I’m on a plane heading back to the states after a crazy week in Austria. I flew over for the 20th “Air &Style” stadium kicker contest…pretty much just an excuse to rip some runs in Arlberg with my longtime friend Jamie Lynn and Volcom’s Pat Barraza.
My legs were weak with jetlag and I was more than intimidated by the triple cork ready kicker. It was surreal dropping into the scaffolding jump at night in front of the massive crowd. It was a “leap of faith” as I dropped in for the first time… heart racing, tripping out and totally mind fucked by the whole scene overload.
It felt really good to be done paying the dues at the contest and jump on the train to Arlberg. My friend Blackie picked us up and we wasted no time getting into right into some killer shredding… it snowed over a foot and was dumping super hard as we took hotlaps with friends.
It kept snowing and things just got better as the rest of the days of our trip passed. We rode till exhaustion, cooked food at Volcom team house and spent some time painting and catching up over a few beers.
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*
I spent the last few days posted up in a sled access backcountry lodge with Travis Rice, Mark Carter, Willie McMillon, Joe Carter, Aaron Dodds, Bungie and my new Volcom team mate Pat Moore. We endured the coldest temps I’ve ever been out in but it payed off with some good shredding and good times hanging out by the fire.
Check out Volcom’s IP2′s final segi going live tomorrow on snowboardermag.com.