This view is overlooking Lake Champlain from a cove just south of Shelburne, Vermont.
Photo by Randy Elles
Despite riding Silverton Mountain many times over the last eight years, I rarely get through a day there without some sort of white-knuckle experience. Whether making jump turns in Two Smokes while dodging (or clutching) the fixed line that spans the length of the chute, or dropping into a bulletproof, gnawed-to-the-bone Tiger Claw after watching a skier take a slide for life with his head facing downhill, I find myself keenly aware of two things: fear, and consequences. It's part of what makes the Silverton Experience one of a kind and keeps me coming back for more.
On this particular mission, I rolled into Silverton with a crew of friends from Crested Butte—Rusty Thompson, John Chandler, and Mike Eaton. There we met up with Klem Branner and Jerome Boulay of Venture Snowboards, and Chris Heise and Monty Orme from the Boardroom snowboard shop in Boise, Idaho. After several days of unseasonably warm temps the Snow Gods smiled upon us just as we arrived in town, and dropped a fresh coating of blower pow on the San Juans. We posted up for the evening and after a restless sleep (I never sleep well the night before a Silverton shred) woke to deep winter.
It's guided season at Silverton, and our group of eight was paired with all-star guide Rob Roof. "Rooftop" rips on a snowboard and lead us to fresh turns and some occasional "spice" to keep us on our toes. After a final run down Tiger, we congregated in Silverton's fabled tent for beers and shared glory.
Every time I unstrap after my final run at Silverton, I feel a sense of relief. Not because I want the day to end—the complete opposite actually. But there's something to be said for riding one of the gnarliest mountains in the Lower 48 and coming out in one piece. Because fear is most fun when it's overcome.
[words] Mike Horn
Andrew Dahj Purvis hovers through the mist in Whistler's wicked woods. February 2013.
Photo by Mike Horn
After four intense days of shooting in Utah's Cottonwood Canyons it was time to pick my favorite two images from each resort and present to the judges. Here is the portfolio I submitted (hover over each image for the caption).
[photos] Justin Cash
A quick BTS video from our fourth day at Solitude Resort, Utah. Good times for "Team Cash."
Left to Right: TEAM CASH: Parker Cook, Justin Cash, Alex Fulton and Katie Van Riper.
After an intense and long four days of shooting, the week came to a close with an awards ceremony at Brewvies in downtown SLC. The party got off to a good start with multiple drink tickets in hand and snacks to munch. After the crowd got a decent buzz the party moved to the theater where the MC made quick work of the awards. First up was the "Urban meets Mountain" category where Bruno Long took home the first prize and a check for $1,000. Next up was the "Athletes' Choice" award where each athlete submits what he/she thinks is the best shot they got all week. BOOM, Parker Cook and I took home the first-place prize. $500 for Parker and the image will be used as a full-page ad in Powder Magazine next season.
Above: Parker Cook and I with our first place Athletes' Choice award.
"Best in Show" followed and Steve Lloyd took home the top prize. Then the big three awards were handed out. "Team Cash" didn't place top three but props to Team Harris, Team Hostetler and Team Long who took 3rd through 1st respectively. Cheers to the winners, my team of athletes who skied their hearts out, and Ski Salt Lake for putting together a great event.
[words+photos] Justin Cash
This is Willy Akers carving a pool known to the locals as the 'Burn Victim.' If you couldn't tell the house next to it burned to the ground. Rider: Willy Akers Location: Arizona
Words + Photos by: Stephen Marino
Day four brought my team and I to Solitude, our last stop of the shootout. Solitude was my home mountain for years in the early 2000s so I was extra stoked to shoot and ski. With a fresh 6-8" of snow it was game-on right from the start. Solitude is known for its treed terrain, so after a quick trip out in Honeycomb Canyon we dipped into the woods where we found unique lines like these. Stay tuned for the awards recap.
[words + photo] Justin Cash
Day Three actually started late on Day Two with a text from my athlete Katie. She got word the UDOT was planning on closing the Little Cottonwood Canyon Road by 6:15 a.m. for avy control work. With forecasts calling for up to 10" of snow overnight and a ticket to ride on an early tram at Snowbird, the decision to rise before the sun and get up the road was an easy one. It's not everyday you get a private ski patrol guide and Snowbird to yourself for an hour to shoot, so Team Cash made the best of it.
[words + photo] Justin Cash
Day Two of the Shootout was particularly challenging. Heavy snow, fog and high winds were on the menu for the day but "Team Cash" powered through and came out the other side with a few great keepers from Brighton. Stay tuned for a Day 3 recap from the 'Bird.
[photo] Justin Cash
Untracked pow was a little hard to find for Team Cash as we kicked off the Shootout at Alta. I was lining up a shot in a nice patch of fresh snow when this older gentleman came skiing along. He was gunning right for The Spot—to divert him I yelled out "It's much better to the left" knowing full well left was going to put him right on top of a little cliff band. He stopped and looked a little worried about his options. That is when I heard him say, "Hey photographer, if I send this will you take my picture?" Surely karma was going to kick my ass if I didn't help him out. So after I finished shooting with my athletes, I made my way underneath the cliff. He sent it like a Wasatch pro, tucked up and stuck the landing. Parker Cook even captured a little video with the gentleman's camera. Booyah to you Mr. Old Guy Randomly Sending Cliffs.
[words+photo] Justin Cash
I buzzed into Salt Lake City, Utah on Sunday night to ensure I'd avoid an eastern storm and make it there in time for the kickoff of the 2014 Ski Salt Lake Shootout. This is the second time I've been invited—it's a pretty cool event where eight photographers convene on Salt Lake and get teamed up some top-level skiing talent to go out and produce the best imagery possible in just four days time.
The "fantasy-style" draft party was hosted at Market Street Grill in Cottonwood Heights. It started with us drawing numbers out of a hat to determine the draft order. I picked last out of the hat but got the first pick. I selected Parker Cook first overall. He's a pro skier and a custom furniture maker and I figure both these skills might come in handy this week.
Our first day shooting is at Alta on Tuesday. Day two is at Brighton, followed by Snowbird on Thursday and Solitude on Friday. The avalanche danger in the backcountry is off the hook. A Utah Avalanche Center forecaster came to speak at the draft. He said in 25 years working in the Wasatch he's only seen this type of "extreme" avalanche hazard once before. Scared the shit out of me. I'll report back after day one of shooting.
[words+photo] Justin Cash
Crested Butte received seven feet of snow over the last two weeks. I can't remember a better stretch of shredding. Here's a collection of images captured at the resort on Monday 2/10 just as the storm started to blow out. [photos] Mike Horn
Today's liftline banter at Crested Butte Mountain Resort spanned the gamut from "best run ever" to recollections of epic years' past like 1978-'79 and '07-'08. We're on a helluva run….
Eric Dishmon flours some aspens as he exits the white room.
Even the kids are sending it: six-year-old Rowan Dishmon straightlines a chute at the bottom of Headwall. So awesome to see the next generation get hooked on the pow.
Straight puking on the mountain this afternoon.
And down in town. You know it's good when even the walk home gets you stoked.
[words+photos] Mike Horn
Before they get covered in snow, the West Elk Mountains pop the kinds of colors you'd expect from foliage out east. This photo was taken from the ridge of Whetstone Mountain in Fall 2012. That's Crested Butte Mountain looking all iconic in the foreground. [photo] Mike Horn
We pretty much had the mountain to ourselves today, which meant chasing our own tracks lap after lap. Love these kinda days…. [rider] Rusty Thompson [location] Crested Butte Mountain Resort
[photo] Mike Horn
We're finally getting snow coast to coast and the stoke level is peaking. Here's to more days like this. Go deep. [rider] Dave Watson [location] Whitewater, B.C.
[photo] Mike Horn
First stop: the Rochester Cafe in Rochester, Vt. I had the eggs benny. It was delicious.
Randy left full and ready to rip. He had the eggs benny, too.
When we pulled into Sugarbush North a nasty snow squall was ripping through. All the lifts except for the lower park lift were on wind hold.
We decided to boot up anyway and take a few hot laps through the park.
The park laps got boring quick (especially on a pair of Rossi Soul 7s) so we headed to Sugarbush South. Rumor was the upper mountain lifts were spinning.
Conditions were really nice up high at the 'Bush.
Next stop was just up the road at Mad River Glen. This is Randy taking in his first ever trip up the single chair.
The trees were certainly snowy, but some of the trails were looking a little thin after seeing traffic over the weekend.
From this point of view it all looked good and the top quarter of the mountain skied great.
The peak was windy and quiet. Remember, no snowboarding allowed, which meant I had to break out the sticks for the first time in a while.
We decided to warm up and hydrate with a beer at General Stark's Pub.
They were out of Lawson's (one of Vermont's finest microbreweries) so we went with a Fiddlehead IPA. Fiddlehead is not too shabby, either.
After the cold suds we decided to head out for one last run. Turns out the storm blew out and sun greeted us at the peak. A fitting ending to a fun day in the Mad River Valley.