Saturday, December 31, 2011

Generation Alta - Salomon Freeski TV

Last year, the boys at Sweetgrass Productions spent a couple months in Utah shooting at Alta and Brighton for this webisode of Salomon Freeski TV. Normally Salomon Freeski TV focuses only on Salomon Athletes, but this webisode really shows the energy of the entire ski scene in Salt Lake and all the ski bums who reside here. It captures some incredible moments of deep powder and big lines, featuring many Utah rippers. I'm stoked I got to shoot with these guys for a couple days and make an appearance in this edit (at 2:24). Enjoy.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Big Cottonwwod Article - Powder Magazine

Last month's issue of Powder Magazine featured an in-depth article about Salt Lake's Big Cottonwood Canyon. Compared to the popularity of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the glories of Big Cottonwood are often overlooked - so it's nice to see Big Cottonwood get some attention in the ski world. It's not as steep and prolific as Little Cottonwood, but if you know the right spots, it can be epic.

Here's a shot of Carston Oliver on the now famous "Sendy Wendy" cliff. There are lots of opportunities to go big at Brighton Resort. Photo by Adam Clark.
Here's a shot of myself at Brighton by Steve Lloyd. This photo was taken on the last night of night-skiing last year. What's funny is that this cliff is normally pretty big, but with the 20 foot snow pack shown here, it became much smaller.

Another shot of Carston by Steve Lloyd at one of our favorite backcountry zones outside of Brighton. If you look closely, you can see me lurking in the trees above the cliff.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Carston Jumps His Bike

We've had a slow start to Winter in Utah this season, which means Carston Oliver has been jumping his bike as much as he's been skiing. Check out this cool edit that Steve Lloyd and Carston put together:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rest in Peace Jamie Pierre

The ski community suffered a great tragedy last week when Jamie Pierre lost his life in an avalanche at Snowbird. The resort was not yet open, and no avalanche control work had been performed. The area was considered back country, and the snowpack was extremely unstable.

Ever since high school, my friends and I considered Jamie to be one of the gnarliest skiers out there. He dropped the biggest cliffs anyone had ever seen and pioneered some of Utah's famous gap jumps like pyramid gap and the legendary 160-foot Leviathan Gap. He was one of the first Utah hucksters to push the boundaries of reason and constantly blow peoples' minds. In 2006, he broke the world record for biggest cliff jump on a 250 footer in Targhee, Wyoming. He pretty much set the standard for going big in everybody's book.

Last year I got the chance to go out with Jamie along with some other friends in Wolverine Cirque to film with Sweetgrass Productions. It was intimidating to pick out a line in the cirque after Jamie pointed out his aggressive run that culminated in an 80 foot drop at the bottom. Even though the snow in the landing was sluffed out, choppy, and generally non-ideal for such a huge cliff, he committed to his run and sent the massive drop at the end. It was truly amazing to see him work his magic in real life; I'll never forget it.

Here's a video of the above-mentioned run. January 2nd, 2011.

Here's a video of the last interview with Jamie. Although I hardly knew him, his skiing made a big impression on my life. He will go down as one of the most epic people of all time. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Boot Deep by Janky Films

My friends up at Alta just dropped their new film Boot Deep. A beautiful film made in the heart of Little Cottonwood Canyon, this flick has some incredible powder footage, a sweet Wolverine Cirque segment, and a nice Pyramid gap session. What else could you ask for? 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joystick Presents Sack Lunch

Over the last couple months, Shayne Metos has worked his butt off to make this video project a reality. Compiled from footage taken at Mount Hood this summer, Sack Lunch shows off the talent of Joystick's resident park wizards. The raw skate-style of this movie sets it apart from other park edits. I often find park skiing boring to watch, but this movie is of a different breed.

Pull up a chair, smell the meats, and enjoy Sack Lunch!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Solitaire Premieres in Salt Lake October 5th at Brewvies!

The latest film from Sweetgrass productions, Solitaire, will be premiering at Brewvies Cinema Pub in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 5th. This two-year project has already received critical acclaim and won the prestigious award for best cinematography at the iF3 Film Festival in Montreal. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of the film and it is incredible. If you're going to be in Salt Lake that week, you have to check out this premiere!

Check out their website for entire tour schedule

Official Trailer:

"On the Road" Episodes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Backcountry Magazine Cover

I was pleasantly surprised last month when a friend informed me I was going to be on the cover of Backcountry Magazine. For a ski bum like myself, getting a cover shot is definitely a dream come true. I put in a lot of time shooting with photographers last year, so it's nice to see the rewards of many hours of hard work. The one that ended up making the cover was taken by local photo wizard Jay Beyer.

This photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day, 2010. It was my first time shooting that season, my first time shooting with Jay, my first published photo, and my first cover. I really liked the way the photo turned out, and was thrilled to hear it was gonna get used. It's ironic that I'm the cover of the 2011 gear guide riding 2009 skis, wearing hand-me-down outerwear from 2007, and an old hand me down helmet and pair of goggles. Such is Life.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Wolverine Cirque. August 19th. Really had to.

The never ending season continued in Wolverine Cirque this week...

Hiking up to Twin Lakes Pass
Epic snow means full mountain reservoirs
Checking out our line
Gearing up
Lexie dropping in
All smiles at the bottom!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Main Chute. August 11th. Had to.

Got to have a little fun before work today.

Still filled in

Brushing teeth is fun on mountain tops

Sprayin' the walls was fun

1000 feet of awesome corn - not bad for August

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sam Cohen Season Edit

Sam Cohen is part of the new breed of Alta groms that are starting to blow up in the ski world. Him and his posse, the Dubsatch Collective, have been working hard to build up their media machine. It's safe to say you'll see a lot of this guy in the coming years.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Colter Hinchliffe Seaon Edit

I had the chance to get to know Colter this year and ski around with him at Alta. This guy is a real character and a kick-ass skier. Here's the proof.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 10th in the High Wasatch

Some friends and I made an overnight ski-camping journey to the mountains this weekend. While most people around these parts are over snow sports, I can't help but continually geek out about how much snow is left to ski in July! Here are some pics I snapped with my Go Pro. Until I get a real camera these sub-par helmet cam shots will have to do.

Greeted by a rainbow at camp
Finding the top of a chute on Sunset Peak
Looking down little Cottonwood. Still plenty to be skiied everywhere.
Looking back at Sunset Peak

Alta still looking pretty filled in
Peaks were climbed, lines were skiied, and sandwiches were consumed. Cheers to never-ending winter.

Friday, July 1, 2011

From the Vaults: Pyramid Gap 2009

While looking through my hard drive recently, I stumbled up some photos that I've always liked, but never posted. It was in March of 2009 when some friends and I set out to hit one of Utah's most famous jumps: Pyramid Gap.

To properly execute this 90 foot gap jump, it usually takes a good crew and a few days of building the jump and in-run. This also means you and your crew will be missing out on 2 or 3 good pow days. We, however,  took a haphazard approach and hit it after it was already built (albeit not the best build ever). It still required getting there before sunrise and doing a lot of preparation on the in-run. The in-run is the biggest challenge on pyramid because any little bump will throw you off when dropping in at 55 mph.

Stepping out the in-run
As we were smoothing out the in-run, a guy approached us and asked if he could take some pictures. That guy turned out to be none other than Bruce Tremper, a legend of the Wasatch who worked for the Utah Avalanche Center and literally wrote the book on avalanche safety. Naturally we obliged. It turns out Bruce is also a very talented photographer! With both Bruce and Chris Shifrar, we ended up getting some cool images.
Me getting the first hit. Photo: Bruce Tremper

Another angle. Photo: Chris Shifrar
Carston doing his thing. Photo: Bruce Tremper
Another angle of Carston. Photo: Chris Shifrar
Sean Kelly. Photo: Bruce Tremper
Sean Kelly. Photo: Chris Shifrar
Sean Kelly hitting the wall. One of the best impact photos of all time. Photo: Bruce Tremper
After myself, Carston, and Sean Kelly had one try each, a strong head wind picked up and we had to call it quits. I hope to make another attempt on this beast again in the future.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Full Moon on Wolverine Peak

It's been said that a full moon will cause strange behavior in animals of all kinds. For ski bums in the Wasatch, the same holds true. Last week, my friends and I toured up to Wolverine peak and skied some lunar lines off Wolverine bowl and back. With so much light, it was hard to believe it was 3:00 in the morning. With so much snow, it was hard to believe it was June 14th. It was a truly magical experience.

Max Lowe was able to capture some impressive images using prolonged exposures. Check it out.

It's hard to believe there's that much snow on southern-facing aspects in mid June!
We had to use moon glasses and moonscreen to shield off the piercing light

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The River

To fully enjoy the tremendous snow pack we have in the western United States right now, one must venture to where the water goes after it melts: The River.

I made it on a trip down Desolation Canyon on the Green River a couple weeks ago. The day we got off the river, it was running at 30,000 cubic feet per second and rising. This is the biggest flow of water I've ever seen on the Green.

Check out these photos of our crew on Joe Hutch Rapid. Big thanks to Dave Inskeep for the photos.

The day after we got back I made my way up to Snowbird and realized there was still a 20 foot deep snow pack in the upper mountains. I snapped this photo with my GoPro at the top of Snowbird's Twin Peaks hike. This might be the best summer skiing we'll ever get in the Wasatch.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Post-Season Fun at Brighton

Well it seems the glory of this season may never relent. Even after the resorts closed, the snow has continued to fall. Carston Oliver and I made it up to Brighton for a few early morning missions and got some of the funnest lines of the year.

It's a rare treat to ski top-to-bottom powder runs on your home mountain with no other people in sight. By the time May rolls around in the Wasatch, most Salt Lake ski people are sick of winter and want to start climbing and riding bikes. But when the skiing is this good, you just have to go.

Sometimes sunrise makes you feel like your still dreaming

Straight up

Hello sun
Skin to win

Check out this edit Carston put together with some of our Go-Pro footage:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dock Ellis throws a no-hitter on LSD

This doesn't have anything to do with skiing. Or does it???

Friday, April 29, 2011

Grouphome - 4:21 Edit

Check out Shayne Metos' latest edit from the boys at Brighton Resort

Monday, April 25, 2011

Superior and the Scythe

A few weeks ago, my friends and I made an early mission to ski Mt. Superior. It's kind of a pain to wake up at 3:30 in the morning, but there's nothing else like being on an 11,000 foot ridge line at sunrise. After a skiing 2800 feet of glorious powder, we got some good runs in at Alta, then rallied to Wolverine cirque to ski the Scythe Chute. When it's spring and the sun is out all day, it seems like you can just ski till you drop.

Go Pros actually take some decent photos!

Tony Pavlantos photo

Greeting the sun

Check the video!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Romping Through the Beartooths

Until recently, I thought the main attractions of Montana were guns, alcohol, and bears. Well it turns out you can ski there too! Last month I went on a short mission into the Beartooth mountains with Jay Beyer, Carston Oliver, and Ben Nobel to snow camp and ski some big lines. We had a secondary objective of riding bears while drinking alcohol and shooting guns.

From Cooke City, we snowmobiled our selves and gear into a nearby drainage and set up camp. From our tents, we stared up at massive, steep, 3000 faces with Alaska-like spines and brooding cornices. I still consider myself a novice at "big mountain" skiing, so going on this trip with some experienced friends was a huge learning opportunity for me. It takes a lot of know-how to even find where you want to drop amidst a ridge full of cornices. It takes a whole other set of skills to navigate your line down while avoiding the rivers of sluff rushing by you. Most of the time, you can't even see your line from up top; the slope just rolls out of vision.

Our friend Ben was washed away by his sluff on a big line and barely regained control before going over some mean cliffs. It gave us all a bit of a scare and reminded us how humbling mountains can be.

Here's a shot of my first line of the trip: a small ridge/spine with a clean cliff at the bottom. On my first turn, I triggered a decent-sized shallow wind slab.

I was able to keep it together and send the biggest back flip I've ever done. I ended up landing around Jay's water mark.

Each day we were out, we got shut down by clouds and weren't able to ski everything we wanted. Now that we know what's out there, it's only a matter of time before we go get redemption. Big thanks to Ben Nobel for acting as our guide and to Jay Beyer for the photos.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mount Baker!

After living the good life in Canada for 3 weeks on the Surface Demo Tour, I decided to hop on a greyhound and head to Mount Baker, Washington, to meet up with Paul Kimbrough, Carston Oliver, and Jay Beyer. I've wanted to experience the Pacific Northwest for a long time, and was grateful to finally get the chance. I was also extremely fortunate to be there with such an awesome crew and good conditions.

Paul is a Baker local and Carston has been making trips there for years, so with them as our guides Jay and I got to see some awesome things. Our first day there we were greeted with a rare blue sky and got to work on some shooting. I've been shooting a lot with Jay Beyer this season, and was stoked to go work with him in new terrain. Check out some of the pics we got.

When the conditions are good in Baker, the skiing is amazing.When the conditions are bad, it's almost unskiable. Being in such close proximity to the ocean, the snow can turn from fluffy powder into rainy mash potatoes pretty fast. Heavy PNW snow is difficult to ski when you grow up skiing light density Utah powder. I got to experience both extremes and was grateful for the good days.

Big thanks to Paul for all the hospitality and to Jay Beyer for the photos! Check out his website