Interview: Brandon Ascher
Photos: Sean Logan
Video: Montage Inc.
"There are so many faces that make up our sport. We have competition stars representing for us at the premiere events, creative minds who capture skiing in amazing ways and the kid who shreds his local spot with his friends. Sean Logan has been able to embody all three (and more) as him and the infamous Montage crew continue to hold it down in Mammoth. I was able to talk with Sean and get a good perception of his outlook on, and his contribution to, skiing." - Brandon Ascher
What have you been up to this season so far?
In December I went to the Dew Tour qualifiers to try and get a spot on the Tour. Missed the cut by a few spots. Luckily California and Mammoth have been having an awesome snow year, so I stuck around here for the most part. I did a lot of snowmobiling and day trips up to Sonora. A few weeks ago I did a little "photo sequence contest" trip with Chris O’Connell which was cool. I also spent a few days filming with the Nimbus guys here in California, and it's park season here in Mammoth.
How long have you been based out of Mammoth?
This is my sixth season in Mammoth, and I've lived here full-time for three years.
What originally brought you there?
Originally, I guess it was all the movie and magazine coverage. When I was in high school I used to see all the photos from Freeze and be thinking, "Where is this place that has huge jumps and is always sunny?" Sean Decker and I each bought a seasons pass our last year in school and came out here; I've been stuck ever since.
Why have you decided to call it home for awhile?
I'm still here for the same reasons. The weather is awesome, our season is long, there is really good terrain close by, and I have a great crew to ski with.
Who makes up the Montage crew?
I guess unofficially it's me, Sean Decker, Stu Halverson, Nolan Willard, Kevin Malone, Berni Rosow, Chris Logan, Parker White, Ben Wiltsie, and Nick Miles...we have a lot of friends though.
In the last few years it seems like the main focus has shifted from Cali (Mammoth in particular) to Colorado, any thoughts on that?
For the majority of the season we have this place to ourselves. There are days in Main Park when the middle jump is prime, 70-80 feet, and the only carve marks are from Montage. Colorado parks are sick, don't get me wrong. I just don't feel the need to follow the crowd.
How did Montage come about, what is the mentality behind your media?
We're just your average ski bums filming each other. Originally when we started I thought "there is so much crazy skiing going on around, someone should film this shit." It just kind of evolved from there but we are still mostly about skiing over getting the shot. We'll have tons of days where we'll have a sick day in the park and I won't even pull the camera out. That's not good for productivity I guess but we aren't on any deadlines.
So whats your main focus? It seems you do a bit of everything ski, film, edit and shoot photos?
Yeah I do it all...I try to ski the most. I film a lot but we all kind of take turns filming. And when it comes to editing we all help with songs and then everyone is usually over my shoulder checking it out and giving me the approval.
Typical day at Mammoth with Montage?
Pow day: scramble to get first chair, ski till 11 or earlier depending on how many tracks we start skiing over. Then we we grab the sleds and go necking for a few hours and probably take some sled ski laps after that. Park day: no rush to get to the mountain, lap Main Park all day, BBQ on the deck, film whenever necessary.
Will there be a Monatge video this year? You guys were cranking out edits last season; will you be doing something similar?
Yeah, originally I wanted to do a bunch of edits throughout the season. When it came to our "pow" edit, winter just never seemed to end here so I've just been stacking up shots for that, up until this week even. So now I'm just going to make a big edit with all the winter and spring park stuff, a mini movie I guess. I wanted to focus on more on the quality this year, rather then random edits. So look for the mini movie sometime in June.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport? Where would you like to see it go?
I think skiing changed a lot in the last season, for the better. The whole doubles thing is awesome but I hope it doesn't make young kids think that it is the only type of skiing. Hopefully the sport will get big enough to get more kids on pay roll because I'm sure there are some insane kids out there that don't get the same exposure or opportunities.
What's it like to see your younger brother (Chris) and now sister (Devin) also on the come up and tasting some success?
It's awesome. Not sure my parents are stoked they are following in my footsteps but it's sick. I'd like to think I have helped them out with their skiing, one way or another. They have been crushing it lately and it's about time they both get some play.
How's everything going with Armada?
Awesome, all the product looks so sick for next year...and the year after that. I'm lucky enough to ride their sleds around all winter and I'm going to be helping develop some new skis.
What's up for the rest of the season? Summer? Any plans for next year yet?
Mammoth is open till the 4th of July this year, so I'll be skiing here till then. Maybe do some product testing in South America. Save some money and do it all over again.
Any last words?
Shout-outs to the whole Montage crew...Decker get that ankle better. Plus the Mount Snow crew, parents, Armada, and anyone who made it to the bottom of the interview.
Montage: South Park