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3/13/2013 3:59:54 PM Sometimes I come up with some crazy ideas. I look at topographical maps a minimum of an hour everyday. "Well maybe I could go climb over, down and around these mountains and hopefully I can make it out here". This was one of those ideas and like others Hummel thought I was crazy. I admit there have been a few times that I could tell he was not stoked to go on a trip but this one was comparable to when I persuaded him to do Goode. I've only heard that tone a handful of times So here is a trip that took 3 years of convincing............ The plan Contour the northside of Rainier starting at the Carbon River then ending at White River where a snowmobile (Thanks Boot) would assist us back to the Crystal snowpark. One thing I loved about this tour was that it had minimal traverses, it was set up for and by a snowboarder. Each day we would put it low angle skin tracks on smooth canvases of snow, ride down a big line, then skin up the next mountain. Our team in crime was Ben Starky, Jason Hummel and I and here were are nowhere near snow level. Over the next few hours we wondered through the woods and found ourselves at Tolomie Peak. Sadly someone locked it! :bawl: Since we still hadn't snowboarded much yet we decided to ride all the way down to the Mowich lake road then skin up to the Campgrounds where we slept right next to the lake outlet which gave us access to water. Our home for the next 3 days. A Katabatic tent with only 4 poles and no rain fly. Here is a happy Hummel. It seems the NeoAir is all the rage these days. Imagine waking up to this knowing you are going to have to put it on. It's painful watching the sun slowly rise when you are in the darkness of the valley. After a 30 minute ordeal of putting on frozen snowboard boots we made our way out into the sun which happened to be on Mowich Lake. The first thing you learn skiing in the backcountry is there are no trails, so instead we made our own. It was Jasons first time up to Knapsack Pass and we both agreed "Eagle Ridge to Spray Park is one of the more annoying trails in the park". Silly Telemarkers :huh: From here on it was uninterrupted sunshine for hours on end and a fresh canvas of snow to put a skin track on amazing slopes. Ever wonder what Spray Park looks like in Winter? Look at that skin track No trip to Spray park is complete without checking out Echo Rock. Here Ben is stoked to eat his Pastrami sandwich. Now back to skinning. The view was nice. and the shadow lines were unreal. We felt like Giants until we looked up. Soon enough we made it to our highpoint on the Russell Glacier. and Snowboarded Powder. Over 3000 feet of it! Turns out the Carbon is a rather dark and inhospitable place. We made it up onto Curtis Ridge just as the light show began. and Ben enjoyed his second day ever being on the North side of the park. and rode some pow to a place we found fitting for camp. We thought it couldn't get any colder We were wrong. The next morning we woke to the sunrise and smiled as we looked up at our snowboard tracks. Then it was back to work putting in a clean skin track It was cold under the Willis Wall Hours and hours of breaking trail All for a 4000 foot powder run What looks nicer a tele turn or............ A snowboard turn. Here is Ben enjoying a bit of pow on the Emmons I don't know if I am telling Hummel he is crazy or I really have to take a piss. Soon enough we were near the Toe of the Winthrop and it's time to break trail up Granite Creek. After a few minutes of steep sidehilling we made our way up the creek. and finally broke into the alpine once again. it was time to put in a gorgeous skin track. So that's what we did Occasionally stopping to take in the views. Yes I ski tour in cotton! Don't ask what is going on here. On top of the second Burrough I have seen this view hundreds of times. To see it in the winter had become an obsession. Enough of the sentimental stuff lets get back to snowboarding. Pow riding off the N face of the 2nd burrough to Berkley Park. and back to putting in some skin track art. and enjoyed our last sunset of the trip and rode the east face of the 1st Burrough. We skinned to dusk racing to get to Sunrise before needing to use headlamps. Once arriving we had a wild party on top of the Visitor Center. before calling it a night. Being wild and crazy Ben and I woke up at 4 a.m. the next day and skinned a few miles down the Sunrise road and watched the sunrise from Dege Peak. and rode yet again amazing NE facing powder. Once again this was a peak I had drooled at for over a decade dreaming of getting it in pow conditions. I would stare at it day after day from the summit of Crystal Mountain The peak on the far right side (we also skied the two far ridges in the background) We looked up at our tracks for what felt like hours but was more like a few minutes. Before heading back to Sunrise and waking up sleeping beauty (AKA Mr Hummel). I love when terrain works in your benefit and directly across the parking lot was a chute that went fall line to the White River Campground. Which is still covered in a tad bit of snow. and were saved by "Our hero" Boot!. Hummel being the Badass he is decided to continue the traverse adding in 16 miles of road while Ben and I relaxed on the sled. In total it was 36 miles ,18,000 feet and 4 days. and I am proud to say..... Hummel got worked! As Seth Waterfall said so eloquently "southcentralcascadesrules4life!!! "
10/22/2012 12:23:38 PM Lets Get the Ball Rolling Throughout this season I intend on keeping one thread alive, focusing on tours, travels and general stoke. It may be a picture or two and it may be a full on trip report from the 2012/2013 season and the occasional one from last season. This way it can all be found on one easy thread and a great way to scroll through the wild and crazy life of someone who ditched the cubicle in search of a life a little bit off the beaten path. So I hope you enjoy. A Rather Brief Introduction I was not one for the mountains originally. My place of refuge was behind a television spending countless hours on the newest on Nintendo games this was my life for years and with a twist of fate and an event that would forever change my life I was introduced/forced into the mountains at the age of 19. A switch seemed to go of in my head and no longer did I have any interest in absorbing the illumination of the screen and now my focus was to embrace the outdoors. From day one I was in love with the mountains and felt a calling that I could never explain. My family had some background of mountaineering in the PNW in the early 1900's but it seemed to skip a generation with my parents, but here I was engulfed in a culture I knew nothing about and leaving both my life and bank account to a thing I call fate otherwise known as a ski bum. The Mountains were my Savior It wasn't long tell I got into ski touring as I always wanted to get off the beaten path but it took years to get into being more isolated tours. To keep myself focused I would create goals for the season. What originally was to ride on the 5 Washington Volcanos became 25 Cascadian Volcanos in the 08/09 season. Once those were done I decided to get intimate with the mountains of legend otherwise known as the North Cascades for 09/10. Those two years really changed who I was and how I thought about the mountains and everything that surrounds me. It was the North Cascades that taught me the meaning of a word sufferfest. Pain, isolation and endless beauty can be found in those valleys and the alpine for anyone willing to endure. I was in love and knew there was no turning back. Here is a brief overview of the those years aptly named "The past two years of my life" and then the sponsorship began That summer I received an email from Eddie Bauer showing interest in having me transition from Dirt Bag ski bum into professional athlete. Many people ask how I got sponsored and got there attention and the answer is from forums like this. Doing unique tours day after day and pushing both my physical and mental limits. The truth of the matter is I owe a lot to online forums such as TGR, Turns-all-year and Splitboard.com. By the time that sponsorship came around I had already set my goals for the season. I was already intimate with the North Cascades and our beloved Washington state and I wanted to peruse riding The Ten Highest Peaks in Washington, which I loved and feared at the same time. I originally planed for the Months of April-July but a chance encounter with the Sweetgrass Crew would send me to S.A. for June and July. At first I thought there was no way I could do it in two months but I decided to go for it anyways and tick them off one by one. Well it was August when I tackled Rainier but somehow I was able to do it. Not only that but I was fortunate to be involved with two films that season. First Solitaire with Sweetgrass Productions then secondly a documentary called FreeRider which followed me around for that entire season and put my personality on screen. My life had changed radically overnight so here is a brief picture TR of the 10/11 season and the entire FreeRider film for your enjoyment. [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=49079497 [/tube] The list of thanks is endless but but within the ski community I would like to thank Jason Hummel, Scott McAllister, Amar Andalkar, Dan Howell, Scott Stuglemeyer, Hannah Carrigan, Boot, John Cocci, Brennan, Snowslut, Caley George, Will Ritter, Jason Bowes, Kathy and Robert Chrestensen, Chris Willis, Chris Gallardo, The Brit, All my Greenwater Crew, Tiana, Justus and Kalela (AKA team Crystal), Jacob Hase, The Welch kids, Jessie Rowe, the million people who picked my up hitchhiking over two years and everyone else I shared the skin track with Trademark Kyle Miller :wink:
11/15/2011 9:48:44 AM Introduction: It's amazing how much has changed within the last two years: from doing anything and everything I could to get a single board, to having the opportunity to test out numerous ones. I wanted to get a feel for the types of boards available and the conditions each one excelled in. I tried to take each board out in all sorts of conditions and I thought I would share my experiences with the rest of you. I was not paid by any company to post this and I tried to keep it as honest as possible. I made sure to keep my reviews objective, so here we go! Atomic Poacher Conditions/days: I was able to get out on the Poacher for a week during mid-March 2011 when conditions were epic powder! For seven straight days, I skinned steep faces and took mini laps down wide-open bowls, steep couloirs, and open trees. Pros: Rides amazingly well; can't beat the price; skins solidly attached to both tips and tails; works with standard bindings at the resort, and it's made of recycled material! Cons: The transition system can be a pain in harsh environments; the heel riser wouldn't stay extended. Overall impression: There is no question this board is a great price, and beyond that, it rides like a dream in both powder and groomer conditions. The one downfall is the patented transition system: when transitioning in deep powder conditions it took a long time to switch over. The crampons are vital and must be taken on every tour. You just can't beat 949.00 for board, bindings, skins and crampons! This board is great for someone just getting into splitboarding and wants a full package! Website: http://www.atomicsnowboarding.com/index1.php#/PRODUCTS-02-01/ [vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/21333337[/vimeo] Voile Mojo Conditions/days: Throughout the season I got somewhere between 20 and 30 days on this board, with conditions ranging anywhere from waist-deep blower pow to the high point of the corn season! The board was used in terrain ranging from the mellowest slopes to the sketchiest. Pros: Great board for slackcountry; extremely lightweight; easy board to get used to; cap construction on edges holds firm; quick edge-to-edge transition. Cons: Can be a tad bit grabby; doesn't work with Karakoram clips. Overall impression: This board is great if you have the intent to ride in both the resort and the backcountry. It's super lightweight and is the board of choice when racing up a skin track. I went for over two months without using it, then after two turns I felt I had the board dialed. The Mojo is good choice for someone who is looking to get out in the BC occasionally. Website: http://www.voile-usa.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1305&Category_Code=Voile_Splitboards&Product_Count=2 Lib Tech T-Rice Conditions/days: This board got around 30 days of use last winter and summer. It was used in both Mt. Rainier and North Cascades National Parks for epic slogs through knee-deep powder, and for prime volcano corn at the end of the season. Pros: C2 rocker is great in powder; Magne-Traction for extra edge hold; artwork is top-notch; transfers from edge to edge easily and holds in steep corn. Cons: The rocker can be a pain during approaches with numerous ups and downs; board takes time to get used to if not familiar with Lib Tech boards. Overall impression: This was my first time on a Lib board, so it took me quite a while to get used to it. Once I got a feel for it, it was insanely fun and felt more like a surfboard! On steep corn snow, it went from edge to edge flawlessly! The only issue was that I couldn't find the sweet spot while skinning on long approaches because of the rocker; if I leaned too far forward or backward on downhill stretches, the board would wash out under me. This board is perfect for anyone who is accustomed to Lib Tech boards and wants a smooth transition...not to mention it could double as artwork on your wall. Website: http://www.lib-tech.com/snowboards/travis-rice-pro-splits/ Venture Storm Conditions/days: I received this board in the beginning of May and took it on some of my longest endeavors. I rode this board in conditions ranging from horrible, bulletproof Bolivian glaciers to three feet of blower in Argentina. This board was exclusively used for filming with Sweetgrass for the Solitaire project. In total I got around 30 days riding the Storm. Pros: Durable; built for any kind of conditions; once dialed, it likes to charge! Cons: Heavy; had a small bit of chatter in icy conditions Overall impression: This thing is a tank and endured numerous slogfests on trips upward of 50 miles in five days, without a single sign of wear and tear! It took a few laps to get used to, but after that it rode like a dream. The Storm is perfect for the rider who likes big lines and is willing to ride in a variety of conditions! Website: http://www.venturesnowboards.com/index.php?inc=storm_splitboard.html Venture Zephyr Conditions/days: This board was used primarily in powder by numerous other people and myself. I got in at least 20 days of open bowls, couloirs, and treed slopes! Pros: Durable; great in powder conditions. Cons: Seemed powder-specific; a tad bit squirrelly in the resort (chopped up snow). Overall impression: This board rode like a champ in powder and was very quick and agile in tight trees. I introduced a friend to splitboarding with this board, and he was blown away that it rode and felt just like a solid board. The Zephyr is perfect for the person who has a quiver and wants something to slay the bottomless conditions. Website: http://www.venturesnowboards.com/index.php?inc=zephyr_splitboard.html Chimera Mace Conditions/days: This board was a backup as I traveled in South America; in total I got around six days on it. I used this board in two feet of fresh in Argentina (both resort and BC), as well as on steep Cascadian volcanic ice and corn. Pros: Lightweight; great shape; original concept. cons: Potential durability issues (I tested a prototype); softness created "waves" in the skin track. Overall impression: When I first started skinning on this board, I was blown away by how light it was; I felt like there was nothing on my feet! I dig the unique idea of only putting edges on the inside under the feet, and it's cool to see a small company going after it. This board truly felt like a resort board and I started doing nose rolls and butters on it! The only issue was that it was so soft it created dips in the skin track - to the point that my skier friends asked me to stay off the skin track (once again, this was a prototype). This board is a great freeriding charger for someone who wants a resort-style board in the backcountry. Website: http://chimerasnowboards.com/Models K2 Panoramic Conditions/days: This board was tested for about ten days in conditions ranging from wind-blown powder to firm corn. The majority of descents were lower-angled terrain, with the occasional steep section to get my heart pumping! Pros: Strong; lightweight; comes with holes in tips/tails for potential sled use; no chattering on steep icy slopes. Cons: Freestyle-oriented. Overall impression: K2 spent quite a bit of time developing this board, and it shows. With features like the lightweight bamboo core and tip and tail holes, not only can you ride it but you can rig it as a sled in an emergency. K2 has also developed skins specifically for the board, which hook into those same holes. This board is great for someone who wants to bring freestyle to the BC! Website: http://k2snowboarding.com/snowboards/k2-panoramic-splitboard Feel Free to ask questions and I will try to answer them!
9/28/2011 1:10:53 PM I've posted this thread on a few other sites like Splitboard.com and TGR so sorry if you have already seen this! Yep I am a very lucky man! Well there is so many places that I could start this thread at but I decided to go with one of my favorite lines this entire season. A peak that goes by the name of Bandit in the "Middle of nowhere" North Cascades! Yep that line goes and its called the Black Hole Couloir! Photo by John Scurlock Every time I tour with Ale Capone it is guaranteed to be a adventure! Photo by Nicholas Cryder 4000 Vertical feet of straight fall line! Photo by Scott McAllister I had been waiting for this moment for years! Photo by Scott McAllister Early in the season I came up with a project to ride lines on the 10 highest Peaks in Washington which seemed overwhelming but with a full spring I felt it would be possible, that is until I got a email and great opportunity. Sweetgrass productions was filming a movie called Solitaire and they were wondering if I wanted to go to South America for two months. Without hesitation I said I would be honored. Little did I realize that I was heading down for the months of June and July (which were prime corn season in the PNW) so almost immediately after getting the message I was out in the middle of nowhere attempting these peaks during the months of April and May. Mt. Fernow is number 8 at 9,249 feet. Completed on April 15th Photo by John Scurlock Bonanza Peak is number 6 at 9,511. Completed on April 17th Photo by Lowell Skoog Mt. Stuart is number is number 7 at 9,415. Completed on April 22nd Photo by Don Bounty Mt. Goode is number 9 at 9,200. Completed on May 1st Photo by John Scurlock Mt. Baker is number 4 at 10,781. Completed on May 9th Photo by Jason Hummel Mt. Shuksan is number 10 at 9,131. Completed on May 10th Photo by Jason Hummel Glacier Peak is number 5 at 10,520. Completed on May 19th Photo by Kathy Chrestensen Little Tahoma is number 3 at 11,138. Completed on May 24th Photo by Jason Hummel By the time that I said goodbye to the U.S. I had 8 out of the 10 peaks completed leaving both Rainier and Mt Adams for when I returned back to the states on July 22nd Welcome to La Paz Bolivia at a altitude of 12,500 feet in the valley! After a few days of acclimatizing we made our way out to Huayna Potosi. This giant 19,974 foot peak is a one hour drive from town. The graves are open so the spirits can roam freely! The colossal giant in the distance! I was fortunate to partner up with rock star Ski Mountaineer Kim Havell. The landscape was like nothing I had ever seen. Looking out among a 15,000 foot plateau and La Paz in the canyon. Conditions were bullet proof ice, which made for great climbing but not so great snowboarding. Looking down among the Bolivian Andes and the Amazon Fainforest This was the view from our basecamp where we stayed for 5 days. Once arriving back to La Paz I noticed I had a toothache. It turned out that I needed to get a root canal which put me out for a full week. The whole time I was at the hotel I had this picture above my head to comfort me. While I missed out on some amazing stuff I did get to witness the Gran Poder which is the party of the year in town. This parade lasted 16 hours. A week later everyone was back and we were off to the next adventure in a small village town called Sajama named after the volcano in the backround which happens to be the highest peak in Bolivia at 21463 Our focus was the peak on the right Pomerape. The peak to the left is Parinacota. The weirdest thing about these volcanoes was there was no streams. Instead of melting these glaciers were evaporating. Our home for the next 4 days. Climbing at 20,000 feet is brutal but the views are amazing. I was so beat this was the only photo I managed to take. Night after night we would get amazing sunsets. but before long it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Some people went back to the states, one went to Argentina and I went to Lake Titicaca According to Inca legend this area was the birthplace of the sun and the moon. Looking down at Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca My next stop was Cuzco Peru. At one time this was the Inca capital. but the Spanish came in and tore down the temples and made churches over them. This was the Inca Sun Temple which was made out of gold but all that remains is the foundation. Cuzco is now the Catholic capital of South America and I happened to be there on the day of Corpus Cristi otherwise known as the Walking of the Saints. From there I took a train through what the Inca referred to as the Sacred Valley to a small town called Aguas Caliente. Which was at the base of Machu Picchu One can't help to be blown away by how they built on such steep mountains and such AMAZING temples like the temple of the Three Windows The Temple of the Sun The Temple of the Moon and the Temple of the Condor While there I climbed the surrounding mountains. Here is a view from Hyanni Picchu Machu Picchu mountain and the Sun Gate. The switchbacks are the road that take buses by the thousands up everyday. I quickly realized the better the stonework the more sacred the area was My next stop was Ollantaytambo which was the final stronghold of the Incas versus the Spanish. This was the only place where the Inca defeated the Spanish and saved Machu Picchu which was 20 miles downstream. My last morning in Peru I watched the sunrise in Cuzco before boarding the plain. I landed in Santiago Chile where I had a blast for three days watching the Copa Cup and drinking Pisco Sours with a bunch of rowdy Chileans. Good times! Then I was off to Las Lenas Argentina to meet back up with my friends from Sweetgrass. When I got there it hadn't snowed for weeks and the snowpack was nonexistent. Here is Las Lenas peak. All the rumors are true, the El Marte Chair is Crazy! but we made the most of it and hiked. Once in the highcountry we realized we were just at the foothills of the Andes. We hiked day after day until sunset. Once Ryland Bell got into town there was rumor of a huge storm coming in but wanting to stretch his feet we did some hiking for turns. Ryland is the man! and then the snow arrived! Almost three feet of it! After that we skinned everywhere. Stoked that the snow dropped somewhat heavy to put down a solid base. Finally pow turns in South America The wind dictates everything in the Andes where one bowl could be 10 feet deep the next bowl has no snow. Here Ryland bootpacks up a steep couloir with a part of Las Lenas in the background. Our goal for the trip and my final day was focused on Cerro Martin one of the biggest peak in the area. but the peaks beyond that went on forever. This was final and by far the best run in South America So I said goodbye and boarded a plane home to Seattle. Where two days later I focused my attention on Mt. Adams Which is number 2 at 12,276 feet Compleated on July 24th Photo by Jessie Rowe Then Mt. Shasta via the Hotlum Wintum route. Photo by Amar Andalkar Luckily I was used to hanging out at 14,000 feet. Photo by Amar Andalkar Next was Rainier Which is number 1 at 14,410 Photo by Amar Andalkar Which I summited on August 1st finally completing my Ten Highest Peaks project. Photo by Amar Andalkar Then a few days later I went back to Mt. Adams with Jason to celebrate him completing the goal as well. Photo by Juya Ghanaie On August 13th I took my final turns of the season off the summit of Mt. Baker. Photo by Amar Andalkar It was time to put the splitboard away and do some hiking during our traditional "Two Weeks of Summer" I explored some areas on the north side of Mt Rainier like Grand Park and checked out different alpine terrain. Trying to camp in areas where I would get a great view of the sunset. Looking down on Puget Sound. Looking at Rainier and Spray Park in the foreground. The Massive Willis Wall. In total the hike was five days half of which I did solo and the other half with my friend Boot. My next trip was a 10 hike with another good friend Skier Dan. We started off on the western edge of Glacier Peak Wilderness. and passed familiar peaks like Sloan to the right and Kyes which Ale Capone and I had rode the previous year to the left. Our first camp was Lake Byrne which since the floods of 2003 is only accessible via a 11 mile hike. Its September 1st and this lake is at 5,500 feet. This was the only cloudy day of the trip but luckily Glacier Peaks west side came out for a few minutes. This area is now abandoned and all of the bridges are gone. So we carefully made our way to the Pacific Crest Trail Looking at the Northeast side of Glacier Peak Heading into the Fire Creek Pass area there is some amazing and steep alpine terrain. That night we camped up at Fire Creek Pass and watched the sun set to the west. Mica Lake still frozen on September 3rd. If the area wasn't so brutal and inaccessible there is amazing terrain out there. and that terrain goes on forever. If you ever have a chance you MUST check out Dolly Vista. Its one of the most scenic places I have ever been to. Here Dan is crossing over Cloudy Pass which is the crest of the Cascades. Welcome to Eastern Washington and the Lyman Lakes We spent two nights in Stehekin (Thanks Keith) which is the coolest town in the world before saying goodbye. Here Dan is crossing Park Creek Pass. After one sketch log cross and 23 miles of hiking down valley we were back to civilization. Its been a amazing 6 months and I feel very fortunate to be in the situation I am in. I hope you enjoyed the adventure. and with that here is a sunset shot I took at Mt. Rainier on the night before my summit day. Oh and I just got my September Turns putting me up at 107 consecutive months. Photo by Amar Andalkar A lot of these adventured were filmed for the upcoming Documentary from Crest productions Called Freerider [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=23318146 [/tube] I would like to thank Jason Hummel,Scott McAllister, Don Bounty, Jessie Rowe, Amar Andalkar, Chris Gallardo, Ben Sturgenowski, Micheal Brown, Kathy Crestensen, Robert Crestensen, Nick Wagner, Kim Havell, Jim Harris, Everyone at Eddie Bauer/First Ascent, Chris Willis and Pacific Pile and Marine, Smith Optics, Will Ritter, The Karakorum Brothers, Pat at Bro Skiis, The Peeps at Venture, Burton, Voile, Chimera, Lib Tech, Intuition, Snowsurf and Smith Optics.
8/29/2011 4:23:46 PM Hey everyone over the past 6 months I have been followed around by a documentary crew to film most of my adventures. I haven't posted anything recently on the internet so I though I would post it up. Man I have had some wild adventures recently. [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=23318146 [/tube] Here is a older post with a bit of background of what I am about! The Past Two Years of my Life
3/13/2011 1:11:40 PM This TR and endless others can be found on my "Past Two Years of my Life" thread. The season started off perfect with large amounts of snow and epic riding inbounds at my local haunt, Crystal Mountain Washington. This story starts in the end of December and ends in the beginning of March It was a perfect combination of 36 inches of new snow, clear skies and cold temps. The first few days we got up the chairs and left the resort with a quickness. Photo by John Cocci Here are a few POVs December 27 Way too many face shots December 28 taking advantage of 9 inches of new and easily accessed backcountry Then I found out how crappy Contours servers are and switched to Vimeo December 29th 3 laps on East Peak with the whole mountain to ourselves. [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=18285711 [/tube] December 30th got in some epic tree runs [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=18315318 [/tube] Photo by John Cocci December 31st Went up to the White River Campground via snowmobile and rode the North Face of Goat Island Mtn. a line I had wanted to do for years. [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=18339086 [/tube] January 1st We took advantage of our old skin track from the 30th and put in some more wild lines Photo by John Cocci [tube]http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=18356522 [/tube]
12/25/2010 3:39:41 PM Introduction When I started the 09/10 Season I decided I would have a unified theme of exploring all the sub ranges of the Pacific Northwest and more specifically Washington State, with the Bailey Range being my big project. These mountains are quite literally the heart of the Olympic Mountains with well over 20 miles of unscathed alpine, rainforest, and enough terrain to stoke any climber. Once at the end of the Baileys and dead center in the Olympics our plan was to exit via Mt. Olympus an area we became familiar with over a year earlier, pulling off a 7 day expedition to the Valhallas (Click Here for the trip report). To pull off the traverse we expected it would take 7 days so we patiently waited for the perfect weather window throughout the season. By the end of June we had all but given up with questionable forecasts, but our window finally came in July with the promise of weeks of uninterrupted sunshine. The first of our endeavors was the Alpine Lake Traverse which crossed through the high points of the Snoqualmie Pass area for a total of 7 days and 70 miles. Four days later were off to the Olympics, our feet still rubbed raw from the previous expedition. Day 1 Anxiety always comes when you are at a trailhead packing gear for a multi-day trip. First comes excitement knowing that you are going to go somewhere seldom ventured, then fear knowing that you will have to be self sufficient . It was hard to believe that we would soon be alone as both Jason and myself passed group after group of spectators heading to a waterfall a mile into the trail. Once passing the falls it quickly became obvious that we were alone, it was mid July and rumor had it that the high peaks were still covered in a healthy snowpack. It took 9 miles before we had our first glimpse of snow not more then a foot deep, it had been much less then I expected but travel was fast on well maintained trails. Things slowed down considerably as we hiked on patches of snow not big enough to skin on and not strong enough to support our weight. Here we were trying to pull of a ski traverse with insufficient snow. It was late afternoon before Jason and I reached High Divide which allowed us our first views of the Bailey and Mt Olympus which was right across the valley. My heart sunk realizing this would not be a easy task and that we had 6 days of hard work ahead of us. While I couldn’t see a path through the Baileys I hoped it would become obvious as we got deeper into the range. That night we watched the sunset over Mt. Olympus and studied our topographical maps before going to sleep. Day 2 We woke up to the sound of rustling outside the tent. It was just after sunrise and to our astonishment there were elk eating flowers not five feet from our tent. I carefully and meticulously spread out my wet gear in the early morning sun taking advantage of a opportunity to dry all of my wet gear before hiking. In front of us was a small basin covered with snow but beyond that it was dry with no snow in sight. We carefully followed the faint reminisce of the high Divide trail still buried under a foot of well compacted snow fearing that losing the trail would lead us to a legendary bushwhack, little did we realize what was in store for us. I had heard of a section on the trail known only as the Catwalk which traverses through steep cliffs and is considered one of the sketchiest places around. What I originally thought was the Catwalk turned out only to be the approach finally turning into a climb up class 4 rock on a exposed knife ridge with dense forest. Each move was calculated, slowly moving through the brush so the skis on our packs wouldn’t snag branches. While the Catwalk was only 3 miles it had taken us hours to push through the steep slopes and vegetation, before long we had reached the open alpine of Mt. Carrie. Mt. Carrie is the high point of the Baileys with a summit elevation of 6995 feet. The southern slopes were absent of snow but northern slopes hold Remnant snowfields that would allow us to skin, hopefully for the rest of the trip. We hiked through Avalanche lilies straight up Mt. Carrie with not a patch of snow anywhere to be seen. It wasn’t until we were a few hundred feet below the summit that we would step foot on snow again. From the summit of Mt. Carrie we could see Hurricane Ridge to the north and Mt. Olympus to the south. Finally we were able to make some ground riding a NE facing glacier to the base of our next project, Mt. Ruth. From the moment we set site on Mt. Ruth we knew that we just had to ski it. It was late in the day and we watched the shade take over the mountain as we quickly climbed up the steep NE face. We had gained more ground then anticipated as we rode perfect corn for 2000 feet to Stephens lake, our camp for the night. Day 3 After a little bit of route finding around Shephen lake we made our way up a low col directly underneath Stephens Peak and took a much needed break. We had hoped to ride all the way to Cream basin but once we reached the ridge there was no snow to be found. The down climb to Cream lake was nothing short of treacherous with forests so dense I had to crawl on my hands and knees while dragging my backpack behind. Hours passed as we climbed through the woods with the afternoon sun weighing us down. In the distance we could see open snow covered slopes as we once again reached alpine. From our vantage point we were blown away by how much terrain we had already covered and how much was ahead of it. We passed quite a few peaks to make up for lost time but focused on Mt. Ferry which would allow us to descent to our camp in Eleven Bull Basin for the night. Day 4 Here we were deep into the alpine with nothing but snow covered peaks all around us. We were now in the southern portion of the Baileys and right in the middle of the Olympic Mountains. We climbed up Eleven Bull Glacier and before long made it to Bear Pass and the end of the Baileys. From here we would have to drop deep into the forests of Queets Basin then make our way north to Mt. Olympus via the Huhes Glacier. We made our way down the mellow slopes of the Basin making sure to stay on the right and side of the quickly accumulating river which quickly became a 100 foot deep canyon. Within a hour of Bear Pass we were once again bushwhacking through dense forest trying to find a way past yet another steep canyon. According to the topographical map there were mellow slopes above us but after two hours of steep climbing we decided we preferred the canyon instead. The slopes were so ridiculously steep that we downclimbed with a ice axe and crampons. I grabbed on to anything and everything that I could as we slid down the steep canyon wall finally making it to Huhes creek. We were able to follow the creek all the way to its source, the Humes Glacier a 3 mile long ramp of snow and Ice. We climbed up the Humes while the sun was setting and skinned among with the late night alpenglow to our backs finally reaching our camp for the night Blizzard Pass. From our camp we could see Mt Olympus directly east and Mt Rainier to the west as the darkness enveloped around us. Day 5 We had traversed the Baileys successfully and now it was time to focus on the second objective, Mt. Olympus. We decided that we would pull off a one day traverse of the Mountain tagging East Peak, Middle Peak, Five Fingers and the West Peak in one westward swoop. It was quickly decided that we needed to go fast and light as we ditched our overnight gear on the Hoh Glacier. From Blizzard pass we rode down firm corn, navigating around cliffs and crevasses until finally stepping foot on the glacier. This was familiar territory for both of us, the previous season we had experienced a white out on the same glacier. We followed the mellow ramp up zig zagging around open crevasses and slowly creeping towards the peaks. With some careful navigation we tagged all of the summits with the highlight being the Blue Glacier Headwall on the West Peak and True summit. The day was long and our ambitious goals had been achieved making a final run down to Glacier Pass and back to camp. That night we slept under a open sky on the Hoh Glacier anticipating a long day ahead, the departure through over 20 miles of well maintained trail. Day 6 The previous season it had taken us 2 days to exit Mt Olympus and we expected the same this season. Our backs ached and our feet were swollen as we down-climbed the wide open trail with each step getting us closer to civilization. Keeping a constant pace we made our way past landmarks that reminded us of old times, mainly a bridge where this photo was taken. What had taken us two days the previous year was pulled off in 9 hours, finally arriving at our car stocked full with beverages and random food. Looking back at the 2010 season it was filled with brutal approaches and rugged mountain terrain. Unlike the previous season, parking lots and trailheads were few and far between. The Cascades have changed who I am and how I look at the world. People think that ski mountaineering is all about your Physical abilities but in my experiences I have found that the mental game of being alone and self reliant is far more taxing. I can honestly say that I now look at the Cascades with new eyes and a much better understanding of the layout. This next season is going to push me harder then I ever though possible. Thanks for taking the time to read this story and I hope you enjoyed it. By the way this trip is featured in the most recent Off Piste Magazine! For Jasons Version Click here To Purchase any of the photos click here
12/13/2010 10:31:39 PM Throughout the 09\10 season I thoroughly explored the North Cascades region of Washington state from Snoqualmie pass to the Canadian Border. My main focus was separate ranges and unique areas within our mountains, the Alpine Lakes being one of those areas. Last season turned out to be an abnormally wet year with rain lingering all the way until July. With an optimistic forecast Jason Hummel and I decided to make a trek through the Snoqualmie pass corridor deep into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. 70 miles of glaciers, lakes, and desolate terrain laid ahead of us The Alpine Lake Traverse Day 1 From the Hyas Valley to Mt. Daniel We parked our car at the Hyas Valley trailhead near Salmon La Sac. Above us the skies were dark gray with a thick layer of clouds and the valleys lush green from a recent shower. Carefully we packed our bags to utilize every spare inch of space. Meticulously going through our gear we tried to find the balance between too much stuff and not enough. My major dilemma being whether or not to bring hiking shoes. In the end I did the whole trek in snowboard boots. We slowly hiked up the dirt covered trail in high spirit. We had finally embarked on a journey that I had wanted to do for years. I had hiked the Pacific Crest Trail when I was younger, but this time I would be traversing the mountainous peaks of this region. We read over the topographical maps for weeks on end and it felt great to finally be experiencing it. The occasional hiker greeting us with questions like “What do you plan on doing with those skiis?” or “Where are you guys going” to which we would smile and reply “we are heading to Alpental (ski resort) to do some skiing”, Alpental was 70 miles away and it was the beginning of July. It was apparent people had moved onto other hobbies and skiing was the last thing on there minds. It wasn’t long before we left the beaten path and joined a faint climbing trail. After traversing above a sheer vertical cliff we were at Cathedral Pass, our gateway to the lower flanks of Mt. Daniel. Once over the pass the landscape turned from green to white. We had become engulfed in a sea of clouds as we took our first break on the shores of Peggys Pond. Surrounded by fog we rested on a melted out rock and glanced over our topographical map. Jason had previously been into the area but the terrain was featureless. Switching to skinning we felt releaved to get unwarranted weight of our pack. By now we were deep in the clouds and concerned about potential white out conditions. Pushing on we climbed up the mellow glaciated slopes of Mt. Daniels. Before long we were above the ceiling of the cloud and into blue skies, a welcome change from the gloomy conditions below with Mt. Daniel in front of us standing proudly in the afternoon sun. We felt reinvigorated as we climbed, skining on the three inches of new snow. Finally we could see the surrounding environ and with a few carefully placed switchbacks we gain the summit ridge. From our vista we could see a sea of clouds crashing among the opposing ridge, devouring it in whole. It quickly became apparent, we were going to get swallowed by the incoming front. We picked up our pace fearing getting pinned on the glacier during the potential white out. Carefully we traverse the summit headwall, Jason skinning and I bootpacking. Promptly arriving at the summit as the clouds overwhelmed the valleys bellow. We hastily set up camp feeling releaved that we had made it to our first objective. A celebration of lights was in order as we watched the sun set in the horizon. Little did we know what mother nature had in store for us. Day 2 24 Hours of Misery We were awoken by the sounds of rain pelting the tent, then snow, then back to rain. It was the forth of July and we were locked down in the middle of a storm on the summit of Mt. Daniels. The weather was persistent as we lounged in a tent unable to stretch in the confined space. We rationed our food and overlooked the maps quickly becoming stir-crazy. We had no choice, we would have to wait out the storm and that’s what we did for the next 36 hours. Day 3 From Mt. Daniel to Mt. Hinman We listened to the rain for hours on end, half awake and half asleep. By now both of us wanted nothing more then to get out of our refuge. We were loosing patients when all of a sudden the rain stopped. Quickly unzipping our tent we found that all our gear was caked thick in rhime ice. The cloud deck had lowered a few hundred feet finally loosening its firm grip on us. We sat around for a hour drying our gear in the early morning sun wondering what to do next. We could turn back and return to the car or continue on and try to make up for a lost day. In the end we decided not to give up and push forward. On the summit of Mt. Daniel we looked down onto the Lynch Glacier, featureless in a the sea of clouds. We waited for a hour before deciding to push on and head down to Pea Soup lake. Jason went first and I closely followed. We rode essential blind until we reached a suckerhole and saw the lake is 1000 feet below us. I had intended on riding to the shore line but quickly realized there was no shoreline. We would have to ride onto the lake itself. One at a time we got onto on the lake and quickly skirted across the surface to the opposing shoreline. From Pea Soup Lake we rode down to the East Fork of the Foss tributary, surrounded in an amphitheater of rock. We started skinning up the lower flanks of Mt. Hinman in a Northwesterly direction passing numerous lakes and waterfalls still buried in the seasonal snowpack. All of a sudden we once again reached the cloud deck. exposing the mellow contours of the upper slope. Below us the seas of clouds engulfed everything in site including Mt. Daniel. It quickly became apparent we had made the right move. Once on the ridge we watched the clouds slowly burning off. We were in sunshine once again and according to the forecast these would be the last clouds for weeks. To the South Rainier stood proudly . To the north, lines that I had ridden earlier in the season. Mt.Stuart, The Big Chiwaukum, Seven Finger Jack, Kyes and Shuksan to name a few. We were stoked. Finally we would get the opportunity to take a few laps on perfect corn with the setting sun lighting up the late afternoon sky. We lapped up the northern face of Hinman for hours. Again and again we rode in perfect corn snow still feeling the rush of being in the sun and unbelievable terrain. Our legs were worked. We had hiked and skinned non stop for the past 10 hours and needed some rest. We hiked back to camp occasionally looking over our shoulders at the setting sun. Within minutes daylight had turned to darkness. We sat at our vantage point watching fireworks exploding in the towns and valleys below us.
11/6/2010 11:30:44 AM I won this board at a movie Premiere and I could really use the cash to support the ski bumming lifestyle. It's still in the plastic and a 162. Here is a link to the K2 website http://k2snowboarding.com/snowboards/gyrator 400$(includes shipping) or Best Offer
11/3/2010 6:39:03 PM I'm moving to a smaller place for the winter and I need to get rid of excess gear and could use some cash for my travel fund. I have taken great care of most of the items and everything goes to the highest offer. All sales must include sales tax. If it's clothes it is probably in Large 686 Down Leather Coat. Like new Here is a review from Backcountry.com. Retail. 360$ Cost. 100$ Burton Audex Coat.The Audex System has a mind of its own if you want to use it. The coat itself is warm enough to withstand the Canadian Rockies. Here is a review. Retail 640$ Cost 100$ Burton AK Continum Fuse down Coat. Like new Retail 360$ Cost 80$ Go Lite Pursuit 50 Liter Pack. It's been through a beating but easily has another year in it. Here is a review on Trailspace. Retail 150$ Cost 50$ Petzl Headlamp. I have had it for years and never had a single issue Cost 20$ Dragon Goggles Cost 5$ 686 Smarty Pants. Other then holes in pockets they are great pants. Retail 260$ Cost 50$ 686 Fleece Coat. Like New Retail 120$ Cost 50$ 686 Baselayer Cost 10$ Burton AK Expedition baselayer. Cost 10$ Burton AK baselayer. Cost 10$ 686 Vestal Coat and Pants Combo. Great Condition Review on Sierra SnowboardRetail 500$ Cost 150$ 686 Snowboard Pants. Still have years in them but have taken a few Crampons to the ankles. Retail 240$ Cost 40$
9/6/2010 9:41:22 PM Introduction My name is Kyle Miller and I am a full time ski bum, averaging over 100 days and riding 9 months a year for the past 10 years (and 95 consecutive months of earning turns). Over the years I have gotten deeper and deeper into the backcountry. What started as the occasional bootpack in the sidecountry has now become week long expeditions deep in remote parts of the Cascades and Olympic Mountains. This TR is a combination of my past two years. Enjoy. The 08/09 Season During the lift serviced season I roamed around my local stomping ground in and around Crystal Mountain located 70 miles south of Seattle. Only 10 miles east of Mt Rainier,Crystal Mountain has some of the best Backcountry out of all the resorts in Washington state. Occasionally heading North to the Snoqualmie Pass backcountry The famous Slot Couloir and Kaleteen Peak Before long the resorts were closed and we were in the spring touring season. pushing deeper and deeper into the backcountry, tagging lines in the middle of Nowhere. Once the weather settled I pushed my own physical limited, heading off on a 7 day tour deep in the Olympic Mountains. Traveling over 60 miles all together in some of the most rugged and wild terrain I had ever encountered. Tagging first ski/snowboard descents in a area called the Valhallas and all over Mt. Olympus Five Fingers and a first descent on Athena Once my feet were healed I was off to tackle the Cascade Volcanos. climbing up big names like Mt. Rainer in Washington and riding down even bigger lines like the Gib Chute on Mt Rainier the Furher Thumb on Rainier The Cool Glacier Headwall on Glacier Peak The Early Morning Couloir on The North Sister. and the Prouty Glacier Headwall on The South Sister. In total I rode off 25 Seperate Volcanos and rode almost everyday until all the snow had melted in late July Beaten and exhausted I took a much needed break for the next 3 months Within a week of the first snowfall we were literally neck deep in the 09/10 Season and taking advantage of my splitboard on opening day at Crystal Mountain. By December the snowfall slowed down and we climbed a few rather Isolated Peaks Middle Chiwaukum Peak and took in the scenery of Mt Rainier National Park Van Trump Park With snow conditions faring better in Canada for the month of January,Jason Hummel and myself decided to head up north. Exploring Glaciers in British Columbia. Before heading into the Canadian Rockies. and tagging a few peaks along the way I was amazed by how the glaciers hung to the Massive rock walls. but before long it was time to say goodbye to Canada and head back home. In febuary I worked on my climbing skills. and riding untracked slopes both in the resort backcountry Testing my riding skills on glaciers. and steep chutes. By March I was ready to go out and tackle bigger more remote peaks. Working on my glacier travel skills. Crossing a few hurles along the way. But the payout was well worth it North face of the North Twin Sister The CJ Couloir on Johonasburg and the North face of Mt. Buckner In April I was feeling strong and focusing on going the distance in the Stevens Pass area The Big Chiwaukum. Slayed by my friend Ale Capone. and explored lines within the Monte Cristos Tackling lines in the unknown. By now I felt rather good about my balancing skills In early May the PNW was nailed with a Late season snow storm. and ran up some gnarly lines. managing to get my final face shots of the season Getting intamate with Mt Shuksan both on the north side. and the south side. and all over the Cascade Pass area Sahale Eldorado The Dorado Needle and Klawatti even with all that touring there was still so much to be explored. In June the days were long and the tours were longer Like Dome Peak. Seven Fingered Jack. Cardinial Mountain. Abernathy Peak. and Mt Robinson. This July was by far the most grueling month with two back to back tours with over 120 miles traveled in 14 days and almost 50,000 vert. The First being the Alpine Lakes Traverse Tagging lines like Chickamen and Overcoat In one of the most scenic areas in Washington Followed by the Bailey Range traverse and the tagging of Olympus's 3 summits becoming the first snowboarder to complete this traverse. I hope you enjoyed this pic heavy trip report and I look forward to posting on your forum this upcoming season. Kyle Miller
9/2/2010 8:44:44 PM I tried the board out in numerous conditions, always with my Spark Fuses and BD Ascentionist (also known as Voilie Tractor) Skins. When I say numerous conditions, I truly mean that I rode it on pretty much everything the mountain can throw at you--rain on ice, suncups, refrozen suncups, corn, mank, dust on crust, windboard, etc, etc-- pretty much everything, except for deep, dry powder and newly laid corduroy. If you’ve followed my season at all, then you know that I’m not exaggerating in this department. The funny thing is, it’s actually designed to perform best in deep powder, so I’m really incredibly stoked to try it out after a big dump this next season. The other thing I haven’t done all that much is rip the groomers in it. As you can imagine, I personally don’t feel like that’s too much of a problem. Given the performance everywhere else, I think we can pretty much go out on a limb and extrapolate that the board should do well on groomers. Not that the performance on groomers should matter, but in the interest of full disclosure, know that's somewhere I haven't taken it... please don’t get one for the groomers… Initial Impressions Before I even got it on snow, I took a look at the Freebird’s profile: it’s clear that the FreeBird is equal parts playful and bomber when carving at speed. It’s built to be surfy but precise, and has a directional emphasis, but could still be ridden switch. With just enough camber underfoot, you can still springload your turns, and with a rockered tip that’s still stiff enough to take a carve at speed on pure ice, the board should be pretty versatile. Also, just hefting it, I realized it was astonishingly light, which made me worry at first that it might break easily. However, the beating I’d put this board through would soon suggest otherwise. How It Felt Skinning Generally, a well-made splitboard is a well-made splitboard when it comes to skinning. To some extent, they’re all the same. But one thing that’s nice about camber is that it sort of makes the board spring back up off the snow as soon as you decide to lift your foot at all. Consequently, I found that spring-loaded feel to be a bit fun on the way up as well as on the way down. Also, it was insanely light. Ascending in General It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a really light board. The extra freedom you feel with a lighter board is AWESOME. It sounds corny, but your feet feel just so… free. Having a lighter piece of equipment on the way uphill is great because you’re just that much less tired when you switch over to ride down. Maybe I’m getting lazy in my old age, but fewer ounces really are greater freedom. It just makes me realize how much more work we have to do than skiers on dynafits and carbonfiber skinny skis (not that I would EVER switch to carbonfiber skinny skis, don’t get me wrong). Also, if you think having a lighter weight board on your feet is nice, try putting it on your pack. On some of the longer traverses I’ve done lately, especially those involving a little more mud and bushwhackery than I would have liked, having a lighter board on your pack is a difference you’ll definitely feel. A Trustworthy Ride I still remember when I took my first turns on this board. On that particular trip, things were getting wetslidey really fast and there was some pretty descent exposure, so the combination of avalanche danger, no-fall zone, and a lightweight board I’d never ridden before had me actually pretty worried. But, my first few turns completely put my fears to rest. The board held an edge really well on windboard, and also floated above what could have been supergrabby mank lower down. After taking a few turns to get out of harm’s way and setting off a slow moving slide, I pointed it straight and hoped it would stay stable. I was rewarded with a stiff, damp, stable ride, and quickly realized that this board had gained my trust. Testing Precision in the Steeps After my confidence in the board improved, I figured I’d take it on some slightly steeper stuff. A trip to seven-fingered jack, with its exposure and steep choke of a couloir was perfect ground for testing out hop turns, straightlining, and performance on firmer snow and ice. I found that the FreeBird excelled at precise turns and was capable of stability at speed. Lower down, near the exit apron, it had softened up, so I got a chance to ride it in corn. Corn is awesome, and with this board, I was in heaven. Perfect blend of Precision and “Pfloatiness” Additionally, as the season progressed, I had the opportunity to further test the board’s stability on refrozen suncups, while taking moderate hucks, and at greater speeds. Again, my expectations were surpassed as the FreeBird performed magnificently. I got absolutely no chatter at speed, and when asked, the board hooked up on edge, engaging the rockered tip. The fine line between a floppy, flappy, and noodly rocker that floats above powder and mank, and one that is still stiff enough to engage during large GS-style hardpack turns, is difficult one to walk; I think Burton has done a very good job of finding the perfect compromise with this board. It’s also definitely a more stable board (for a splitboard) between the legs, and feels stable on landings. Playful, Poppy, and Fun A final shot of goodness in the FreeBird’s perfect potent cocktail of rocker and camber is the poppy, surfy, fun feel that the board has. I know this is in part because of the added stability of the Spark R&D bindings, but I really get the urge to session on this board. Obstacles become features, crevasses step-overs, etc. Durability I am usually pretty hard on gear. But I will say, I’ve been really pleasantly surprised with this board. Especially, the base! On the Alpine Lakes traverse, I dropped in a blind to a certain chute that I had gotten beta that it still went all the way to the apron. Trouble was, with about 800 vert to go, I found myself suddenly careening down the rest of the chute on just rock and vegetation. With all the scraping, tumbling, and crunching that was going on, I was sure core damage, and eventually, a new board were in order. But, the FreeBird took it like a champ. I can’t even tell you how stoked I was that both myself and the board, came out in one piece! The Whole Package- Better Graphics Needed One little thing Burton could stand to do is improve this board’s graphics, in my opinion. Maybe it’s the mountaineer in me, but I really loved my prior board’s topo map, an iteration of which seems to have appeared on Mr. Jones’s new line for good reason—topo maps are cool! Next time, Burton, give us some sweet mountain graphics! Excellent MSRP Rumor has it that this gorgeous piece of engineering will be priced at less than the competition. Dirtbags rejoice! General Conclusions While I knew I’d like the featherweightness of this board on the uphill, I was also pleasantly surprised that Burton had somehow engineered something stable and trustworthy that could withstand a beating, provide a stable landing, and give the feel of a bomber, sturdy piece of gear. I will say this: yeah, I think Burton’s been a little bit slow getting their crap together regarding more recent marketing in the splitboarding community, and they could stand to show us some love. But the one board they’re producing is definitely top notch and it does deserve the awards it gets. If you want to see my recent backcountry adventures go to whereiskylemiller.com Now if only it would snow!!! One of the only decent pictures of me riding it that hasn't been purchased by a magazine (go to my site to see it in action more... the trip reports that go back to spring have me on it):

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