two beautiful days...

The winterless Wasatch has made for a very different existence for me.  Usually, I can get so much done right in my own backyard.  This year I have had to travel.  I have been all over the show.  Finally, timing and a relatively decent snowpack came together while I was home at Snowbasin, Utah.  Needless to say, I was thankful.  Not so needless to say was that it was a pair of days that makes the all time list.  All sorts of factors lingered throughout the day, but it seemed that at every opportunity things went our way.

^Ben Geiger was able to take care of some business from the gondola.  Meanwhile, Tony Gill and I surveyed the plentiful powder turns.  The gondolas of Snowbasin are a blessing for a variety of reasons.     

^Windslabs were one factor that was on the top of our list.  Thankfully, we found that concern to not be as dyer as we thought it could possibly be.  Throughout the day we stepped up our tests and slopes.  

^This guy put in a nice slope test for us on this northeast slope.  It held up.  I was posted up waiting for light on Tony and Ben's lines when this stranger took this huck.  It was good to see everything hold up well for him.  It is not a decision maker, but it is a bit more comforting.

^Beautiful telemark turn from Tony Gill above Needles Lodge at the top of Snowbasin.

^Tony hucking into one of our favorite pow stashes in the middle of Snowbasin.  The entrance is a bit sketchy so it gets left alone rather often.  Good news for us.  Sweet line for Tony.

^Ben gets his too.

^So does Wes Knopfel in this photo when we started to ramp things up a bit.  We ramped up the slopes we were pushing throughout the two days.  Wes came out for day two, and took part in an epic morning.  In this photo he is on the exit of his line that was so good looking.  Things worked out so well these two days that I really can't show all too much.  The footage and photos will all be a part of my Telemark Skier Magazine projects, so I can't blow out the scenes.  

^Okay, here is a little tease...

^...and a little more.  I was fortunate to have a good crew to operate in dangerous terrain with, and everything went off without a hitch.  Tony Gill, Ben Geiger, Wes Knopfel and I were blessed with some good days and some great conditions in some godly terrain.  I was running cameras for the whole two day shoot, but I was just as stoked as everyone else in the group.  I skied some good lines myself and we were finally getting some good work done in the Wasatch.  It felt like it was supposed to.  At the noon hour of day two the sun did it's work on the area.  It started to get too hot for safe backcountry travel, and so we were out of there.  Even though it went well for us for just barely two days, it was indeed a really good two days of safe backcountry crushing with some good ski tour partners.  I am thankful for them, all of them.   

Norway. What can I say?

Norway.  I could tell the whole story and never give the experience enough justice.  The people were generous and kind to us as perfect strangers.  Morgedal is the birth place of a man and a lifestyle that my own path has obvious connections to.  My time there was powerful, enlightening, overwhelming, and I am in deep appreciation for all of it.  The Telemark Skier Magazine crew for this trip was Kjell Ellefson, Kate Hourihan, Josh Madsen and myself.  We worked ourselves hard to get done all of the projects that we went to Norway to accomplish.  As such, I will not go into grave detail of the trip.  I will do my job to promote the products of our labors to be seen this fall in our magazine issues and our movie.  I will let the pictures do most of the talking.    
^Getting there.

^...and getting there.

^Arrival.  Sondre Norheim's humble beginnings.

^Our cabin, 58 steps away.

^The view from said cabin.  Much more vast then the walk to Sondre's birthplace.

^One fateful night with the crew from Poland.

^One barely 21 year old smile.

^Leads to things like this.

^Quant, but cool as hell.

^Beat that.  Didn't think so.

^Local legend.

^Another one.  Carving traditional wooden skis.

^Our second place later in the week.  Old farmhouse that was really a fabulous place.  I felt like I was amidst some crazy time travel between these two super authentic spots.

^Kate and I joined a posse of internationals on a nice long tour.

^Despite tough conditions the group's spirits were as high and vast as the views.

^The dog was stoked too.

^Obvisously, so was I.

^Gotta shoot it.

^Really uniquely undulating terrain.  Of course, I am picturing all of this with a freshener of snow.  Drooling over the potentials.  Gorgeous.

^Classic lookout.

^Kate getting served up.

^Hamish Moore, the man behind the curtain that is responsible for our whole trip offers up a fitting toast for the peak salute.  

^Kate's turn for a classic lookout.  

^Magic, from Poland, took a chance to get a photo with Kate out on the lake.

^While the sun went down on the day.

^Saturday was race day.

^All ages came out to rip.

^As well as cheer on the others.

^All really young tele skiers too.  Really young.

^TSM's Josh Madsen just about to make his outside move.

^It worked.  He is stoked.

^The polish crew.  Rafal, Misheck, Asha, and Magic.  I am grateful to have been able to meet this bunch.  They were the life of the parties.  The embodied the soul of Sondre.  I was touched by their sincerity and generosity.  People like these are the real magic behind our sport.   

^These younger people are the future.  Looks good to me.

^The world's longest skis.  Kate is hoping they come in women's sizes.

^The big party.

^Our new friends, Baard and his wife, Magnhild, getting down with it.

^Magic and Kjell telling fish stories.

^Baard got shy Kate to loosen up.  After that flying beer can from a local fist fight did most of the work.  She took it well, and rallied strong.  Besides, the party was too good to resist anyway.  

^Also, a dance with the Magic man would cheer anyone up.   

^Madsen can't believe it.  What a sick party, and he didn't even have a drink.  Good thing because he had to drive the rest of us home.  I learned that the local boys love to fight each other, but no one bothered us.  Besides the wayward beer can that struck Kate from somewhere in the back.  Other then that, everyone else just wants to have a really great time.  So we did.

^The next day we road tripped it over to Rottefella's cabin in Rjukan.

^Beautiful place.

^And view of Gaustentoppen.

^Lars and Torstien making us dinner.  Great guys.  Pretty good cooks too.  

^Gaustentoppen.  Deep in the heart.  

^Lars and Torstien during the tram travel up through the mountain.

^Tunnel to the doors outside.  

^The crew is making the last harsh hike to the top of the former top secret NATO base.  This cold war outpost was hidden from the public since the 50's and I am not gonna devulge anymore because Kate is working so hard on a feature about it for one of our magazine issues this fall.

^Kjell, instagraming.

^Josh filming.

^Everyone blown away.

^Me too.

^The cold war radio tower used to spy on the Russians.  

^The potential lines I was spying on.

^As well as over 1/8th of Norway.  

^We shuttled it down to Drammen to watch Kjell's brother, Sylan, compete in the World Cup Nordic Sprints.  Brotherly love.  I can dig it.

^This was like the Super Bowl.  It was a truly extraordinary experience that I was really excited to have been able to see.  Sylvan and his teammate Mike were really nice guys too.  It was nice to pal around with some americans for a little bit.

^These guys are animals.  I am inspired by their strength and incredible endurance.  I never really appreciated as much as when I got to actually see it in person.  Stout athletes for sure.

^The very last day Sondre delivered his homestead a foot of fresh snow.  We drove through the night to catch it.

^And we did.

^Our sunrise session was a mission to get it done, and fast.  The day was gonna cook so we didn't have much time.

^After nailing the shot, Kate awaits further instruction.

^The sunrise session in the fields of Overbo, Sondre's birthplace in Morgedal, was the perfect finish to a truly incredible trip.  Again, I need to thank Hamish Moore for all of his hard work and dedication.  Along with everyone else in Morgedal who he worked with.  They pulled off a fantastic event that resonated deep into the heart of this one particular guy who will be forever impacted by this telemark skier pilgrimage to where it all started.  All of it.  All of this.  All of me.