Been getting after it lately?

Why yes we have.  It has been a busy couple of weeks for me and the VI crew.  After Austria I got that nasty flu for a week, Zach's knee was banged up, and Jon crashed his car.  We were a little low on karma I think from using up so much in Austria.  This all took us some time to regroup and get back to life in our realities.  So after some settling time we were hard presseed to find some goods.  However, that all changed one Tuesday morning when we absolutely killed it in Malan's Basin skiing three laps in Bowl to Bowl and a sunset finish in The Burn to the car out on 27th.  It was the first great filming day we had since we had gotten back from Austria.  Then the Ydream boys came over the pond to our side and crashed landed with me in the middle of a good old fashioned Utah dump, Alta style.  The whole week we sessioned Alta powder and one lucky day we found some bluebirds out in Wolverine Cirque and got some great shots including two super gnarly lines from Zach and Dylan Crossman.  Always love going to Wolvy.  We got some really great pow filming and a bit of bluebird lines so we are happy with what we got out of the trip.  
Just last night I got back from the U.S. Nationals Freeheel Extreme Championships in Crested Butte.  I was stoked to come away with a 3rd place podium finish and also bring home the coveted Sickbird Award for a 40+ foot lincoln loop off of "Hamburger Cliff" front row center for the crowd in the finals on Saturday afternoon.  I made some more cash for my next adventure up to Alaska for the World Championhips and a helicopter film and photo trip down to Valdez with TGP.  I am back for just a few days until I have to get packed for that one.  My folks and bro will be up there which will be the first time I will have seen them since Christmas time this year.  My girl, Christine, is staying home with Murphy and slaving at work while I'm gone, but she will have some girlfriends coming to visit from Wisco for her birthday.  So all is well and we are all still relatively healthy, so onward.

Sweetgrass Productions is sooooo sweet....

So I just received this teaser from Nick Waggoner of Sweetgrass Productions.  I first met Nick at the OR Tradeshow this year at the Karhu booth where he showed me this teaser, and I flipped for it.  I personally am not in this movie but we are talking now to try to hook up some shooting later this season.  Regardless of my involvement, this teaser and the movie look really sick and I am very impressed with the artistry of the film.  I hope you all like it as much as I do, and if you do please go check out their site at :  Here is a little blurb from Nick that kind of runs down what the flick is all about:   

"The British Columbia Teaser blends the hand-fired days of the Canadian Pacific steam trains with blower skiing on Rogers Pass and Revelstoke."

"From these early railroad days to the miners of Colorado's San Juan mountains, Hand Cut will convey the rugged, calloused-hand history of North American mountains. The film will focus on the purity of backcountry travel, blending self-propelled skiing with the rugged western history. DVD release September 2008, and check out the site for our tour dates."

touring with a ghost...

The other day VI's Ben Geiger and myself got the opportunity to go out with a friend of ours that is an observer from the Utah Avalanche Center.  This guy would probably rather remain nameless because that is the kind of individual he is.  He showed us some new terrain in our own backyard that we have been salivating over for years.  This guy is super secretive and he took us to a stash that he made us promise never to reveal to anyone else, ever.  He showed us around the area, how to navigate it, and how to play it safe in this super burly terrain.  He basically gave us the keys to the city on this one and I for one am very grateful.  It was a really great experience to get out with him because not only is he really knowledgeable about the terrain, but he is an extremely keen avalanche observer that I feel like I can learn a lot from.  It was interesting to tour with him because not only did he lead really good routes, but he also did it in such a way that most people would never even be able to tell that we were ever there.  It was like touring with a ghost.  He prefers it this way not only because he doesn't want to give away his stashes, but also because he doesn't want "Gomers" to follow his tracks into really hairy terrain that could get them killed.  This is often a problem in our local mountains because ignorant people will see a track and just follow it like, "hey there are some tracks out to that untouched stuff out there, lets follow them!"  and then, "crack" they get gobbled up in a huge slide and all is over but the crying.  I am very appreciative of this ghost showing us around and teaching us how to navigate these areas safely with proper backcountry etiquette.  It is guys like these that I look up to for this kind of knowledge and experience.  I feel like I have a lot to learn from this particular ghost, and I am looking forward to getting out with him more and soaking up everything he has to teach.  Thanks ghost.