Spring Transitions

My bike is tuned, my hands are calloused and ready to climb, and the plants want to be moved outside. The natural transition into spring is taking place for everything, it seems, except the weather. Alta Resort holds strong with a 200″ base and tonight it will snow two feet of powdery goodness on the Wasatch.

This is my favorite time of year. Anything can happen. And it does.

You come home from a long day of skiing to unexpectedly find freeriders from Idaho and Vermont cooking dinner in your kitchen. Looking for a couch to crash on, of course. Oh yes, it is going to snow this weekend. I see… : )

After a delicious freeride family dinner we decide a nice tour is in order for the following day.

Skittles go up. Argenta. Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Beautiful view from the summit. Creamy spring snow down the West Couloir.

And ooops, no snow on the exit. Lexi sends it onto the bike trail.

Speaking of bike trail, lets go riding. Moab?

Taking a break on the slick rock trail. First ride of the season and maybe 6th? ride of my life, painful but too fun to complain.

Good crew.

“I have the urge to jump”… “Yeah, me too. Maybe we should go base jumping”

That will be in the next adventure…

The sun is strong in the desert. Thank you, Beyond Coastal Sun Care, for keeping my skin burn free and healthy!

A quick shower at the “local” swimming hole.

Margaritas and a beautiful sunset to end the day.

Then…. More biking!

Dylan and Drew on Porcupine Rim.

Extreme slick rock frisbee.

Our last day was spent climbing on Wall Street, which was surprisingly uncrowded and very enjoyable.

 Dylan sending a route.

A sunset yoga session is the perfect way to conclude a good trip.

We returned to winter in the LCC, skied powder, and are currently waiting for the next adventure.

Coming soon.

Family.

Gathering and remembrance for Ryan Hawks on Hidden Peak. Photo by: Josh Anderson

As we grow older, the years become shorter, seasons fly by, and the memories we hold dearest to our heart stem from the people we meet and the experiences we have had along the way. The last four years of my life have been centered around the winter months. I rescheduled work, school, and obligations in order to spend my winters traveling North America with a group of people I now consider to be my closest friends; my family.

The competitors on the Freeskiing World Tour are fortunate enough to share a lifestyle I’m sure anyone would envy. We share a passion for skiing, lust for adventure, and genuine love for the mountains and each other. Sure, competition adds to the enjoyment while pushing us to be the best we can be, but, it is by no means the reason most of us follow the tour. We ski because we love to ski. We ski on the FWT because we love the lifestyle. A good friend told me yesterday, “I don’t care if I get 1st or 50th, I love this sport and will compete regardless”.

Ladies at the finish of the Freeskiing World Championships. Snowbird, UT 2011.

The compassion and camaraderie found on the FWT is unrivaled. You will not find a group of competitors more supportive of each other anywhere. From the endless shared powder days to the late night beers and crazy dance parties, the memories go on forever. We cram into hotels and vans, sleep 6 to a floor, chase snow storms in the middle of the night, poach hot tubs, weasel our way into free lift tickets and beer, party in resort parking lots until the sun comes up. . . we share a continuous love and support for one another. We are a family.

Photo: Eben Wright

Ryan embodies our family to the fullest. His consistent positive attitude and eagerness for excitement inspired me to never pass up an opportunity for adventure. His passion for the sport rubbed off on everyone around him, along with his goofball laugh, gentle generosity, and pure love for life. Ryan’s the kind of guy that is everyone’s best friend, with his chiclet smile and ENORMOUS bear hugs, he could (and would) brighten any day. And that was his goal. Whether you were an old friend or a new acquaintance, he showed you love.

I am honored to have had such an amazing person in my life, and I am forever grateful to carry with me pieces of Ryan’s personality and strength of character. Thank you, Ryan, for bringing together so many wonderful people and for making this world a better place. You will forever be a part of our smiles, laughter, joy, and, of course, adventures.

aloha

SIA and Utah Powder

Since returning home from Canada I have been a  busy lady. Skiing, yoga, and. . . more skiing have filled most of my days. Toward the end of January I made my way to Denver, CO to work with Orage at SIA (SnowSports Industry America tradeshow). I was lucky to have the opportunity to dive deeper into the industry and learn more about how everything works. The crazy parties and extravagant exhibits weren’t half bad either.

Lexi DuPont kicked some ass and won the bull riding contest at the Blizzard Tecnica booth

The new freemountain line from Tecnica / Blizzard is very exciting. The Flip Core  technology in the new skis has been receiving a lot of attention, keep an eye out for the world’s baddest bulls shredding your home mountain!

The Sun Valley crew enjoying a couple TecBlizz beers

The new line from Orage is super cute, I’m stoked to be ripping around in my new outfits!

The Kaya pro model jacket. Mine is a dark purple color : )

A few days after returning to Utah it snowed a foot, the sun came out, and my smile stretched from ear to ear. I know goggle tans are the steeze, but, sunburns cause cancer SO don’t forget your beyond coastal sun care EVERYDAY.

Snowbird photo of the day. Thanks altabird.com!

The bright sun and face shots were delightful but I was hungry for some adrenaline. My fix presented itself as a steep, greatly exposed face that is very rarely skied. Lucky for me, the snow was stable and my boyfriend happens to be one of the few that actually skis in this area.

The West Wall of The Devil's Castle. Alta, UT

It felt great to rip down exposure that is so rarely skied. And the fact that I don’t have any pictures of myself skiing the gnar gives me an excuse to get up there and conquer it again! I cant wait. We are headed to Crested Butte tomorrow for the 4th stop of the Freeskiing World Tour.

Road trip!

 

Road Trippin North

This last month comprised of one serious road trip. From Sun Valley to interior British Colombia, the Sub racked in over 2500 miles.  Wrong turns were made and hardships were endured, but all in all the plentiful faceshots and good company kept the smiles wide.

Our quest began in Sun Valley. It was a gratifying return to the home land. Our days consisted of skiing knee deep fluffy stuff and nights were spent at Whiskeys, where the repetitive “Hi, how are you?” ritual ensued. It was great to catch up with old friends and share some turns with the fam.Axel, Dylan, and I after a wallet burning day at Sun Valley Resort. Yes, we know we look good (compliments of ORAGE outerwear )

Dad and I ripping some totally gnarly sled accessed turns out Baker Creek.

Awwww, the burn. Where no matter how stylish your new gear is, you look like an idiot if you don anything but jet black.

Covered in charcoal and smelling like two- stroke, we left satisfied. Montucky anyone?

Montana, where only a few short years ago it was legal to drive while drinking a beer, happens to be the preferred settling place for my little brother. One day at Bridger Bowl and I was hooked. The awesomely sketchy terrain and pure cold smoke reeled me in. I shall return to provide assistance in the conquering of Hollywood Wall. But for now, we head north.

Welcome to Canada! We pulled into Revelstoke, BC for the #3 stop of the Freeskiing World Tour at exactly the right time. It puked snow on us for 3 days in a row, delaying the competition and giving us the chance to sample the powder. I unfortunately took a  fall on Day 1 of the competition and didn’t get the chance to compete in the finals. 

Contemplating.

After the competition we headed south, drove three hours in the wrong direction, explored interior BC at its finest, soaked in hot springs, and searched for snow. The road led us to Salmo Ski Hill. The small hill boasts 12oo vert, a T-bar, night skiing, and freshly dropped pow, all for $15. Made for a ridiculously fun evening. 

After a delicious dinner in the Salmo parking lot, we made the late night drive to Rossland, BC for the Canadian Freeskiing Open. The great skiing that went down on Mt Roberts correlated nicely with the great dancing at the Rafters after party.Family dinner.

We had a couple days of great skiing at Red Mt, and then a couple days of rain. Drenched and worn out, we were ready to throw in the towel and make the long drudge back to Utah.

Good times, eh?

 

Diamond Fork Hot Springs

I needed a day to rest my bones and relax. Diamond Fork Hot Springs proved to be the perfect place to do so. All it took was a short drive and a two mile hike. The temperature and color of the water varied between pools, making the experience aestheticly pleasing as well as beneficial to my body. Highly recommended.

Ready to get back in the snow!

Tips and Tails

I went on a little hike yesterday out to Wolverine Cirque, an excitingly playful area that I can’t wait to explore this season. It has warmed up a bit over the last couple days but we were still able to find some good snow. The soft fluffy stuff was nestled in a tight chute, aptly named tips and tails.

View from above

Of course, the hop turn shot

High speed exit

Looking back satisfied. (We skied the smaller chute to lookers right)

Short but sweet!

East Coast Skiing and First Powder Day of the Year. . . (unrelated events)

Last week I flew back to Vermont to give my boyfriend a kick in the ass and get him out to Utah. The short trip included a wonderful Pre-Thanksgiving dinner, late nights with friends, lots of packing, and my FIRST East Coast skiing experience. Killington was open and we were antsy to shred. Supposedly the conditions were “the epitome of East Coast skiing”.

This sums up the experience quite nicely

Decked out in male size large ski clothes and rental gear, I was ready to arc some turns.

A little apprehensive

Killington

It ended up being an amazing day, leaving me with a new respect for East Coast skiing. Can’t wait to make it back there for a powder day. . . ?

2,300 miles later we rolled into Salt Lake City just in time for opening day at ALTA

And a little of this.

Oh yes, this is why I live in Utah

EPIC skiing on November 21st

Happy to be back playing in the Wasatch. It is teeing up to be an unforgettable season.

Adventure Time!

Summer Fishing

Three months on a 58′ fishing boat with four other people. Enduring rough weather, long work days, and brutal physical labor. This is how I spent my summer. It paid off in more ways than one, and I reaped the benefits of being thrown into a “figure it out or suffer” kind of situation. The life lessons and moments of self recognition that birthed from my experience are the greatest gifts for which I could have asked. I finally understand what my dad meant when he urged me to come work for him by promising it would better every aspect of my life, “It will even make you a better skier” he would say. And, well, I’m glad I fell for it.

 

F/V Atlantis

 

We spent the last half of June and most of July fishing for sardines out of the mouth of the Columbia River. The perilous Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous crossings on the planet, we do it twice a day.

 

 

Axel opening the back hatches.

Axel opening the back hatches after a day of fishing for sardines

 

At the end of July we made the seven day trek up to Prince William Sound, Alaska. The fishing was at an all time high and the views were breathtaking. Four weeks of salmon fishing and only a couple days on land, this trip made my whole summer.

 

Rolling 5,000 lbs of salmon on board

 

 

 

We were surrounded by snow capped mountains and, naturally, icebergs

 

Although few and far between, we do have down days. We like to follow the “work hard, play harder” philosophy.

 

Dylan turned our tie-up line into a slack line

 

 

 

Backflips into the harbor

 

 

A little whiskey at the hot springs

 

After another seven day journey across the Gulf of Alaska and down the coast, we jumped straight into Sockeye Salmon fishing in the San Juan Islands. A couple weeks of Sockeye, a couple more weeks of Sardines, and we were DONE.

A summer well spent.