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216 Search Results for ""teton pass""

  • Our Office Jocks Can Shred! Our Office Jocks Can Shred!

    • From: ryandunfee121157
    • Description:

      The office jocks here at TGR are by and large a pretty mellow group when it comes to outdoor adventures. We cruise the blue squares and even the black diamonds over at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort or Grand Targhee, do our little cross-country bike laps, and will occasionally turn on our beacons and do some meadow-skipping up on Teton Pass. But some of the people we work next to do not mess around; they're here to shred, and they do it at 100%. 

      Ryan Halverson, TGR's Logging Manager, spends his office time managing the army of folks we bring in to sift through every video shot that comes through the door and analyze, organize, and label each one for the production of the final films. But when he's off the clock, he's hiking 5,000 vertical foot lines in Grand Teton National Park and filming his group of absolutely ripping friends for his homegrown production outfit, Full Room Productions. "I started doing in back in Wisconsin, shooting park skiing on VHS and chopping it up at home. Since then, it's always been about going in the mountains with your friends, shredding, and coming back home and seeing what you got on tape."

      Last spring, that ethos took them up to Thompson Pass, Alaska, where Halverson and his die-hard ski bum buddies were intent on bagging some of the state's legendary snow-and-spine-littered walls for the filming of their new film, Frosty Flakes (see the trailer below), which was a collaboration between him and another hardcore Jackson local, Darrell Miller and his Storm Show Studios. But in the world's most infamous helicopter zone, there wasn't going to be a drop of jet fuel burned to get them to the top of any of their lines. "The biggest reward in the past few years has been hiking for lines under your own power. It’s been a ski bum lifestyle as a logger for me; there was never any money for helis or anything."

      Undaunted by the prospect - years of day-long ascents in the Tetons had conditioned the crew to an astounding ratio of sweat and tears to powder turns - they walked for three hours on their first day of good weather to get to the base of a perfect ridgeline of steep AK gnarliness. Despite the 70 mph winds that had scraped most of the local peaks of decent snow, this ridge remained deep and pristine... until a helicopter came hovering in overhead to drop a group of clients on top of the same ridge. "We had one heli come in for one run and we got all concerned they were going to lap this zone," Halvy said looking back. "But they saw us and took off after one run of skiing probably the only route we wouldn't have considered that day." Respect for their physical labors were rewarded, and after spending an hour setting a bootpack up the face, the crew were able to get three laps a piece without another soul in sight. "Granted, we didn’t get seven runs in a day, but we got three, and we didn’t have to pay a dime for 'em."

      "Granted, we didn’t get seven runs in a day like you would in a heli. But we got three, and we didn’t have to pay a dime for 'em."

      On the third day of decent weather, the crew set their sights on Mt. Dimond and it's Gun Barrell Couloirs. Ever since Doug Coombs made the first descent down its 50-degree slopes, the mountain has been a right of passage for visiting pros ever since. After four hours of skinning, including Halvy's first experience with AK's unique glacier travel challenges, including false snow bridges and a bergschrund with a bottomless crevasse, they booted straight up one of the 4,000-foot couloirs, and two hours and a few harrowing icy steps later, they were atop a legendary Alaskan peak. "Todd Ligare and Griffin had skied that in The Dream FactoryTo actually summit that mountain, one that was known for heli-skiing, on foot was pretty awesome. I don’t know how many people do that on a yearly basis."

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  • Mountain Bike... Los Angeles? Mountain Bike... Los Angeles?

    • From: ryandunfee121157
    • Description:

      If there's one thing we regret about skiing and snowboarding, is that your options for where you can do it are kind of.... limited. You know, to just the places where it snows. But one of the things we're most excited about as we gear up for bigger coverage of the mountain bike world this spring and summer is that you can ride a bike pretty much damn near anywhere, from Kansas to Wisconsin to Hong Kong to Columbia, and, as we find out in this classicly stunning video from Red Bull, the great section of pavement and smog known as Los Angeles. 

      As it turns out, the trails in the Santa Monica mountains high above the inbred Hollywood hold some pretty rad trails, and as Curtis Keene makes it clear, you can go very fast on a bike within spitting distance of the set of Curb Your Enthusiasm. In fact, the hills of Southern California host a lot of good mountain biking, and are the stomping grounds for the product developers at places like Fox and Turner and the staff at Bike Magazine.

      Is there a more random mountain bike destination than LA we should look into this summer? Let us know in the comments!

      Want more bike videos? Check out:
      -Dub Tales: One Fast Teton Pass Lap
      -Shredding on Curly-Whirly Bars? 
      -Urban Downhilling in Mexico

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  • Last Call: Climate Change, Hel Last Call: Climate Change, Heli-Ski Uzbekistan, Blacking Out, Surfing Saunas!

    • From: ryandunfee121157
    • Description:

      Jeremy Jones on Climate Change

      During a springtime trip to Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Jeremy talks about why climate change has become such a concern for him, from melting glaciers to increasingly erratic weather. Of course, this has implications far beyond less pow on the slopes - I think the collapse of modern industrial civilization was mentioned recently - but, man! Your Instagram account is going to be was less popular when the opportunity to gloat-post pow day shots declines by 50%.

      Surf Shauna for Winter Water Enthusiasts!

      With air temps stabbing at zero degrees and water temps barely above forty, wintertime surfing in New England is a violent affair that only the hardiest (or most desperate for waves) have the will power to undertake. In mid-February with ice fog curling off the surface of the water and two feet of snow on the beach, it's a challenge to stay in the water for more than an hour. But two creative souls from near my hometown in New Hampshire have put together a wild-looking "Surf Sauna" mounted on a trailer that they can tow right to the spot and heat up in time to give frozen surfers a break in some delciious heat with the aroma of cedar filering through their iced-over wetsuits. Sound nice? The first Surf Sauna model will be available for a cool $16,400, trailer hitch not included.

      Doing Cool Shit On A Bike At High Speed

      Damn, dude; Bas van Steenbergen is not messing around! The Kelowna, B.C. native must have learned how to ride a bike from an XBox, because this is some video game-level riding on a 6-inch travel bike. 

      Calling All Norwegian Engineers to Teton Pass...

      Those damn Scandinavians are always making us Americans look like a bunch of fat, self-indulgent and scatterbrained fools. This time, they tease us with their utopian "CycloCable," a sort of conveyor belt that pushes cyclists up a 426-foot hill in Trondheim, Norway after they step on what looks like a track and field start block. Could you imagine how empty the parking lot would be at the top of Teton Pass if you could simple plop a foot down and have taxpayer money ferry you to the top for your ski run or bike lap down Fuzzy Bunny? Plus, it's way cheaper than the monorail I keep advocating for...

      Smugg Hucks

      Ski The East's talented group of freeride groms put some time in last March with their young knees and copious snowfall around Smuggler's Notch, Vermont in order to see just how big they could go off the frozen waterfall drops and cliff hucks in the area's tight woods. If Dylan Dipentima, Noah Ranallo, Dominic Castine, and Carter Snow are out there listening, we highly recommend you enter our Grom Contest... we want you!

      Yawgoons 12 

      We’ll be honest—you probably won’t like this edit.  It’s full of handrails and jibs rather than powder, pillows, and helicopters. But once you get past the fact that this edit is better suited for Yobeat than TGR, there’s much to appreciate.  In addition to impressive riding, the edit showcases the importance of creativity.  Although Yawgoo Valley—the only ski resort in Rhode Island—doesn’t have an abundance of terrain, the Yawgoon crew continues to make it look fun as hell.  But then again, Scotty Stevens always makes snowboarding look so fun.

      NYC Socialite Taken Out During Local Pond Skim

      Last week the town hill here in Jackson Hole, Snow King, held their annual pond skim contest. But shriveled private parts weren't the only victim of the challenge of fording nearly-frozen waters on skis or snowboards. Julia Kirby, a young NYC socialite who starred on the reality show "High Society" before moving to Jackson to become landscape photographer Tom Mangleson's assistant, got taken out by an out-of-control skimmer as she was texting away behind the runout of the pond skim.  

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  • Searching for the Spirit of Sn Searching for the Spirit of Snowboarding at the Jackson Hole PowWow

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      By Michael Sudmeier

      Last week, both snowboarding’s past and its future were on prominent display at the Jackson Hole PowWow. Now in its second year, the event brought together a tight-knit crew that included snowboarding pioneers, board designers, brand representatives, shop owners, professional riders new and old, media outlets, and Jackson Hole locals.

      Unlike many industry events—where the focus is on a keg or manning a desolate demo tent—the PowWow revolved around riding. Throughout the morning and afternoon, attendees quickly ducked in the event tent near Jackson Hole’s tram. Here they mounted decks and found a posse with which to ride. The tent’s potent wet dog odor, ample snow, and bluebird skies served as an additional catalyst for maximizing time on the snow.


      A group of PowWow participants took a break from lapping the sidecountry to pose for this photo atop Rendezvous Bowl at Jackson Hole. The resort was a key sponsor for the event, making the magic happen.

      If, however, one was inclined to loiter in the tent, it contained no shortage of eye candy, as a test of 2015 decks served as one of the PowWow’s marquee events. In addition to formally enlisting local diehard shreds, this test was open to everyone in attendance—which totaled around seventy-five riders. Participating brands ranged from boutique builders to established giants, and included Burton, Venture, Never Summer, Gentemstick, Cold Smoke, Unity, Notice, K2, Ride, Lib Tech, Gnu, Arbor, Franco Snowshapes, Rossignol, Slash, Yes, Jones, Dupraz, Amplid, Illuminati, Nitro, and Grell.


      Mikey Franco of Franco Snowshapes poses with some of his boards. In case you're wondering, his shirt reads, "Jesus loves snowboarders. Alta doesn't."

      The diversity of board shapes—combined with the prevalence of board designers on hand—alluded to snowboarding’s roots while also providing a glimpse into its future. While many of these shapes seemed appropriated from the eighties, they also served as testament to the increasing focus riders and brands are placing on them—a movement that many view as analogous to how surfing treats shapers and board shapes.


      This early morning photo captures a rare moment in which Gentemstick's boards are all present in the demo tent. Each year, riders at the PowWow salivate over the Japanese company's boards and jockey for a chance to take them for a spin.

      Yet as much as the PowWow showcased board designs and provided a venue for testing them, it was also about celebrating snowboarding’s roots and the culture that sustains it. According to Rob Kingwill, the event’s founder and a snowboarding legend in his own right, the PowWow is about embracing a core vision for snowboarding—a vision, he notes, that has often been overshadowed by energy drinks, the X-Games, and outside influences that have worked to shape snowboarding for their own gain. 

      Kingwill emphasizes that despite the mainstream attention this interpretation of snowboarding receives, “For most people in the world, that’s not what snowboarding is about. Snowboarding is about riding with friends, finding new places, and hopefully riding powder.” Consequently, he aimed to create an experience where the focus was on the riding. Inspired by the Legendary Mt. Baker Banked Slalom and Travis Rice’s Natural Selection from 2008, Kingwill set out to create an event that brought his friends and fellow riders to his home mountain. “I just wanted to show my friends [Jackson] and get people to come shred . . . I think that’s why it’s been pretty successful. Everyone just falls in love with being here—just like me.” Perhaps as a result of Kingwill’s enthusiasm and the purity and sense of purpose behind the event, the PowWow even served as a gathering place for a number of legendary riders including Dale Rehberg, Andy Hetzel, and Roan Rogers.


      At the end of the day, riders on snowskates and Grell Boards terrorized the little kid sled hill—and other assorted objects. This photo could easily illustrate a diagram on how bones get broken.

      In addition to days filled with riding, the PowWow was anchored by evening events that blended history, storytelling, and simply kicking back with friends. On the second night of the PowWow—which loosely spanned from March 10th to March 16th—riders gathered at the Q Roadhouse to explore diverse chapters in snowboarding’s evolution.

      Alex Hillinger, the director of Asymbol, kicked off the evening by introducing the second year of Travis Rice’s Pass It On Project. At last year’s PowWow, Hillinger and Rice kicked off the first installment of this endeavor, which sent one of Rice’s signature decks off into the world. Fellow snowboarders were encouraged to simply ride the board and—per instructions attached to its topsheet—post a photo of themselves riding it to Instagram using the #PassItOnProject hashtag. The resulting photos—which stemmed legendary pros and weekend warriors alike—documented the board’s journey across continents and seasons. The common denominator in all of these photos was an intense sense of stoke. To further its reach, the Pass It On Project is sending three boards off into the world this spring, one of which was put to use the next day at the PowWow.


      Rob Kingwill christened one of the boards from Travis Rice's Pass It On Project with a nice little warm-up run through Central Couloir. (Photo by @robkingwill)

      Photographer Chris Figenshau discussed traveling to Nepal with Jeremy Jones and TGR. His slideshow provided an overview of the crew’s journey and Jones’ objective—riding a line on a face the team named the Shangri-La Spines. This line will be featured prominently in Higher, the final installment of Jones’ Deeper, Further, and Higher trilogy of films.

      After Figenshau, Stephen Koch took to the stage. While guiding the audience through slides that documented dozens of first descents, Koch also spoke about the lessons he learned through snowboarding. And despite his abundance of first descents throughout the globe, many of these lessons came from the challenges and uncertainties that have accompanied his exploration—including an avalanche on Mount Owen that swept him over 2,000 feet and his efforts to ride the tallest peak on each of the seven continents. Koch revealed that sometimes we are quick to label as failures the very experiences that stand to shape us the most. Ultimately, success may look very different from our initial objectives and assumptions.


      Jeff Grell provided a glimpse into snowboarding's past while also embodying the passion that has sustained it through the years.

      The night served as a makeshift time machine, delivering riders further and further into snowboarding’s past. And ultimately, Jeff Grell took to the stage to talk about a crucial era in snowboarding’s history—one in which everything was so new and so different. Grell discussed his time working with Tom Sims, as well as how he came to develop the highback binding. “Back then it was all about sharing ideas,” he explained. “You never thought about what tomorrow meant. It was just like ‘this is a great idea. I’m so stoked on what I’m doing . . . I’m so passionate about it that I just got to turn people on to it.’” Grell added, “I don’t have any of my old boards because I gave them all to other people. I think the Pass It on Project actually started a lot earlier.” That night—and in the days ahead—Grell was often introduced as “the reason you’re able to make heelside turns.” Yet his contributions to shredding don’t stop there. Grell provided an overview of his efforts to organize contests and events while also attempting to entice Aspen and other resorts to open their lifts to snowboarders.


      Prior to the evening event, Grell provided a tour of the contents of his briefcase, which was adorned with vintage snowboard stickers.

      2014 Jackson Hole PowWow

      Grell's briefcase contained everything from his patent for the highback binding to old newspaper clippings to letters. One letter from the Aspen Highlands Skiing Corporation stated, "We regret denying your request for the implementation of a snowboarding program at Aspen Highlands for the 1984/85 season." The letter did, however, state that the mountain would reconsider its position if he could obtain a one million dollar insurance policy.

      Proof of his deep love for snowboarding, Grell continues to pioneer new developments in how riders slide on snow. Most recently, he has been developing Grell Boards, which blend the simplicity of Snurfers with sophisticated molds and fiberglass technology. Seemingly, Grell’s commitment to snowboarding is as strong as ever. While waiting to present, he stepped outside the building and shared one of his boards with kids climbing on a snow pile. Regardless of whether he’s in spotlight, Grell will forever be both a pioneer and a prophet of standing sideways on the snow.


      Jeff Grell displays some of his latest inventions—Grell Boards. Inspired by the Snurfer, these boards bring snowboarding back to its roots. (Photo by @robkingwill and @jhpowwow)

      The days that followed were filled with a blend of riding, chairlift conversations, and sidecountry hikes. Board builders and reps were quick to solicit feedback on their latest designs, which tended to blend board shapes, camber profiles, and sidecut radii with a greater degree of attention than ever before. “More companies are trying cool shapes—there are more freeride and powder-specific boards,” offered Jerome Boulay, Venture’s sales manager. A common refrain from brands was that they had never been to an event where the caliber of riders and testers was so high and where the testers provided such meaningful and nuanced feedback.


      Venture's Snowy Owl was one of the many unique board designs on display at the PowWow. For riders like Venture Sales Manager Jerome Boulay, the deck functions as a splitboard for ascents and a bindingless pow surfer for getting after the goods on the way down.

      According to Unity Owner and Founder Pete Wurster, Jackson Hole also provided the perfect venue for the test. “It’s probably the best place to test boards. Because of the nature of Jackson Hole you go from a beautiful powder day to gnarly slush to icy moguls through the trees back to a groomer all in one run.” Wurster added that the PowWow also created an environment in which boards were evaluated on their merits rather than the hype that surrounds them. “You throw all of the money, marketing, pro riders, and hype out the window and here we’re all in the same plane,” he explained. “Small manufacturers that are doing some really unique stuff can be looked at on a level playing field and get as much attention as the bigger brands that everyone knows.”


      Whether riders were hiking or rocking the lift, conversations unfolded with ease at the PowWow. Here, the crew from Snowboard Magazine captures one of these moments. The magazine served as a key sponsor for the event and had a full posse in effect. (Photo @snowboardmag and @susiefloros).

      Although the event officially drew to a close on Thursday evening, the good times flowed through the weekend. On Friday, a number of riders gathered for splitboard tours elsewhere in the Tetons. Many of the brands also remained for a consumer demo on Friday and Saturday. And those brave enough to embrace kickers, banked turns, and a running clock stuck around for the Dick’s Ditch Banked Slalom.


      Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and the adjacent sidecountry provided the perfect canvas for testing boards. Powder, ice, slush, groomers—over the span of 4,000 feet you'll find it all.

      The closing celebration on Thursday night further revealed how tight the bonds can be that unite riders. Jeff Grell reflected on the PowWow while also sharing additional insights from spending the past thirty-five years of his life snowboarding. He was also joined by friends and fellow pioneers who paved the way for snowboarding. Steve Link and Mike Troppman spoke about their early experiences riding and refining board designs. Link also shared memories of his friendship with Tom Sims, including the time they spent filming James Bond’s snowboard scenes from A View to Kill. Mike Troppman began producing his Ultimate Control Boards in 1981 and Link founded Summit Snowboards in 1982. Although the companies they founded have long since ceased to exist, their legacies remain. Whether riders realize it or not, they are forever indebt to Grell, Link, and Troppman. This became further evident when a microphone was passed around the room and riders shared memories of the first time they went riding—experiences all made possible by the pioneers who preceded them.


      Mike Troppman, Jeff Grell, and Steve Link (from L to R) have been riding together for thirty-five years. Their contributions to snowboarding run deep—and continue to this day.

      At the end of the evening, Kingwill revealed that Grell was selected as the chief of the PowWow. Bestowed upon Grell by a vote from his fellow riders, this award recognized him for embodying the spirit of the event. “Thank you for the honor. I can’t wait until next year,” he said. “I’ve been to hundreds of events in my life and this is the funnest one yet.” As Grell gave thanks, it was clear that his passion for snowboarding was as strong as when he strapped in for the very first time decades ago.

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  • photo slutting teton pass photo slutting teton pass

    • From: passholer
    • Description:
    • 1 month ago
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  • Whistler/Blackcomb - The Final Whistler/Blackcomb - The Final #Crowdtrip Stop

    • From: ryandunfee121157
    • Description:


      Words by Theo Birkner, photos by Jeff Bartlett, Caleb Del Begio, and others

      Whistler is one of those places that everybody knows about. Forever cemented in the public consciousness through hosting the 2010 Olympic Games in conjunction with Vancouver, it’s fitting that the #Crowdtrip wrapped things up here as Sochi 2014 picks up steam.


      The recent high pressure floating over much of the Pacific (but not thankfully while we were at Squaw Valley) gave us an excuse to swap skis for mountain bikes for a day and slash around some of our home turf's own brown pow before heading up to the #Crowdtrip's final stop. Whistler is always a good time, no matter the weather or season, and we started things off right with one of the absolute must-dos, a solid evening meal at Sushi Village.


      Morning dawned bright, blue, and bone-chillingly cold. -26 degrees Celcius is -15F, and both of those numbers just look and feel wrong. If you’re an inland “dry-cold” skier, it’s just a bad scene, because coastal cold is just a different animal.


      So with the windchill pushing things closer to an even -40C/F, we hid every shred of bare skin, split the team in two and set out to each every chairlift, gondola, rope tow, magic carpet and T-bar on our respective mountains.


      Despite the drought, Marty still managed to find not even groomer pow, but real, unfettered, Coastal BC pow...


      And then, because you just have to when you’re in Canada and have two massive mountains at your mercy (5,200 vertical feet each, Whistler and Blackcomb), we rocked a top to bottom race to the Garibaldi Lift Company (a village staple) for a prize Caesar, Canada’s iconic drink and one that will forever befuddle our neighbours to the south. Clamato juice, Tabasco, gin and a piece of bacon…. What?

      Between hot tubs at the extensive Evolution Creekside, local brews and pies at the Brewhouse, and mingling with the melee at Buffalo Bills, it was a quick turnaround into day 2 and that other golden gem that WB offers for a slight premium on your ticket: Fresh Tracks Breakfast.


      They really do a good job here, and it’s even more worth it on pow days. For us, it was -24 with nil precip, but that just made it even easier to upload early and take our sweet time over a full hot and cold breakfast buffet, with an alpine view to boot.


      With yours truly falling into an injury-sidelined, food-induced coma, but enjoying the view and company in the Roundhouse, the rest of our crew waddled out to their skis and went looking for Olympians.


      Apparently the Canadian Skicross team is still training in Whistler (by hitting the biggest jump in the Black Park because the Sochi course is so gnarly), so the Big Mountain Bunny wanted a piece of them.


      In the meantime, the human portion ventured into the sidecountry off the Blackcomb Glacier and knocked off Husume and Corona Bowl, two of the hills favourite O.B. laps.

      As the day began to draw to a close, we convened at Dusty’s, yet classic place to wet your whistle in Whistler, and raised a pitcher for the Crowdtrip. We rolled back to Vancouver – our original starting point about 4600 miles and 3 weeks ago, and thought to ourselves: trip of a lifetime, mostly due to the good ideas, challenges and suggestions that our audience put out there for us.


      You’ll have to stay tuned for a complete trip report and maybe even some video goods in the fall. Otherwise, I can confidently report that knocking off the Collective Pass resorts are a heck of a way to ski around the continent, and it’s not a bad idea to do it in a BMW either. Speaking of our stellar steed, BMW Canada is giving away a four-night adventure in Whistler in their Play Harder Contest, and you get to roll around in the same X5 we did, so you should probably get on that...


       For now, the #Crowdtrip is out. It’s been a slice, and an experience we owe a huge amount of gratitude to the following people for making this once in a lifetime trip for four average guys come to fruition:

      -Chris & Jill at Whistler/Blackcomb
      -Amelia & Mellisa at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows
      -Joani & Lauren at Mammoth Mountain
      -The good doctors at Mammoth Hospital
      -Connie, Emily, and Robin at Alta, Snowbird, and the Snowpine Lodge
      -Jeff & Meredith at Aspen/Snowmass
      -Anna & Erik at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
      -Laura & Kyle at BMW Canada
      -The good folks at Teton Gravity Research

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  • Lady Dirtbagging: Elyse Saugst Lady Dirtbagging: Elyse Saugstad on Couch Surfing

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      By MacKenzie Ryan

      Dirtbagging is different for women. Traveling solo, bouncing couch to couch, or pursuing any unorthodox accommodation warrants careful consideration. 

      There’s the ever-present, quiet fear that someone could try to catch you off-guard and hurt you. There’s the fundamental female concern about not being too gross. And, perhaps more than any self-preservation concern, there’s an obsessive willingness to cut out the day-to-day bullshit in order to make turns.

      To guide you in your dirtbagging endeavors, we collected some golden nuggets from ladies living on the road. To kick things off, we caught up with Co-Lab Star Elyse Saugstad for her tips on couch surfing.

      In addition to being a couch surfing expert, Elyse Saugstad knows how to throw down.

      1. Think about whom you are staying with and the kind of experience you want.

      When I’m on the road, I’m not sleeping in my car. I’m staying at people’s houses. I may be couching-surfing. I’m trying to do stuff where it’s my job and performance matters: getting a good night sleep is important.

      Who are you asking to stay with and what kind of adventure are you going for: first chair versus closing bar hours and hooking up with a dude? (I’m getting older, I value sleep, so I’m not going to ask a buddy who is twenty-one if I can sleep on his couch).

      Let the ultimate goal with your adventure help you chose which friend you are going to stay with. Sometimes beggars can’t be choosers.


      2. Always be a respectful houseguest.

      Come bearing gifts and pull your weight. Keep your shit together; keep it clean. Don’t assume that just because your buddies’ room is dirty it means that your space in their house can be. Help in the kitchen.

      3. Don’t overstay your welcome

      Don’t overstay your welcome, even if that means moving back to the friend’s house who is twenty-one and parties all night.

      Let’s say you are staying with a married couple. They may be nice, giving people, but they are going to want their house back as well and you have to be mindful of that. Sometimes a significant other isn’t as cool with people staying on the couch.


      4. Bring things on the road that make you feel comfortable

      One thing I like to do when I am on the road for an extended period of time is to bring my house slippers. I travel with my own pillow. They make me feel comfortable no matter where I am. It gives me the extra ability to relax.

      I actually travel with a really nice kitchen knife. I like cooking food. It’s expensive to eat out all the time. It’s nice to have home-cooked meals. I find that when you are bumming around in all these houses, a lot of people don’t have nice knifes. You can have the crappiest pots and pans, but having a good knife makes a difference in cooking.

      5. Bring bedding, a sleeping bag, or something to crash in

      Make sure you are always traveling with some kind of bedding, sleeping bag, sleeping pad—you never know what’s going to happen.

      6. Don’t be afraid to abandon the party

      It feels like partying is synonymous with snowboarding and skiing. Don’t feel like you have to. If skiing and snowboarding is the most important part of the trip, play it off. You have to be able to sustain yourself over multiple days. Sometimes when you are staying with people who party, it’s better to drink soda water with lime.

      Elyse.Saugstad.jpgEarly morning starts bring rewards--even if they merit ditching the party

      7. Experience the people where you stay.

      When you do travel for a while and you get older, you get more experienced at this and the more you want to be comfortable. When my mother travels with my dad, she wants to stay in a really nice, comfortable hotel. My dad might not want to do that. He gets more into the social aspect. He wants to become a part of the environment wherever they’re traveling.

      8. Scout your location—and use your smart phone.

      This last year I discovered I was intolerant to gluten. It makes travel interesting when you have dietary needs. It can be beneficial to find out where certain places to eat are beforehand; for example, where in Whistler can you get gluten-free stuff? 

      Elyse.Snowmobile 2.jpg

      9. When you are going to a new place, check avalanche reports and don’t exclusively rely on local knowledge.

      I was the one in the Stevens Pass avalanche who survived. Megan [Michelson] and I both were out-of-towners. We relied on our buddies who were extremely knowledgeable and experienced. We had them lead us because they were smart guys in the backcountry. Later on, Megan said red flags popped up [while] making her way up to the backside, but she didn’t speak up.

      The point being we weren’t locals, we went along with group knowledge. 

      It’s important to take it upon yourself to gain knowledge when stepping out in to the backcountry and to not just rely on the locals. Communicate in a non-threatening, positive way. They should be able to answer your questions. If they can’t, that’s a red flag. If they think your questions are stupid, they maybe aren’t the best partners.

      On a more somber note, Elyse reflects on this last tip in her recent TED talk.

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  • The Dirtbag's Guide to Getting The Dirtbag's Guide to Getting Shit Done: Finding Road Trip Partners

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      By Brigid Mander

      It’s nearly late January, you’ve got the biggest, fattest pair of new skis you’ve ever owned mounted up, a brand new, still clean pair of ski pants, and for once, a scratch-free pair of goggles. You’re ready to get out there and start crushing. “Out there,” however, is not cooperating: it offers only scratching around on your rock skis, punching through, and tagging debris under the snow. 

      Thanks to social media, an infuriating barrage of deep pow shots saturates your newsfeed daily from people who live where it is snowing—and getting deeper by the day. It’s too much to bear, but on the bright side it can be easily improved. A true ski bum knows what needs to be done: it’s time to hit the road.

      RogersPass,CANADA copy.JPG

      You may even want to pack up everything you potentially need for the season—just in case you like where you end up more than you like where you started. (After all, you won’t have the money to go home, pick your stuff up, and come back after you buy a new season pass at the way better ski hill).

      To go in skid style—which you’ll be doing whether you like it or not, thanks to your expendable, low wage seasonal jobs—you’ll be cutting corners everywhere. This means cutting travel costs in half by picking up at least one willing road trip partner. This often turns out to be a person who is more convenient and ready to travel than well-known to you. So by all means, save yourself some pain later on, and ask a few questions to screen potential candidates. Here are some suggestions:

      AudioEntertainment copy.JPG

      What kind of audio entertainment do you like? 

      Find out: Does your potential road-trip partner love jam bands and six-hour Phish marathons that consist of approximately one song, while you love Norwegian death metal? Or sappy, catatonic folk ballads, and you still love the death metal? Are you going to be subjected to some fanatical, looselybased in reality, crazed left-wing/right-wing/not classifiable satellite “news” station? 

      It’s easier to find common ground before you are both cranky and tired from six hours in the car—with eight more to go. Otherwise, someone may end up rocking in their seat, hands over their ears with tears in their eyes. Maybe grab a couple nice books on tape…those teen series are said to be riveting!

      Whitewater, BC copy.JPG

      Do you have a DUI? Have you been to jail? 

      Heading to the Great White North? Canada does not appreciate people with DUIs or criminal records trying to penetrate its borders.  After all, the country is pure like the driven snow. 

      When they run your plates and passports, the border agents will see what you and your friend have been up to, and if they don’t like said records, a U-turn will be in order. So, if your road trip buddy has a DUI, you’re screwed. Unless it’s your car, in which case, you can keep going while he/she hitches to the nearest town with an airport or bus to get themselves home. Hey—at least you saved a little on gas while your partner was with you. 

      Gas copy.jpg

      Do you have ample cash?

      Does your potential road trip partner actually have cash for gas and beer and food? Make sure you are not going to be traveling with a one-way sponge who has decided he’s entitled to free or discounted passage on your hard-won dishwashing/bussing/landscaping earnings. 

      DrugStash copy.JPG

      Will there be drugs traveling on the trip? 

      Be sure to ask this question—getting thrown in jail in Utah for someone else’s secret stash is not going to be good on any level for you—and it will definitely preclude future trips to Canada. Seriously. Sometimes the Border Patrol drills out the panels of your car just to have a look around. So stashing things is probably not really worth it now, is it? 

      StuckTruck copy.JPG

      Are you an AAA member? 

      If you are in the income bracket known as ski bum, you probably think you can’t afford the AAA membership fees or some kind of cell-phone roadside assistance program.  Yet chances are you’re driving just the type of vehicle that will likely need—and utilize—the benefits of AAA. If you blow your whole road trip budget because the trip vehicle got stuck in a snowbank on the backroads of northern Montana or had mechanical problems and you had to pay for a 70-mile tow, your powder dreams will become dark pools of bitterness when you head home, broke in defeat.

      Can you actually ski? And do you know what you’re doing in the backcountry? Chances are very high you’re going to do most of your skiing with this driving partner, because it is hard to split up in a strange place where you both only know each other. Don’t let your desperation to split gas money on a 2,500 mile trip get the better of your ski partner pickiness. Find someone who skis—and parties—at your same ability level.  

      Everything youneed copy.JPG

      What kind of car are we taking, exactly? 

      Not only do you need the right person, you need the right vehicle. If your potential road trip partner promises that his 15-year old diesel farm truck with a makeshift camper gets at least 22 highway miles a gallon, you should realize the thing would need NASA-level upgrades for that to be possible. Consequently, it’s simply not true. You could end up driving to Revelstoke at eight miles a gallon, hemorrhaging money, which would defeat the point of partnering up entirely. 

      BurksandWikstrom copy.JPG

      Are you willing to do laundry? 

      At least attempt not to be a stinky ski bum. No one likes your stench. If both parties at least start out the trip showered and with clean clothes, you’ll probably be in decent shape going forward. This is also important beyond the confines of a car for your skid road trip: The lower impact (olfactory and otherwise) your crew has, the better your chances of making friends and scoring couches-for-beer-and-doing-the-dishes-lodging. Which should be your goal, you bum.   


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  • Day 1: Vancouver to Jackson Ho Day 1: Vancouver to Jackson Hole

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      Portrait of guys with BMW in Vancouver.jpg

      Story by Theo Birkner, photos by Ryan Dunfee

      Here we were, illogically and with cacophonic laughter, rubbing shoulders with the rich.

      With BMW Canada supporting the trip, we’d picked up our 2014 X5 5.0 on Thursday and duly noted that since none of us would ever afford such a machine, we’d better enjoy it to its full extent.

      That’s why, cruising down the I-5 with our BMW roof box fit to bursting and the Bang & Olufsen cranked, we had to laugh hard when a gentleman in an equally slick Porsche Cayenne GTS pulled alongside to admire our ride at length.

      A lighthearted way to start the 3600-mile #Crowdtrip – much of which is out of our hands – it was a boost of stoke that pushed us past the requisite REI Seattle stop; a bright full moon in Idaho; Montana’s billboards advertising the Testicle Festival, and on to Teton Village’s Hostel for 4:30am.


      Team #Crowdtrip unloads five dudes-worth of backcountry gear out of the X5 and readies to hitchhike up to the top of Teton Pass for an introductory backcountry tour.

      Since we’re apparently wusses and needed a sleep-in, we thought it prudent – and also just fun – to push up Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's time in the limelight by a day and get some turns on the pass. So that’s what we did, experiencing how hitchhike-access, roadside backcountry pow can really be quite amazing in the Tetons, even after 10 days without fresh snow.


      Nothing like a 4-hour backcountry tour to get you moving after a 4:30 am arrival... Caleb and Alex suffer the climb.


      Team #Crowdtrip at the top of Edelweiss Bowl: Alex, Marty, Theo, and Caleb.


      Swede Alexander Nylén, fresh off the boat and arcing into some leftover Teton pow.


      Some snow, and one view, worth driving 1,100 miles for. 

      We’ll get after it on Sunday when we rip Jackson Hole with Daniel Tisi, ski Corbets in Pink Poly-Foam, try to prove that an X5 makes a good chairlift, and throw down the gauntlet to Jackson Hole Paragliding. Stay tuned.

      CONTROL THE #CROWDTRIP! Drop suggestions & challenges for the Jackson Hole stop on the TGR Twitter account, our Facebook, Instagram, or right here in the comments.

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  • TGR Partners With ICEdot For I TGR Partners With ICEdot For IPRW - Higher Unplugged Episode 3

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      In Episode 3 of Higher Unplugged, Jeremy Jones and his fellow athletes travel to Snowbird Resort to refine their mountaineering and rescue skills at the International Pro Riders’ Workshop presented by Teton Gravity Research and ICEdot. Started by TGR and former lead guide, Jim Conway, IPRW has emerged as an essential resource for these athletes.  Each December, TGR’s production crew, athletes, and guides spend a week learning and reviewing the skills necessary to safely navigate backcountry terrain and respond to emergencies that may arise within it. With a curriculum that includes rope and rescue skills, snow science, group dynamics, and wilderness first aid, the International Pro Riders’ Workshop helps skiers and snowboarders push further into the backcountry—and safely return from it.

      Higher Unplugged takes you behind the scenes of Jeremy Jones’ two-year snowboarding film, Higher. Jones has gathered friends old and new to pass the torch to the next generation of big mountain rippers. His crew for the film includes Bryan Iguchi, Luca Pandolfi, Lucas Merli, Ryland Bell, and others.  With these friends, Jeremy leaves tracks on signature lines in the close-to-home playgrounds he's made his own around Jackson Hole and Lake Tahoe. He also makes history with far-flung first descents in the Eastern Alaska Range and the Himalaya of Nepal, where the stakes are as high as the peaks themselves.

      For the film trailer check out the Higher film page here

      For more episodes of Higher Unplugged

      Drop in with TGR!
      Facebook: http://facebook.com/tetongravityresearch
      Instagram: http://instagram.com/tetongravity
      YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tetongravityresearch
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/TetonGravity

      Check out the first two chapters of the trilogy:
      DEEPER: http://bit.ly/17hpujm
      FURTHER: http://bit.ly/1gJB1vH

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  • The Complete Guide To Skiing I The Complete Guide To Skiing I-93, Guy!

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      By Marty Basch

      I-93 is New Hampshire's road to the snow. The north-south interstate directs Boston's wicked weekend warriors and other regional flatlanders to an easily accessible White Mountains playground in a quick hour and a half. This playground contains a cluster of ski areas that sport some of the state's preeminent parks, greatest vertical drop, and biggest mountains—Waterville Valley, Loon and Cannon. No slouches, Waterville and Loon are legends of the East Coast terrain park scene, having hosted parks for nearly two decades and consistenly building the East's biggest and most creative features. Meanwhile, Cannon boasts New Hampshire's most rugged and untamed terrain - a proper East Coast paradise for freeriders and gate chasers alike. These mountains have nurtured high fliers like Pat Moore, Chas Gouldemond, Scotty Lago, Mike Ravelson and Colby West, and Cannon's most infamous local - Bode Miller.

      Waterville Valley


      Laying down the monorail tracks at Waterville. Waterville Valley photo.

      First exit off the interstate is Waterville Valley, which is located in a cul-de-sac 11 miles down Route 49. Don't be fooled by its snug family-slant and quaint town square-style village. There are plenty of long, scenic cruisers, challenging black runs, and a robust park scene.  Hannah Kearney is a product of Waterville Valley Academy's Black and Blue Trailsmashers Ski Club. Hell, Waterville has been known as one of the birthplaces of freestyle skiing ever since a young hot-dogger named Wayne Wong took a bus across the country to compete at the mountain in the early 1970s.

      At Waterville Valley, you can't escape the Olympic ties.  Founder Tom Corcoran was a 1960 Olympic team member and the resort hosted several World Cups. Now, it's owned by a group led by the political Sununu family, which includes a former New Hampshire governor turned White House Chief of Staff and an ex-U.S. senator.

      There's plenty of corduroy carpeting on busy and panoramic Mount Tecumseh, the resort's 4,004-foot peak. Tippecanoe and  Tyler Too are perennial classics while roomy True Grit and Lower Bobby's Run get the half groomed, half mogul treatment. To bust some bumps, head to Ciao and Rock Island. 

      Watervilles Exhibition terrain park.jpeg

      With a dedicated Poma lift that can be accessed with its own season pass for only $139, the Exhibition park gives park rats more laps per dollar than almost anywhere in the East.

      Of its four parks, Exhibition is the resort's most famous, featuring pro level features and a dedicated Poma lift. Serious park rats can even get a dedicated season pass, with access to the Exhibition poma only, for a mere $139. The Psyched park has street-style fans while South Street—the resort’s most active park—serves as a nice launching pad for a day of jumps, rails and jibs. 

      Afterwards, the slopeside Buckets, Bones and Brews gets hopping quickly on weekends. On the square, Legends 1291 is a sports bar with—get this—vegan choices. If you're heading back to I-93, Mad River Tavern on Route 49 packs 'em in. Take a seat and chat up a local about next season's planned expansion to Green Peak with eight new trails, glades and high-speed quad. 


      Convenient yet congested. That's Loon’s eternal battle, which is due, in part, to the resort being just two miles off I-93 and close to the state's iconic Kancamagus Highway. Smooth access, winding well-groomed boulevards, tumbling steeps and a top-notch park scene (and hidden hits) all make Loon a happening place. And as icing on the cake, Loon features one of the state’s longest seasons.

      The masses flock to Loon’s scenic gondola in order to experience the mountain's blue runs like Flying Fox, Upper Picked Rock and Rampasture - don't expect a short wait. So spread out to North Peak and explore its sheer trails like Upper Walking Boss and Upper and Lower Flume under the North Peak Express Quad. Relatively new, South Peak is still under the radar for many—despite its expert Ripsaw and the fast-moving, intermediate Cruiser. 

      Loon's park scene has exploded since the mountain opened its first park in the winter of 1994-95.  Rails, jumps, wall rides—Loon has it all thanks to its six parks, superpipe and mini-pipe. The gladed Lil' Stash for older kids has logs and carvings while the big kids like to show off in the nearly mile-long mid-mountain-to-base jib-loaded Loon Mountain Park, which can be accessed top-to-bottom by the gondola or lower down by the Four Brothers line if the gondola line is intolerable. 

      Although we doubt you can (legally) jib it, check out the new Ice Castle, which is made from 10,000 pounds of ice. 

      Loon's in a ski town, Lincoln, with lots of beds and restaurants. The Bunyan Room in the Octagon Lodge rocks Saturday night with live music, and with its central slopeside location is one of the most happening aprés bars in any ski town. In town, try Gordi's (with a former U.S. Ski Team owner) for its daily aprés food specials. Or, aim for North Woodstock's Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery ("The Station") for a tasty brown ale Pig's Ear, half price apps from 3-5 p.m. and entertainment most nights. 


      6. Keeler-Tramline2-11-11_047.jpg

      An unknown Cannon local shreds the mountain's steep and rock-littered tram line, which can be a freerider's paradise if it fills it enough. Greg Keeler/Cannon Mountain photo.

      Cannon Mountain (not Cannon Resort, mind you) has been New Hampshire's bad boy long before Bode Miller grew up in an off-the-grid cabin in its shadows. The highway zips right by its base in dramatic Franconia Notch State Park, and the steep and sinister Front Five seemingly plunge into Echo Lake. Often frosty and gusty, the state-owned resort is New Hampshire's tallest, standing at 4,080-feet.  And thanks to over 2,180 feet of vertical drop—the largest in the state—the mountain will test your legs.

      Got history? North America's first racing trail was cut at Cannon in 1933 and the Franconia Ski Club has called the mountain home since that same year. A few years later in 1938, Cannon enjoyed its first tram. The New England Ski Museum is also at Cannon’s base. Plain and simple, you have to ride Cannon to understand skiing's history in the East.

      Cannon Mountain.jpg

      Dawn breaks at Cannon's quiet base area, with the summit terminal of the legendary tram in the distance. Cannon Mountain photo.

      The no-frills mountain—which has no base development—is home to locals who are loyal, old school, and likely adorned with duct tape. Non-holiday midweek specials make lift tickets reasonable.  The scenery's incredible, with a bunch of scorching runs like the spectacular Upper Ravine and Upper Cannon from the scrub pines on the summit and the wonderfully wide Gary's and Rocket from the Zoomer triple. Upper mountain glades like Lost Boys and Go Green tend to hold snow well.

      Standing above its parks—which include Turkey Trot's small to medium boxes and jumps and Tossup's medium to large jumps and rails—is Cannon’s sidecountry stuff. The legendary Tucker Brook Trail (accessed from the summit with a Cannon ticket; no uphill traffic allowed) is a narrow, out-of-bounds burner. It features 13 winding turns and is best done with car-spotting. But you can also rejoice in the 1,850-feet of vert at Mittersill, a once-abandoned ski area adjacent to Cannon. Mittersill opened with its share of steeps first in 1946, but was then left for dead before reopening in 2011 as a lift-serviced sidecountry area with no snowmaking and limited grooming (for now). The mountain, in essence, is open at Mother Nature's fancy.

      For a brew, duck into the Cannonball Pub at the Peabody Base Lodge. You might catch Bode and his buds at the down-home Dutch Treat in quaint Franconia when he's in town. Nonetheless, Lincoln's more active, and closer for the ride home. 

      When it comes to skiing and riding the I-93 corridor, you can’t go wrong. No matter where you hop off the interstate, you’ll find snow and plenty of fun within a reasonable drive of metropolitan Boston.

      Are you sure you're fully prepared to tackle Boston's favorite ski highway? Check out TGR's "Wicked New England Setup, Guy:" http://bit.ly/1bdGZMj

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  • Blue Collar Pro: Jonathan Chee Blue Collar Pro: Jonathan Cheever

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      By Marty Basch

      Jonathan Cheever straddles two worlds—in a single week he might turn a wrench under a sink and barrel down banked turns on a boardercross course in a pack of armored riders hungry for victory.

      The twenty-eight year old Boston native, who has a wicked pissa accent, is following in footsteps of the family business as a licensed journeyman plumber. But he’s also a pro SBX rider, now lives in Park City, and rides frickin' fast enough over the berms and gaps of courses to land on the U.S. Snowboard Team. He's had over forty World Cup starts since 2006 and four podium finishes. Cheever's also the 2011 U.S. champ.

      He's gunning for the hole shot at the upcoming Olympics and making a movie, too. Luckily, you can easily keep taps on Cheever’s latest endeavors at teamcheever.net.  We recently caught up with Cheever to learn about his bid for the Olympics.

      5. cheeverIMG_8949 copy.jpg

      You're living the dream, traveling the world as a pro snowboarder. But what's the reality of getting it done?

      I am living my dream for sure. For the true answer that most people expect, it's an awesome life but it's lots of work. I travel the world and snowboard. I love it. I am thankful everyday for the opportunity I have, the places I go and the things I get to do. It comes with a price. I am constantly training off snow to make sure I am healthy enough to be in a position to win. I have had six orthopedic operations, a handful of concussions, a torn Achilles, and I can list other injuries that some people would cringe over. But it's always worth it to me. 

      For what most people don't say... as far as pro-action sport athletes are concerned, there are only a handful of people making a real living at this. And for sure I have tasted that before. However, things can change quickly. I am a licensed plumber, so that is normally my income in the off season. When I tore my Achilles [in March of 2012], I lost almost all means of livelihood. I couldn't snowboard or turn wrenches. I hope the creditors don't read this, but I have so much credit card debt just to give myself the best possible chance of winning these next Olympics. I am investing or at least gambling on myself. I put myself in the best possible position to do well this upcoming season. If all goes well, prize money and hopefully endorsements will get me out of the red. If not, well this “pro snowboarder” thing is more of a hobby. I don't want to put out a sob story though. Life is good.

      You're the Boston guy with a wicked accent, the plumber snowboarder dude. What's it like when you are working as a plumber. You've even helped out some of your team members. Yes?

      One of my best friends is my teammate Nick Baumgartner. He is from the UP of Michigan and has a wicked accent as well. It's a little more “you betcha” and “donchaknow.” We were in a van on the way to an event and chatting, probably a little loud and obnoxious—a.k.a. normal—and one of our other teammates stopped us and said, “Holy shit. It's like bird calls or something in this van between both your accents because I can't understand anything you two are saying.”

      I remember helping (Lindsey) Jacobellis fix a shower at one of our events. Most of my teammates don't live close, but I piped a toilet for one of my coaches, fixed a toilet for our physical therapist, installed a water softener for one of the staff of USSA and a water heater for another, I also did work for other non-snowboard athletes in Park City. It's awesome. It's almost a way of sponsoring me I guess.

      2. cheeverholeshot copy.jpg

      How do you train when you're working as a plumber?

      It's been a while since I have been a full time plumber and training. I did that one summer and yeah it was awesome for the bank account, but for the body and snowboarding it wasn't. 

      I pick and choose my work and if my father is busy enough in Boston I will work for him for a few weeks. I love going home and seeing the family. When a bigger job rolls around I am doing it by moonlight. I consider plumbing as my sidework and snowboarding as my real work, although being under a sink is more lucrative at the moment. The Olympics only rolls around every four years and not only do I want to represent, I want hardware. More training than plumbing at the moment.

      3. Cheeverweidersehen copy.jpg

      Do you feel as though you are living in two very different worlds and are you able to shift between them fairly quickly or easily?

      The question is spot on. It's hard to explain to anyone what snowboarding is like for me. I can't explain falling in love to someone who has never been in love. That is why I do it. But just like a relationship, snowboarding isn't always bliss. 

      My schedule is awesome, but crazy. From training full time in Park City and tying up all my loose ends, to being on a ladder in Boston the next morning installing sprinkler pipe at Boscy's Liquors in Saugus, Massachusetts to being in Tirol, Austria snowboarding in the Alps all within a short few weeks. It's insane. I hope this life continues. 

      Shifting between the two worlds . . . I have a hard time doing it this year. I am so focused on winning and being in the position to do so. If I feel like working for a week is going to have an effect on winning I will pass until after the Olympics.

      Money kind of makes the world go round. In all reality, some people would be working right now to pay off debt. Just like I said before I want to win. And yeah, I have lots of trouble not thinking about snowboarding and what I could be missing by plumbing at the moment. That can wait until after the Olympics. 

      1. CheeverJC1_1267 copy.jpg

      You're on the U.S. SBX Team, a World Cup podium finisher, an X-Gamer, a national champ, etc. Yet are there misconceptions about the rewards—prize money, sponsorships, funding—that such lofty achievements bring? 

      I am sure there are. But if I had millions of dollars, my life wouldn't change much. I would be doing exactly what I am doing now. Maybe with some minor adjustments to ease stress. Also Snowboard Cross can be a rough sport. Looking around at my colleagues, we all have had close calls and know people who weren't so lucky to slip away with just an injury.

      An injury free SBX World Cup Snowboard Season with equipment (yes sometimes most of us have to buy equipment to have the best stuff) is $20,000 - $25,000. This only covers travel, lodging, food and equipment for competing. Training costs per season are $10,000. Six months normal living expenses—$10,000 - $15,000.

      So there you have it. The number is 40-50k in the red right now before prize money, sponsors, etc.

      What about prize money?

      A rough break down of prize money—give or take and depending on taxes—for the World Cup is $10,000 for first, $6,000 for second and $2,500 for third. For the X Games, it is $25,000 for first, $12,000 for second and $5,000 for third.

      Some people say this is taboo to mention. But I probably have about $12,000 in sponsorships and grants that come in a year if I am lucky. 

      SBX doesn't get the same love as pipe and slopestyle. Does that impact your golden goals including winning a Sochi medal?

      I am not sure if that is entirely correct. It does have some truth though. Shaun White is the face of the sport and he excels in pipe and slope.  As far as the core industry is concerned, SBX isn't in magazines and videos. The equipment is expensive and not to mention we are the only discipline where the venue is built for us and torn down when we leave. There is room to change that to make the courses more available for the public. SBX is a pure form of racing though. First one crossing the finish line wins. No timers, no waiting, no judges. It’s cut and dry . . . and awesome.

      As far as impacting goals is concerned it never crossed my mind. If it was the most popular thing in the world or if no one knew what I was doing, I would want to win anyway.

      4. Cheeverwebsiteimagesbod copy.jpg

      You're making a film called SBX The Movie with director Brett Saunders and your Austria Snowboard Team member girlfriend Maria Ramberger about your Olympic quests. How's it going and what does that take in terms of resources?

      The movie is chugging along. It's a lot of work but it's fun. I feel like the three of us deeply involved in this are really helping out the whole village rather than just one person. This is great for the sport and in turn will be great for the athletes.  Raising funds to break even on this thing is a little bit of a struggle. 

      Anything else?

      Thank you to all my supporters—Bradford White Water Heaters, Triple 8 helmets, Mom and Dad, Toko wax, Stage goggles, and please follow my adventures at youtube.com/TeamCheever and SBXtheMovie.com.

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  • Get Kitted Up With TGRs In-Hou Get Kitted Up With TGRs In-House Editors Picks

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      Welcome to Editor's Picks. Here TGR's desk jockey kooks lay out the products they put to use before work on Teton Pass or on their days off at the resort.

      Managing Editor Mike Sudmeier


      Mike is TGR's Managing Editor, and when he isn't sucking down gallons of iced tea or writing notes on person-sized post-it notes, he's usually in a meeting. Recently married and sporting a handsome Iowa-bred beard, Mike has a propensity for small snowboard brands, backside hacks, all-star manners, and brewing large quantities of iced tea.

      1. Candygrind OG CO Beanie For years, Candygind’s OG CO Beanie has been a winter staple.  It keeps ears warm and rocks a pom pom—what more could you ask for?

      2. Homeschool Universe 3.5 Layer Shell  With a nod to its Northwest roots, Homeschool makes outerwear built to endure the elements—however brutal they may be.  Its 3.5 layer outerwear can readily withstand one hundred day seasons.  And while many brands are quick to emphasize how waterproof their apparel is, Homeschool also focuses on breathability.  By using Cocona fabric and developing base layers, mid layers, and outerwear that function as a system, the brand aims to keep riders warm, dry, and smiling.  After rocking Homeschool for three seasons, I know I can depend on the brand’s gear.

      3. Homeschool Karpis 3.5 Layer Pants  Jackson is tough on pants.  Luckily, Homeschool’s Karpis 3.5 Layer Pants are super burly.  Whether skinning or lapping the mountain, the Karpis is perfect for embracing time on the snow.  And thanks to their Cocona fabric and strategic vents, these pants can handle both subzero tram laps and spring time tours.  To top it off, the Karpis features Homeschool’s clean aesthetic.

      4.  Deeluxe Empire Boots  Deeluxe’s Empire is as versatile as it is reliable.  Its Thermoflex liner keeps things comfy while its lacing system and powerstrap afford a responsive ride.  As a mid-stiff boot, the Empire can crank out turns, barrel up a bootpack, or handle a long day of skinning.  And as icing on the cake, the boot’s craftsmanship is top notch.

      5. Black Diamond Compactor Poles  Thanks to its folding design, this three-piece pole can readily fit inside a pack.  If you’re into trekking through urban environments, you may even be able to conceal the poles inside a purse.  That being said, the Compactor Poles are most at home on the snow. 

      6. Oakley General Woven Flannel Business?  Casual?  Backcountry adventures?  The General can handle it all.  While grandmothers are quick to compliment the shirt for its good looks, you can readily appreciate its breathability and warmth.

      7. Nalgene 32 Ounce Lexan Water Bottle  Simple and reliable, Nalgene has perfected its wide mouth bottles through the years.  While there’s a time and place for sophisticated hydration systems, sometimes it’s just nice to chug from a bottle.  As an added bonus, mine features a nice patina from iced tea as well as a “Clean Plate Club” sticker from the King’s Chef in Colorado Springs.

      8.  Teton Gravity Mizu Water Bottle  I’ve become a huge fan of our stainless steel bottles, which are made by Mizu.  Durable, easy-to-fill, and easy-to-clean, this bottle is the perfect daily driver.  And thanks to its slim profile, it readily fits into the pockets of an overstuffed pack. 

      9. Voile Telepro T6 Shovel The Telepro puts most shovels to shame.  Big, burly, and guide approved, this thing can move some snow—and handle plenty of abuse.  Buy one for yourself—and then buy a few for your buddies.  After all, the life you save may be your own.

      10. Smokin KT-22 162  Smokin’s KT-22 is a favorite among riders who call places like Jackson and Squaw their home.  Nonetheless, the board can readily transition from terrorizing big lines to holding its own in the park.  Consequently, it’s a deck that lives up to its claim as being a true all mountain board.  Thanks to a directional flex, setback stance, and Smokin’s Clash Rocker—which places rocker between the bindings and camber outside of it—the board can crank out turns and provide plenty of float in the pow.  And as icing on the cake, the KT-22 sports Magne-Traction for enhanced edge hold.

      11. The North Face Patrol 24 Pack  The North Face’s Patrol 24 Pack offers everything you need and nothing you don’t.  In addition to sporting a built-in Avalanche Airbag System, the pack can readily haul your board (or skis), avy equipment, and everything you need for a day’s tour.  Rugged yet refined, the Patrol Pack can handle anything you throw at it.

      12. Arc’teryx Cerium Jacket  I practically live in this jacket throughout the fall and winter.  Arc’teryx has staked its reputation on crafting premium apparel—and the Cerium proves that this reputation is well earned.  Extremely packable and warm, this jacket is much appreciated on cold days.  The Cerium is also a perfect layering piece for backcountry tours—you can keep it on call and in your pack all winter.  As testament to Arc’teryx’s commitment to innovation, the jacket sports synthetic insulation in areas most likely to encounter moisture and down insulation in its core.

      13. Naklin Winter Weight Crew   Naklin—cofounded by Abe Gilreath and legendary pro shred Kevin Jones—keeps things simple.  The brand offers clean base layers that are built in the U.S. and made of merino wool.  Whether lapping kickers, skinning in the backcountry, or just relaxing, Naklin’s Winter Weight Crew will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.

      14. Bern Watts Snow EPS Helmet  For years, Bern has been quietly driving innovation.  Thanks, in part, to its iconic brim, the Baker and the Watts have emerged as the brand’s signature helmets.  A series of vents helps the Watts regulate temperature, while a plush lining keeps things comfy.  I’ve rocked the Watts for three years—and am stoked to rock it again this season.

      15.  Sog Fielder KnifeAlthough I always carry a Leatherman in my pack, I tend to also carry a Sog Fielder in my pocket.  Clean, simple, and sporting a straight blade, the Fielder is perfect for handling the tasks that pop up throughout a day—be it performing an emergency tracheotomy, cutting webbing, or simply cooking dinner.
      16. Zeal Eclipse Goggles Photochromic lenses are the future—let other fools fidget with swapping out lenses.  Super stealth, the Zeal sports a polarized, photochromic lens.  This lens reduces glare while also adjusting its tint in response to the prevailing light conditions.  And although over-sized, the Eclipse is practical—providing a clean appearance and ample peripheral vision. Flat light, bluebird days, intermittent sunshine, the Zeal Eclipse can handle it all.

      17. BCA Tracker 2 Beacon  When it comes to ease of use, Backcountry Access has its products dialed.  Thanks to its simplicity and reliability, the Tracker 2 is one of the most prevalent beacons on the market.  I trust my life to it.

      18. OA High Adventure Gas Station Shades  These were a gift from some friends.  I’m assuming they picked them up for free by the dozens.  Although nothing takes the place of some quality optics, it’s always great to have a cheap pair of shades on the dashboard or hidden in a pack to serve as a spare.

      19. Spark Sabertooth Crampons  The Sabertooth Crampon is the perfect companion for Spark’s Afterburners.  When you need extra traction, tap the Sabertooth.

      20.  BCA Stealth 300 Probe  Thanks to its super efficient Stealth Quick Lock, you can readily assemble this probe—potentially saving seconds.  With a 300 cm length and burly design, the BCA Stealth 300 Probe is designed for professionals—and anyone else who relies heavily on their gear.

      21. Spark AfterBurner Bindings  From its headquarters in Bozeman, Spark keeps busy transforming how we ride.  Through the years, it continually refines its products—and thus how riders experience the backcountry.  Its new Tesla System—which serves as the foundation of the AfterBurner—eliminates traditional pins by using a toe ramp that snaps into place for both touring and riding.  This new system cuts down on transition time while also shedding weight.  As Spark’s stiffest and most responsive binding, the AfterBurner is designed for charging hard.

      22. Venture Odin 166 Splitboard  Nothing rides like a Venture.  Designed by legendary big mountain rider Johan Olofsson and Venture engineer and cofounder Klem Branner, the Odin craves big lines and wide, arching turns.  The craftsmanship of the deck is evident in how its halves fit together—and, needless to say, in how it rides.  The board offers a stable, fluid ride and also skins with confidence.  Last winter, my Odin was the perfect sidekick for dozens of tours throughout the Tetons.  And, like most Ventures, this board has years of life ahead of it.  Few decks are as durable as a Venture.

      Social Media Editor Joni McGregor


      Joni is part of a long-standing TGR human resources tradition of hiring employees from the Deep South. Despite her roots in the couloir-less expanse of greater Atlanta, Joni comes from a family of passionate skiers and is our Social Media Editor. Like everyone in Teton County, she's currently training her dog to ski with her.

      1. Volkl Kiku ski  Aside from its hot new graphic, the Volkl Kiku has a lot more umph than previous editions. With its 107 mm waist and full rocker, it is mostly recognized for its performance crushing powder, and I have yet to have a ski that floats as well on the deep stuff. But this ski isn’t just designed for its performance in powder, so don’t leave it in the garage on days it’s not dumping outside. The Kiku makes for a super easy transition from pow to crud to groomers. The predictability of this ski makes me feel more confident, and I find myself trying to get more rowdy on the snow on the reg. 

      2. Stance LeBlanc 13 socks  I'm a big fan of Stance. Made out of merino wool, this model is named after the pioneer of hipster snowboard fashion and toboggan jibbing - the legendary Mike LeBlanc - and they are perfect for touring in the backcountry and resort riding in almost every condition except pond skim yardsales. They keep getting wet everytime.

      3. Swany Tempest GTX  With GORE-TEX lining, a debossed knuckle, barrel lock cuff, pre-curved finger construction and quick release strap, the Tempest GTX has pretty much everything you need out of a glove. Just don’t take them out with you on the unbearably cold days - they're geared more for the wetter days when it is dumping outside. 

      4. Teton Gravity Research Team Women’s Beanie My all day everyday beanie. A classic slouchy beanie with no frills, just fine-threaded quality. 

      5. Original Buff Aside from its awesome funky graphic, this Buff is super lightweight and I don’t have any major fogging issues when I tuck it under my goggles. Something I never leave at home. 

      6. The North Face Freethinker Jacket  The North Face has been providing serious gear for skiers ever since they developed the epic Steep Tech yellow one-piece for Scott Schmidt, and the Freethinker captures that history of performance in a lightweight package. Sometimes you even forget you're rocking a three-layer GORE-TEX shell, as the light weight and crazy mobility makes it practically unnoticeable whether it's on your body or in your pack for the hike up. Two water-resistant media pockets keep the iPhone dry during the blizzards when I'm blasting Pastor Troy on the lift!

      7. Dalbello Women's Kyra 95 I.D. ski boots  An awesome boot for the aggressive all-mountain skier. Great for getting after it in and out of bounds. A comfortable and reliable boot for climbing, hiking and boot packing but also ripping up the resort. I have tested many boots, and keep coming back to Dalbello.

      8. Flylow Daisy Pant Flylow’s Freeride Daisy Pant is an insulated pant with a tuft of micropuff insulation suitable for the ladies with atypically frozen legs like myself. You can rely on these pants to keep you warm throughout the painfully cold days, but also keep you from sweating your ass of when earning your turns with the cross flow ventilation from the inner and outer thigh zip vents. They're the only pants I wear when I ski now, and can honestly say they are the perfect fit for every condition barring those super warm spring days when a true shell is called for.

      9. Smith Virtue Goggles If you’re not into goggles that take up your entire face like I am, try out the Smith Virtue. If you’re not into having to stop and change out your lens everytime the sky changes like I am, try out the photochromatic red sensor mirror lens. These goggles help you stay stylish, but you know Smith always brings the heat when it comes to functionality.

      10. K2 Ally Audio Helmet  Looking like a dayglo Astronaut while shredding is not for me. With the K2 Ally Audio helmet, I am able to have a helmet that actually fits my head while banishing all gaper-gap worries. Its in-mold construction keeps the overall weight down while providing effective protection from sudden crashes on the slopes. Another plus is the music hook-up straight to the ears. Jam on. 

      11. Dakine Heli Pro 20L  This pack is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and still more durable than any pack I have had before. It looks small but it can fit more than you would ever need to bring with you on a day mission. I’m also really into the plaid graphic. For me, this one was a no brainer. 

      12. Backcountry Access Tracker DTS avalanche beacon I have always used the Tracker DTS, and am not planning on changing. I like having a beacon that is fast and easy to use, and the Tracker DTS is known for its simplicity. With a reputation for its durability and reliability, this is the world’s most widely used transceiver for a reason.

      13. Backcountry Access B1 Extendable Shovel  Stronger and more lightweight than most other avalanche shovels, but packs down nice and easy. A great tool to bring along when exploring the backcountry.

      14. Arc’teryx Rho AR Zip Neck Women’s  This might be the most comfortable piece of clothing I have ever put on, and without a doubt the most comfortable base layer. Breathable, moisture-wicking and insulated, they are great for skiing, but I also actually wear these around the house as pajamas when our heater isn’t doing the trick. 

      15. Arc’teryx Rho AR Bottom Women’s  Same goes for this Arc'teryx base layer bottom. Fear not for the days when the gas furnace isn't producing!

      16. Marker Jester Pro bindings  The Jester Pro is for all the hard charging skiers that want a binding that will stay put when you need it the most. The Jester Pro is light but extremely strong at the same time. Not my preferred choice of colors, but the functionality of the Jester Pro is what reels me in. 

      17. Soul Poles Vibrant ski poles  Soul Poles! These are my new thing. I love them. Bamboo, green, light, stable, tested to be 25% stronger than aluminum poles… Yes, please!

      18. Stealth 260 Carbon probe  The easiest and fastest assembly out there. That’s what matters, right? 

      Associate Editor Ryan Dunfee


      Ryan comes from the bad lands of New Hampshire and the living room freelance writing world, having convinced ouftits like Powder to pay him for his nonsensical rants for years, and is still marveling in the fact that there is consistently soft snow to ski in Jackson Hole. When he's not listening to an incoherent Spotify playlist or seeking out equipment to assist him in his quest to get out of the backseat, he's our acting Associate Editor.

      1. First Ascent Downlight Vest  Simple & light, I stash the Downlight Vest into my pack in case I need an extra layer or am waiting for a hungover ski partner at the top of a skin track.

      2. Marker Jester bindings  While the mega core bros might demand the stiffer Jester Pro or a burly steel FKS binding, I find that the normal Jesters work fine for unremarkably gnarly bros like myself, and you save the weight without all that metal.

      3. BCA A-2 Extension Shovel with saw  A solid shovel with an extension for more leverage, loops for building a ski sled to transport an injured rider (I'm missing my parachute cord in this collage), and an included snow saw for snow pit tests or chopping down kindling make the A-2 a sweet option.

      4. Moment Deathwish ski  The bizarre Moustache Rocker of the all-mountain Deathwish, which creates three separate cambers underfoot and four separate contact points along the edge, makes for razor-sharp edge hold on groomers on a decently stiff platform. Get it in pow and the thing is down for slashing and slarving and sports a 112 waist and a rocker profile that keeps you afloat while playing to a bobbier, poppier style in the fresh. If I'm bound to hit a variety of conditions at home or on the road, this is the one ski that inevitably makes it onto the roof rack or into the ski bag - very few skis match the range of the Deathwish.

      5. Bern Macon EPS helmet  Hate the idea of being some bulbous helmet-wearing safety nerd? Bern's got some seriously low-profile brain protectors like the Macon that save your brain cells for your Monday through Friday without making you look like you're joining the space program.

      6. Smith Optics I/OX goggles  The I/O has been the best goggle I've ever owned, and one of the only that prevents my propensity for sweating from fogging up the lenses for the rest of the day. The I/OX simply gives you a bigger field of vision for your eyeballs to relish in.

      7. BroBOMB The Facemask There's nothing like using a bigger media site to plug your sideblog, so I wear my BroBOMB The Facemask whenever someone with access to a bigger Facebook fan base is pointing the camera at me. Made by Phunkshun Wear in Colorado, its thin polyester construction keeps me from sweatin' up as I run for the hills away from all the pro skiers whose careers I've insulted on the 'BOMB.

      8. Flylow Gear BA Puffy Jacket  When's it's dipping way below freezing on the dawn patrol ski tour, an uninsulated shell is just not going to cut it. Flylow's BA Puffy jacket has been keeping me in a good mood despite the cold with its medium-density synthetic down fill. It's a little on the short side, but a big sell are the two sizable mesh pockets on both sides of the interior of the jacket - perfect for keeping a pair of climbing skins warm and dry on the ski down without having them awkwardly bulked up on one side of the jacket.

      9. First Ascent Guide Gloves  A pretty straightforward set of leather gloves that are doubly reinforced on much of the palm and thumb with a burly wrist strap and a wool lining. They're not the warmest or the most waterproof, but they have been my go-to glove for a few seasons now.

      10. Saga Monarch 3L Pants Saga makes a solid 3L pant with the all-important crotch vent, along with two more along the outside of the knees. I'm still a little confused about what I'm supposed to put in the knee pockets - maybe a map? - but hey! They're warm and keep me dry, and the fleece lining along the butt and knees keeps critical joints warm.

      11. Dalbello Panterra 120 I.D. boots  Based on the Krypton 2 platform, the Panterra 120 continues that model's tradition of serving fat-footed hard chargers with a smooth-flexing three-piece shell that doesn't choke when it comes to controlling big skis at high speed. The included Intuition wrap liner is god's gift to skiers' feet, and new in the Panterra model are a walk mode, an adjustable heel height, and a fourth buckle over the toe that can change the last from a looser 102 mm to a tighter 100.

      12. Backcountry Access Stealth Carbon 260 probe The probe. One third of the trifecta of the absolutely essential backcountry gear, along with an avalanche beacon and shovel. Whip it out. Stab it in the snow once you've narrowed down your beacon signal. Find a victim. Save a life.

      13. Black Diamond Traverse Ski Poles  Adjustable-length poles are critical for the backcountry, where the hike up asks for longer poles than the way down, and the Traverse has been the go-to model for years. While my older pair are staying strong, the newer version has a full-size basket and a rubber grip around the upper shaft for quickly adjusting to the shorter uphill side of a steep skin track.

      14. Adventure Medical Adventure First Aid 1.0 kit  A compact first aid kit for basic injuries. I neglected to include a few crucial items that will come in handy if things get serious, like a backcountry repair kit, parachute cord, knife/multi-tool, space blanket, and compass.

      15. Coors Heavy In all honesty, I almost exclusively pack water for my ski days, but I forgot my water bottle for the shoot, and PBR is way played these days.

      16. Stanley Classic Flask filled with High West Rendevous Rye whiskey  Stanley makes the kind of timeless camping products you imagine your grandpa used when he was trudging through the snow in the 50's in an all-wool outfit hunting elk. To remember him, I picked up the Stanley Classic Flask, which I fill with my favorite whiskey, High West's Rendevous Rye, for post-ski parking lot cocktails or a quick shot of warmth on a cold day. For wine aficionados, a bota bag is an excellent alternate option.

      17. Reed's Ginger Beer  For the best whiskey gingers known to man or buffalo.

      18. Black Diamond Spot headlamp  The Spot headlamp is a pretty straightforward model from BD that comes with its own AAA batteries, which is a big sell for shopping slackers. The best features are the different light modes, one of which shines a focused beam deep into space while another casts a dimmer, wider beam that is better for fumbling around in your tent or reading a book. A lightweight tool to throw in a ski pack for pre-dawn starts or in case of emergencies.

      19. TGR Team Tech hoodie  Slick polyester exterior with a warm, soft fuzzy interior. Be a team player.

      20. LL Bean Maine Hunting Shoe Making New England proud, even if it's just while changing in the Teton Pass parking lot, guy.

      21. Norrona Narvik Gore-Tex 2L jacket  Beyond making really sweet mountain bike edits, I've also learned that relative newcomer (to 'Merica) Norrona also makes some bomber ski clothes. The Narvik is one slick shell, with a long freeride fit, long mesh-lined zippers both under the armpits and on the chest itself, and a well-conceived cuff whose upper section reaches out over the top of the glove and whose wrist gator is unobtrusive but still tight enough to keep the snow out. Norrona claims the Narvik is designed to be flexible for high-movement freestylers, and so far, I've felt no resistance fishing my chapstick out of my pocket.

      22. Black Diamond Avalung II  It might seem a little redundant to have an airbag and an Avalung, but hey, last week someone in Utah was still buried a few feet under even with their airbag inflated, so being able to breath under the snow for awhile and clear away your carbon dioxide still seems like a good idea.

      23. TGR Coffee Mug  Filled daily with dark espresso Cafe Bustello for a stomach-curdling blast of caffeine to get your morning going. Currently sold out online with a few last units available at our Wilson, Wyoming headquarters. Mind the elk herd!

      24. SONY Action Cam  Noted for its high audio quality, the Action Cam is also pretty low-profile, great for those who want to capture their day of the shred without sporting an antennae of self-indulgent electronics.

      25. BCA Tracker DTS beacon  There are better beacons, but for many in North America, this is their first and still a go-to after all these years. Make sure you know how to manually search for multiple burials with the DTS, as it's yellow multi-burial function can be a little less than dependable.

      26. Voile ski straps  An absolute essential for the backcountry. Brutally strong and adjustable, Voile's ski straps keep iced-over climbing skins affixed to skis, splint up broken ski poles, and can even be used as a tourniquet in emergencies. I never head out with less than four. 

      27. Backccountry Access Float 22 airbag  BCA's packs are always straightforward and their philosophy of minimal exposed straps ensures against tree branch or chairlift snags. The 22 liter size provides space for all the safety essentials plus an extra layer, gloves, goggles, and snacks - all I need for the majority of my ski touring missions that take place in the limited amount of daylight before work. Of course, airbags are all the rage for safety these days, and BCA's single-piece airbag inflates behind the head and protects from some trauma.


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  • Massive Storm Delays Grand Tet Massive Storm Delays Grand Teton Mission - Higher Unplugged Episode 2

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      In episode 2 of Higher Unplugged, Jeremy Jones comes to Bryan Iguchi’s hometown of Jackson, WY, which is also the birthplace of Jeremy’s freestyle riding. Jeremy has always been set on further exploring the Tetons and conquering the Grand, but was unsuccessful in both DEEPER and FURTHER.  More determined than ever, Jeremy Jones and Bryan Iguchi prep for the mission to ride the Otterbody of the Grand Teton. A massive storm rolls in further delaying the long time goal, but together, they make the best of it.

      Higher Unplugged takes you behind the scenes of Jeremy Jones’ two-year snowboarding film, Higher. Jones has gathered friends old and new to pass the torch to the next generation of big mountain rippers. His crew for the film includes Bryan Iguchi, Luca Pandolfi, Lucas Merli, Ryland Bell, and others.  With these friends, Jeremy leaves tracks on signature lines in the close-to-home playgrounds he's made his own around Jackson Hole and Lake Tahoe. He also makes history with far-flung first descents in the Eastern Alaska Range and the Himalaya of Nepal, where the stakes are as high as the peaks themselves.

      Watch the trailer for HIGHER

      Drop in with TGR:






      Check out the first two chapters of the trilogy:



    • 4 months ago
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  • Tim Durtschis Locals Guide To Tim Durtschis Locals Guide To Brighton

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:


      Over eight world-class ski resorts are sprinkled throughout the Wasatch Range in Utah, all within an hour's drive from downtown Salt Lake City. With so many resorts to choose from, nailing down a favorite can be tough, but for TGR athlete Tim Durtschi, finding his go-to was a cinch. It all came down to the mountain with the most unparalleled and easily accessible terrain, and that just so happened to be located just 40 minutes from his front door at Brighton.

      Brighton was founded in 1936 as Utah's first ski resort. It started with a single rope-tow and through the years it's amassed just six lifts, 66 in-bounds trails, and access to a huge swath of backcountry. To this day, it's maintained an old-school vibe, and operates without the frills or pretensions of Utah’s more renowned resorts a ridge over in either directions. It's a true local's mountain that boasts nothing more than rad terrain, a laid-back vibe, and an annual snowfall of over 500 inches of that legendary 4% moisture content blower Utah pow.

      We caught up with Tim D – who just won Best Male Performance at the Powder Video Awards for his skiing in Way Of Life - for the low-down on his home mountain, the best lifts to take, lines to drop, and what makes this gem his favorite hill. We've also complied Tim's best 'gram's from Brighton for this hybrid Local's Guide. 

      How many seasons have you been skiing at Brighton, and how long have you considered it your home mountain?

      I have been skiing at Brighton for four seasons off and on, and it's been my home mountain for the last two seasons. 

      Out of all of the resorts in Utah, what makes Brighton your favorite?

      I love the atmosphere of Brighton and love that there is so much sidecountry with easy accessibility that not many people take advantage of it.  Also, all my friends ski here. 


      @TimDurtschi with some home-baked hand drag bliss a few years back at Brighton.

      What are some of your favorite side-country zones at Brighton?

      The place we skied today is called Pioneer Ridge, which is accessible by the Crest Lift. With just a short hike, you have access to seemingly endless sidcountry options. Pioneer Ridge is great for early season, but Milly Express is actually my favorite lift to ski. Most days, I'll spend my entire day skiing Milly Express.

      What is the terrain like off Milly?

      There are these really cool cliff band areas that we like to hit, and it's a place that you can easily lap all day. 

      What's the access like to the cliffs?

      It's a pretty easy traverse. You just need to make sure you have your beacon, Atomic ABS compatible backpack (wink) and avalanche gear. It's considered out of bounds, so you need to make sure you're prepared, but it's awesome because it's really easy to get to. 


      With plenty of good zones and few willing to make the effort to get to them, @timdurtschi finds plenty of space to build booters in the Brighton backcountry.

      How many days a season do you usually ski at Brighton?

      I try to get at least thirty days a season here. I like to ski there as much as possible in the early season, because I'm traveling a lot throughout the rest of the winter. It's nice to ski with my friends, because once I "leave them for the season to be a pro," I don't have many other chances to ski with them.

      Do you have plans to shoot at Brighton this season? 

      Last year I shot a whole edit at Brighton, mostly with the Saga filmers. Because they're based out of Salt Lake, they like to do a lot of media around the Wasatch. Brighton is a great place to get things done because there are tons of jumps and spots that you can film, even from the lift, so I'm planning to make another edit there this season. 

      DURTSCHI DIARIES 19 from Saga Outerwear on Vimeo.

      Any insights into the zones where this edit will be filmed?

      Mostly sidecountry stuff of course. In between Solitude and Brighton there's a zone that I spent a lot of time in last year, so I'll be mixing it up. It's easy to dip into the Guardsman Pass area, which is just right off of the Great Western Lift.  There are so many areas that you can film in, so I'm excited to take advantage of that this season. 

      Describe your ideal day at Brighton.

      First off, Milly Express is my favorite lift because once you get to the top, you can go left, and drop into the cliff areas near Pioneer. Last year, I loved hitting the terrain in Soul Bright which is a section between Milly and Solitude where I filmed most of my Brighton edit. Not as many people take advantage of it, as you have to hike out of the bottom, but I like it. Last season those were some of my favorite days - talking my friends into skiing in Soul Bright and getting after it, because not as many people take advantage of it as they should. 

      Walk us through a day at Brighton, where do you start? Where do you go?

      I've talked a lot about Milly, but if it's snowed over a foot, I recommend going up Great Western. That is the lift that will get you the most vertical. It will take you to the top of Clayton Peak. If you're trying to get first chair, Great Western is the way to go. So I'd start there to get those pow laps in and to get a lot of vertical. Then when that's tracked, I'd head over to Milly and hike those side-country zones. Then I'd pop into Molly Green's where they have really good food, beers, and a fireplace. It's like a really cool old style lodge that is a great place to hang out. 

      For more info on Brighton, hit up http://www.brightonresort.com

      Brighton Stats:

      Average annual snowfall: 500 inches

      Vertical, lift-serviced drop: 1,745 feet

      Base elevation: 8,755 feet

      Top elevation: 10,500 feet

      Lifts: 5 quads, 1 triple, 1 Magic Carpet

In-bounds terrain: 1,050

      Number of runs: 66, and tons of off piste

      Halfpipe: Yes

      Terrain parks: 4

Night skiing: On 200 acres with three lifts and the main terrain park

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    • 4 months ago
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  • The Opening Gala Of The New TG The Opening Gala Of The New TGR World Headquarters

    • From: ryandunfee121157
    • Description:


      Last night marked the soft launch of the brand-new TGR world headquarters in Wilson across the street from the world-famous Stagecoach dive bar, and a small group of friends were invited in to check out the new digs, which also feature TGR's first full-fledged retail store for TGR merchandise and movies and a handsome office space for the entire production and digital media teams. It was a proud evening for the Jones brothers, who have seen their brainchild grow from a chaotic group of ski bums struggling to fit film in a camera to a growing brand with fingers in all kinds of interesting pies, from ski and snowboard films to online media to commercial work. TGR now has a headquarters that can house the passion and energy of its dedicated staff, and to celebrate, we broke out the Alaskan Ale and Swedish meatballs and had a party!


      Todd Jones with his signature cocktail and Digital Asset Manager Dan Olsen in front of the awesome painting the graces the lobby, done by none other than snowboard legend Bryan Iguchi.


      A very proud Carolyn Barnick - our Retail Office Manager - who is very excited about the new, full-fledged retail store for TGR merchandise at our headquarters at the base of Teton Pass in Wilson. Stop by the office to pick up some schwag or a movie or shop the goods online!


      Pat Focke on the 1's and 2's... I mean the white wine. Our request to the caterer was for "moustaches and bow ties" for any prospective bartenders.


      Upstairs, Producer Brian Wulf gives the fans a tour of the future of filmmaking, the GSS C520. Aside from incredible 4K resolution and incredibly smooth panning shots, the GSS is also scientifically proven to produce the most flattering Facebook profile pictures available today.


      Former TGR Grom Contest winner and Way Of Life star Daniel Tisi taking a break from getting stuffed in lockers as a freshman at Jackson Hole High School to test pilot the GSS. Just kidding Daniel!

      If you're local or in the Jackson Hole area for a ski trip this winter, be sure to stop by the new headquarters at 1260 Northwest Street in Wilson, right off Highway 22, and say whatup to the crew! We'd be happy to give you a tour and Carolyn will probably peer pressure you not to leave without picking up a movie or a tee-shirt. Best of luck with that!

      -All photos by Nick Kalisz



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    • 4 months ago
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  • What is the TGR Staff Thankful What is the TGR Staff Thankful For This Thanksgiving?

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      heather hendricks shredding pow_blog size.jpg

      We're pretty sure Gear & Travel Editor Heather Hendricks is thankful for the early pow this year. Wa-pow!

      Well, it's that time of the year. Time to indulge in unrelenting butter-based family recipes and bottomless goblets of wine and beer while resurfacing classic family fueds. Of course, one big part of this exclusively 'Murican holiday is giving thanks to the people, places, and things that make life great. We rounded up the TGR office team to let you know what we're thankful for this Thanksgiving.

      "I'm thankful for the tens of thousands of TGR fans that come out each and every year and get stoked for winter with TGR.  I'm thankful (in advance, with fingers crossed) that mother nature is going to be our friend this winter and give us banner snow years around the world.  I'm also thankful that there are only two days left in Movember, and that I will be able to shave the hairy beast off of my upper lip and hopefully be allowed back into my house.  I'm especially thankful for that one.  As is my wife.  And anyone I know.  Or that sees me." - Mark Behrednt, Worldwide Tour Director

      "I'm thankful for [knock on wood] two healthy knees and shoulders that are currently staying in their sockets." - Blake Campbell, Lead Editor

      "I'm thankful for living in the Jackson Hole bubble!" - Greg Epstein, Supervising Producer

      "I am thankful for my shred dog, Russ. Oh, and the Tetons!" - Joni McGregor, Social Media Editor

      "For Doug Coombs, Jimmy Zell, and the Hunt brothers for showing us the way!" - Steve Jones, Co-Founder

      "I'm thankful for having the opportunity to live and work in Jackson Hole, WY. And, my new Jones Solution split board that arrived just before Thanksgiving!" -Katie Metzler, Marketing Coordinator

      "I'm thankful for family, friends and the opportunity to live in one of the most amazing places on earth." - Justin Fann, Associate Producer/Editor

      "I'm thankful for deep days, great friends, cold beer, and hot tubs." - Brett Neste, Marketing Manager, Worldwide Tour

      "I am thankful for the opportunity to spend my life in the outdoors and for the connection to nature that has formed as a result. It has instilled in me a need to protect these great expanses of land so future generations will have the opportunity to be thankful for the same things. I'm constantly reminded of the book Last Child In The Woods by Richard Louv." - Dan Gibeau, Cinematographer

      "Friendsgiving and skiing and Thanksgiving!" - Brenna Dyer, Web Developer

      "Thankful I get to show my new born son, McCraeleigh, how to shred in his first winter in Jackson!" - Bret Hills, CFO

      "I'm thankful for organizations like Protect Our Winters and the people behind them that are working hard to protect the future of snow against the threat of climate change, for the rare goggle that doesn't fog, the rare turn that I don't suck at skiing, and Teton Pass being ten minutres from the office." - Ryan Dunfee, Associate Editor

      Happy Thanksgiving and we hope you can find your way into some shredding before sinking the electric knife into the turkey!

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  • TGR's Early Season Avalanche W TGR's Early Season Avalanche Workshop & Course Round-up

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

       You don’t know enough about avalanches. If you think you do, then you surely do not. Whether you’ve barely searched “how to use an avalanche beacon” or you’re teaching snow safety clinics, now is the time to be a student once again.

      The Utah Avalanche Center has kicked off the last six winters with its annual Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop (USAW). Speakers and attendees from around the mountain west and Canada converged in Salt Lake City for an all-day series of discussions and presentations, covering everything from rescue insurance to resuscitation protocol updates. Avalanche airbag options and procedures, last season’s most impactful avalanches, backcountry rescue procedures, and decision making in the mountains were some of this year’s biggest conversation topics. 

      Safety Meetings

      Discussing backcountry rescue protocols. In hindsight, avi courses are way cheaper than helicopter rescue flights. Brody Leven photo

      USAW is one of countless early-season avalanche refreshers happening throughout the country (and that other country, Canada). Experienced pilots, ski patrol directors, medical examiners, and the most knowledgeable avalanche educators in the mountains are making themselves available to you. With 500 skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers, the Northwest Snow and Avalanche Workshop attracted the PNW crowd, for the same sub-$30 price, the day before USAW.

      Safety Practice

      Getting intimate with snowpits, which provide first-time students with an eye-opening experience, with a mix of touch and feel, of what the snowpack actually looks like. Brody Leven photo.

      But amid the willing takeover of my cranium, I had another problem: my ski partner is a dunce, and it was time to find a new one. Over 600 skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers with all levels of avalanche knowledge and experience filled the room. I was there to re-fresh avalanche safety before the season kicked off; why not find a qualified ski partner, too?

      Brody attempts to find a backcountry ski partner at the Utah Snow and Avalanche Workshop.

      A Comprehensive Early-Season Avalanche Workshop & Course Round-Up

      Below are some courses you can join before you regret not doing it. In general, skiers and snowboarders with no prior backcountry education should really sign up for an AIARE (American Institue for Avalanche Research and Education) Level 1 course, or one certified by the Canadian equivalent, the CAC (Canadian Avalanche Centre), which are offered by a variety of providers. These courses, generally taken over the course of three days with a mix of time in the classroom and out in the snow, will provide you with a great base of knowledge so you can travel in the backcountry safely. Many of these classes, especially in December and early January, are reaching capacity, so sign up quick!

      There is also a smattering of other classes, seminars, and talks listed below that will be great for first-timers looking for that first base of knowledge or more experienced backcountry skiers and riders who would do well to refresh their skillset and knowledge before the start of the season.


      Brody Shredding

      Having taken the time to educate himself about the snowpack, Brody chokes on the sweet taste of (safe) powder in the Wasatch. Brody Leven photo

      The Utah Avalanche Center is hosting a free avalanche awareness seminar on Novevember 26, 2013, from 7:00-8:15 pm at the REI in Salt Lake City. They are also hosting a Ladies' Night avalanche awareness seminar on December 2nd, a snowshoer-specific seminar on the 5th, and another general avalanche awareness seminar on the 11th.

      Backcountry.com and a group of professional women freeskiers and avalanche experts, including Michelle Parker, Ingrid Backstrom, TGR Co-Lab star Elyse Saugsted, Jackie Paaso, and heli-guide Lel Tone, along with yoga instructor Sherry McConkey, will be leading a four-stop tour providing avalanche awareness education specfically for women known as SAFE-AS. The first stop will be at Snowbird on Thursday, December 5th, and the SAFE-AS clinics will cost $110 plus fees per event.

      The American Avalanche Institute is also hosting AIARE Level 1 avalanche courses in Salt Lake on December 5th and 12th as well as January 9th and 30th, and at Alta from December 20th-22nd and at The Canyons from January 3rd through the 5th.

      Around the same time as TGR's production staff and professional athletes head to Snowbird for the annual International Pro Riders' Workshop, Powder Magazine will be hosting their own Safe Zone Clinic at Snowbird from December 13-15. With 50 spots available to the public, the three-day clinic with place an emphasis on human factors in backcountry travel, and costs $295 or $695 if you include lift tickets and lodging at the Cliff Lodge.

      Colorado/Denver Metro Area

      Backcountry Babes is hosting an avalanche awareness clinic on December 7th at the Colorado Mountaineering Center in Golden from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. 30% of the time will be spent in the classroom while the remaining 70% will be held in the field. The class costs $45.

      As well, Apex Mountain School in Avon is offering AIARE Level 1 courses on December 13-15, January 3-4, January 10-12, January 24-26, as well as further dates in February and March. Not surprisingly, Colorado has an adundance of avalanche courses taking place all over the state, more of which can be found in the AIARE course directory.

      Jackson Hole & The Tetons

      The Tetons have loads of classes going on, with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offering 12 separate dates for AIARE Level 1 courses throughout December, January, February, and March, each taking three days and costing $335 per person.

      Our friends at Exum Mountain Guides - the same guys that guided Griffin Post to the top of the Middle Teton in Way Of Life and who helped get Jeremy Jones & Bryan Iguchi to the top of the Grand Teton in the final film of the Jeremy Jones trilogy, Higher, are offering their own AIARE Level 1 classes for $300 on January 9-12 and February 20-23. These guys are the real deal.

      The Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute  is also offering their own AIARE Level 1 courses at Central Wyoming College with on-snow sessions throughout the Tetons in December from the 12th-13th, 14th-15th, 19th-20th, and 21-22nd for $289 per person. They're also offering combo classes in January that include Wilderness First Aid, CPR training, and AIARE Level 1 for $550.

      As well, the American Avalanche Institute is offering level 1 AIARE class in Jackson on December 6-8 and January 2-5, January 15-17, as well as two sets of classes in February. Those classes go for $300/person.


      The Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center is hosting Intro to Avalanches with Field Work courses with two evening classroom sessions at Montana State University in Bozeman and one day in the field on the weekend. Those classes are being held December 4th, 5th & 7th as well as January 22nd, 23rd & 25th. There is also an advanced class in January. These classes only cost a $30 donation, and the GNFAC is offering a boatload of free hour-long sessions throughout the early season around Bozeman.

      The American Avalanche Institute is offering Level 1 classes in Bozeman on January 3-5 and January 18-20.

      Skiers and snowboarders in Missoula can attend a variety of short workshops as well as American Avalanche Association Level 1 courses hosted by the West Central Montana Avalanche Foundation.

      For folks in Kalispell, the Flathead Avalanche Center is offering an hour-long "Know Before You Go" session on November 22nd at 6 pm at the Stonefly Lounge as well as Level 1 avalanche courses on December 18th, 19th & 21st and January 22nd, 23rd, & 25th with two classroom sessions at the Flathead National Forest Office in Kalispell. The first Level 1 course's on-snow time will be at Whitefish Mountain Resort while the second course will be more snomobile-focused and held elsewhere.

      Idaho Panhandle/Schweitzer

      The Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center is hosting a number of two-hour evening seminars at the new Forest Serice Building on Ontario Street in Sandpoint, along with talks about avalanche rescues, the history of avalanche control in the US, and safe route finding techniques. Also, this year Schweitzer Mountain Resort is hosting two permanent avalanche beacon practice areas and weekly Transceiver Sundays at 10 am, with different beacon-search challenges offered by the mountain's ski patrol. The IPAC may be announcing further Level 1 classes as well.

      Idaho - Sawtooths

      sawtooth mountain guides avi beacon practice1.jpgSawtooth Mountain Guides's Sarah Lundy explaining avalanche beacon flux lines during an avalanche education course. Don't know what a flux line is? Take a course... SMG photo.

      The Sawtooth Mountain Guides are offering a pretty attractive three-day Backcountry Skills Course that takes place entirely at the Williams Peak Hut in the Sawtooths from December 13-15. They are also offering several hour-long avalanche awareness seminars at the REI store and McU Sports in Boise throughout December and January, as well as AIARE Level 1 courses, along with Level 1 Refreshers and Level 2 and 3 courses, in January and February.

      Sun Valley Trekking will be offering a Level 1 AAA course in Ketchum and the surrounding Wood River Valley that will take place over the course of three separate Saturdays - December 14th, December 21st, and January 4th, going for $395/person. There is also a Level 1 Refresher course in February and a Level 2 in March.

      Payette Powder Guides in McCall be also be offering AIARE Level 1 courses on December 6-8 and 13-15 for $350/person as well as January 31-February 2 on a three-day yurt trip to Lick Creek Summit for $595/person, which includes yurt accomodations, transportation, and "hearty meals." PPG is also offering three shorter classes - Introduction to the Backcountry, AAA Companion Rescue, and AAA Level 1 Refresher - in January and which take anywhere from 4-8 hours and cost $40-160.

      Central Sierras/Lake Tahoe

      The Sierra Avalanche Center has a great comprehensive roundup of all the backcountry and touring-related classes available in the Lake Tahoe area, which count separate providers offering avalanche awareness classes from Donner Summit to Mt. Rose to Kirkwood and South Lake Tahoe. One of those providers, Alpine Skills International, is hosting an absurd amount of classes, even ones tailored specifically to splitboarders, but also AIARE Level 1 courses nearly every weekend from December to March as well as single-day AIARE Introduction To Avalanche Safety courses in January, February, and March.

      On December 8-9, Squaw Valley avalanche forecaster and ski patroller Lel Tone will be leading an avalanche awareness education clinic specific for women along with a host of all-star Lake Tahoe pros, including Michelle Parker, Elyse Saugsted, Ingrid Backstrom, and Jackie Paaso, along with yoga taught by Sherry McConkey. The clinics, known as SAFE-AS, will learn about snow safety in-bounds and in the backcountry, along with lunch, yoga, and aprés, and cost $110 per person plus fees.

      Eastern Sierras/Mammoth

      The Sierra Mountain Center is offering three-day Level 1 courses with classroom sections at the White Mountain Research Station just outside of Bishop with on-snow sessions in the general Mammoth/Bishop area depending on where the snow is "most interesting." Those classes go for $385/person and run on December 28-30, January 3-5 and 18-20, along with dates in February and march. Single-day AIARE Level 1 Refresher courses are available on December 14th & 28th as well as January 4th & 11th for $145.

      Mt. Shasta

      The Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center is hosting a lineup of short presentations discussing "key factors leading to avalanche formation and avalanche accidents," with one each month starting December 7th, along with monthly beacon training sessions at The Fifth Season shop in Mt. Shasta City starting December 8th. Shasta Mountain Guides will be offering an AIARE Level 1 course on January 18-20 and another in February for $375, with SWS Mountain Guides offering similar dates.


      Oregon Ski Guides is offering an AIARE Level 1 course from December 13-15 in the Bend area around Mt. Bachelor for $325, with another course in late January. They are also offering Level 1 classes in Portland and on snow at Mt. Hood January 7-9 and January 11-12, with dates in February as well.

      The Oregon Avalanche Institute is offering a single-day refresher course for former Level 1 students for $125 in the Bend area on December 14th; the rest of their early-season Level 1 classes are full at the moment.

      Seattle & The Cascades

      The Patagonia store in Seattle is hosting a free avalanche awareness class presented by the Friends of the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center on November 20th at 6:30 pm.

      A bunch of guiding services and education providers are hosting avalanche classes this early season in Washington. The American Alpine Institute is hosting AIARE Level 1 courses at Mt. Baker every weekend starting November 29th for $325 and going all the way through early March, along with January and February classes in Leavenworth with on-snow sessions at Blewett Pass.

      BC Adventure Guides is offering Level 1 AIARE classes with classroom sessions at Pro Ski Service in Seattle and on-snow sessions at Snoqualmie Pass on December 3-5 and 17-19 as well as January 2-3, 14-16, and 28-30, along with sessions in February. Classes are $315 or $495 if you add on the Intro to Touring class BCAG offers.

      The Northwest Mountain School offers AIARE Level 1 classes with classroom time in Leavenworth and on-snow time in the backcountry around Steven's Pass Ski Area for $325 on December 6-8, 13-15, and 27-29 along with dates through March.

      As well, the final two SAFE-AS clinics - avalanche education clinics led by and tailored to women - will take place on December 14th at Crystal Mountain and on December 15th at Steven's Pass. The clinics, taught by Squaw Valley ski patroller, avalanche forecaster and heli guide Lel Tone along with pro skiers like Ingrid Backstrom and Elyse Saugsted, will include yoga, lunch, and aprés, and will cost $110 plus fees per person.


      The Alaska Avalance Schoool has a range of early season courses and educational offerings.  Check out the school's Level One and Level Two courses at Hatcher Pass and Girdwood and Turnagain.  Based in Anchorage, the school also offers youth programs, lectures, snow science workshops, evening programs, and refreshers.

      Vancouver & British Columbia

      The Canadian Avalanche Centre is hosting free presentations on avalanche safety and awareness in Vancouver on November 24th at the University of British Columbia from 7-9 pm and in Whistler at the Whistler Secondary School on November 26th from 7-9 pm, along with additional presentations elsewhere throughout British Columbia.

      The CAC is the equivalent of AIARE in Canada, and hosts and certifies people in avalanche awareness and safety in much the same way. The organization's site has a great directory of Avalanche Skills Training 1 & 2 courses throughout Vancouver and British Columbia, most of which cost around $250, require about seven hours of classtime and one day in the field, and begin in early December.

      Northeast/New England

      A little taste of some of the backcountry New England, and in particular Mt. Washington, has to offer with the proper avalanche awareness background

      Yes, there are avalanches in the Northeast, too! Particularly if you're itching to ski some of the incredible high-alpine terrain New Hampshire's Mt. Washington holds in areas like Tuckerman Ravine and the Gulf of Slides, a proper avalanche awareness background is a must, and there has been a notable growth in course offerings in the North Conway/Mt. Washington area as of late. Chauvin Mountain Guides teach a three-day AIARE Leve 1 on the slopes of Mt. Washington for $325 per person on December 28-30 and January 25-27, with additional dates in February and March.

      Eastern Mountain Sports is offering its own AIARE courses nearly every week of the winter starting December 28th and hosted both at its North Conway Climbing School and in the surrounding White Mountains, and the International Mountain Climbing School in North Conway, as well as Synott Mountain Guides, are offering their own courses as well.

      International Mountain Equipment in North Conway is offering a continuing education series called the Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop on four separate Saturdays throughout the winter - December 14, January 11, February 8, and a TBA date in March - that will be held at IME's headquarters in North Conway at 7 pm on the given dates and will be free to the public, but geared for experienced backcountry users who've taken at least a Level 1 class before. The first will be about the Northeast's early-season snowpack.

      The Appalachian Mountain Club is offering their own avalanche course in Tuckerman Ravine in March, and Mooney Mountain Guides offers guided tours specific to those getting into touring for the first time. New England skiers will be pretty surprised how much backcountry & avalanche education is available right in their backyard.

      Don't see a class in your area? Chances are one is listed on the AIARE website, which has an absurdly comprehensive list of classes offered using their teaching criteria. If you're one of our friends from the Far North, the Canadian Avalanche Centre may has information about additional workshops and courses not listed here.

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  • What Is Higher? - Higher Unplu What Is Higher? - Higher Unplugged Episode 1

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:

      In episode 1 of Jeremy Jones' Higher Unplugged, Jeremy explains how his approach to exploring and riding mountains has evolved. No longer is he seeking out the iconic peaks, but rather focuses on exploring the "blank spots on the map," making first descents in remote and uncharted zones. The Deeper, Further, Higher trilogy encapsulates Jeremy's life as a snowboarder and captures the essence of snowboarding and Jeremy's love for the mountains.

      Higher Unplugged takes you behind the scenes of Jeremy Jones’ two-year snowboarding film, Higher. Jones has gathered friends old and new to pass the torch to the next generation of big mountain rippers. His crew for the film includes Bryan Iguchi, Luca Pandolfi, Lucas Merli, Ryland Bell, and others.  With these friends, Jeremy leaves tracks on signature lines in the close-to-home playgrounds he's made his own around Jackson Hole and Lake Tahoe. He also makes history with far-flung first descents in the Eastern Alaska Range and the Himalaya of Nepal, where the stakes are as high as the peaks themselves.

      For the film trailer, as well as additional videos and stories stemming from Higher, check out the Higher film page here.

      Drop in with TGR: 

      Facebook: http://facebook.com/tetongravityresearch
      Instagram: http://instagram.com/tetongravity
      YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/tetongravityresearch
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/TetonGravity

      Check out the first two chapters of the trilogy:
      DEEPER: http://bit.ly/17hpujm
      FURTHER: http://bit.ly/1gJB1vH

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  • The Shangri-La Expedition: Par The Shangri-La Expedition: Part IV

    • From: TetonGravityResearch
    • Description:


      In the last chronicle of the Shangri-La Expedition, we followed snowboarders Jeremy Jones, Luca Pandolfi, and the TGR film crew as they got their first taste of Himalayan snow and the first inkling that their five-week mission to ride one of the world’s highest and most beautiful peaks might actually be possible. In this final chapter, the crew faces the sheer brutality of attempting to snowboard at over 20,000 feet.

      After the successful test ride on Mingbo La Pass, the crew returned to base camp in an ecstatic mode. For the first time the riders were filled with optimism that this mission to snowboard among the world’s highest peaks might actually be possible. They arrived to base camp to find a surprise treat - a pizza - that their cook had concocted using only propane-powered cook stoves. While he wouldn’t reveal his secret recipe, Jeremy, Luca, and the rest of the TGR crew dove into the pie with excited eyes, thankful for a familiar meal. The following rest day, they pored over images of the glacier taken from Mingbo La, trying to piece together a navigable route to the base of Shangri-La Peak. Now that they knew the snow was good - it was full-on powder, in fact - the energy and tension began to brew in anticipation of committing fully to the final objective. After being in Nepal for over a month, everything that they had anticipated, dreamt of, prepared for, and built skills over decades for would succeed or fail over the following few days. At every meal at base camp, the crew stuffed their faces until they couldn’t stomach another spoonful, fully aware that they’d wring out every single ounce of energy and every calorie of fuel over the next four days.


      Base camp, where the crew rested and carbo-loaded for the final push to Shangri-La Peak.

      But in the final push, the sheer brutality of attempting to snowboard the Himalayas would reveal itself. After successfully negotiating the glacier, the riders arrived at the base of Shangri-La Peak to find a face unlike any other they had seen. Instead of flattening out near its base - like faces in Alaska, Norway, and Austria tend to do - this spine wall maintained its upside-down look. Once on top of it, they would find that instead of mellowing out, the 55 degree slope actually became steeper halfway down, adding another degree or two to its pitch. It was like nothing Jeremy had ever seen. “I’ve been home for awhile now,” Jeremy said over the phone this week. “And I’m still spun out on it, and I was just in awe of the Himalayas the whole time I was there. It was a place I never got a handle on.”

      While they were ecstatic to prove the naysayers wrong and discover that there was indeed powder at 20,000 feet, the area’s snowpack remained wholly unfamiliar throughout the trip. Sitting right on the equator, the Himalaya were also susceptible to the violent influence of high-altitude UV rays, which wrung moisture out of the snow like a twisted pool towel. This created a mystery snowpack that never truly revealed its secrets. With limited time on the snow over the course of the five-week trip and with having to dedicate so much time and energy to a single opportunity to strap in and ride their snowboards, the mystery remained locked up.

      But it was the simple reality of operating at high altitude that was the Himalayas’ cruelest feature. Of the four times the crew made it above 19,000 feet, three of them would happen within a four-day timespan. For one of the first times, Jeremy found himself panting on a bootpack as they attempted to summit Shangri-La Peak. Jeremy, Luca, and cinematographer Chris Figenshau would spend two hours tunneling through sugary neck-deep snow to gain the final four hundred vertical feet of the saddle. They desperately tried to keep their heart rates in a tolerable zone as they swam through the bottomless snow that crested the collar of their jackets and fell down their necks and backs.


      Jeremy, spent from swimming through neck-deep snow to reach the saddle, recovers before going for the summit.

      Nearly spent from the effort, they were forced to nap on the saddle to regain enough energy to go for the peak. “I always keep a Clif double espresso Power Shot Blok in my backpack for emergencies when I don’t have the energy to make it to the car,” Jeremy said. “Above 19,000 feet, I was eating those things like Tic-Tacs. I had four of them the last day I climbed the peak.” It’s hard to be surprised. Climbing the ridgeline of Shangri-La Peak, Jeremy, Luca, and Chris were surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the world, with Ama Dablam not even 2,000 feet above them, Lhotse in plain view, and Everest base camp not even ten miles away as the crow flies. “These peaks weren’t towering above us,” Jeremy said, still in awe. “We were in the thick of the range.”


      Jeremy, Luca, and Chris on the high-altitude sufferfest of the Shangri-La Peak ridgeline.

      Following every six-hour summit attempt and after relaying the okay to the film crew below – with each sentence uttered painfully between a sequence of heavy breaths – Jeremy and Luca would take on the most demanding snowboarding of their lives. Luca - an unbelievably experienced rider who had descended some of the most daring lines in the Chamonix area and off the sides of Mont Blanc, and who had ridden the Himalayas before - still had yet to ride a spine, and listened humbly to Jeremy's advice about tackling the unknown terrain. To Luca, riding at that altitude was, as he put it, “torture.” 


      Luca gets a first glimpse of the first spine run of his life - at 20,000 feet.

      While Jeremy and Luca were able to control their breathing and heart rate on the way up by keeping a slow pace, on the way down it was impossible, and there was never enough oxygen. With the capillaries in his lungs expanding while desperately panting for air, Jeremy would feel like he was underwater. “Every time I strapped into my snowboard, it was like the biggest and longest big-wave hold-down I had ever experienced as a surfer.” He compared his experience at altitude to being thrown off a monster wave and plunged to the bottom of the ocean with only a split second to catch a breath before being held under and tossed and flipped at the will of the ocean, always with the fear of never making it back to the surface and to air. “And it felt like that every time I went snowboarding.”

      After every attempt, Luca and Jeremy would return to high camp white as ghosts, eyes wide open with blank stares, voices worn and raspy, their bodies and minds utterly spent. “That kind of riding, if you can call it riding, is so tiring - even emotionally,” Luca would later say. They were so drained upon returning to camp that Luca would fire up the Jetboil camp stove and hurriedly devour a bowl of ramen without even taking his helmet or goggles off. And no matter how tired they were, three typhoons were steadily closing in on Nepal from the Indian Ocean, threatening to close the window of opportunity with a month of storms that would drop ten feet of snow on the Everest base camp only ten miles away.

      Despite the anticipation and excitement of the crew’s early successes, the true nature of the Himalayas would test the riders to the absolute limits of their talent, experience, fitness, and mental fortitude. “We couldn’t come to Nepal and expect it would give this to us that easy,” Jeremy said, thinking back on the expedition. Luca put it more bluntly. "The only thing you can expect in the Himalayas,” said Luca, reflecting on the expedition, “Is to not be successful in what you do.”

      The Shangri-La Expeidtion & TGR would like to thank their sponsors - O'Neill, SONY, Clif Bar, Patagonia, Swatch, and Jones Snowboards - for supporting this once-in-a-lifetime expedition.

      Jeremy Jones' Higher drops in the fall of 2014 - check the dedicated Higher page for updates until then. Want to catch up on the other two films in the trilogy? Check out Jeremy Jones' other two films, Deeper & Further.

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