This is going to be a long one, but with fun stuff to look at. It begins with the end: the end of the season at Alta, which turned out to be absolutely awesome. It began with a long period of high pressure, the result of which was a lot of sun, goggle tans and good times on the patio. The life was good; slower crowds, chiller vibes and a spring feeling. It really felt like this was going to be the end of the season, it was already May. Justin and Keenan began working on the famous Flagstaff step-up, and I joined them usually late because I was being pretty lazy. As the jump started taking shape it was looking big:
Eric backie mute
Cork 5 I somehow landed
Justin's 7s were dope
After 3 days of building and sessioning, we got a bunch of awesome shots and great crashes. Everything was overshadowed by our sunburns though; for some reason we thought that after an entire winter under cloud cover and 97% of our bodies hidden underneath outerwear that we could be bad-ass bros and build the jump shirt-less. While Utah is known primarily for its snow, it is also almost a desert, with incredibly strong sun during the afore-mentioned high-pressure periods. Combine that with the reflective nature of snow, and we were covered from waist to scalp with searing sunburns. I had a serious fever that night, while Keenan and Justin almost threw up because their sun poisoning was so bad. I mean everything was burned: behind the ears, the bottoms of our noses, armpits... it was bad.
At almost the same time we finally got things organized with a buddy of mine from Holderness Nate Bloomfield. Bloomie's been schooling in Denver, while taking the winter off and spending it outside of Heber City keeping it real with Henry Holdsworth and friends with some sleds. We got out there with Keenan, his buddy Tyler Smith and myself and the helmet cam and shredded some awesome trees, ripping laps. Half of the fun was driving and getting towed behind their sleds though.
Keenan's buddy Tyler Smith at the top of the trees waiting to drop in / Me flexing like a beast on the shredmobile with Nate Bloomfield and Tyler
Just when we thought things were coming to a close, the Wasatch threw us some f*&#ing crazy spring cycles. I had been missing pow skiing already, planning on waiting a painstaking 8 more months to ski the fluffy stuff again when this happened. It was March 20th when we'd been sessioning the step up when it started: between March 22nd and April 16th there were a total of 6 days when Alta didn't record any precipitation; it was pretty common to wake up to 12"-20" of overnight dumpage. Our season totals during that period shot from 445" to 676". 230" of pow in less than a month? All of us at the lodge were dead tired by the end of this cycle, ready to see spring again. And here's the numbers: http://www.alta.com/pages/snowhistory.php#monthly
Brent Leyerle killed it this year, here's some shots of this cycle.
Eric McEwen, the blind man
Keenan the blind man
Keenan had been lining up this cliff and trick combo allll winter, and this was the time to hit it: an endlessly deep landing
McEwen sending it 50'+
Once this cycle ended things were pretty good in the BC.
Trekking in the back country of the Wasatch
Timmy killing it at Rocky Point I think
Me barely visible along the backside of the Gargoyles... this place is GOLD, you'll see alot of it in next year's flick
Justin stealing my trick and looking very dumb
The window of sunshine came in perfect time for the end-of-season bash at Alta called High Boy. This ridiculous party happens at the very top of a ridge overlooking the entire Little Cottonwood Canyon, above the most notorious trail High Rustler. Imagine 500 drunk and otherwise effed partiers packed on a small ridge line surrounded on 3 sides by steep faces and cliffs. The easiest side to ski, the fourth side, was facing away from the sun meaning it was a block of ice and an extreme hazard. The lift line to get up to the ridge was packed to the gills all day long, shuttling people up to 10,000 feet elevation to get drunk and mingle with the locals who spent all winter socially deprived and cooped up in lodges. The throngs:
As you tried to ski down one of the steepest faces at Alta you got pelted with snowballs and ridiculed by the people still up on the ridge
Garret and Dr. Burns ruling the patio
Justin the FlowerChild
Philly and Johnner
Mullets are very in this spring
And finally our teaser
SALTY DAYS TEASER from Janky Films on Vimeo.
Spring in the Wasatch - sunshine, beers, not too much work, patio parties, park skiing, and way too much snow. Until next year, Alta.
Thanks to Keenan Hawkins, Brent Leyerle and Anna Casey for the photos!