Blog: February 2012

2 things for me to be real happy about..

I recently signed with Arcteryx. So pumped to be supported by a company from Vancouver and obviously the gear is amazing. Really excited to work with everyone there and looking forward to trying to beat up their stuff.

Finally this weekend I was able to head out with some good friends and get some shooting done. I've missed a few sunny good days due to being at trade shows or a contest, and it seems like everytime I've been home it's been snowing (not that I mind) or the avalanche conditions aren't the greatest. Just hasn't been that good for getting out and shooting. So Sunday was able to head out with jeff and brendan keenan and jeff patterson. Along with a few friends on the videograss crew we were able to punch up into one of our favorite zones following a good storm. The avalanche conditions were somewhat touchy but allowed us to hit some features.

The clip above is from one of my favorite cliffs (and maybe a lot of other people's favorite as well) in the whistler backcountry called Sunset cliffs. They're somewhat famous in the whistler i guess. They face the sun from late afternoon on so the light is usually amazing but sometimes that ruins the landing, and when it is good it's usually hard to be there first. But when you get it the cliffs are soo fun.

Quite a few years ago Jon Cartright backside 360'd off the top of the cliff. Which in my eyes set the standard for that cliff, and has been rarely repeated. Hitting this cliff natural and spinning is really tough due to a fairly downhill takoff. Nevermind it's a good size drop as well.
For the past while I've been daydreaming about spinning a frontside 360 off the finger (first try in the video) as it has a somewhat reasonable takeoff for a natural hit. But i missed and the takeoff sorta avi'd out which made me start looking around and higher. I quickly decided a rebate off the top was in order. So back up I went and before I could really think about the downhill takeoff (or turning on my POV cam), I found myself dropping, spinning and stomping. I rode out yelling with both jeff's quickly joining in. But that's just the highlight of my day. Both jeff and Brendan definitely had their moments of awesome riding as well.
It's nearly the same feeling watching your friends land their tricks as it is for me to land mine. There's so much time prepping for a shot, missing and bailing, getting back up there, trying again. Getting cheered on or doing the cheering. It's awesome when it all finally works out.
Thanks for the good day boys, and thanks to Patterson for pushing the camera buttons. can't wait for the next time.


Mike Douglas (yeah that 'godfather of freestyle skiing and invented the twin tip ski" skier dude) called me up one day and said he wanted to go ride pow with me. of course I said OK. He happened to bring along a super fancy crazy video camera and you can see the results above near the end of the video.
Turns out Mike was just using me for the latest Whistler Blackcomb video. Never trust a skier. haha.

thanks for having me out Mike. The video is awesome and always a pleasure sharing turns with you.

Grand Daddy Couloir

"have you ridden this chute? it's called Grand Daddy Couloir and it's located around Banff somewhere.." one of my friends asked me a few weeks ago seeing a photo in a magazine (I lived in Banff for a while).
I said no and quickly found out where it was and had it on the hit list. Being located in Alberta I didn't really think the avalanche conditions would allow for a lucky one off mission, but it's good to have a list just in case. I was heading to Alberta for the Burton Canadian Open halfpipe contest so I planned an extra day just in case..

Friday, feb 3 6-930pm...
Burton Canadian Open halfpipe finals. I fell every run. it was awesome.

I'm quite sure this is my second run of the night in practise. how do I know? My first run I just did ollies and didn't grab, and my 3rd run I started dropping in switch on the other wall. So I only did 1 normal method all night, during my second warm up run. So this is it. photo:jeff patterson

Grand Daddy Chute

Previously in the week, I'd talked with my good friend Scott Gaffney about riding Grand Daddy Chute on Saturday following the contest. Seems I ate some horseshoes. They didn't work for the contest but for the couloir it sure did.
I was able to borrow a friend's splitboard and touring gear for the mission, which was great. Just had to put a little bit of time in to set up everything correctly and hope that I liked the board since the first turns on it were going to be in at the top of a 50 degree chute!
After the contest I got back to the hotel at 11pm and was in bed by 12 and ready for my 6am pick up.

Not having all my usual equipment (or kitchen) meant a few random stops for food and parking lot fixes that needed to be done. I felt like a one man gong show. Usually i'm really organized and quick to go touring, but having borrowed everything...

scott gaffney, headband stylist.

thankfully scott is one of my testers and had his k2 Panoramic that i could pose with.

Finally having gotten my stuff together we were off for the few hours of touring to get to the chute. Having been absolutely beautiful and the avalanche conditions being perfect for a few days, we weren't really surprised to see tracks coming out of the chute. But half the chute was totally fresh and the previous group hadn't made it past the crux of the climb so we pressed onwards.

Can't really blame the previous crew for not making it past the crux as it got fairly steep and well, you wouldn't want to fall. Let's just say you'd hit a lot of rocks on the way down.

part way up, looking down. It's around here that I started to dislike my broken poles with their plastic tips and was really missing my ice axes.

damn cornice!

our little switch over platform

After making our way past the crux we were confronted with the true size of the cornice that loomed above the top of the chute. Now having the sun beating on it's backside, and with it stretching from side to side of the couloir with no good way around it, and well, it was fairly big, we decided that the last 20 meters weren't quite worth it. So we dug a little platform in a safe corner and switched over to ride down.

Scott won the rock, paper, scissors and dropped in first. I was a touch nervous being on a board I'd never ridden before, but it was all good. No k2 Panoramic but it was pretty good. The rest, you can see on the video below. I wish I could have stayed in Alberta, 'cause man, it's really good right now. Fairly rare to see good avalanche conditions and perfect weather in February in Alberta. If you're in Alberta, get after it!



24 hours in my life

good 24 hour peak into my life.

wake up early and design the next batch of K2 snowboards

do some ghetto tuning in our tiny room

compete in the Burton Canadian Open tonight at 7pm (alberta time)
webcast is on at:

and tomorrow's little mission..

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