1 week ago 2 notes
1 week ago 2 notes
2 weeks ago
(Written by Sam)
Last spring we did a feature with Axel Peterson and the Bridger Brigade. If you’re unfamiliar with the Brigade, these guys need to be on your radar. Full time. Yesterday Axel and Randy Evans stopped by the office for a cup of coffee, a shot of Crown and a few laughs. They also got me up to speed on how their season went.
-CORESHOT: I know you guys were busy over the winter, can you give us a recap of last season?
-AXEL: Last season was one of the best yet for the Brigade. We ended up producing 4 BSTV episodes, as well as a few fun edits. Filming for Bomb Snow TV brought us to amazing places, where we skied unbelievable terrain and met like minded skiers. Our trip in January to Revelstoke was one of the highlights from last winter. Our friend put us up at her house for over two weeks! We skied everyday whether we were snowmobiling in the Selkirks or Monashees, or touring on Rogers Pass. Guided by local friends we found some of the sickest zones of the season, and were even fortunate to get a day of heli skiing at Great Canadian Heli Skiing, thanks to Leah Evans. That’s where KT (Kyle Taylor) got his shot in Powder Magazine , due to the photographic talents of Bruno Long. We have a trip planned to return this January, and we can’t wait to get back up there. After the Revy Trip we spent a lot of time in the homeland of Montucky and focused on getting shots. Due to the good conditions, we were able to produce a Montana edit, episode three, which we collaborated with the Radbots to produce.
We had been talking about an AK trip for years, and finally packed up and went for it this year. For me that was the best trip of season. It was a solid month of pure adventure, from broken sled trailers to hiking and skiing the steepest lines of my life. We spent time sled skiing in Valdez during the Tailgate Alaska festival, thanks to Randy wining Freeskier Magzine’s video competition for a free ticket to tailgate and a little extra cash for the trip. Then we headed for Haines, where we got plane dropped on glaciers and winter camped for 5 days. It was a cold and rewarding journey. I will do whatever it takes to make it to AK every year.
We ended up submitting our video ‘Progression in Regression’ to the Cold Smoke Awards this year. It was by far the most fun we had creating an edit last season. Be sure to check it out at the Cold Smoke Awards Winter Film Tour and at the main event on Jan 18th!
-CORESHOT: Tell us about Tailgate Alaska and your trip up there?
-RANDY: Our trip to Tailgate was nothing short of epic, like any ski bum pilgrimage to AK should be. Totaling over 7 days and 6 nights spent in the truck (with no stops to sleep) things got all too familiar with each other. After the long haul up there we arrived just as Tailgate was closing up, but we did still get a solid couple of nights partying our faces limp at the coolest campground/gypsy gathering on the planet. Not to mention we scored a sick first day of skiing right before the weather moved back in. Later in the trip (post 6-day stretch of storm days) we were blessed with a day of skiing some of the best pow the year had to offer, and certainly the best pow that sea level skiing in Valdez had to offer. The trip was sick, I can’t wait to make it happen again this year.
-CORESHOT: You guys entered the TGR Co-Lab right?
-RANDY: The Co-Lab was definitely the most ridiculous contest we’ve ever been a part of and it was unreal to be among the finalists in a video competition with a $100k pay out. Ax and I put together the edit with no expectation of even being in the playing field, and it was wild to see how our stuff stacked up with all those unbelievable edits. All and all, I think it was awesome for Steve and Todd Jones to put something together where they hand over 100 grand to some ski bum, and I think the contest is a sweet way of bringing the soul of skiing into the spotlight. Next year’s is going to be out of hand, I can’t wait to see what people put together. Kudos to all the athletes who were apart of the Co-Lab this year, all the edits were super impressive and on par with any ski movie segments out there.
-CORESHOT: Thanks for stopping by fellas, what is your plan for the upcoming season?
-AXEL: Our plans this year are to produce 6 Bomb Snow TV episodes. We are focusing on creating each episode to be based on a trip and to tell a story. We will be in Canada, winter camping in Montana and Idaho, and back in Alaska. Most importantly we are going to continue to have fun and push ourselves as skiers and videographers!
Also, we will be working with Henry Worobec on his Land of No Use video project, which is a two year project highlighting wilderness skiing in Montana. It will be great to get out between filming each episode and get deep into the wilderness.
I know that Randy, Kyle, and Joe Jasper are planning on competing on the Freeskiing World Tour this year. They all had top results last winter, and are looking forward to traveling with the Tour again this season.
Here is a selection of edits from the Bridger Brigade, including their entry into the TGR Co-Lab, a teaser for the upcoming season of Bomb Snow TV and our personal favorite, Progression in Regression. You can also follow their exploits on the Bridger Brigade site.
1 month ago 1 note
(Written by Sam)
The skiing community could use more individuals like Chris Tatsuno. He’s a purveyor of positive energy, goodwill ambassador, and the Associate Director of Fun. Coreshot recently sat down with Chris, and he has a lot to say.
-By the Numbers:
7 years of freeski competitions learning how to ski with the best of ‘em (never podiumed…still somehow proud of that)
2006 Telluride Freeskiing Open Sickbird Buckle recipient
2010 Powder Highway Ultimate Ski Bum
150,000+ miles on the open road in my vans with many friends along the way
3 years of the ‘Pat & Tats Show’ for Tecnica Blizzard
1 feature article in Freeskier Magazine with ‘Pat & Tats’ Excellent Adventure’
1,256 gallons of beer collectively chugged through a plastic penguin’s beak
Countless stories from hitch-hiking, TatsVans 1&2, Harvey-the-GnarV (Trew Gear Bus), helicopters, snowcats, Amtrak trains, planes…what’s next?
-Sponsors: Backcountry.com - TecnicaBlizzard - Trew Gear - Discrete - Point6 - WidSix - Smith Optics
-Coreshot: Talk to us about your skiing background and influences.
-Tats: Like many skiers in the freeride realm, I was trained as a ski racer from an early age. However, I learned to snowboard too, and that was my tool of choice for powder days. On skis, I loved going fast, and the wide-open groomers on Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain were prime terrain for speed. Funny enough, I remember being pretty scared of catching too big of air for a long time, but I guess I came around to it in high school. I partnered up with a kid on the freestyle team named Justin Peterson. Justin and I kept each other motivated and exchanged trade secrets: I taught him how to go fast in all types of terrain, and he taught me how to send it. I really found my comfort in the air during college in Colorado, where I finally found terrain parks and cliffs.
The biggest influences in my skiing were my parents. My dad let me ski the mountain all day and was great about pulling me from school to go make turns. My mom was a competition ice dancer (read: figure skater) in the ‘60s, so I guess I’ve always had a natural feel for edge control and gliding. With the top-notch coaching staff at SVSEF (ski education foundation), I was trained by the best in racing, though freeskiing was always an important part of their instruction. It was only when I made my way to Colorado and picked up my first copy of Freeskier Magazine when I realized that there were skiers ‘making a living’ outside of ski racing. I attended a few ski film premieres on the Hill at Boulder, and that was the nail in the racing coffin. I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find that fluffy stuff. But, due in large part to my snowboarding background, I had to learn how to ski powder before I could learn to huck cliffs.
These days, with all the media attention on park and pipe, and shred films portraying big mountain slayage, there’s definitely a push to go bigger, faster, farther. However, the biggest influences in my most recent years come from the individuals who aren’t here with us any more. Too many friends have passed ‘doing what they love’, and I guess that has really affected me. My decision making process is much different now, and combined with the laid-back atmosphere in Aspen, we’ve found an outlet for all the ‘progression agression’ in just goofing off on-hill with penguin slides and worm-turns.
-Coreshot: What’s the deal with Petey the Penguin?
-Tats: Petey? Well, I guess you could say that Petey is the manifestation of the weird that Pat, myself, and our friends try to embrace in skiing. I mean, what’s weirder than a bunch of adults skiing around with a plastic penguin and sliding around on our stomachs? In truth, we scrounged Petey up from the Skier Chalet (a badass vintage ski hotel located right at the base of Aspen’s Lift 1A) and thought it would be a good idea to convert him into a beer bong. We’ve never had a better idea! In the years since, Petey has delivered countless gallons of beer to shred-partiers across the globe. Hell, he’s been to more international ski destinations than I have; TecBlizz took him to Chile last summer while Pat and I stayed in Aspen to work. It’s Petey who brings in all the viewership of the Pat & Tats show anyway. We took him on our train tour last season, well, because everyone knows penguins can’t fly!
-Coreshot: I know that you’re heavily involved with the Adaptive Skiing Program. What exactly does that entail?
-Tats: This will be my second year as a coach for the Aspen Valley Ski Club (AVSC) Adaptive program. We are a branch of the US Paralympics development system and are primarily funded by the Veterans Affairs (VA). Our mission is to integrate adaptive skiers into a racing environment and provide the training and race experience it takes for these athletes to qualify for the national team and, next step, the paralympics. With it being a paralympic year, there is a lot of pressure for some of our experienced athletes to make the cut and go to Sochi. While that is the case for a select few, our program is directed towards the newer athletes with many focusing on the long road to the 2018 Paralympics in Korea.
And that’s where I found my fit with the team. Many of these athletes were soldiers in US armed service, and some have seen serious combat. A lot of them had never even seen snow before, let alone had a chance to ski or snowboard. So, it’s our role as coaches not only to teach them how to race, but to induct them into the mountain culture. We are here to help them enjoy the freedoms for which they so valiantly fought. A big part of our program this year is the freeskiing time after the courses are torn down. To bring this crew out into the variable conditions and let ‘em loose, that’s where they become skiers, and hopefully they develop that same love and passion which unites all skiers and riders.
Many have asked me, “Is it difficult to teach someone to race when they have a disability?” People assume that the fundamentals must be different if you’re missing a leg or are paralyzed. Yet, it is distinctly the opposite. Never before have I understood so deeply how much the shape of a turn, the radius of the ski, the early tip pressure, the angulation and separation are all so critical. A ski wants to perform the way it was designed, and that ski designates no difference in who may be riding it, so all the dynamics remain constant. There may be little adjustments here and there, but square shoulders, weight forward, eyes ahead, setting up early for the turn — those are all the same as any skier on the hill.
-Coreshot: What’s your scenario for a perfect ski day?
-Tats: A perfect ski day? If I were to say anything other than powder skiing, I’d be lying. But, in truth, it’s the combination of an enthusiastic, fun-loving crew and enough pitch and vertical to find that absolute freedom in free-fall. That moment when your speed and direction carry you down a hill, where your skis get light and your body seems to float, as if detached from the law of gravity. Add in a little sunshine (not too much; don’t wanna cook the snow) and some apres, and we’re talking a great day. Don’t forget beer bongs outta the penguin!
-Coreshot: Iron Maiden or Slayer?
-Tats: Iron Maiden.
-Coreshot: Thanks for your time Chris, any words of wisdom /closing thoughts?
-Tats: Do what you love and don’t get too caught up in what’s cool right now. The mountains are timeless, and they will be there when you’re ready. Take the time to soak it all in, from the planning of a big trip or mission, to the execution of a line, to the ride back out to the van. The only rush worth noting in life is the one we get from playing hard, so try not to hurry your life away.
Special thanks to Ryan Creary and all the other photographers who supplied images for this profile. Also, here is our favorite episode of Pat N Tats:
2 months ago 1 note
(Written by Gomez)
September 18, 2013:
We arrived in Bariloche the day before. The “pinche puelche” (fuckin’ wind) shut us down at Volcan Villarica in Pucon for the last couple of days. Crossing the pass to Argentina Volcan Lanin, the tallest volcano in the Lakes Region, greeted us and marked the transition zone between the lush temperate forests of Chile and the vast, dry steppes of Argentine Patagonia. Our first day at Cerro Catedral was a stellar bluebird day with afternoon spring corn skiing. Despite the lower mountain lacking snow there was certainly no shortage on the upper slopes.
September 19, 2013:
A greybird day settled in this morning and the forecast called for afternoon snow showers. Unexpectedly that evening while toasting Ullr with Fernet libations snow began to fall all the way to the lake level. I’d been told Bariloche was particularly cold this winter and to receive snow all the way into town and coat the shores of Nahuel Huapi I knew we were in for a late season treat.
September 20, 2013:
ULLR delivers!!!! The upper mountain of Cerro Catedral received between 20-30 cm of especially dry Patagonian powder. All the surrounding mountains also got a healthy covering. The last storm of the 2013 South American winter came at a very opportune time for me and my compadres. Once we got to Catedral we headed directly for the top of the Nubes lift which was closed all morning. I love it when this lift is closed on powder mornings. It means you can get several 20 minute hikes in before the masses shralp one of Catedral’s premier faces. We took full advantage of their slow opening and only had to share this terrain with a handful of other hikers. When the lift finally opened at 2 pm we’d already skied our favorite lines untouched.
September 21, 2013:
We road tripped around Lago Nahuel Huapi to the small, boutique ski center Cerro Bayo, outside the village of Villa la Angostura. Wanting to skip the weekend crowds and unruly lift cues at Catedral, Cerro Bayo is a great escape from the madness. About an hour and fifteen minutes from Bariloche, Cerro Bayo is a small center with incredible views of Lago Nahuel Huapi and its hidden bays and densely forested peninsulas. This was the first year Cerro Bayo installed gondolas both at the base of the mountain and one all the way to the summit. Yesterday the summit gondola was closed and there were only a handful of tracks on its face when we arrived. Honestly I was a bigger fan of the hike to the summit as it preserved Bayo’s best terrain for those who wanted to earn it, but today I was grateful for being able to take multiple rides and still have untracked playgrounds just a short tour from the ridge line. The touring possibilities at Cerro Bayo abound. A pair of skins can take you to great places like the Black Box which is about an hour and a half tour from the top. I decided to stay closer and milk the Bayo slack country skiing an untouched face multiple times while only requiring a 15 minute tour back into the resort. What a great day to welcome spring in the Andes!!
September 22, 2013:
Cat-Skiing at Baguales. Argentina’s newest cat-ski operation at Baguales Mountain Reserve is a privately owned 14,000 hectare (Yes that is 34,500 acres) snowy playground. The name Baguales is an Argentine word for a wild cow that roams the hills and grasslands of Patagonia. Located deep in the Patagonian Andes about an hour and a half south of Bariloche we navigated a few significant river crossings in 4x4 trucks before arriving at Baguales’ summer lodge, a very sophisticated lodge complete with pool table and 4 very comfortable bedrooms. From here we continued a short way in the trucks before switching to snow machines for the last couple of kilometers to Baguales’ very sophisticated mountain refugio. We were greeted here with excellent coffee, fresh croissants and raspberry jam while Pao, the Ullr inspired bearded guide, gave our safety briefing and day’s mission. The mountain refugio also has 4 very comfortable bedrooms where guests can base themselves for multiple day adventures. The new piston bully snowcat toured our group of 10 throughout the mountain preserve. While many of the runs were not exceptionally long the amount of skiing our group did satiated all our powder desires. Being able to cover so much ground and ski such a variety of terrain makes Baguales an ideal snowcat operation. Still relishing the last storm of the winter’s gift we tracked a wide range of Baguales’ snow playground. We made it back to the refugio in the late afternoon spring glow and were treated with delicious apres snacks and of course cold beer!!!! It was a pleasure seeing Baguales’ owner Hubert’s powder smile and the pride he has in his mountain reserve. In the next couple of days he planned to ski tour to other areas of the reserve in order to get in shape for a Chile volcano mission and talking with him and seeing the vast terrain with my own eyes the possibilities are exceptional and the future very bright for Baguales.
September 23, 2013:
Mission Mallin Alto- While Baguales epitomized sophisticated mountain living and modeled after the more civilized Canadian mountain lodges, Mallin Alto was a true gaucho rustic snow experience. Mallin Alto is a project in the making and like Baguales it encompasses a vast amount of Patagonian terrain with a multitude of connecting ridges accessing various pitches and mountain aspects . Project director Kao D’s grandfather homesteaded the lower valley which serves as the gateway to this mountain playground. The access road winds through river beds, cattle pasture, piercing spire rock outcroppings and up into the dense forest of old growth where the dirt road turned to snow and we swapped the truck for a 4 wheeler with snow-cat treads. Climbing through the forest, squirreling around between mud and snow we arrived at the geometric dome that serves as Kao’s mountain base camp. The dome reminded me much of the yurt trips I’ve taken around Idaho and Montana. Equipped with an antique wood cooking stove and a wrap around deck it was not hard for Kao to convince Craig and I to spend the night, especially when he presented us with a few cold Quilmes upon our arrival. We set out in early afternoon on the snow quad and still found dry powder on the South facing slopes. Epic views of Tronador, the highest peak in the region, and into the Chilean distance the perfectly conical Volcan Osorno. We crossed paths with a lone zorro, a Patagonian fox, as it wandered the vast, empty snow dunes while we explored future routes and descents. All epic adventures involve a little misadventure and on our last run the snow quad shat the bed and we had to slap on the skins and walk out under the star filled Patagonian sky. It is a memory I will not forget soon, the sky illuminated with a gazillion stars, the Southern cross acting as the ever present compass, and the vastness of these mountains highlighted by the glow of the milky way. Those first beers at the geodome tasted extra delicious and Kao prepared us a homemade pasta sauce that filled our bellies to hearts content.
September 24, 2013:
Mission Mallin Alto - We only got a few turns in today with the snow quad being down. Nonetheless we thoroughly enjoyed soaking up the rays on this gorgeous bluebird day on Mallin Alto’s deck. Not a bad place to be broke down with a stockpile of Quilmes cervezas. Kao’s cousin was planning on meeting us at 5pm with the truck in the valley so there was no rush to leave. The second quad did not have snow treads but had no problems getting us out. On the way down we scared up large deer or ciervo, the first one I’ve seen in the wild here in Argentina. A few condors soared above us enjoying their afternoon thermals. Kao’s project here at Mallin Alto has a ton of potential and another option in the 42nd parallel.
September 25, 2013:
Road Trip Bariloche to Esquel on the Ruta 40. After a solid night of celebrating at the Mannush Brewery in Bariloche and a few too many late night fernet & cokes we set off south down the Ruta 40 to the city of Esquel and our next ski destination La Hoya. The road south from Bariloche could not get more scenic. Glimpses of the legendary Frey Cirque and its granite spired towers followed us as we passed several pristine lakes and mountain passes into the hippy town of El Bolson. We stopped for a little hair of the dog at the El Bolson Cerveceria, one of the most prominent Patagonian breweries. Bolson’s dramatic peaks made a sharp contrast with the deep blue sky. Continuing south you enter the endless wind swept steppes reminiscent of Highway 50 in Nevada. Out of this vastness you enter the valley where Esquel sits and the base for the community run La Hoya ski center.
September 26, 2013:
La Hoya - Poor Man’s Las Lenas!!! Where else on earth do lift tickets cost less than $20USD or more precisely $16.11 with Argentina’s blue market exchange rate. La Hoya is one of my favorite South American ski destinations. It is one of those throwback ski centers, with an empty dirt parking lot, a base area with buildings that have ‘character’ and a friendly staff happy to see the gringo snow traveler. Its simplicity is one of its greatest charms and coming from Bridger Bowl I have a great respect for mountains run by their community and not some large corporation who doesn’t know jack about running a ski area. La Hoya is all about function and a circuit of 3 lifts brings you to the upper ridges. Like Alta, La Hoya is set up far better for skiers who can traverse easily to the best terrain on the mountain and drop a serious of couloirs and rock features giving them 1800 vertical feet and a solid 38 degree pitch to the base area. Other options include 20 minute hikes to further bowls and steep faces that just seem to keep continuing around every ridge line and open even longer descents to the access road. Today the snow remained a little hard throughout the day and although it didn’t soften enough to come around to corn skiing, there was certainly pockets of chalky wind groomed powder. And who cares I am skiing on September 26th in Patagonia!!!
September 27th, 2013:
My last day of the 2013 South American ski season and coincidently my mama’s birthday. I love paying tribute to my mom skiing on her September birthday. Not only that but a front moved in the night before and flakes were falling during the evening all the way down to Esquel. We awoke to a cloudless bluebird day and while not much snow accumulated enough fell to fill troughs and provide hallways of super dry powder for my final day on the slopes. The 2013 season far surpassed 2012 where conditions were not as kind and late season turns like this were absent. For me La Hoya is all about the short hikes to the outlying bowls. The panoramic views into Los Alerces National Park and the jagged divide of high mountain peaks separating Argentina from Chile go on forever. I truly love this place and can’t wait to return in 2014. We skied until 3 before hightailing back to Bariloche, cruising the empty stretches of Ruta 40 and rolling into the outskirts of Bariloche on fumes, prepared for another misadventure and unworried because we knew we’d be stuck on one of the most beautiful roads I’ve ever driven.
-Thank you all for the great adventures, memories, and friendships.
-A huge thanks to Ben Nobel at Mystery Ranch, Dan Abrams at Flylow, and Andy Wenberg at BCA for gearing me up and being an ambassador for your awesome brands.
-To Craig Ross and Gonzalo Osores Soler for your loyalty and continued commitment to making CASA Argentina the best snow trips available in Patagonia.
-To my new friends at Baguales Mountain Reserve and Mallin Alto. I wish you continued success and admire your vision for creating these snow playgrounds.
-To travel mate and CASA guest Dillon Johnson for skipping out on his return flight home and extending his work sabbatical. Patagonia is way more fun than the courtroom.
-Thank you Snowbrains and Coreshot for publishing my adventures and giving the snow community a glimpse into my life journey.
Buena Onda Compadres,
3 months ago
(Written by Gomez)
Condor Classic Trip Report: August 18-24, 2013
August 18, 2013 – Bluebird day at Portillo. No wind, deep blue skies and super fun spring snow with a mixture of south facing chalk and north facing corn. We worked the Roca Jack and Cara-Cara slingshot lifts in the am and after a mandatory stop at Tio Bob’s moved over to the Condor slingshot for a couple of lake runs in the afternoon. Portillo is definitely one of the most spectacularly located ski resorts in the Andes.
The Roca Jack - Portillo 8-18-13:
Portillo Ladies at Tio Bob’s 8-18-13 :
August 19, 2013 – Bluebird day at Ski Arpa. Today we headed back up into the Valley of the Harp and Ski Arpa. The guides were kind enough to save our CASA group freshies in Avalanchas and El Cirque to end our day. Ratoneras and Tony’s Bowl were variable but if you found the right variableness the snow was soft and spongy. Once again the CASA group celebrated the day with an epic Arpa après session!!!
CASA Guide Alex Taran chalkin’ it at Ski Arpa 8-19-13:
CASA guide Theresa ‘Tree’ Clinton finding the right variableness at Ski Arpa 8-19-13:
The most interesting man at Arpa - Kevin O’Connell in his glory - Keep Skiing My Friends!!!:
August 21, 2013 - Storming at Nevados de Chillan. Most of the mountain operations were shut down today, so our group went for a walk up the mountain and some untracked in the Chuecos bowls. This rogue full moon storm was the perfect refresher as the slopes here were getting pretty firm and icy the last couple of days. Fortunately the storm came in without substantial wind and started warm and finished cold leaving the mountain draped in a velvety snow blanket.
August 22, 2013 – Bluebird at Nevados de Chillan. Today our group reaped the benefits of the past day’s rogue storm. About 6 inches of velvety Andean pow covered the mountain and while there were the occasional scratchy turns particularly on north facing slopes most of the mountain skied powtastically!!!! We spent the day lapping the Pirigallo Valley and finished with a final lap in the playful and lunaresque Tres Marias.
Stoked!!! CASA guest Lindsay Cooper:
CASA guide Theresa ‘Tree’ Clinton getting some velvet freshness - Nevados de Chillan 8-22-13:
Paul Farley laying it down - Pirigallo Valley - Nevados de Chillan - 8-22-13:
August 23, 2013 – Bluebird at Nevados de Chillan. We spent the morning gobbling up powder pitches in Tres Marias while allowing the ridges to warm up for our afternoon adventure in the Nevados backcountry. Our group laid the only tracks down Valle Hermoso and this west facing valley softened perfectly for our late afternoon descent. One of my favorite valleys to ski in the Andes!!!!
Lindsay Cooper making it look pretty - Tres Marias - 8-23-13:
Blair Banker having some fun in Tres Marias 8-23-13:
Cat Hulford laying down some freshies in Nevados de Chillan backcountry 8-23-13:
Blair Banker charging the Nevados de Chillan Backcountry 8-23-13 :
August 24, 2013 – Bluebird at Nevados de Chillan. Our normally scheduled departure day got delayed in order to attend to more powder business. This time we headed direct for the Nevados backcountry and one of my favorite circuits; Aquas Calientes & Valle Hermoso. Our drop into Aquas Calientes was the best snow of the week, even days after the full moon storm. This south facing gem was velvety smooth. We toured back up to Valle Hermoso for our final descent of the trip and skied another untracked face and exited with a final ski past the steaming fume roles.
Blair Banker sending it in Nevados de Chillan Backcountry 8-24-13:
Paul Farley surfing the Nevados de Chillan backcountry:
5 months ago
I’ve had a killer season in WA and should be posting up a season re-cap here really soon. However, my grad school research has kept me plenty busy. For example, we’ve been working building force sensors that are designed to be mounted under the bindings of a snowboard.
We just launched a crowd-funding campaign to help fund my thesis research into Terrain Park Safety.
Please visit our campaign here: Terrain Park Research
Donations of any amount will help and if you’re not able to donate, at least spreading the word is a huge help.
You can see more about what our goals are and how you can help in the video below:
8 months ago 1 note
(Written by Francesco)
I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the Volkl Katana vWerks at ISPO. This shocking ski won the ISPO award, but at first sight it seemed to be more a toy than a big mountain ripper. The ultra-thin sidewalls, albeit in sexy carbon, did not inspire a lot of durability confidence. Plus I’ve had previous dull experiences with ultra-light carbon skis which simply had not enough mass to decently manage any sort of hard or complex snow. Buzz at Volkl’s stand was intense, but equally intense was the bottom noise “I will certainly delaminate these in a few turns…”
The ISPO Jury, though, released a strong series of sentences about this CarboKatana:
"The Völkl Katana V-Werks revolutionizes the freeride ski market. The developers of this ski managed to significantly reduce the weight to an unprecedented extent - an incredible achievement when comparing it to other freeride skis of the same length and width. In addition, the completely innovative and very well-engineered 3D construction with super thin carbon flanks that simultaneously reduce the gyrating mass provide a previously unimaginable performance for both ascents and descents. The full carbon jacket with the extremely light woodcore offers the torsional stiffness and precision of freeride skis designed for absolute experts. However, the Katana V-Werks is also a very pleasing and almost forgiving ski due to its very precise rocker construction, its dampening and the woodcore that reaches evenly from tip to tail. The result: exceptional precision and adaptability that supports turns of any speed and offers maximum fun on the mountain." (quoted from Wolfgang Pohl, DSLV, Garmisch-Partenkirchen - GER).
So… when at the Verbier Xtreme demo days I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours on a 184 CarboKatana, I simply could not resist. The turf was decent for a demo day: stashes of hard snow, spots with transforming spring corn in sunny faces, hidden pow bowls.. Almost a bit of everything. First, let me tell you that I am an happy user of the regular 184 Katana. I believe this metalized green beauty is - along with the Blizzard Cochise - the perfect Verbier daily driver for any day without new snow. It’s perfectly locked to hard snow, turns in an almost effortless way (remember, it’s NOT the demanding 191!) and once you’re on them a ski day has no crud crust or rotten snow limit. When you look at the carboKatana, it’s pretty hard to believe that they have the same dimensions, shape and camber of the classic green katana: you immediately note the almost non-existant carbon flanks and the impressive sound of the superthin tip and tail when hittin the snow. You click in the bindings, and immediately realize the lack of weight of the extremities. No swing effort at all. OK will these grip dencently hard snow and effectively slice the crud and the corn? I could not believe it, but the answer is pretty simple. Yes.
In spite of being so light, the tip of the carboKatana works perfectly. As in the metalized green version, the minimal front and rear rocker locks the Katana to hard snow, while allowing a very easy turn initiation and design. In spite of being so minimal, front blades slice pretty efficiently pow and corn. If you look at the ski, it’s clear how all of the driving mass is under your foot. What makes a huge difference vs most of previous dull full carbon skis is the torsional stiffness. It might be because of the 3D profile, it might be because of the type of carbon layering and wood core used in central section of the ski… the flanks and edges of the CarboKatana have an amazing resistance to torsion.
Time runs fast when on the CarboKatana, and the two hours I was given expired pretty soon. But I had enough time for a few final considerations:
-The CarboKatana’s are a lot of fun. In regular snow, whatever hard or soft or corn, they roll and slice. And the skier is always happy and asking for more.
-The CarboKatana requires a well tempered leg. It’s easy, but carbon construction transfers all the contact stress to the leg of the driver. It’s demanding.
-The CarboKatana is not fun in bumps when visibility is not perfect. The tails and tips are not made to absorb, and if you do not drive perfectly them you get tired very soon.
-The CarboKatana is a light ski that - as all light skis - will suffer the lack of critical mass in heavy rotten chop. But it’s much better of many other superlight carbon skis I’ve tried.
If I was 20-30 and very rich (cost will gravitate around 1k or more), the CarboKatana would be a go. Being 51, on a diet and on a budget, the advantage of the CarboKatana over a classic metal Katana is likely to be restricted to a few defined spots: skinning (dunno the weight, but likely to be 15-20% less of the metal version), and apres-ski where the carbon must have a clear cut magnetic effect performance.
8 months ago 1 note
(Written by Sam)
The Bridger Brigade has been steadily gaining notoriety over the past several years. Members of their crew have been on assignment with Powder Magazine, stood atop the podium at freeskiing competitions and their video edits have appeared on Discrete TV, as well as the online versions of Bomb Snow and Powder. Recently I caught up with Axel Peterson to get some insight on the past, present and future of the Bridger Brigade.
-Coreshot: Who Are The Bridger Brigade?
-Axel: The Bridger Brigade consists of Axel Peterson, Rob Raymond, Randy Evans, Kyle Taylor, Henry Worobec, Andrew Daigh, Joe Jasper, Ryan Walters, and many friends.
We came up with the name Bridger Brigade as we were sitting around a keg of Fat Tire that we had snuck into the dorms at MSU. We were brainstorming names to put in front of our edits, I came up with the name and it stuck.
-Coreshot: When Did It Start?
-Axel: Bridger Brigade started in the 2008-09 season, when myself (Axel Peterson), Rob Raymond, Andrew Daigh, and Randy Evans all moved to Bozeman to attend MSU. Meeting in the dorms, Randy, Rob, and Andrew quickly became my every day ski partners. Hailing from different ski backgrounds, we pushed each other to ski faster and huck bigger. Since we skied more often than we went to class, I figured I would start to bring my camera up to Bridger to film our stunts. I had a shitty little Sony camcorder that I used to make skate edits growing up. We started bringing it up with us everyday during the first two seasons skiing Bridger Bowl, and we were stoked on some of the shots we were getting. The idea came up that we should strive towards putting out multiple edits per season and try to separate them by location. We started editing together shots, put a rock or punk song to it, and that was our beginning.
After the first two winters of making ski edits, we upgraded to a nicer camera, and we started to focus more energy on the filming and editing side. We learned a lot in the last two years, and will continue to gain more knowledge about filming, editing, and skiing as the years roll on.
-Coreshot: What Projects Are You Currently Working On?
-Axel: This season we are working hard to produce monthly Bomb Snow TV edits. It’s a lot of work to shoot and edit a sweet ski flick every month, so that’s what most of our energy is going towards. I’m super pumped on the shots we’ve been getting this year and stoked on how the BSTV edits are turning out.
Also, we are working on a sweet project that fellow Brigader Henry Worobec is leading charge on, entitled Land of No Use. Land of No Use? is a two year documentary project using backcountry ski touring to explore the value of Montana’s protected public lands. The title comes from an old bumper sticker and slogan for opponents of wilderness designations (i.e. motorized recreation enthusiasts and timber corporations) that reads, “Wilderness = Land of No Use.” The narrative of the land management debate will shadow that of a group of young athletes exploring terrain where humans are mere visitors, in a state named for its mountains.
While BSTV and LONU are our main objectives this season, we are also working on a few side projects with other companies, including filming with the Radbots and entering the TGR COLLAB video contest at the end of the season. We will also release a full-length film this fall, and enter it into the Cold Smoke Awards.
-Coreshot: What Are Your Plans/Visions/Objectives For The Upcoming Season?
-Axel: I hope that we continue to push our skiing and filming, and most importantly, continue to have fun. I would like to upgrade some of our camera gear and concentrate on pumping out edits that have a story line, not just the basic “ski porn” edits. We would love to continue traveling, and take our skiing to new and exciting places while documenting the ups and downs along the way. It is both fun, and challenging to communicate a story using skiing and a camera. Making these edits has become what we do simply because we love doing it.
Ideally, we will spend a month in Montana, a month in BC, a month in Japan, a month in the Alps, and a month in AK…. someday.
-Coreshot: Thanks For Your Time, Any Sponsor Shout Outs?
-Axel: Big shout out to the rad companies that support the Bridger Brigade as a whole: Mystery Ranch Backpacks, Kalen at Voke Tab, Smith Optics, Bomb Snow Magazine. Thanks for the support, you guys make what we do possible.
Additional information can be found on their website: BridgerBrigade
8 months ago
(Written by Gomez)
I am finally coming to grips with my cultural hangover and return to the U.S. from Japan. A few weeks of 3% sake powder, bountiful sashimi, heated toilet seats and daily hot water baths will change one’s perspective on life.
I started my journey on the island of Honshu and was immediately humbled by the size and complexity of terrain in the Japan Alps. I can see why Nagano was an excellent choice for the winter Olympics, these resorts are big!!!!! Tsugaike Kogen ski area boasts a tram that travels more than 4000 meters in length.
I truly believe some of the best snow I’ve ever skied was on the island of Hokkaido. Big flakes of super fluff seemed to fall daily. Roadside snowbanks towered above. Enchanted forests of white plastered birches and heavily loaded spruces providing the perfect powder haven.
9 months ago 4 notes