Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One Run off a Snowcat

Date: February 20, 2009
Location: Powder Mountain, UT
Featuring: Just Me (Jake Kirshner)

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One run off the Lighting Ridge cat skiing at Powder Mountain in Ogden area of Utah. The run I ran in this video is off James Peak which is actually about a 20m hike or so from where the cat drops you off. I hiked it because I'm a man.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gelande Quaffing World Championships: Take Two

It's that time of year again. Gelande Quaffing season. And this Thursday marks the second World Championships of the World in Jackson Hole. The masters of the sport will converge on the Wyoming ski town armed with lightening-fast reflexes, unquenchable thirsts, and beer guts honed from years of training.

"My massage therapist tells me that she can identify an athlete's sport just by looking at the form of his body," said Jeff Wogoman of Cloudveil, the event's sponsor. "She can see one of these champion athletes from all the way down the street she just knows that they're quaffers. Either that or crusty, beer swilling, part-time working ski bums. It's quite amazing, actually."

The sport was born in 1986, fathered by the infamous Jackson Hole Air Force at the Bear Claw Café in Teton Village.

It was resurrected last year. Thank god. entered a team in the 2008 tournament, but unfortunately, we got our frothy mugs handed to us by Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Mont. (That's ok. We're smarter and better looking.) The corps of talented athletes from the original Big Sky team will be back this year to defend their coveted title.

The beta:

Gelande Quaffing World Championships
Deck of the Village Café, Teton Village
Thursday February 26th
First round starts at 4:20

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Friday, February 20, 2009

High Pressure Pow

Well, the high and dry has set in up north in British Columbia, which means it has been dumping down south. I don't mind so much, because it means its time to get back into the alpine and ski the BIG lines in more stable snow. When things set up right, you can really tuck your way up into the mountains inhospitable nooks and crannies, and do some amazing skiing.

Here is a video from last week of me and a bunch of skiers from the Reno area...enjoy!

If you are really wasting time on the internet you can check out the rest of my posts at

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Jeremy Jones re-signs with O'neill Athlete Jeremy Jones, the freeriding legend, has pledged his future to O’Neill, who continue to support the big mountain rider in his continual quest to explore and push the boundaries of freeriding around the planet.

Jeremy who has been with O’Neill for the past nine years has signed a contract for another five years, with the option thereafter to continue as either a professional rider or a brand ambassador.

“I am super stoked to continue working with O’Neill,” said Jeremy. “In the past few years we’ve started to do some amazing things together and I look forward to evolving the relationship. The launch of the Jones Experience and O’Neill’s involvement with Protect Our Winters are just two examples of what lies ahead.”

Jeremy and O’Neill come together in a natural fit. The brand responsible for inventing the first wetsuit is dedicated to exploring ways to enhance every rider’s experience within nature.

Jeremy Jones has spent the last 12 years traveling the world in search of the ultimate line.

He has achieved over one hundred first descents, formed an intimate relationship with the best mountain ranges in the world, become the most filmed snowboarder in the world and won the last eight ‘Big Mountain Rider of the Year’ awards.

“We are very excited to have Jeremy re-sign with us,” says Eppo van Berckelaer, O’Neill Global Marketing Manager. “His passion matches our philosophy. O’Neill is dedicated to supporting Jeremy in his mission to go further and find the more challenging rides and faces that he is always dreaming of.”

As part of the partnership, O’Neill will continue to support Protect Our Winters, POW, the non-profit organisation that Jeremy formed in 2007 to focus on environmental initiatives which will help fight global warming and help save our winters.

In addition Jeremy will continue to be involved with product development, bringing his experience and knowledge into O’Neill’s snow collection. The first season of the Jeremy Jones Experience Line is being launched at ispo next week, and will continue to grow. The line has incorporated Jeremy’s needs and desires in backcountry riding to provide some of the best performance wear in the industry.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nimbus Independent's En Route-Japan

Our friend Gary Winberg from Nimbus Independent and Spacecraft checking in with a very very cool new webisode-

Hey Fellas,

I hope this email finds you doing well. Just wanted to drop a quick note and let you know we just released our latest webisode, En Route - Japan, along with a new website at: Check it out if you have some free time, hope you enjoy the vision we are trying to share with the ski industry. Please spread the word to your ski friends and community.

It's best viewed if you download the HD version, although it's a slightly hefty file size at around 800 mb.




Monday, February 16, 2009

Zipfit - Are You Drinking the Koolaid?

I'm not sure why I was so reluctant to replace my ski boots, especially considering that I've pretty much hated them from the very beginning. Most likely, I dreaded the time-consuming boot fitting and figured it would be more miserable than simply dealing with my pathetic old boots. But today I finally reached the limit of my patience and stormed down to Christy's Sports in search of Steve Bagley himself. Steve is a Salt Lake boot fitting legend, and I figured if anyone could find something appropriate for my callus laden, bone-spurred, too wide at the ball, too narrow at the heel, high arched, Cinderella's ugly step-sister feet, then it was probably Earl. Long story short, he and Jason, a co-worker at Christy's, were able to set me up nicely in a pair of DalBello Storms.

During this lengthy process, I was truly amazed by the rabid Zipfit adoration of not only the boot fitters but also a majority of the customers in the shop. Jason had suggested that I consider a Zipfit liner, and I'd casually responded that "they look a little gimmicky to me". The moment I uttered the words, a hush fell over the shop, and I had the distinct impression that I was about to be mauled. Everyone surrounding me suddenly loomed as zealous born-again Zipfitters prepared to condemn me for my blaspheme. I quickly backed down and after much schooling in Zipfit lore, I gave in and ponied up for a pair.

They don't come cheap -- at Christy's they range from about $300-$450, but my options were quite clear -- convert or be sacrificed to the snow gods. I opted to Zipfit. Unfortunately, my epic fitting session ended just after the lifts closed, and I won't yet have a chance to report as to the extent of my true believer-ed-ness. So, I'll check back in as soon as I can head up to the Bird again. 'Till then, if you've problem feet like myself, you might well check out these puppies. I for one am hoping everyone else is right and that they truly are the path to ski boot enlightenment.

********** Update **********

I am officially converted-- skied in the morning and found the liners to be both responsive and surprisingly comfortable. Now to convince BC to start carrying them! I should also mention that you can generally demo boots to determine which fits the best (and then buy them on Backcountry when they have great sales like the recent President's Day Sale).


Ullr, Will You Be My Valentine?

Just a few quick photos from Snowbird on Valentine's day during some awesome shredding.

I am going to post some photos from a mission to Telluride I did last weekend-

Kris, not letting his shoulder injury keep him down

I show off the top of my helmet

Kris doing his best not to swing his arms like a madman

I find some random pillows



Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Big LePowski and Black Diamond Proudly Present:

First Annual Big LePowSki USA- To Benefit the Billy Poole Fund and Winter Wildlands

The First Annual BigLePowSki event is aimed at all of the freeskiers out there who sell out the ski movie premiers, who pray for snow, who lick their lips at fresh tracks, who read Powder cover to cover, BUT, who don’t have the cash to head to AK and pay for the pricey pro athlete-hosted ski camps and clinics. These are the skiers and riders who aren’t competing in the comps, but who can only imagine taking a run with the pros they watch in hi-def and see in the glossy magazine ads. This event invites the everyday season pass holder, weekend warrior, off-piste skier or après ski enthusiast to do what they love most in wintertime, with their favorite rock star ski athlete.

The Big LePowSki is a weekend of on-snow education, clinicing, and freeriding; off-snow libations, PBR toasting and ski movie watching; all with some of the most influential athletes in the snowsport industry today. The event is open to the masses and includes no competitions.

The goal of the Big LePowSki is to touch the freeskier audience in a way that is unforgettable and empowering; and to celebrate the freeride lifestyle by skiing fun terrain by day and toasting the turns at night.

Tentative Run of Show:
Thursday, February 26th- WWA Film Premier at Brewvies
7pm- Showing with tables for set – up

Friday, February 27h
6pm- 10pm – Sign up party – Black Diamond Equipment HQ
- Meet and greet with attending athletes, share some beers, sign up for clinics and watch ski movie (TBD)
- Athlete meeting prior to give run down of what is expected and code of conduct with skiers

Sat. February 28th
6 am- Set up time, meeting at Brighton Ski resort, booths, demos, free stickers
9 am – Start of morning clinics, check in and hand out lift tickets
- Clinics-
12 pm – BBQ – BD sponsored burgers, sodas, beers, grill up-
1 pm – Start of Afternoon clinics
- Clinics -
Q and A on hill with the skiers while skiing
4 pm – Beers and pong signup – showing off of auction items
5 pm – Breakdown and cleanup-

Sat. Night-
- 8:30 pm at the Woodshed- poster signing with Sage, Chris, Brett etc
- Band, beers specials and pong tournament in the back
- Auctions and raffles of gear
- Band shuts things down- Band would be 80’s and or 90’s cover band,
List of Clinics-
- Assess and ski steep terrain-
- Women’s specific how to ski steep ski/freeheel-
- Air Awareness 101 -
- Women’s specific air awareness 101 -
- How to throw a 360-
- Safely drop a cliff-
- Properly slide a rail
- Advanced air tricks-
- Assess good backcountry travel –
- Properly Film your friends-
- Pick a line and ski it –
- Drop a cliff on freeheel –
- Spin a 360 freeheel
- How to link freeheel turns –
- How to Step out of your comfort level -
- Freeski 101 -
Avy beacon search area-
Safe Rail slides


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Swiss Peak athlete Gregg Hill getting after it-

When Chris mentioned that we should ski off Swiss peak, I was excited by the idea. In 04-05 Troy Jungen and I skied this line and were treated with deep powder turns down the 3000 foot north face. Starting off at 50' and holding steep for its entire length this alpine line is one of the most proud in the pass, it also the longest run in Roger's Pass, a whopping 7700 feet from summit to road. You can see how easily it would be to get excited about a run like this.

We awoke early and made it to Roger's Pass by 7:20 and were touring by 7:40. Doug led a ferocious pace, we flew up through the trees, across the glacier and we were bootpacking up the chute in no time. Hard south facing melt freeze crust. perfect. By 12:20 we were on the summit.

We hung out and enjoyed our lunch and then began to ski down the North face. Hoping for light and fluffy powder we were rewarded with inconsistent styrofoam. Though we were dissapointed, the lack of avalanche danger made our position that much more enjoyable.

And what a position, the consistency of this face is unbelievable, it starts steep and stays steep. Awesome.The footage I got today was great and will give me enough to make another Skin flick.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cloudveil Skid Cribs

Are you dirtbag and proud? Can you prove it?

is ISO the most convincing Skid Crib vid so it's time to throw down. Shoot your own home (literally) video and email the embed to Then leave it up to the people to decide if you are the one true champion, deserving of a Cloudveil get-up (head to ankle), a pair of Dynastar Legend Pro skis, Look bindings, and a year free of Powder Mag. Check the rules here, and let us know how it goes.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Telemark: Norwegian for 'Hey guys, wait up!' athlete Nick Devore really isn't that funny. But he can ski real good.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

High Pressure High Routes

Some folks in Salt Lake City see the high pressure on the weather map, hold their breath and hang up their skis. Others like Andrew McLean charge 10 in 10 days, or myself, I try and get after some longer higher tours that I haven't done in a while, especially since I live in British Columbia these days! Back home in BC, the storms are rolling in, with lots of weak layers being preserved by the more northerly colder temper regime (I am snow geeking out here!). But part of the beauty of the high desert is the strong high pressures and rapid stabilization of the snowpack in these warmer temperatures.

Blah blah blah. You can log on to the Utah Avalanche Center website, and see for yourself, the decreasing avalanche danger. Not that it is fully greenlight out there right now (is it ever?), but things are pretty good and I am slowly building my confidence in the snowpack here and ramping up some tours in some bigger areas.

Sunday we started off with a tour from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Mill Creek via Reynolds Peak, the Wilson Chutes and Gobbler's Knob. Lots of ridge walking in the sun, and great settled, soft and consistent powder on the north facing shots. With a car stashed in Mill Creek, we got to ski out over 4,000' down the NW side of Gobbler's in amazing snow as well. I'll let the google earth image and the photos do the rest of the talking.

Google Earth image with our tour drawn in

Walking along Gobbler's Knob Summit Ridge

Richard drops into the Wilson Chutes

Looking 4,500' down the last run of the day to Porter Fork!

Today (Monday) we decided to tackle the crown jewel of the Wasatch, Mt. Superior, with some skiing in Cardiac Bowl and a long and beautiful ski out Mineral Fork. We went for the long ascent of the East Ridge of Superior for the added ski mountaineering aspect of the day and summit climb. Once again some great north facing settled powder and some billy goating on ridges and entrances so we can sneak into Mineral Basin where hardly anyone had been. Maps and photos will give you the full picture instead of my babbling...

The East Ridge of Superior. Classic.

Hiking up the East Ridge.

Dreamy and creamy turns down from the Summit of Superior.

Poking around to find the entrance into Mineral Fork

Mineral Fork void of tracks

Some more google earth images of the tour. I think red was up and blue lines were down!

Get out there and enjoy it while you can, I have 4 more days until I head back up to the land of snow (Canada). The weather forecast says atleast 2 more days of high pressure here in Salt Lake though...hmmmm.

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