Friday, July 5, 2013

Spread in SBC Skier Photo Annual

It's been far too long since I've updated this blog - I promise I'll try to keep things more current. With summer in full effect here in Utah, I thought it would be nice to share this spread I had in the Photo Issue of SBC Skier Magazine from the depths of last winter. If it looks similar to the last photo I shared here, it's because it was taken at the bottom of that same run at Steven's Pass, Washington with photographer Garrett Grove. With such a dry winter for the rest of the country, my time in the great North West was pretty much a dream. Every day we skied multiple feet of fresh snow.

Much of our time was spent skiing road laps outside the resort, which end about where I'm pictured below. What's funny is that when Garrett suggested the idea of getting a shot turning into the road, I laughed. The slope wasn't even really steep enough to make a turn in and it seemed like a silly idea. But I really tried to dig into the turn and make it work. If you look closely at the photo, you can almost see me laughing. Well, some times you just have to go along with silly ideas...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Powder Magazine Spread

I'm pretty psyched to have a 2-page spread in December's issue of Powder Magazine. The photo was taken at Stevens Pass Washington by Garrett Grove

Last season I met up with Garrett and spent about a week in Leavenworth, Washington shredding Stevens Pass. We couldn't have had better timing, as it proceeded to dump a foot or two of snow nearly every day. It's really tricky to shoot good photos in a heavy snow storm with minimal light, but Garrett has had a lot of practice living in the Pacific North West

Thursday, November 1, 2012

From the Vaults: Shooting with Jake Lawlor

Time for Throwback Thursday! Here's some shots I got with Jake Lawlor a few years back. I've always liked these photos but never posted them. Click on them to enlarge.

This was from a night shoot we did in Big Cottonwood Canyon. After a full day of skiing powder, Lawlor talked me and Tony Pavlantos into hauling a generator and running extension chords across a creek to get this shot. It was a lot of effort, but definitely worth it.

Late season booters at Brighton are always fun.

First hit at sunrise. Brighton.

This is the funniest picture I've ever got. Jumping through trees and having a camera flash blind you is very startling

Jumping through a mini double cliff. Are those stars or snow flakes in the air?

Monday, October 15, 2012

PNW with Garrett Grove

Last Winter I was lucky enough to spend some quality time in the Pacific Northwest. While the rest of the continental U.S. was hurting for snow, it seemed that Washington was getting puked on for most of the season.

Deep / Garrett Grove Photo
Deeper / Garrett  Grove Photo
I met up with Garrett Grove and Sakeus Bankson up in Revelstoke and headed down to Bellingham to ski one glorious day at Mt. Baker. After that, we headed to the town of Levenworth and linked up with a top notch crew of ski bums including Drew Stoecklein, Pat Haggerty, Matt Bowen, and many others. We timed our trip perfectly, getting hit with 1-2 feet of snow per day. After being deprived of deep days for so much of the season, getting over-head face shots was truly a spiritual experience.

Ferry / Garrett Grove Photo
Submersion / Garrett Grove Photo
Garrett was nice enough to let me post some B-roll photos from the trip. These were without a doubt the deepest days of my season. I can't wait to get back up there for more epic days and jalepeño margaritas!

Avalung / Garrett Grove Photo
Basket / Garrett Grove Photo
Crouch / Garrett Grove Photo
Smile / Garrett Grove Photo
Ghost / Garrett Grove Photo

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grateful Shred - Utah, Canada, and Washington

Well it's been far too long since I've updated this thing, but it's starting to get cold and skiing has been on my mind a lot. I'll be updating this blog a lot more in the coming weeks as we get closer to the season.

Last year, the lower 48 states had a rough snow year to say the least. The Wasatch mountains, like many in the West, developed a persistent weak layer at the bottom of the snowpack that plagued the mountains with dangerous avalanche conditions for most of the year. We also experienced some of lowest snowfall on record.

On top of all that, I took a hard crash in December and sustained a bone contusion in my knee that followed me around for most of the season. After resting and doing physical therapy for six weeks, I was feeling good and joined some friends for the Surface Canada Tour. We hit lots of good spots in B.C. like Whistler, Red Mountain, Revelstoke, and Whitewater. We ran ski demos on the weekends, and got to explore and ski during the week. We ended up staying with our friends at Sweetgrass Productions and got to film with them as well. The snow up north was awesome, and skiing it felt much better on my knee than skiing ice in Utah.

Sunrise to sunset with Eliel Hindert and Nick Mcnutt - one of the longest, best days of the year - Photos: Eric Balken

Photo: Bobby Jahrig

Photo: Bobby Jahrig

Photo: Bobby Jahrig

Whymer Peak - Photo: Eric Balken

Sunset ridge - Photo: Sweetgrass Productions

After spending a month playing in British Columbia, I linked up with photographer Garrett Grove and headed to Washington to ski a storm that was supposed to pound the Pacific Northwest. The storm delivered and we ended up skiing some of the deepest powder of the year at Baker and Stevens Pass. I'll be posting another update for that trip later.

When I finally came back to Utah in March, that same storm in Washington had made its way to the Wasatch and dropped some snow. We had a few good storm cycles and the avalanche danger had tapered off significantly. Conditions were finally good in the home country. My friends and I enjoyed the last month of the season in Utah skiing powder at Alta and Brighton.

Better late than never! Sunrise in the Wasatch - Photo: Eric Balken
Good morning Alta! - Photo: Eric Balken
LCC - Photo: Eric Balken
After a season of such terrible snowpack and numerous avalanche deaths, I was extremely grateful to ski some good snow. In the words of the Rollings Stones - you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.

This is a little video I put together from some of the more powder-rich portions of my season. Nothing too epic, just lots of fun times. Enjoy!
Grateful Shred from Eric Balken on Vimeo.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Season of Plenty - 2010/2011 video

Here's a short edit I put together with the help of my good friend Shayne Metos. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Northern Slayers

Time to show a little love for my Canadian friends who've been killing it.

Nick Mcnutt ruthlessly attacks pillows:

Eliel Hindert recaps his 09/10 season filming with Dendrite Studios:

Rob Huele goes top to bottom at the Canada Olympic Park in Calgary: