Kazushi Yamauchi, Hokkaidō, FEB_2013. Yama may be the happiest and most sincere person I have ever met. We met two winters ago at the Icefall Lodge in the Canadian Rockies and he had on peace sign sunglasses and was doing the splits in his snowboard boots. We were totally skunked on that trip due to rain so meeting up with him this last February nearby his hometown of Furano was a big goal. The day we synced up just so happened to be on the deepest day of the trip giving Yama even more reason to be grinning from ear to ear.  Photo:  Garrett Grove

Piers Solomon, Chilkoot Lake, AK, APR_2013. Down days are a fast way to get to know someone, especially when you are confined to a tight space like a camper in Haines. It was Piers first time up to Alaska traveling from his home in Switzerland and despite picking many very technical ski lines not once did I see him fall or second guess a move. Which may not sound like much but it truly is. Pier’s intelligence, maturity and decision making ability are through the roof. Can’t wait to visit him on his home turf soon. #wintersbond Photo: Garrett Grove