chutes and brothers...

I had one hell of a December with deaths and illness rampant in my life.  January turned into a winterless Wasatch, and concentrating on making deals and greasing the wheels.  All that hard work is starting to pay off now, and the snow in the Wasatch has cooperated with us a little bit more as well.  

 ^The Snowbasin death cloud was in full effect bright and early the other morning.  Even though the storms haven't made their way over the basin enough lately you can still count on the morning death cloud.  When certain conditions persist she lingers silently tearing through the rocky peaks.

^However, once the cloud burns off we get bluebird surprises like this.  Ben Geiger and I were pleasantly surprised with this little discovery.  Right in the middle of the resort we can still find freshness amidst the masses.  Hiding in plain sight always works.

^Ben and I hiked up through the breaking cloud to the peaks to get into some rocky chutes in order to get the blood pumping a little.  Conditions still do not warrant ripping big and fast lines, but billy goating in some steep chutes does the trick.  Slow and technical is plenty of fun until the powder comes back around.  Fingers crossed.

^The views from the peaks alone are worth the walk,...

^...but the gnarly down is still what it's all about.

^Ben is deep in the belly of this beast, and into no-turn-around territory.  Billy goating in chutes is not what we would prefer, but what can you do.  Ski the best that mother nature has to offer, and cool hairball chutes are what is going on right now.  I will take them.  Hiking and skiing these technical lines is a challenge that is perfect for me right now.  I still have to get into shape for the heavy part of the season.  

^This is how we roll in the northern Wasatch.  Lonely.

^After a few days billy goating with Ben, the good old boys rolled into town.  It was some what of a reunion of sorts.  A bunch of my old college buddies all came in, and we skied up Snowbasin like the old days.  There was a good showing of the old ski bros from my days at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.  We all grew up a lot in these mountains, and cut our big mountain teeth together.  It was a real treat to get to rip it up with all of them again.  Rob, Greg, Porter, Zach, Ben and myself were all getting after it like we were 20 years old again.  The conditions were not the best, but the skiing was still pretty hot.  All of these guys are still top-notch skiers, and we fell right into our old ripping routines amongst all the same lines we used to challenge each other into all those years ago.

^Greg is dropping in front of the bro-bra gallery.  High fives and smiles were being passed around like cold beers in the parking lot.  These guys are a big part of why I was able to have the opportunity to do what I am doing now.  Some of these guys were co-founders of Vertical Integration with me.  All of them were pivotal in helping me learn to ski the mountains, and progress to a level that gave me the skills to pursue a pro skiing career.  I am deeply grateful to each of them for being the kind of lifelong friends that builds a person up.  I would never be able to pursue the life I am leading without guys like these riding with me along the way like family.  I learned my trade alongside these guys, and I can never thank them enough for that.  Life and death situations and risky calls have a way of making friends into bros.  We went through the ups and downs of the backcountry together learning the ways of these great mountains, as well as life.  I am stoked that each of them could set aside some time in their now busy adult lives to get together and allow me to wear out the 80's cliche, "the boys are back in town."
^Rob edited up this shorty of his GoPro footage further wearing out the 80's cliche, "the boys are back in town". Bam, that is right.