All Good in Low Tide

Low Tide. It is a catchy phrase in the ski world to explain thin coverage. As in, no snow. It is a problem for a variety of reasons. The obvious coverage concerns, but the future avalanche implications also become paramount with new storms. As I write this, Northern Utah just received those new storms, and the avalanche curtains are indeed coming down out there. The low tide conditions leading into these storms was long and difficult, but I tried my best to make the best use of it I could. Despite all the glorious photos and Instagram posts there is actually a tiresome amount of work involved in what I do. I have to do it all at some point. So when the snowpack is thin, I might as well catch up on office work, training, scouting terrain, and holidays... oh yeah... holidays.

^I am a backcountry ski guide with Ogden, Utah based,

Western Roll

Working my rookie lumberjack muscles all summer and early this fall had my right shoulder and left elbow in a world of hurt. Thankfully I had a break in the forest clearing to take care of some business and family affairs back in the western rockies again. My kids had some doctor appointments, I had to check up on my rental properties, I had some strategic partner meetings, and I also wanted to ride my mountain bike in the mountains again. 

^My wife and kids and I throttled down across the Great

All Work, No Play... Kind Of

It has been a busy summer for me. With all sorts of new developments in my life the pace has gotten really fast. I am furthering my backcountry ski guiding work in preparation for winter, diversifying into summer outdoor industry guiding work, running rentals, and clearing my 17-acre property in rural Wisconsin. I have a lot of work on my hands, but it suits me. Fortunately for me, even though I work a lot, my work involves some elements of what most people consider play so I guess it's not exactly all work and no play entirely.

^As I talked about in my last post my latest home remodel projects in

Shape Up, and Ship Out

My wife, Christine, and I are both from the same small town in southeast rural Wisconsin. In both of our families, we each are among the few that have left the area. We had always planned on having a small family and moving back to our hometown again some day. Many years ago now I started scouring the property real estate market back there for a nice chunk of our hometown's woods and hills. I found one a couple years ago that suited our needs, and we bought it. Over the years I have slowly begun to clear the land and do the research of what will work to eventually build a small country home there. After our first-born son's battle with childhood cancer, Christine and I felt the pull to our hometown and our families begin tugging at our heart strings more then ever. The timeline accelerated, and before I knew it I was calling a hometown life-long friend, who is a general contractor, to help me get ready to eventually build a house on the property that I was still a long ways away from having cleared. I had to rush a bit to finish my latest home remodel project in Ogden, Utah to get everything in order. I managed to wrap that up pretty quickly with the help of a really good local mud and taper. Just as the heat of the Utah summer was really starting to come on we packed up and hit the road back to Wisconsin. However, we aren't moving back this trip. We are just beginning the process of doing so over a period of time now with intention. With my line of work in the winter it takes a certain amount of strategy to pull off a life in which my family would be base camped in a rural corner of Wisconsin. A corner rather far removed from the mountain ranges of America. As such, we planned be in Wisconsin for a few months as I work the property as well as the local outdoor recreation market that is growing rapidly in the area. I am launching a new website and guide service there for the local outdoor recreation. I have a lot of work to do to get ready for this adjustment in home base, but my wife and I have a plan. We'll be returning to Utah for winter as I will need to shore-up all of my winter business and rental properties there to also be ready for the new home base. At one point in our discussions my wife said to me, "You are gone all winter long in mountains around the world all winter. What difference does it make if you are traveling from Utah, or traveling from Wisconsin." She was right. It hadn't occurred to me, but with a Snowbasin season pass with just 30 days on it come close of this season I realized that I was indeed traveling to vast mountain ranges everywhere else in the world to an extent that my family was at home in Utah without me rather often. Also without the kind of support our families in Wisconsin could offer my wife and our kids. So that's the plan. We were set to head back across the Great Plains to our hometown for a few months to clear land, and build up an outdoor recreation website and guide service there. Then we'll be cruising back again to Utah for the winter to shore-up all of my winter work in order for me to get ready to be able to continue to work in mountain ranges around the world all winter long while my family is home-based in a small country home on a tract of woods, hills, and wetlands in our little rural corner of Wisconsin. With the plan in place, my latest Ogden remodel set-up, and the work all laid out before us. The time had come to begin the march.  
^Before we shipped out we took the opportunity to have one more


Social media land in the ski world has a new favorite summer ski hashtag, #NotOverIt. As in, I am not tired of skiing, and I am going for it in the summer. I do personally love late spring and summer skiing for a variety of reasons. However, I must admit that the time does come when I am #OverIt, and I don't see that as a bad thing. 

^For one good reason that summer ski tours rule, the summer ski

4/20 Storm Cycle

In Northern Utah we always get a good cycle of cold spring storms just after most resorts close for the year. It is popularly known as the 4/20 storm cycle. This year that storm cycle came early, and stayed late. It began right around the 9th of the month and lasted late into April. I was able to take advantage of most of it, and it really made for a nice finish to the season. In March we had a lot of heat, so April seems to have made up for that. 

^My yard flamingo, Pink Floyd, is a ski bum institution in my circle for

Spring Sting

Mid-March in Utah is usually among the best time of year for good snow. Not this year. The sting of spring came early to the Wasatch. It also came with a lot of heat. So much heat that the phenomenal low elevation snowpack that we had vanished. 

^In an attempt to find the silver linings in everything I could

This Railroad Earth

I realize I have been absent from posting for quite some time, but I feel like it is understandable because my wife and I just had another baby. His name is Walt Robinson, and so far he is doing well. He is growing like a weed already, and Mom is recovering too. It has been a whirlwind, but the dust is beginning to settle somewhat. Enough for me to finally get a post up about a really cool weekend that transpired a while back by now. 

I spent the weekend in Salt Lake City with

Unusual in the Usuals

What started with what was once an unusual sight, traffic at Snowbasin, ended with some unusual ski lines. The traffic has become more of a usual occurrence, and I had thought that the day's tour with my oldest touring partner, Ben Geiger, was going to pan out similarly as well. However, we found some unusual situations in the usual places.

^Traffic. Once unusual. Now pretty usual. However, just like

Japan Expanse

I love the north island of Japan. I have been going to the Niseko area in January for nearly a decade by now, and I still find new things there every time I go. I am trying to host a trip there in the near future so I really wanted to expand my understanding of the area even more. I have a pretty dialed program there by now, but there is a lot of terrain there, and as I said, I find something new every time I go. I wanted to meet some new people in the area as well as further expand my network of friends there.   

^My little boy, Amos, loves to travel too, and he

Deep Transitions With Dad

My Dad and I often have long conversations about solving the world's problems. They can go pretty deep sometimes. I cherish these kinds of conversations with him. He is a wise man, and I am grateful to learn from him. He also taught me to ski when I was five years old. He taught me to ski powder when I was nine years old at Vail. He gave me the keys to the rig that has drove me to where I am today. I was able to return the favor a little with getting him into the backcountry and learning to tour in and around avalanche terrain. We typically stay on small slopes and short approaches, because it makes for a more enjoyable day as my Dad began touring when he was sixty years old. He says that he wishes he had found touring twenty-five years ago, and I just laugh and say that he was still too busy teaching me to ski in Wisconsin to have the time to get access and learn. He and my mom were married young and had kids pretty young too by today's standards. My dad never got to move out west and charge like many of his friends did. I am glad he can still take advantage of it now. "Better late then never" is what we always end up with when that topic comes up on the skin track. My dad came into town along with a big storm, and we got a chance to do some charging.  

^The moose at Snowbasin shows the morning's

Sunrise Special

Sunrise is a special time of day. The magical golden light only lasts a short while, but the glow casts a warmth on the morning despite the coldest of temperatures. This particular morning touring with my friends, Loren Griswold and Alex LeBlanc, was one of the coldest mornings of winter. Having started our day in the dark, the bitter cold bite as I changed from my street clothes to my ski gear penetrated straight to my bones. When we shoved off on the tour the blood started pumping and finally began to warm the bones to heal the bite of the cold. An hour later we were crested the ridge and the sun began to emerge over the distant peaks. 

^The sunrise had cast that