast and filming with the Voleurz family.
I took some time to talk to both of these young men and asked them the same set of questions to get an inside look at both sides of the ski world. This is what they wanted you to know.
Far from the nearest powder stash, Mack Jones throws a rodeo 5 over a perfectly manicured kicker at Camp of Champions
Big mtn / park / pipe – what takes over?
CVB: I can see park skiing getting a little played out. Don’t get me wrong, right now I love the park stuff, I’m a fan, but now that pipe is in the Olympics and slope is being pushed to be an Olympic event I can see it getting too regulated. More judging doesn’t make it better.
In my mind, big mountain deserves more main stream respect. It brings out more in a skier; it takes a more creative skier to pick a sick line. To me the mountains are limitless and skis were created to access the mountains so that’s where they should be used.
MJ: I’m a little biased on this one due to the fact that being originally from the East coast, park is what I grew up shredding and continue to ride the most. The fact that you can always learn something new and push your limits never seems to get old to me, so in my mind park riding takes over… for now. But after spending a week in Retallack this winter and seeing what the bigger stuff is all about, I’d say big mountain takes over in terms of straight up gnarliness. I’d never really stood on top of a line and been like, “No idea where I’m going, ok let’s just survive… dropping!” until then and it gave me some serious respect for the mountains- definitely want to do more big mountain stuff. Then of course there’s pipe, which is going to take our sport to the next level. I have so much respect for the guys who slay pipe, some of the stuff they’re doing now is insane! With it now being a part of the Olympics, pipe skiing is going to take the sport right to the mainstream with guys like Dorey, Riddle, and Margetts leading the charge… and who better to do that than some awesome Canadian dudes, right?
What has to change with contests? Big mountain / Half-Pipe / Slopestyle…
CVB: Big Mountain contests are getting there, now there is a “style” category so doing tricks is now a big part of your score which I like. Still though, it seems to be who’s the gnarliest, not always who’s skiing the best. It is getting so hard to place well in them without totally risking your life because the level of gnar is so high. I would hate to be a judge for big mountain contests.
One thing that could be changed in my opinion is the on hill inspection. There is no reason why inspection can’t be done visually. We had a number of instances this year where it would snow over a foot but then due to heavy athlete inspection of the venues in the morning it would be hard pack by the time anyone got a chance to ski.
MJ: Honestly, I’d have to say that contest trends in both big mountain and slope are really cool and I like the direction things are going. In terms of big mountain, more events like Red Bull’s Linecatcher and Cold Rush would be good. Those contests are so cool to watch and must be a blast to be a part of… much more interesting that your typical big mountain events where the win goes to whoever is most extreme. In slope, the courses are getting much more creative with unique jibs and jumps that require more than your standard slope tricks, which makes it fun to watch everyone do things you’re not used to seeing rather and 38 doubles and a 270 disaster.
Maybe one thing that could change is the weighting of points on jumps vs. rails. Sometimes I find in slope contests that riders do the bare minimum on the rails in order to not ruin their run before the jumps, because they know that the jump line is where the high scores are earned. That may just be me, but it would be good to see people take more risks on the rail sections and actually be rewarded for it.
Ski videos need…
CVB: Better soundtracks for sure… Narration like the old days with would be tight…those movies were rad. The narration was interesting and gave people who don’t know skiing at all a chance to really get into it, not just, “we got here and did this, it was sick”.
I am more stoked on collaborative projects than the same companies producing the same movies with the same athletes year after year.
MJ: Aggressive hand gestures at the camera, dubstep, extreme editing, and fancy intros……. kidding! I’m actually a huge ski nerd and am pretty stoked on where ski movies are right now, I just love watching skiing. Insert photo of me in nerd glasses watching ski movies here. A lot of people watch a movie and then go right into hating on what wasn’t in it, what sucked, etc… When I watch a movie I like to spend my time getting stoked on what actually happened rather than what was missing. Yay for skiing, holler!
Who is the next skier to make waves, out of your crew?
CVB: My Rossland homies are REDICULOUS, they are all so sick. They just ski and sled for fun on the weekends and drop bangers all the time, just without the cameras. To me that’s the best, people who shred hard just because they love it, shout out to Brodie Evans and Alex Berg.
MJ: Rob Heule. Probably my favorite person I got to ride with this winter… he has an uncanny ability to stomp urban rails in a limited number of tries, has some of the best style going right now that is super unique to him, kills it on the Dew Tour in pipe with one of the coolest runs out there, and just happens to be the nicest guy you just might ever meet. Oh… and he drives across North America all winter in the sickest GMC van named Terry, say somethin’.
Mackstradomus and Colson VB, son of Miss Cleo, tell it how they see it. Now we sit back, wait, and see what the future really holds.
ORIGINALLY FEATURED ON SBC SKIER - TO VIEW THE FULL ARTICLE IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | AUTHOR: CODY LYNGE
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- 2 years ago
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- From: media-75233
Words, photos and video by Andy Campbell, adapted from this Forum thread.
April 20, 2011
F%&^ Yeah! I'm in Alaska!!
Arrived in Juneau last night and got five runs in today with Alaska Powder Descents, stoked beyond words.
I'm skiing like crap and still getting used to the terrain/snow but hoping for some super stoke while I'm here. Interent connection is slow...so can't manage to post more than these two photos but they pretty much sum up my day; posing with helis and crapping my pants on the side of some Alaskan slope.
April 23, 2011
It's been clouded-in over 33 mile yesterday and this morning but this afternoon I got up for a couple of runs, and had a total WTF am I doing here moment at the top of a line.
Got dropped off just below the cloud base, which is pretty low, for the second run of the day and from where I was sitting I couldn't see the run below me because of the roll-away and steep pitch. All I could see from the sit ski was something steep and white, with a fall and die drop to my left which was actually a fair distance away but looked WAY closer from my perspective, and was told there's an ice field to my right. I can't kick or jump turn in the sit ski so steep pitches for me mean that as soon as I initiate a turn I pick up a crap load of speed and need to traverse to run it off before starting the next turn, so I was freaking out that I wouldn't have enough room to lose speed before going off an edge or into an ice field. If someone had turned to me and said there was a cat-track or something easier to take down if I didn't feel like dropping in I'd have taken the easy option in a heartbeat!
Everyone else in the group headed down until it was just me and the guide and I had no more excuses to use up, time to just go and deal with it. Once I got over the first roller I could see more of the line and things weren't nearly as sketchy as my paranoid mind had been trying to convince me they were. Top of the line was still steep enough that I had to turn/traverse/turn to make it down and falling wasn't an option without tomahawking in a sit ski, which sucks, but it opened up into one of the most memorable runs of my life. Mainly because I was crapping myself so much at the top but still went for it and had a blast. This s%&^ is why I came to AK, to see if I can handle the terrain and internal mind games. Still can't handle 90% of the terrain, but after today I feel better about the mental stuff.
April 24, 2011
Today was cool, a nice way to mark the anniversary. Being at 33 mile is like a pilgrimage and skiing stuff that really pushes me is fitting. Some screen grabs from today's GoPro footage:
- Blog post
- 2 years ago
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- From: media-75233
Sit Skier Andy Campbell takes on The Canyons Pond Skimming Competition, "Trying to skim a pond in a 40lb sitski, sounds pretty stupid. I'm there!".
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- 2 years ago
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Video: Chris Devlin-Young Is F Video: Chris Devlin-Young Is First Sit Skier To Ski Jackson Hole's Corbet's Couloir
- From: media-75233
Chris Devlin-Young skis Corbet's Couloir at Jackson Hole unassisted.
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- 2 years ago
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ORIGINALLY POSTED IN SBC SKIER MAGAZINE - TO VIEW THE FULL INTERVIEW IN ALL IT'S GLORY, HEAD OVER TO WWW.SBCSKIER.COM | INTERVIEW BY DAVE PIRES | PHOTOS BY BLAKE JORGENSON
At first Mark Abma's story appears to be that of so many other professional skiers: a mogul and park kid who, through a combination of skill, opportunity and passion rose to join the ranks of skiing's elite. But the typical elements end there.
Arriving on the scene shortly after a crew of ex-mogul skiers changed skiing forever, Abma was part of the first wave of young talent to follow in the founders' footsteps, a wave that included Pep Fujas, Simon Dumont and David Crichton. What's special about Abma and his contemporaries is that in the shadow of giants they managed to leave an indelible impression in their own way; an ability to push the boundaries of what's possible on skis that is just as great or greater than anyone who came before or after.
As a skier, what's most uncommon about Abma is his natural ability to ski big mountains. This, blended with his park and pipe background, have made him one of the best all-around skiers in the world. As a person, what is uncommon about Abma is his big heart, humility, and calm preference for leading by example. SKIER sat down with him to discuss the arc of his career, his new environmental charity, and the critical importance of luck.
You've risen from humble origins, growing up skiing at Hemlock [in the Fraser Valley] and in its freestyle program. At what point did you know skiing was what you wanted to pursue?
I think it was while I was going to school. I was just a weekend warrior, so during the five days each week that I was in school, I was basically staring out the windows towards the mountains. School bus ride… staring at the mountains. It was infatuation. I didn't know how I wanted to do it, but I was like, As soon I get out of school, I'm going to get a VW van and ski bum it. It was that passion, and then things just kind of unfolded. My coach from Hemlock spoke with the B.C. Freestyle team coach and I got the chance to ski with those guys, and move to Whistler, the epicentre.
When did you decide to move on from moguls?
I did moguls for three years, and basically it just got to a point where I'd be locked into this whole mogul schedule from November through March. I'd be on the tour, and I'd be in icy Quebec watching the snow report for Whistler and see it pounding, and it started driving me bananas. That's when the whole freeskiing thing happened. The New Canadian Air Force came out, along with the Three Phils, and they were doing all these new tricks that I was trying to learn. But I was kind of a year behind, so I eventually pulled the pin to catch up and found a couch in Whistler for $200 [a month].
Your girlfriend Kristi Richards took a different path, stuck with moguls, and has had success as well. What are the major differences between the life of a professional mogul skier and a professional freerider?
Her training program is very regimented. She had her whole four years planned from 2006 to 2010, and knew what she was going to be doing every week. She's got coaches pushing her in the right direction and getting her in super-good shape, whereas I have to be self-driven. There's nobody to get me into shape or teach me new tricks; you have to do everything yourself and create your own schedule—which is what I love so much about it. It's funny when we come back together at the end of our respective seasons because I've just been floating, following storms, and she's been grinding on this regimented schedule; it's a bit of a head butt at first.
You've talked about the importance of being self-driven. What's the other indispensable quality that separates guys like you from the thousand other guys that come to Whistler every year ready to make a name for themselves?
I'd have to say luck. There's so many people doing it exactly the same. Lots of other guys out there skiing every day—living, breathing and eating it. Everybody's situation is kind of different, and I think it's a lot of being in the right place at the right time.Take Ian McIntosh for example. He competed in big-mountain freeskiing, put his time in there. I put my time in doing slopestyle and pipe
contests. I was lucky. The second year after I quit mogul skiing, [Anthony] Boronowski invited me to live with him, Julien [Regnier], J.P. [Auclair] and one of the Poor Boyz filmers in Whistler, and he paid my rent for that whole year because I didn't have any money. Hedragged me down to [Powder magazine's] Superpark and introduced me to K2. I have toattribute where I am now largely to Boronowski helping me out.
These days, most pros are busy releasing re-edits, updating blogs, tweeting, etc… But you've stuck to a more traditional film-and-photo-shoot approach to promotion. Are you comfortable with that, or is there pressure on you to be more "social?"
I'm not getting a lot of pressure, but I I'm putting some on myself like, Alright, it's time. I finally got a Facebook page this winter, [laughs] not that I've been on it very often—maybe four times in six months. But I think that's the next step for me: dedicating more time to promoting myself online. I guess I'm kind of old school; I just like to go out and ski, but obviously times are changing.
Yeah, and it must be tough to sit in front of a computer when you own a helicopter.
Well, yeah, [laughs] exactly! Who wants to sit in front of a computer when you can go fly around in your private heli? [Abma does not actually own a helicopter, but a certain group of skiers has jokingly spread the rumour that he does.]
Speaking of which, your star really took off after your first heli trip
to Bella Coola in 2004. At the time, did you realize how important that trip would be to your career?
No, at that time I just viewed it as my first heli trip. I'd been looking at photos and footage of Bella Coola for years and since I was going to be skiing with [Shane] McConkey, Hugo [Harrisson] and Ingrid [Backstrom], I knew what I was getting into. But I can't say that I rolled up super-amped. I definitely knew those mountains could work me but I didn't really have any expectations. I just figured I was tagging along with those guys and trying to learn. Andthat's what I did, I asked a lot of questions. Those guys were basically picking the lines and I was taking table scraps.
Those scraps ended up being pretty amazing. You walked away with "Male Performance of the Year" at the Powder video awards.
It was a trip for sure. I really lucked out again, because MSP was up there for six weeks. There was a crew there before us for two weeks and they got skunked. I was up there for two weeks, we sat for 10 days, and then got three good days and walked away with all that footage. Then the next crew came up for two weeks and got skunked.
Was that your first opportunity to ski with Shane McConkey, and was he influential?
He was one of the guys I always watched in movies, but I think what impressed me most was watching him ski-base. We're all just trying to piece our way down and stay on our feet, meanwhile he's looking at a completely different part of the mountain… It's hard to describe what it's like to see somebody ski off a 250-metre cliff, pull a parachute and land smiling and screaming and just having the time of his life.
You've also filmed with C.R. and knew of Arne [Backstrom] through Ingrid, and now all three of those Squaw guys are gone. How does a guy like you who's out there skiing really intense stuff, make peace with the dangers?
[Extended silence] I've definitely faced the concept of hurting myself really badly or passing away and being OK with it. Obviously, you don't want to pass away, b
ut it's not being afraid of it and not allowing it to rule over you, and just allowing things to happen as they're going to happen that allows you to do what you do. You can never really control everything.
You've started a charity called 1STEP. What's the goal?
Essentially to raise awareness within the ski community about our current environmental situation. Within that we're trying to help ski resorts start using their waste vegetable oil to power snowcats and fleet vehicles, and essentially start using what they have on-site to create a more sustainable operation. This August I'm heading down to Bariloche [in Argentina] to work with South America Snow Sessions. We're going to run their shuttle vehicles on vegetable oil to get the campers up to the hill. If that goes well, the resort will adopt it and start running their snowcats the same way. While we're in Bariloche, we're going to try other things: there's the resort end with nice First World living conditions for tourists, then you around the corner there's a big garbage dump with a whole Third World community. So we hope to build greenhouses for them from waste plastic water bottles, and in turn allow them to grow some of their own food.
Was there something that really motivated you to start 1STEP? Was it being surrounded by natural beauty so often, or was it a book, a movie…?
Actually, it was Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. As controversial as some people say it is, it definitely struck me to the point where I was l
ike, "I've got to do something. What?" I could keep just doing things within my own home, or go out and be a bit more vocal about it and utilize my position. It's been a big learning experience for sure, starting at the place in my heart where I want to help, then trying to figure out how to do it. But I think I'm starting to hone in and realize 1STEP's direction.
Pro skiing is pretty carbon intensive with all the jet travel, helicopters, snowmobiles, and trucks. Does it work against you that most skiers consider the opportunity to emit that much carbon the greatest thing to ever happen to them?
Yes, it's a tricky place to be for sure. Without these conveyances we can't explore and get to the beautiful places we get to experience. We're also putting down a carbon footprint by just going up the ski hill, so where do we draw the line? We can't stop everything we're doing, but I think we can improve what we're doing: obviously my snowmobile isn't good for the environment, so I got the cleanest-operating sled I could; I've got my big truck running on waste vegetable oil, and this year I basically switched up my cat-skiing time for ski touring, which really is an amazing experience.
Are there any more steps you've taken to reduce your own carbon footprint?
We're switching our household over to micro-hydro, and reducing a lot of impact that way. Just being aware of when lights are on, what the temperature's at—all these small things add up when combined amongst everybody. That's what a lot of people overlook, they're like, "Well, it's just me doing this." Whereas if everyone stopped throwing plastic grocery bags into the garbage, well then… I mean, when you go to a garbage dump that's the one thing you see everywhere—fucking plastic!
Is there anything else you want to say?
I still hear a lot of people say that going green is just a fad, but I don't think that at this point in the game it can be anymore. Obviously we have a lot of issues in our world right now, but it's about caring about our planet more than trying to join a green cult.
Mark Abma is sponsored by Salomon, Dakine, Smith, Whistler Blackcomb, and Magic Potion.
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On the Couch continues with an inspirational interview with legendary skier Seth Morrison. In this episode Todd Jones and Seth Morrison sit down to discuss his progression into the sport in part one of this double episode. Check back soon for part two with Seth Morrison.
- 4 years ago
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