So remember in that last post, something along of the lines of “expect copious amounts of content.”?? Well, there’s no doubt a lot of skiing has been happening, I’ve just been lazy about writing it up and getting it on this page. Between skiing, studying for exams, and chasing around photos and footage, sometimes I get a bit sidetracked or take the easy way out and do a quick upload to facebook without the thoughts and writing that should accompany it. Without further to do, this post should be a great recap of what I have been up to.
The last update came right around New Years from a great outing of hitting hand rails and spending hours lapping Park City. The thought of skiing backcountry or slashing soft snow off the cirque at snowbird was non existent. Sure people were getting after it over there, but hard pack conditions and crusty old pow was not at the top of my list. Unfortunately, the mountains weren’t getting any more snow, nor was the city. With snow melting rapidly, we took action to make due of the solid offering of city snow that fell in December.
First up was a pretty well known spot from last year that we thought would be fun to setup it up and give it a go. Upon arrival at the spot, the amount of snow was not an issue, building a transition out of snow sugary enough to make avalanche forecasters cringe was another. Upon further observation, we found and made use out of a water spicket that happened to be chilling at the spot. It had an endless supply of water; it was exactly what we needed. Matt Sklar was in town and he brought his flashes! Stoked on his work and how this came out.
Next, was this closeout that has a slight up then flat to about a 15 foot drop. It’s not the gnarliest rail but certainly the most memorable in my mind. Imagine, for the past four years walking by a rail on your way to class every day and dreaming about hitting it. On the last day of winter break before spring classes went into affect, we made it happen. Not to mention, it was my first urban closeout ever. Every scrap of snow in that zone was used and a huge thanks to the fellas pulling the bungee.
Feeling very satisfied and eager for more, time was spent discussing what spot would be hit next. It was a tough decision to make as I stated earlier, snow was melting rapidly, and there was none in the forecast. There had been talk about hitting this large closeout that can be seen in Dylan Thompson’s nation segment, but it was not something I had much ambition for. Surprisingly, I got a call from the crew one night, I was told it was all setup and ready to go in the morning. Feeling confident, I made it a priority to go to the spot the following day and get a shot.
An artsy zoom angle of the takeoff makes this look pretty mellow.
Props to the crew for putting in hours on this thing and building it very sturdy. This fisheye shot by Twoods sort of distorts the true shape of the feature but replicates the feeling and vibes this beast put out very accurately.
The day started out contrary to plan. Speed was tested, hopes were high, the session was about to be under way. Unfortunately Foster’s first hit left him with a shattered eye socket thank to a brutal collision with his knee. A bit shook, I decided I’d give it a go. Ignoring suggestions of the more intelligent, I opted to decline tying the bungee further back and sending it anyways. As predicted, my speed was short, and I free fell from the top of the railing to my side in the flats. It felt as if all the air had been taken out of my lungs and I’d been blind sided by a semi. Realizing my heel piece
had ripped out I figured my day was done.
(dirtnapping or crying?)
Brian Tonetti, like a G, stepped up, got the speed dialed, and started taking hits. After the smoothness of his first couple hits, I had it made up in my mind that Brian was about to lace it up and nail the shot.
Closeout rails get there name for a very observable reason. There is another rail connected perpendicular to the one you are sliding, thus, it “closes out”. Hitting these adds a bit of a scare factor to the rail as it makes you think about the consequences of catching your tips or tails on the restricting piece. Unfortunately for Brian, in the midst of stomping out this rail, the observation deck that stands the highest on this structure, brushed up against his shoulder en route to the rail setting his balance off by the slightest bit. On a quick and high speed feature such as this, split seconds are the allotted time frame for making adjustments, and executing moves when they are needed. The slight unexpected obstruction forced Tonetti into an awkward position. Against everyone’s hopes, at the last second, his tip caught on the closeout sending him plummeting down to the flats, inevitably ending his day. Seriously shook, Brian opted to take a step back and resign from the rail. High hopes were held and his health maintained.
Feeling hungry I went back up on borrowed skis (thank you PMOORE!) that I aided in the pulling out of another heel piece on my second hit. Emotions were swirling.
Ian (the kid) nodding in disapproval. He claimed to have felt very let down by the sub par performance of the hood crew that day. ”How do they call themselves pelicans when they can’t even fly?”
Pissed and hurt, yet still dumb enough to keep hitting this feature, I grabbed my one ski that was still useable and pat’s non broken ski. Thankfully, a few hits later, the spot was nailed and it was time to leave.
This is a still frame that Jeff Scott captured of me on a successful attempt. While the shifty on adds style, it was absolutely necessary if you didn’t want to get clipped on the way up by the standing deck that protruded out all too intimidatingly.
With no hopes of snow insight, it was time to nurse up a banged up body and cruise park laps at PC
flat 3 blunt photo: mountain ranks
With shifting weather patterns, snow started falling in the mountains but because of temperatures, the snow has neglected the city only offering rain down here. That’s OKAY though. Snowbird is now sitting on a healthy 92” base with more snow in the forecast. Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 coming shortly.