Last winter I was lucky enough to spend a semester at

Westminster college in Salt Lake. A long list of fellow easterners

had already descended on Utah and I couldn't wait to get

going. After numerous encounters with bears and rattle snakes,

rediscovering the joys of Carl's Jr, thousands of miles of driving,

and of course some skiing, I am a changed man.


Lake photo: Rom Marcucci

I drove from my home in Western New York to Salt

Lake in early January with my dad. Our trip was going relatively

smoothly until Wyoming, when a tire on a tractor trailer dead ahead of us

decided to fall apart, de-treading, throwing bits of heavy rubber at our

windshield, and breaking part of the protective panel under the engine of the

car. Luckily a friendly mechanic in Cheyenne hooked it up giving us

a couple screws for free and we were on our way. Next up, snow,

wind, and shinny blue ice. After hours of 15 mph driving, counting nine big rigs

and many more cars off the road, I decided that driving in Western Wyoming

during any wind at all was a bad idea. No road

salt+wind+snow=skating rink.

Anyway, we made it, a few weeks had passed and

everything was going great. My friends Andy, Erik and Shane had

embarked on the same cross country drive only to have disaster strike in Laramie

Wyoming. So close yet so far. A blown head gasket left

Andy's loyal Subaru in a scrap yard and Andy with 250 fifty

bucks. As Shane put it, I

got to see Andy lose his wallet, his car, and his mind in 3

days.  After

meeting a rodeo clown and sleeping in the bus station, they arrived frustrated

and ready to ski. Lil John Strenio also made the epic

journey. For the next few months, we sessioned urban, park and

powder beyond our wildest dreams.


 Perhaps some of the best times went down in the

famous rail gardens where we tried to use features in different ways and

basically do weird stuff. Using ledges, tables, water fountains and more, we

tried to explore all that the park had to offer. The more we explored in the

area, the more things we wanted to do, but time was not on our side and day

after day, more snow melted in the city along with our hopes. It

was back to the mountains as around 30 inches of fresh powder fell in a few

days. My friends Tyler Falk, Bruce, Mike McCarthy, and I made the

two and half hour car ride (normally 30 min) to Alta. The day was

as epic to say the least.

Plus Mike took some sick photos! Thanks


Good day up in

the canyon, I spy a played out jib in the background



Bruce boostin

Ty in



 Fast forward again to early May when the snow

was melting and everything in Utah was closed besides

Snowbird. After much debate, LJ and I decided on the almighty

Mammoth Mountain as our destination. On May

6th nature decided to randomly dump 2 feet of the white

stuff and before leaving, we hiked Alta for one last run in the greatest

snow on

earth.  Eight

or so hours of Nevada dessert highway later, we arrived in the promised


Old Xtreme

sports were getting tiresome photo: Rom Marcucci

We were lucky enough to stay with skiing ninja Garrett Russell and

computer/kendama master Neil Sotirakopoulos. As time went on, snow

was becoming scarce and features in main park began to wither

away. Limited consecutive features and crowds made it really hard

to get enough training in for next years US Open. We took matters

into our own hands and headed up to a secret backcountry location to build and

ski our own personal course accessed by Volkswagen golf(see edit).

The Spanish dog

and Garrett looks too similar so Rom put an end to that photo: Neil

Practicing for

the US Open


Rom Marcucci

Pressure photo:Trevor Woods


butteryness photo:Trevor Woods

MCs Garrett and

LJ photo: Rom


LJ boosting in

the melting pipe photo: Rom Marcucci

I'm not emo, I

just wasnt paying attention photo:Trevor Woods

LJ pushing the

envelope photo: Rom


Neil, master of

digital media and haircuts photo: Rom Marcucci

inside the

Earthquake fault photo:Trevor Woods

At the end of a long day we relaxed with a bowl of dollar-a-box Spiderman III

cereal, visited local attractions like the earthquake fault, and got served by

Neil in Kendama. Once in a while, Moses the bear would be spotted

creepin in the woods or stop by to eat some garbage. Near the end

of our stay, LJ was some how offered forty dollars to eat one of the socks he

had skied in that day. Still fresh with foot sweat, he downed it in

under and hour, cutting it into small pieces to be safe of

course. Mad props.

 It was sad but true. The season

was over. We headed home back across the US. The last

snowfall of our year fell down as we crossed the continental divide in

Colorado. After some work and some carpet skiing, summer is ending,

school is starting and winter will soon be upon us. Patience...


invented about 3 new Xtreme Sports on the trip photo: Rom Marcucci


Huge thanks to Hennie for radical footage, Trevor, Rom and

Mike for sick photos. Adam/Ahmet for sweet floor space, Cosco,

Witt, Jeff, and LJ for more sweet floor space, Garrett, Neil, Kari, and Witt for

being the best hosts ever, Paco for being the best cook ever, Point for keeping

LJ entertained for hours, Rom for shaving his crazy mustache and stomping his

first b flip in years, the entire Montage crew and anyone I