After about a month of skiing Taylor is out for the season. All the injuries in his back finally caught up to him and he ended up breaking his L5 and he has 3 herniated disks in his back. He has been doing acupuncture, and physical therapy to try to finally get this problem solved. For this edit we ended up getting into some new zones in Jackson that we have been looking at for 9 years. Finally the snow pack was stable enough to get there. Right now Austin and I are siting in a coffee shop in Pemebrton, BC and will be shooting with Elyse Saugsted for the next week and Cody Townsend and Toph will be up the following week.
With a definite lack of snow this year it was hard to put together our first episode. However, we where able to find some good stuff here in Jackson. Taylor has been plagued by injury and his back finally gave way. He has three herniated disks and a broken L5. He is out for the rest of the year so it is down to Austin and I meeting up with other athletes to try to continue shooting.
About two weeks ago Topher and I where nominated for line of the year and POV of the year for the powder awards. We missed line of the year by 3 votes, but we did come home with POV of the year. Was a very nice surprise for both of us.
As we all know the lower 48 did not produce much snow this year. However, the pacific north west continued to get hammered all year. We decided to head that way and give it a shot.
It was a very slow start to the season as mother nature was not too active in Wyoming until now. The Run Around made the most of a long overdue Jackson storm, here is what we whipped up.
Here is a little Go Pro edit from the beginning of February of Taylor and I. This winter got off to a real slow start and now that we do have some snow we have had a bit of an avalanche problem. We have been filming with both Two Plank productions and the local guys from KGB here in Jackson. So far all has been good and we just need more snow and a little bit more stability.
This latest video documents the first half of the The Run Around’s journey to Canada. After several attempts at different borders the crew was forced to leave behind the half of the team who were on Canada’s “naughty list.” The remaining members, Austin, Taylor, and Topher chose Nelson, BC for their first destination, relying on local beta and a bit of exploration to find the goods. Stay tuned for footage from the second half of this trip.
The boys were back at it in some secrets spots in the Jackson backcountry. Yet again, mother nature was keeping it interesting with some early morning starts and a fair amount of window shopping for the sun. All part of the game when dealing with the winter weather. As you can see in the video the snow was super deep and quite stable, two things that really put a smile on the crew’s faces. Many more webisodes from the season are still to come.
With the criminals in the group headed to Cooke City Montana to shoot, the “good kids” of the group were ready to get part one of the mission underway. First stop: Nelson, BC.
We had no local connection in the area, so it was more of an exploratory endeavor. Lucky for us, the stigma of Canadians being overly welcoming is true. Most of the zones that had the best skiing were found solely from gathering local beta. Whether it was from the local hardware store employee, gas station attendant, or fellow sled neck enthusiast, all the info was solid. Even though at times some of the directions we received required implementing more of a “guess and test” technique. We did pretty well considering the endless kilometers of unmarked logging roads in the area. Unfortunately the weather was not fully cooperative with us (as would be the theme for the whole trip) most of the days consisted of grey skies with valley rain and mountain flurries. In fact, it almost seemed like the clouds were playing games with us the whole time. They would open up long enough for us to get a visual of the massive, picturesque lines in the high alpine that were begging for someone to put tracks down them. And it would stay open long enough to convince us that it would be a worthwhile to attempt hiking to the summit to ski and shoot them. Then of course, just when we get to the top, they would roll in stronger and thicker than before. Despite our relentless game of cat and mouse with the clouds, we were still able to find some great snow in the smaller mini-golf areas that offered us some treed visibility during the numerous cloudy days.
A week went by pretty fast, as they tend to do when you’re putting in 12 plus hour days of sled-skiing and exploring areas new to us. And with no foreseeable break in the coming days forecast, along with the groups collective ADD hitting the rev limiter, we made the difficult decision to relocate. So we packed up our house on wheels, said goodbye to Mrs. Kline of Kline’s RV Park, and put in a 12-hour push west to the Pemberton/Whistler area. At first the new location did not treat us kind, plague by 3 consecutive days of uncooperative weather, it may seem like i am whining, but three days of sitting in the trailer can take a real toll on an overly active personality. By day two we were all placing bets on who would be the first to turn into Jack Nicholson in The Shining. For some reason the odds seemed to be against me.
Travelling is indeed a wonderful gift, however, there are times when you second-guess the time spent on the road and off the hill because of uncontrollable factors. When you’re dealing with a limited budget and time frame, the overall goal of being as productive as possible takes priority in your decision-making. I had to constantly keep reminding myself of all the hype I had heard about this place from friends in the ski community to help justify the time and money being invested in relocating. To quote my buddy Cody Townsend, “if you want big-lines, definitely, definitely, definitely, go to Pemberton and be prepared to be amazed!” Sure enough, on day four when the weather turned for the better, I was just that.
We were extremely fortunate to have met up with Jon Johnson, a living legend in the Pemby area, who has had numerous appearances in ski movies over the years. I’m not sure what we would had done without Jon acting as our guide, Austin, Taylor and I could barely keep our sleds on the trail because we were gawking at all the massive peaks and endless lines shrouding us. Jon’s knowledge of the area is incredible, he and his late ski partner Jack Hannah have dedicated numerous years to exploring the area, using maps and Google Earth to suss out how to get on top of these monster peaks.
Mother Nature was kind enough to grace us with two consecutive days of sunshine and we took full advantage, with a 5 and 4am wakeup to hit the goods. Day one was an abrupt transition to say the least, we went from sitting on our butts for three day to standing on top of a 2000 foot line that took all but 3 minuets to get on top of with a sled. This themed continued for two days of great snow, huge lines and sun, leaving the crew totally exhausted and smiling for days later.
In hindsight I am not too sure the trip to Pemberton was the healthiest thing for me. Yes, I was able to ski the longest most impressive sled-skiing terrain of my life, but now I’m left wanting more and more. It’s safe to say that Pemberton has not seen the last of The Run Around!