It’s been 3 years since Jeff Pensiero invited me to observe and participate in the guides training at Baldface Lodge. Over the years I’ve worked with many mountain guides around the world being a professional snowboarder. I’ve always had a lot of admiration for these guys…and gals. But participating in the training program with the Baldface team opened my eyes to a deeper understanding and respect for the skill level and knowledge base they posses. Professional mountain guides must endure seasons full of extreme winter weather and long cold days in the field. They demand the highest quality gear and can’t settle for less than the best.
Volcom’s GPT “Guides Proven Technology” line was developed for, and is tested by a team of guides led by Demian Whitley at Baldface Lodge BC. With their feedback the performance and quality continues to improve each season.
Since inception I’ve been riding in the Baldface Guides Pant and Jacket and love the set up for it’s simplicity and pure FUNction. It works great for me when I’m riding tram laps, sledding, or hiking / skinning for hours sweating like a beast in the backcountry. The last few weeks have been extremely cold here in Jackson, I’m talking KILL YOU COLD… negitive temps up to -24F on the coldest of mornings. But the ridings been good so we endured the conditions and had some really times shredding and exploring the mountains. With the abundance of clear cold days this January we’ve been hitting it hard accessing the goods by any and all means necessary… using JHMR tram, hiking, Mntapproach skis, splitboarding and snowmobiles. I’ve been putting my gear to the test all month going out with the usual suspects Travis Rice, Mark Carter as well as Volcoms newest team rider Pat Moore. Seth Huot and Frank Knab joined the crew last week and we had good days as well. The cold high pressure lasting almost all month ended a couple days ago with a extreme change to an almost tropical mountain snow valley rain. We made the most of the new snow and warm temps spending the last couple days touring in the Tetons and riding tram laps at the JHMR. Heres a few shots from the start of 2013.
I’m a firm believer in that “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”
I can depend on my gear to keep me warm and dry regardless of what winter throws my way these days. Here’s my set up for the extreme cold… it’s pretty much the same as my usual set up with additional base layers and the “Tech Puff Puff” instead of the standard “Puff Puff” and the “toasty toes” boot warmers.
Volcom Base Layer
Volcom TDS base layer top & bottom
Mid weight hooded fleece
Tech Puff Puff give down insulated Jacket
Baldface 3 layer gore Pant & Jacket shell
Volcom Full Leather Glove
Volcom Tech Snow Socks /with toasty toes*
It’s dumping snow outside right now as I sit down to write this…. Huge fat flakes are falling and it’s starting to stick. I’m really getting stoked to ride, it might not be long. Over the weekend I had the chance to check out Jeremy Jones’s new movie “Further”. It was a refreshing look at snowboarding. A project based on Jeremy’s love for the pure pursuit of climbing and riding mountains. The movie did a good job at documenting the trials and tribulation of big mountain riding. It takes a lot of confidence and determination to ride just one of those lines and putting together a movie about it is no easy effort. It was awesome to witness the stoke of some of my long time riding friends as they topped out, and dropped into beautiful peaks in remote locations. They showed Japan like you’ve never seen it as well as amazing spots in Austria, Norway and the big mountains of Alaska.
A must have for my snowboarding video collection.
Sunshine and new snow got the crew out of bed early despite the lack of sleep after the 2 days of travel it took to get back into winter. It was kind of junk show getting our gear together and out the door but we managed to pull it together and get on it without losing a minute or forgetting anything major. Soon we were dropping into our first run of the trip a quick hotlap to get the blood flowing and stoke the fire. The feeling of slashing pow, popping ollies and hitting transition was a like a dream after no shredding for the past few months. The oppressive heat from the doldrums of summer was gone after the first face shot. It was good and we rode, hiked and made the most of it getting back to the cars well after dark. The next few days the skies stayed blue and we set out on our Mountain Approach skis opening up unlimited terrain allowing us to find good snow and untracked lines for days after the storm.
Chile has the best of both worlds… A land of parallel mountains and coastline.
I left Jackson predawn to make the drive to Salt Lake to catch my afternoon flight to Chile. 2 sunrises and 2 sunsets later we (Curtis Ciszek, Seth Huot, Blair Habenicht, Scott Sullivan and I) arrived in our home base in southern Chile. I watched the first sunrise over the desolate Wyoming landscape and go down durring a layover in Dalles TX, rise again in Santiago as we were landing, and set again near the end of our drive south.
Our main objective was to shoot the 2013 Volcom Outerwear. We we’re prepared for that as well as for getting in the water on the event of a down day. We brought our standard riding gear, backcountry gear, including Mountain approach skis, verts (snowshoes) surfboards & wetsuits, rented two 4×4 rigs and had no plan other than being on it when and where the snow was good and go coastal when it wasn’t. Our luck was good as we arrived to the first clear day after a significant storm dropped around 3 feet of new snow in the mountains. We got to bed early exhausted from the long days traveling excited for the days to come.
Next: Shredding the Andes
A skin track and a line… evidence of a good moment shredding.
Tracks tell you a story, some good, some bad. Some tracks are like vandalism, equal to crappy scribbles of profanity on a bathroom stall, while others look like a masters brushstroke on a pristine canvas. Some tell tales of harrowing adventures, close calls and ruin. A perfect backcountry barcode strip of a jump landing, proof that everyone stomped the landing…or the straight line broken up by impossible cliff bands and perfect symetrical turns connecting transitions.