There is simply too much going on in the current ski industry not to write an extended rambling journal entry that would make anyone with a basic handle on sentence structure cringe. On Friday I made my way down from Jackson Hole to Salt Lake City – whose populace Travel + Leisure recently ranked as the second least attractive nationwide – to network my way into a variety of new industry bro-lationships at the Powder Video Awards (thanks to Matt Hansen for a ticket!), and then stick around for a TGR-hosted workshop at Snowbird starting tomorrow that will involve insanely unrelatable things like wilderness rescue and first aid, rope work, and avalanche safety.
I’m not sure if Candide was at Powder Awards, since I missed the entire show. But any time he drops an unedited GoPro video with no soundtrack, people sure do freak the fuck out!
I immediately ran into Josh Malczyck, who complained that Will Wesson, Shane McFalls, and Erik Olson were all turned away at the door for not having tickets, despite their obvious celebrity status, and that more normal Salt Lake City folk were not let into the event. He pushed me to write an expose on the injustice, but for not having the balls to write something himself despite his fiery rhetoric, I will only grant him a sentence here. At any rate, I arrived so late that I missed the entire show, but was nonetheless able to catch up with a variety of industry people none of you care about hearing about. Moving on.
Hey, a new Traveling Circus! Too bad it couldn’t get them in the door…
A big storm blew in for Sunday, and I was able to harang a ticket to Alta (thanks Joe Johnson!) and a ride with former TGR employee Than Volk to the mountain. Despite an interest in catching up with Team Yoke, Shane couldn’t be moved to ski a place as cliquey as AltaBro, nor ski powder at all. Instead he took to “the streets.” I don’t quite get the appeal of doing that on a powder day, but then again, I live in a place with almost no handrailings and most of my neighbors are skinning elk in the garage on the weekends. I digress.
Sweetgrass superprobro Eliel Hindert was not at Alta, but he just dropped his super hipster season edit. Good thing he didn’t blow an ACL skiing all those ferns!
Somehow we got second chair on Collins, and the line-up at the lift corral read like an old Matchstick movie: Kent Kreitler in a green jumpsuit, Daron Rhalves with his Red Bull helmet, the Crist brothers (or one of them), and a host of newb big-mountain talent including the Sweetgrass crew, who had finally put clothes on again after walking around naked upon winning their Movie of the Year award. Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Ian McIntosh, and John and Angel Collinson were all in the base lodge at lunch too, but even though I’m now on the TGR payroll, my selective anti-social tendencies regarded an introduction as simply out of the picture. It was great, however, catching up with Carston Oliver, who I am excited to report is still eating all kinds of weird chillis to get his thrills instead of getting drunk or high like the rest of the industry. He was lapping the jumps off of Wildcat all day, and I didn’t even bother asking to ski with him since I go at an intolerably slow pace if at all possible, and Cartson’s average speed downhill is somewhere around 1800 mph when he’s not attempting cork 1080s off of enormous cliffs.
Carston warned me that his extensive trips to Japan over the years since the Fukishima disaster may have left him heavily radiated, so I kept my distance. In related news, I learned the the smog that usually hovers over Salt Lake and blocks from a full view of the West’s biggest copper mine across the valley largely consists of chlorine gas and emissions from wood stoves, fireplaces, and grills, and that the city is overdue for a giant earthquake. I can’t wait to retire to the safety of Jackson Hole, which currently sits above a super-volcano packing a 1,500 square mile magna chamber that would vaporize everything within 100 miles with an eruption 1,000 times greater than that of Mt. St. Helens. People have surmised that this catastrophic event was the apocalypse that sets the stage for Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, so at least I’ll be long dead before the rest of you have to worry about being eaten by gangs of roving cannibals.
That’s all for today from the City of Saints. In other news, I’ll be rooming with Nick McNutt for this TGR avalanche workshop, so that’s good news that homeboy is getting his due and possibly a chance to be filmed from 8 helicopters this winter. Anybody want me to ask Nick a question? Newschoolers does that shit all the time and it seems to work for them.