Alpine Cruise

Took advantage of the clear skies and went for a walk in the alpine last Saturday. A lot of naturals out there on all aspects and a thin rain crust all the way up to 8800′ where I topped out. Good skiing conditions in protected areas above 7000′. I got a couple shooting cracks on wind slabs failing at the crust layer and easily got them to run on test slopes.

A few pics of the carnage from the last cycle.




The views made up for the ugly avy debris

The views made up for the ugly avy debris


It’s ski movie season

Ski films have been coming out of the woodwork the last couple of weeks. I enjoy watching anything having to do with sliding on snow but I always look forward to what brothers Jonah and Noah Howell of Powderwhores bring to the table. This seasons effort, Elevation, looks to be another classic that will get plenty of screen time in this household during those excruciating fall days awaiting snow accumulation.

Maybe one of the reasons I enjoy their films so much, besides the cinematography, deep snow and big airs, is that they share the same views and mindset on the backcountry as I do. They put it into words much better than I could-

 Before resorts, lift tickets and overpriced pizza, there was adventure in skiing. Before the mountains were harnessed with lifts, bound with ropes and scarred with designated runs, they were wild. Actions with consequences were chosen and the individual was held responsible. No liability forms or waivers. The lifts came and made the mountains small, tame and in time, boring.

We were sold that THIS is skiing. And we obeyed.

With this resurgence into the backcountry we look for real adventure beyond the tightly wound, firmly stretched orange and black ropes that “protect” us from knowing freedom.

The backcountry is the imagination unleashed and you get out what you put in. There are real boundaries and limitations though; avalanches, exposure to the elements, conditions and fatigue all challenge one to grow in knowledge, patience and fitness. The joy comes in discovering these limitations, moving through fear and exploring beyond. Putting in the perspiration and inspiration leads to ELEVATION.

The only other film I’m curious about is Sweetgrass Productions Valhalla. I really enjoyed the visually stunning and soul touching film Solitaire, though after watching the trailer for Valhalla I’m not sure if it’s a ski film or an acid trip. Still has my curiosity piqued and looking forward to it.

Still some summer left but it’s time to be thinking SNOW!

Break from the snow


We took a break from skiing and spent the weekend climbing rock in Hells Canyon. Nice change of pace and good to work some different muscles. The forecast is looking good for awhile, hopefully conditions line up to finish some ski projects I’ve been working on. Back to work in a couple weeks, need to get it while the gettins good!

Adventure Photography Presentation Tonight

I apologize for the short notice, time got away from me. Emily will be doing a presentation tonight on her career as a photographer. From her humble beginnings with a point and shoot to shooting with a professional DSLR. The presentation is geared towards skiing and will be heavy with awesome photos from Wallowa County and elsewhere. Check it out! 7:00pm at the Josephy Center in Joseph.



Upcoming Events

Tonight is the 6th annual Frostbite Film Festival held at Odd Fellows Hall in Enterprise. All proceeds go to great local organizations, and the films are always great. Check it out!


This weekend kicks off the first annual (hopefully) Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival in LaGrande/Anthony Lakes Ski Area. The event starts on Friday with a film festival, rolls into Saturday with an uphill/downhill race in the morning and clinics in the afternoon. The event wraps up on Sunday with ski tours and a social media photo contest. Proceeds help support the Wallowa Avalanche Center.

Really looking forward to it and hope to see you there. More info on the Backcountry Festival can be found here

Hoodoo Tele Fest

Hoodoo Tele Fest has been going on for 11 years now and I’ve been lucky enough to attend the last four. Ski demos, clinics, races costumes, a raffle, plenty of beer, even axe throwing, keep one busy throughout the weekend. Prior commitments will keep Emily and I away this year, but if you’re in the area, or looking for a weekend getaway, check it out!  Also, apres ski party at Ray Benson snow park starts at 8pm.

More info here and here