Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 2015-16

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Winter 2015 / 2016

Issue Number Eleven



TRAVIS RICE p: Tim Zimmerman

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ed itor s note


rowing up in the suburbs of Detroit and yet to strap into a snowboard, I struggled to find my place among the ultra conservative students in my allgirls Catholic high school. The struggle concluded at the age of 15, however, when I stepped foot into an asbestos-ridden warehouse. I had just entered my first rave – scintillating, begrimed urban wildness. Back in those days, I relished the protocol to attend an “underground” event. On the day of the party, I would anxiously twiddle my thumbs until it was time to make the phone call. The recorded voice on the other end would disclose a map point. Around midnight, I would arrive to a location in a dilapidated Detroit neighborhood, where someone would hand me a small piece of paper with a scribbled map. Driving wearily trying to pinpoint the location, my pulse would quicken as thumping bass became audible from a seemingly bombriddled building. (How did I find my way without Google Maps?) Then, within the confines of defunct car factories, theatres and slaughterhouses, some of the best DJs and electronic music producers of the day, armed with crates of vinyl, performed for a sweaty patchwork of nocturnal revelers. Much like snowboarders, ravers back then subscribed to myriad styles and philosophies. You had your hip-hop kids – B girls and B boys (breakdancers); the

Thomas Delfino takes off on a bluebird Wyoming day. Photo: Aaron Dodds

breakbeat obsessed junglists; the minimal techno lovers who were donning thick rimmed glasses and skinny jeans long before the hipsters of Williamsburg and the candy kids sporting beaded bracelets to their elbows and 69-inch Kikwears. But despite everyone’s varied proclivities, I noticed that people seemed to place little judgment on one another. Disenfranchised youth in their teens, 20s and 30s, we were bonded by our mutual desire to be a part of something that rejected mainstream culture. But as the scene shifted into a commercialized spectacle, my fervor waned. Especially when I came to grips with the fact that more and more people were not necessarily involved for the high caliber of music gracing the nightly menu. It wasn’t until I picked up a snowboard a few years later that the old feeling from raves, a gleaming and unbridled anticipation, returned. I had found my way back to a sphere reverberating with the promise of adventure. But adventure, I would soon discover, was among snowboarding’s long list of virtues. In the rave scene, there is the anthem “Last night a DJ saved my life.” Today, I can’t help but say this about snowboarding, and I bet in some way or another you can, too. I traded dialing the rave line after sunset for dialing the snow phone before sunrise. I went from

lingering in smoky midnight queues that wrapped around warehouses to waiting in a sunny tram line snaking up to the Bridger center. I became more mindful of what I put into my body and how it might affect my ability to climb a mountain or revel in the relentless rhythms of a bellto-bell powder day. I confronted fear and developed the wherewithal to walk away from danger. Beyond the self-improvement that inevitably occurs when you wriggle away from your comfort zone, I am most indebted to snowboarding for the inspired people I’ve met along the way, friendships that will never whither or die. That I can travel to some of this earth’s far-flung places, find my way to the mountains and, regardless of language, culture or creed, instantly forge connections with other people whose hearts beat faster when it snows. As our world becomes an increasingly volatile place, celebrating the positive things that bring people together, that bridge cultures, genders, ethnicities and races, is an important practice. This year’s issue of Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine offers some testament to snowboarding’s remarkable ability to do just that. See you in the snow. - Robyn Vincent, editor



Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine

the cre w


This is Blake Paul riding a walrus. It’s gonna be like that this year. Photo: Blake Paul @blakepaul



Robyn Vincent editor@jhsnowboarder.com

Jen Tillotson jen@jhsnowboarder.com





Gary Hansen

Olaus Linn olaus.co


Jenelle Johnson ON THE WEB


Caroline Zieleniewski caroline@jhsnowboarder.com PUBLISHER

Copperfield Publishing ADDRESS

PO Box 3249 Jackson, WY 83001


Halina Boyd Mikey Franco Ben Gavelda Josh Mandel Jeff Moran Jeremy Pague Blake Paul Randy Shacket Josi Stephens Travis Rice Alex Yoder


Jesse Brown Jeff Curley Aaron Dodds Chris Dunn Wade Dunstan Katsuhide Fujio Ben Gavelda Tristan Greszko Moss Halladay Ryan Halverson Rob Kingwill Andy Lex Josh Mandel Fred Marmsater Andrew Miller Adam Moran Sargent Schutt Sean Kerrick Sullivan

Issue Number Eleven



Here he is as Elliot from ET. We just don’t even know anymore. Photo: Blake Paul @blakepaul









07 307 COULOIR


Robyn Vincent - P10 02 HOUSE OF THE NEW RISING ART

Travis Rice - P14

Ben Gavelda - P22 04 THE GALLERY

JHSM Photographers P25

Olaus Linn - P46 06 WHAT’S IN YOUR PACK?

Mikey Franco - P51

Josh Mandel - P54 08 NUCLEAR POW

Halina Boyd - P56 09 PRODS + YODES

Jeff Moran - P80


Randy Shacket - P86

Blake Paul + Alex Yoder - P63




Alex Yoder - P67


Jeremy Pague- P74

Josi Stephens - P90

Jeff Moran - P94

The Only Holes In Our Merino

Are For Your Arms, Legs and Neck






Even the sheep want to wear our NuYarn Merino. only at www.trewgear.com



Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine


peculiar ­­– C O V E R A R T I S T –

Kelly Halpin hard at work circa issue number five. Photo: Jesse Brown

percolations Cover artist Kelly Halpin on tweaking, cookie dough and getting au naturel in nature.


Issue Number Eleven - Art


Fast forward to issue numero 11, where Kelly’s line work and colors have found their way to the cover.


of Kelly’s recent projects.

Her work can be found gracing the pages of four children’s books, on ESPN’s website and in Powder Magazine, to name just a few

An avid rock climber, snowboarder, trail runner and mountain biker, Kelly’s art elucidates our beautiful and strained relationships with nature. Her black and white and color illustrations often depict outdoor exploration in the American West with a fantastical twist – a snowboarder

elly Halpin lives in a strange, java-soaked world. It is a land where people ride the backs of skeletal creatures, dragons hiss sweetly into your ear, and bears, ravens and bison reign.


Photo: Rob Kingwill

stands at the edge of a crumbling cliff that floats in the sky; a bird faced boy grows wings while sitting despondently in the desert. Of course, in order to dream up such a fantastically weird world, one must be weird, too. So let us enter the perfectly bizarre annals of Kelly Halpin’s mind.

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 12 ROBYN VINCENT: Oh hey girl. What’s shakin’? How did you spend your off-season? KELLY HALPIN: Oh heeeeey! I spent the fall at my new place in Moab, taking care of chickens and climbing almost every day. It was so warm and sunny. Got my spring break tan on right before winter. ROBYN: May I have your chicken eggs? …So

you were profiled in issue five of JHSM. We’re now on issue 11 and you have anointed us with a fine cover. In issue five, you used these three words to describe your art: “Root ball; ambles; alkali.” Please explain. KELLY: Ha! Well, those words happen to be some of my favorite words. I really don’t think it describes my art at all though. They are just plain fun to say. Try it out. ROBYN: Root ball… ambles… alkali…I feel like I should be perched over a cauldron? Today, what three words would you use? KELLY: I would say the main one would be “bio-surrealism.” Maybe the other two would be “weird” and perhaps a little “ethereal.” ROBYN: How has this bio-surreal, weird, ethereal work of yours evolved since you were profiled in this magazine six years ago?

Well, I use a lot more color now. I’ve always been shy of color, but I absolutely love it these days; the bolder the better. I’ve also been experimenting with paint and trying to step out of my pen and ink comfort zone. KELLY:

ROBYN: Speaking of comfort zones, let’s talk about your caffeine comfort zone, i.e.: The Coffee Weirds. When I drink too much coffee I become paralyzed with energy and fear, so naturally I drink a lot of coffee all the time. What happens to you and what are The Coffee Weirds?

KELLY: As I explain on my website, “The Coffee Weirds (noun): The state of being nervous, spastic, compulsive, or completely tweaked out from consuming too much coffee.” These days I get a little too paralyzed with energy and fear, so I’ve been trying to drink more tea. Of course, then I end up drinking 50 cups of tea and eventually it amounts to the same caffeine level. Can you say tweeeeeeeaked!

off to “answer the call of nature” while my photographer friends distracted Rob. I changed and snuck up on him while his back was turned. I actually almost fell off a rock I was so nervous. It was a good time for sure. And yes, I was freeeeeeezzzzing in that dress.

“Wake up. Sit down in the studio and draw something incredibly deep and emo, burn it.”

KELLY: Wake up. Hit the snooze. Wake up again. Consume dangerous amounts of caffeine. Eat egg and sweet potato tacos. Yoga stretches. Sit down in the studio and draw something incredibly deep and emo, burn it. Eat again. Go climb/snowboard/ hike all afternoon. Give some high fives. Do a moose or raven call. Bake cookies, or pretend to while I eat the raw dough. Epsom salt bath. Cry about why I ate all the cookie dough. Sit ups and plank for 15 minutes. Play with my dog, Scrappy. Try to scare the crap out of Rob or a friend by hiding behind a door. Eat dinner. Run a naked lap. Binge watch a TV show and wonder why I couldn’t have saved some cookies for now. Curl up into a ball under the covers and fall asleep.

Robyn: Tweakers unite! Recent photographic evidence leads me to believe you are rather comfortable in your naked skin. And I do remember you saying how much you loved getting naked for a recent Mountain Khaki photo shoot. Tell me more… much more. KELLY: Oh dear. Oh dear. The truth is out. Yes. I like to get natural in the nature. A lot. It just feels... well.... natural. And yes, it started as a dare for the photo shoot and certain friends who know me well kind of volunteered me and I thought, “Oh what the hell. Better get evidence of this bod now before the constant donut and ice cream binging catches up.” But don’t you think for a second I’m not covered up or hidden in certain areas in those photos. I keep it classy. ROBYN: I would never question your class, not until I see what kind of donuts and ice cream you like to binge on. You proposed to your man, Rob Kingwill, on the summit of the Grand Teton this past fall. (Despite being at a blustery almost 14,000 feet, you changed into a little white dress for the occasion.) What kind of crazy planning and logistics did this involve? KELLY: Oh, months of plotting and giggling with friends. I carried the dress up (and cans of champagne) in my pack and snuck

ROBYN: But that shit was hot! …Describe a day in the life of Kewwy Hairpin.

ROBYN: Cookie dough solves most problems. Is your life as cool as it looks on Instagram? KELLY: What can I say? It’s all Photoshopped. By the way, follow me @kyehalpin! ROBYN: What recent art projects are you most stoked on? You were doing some pretty rad stuff for ESPN last winter, huh? KELLY: Yeah that was fun! The ESPN illustrations were a series for their Women in Action stories they put out last spring. I just did some art for Powder Magazine too, some caricature illustrations. Currently I’m working on illustrating my fourth children’s book. So fun! I love my job!

Issue Number Eleven - Art 13 ROBYN: We’ve done a nice amount of shredding together (you rip!). What’s your favorite run/ trajectory at Teton Village?

Aww, you rip too Robyn. Let’s shred this winter. Favorite fun run is probably the jib line down from the gondi to Dick’s Ditch on a sunny, slushy day. So many little hits and airs! On powder days I usually sneak off to the backcountry with friends. And yes, I will yell at anyone I see out there without avy gear. KELLY:

ROBYN: OK, now for the lightning round!

Preferred riding jams? KELLY: Spice Girls. But when I’m tired of feeling 12 years old, I listen to a lot of

electronic music. Or anything with a solid beat.

KELLY: Adjusting to town growth and development.

ROBYN: Favorite kind of cheese? (Yeah, I want to know.)

ROBYN: If you could be reincarnated as anyone (living or dead), who would it be?

KELLY: Mmmm. I like all the classic stinky cheeses, but my fav is frying up a nice Parmesan with a drop of honey. Try it! Trust me, your mind will be blown. Goat Brie comes in a close 2nd.

KELLY: A Sumerian living at the time the Anunnaki descended from the sky. Google it.

ROBYN: Preferred shredstick?


KELLY: Franco SnowShapes. I ride a 148 Franco pintail and have a new custom Franco swallowtail on the way. Can’t wait!

ROBYN: I’ll cut you for some cookie dough.

ROBYN: Toughest thing about living in JH?

ROBYN: Yeah, you’re not weird at all... Anything


Do you have any cookie dough?


Nothing has changed since Issue Number Ten - Robyn Vincent is still not sleeping well. @TheNomadicHeart

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 14 A beautiful shot of the Himilaya by Andrew Miller.

house of the new rising art In its first year, Asymbol Gallery has become a haven for adventurefueled creativity, important dialogue and creative exchanges.


welve months of blind faith fortified with blood, sweat, whiskey and dreams. It was the maiden year of Jackson Hole’s newest gallery, Asymbol Art + Essentials, the brainchild of Travis Rice and Mike Parillo. This year has been a whirling dervish of the new-to-this merging with the true-to-this. We didn’t start out with the intention of reinventing the wheel; we were just trying to find a way to keep rolling. And still, from this endeavor a new wheel did emerge, a

cyclical creation that feeds and is fed by our action sports community as a powerful whole. Asymbol is a living thing that has become so much more than just a gallery. This year has shown us that if one is going to build a vehicle and put gas in the engine, one had best be ready to haul ass. A seed planted many years ago came to life in downtown Jackson on July 1, 2014. There was a shindig of course, and that was that. The easy part, a part that we all thought would be the hardest, was now over. What


we learned, however, is that it is one thing to build a physical space and another thing entirely to breathe life into the inanimate. Throughout this year, our crew, with the invaluable help of our artists and community, did a damn good job of filling the space with memories, fabulous friends, iconic art and life. Here are a few moments we look back on with great fondness, penned by the magnanimous man we know as Travis Rice. – Josi Stephens

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01 Wyoming Decks Working with the incredibly talented Wyoming native Tim Tompkinson, we were able to plant the spirit of our state in the very challenging medium of a specialedition snowboard for the Wyoming Tourism Board.


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02 Mr. Plant The Mr. Plant squad brought a piece of authentic snowboard culture to town. With a collection of Vernon Deck stills from the flick and a premiere of Pat Moore’s film, this event will go down in the annals of history as a true period piece of snowboarding now. The party raged late and the spirit still lingers like a horse’s fart.


Art 17



03 Iuna Tinta Probably our best turn out all year, Iuna Tinta’s show brought a festive and fresh energy to the gallery. Her visual approach to the drastic shifts we are seeing throughout the world because of climate change sparked inviting and honest dialogue. It was a great segue to open up the discussion that is often times surrounded by doomsday statistics. As one of our newest artists at Asymbol, Iuna continues to bring something extremely special to the table.

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04 A Binding Union Adam Haynes was our dream designer for the 2016/17 Asymbol x Union binding collab. His inventive style and work ethic aligned seamlessly with what it took to handle this kind of endeavor. We asked, and being the good guy that he is, he said yes to our project and all the hard work that it entailed. A massive part of that work ended up being a huge mural on the south-facing wall at the legendary Evo, a shop that has enthusiastically supported our art. With Adam’s help, Asymbol is now a part of the landscape in Seattle, Washington. A true honor. 04

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05 Bryan Iguchi Guch is an artist who happens to also enjoy painting. His simplified dreamscapes have a way of focusing the dialogue onto the specific message that he’s conveying. Scoring two new pieces of his this October was Christmas come early!


Travis Rice is a pretty good snowboarder. @travisrice

Ja ck s o n R e ta i l S to re • 3 4 S G l e n wo o d S t re e t • 1 b l o ck f ro m Tow n S q u a re • N ex t to D we l l i n g S h o p H o u r s : M o n d ay - S a t u rd ay 1 1 a m - 7 p m

P h o to by : L i n d s a y L i n to n


Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine


motor vs. mortal When there’s more than one way to the top. W O R D S & P H OT O S : B E N G AV E LDA


wise man once said, “Use the right tool for the job.” Unless you have an AStar heli in your driveway and a pilot’s license in your wallet, then the most useful tool for exploring snowy mountains outside the lift lines is either a splitboard or a snowmobile. Each means of transport has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s a tough call in the Tetons, where some of the best touring and snowmobiling access in the country is all right here. Rather than discuss the detailed merits of each, I figured I’d put the pros and cons into a few rhymes. Taking out an auto loan or walking to a new zone Fresh air or two-stroke smoke, one starts by strapping-in, the other with a choke Pristine quiet or a motor riot 60 mile an hour breeze or embracing the trees A casual pace or a moose chase Canadian shuttle or two-foot scuttle Gripping handlebars or chowing Kate’s Bars Sledneck wreck or proper time to inspect the trek Skins don’t stick, engine overheating real quick Drained bank account or making a few turns count Stranded with a ripped pull cord or cruising home on a splitboard Heavy lifting hernia or foot blisters burnin’ ya Truck and trailer required or walking till your legs are expired Snowboarding with poles or digging out of snow holes One long run or hot laps till the sun’s done The learning curve for snowmobiling is like a steep, long hill climb. Splitboarding has its challenges, too, but unless walking is a foreign act then it’s pretty easy to pick up. A proper split setup can put you back $1,500 bucks, where a decent mountain sled costs two to 10 times that amount. The same can be said for maintenance costs, plus additional crap like insurance and broken parts. There’s no doubt a snowmobile is a hefty investment, but it can pay off in copious amounts of powder riding. Human powered access might not deliver as many runs, but the simplicity and turns are always rewarding. My take? Combine the two and you’ll have the best of both.


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Bryan Iguchi leaves his mark deep in the Jackson Hole backcountry.

Ben Gavelda is an adventurer, storyteller, freelance photographer and writer. @bengavelda

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gallery Eye candy from some damn fine snowboard photographers. P H OT O S : A A R O N D O D D S , A DA M M O R A N , B E N G AV E LDA , F R E D M A R M S AT E R & J E F F C U R L E Y

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Photo: Jeff Curley Rider: Sammy Luebke

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Photo: Fred Marmsater Rider: Iris Lazzareschi

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Photo: Ben Gavelda Rider: Cam FitzPatrick

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Photo: Jeff Curley Rider: Mark Carter

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Photo: Aaron Dodds Rider: Nils Mindnich

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Photo: Ben Gavelda Rider: Bryan Iguchi

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Photo: Adam Moran Rider: Mikkel Bang

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Photo: Aaron Dodds Rider: Blake Paul

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Photo: Ben Gavelda Rider: Mark Carter

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Photo: Ben Gavelda Rider: Kael Martin

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Photo: Jeff Curley Rider: Sammy Luebke

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Olaus Linn puts a custom Franco Snowshapes swallow-tail through its paces at JHMR. Photo: Ryan Dunfee / TGR

Fi ve Alive Quick reviews of the weirdest and wildest snowboard shapes at the Jackson Hole Pow Wow board test.


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et’s be real – snowboarding rules. Nothing in life quite compares to the feeling of ripping down a mountain treating every roll and bump like a skate park feature to launch off. A sport born from surfing and skateboarding that has become something all its own: speed and force blended with grace and fluid movement. The Jackson Hole Pow Wow is an event built around celebrating snowboarding. The premise is simple: a bunch of the raddest riders and brands come together for a weeklong board test at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The days are filled with hot laps and ad-hoc crews of riders that sometimes grow big enough to appropriate whole tram cars. The nights are focused on reveling in snowboard culture: waxing nostalgic about the renegades of the past and coalescing ideas for the progression of snowboarding into the future.

This year Pow Wow organizer and local snowboard legend Rob Kingwill was kind enough to invite me out to put my feet in some bindings and test out some boards. My mission: to find and ride the weirdest and widest array of snowboard shapes in the world.

1 The Rat Tail from Lib Tech This board looks straight fucking wicked. It’s got a scooped nose and a tri-forked tail, apparently inspired by Lib rider Jamie Lynn’s classic hairdo. He did the honors on the killer graphics as well. The deck I took out was a 158, which is a little shorter than most of the boards I ride. The sidecut is fairly straight though, meaning there’s a long effective edge under foot. The recent drought of snow in Jackson had us testing pow boards by ripping groomers, and I actually had some moments where I was


locked into a turn so hard that I couldn’t pull out (no pun intended you dirty bird). My verdict: This board is fast and mean, and it’ll write checks your body can’t cash if you’re not ready.


The Big Brown Thing by Franco Snowshapes Mikey Franco is an old-school snowboard pro who’s been building custom boards in Jackson for years now under the name Franco Snowshapes. He brings myriad decks out to the Pow Wow test and they invariably end up being crowd favorites. When I asked him which one I should try out, he steered me to this gigantic 169cm snow-surf shape. The marginal conditions made me arch an eyebrow at this board, but I dutifully mounted it up and hopped on the gondola.

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Nothing on a hard-pack day gets stranger looks on the mountain than a huge fish shape with a massive nose and tiny swallow-tail, but the joke was on everyone else; this thing charged hard. The size and width of the nose provided excellent stability even at ludicrous speed, and the surfboard shape and directional sidecut allowed it to absolutely rail big swooping turns. I suspect that in tight icy moguls this deck would have been less fun, but let’s face it – what board would be? Final verdict: Not just your dad’s pow stick. If you like turning on a snowboard (and you should), you need to give one of these snow-surf shapes a try.

3 GNU Zoid The R&D folks over at Mervin seem to be hitting the banana peels hard these days because they’re churning out boards that look like they belong in Salvador Dali paintings. There the similarity to drugaddled artwork ends though – these things


have some very smart, very intentional thinking behind them. The bleeding edge of this work on the science of the snowboard turn is found in the Zoid – an asymmetrical deck that’s built specifically in regular- and goofy-foot models. The idea is simple: put a longer, shallower sidecut under the rider’s toe edge, making it easier to keep clean contact with the snow despite the rider having less relative leverage on that edge. The heelside edge gets a much deeper and shorter sidecut directly under the rider’s center of gravity. The effect is wild – far from having to adjust your turn to fit the unique shape of this board, it actually feels incredibly natural. I was amazed at the short radius performance in particular. I ripped through the tight trees of the North Woods and popped back out onto Rendezvous Trail laughing my head off. You can also make amazing little shallow turns – the edgeto-edge performance is so fast that you can

winnow between your edges in a deadly straight line. The practical effect of this is that traversing no longer means standing endlessly on one edge (a common practice to exit the backcountry here at Jackson Hole). Final verdict: The 158cm Zoid was a little short to be in my comfort zone, but I enjoyed the hell out of experiencing something truly new and different.


Jones Snowboards 162 Flagship At the end of my first day of testing I had my fill of wild directional rides and wanted to get back on something a little more conventional. That’s not to say the Flagship is ordinary in any way. It’s got a rad directional twin profile with all the latest bells and whistles that’s designed to shred the entire mountain as easily as it blasts backcountry pow. It actually felt strange to suddenly have a big twin under my feet again, and it took a run to get the hang of it. After that I was blasting around having

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a great time on the Flagship. It was a little unfair to compare a board designed to do everything well to some of the more wacky and specific shapes I tested, but it held up well. Final verdict: The Flagship is super flexy and playful for a big charger – the ideal board to be riding day in and day out.


Gentemstick Big Fish Gentemstick and their line of hand-crafted boards inspired by the soulful beauty of Japan’s rugged mountains (and shaped by the legendary Taro Tamai), have reached mythic proportions among the non-urban segment of the snowboarding community. I absolutely wanted to try one out for myself during the Pow Wow and I’ll tell you right now: it did not disappoint. Gentem had a big contingent of riders and boards on hand this year after they were nearly impossible to snag during last year’s test. Those guys took one look at me and steered me towards the Big Fish. I never got a


chance to measure this board officially, but at somewhere around 160cm, it was one of their bigger snow-surf designs (although still pretty short overall).

“Hands-down my favorite board I rode this week. I’m completely converted and it’s going to be tough to go back to anything less than this level of awesome.” I got a lot of funny looks riding up the Apres Vouz chair first thing in the morning on a groomer day with this wide, pointed swallow-tail on my feet, but if they were laughing after I pointed the first pitch of Upper Werner, I couldn’t hear them. The Big Fish is so perfectly shaped that the turning experience is practically magical. Bouncing short-radius turns, laid-out looping carves, toeside, heelside – in one run I had more fun making turns than I have all year long. I can imagine that this

board would be wonderful in powder but that’s certainly not all it can do. While riding a Gentem, I could see how folks like Alex Yoder have found a new level of shred nirvana, pursuing mastery of the snowboarding skill that is easiest to learn and most difficult to perfect. Final verdict: Hands-down my favorite board I rode this week. I’m completely converted and it’s going to be tough to go back to anything less than this level of awesome.


Note: this article first appeared on TetonGravity.com as “The 5 Funkiest Shapes I Rode At The JH Pow Wow”.

Jackson native Olaus Linn is the lead designer for TGR and the art director for JHSM. Signature trick: the Goo flip. @olaus

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Emergency Department, St. John’s Medical Center 625 E. Broadway, Jackson, WY 307 733 3636

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what’s in your


Crack is wack, and so is forgetting your beacon and a snack. WORDS & PHOT OS: MI KE Y FRANCO


ver heard someone say, “Dude! My new pack is sooooo light!” Well, considering the extent of what some folks are carrying includes a GoPro (and selfie stick), a cookie, and maybe an extra hat, it’s no wonder that pack is “sooooo” light. What you put in your pack can be compared to what you put in your body. If you eat food with poor nutritional value, you may not have what it takes to help fend off colds and disease. The same goes for your pack. If nothing useful is in it, how do you expect to reduce your risk of exposure, or to help someone if something actually goes wrong? I hear it all the time – a common statement my friends make when they pick up my backpack: “Man, what do you have in this thing?”

My answer? “I’ve got what I need.” But what I need does not pertain to what makes me feel good, what makes my pack “light as hell,” my Go Pro, libations or a spare pair of shades. What I need pertains mostly to you. Being a guide, I have to carry quite the arsenal. Having some extra gear on hand for clients is essential. I also have to look out for myself by having the proper gear to keep me warm, dry, and fed too. Because of this, I decided to go with a vest. I like being able to balance the load by distributing some weight on the front of my body. Being a snowboarder, a heavy pack leads to fatiguing heelside turns and overleveraged toeside turns. The vest helps me balance that out.

My pack is a SnowPulse Highmark Vest, airbag. Retrofitted with snowboard straps. What should be in my pack, you ask? Well, let’s consider some things that might make you wish you never went on this adventure in the first place: You or your buddy is… cold, wet, hungry, tired, in danger, hurt, lost, dealing with broken equipment… or some unfortunate mixture of these predicaments. What do you have in your pack? How will you use what you’ve got to help the situation? Take a look at what I keep in my pack and how I use what I bring.

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 52 EXTRA












What to carry COMPASS






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Note: make sure your first aid kit is designed to handle large wounds like fractures and dislocations. Band-Aids alone ain’t gonna cut it. Now let’s play the matching game: I am or someone else is cold: extra compressible down layer. I am or someone else is wet: don’t get wet!


I am or someone else is hungry: calorie-heavy snack, more if I am going to be out for long. I am or someone else is tired: small thermos of coffee or tea; chocolate. I also bring sweets, electrolytes and something salty to help with bonking. I am or someone else is in danger: cell phone, compass/map, shovel to dig a shelter, shovel, beacon. I am or someone else is hurt: first aid kit, cell phone, down layers. I am or someone else is lost: compass, cell. I have or someone else has broken equipment: duct tape, bailing wire, compression straps.



Notice I started each statement with “I am or someone else”? When heading into the backcountry, I must take the safety and comfort of my partners or clients into serious consideration. I wear this pack for YOU! I hope you’ll wear one for me. My parting words to you: Drink water. Tell someone where you are going. Take a first aid class, and an avy course. Be considerate. Be a friend. Be willing to say ‘No’ or turn around. Do whatever it takes to return home. These, my friends, are the ethics of being prepared.



Born Amish, Mikey Franco was saved by snowboarding at a very young age. Besides snowboarding, he likes homemade meatballs, Irish sweaters and skateboarding barefoot. @francosnowshapes

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couloir Wrangling first descent on an unexplored Alaskan line. WORDS & PHOT OS: JOSH MANDEL


ountains are where I find inspiration. It is the mountains that teach me lessons that I can relate back to almost anything else in life. I grew up in Lander, WY, and first went snowboarding at Teton Village when I was 13. Ever since I’ve been hooked. Iris Lazzareschi grew up in North Lake Tahoe, CA, and moved to Jackson in search of better snow and bigger mountains. I first met Iris a few years ago on a ridge while filming for the World Freeride Championships in Thompson Pass, AK. We had both been living in the Tetons and traveling north each spring in search of the terrain that dreams are made of.

The 307 Couloir extends from the notch to the left of the peak.

During my first trip to Alaska four years ago, I vividly remember hitchhiking into Valdez and being awestruck by the surrounding terrain, but one particular line that I could see from the road stood out among the rest. Mt. Francis is the most prominent peak you see looking east from town, its rocky face rises up from sea level to a 5,023-foot summit that towers over the port. The couloir – a shaded notch cutting

Issue Number Eleven - Features straight down the middle with a steep narrow crux and a large cornice at the top – caught my eye. I asked everyone about the line but had no success finding any info about it. Several books talked about ski touring to Francis, but they only touched on skiing the main face or near it. Then there is Dean Cummings, who claims to have skied it from the summit via helicopter by sending the top cliff and tomahawking. I, however, was interested in the chute, which I knew was a “garbage chute” just by looking at it, as rock fall and avalanches are regular activity in steep terrain like this. Unable to stop thinking about the line, I headed out in March with my friend Nate Olsen, only to change course after a large slough came down from above. Feeling rather fortunate the slough wasn’t bigger, we turned around in the spirit of Theo Meiner’s old phrase to “Live to ski another day.” But after having the couloir on my mind for so long, I was keen to return. Almost a month later and after another storm cycle had settled, Iris, Nate and I gave it another try on April 23. It was a perfect bluebird day as we retraced our way back up the alder benches and across the glacier, switched to our Verts snowshoes and climbed the steep line before it got too warm. As we ascended above the crux, I could see spines open up to our right and the cornice above. Picking a safe spot under a rock to put our boards on, Iris and I pushed to the top. I took a moment to take in my surroundings as we strapped in, looking out over the port with town in the distance. I looked at Iris perched on a snow pillar. “We might be the first ones to strap in here,” I said. She laughed and replied, “No! You think? Well, maybe for a girl, anyway.” I set up for a shot that I had envisioned for years and watched her make a beautiful frontside turn on the spine, disappearing into the void below. I followed after and we regrouped halfway down where we decided to boot up the main face for extra turns.

Iris Lazzareschi drops into the 307 Couloir.

The next day we sat at the Wheelhouse bar in Valdez, gazing at our mountain through the window behind the taps at the bar. We named it the 307 Couloir, after Wyoming’s statewide area code, leaving our little mark of the Cowboy State in AK. It was my last run of the year and one I’ll never forget. It was a reminder that the people you surround yourself with and the sometimes unknown places you choose to go determine the experience.


Josh Mandel is a Wyoming kid capturing the world of mountains and snowboarding the way he sees them. @mtn_jam


Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 56 Halina Boyd goes big in Japan.


pow A trip to Japan reveals that while the mountains keep giving, the consequences of Fukushima remain unknown.

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ramped in a 2001 Land Rover with five other passengers and four hulking snowboard bags, we bounced along the snow-covered narrow streets of Hakuba, Japan. Luggage shuffling had become a part of our daily callisthenic routine. Today, we were moving from our original rental house to the Happo-One Ski Con, an equipped B&B our friend Shin Biyajma had found for us the night before. The driver of the SUV was Kenji Kato, our primary contact in Japan and the kind soul who had greeted our delirious, jet-lagged brains four days prior when we stumbled off a bus from Tokyo. Among the colorful patches and stickers decorating the Rover’s ceiling, I noticed an anti-nuclear energy sticker above

Kenji’s rear-view mirror. Back in November 2014, when I was first brainstorming a trip to Japan, I was eager to find some sort of environmental or social issue to explore during the voyage. I started to research Fukushima, only second to Chernobyl as the largest nuclear disaster the world has ever seen. On March 11, 2011, an off shore earthquake and its resulting tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan’s western coast. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was subsequently damaged, causing three of its six reactors to melt down, releasing radioactive particles into the atmosphere and ocean, contaminating groundwater,

soil and seawater, and effectively closing local Japanese fisheries. According to a 2013 National Geographic article, TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) admitted that contaminated radioactive water has long been leaking into the Pacific, defying containment efforts. In addition, more than 129,000 people were displaced and there were 20,000 fatalities from the combined tsunami and nuclear fall-out. With very little compensation from TEPCO or the Japanese government, thousands of people are still displaced four years later. Many worry that the Japanese government, and the world, will forget them unless a greater global audience hears their voice.

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As December approached and my Japan travels took shape, I asked a few friends who had lived in Japan if they had heard anyone talk about Fukushima, or what kind of effect it had on day-to-day life. “As far as Fukushima goes, to be honest, I have never once heard anyone mention it in Japan,” answered my buddy Pete Connolly. He had lived on the north island in Hokkaido for two winters helping run Sass Global Travel’s Japan program. “That does not mean it isn’t an issue, but it is not a topic that seems to be spoken of very openly,” he continued. “They are very proud people, and it seems like it is a bit of a sore spot with them.” Needless to say, with this feedback, I was a little nervous to talk to just anyone on the streets in Japan and ask for their opinion. Offending someone was the last thing I wanted to do as a visitor in foreign land. Yet I definitely needed to talk with a Japanese person in order to get a grasp on how big of a deal this really was, and how it had affected their lives. The anti-nuclear energy sticker was my tow-in, and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. “Kenji, I noticed your sticker,” I began. “What are your thoughts on nuclear energy and the Fukushima meltdown?” It was a big question and everyone in the Land Rover went silent. “It was awful. So many people died and the government is barely doing anything to help with the clean up or to help the victims … I’d like to see us move towards green energy practices but even that is being blocked by the government,” Kenji said. “It’s scary to think, but with the nuclear bombs from WWII and now

Fukushima, I don’t think there’s anywhere you can live in Japan that isn’t somewhat contaminated by radiation.” Kenji had lived in Seattle for five years and spoke fluent English, making him the perfect individual to answer such a loaded question. His words stayed etched in my mind, even as I tried to momentarily set them aside while we enjoyed Japan’s legendary powder.

“I don’t think there’s anywhere you can live in Japan that isn’t somewhat contaminated by radiation.” After our second round of calisthenics for the day and settling into our new home for the week, our buddy Nagasawa Yusaku arrived to take us to his favorite ramen house just down the street. Kenji had connected us with Nagasawa a couple days prior to guide us around the sidecountry of Hakuba resorts till we got our feet under us. I had never particularly cared for the ramen I’d tried in the U.S. I thought it a preservative-packed dehydrated carb load reserved for emergency situations. I figured sushi would be the primary meal. Oh how I was wrong! A Japanese culinary staple, traditional ramen broth takes three days to make and has an endless depth of flavor. Its varieties are plentiful, from seafood to spicy vegetables, and each bowl is full of chewy, homemade noodles. Plump on ramen and Japanese whiskey, we jubilantly walked back to our hotel, stopping along the way at Nagasawa’s favorite shrine. He walked us through the ceremonial way to approach the shrine and we prayed to the spirits of the mountains to watch over us and keep us safe for the remainder of our journey. The next morning we woke with a fairly

clear idea of the location of the HappoOne terrain park. After a couple wrong shuttle pick-ups and drop-offs (no big deal, we were accustomed to being “lost in translation” by now), our crew miraculously reconvened at the gondola without the assistance of cell phones. The event was a scene – about 120 snowboarders eager to session the banks, berms, and quarter pipes of varying size and shape. It looked like a class 4 wave pool frozen in time. It was so cool to watch the local riders get groovy – huge banked turns, hips and method mania. The Japanese have the most uniquely shaped boards I’ve ever seen, swallow tails, blunted tips and styled-out surfer turns dominated the scene. The flurries that had been depositing plump snowflakes in our mouths all morning had picked up momentum. Now it was dumping six centimeters per hour. After our lunch of noodles prepared five different ways, we headed out to the sidecountry with Nagasawa to find some untracked Japow. Wandering upon an abandoned cat-track, we decided to test the snowpack. Taking off our boards, we sunk up to our hips and waded through stomach deep powder. When one ski cut triggered a remote 12-inch storm slab and multiple people heard whomping on the ridge line, we reached a consensus it was time to get out of there and back to the resort. As we jibbed our way down Happo-One, I caught a glance of some huge loaded avalanche barriers and knew it might just be what we needed to get some air. I asked Yusaku for his thoughts and he replied with a half confident “Yeah, I think, OK… maybe…” The next morning we scouted out some avalanche barriers outside the resort’s boundaries in order to avoid any potential

Issue Number Eleven - Features 59 Glorious pow slashing by Halina in the Land of the Rising Sun.

“rule bending,” and made our way through the boundary gate and down the ridge. After verifying we wouldn’t sink up to our necks landing in between the three tiered suspended netting, we started patting down our run-ins. The afternoon turned into a method, roast beef, chicken salad and backflip huck buffet. Jolly on stoke and footage from the day, we were shredding our way down the valley drainage when one of the ladies noticed a kamoshika teetering on a smaller avalanche barrier on the other side of the valley, staring at us. These Japanese mountain goats appear to be part wolf and part boar due to their thick grey winter coats and pointy ears. Turns out they’re super curious animals, and this one

had been watching us for the better part of the afternoon. “So cool! I love this place! Hi goat!” I squealed. As we made our way down the drainage, I almost rode over a hippidy-hoppidy white snow hare the size of a two-year-old child and glimpsed one more kamoshika dart through the trees. The magic of the Japanese Alps was all around us. When you’re getting lost in the trees, riding deep Japow and dodging mythical snow hares, it’s easy to forget about Fukushima. But the beauty of this place has imbued me with the desire to learn more, to protect and fight for Japan’s reverent people, unique wildlife and stunning mountains. This

winter as snowboarders flock to Japan’s sacred terrain, we must question what has happened there and the long-term effects the Fukushima disaster will have on Japan’s people and environment. Perhaps what we can learn from Fukushima is that we cannot sit back and point fingers at previous generations for the problems we face today. Those of us that depend on nature’s splendors to do what we love have a special opportunity to be the architects of environmental change, to demand safe and clean energy. After all, nuclear reactors are located near many beloved places, including one just a couple hours from Jackson Hole.


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Halina Boyd hearts farming, lovely people, glorious mountain vistas, eating delicious food and exploring the world. @hbombtheoriginal

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prods +yodes Real talk with snowboarding’s chosen sons. IN T RODUCT ION: ROBYN VINCENT P H O T O S : K AT S U H I D E F U J I O & A A R O N D O D D S


hat sets Blake Paul and Alex Yoder apart from other riders? Two young members of Jackson Hole’s royal family, Blake and Alex cut their teeth on burly terrain with local masters like Bryan Iguchi and Travis Rice. Their insatiable appetite to progress and a deep reverence for their craft fuels their definitive styles. Blake employs a fluid, lanky finesse across milieus, from the pavement to the park to the backcountry, while Alex has recently immersed himself in snowboarding’s soulful genesis – exploring its surfing aesthetic and assuming the role of mentor to the next generation of riders. What’s really rad about both these guys, however, is the kind of people they are off the mountain – just so damn likable. When you’re this good, it’s easy (some might say inevitable) to carve a path of cockiness. But no matter how many times Alex slashes deep, dreamy pow in the Japanese trees, working with the legendary Gentemstick crew, or how many backcountry kickers Blake crushes around the world (check his season edit – the proof is in the landing), the two remain approachable, gracious and introspective. It doesn’t hurt either that Blake’s Insta edit game (you see dude chillen with ET?) is off the charts, or that Alex can pen an article with the same acumen that he delivers on a snowboard. When asked what they might like to contribute to this year’s issue, like every year, Blake and Alex came correct with ideas. For this edition, the two have chosen to interrogate each other. Fire away, boys.


Alex Yoder enjoys the powdery fruits of Japan. Photo: Katsuhide Fujio

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 64 B L A K E PA U L



BLAKE: Hey Yodes? YODER:

Sup Prods?

BLAKE: What’s better Jackson or Japan? YODER: They’re

both the best.

BLAKE: Can we get an explanation, why is it so special over


YODER: Jackson is impossible to top on a lot of levels – backcountry access, lift access, vertical drop, etc. What I love about Japan is how humble and welcoming the country is, people and terrain alike. The riding for the most part is relatively mellow, the people are just incredibly nice and you can literally park your car at an onsen (hot spring) hotel that dead ends at a backcountry zone, hike from the parking lot, take a few laps, and then ride straight to the onsen and thaw out. Good living. BLAKE: How much time did you spend in Japan last winter? YODER:

Eight weeks.

BLAKE: You’ve taken a unique role in the snowboarding world, not only being an ambassador for the brands you ride for, but also dipping into the business side a bit. YODER: Yeah, I like having various involvements in the companies I work with. Snowboarding is my passion and the thread that holds it all together, but I’m also interested in what’s behind the scenes. There are a lot of fascinating, brilliant and creative people to learn from and cool opportunities to express other talents. BLAKE: Respect. And you’re working with Gentemstick now? Seems like those pow surf shapes are blowing up.

Alex the Benevolent surrounded by his muses. Photo: Katsuhide Fujio

YODER: Yeah man, the Gentemstick connection was true serendipity. I was asking for something that I didn’t even know existed and then all of a sudden it just found me. It’s an entirely different riding philosophy that I had never experienced before. The Japanese are known for mastery.

Issue Number Eleven - Features 65 ALEX YODER



YODER: Blake, we need to talk. What twisted individual died

your hair pink?

BLAKE: Oh man, that would be my boy Spenny. Sketchy decisions always happening with the hair. YODER: Can you describe LTC in one word? BLAKE:

Ignorant-fun. Does the hyphen make it one word?

YODER: If you could see through the eye of any Seinfeld character, who would it be and why? Please include a quote from that character. BLAKE: It would likely be Kramer. That’s the dude. “Here’s to feelin’ good all the time.” (As he chugs a beer with a cigarette in his mouth.) YODER: Do you think anyone besides our friends know what B Proddi actually means? BLAKE: Haha. No, they don’t. I get that question all the time. It’s a funny answer… I guess I just like my fresh product, you know? It stuck when I ordered a bunch of gear to a buddy’s house on the road, then I carried that tradition on everywhere I went. YODER: I think it’s fair to say that you’re the only boarder from Jackson to spend time filming in the streets. We’re a bunch of powder junkies, but you seem to like to board it all, is it because it’s more like skateboarding? BLAKE: Powder is definitely predominant in my head when I think about snowboarding, but there is really no reason to shy away from all types of riding. Skateboarding could influence the street side a bit. I think it’s more the idea of riding whatever is in front of you, no matter the location or terrain. It’s only going to better you’re riding and show people that snowboarding can happen anywhere. That’s what the industry needs now; kids need to be able to relate, whether they are riding on a golf course or in Jackson Hole. YODER: What was up with “Chile Con Pollo”? First of all, I loved it. It was quite the random crew and from the sounds of it, it came together pretty last minute?

Blake has the mad respect of all the woodland creatures. Photo: Aaron Dodds

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 66 B L A K E PA U L



When they find a trade or passion, they focus on truly mastering that aspect of their lives. Taro is a master shaper. His boards are a reflection of his philosophies about nature’s harmonies. I always thought I wanted one board that was “good” for everything, but now I have a lot more fun riding a few different shapes depending on how I feel or what terrain I’m riding. It’s just like surfing; you wouldn’t ride your 5’5” Mini Simmons at Mavericks just like you wouldn’t ride your 144cm Rocketfish on spines in AK. It’s a matter of purpose and harmony. And just for the record – they’re not just pow boards, they perform beautifully in all conditions. BLAKE: What are some things outside of snowboarding that inspire you? Places? Projects? People? YODER: Nature, music, rhythm, art, passionate people, good humor. Cole Barash is a guy that inspires me. I don’t know him, but I like shooting film and his photography has such subtle depth, it’s like the best story you’ve ever heard whispered into your ear. I’m inspired by simplicity, too. I spent some time farming this summer and it’s no simple task, but the lifestyle is honest and pure and I appreciate the cyclical nature of working for sustenance. BLAKE: When is your pup Lucy gonna film her first video part? #travelswithlucy YODER: I have a cute video of her eating a carrot. She loves carrots. I’ll send it to you for a cut shot in the next #BProddiProductions BLAKE: What’s up for this winter? YODER: At the moment I’m plan to go to the Dirksen Derby in early December then coming back home for a while. I had a great day hosting a little carving clinic with the Jackson Hole Freeride Program snowboard grom squad last season, so I’m hoping that happens again. As usual, the ideas are there and the plans are weather dependent so we’ll have to wait and see!

Blake Paul likes to move fluid on snow, concrete, or in the ocean, sketch a bad drawing, film Instagram videos (#bproddiproductions), and go to cool places with cool people. @blakepaul




BLAKE: Yeah it did, the trip pretty much started as a joke. Myself and filmer Jon Stark were thinking about sending it down there, and making a video that was visually different from what was coming out on the internet at that time. Then somehow we pulled it together with no outside pushes from anyone. We assembled a crew of close friends, who are also incredibly creative, talented snowboarders. We had no agenda or rental car, or anything. We went there to snowboard and document whatever we wanted along the way. Rad that Snowboarder Magazine and my sponsors were able to get behind it last minute and support us. Check the story and video on Snowboarder Mag’s site if you wish. YODER: I heard Nicolas Muller joined GNU because he always wanted to be on the same team as Blake Paul and the Warbington brothers. Is that true? BLAKE: Haha yeah, I wish… In all seriousness, it’s awesome that he chose to ride for GNU. When I spoke with him a bit, you could really tell in his voice how hyped he was on riding the boards: “Gnu man. I just thought – GNU… so sick,” he said in his snowboarding sensei voice. YODER: You are a man with taste. You’re clean, organized and classy. To break down the broad “What is style to you” question, what aesthetics do you appreciate and from where do you draw inspiration for your personal style? BLAKE: It’s just something I’m down with I guess, haha. Clothes in general, the way certain things can look when you’re snowboarding or skating. A lot of people blend into each other. If you pay attention to what’s happening in the skate fashion world, snowboarders are pretty boring. I always look up to people that are doing things their own unique way. People that don’t take themselves too serious, push the limits a little, and create something of their own. YODER: What is the most far out goal on your bucket list? BLAKE:

I want to catch a marlin fish at some point in my life.

The outer leaves of a purple cabbage plant on the brink of maturity aren’t as purple as you’d expect, there’s a mesmerizing dark green hue at the base of the leaf that is not purple, nor green or blue. This is Alex Yoder’s favorite color. @yoderyoder

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thebrunfound yan iguchi An intimate look at the life of a living snowboard legend.

Bryan making time for some high-altitude smith grinds on the local miniramp in Valle Nevado, Chile. Photo: Wade Dunstan / Arbor Snowboards

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 68 WORDS: ALEX YODER P H O T O S : WA D E D U N S TA N / A R B O R S N O W B O A R D S P R E S E N T E D B Y: T E T O N G R AV I T Y R E S E A R C H , VO L C O M & G O R E - T E X


urfing is the soulful mother of the board-riding experience. It was humankind’s first taste of standing on a plank and manipulating its direction with subtle shifts in foot position and body weight. This act was known by the native Hawaiians as the “Sport of the Kings” and held deep cultural stake in the hearts of the Polynesian people. A couple of hundred years down the road, skateboarding was spawned by surfers who were so keen for the glide that they wanted to be able to recreate the feeling anywhere, anytime including on land. I like to think the same is true for snowboarding - the goal is always to find the glide and lose your thoughts. One common thread in board sports is the inherent lack of a practical application for any of these activities. Maybe you’ve used your skateboard to move your TV out of your house or your surfboard as a sunshade on the beach, but the purpose of these boards is none other than to have a good time. To facilitate self-expression. A way to play with gravity. A game with no rules and no way to cheat. Board sports have become the prideful champions of subcultural delinquency. Often lopped into the same culturally unacceptable uses of time with graffiti art and punk rock. It’s taken a long time for board sports, and snowboarding especially, as the runt of the litter, to catch on. But now that these sports have found cultural acceptance to some degree, we must not forget why it is that we paddled out in the first place.

Bryan Iguchi’s humble beginnings on the northern edge of the Los Angeles sprawl in a city called Moorpark nested him straight into the heart of the skate and surf capital of the contiguous 48 states. He was 11 years old when he caught a wave at Ventura Point for the first time. In those early days, Bryan’s mom would drop him and his brother off at the beach in Ventura on her way to work. The boys would stash a candy bar in the sleeve of their wetsuits so they could surf all day without having to paddle in to refuel. The self-expression found in surfing and skating synthesized into passion early in Bryan’s life.

“Bryan remembers Jackson feeling different than the other places he had visited. There was something free and wild about it that stayed with him.” Bryan’s first experience snowboarding came a couple of years later at the age of 15, a bit east of the beach in Big Bear, California. He immediately fell in love with the feeling of surfing on snow. As a Christmas gift one year, his mom signed him up with LA Ski and Sun Tours, a company that took mostly college-age students from LA to ski and beach destinations around the country, which would later become Bryan’s first sponsor. On the bus, he visited resorts all over Utah and Colorado, as well as a little resort off the beaten path called Jackson

Hole. Bryan remembers Jackson feeling different than the other places he had visited. There was something free and wild about it that stayed with him long after he returned to the Southern California sunshine. In the early days of Bryan’s professional snowboarding career, he was one of the top progressive freestyle riders. He was the skater from SoCal that did creative butters, shifties, spins, and flips, lighting up the first-ever terrain parks at Bear Mountain with aerial wizardry. But Bryan wasn’t satisfied with his early success; he felt like there was more to explore, more to learn from snowboarding. That’s what began to set him apart - everyone loves tricks and technical acrobatic prowess, but Bryan had a simple passion for surfing the mountain that he couldn’t deny. On a road trip from Mammoth to Tahoe one year with Volcom’s co-founder Richard Woolcott, rider Mike Parillo, and photographer Nick Adams, Bryan found himself glued to the window, his field of view packed to the brim with mountains. He had a feeling of insatiable curiosity urging him to suggest a random left turn into the Sierras just to see what was up there. The crew went along and that left turned into a month-long camp out where the crew explored and rode in an unfamiliar land known as “the backcountry.” Much of the footage from Volcom’s film The Garden would come from that trip. Within

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Bryan and Cam FitzPatrick find airtime during a spring shred mission in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Photo: Wade Dunstan / Arbor Snowboards

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 70

“Snowboarding has brought me the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, but that day was absolutely the worst. I’d never experienced a loss of life and such tragedy.” minutes of parking and trudging out into the snow, Bryan had unconsciously, yet unquestionably, found his life’s pursuit. Coming from a densely populated metropolis to the pristine, untouched mountains, the fluffy white pearly gates opened up wide and pulled Bryan deep into their grasp. His course was set from that point on. Exploring in the mountains would not be a hobby or just part of his job, it would become the embodiment of his truest self. By age 21, Bryan was a pretty big deal in the snowboard world. He was part of the early generation of professionals who were revolutionizing the adolescent sport every day and getting paid handsomely in the process. By virtue of being on the Burton team, he had spent quite a bit of time with the monk of backcountry snowboarding, Craig Kelly. Craig was the most inspiring role model one could have had in the pursuit of pure existence. His illustrious snowboarding career was just the vehicle for his love for exploration and connecting with his environment - something Bryan took notice of early on. His time with Craig altered his path in snowboarding and

influenced his fateful decision to pull up roots and move to Jackson Hole. Jackson was far off the map when Bryan planted himself here in 1996. It was still the Wild West, a lawless land where mother nature always had the final say. He had come to explore, to get lost. He left the California shred scene behind in search of the frontier of snowboarding. The valley of Jackson Hole and its piercing mountain vaults had been on his mind for years and it was time to translate his daydreams into reality. I dream of these days. Before there was a handbook listing exactly how you should go about your business as a backcountry “user.” In recent history we’ve developed safety nets to allow this experience to develop wide societal acceptance. But back in those days, to go out into the untamed as a band of reckless optimists was neither recommended nor bound by reason. Bryan’s search for new terrain led him to discover many of Jackson’s most iconic backcountry canvases. The quest began on foot, hiking to lines from Teton Pass and

out of the gates at JHMR once the open boundary policy had been put into effect. Bryan and Lance Pitman were reportedly the first snowboarders in the valley to start exploring areas like Togwotee Pass on snowmobiles. Having a little two-stroke pony between the cheeks with their tanks full to the brim with curiosity multiplied their reach by miles. In 1999, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort implemented a system of backcountry access gates, suddenly granting access to hundreds of thousands of acres of backcountry terrain that had previously been difficult to access. The move sparked a bonanza of backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Jackson Hole, and the amount of people choosing to go out of bounds has sharply risen year after year. The quest for new terrain and deep turns is not without consequence, however. One cold day in January 2003 would change Bryan’s relationship with snowboarding forever. On January 6, 2003 up-and-coming French pro-snowboarder Tristan Picot

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Bryan and Mark Carter hunker down under the rotor wash from a helicopter on top of a peak in Valle Nevado, Chile. Photo: Wade Dunstan / Arbor Snowboards

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Bryan rips down ‘ 57 Chevy Couloir near the top of Beartooth Pass, Montana, in a whiteout blizzard.

The outer leaves of a purple cabbage plant on the brink of maturity aren’t as purple as you’d expect, there’s a mesmerizing dark green hue at the base of the leaf that is not purple, nor green or blue. This is Alex Yoder’s favorite color. @yoderyoder

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lessons. Lessons he’d rather help us avoid than dig out of. This type of mentorship is invaluable. A few years ago, Volcom saw Bryan’s wisdom and demeanor as traits they’d like to see imparted on their younger riders, and actually wrote it into Bryan’s contract - arguably the wisest deal any team manager in snowboarding has ever inked.

snowmobiled up to Ski Lake on Teton Pass in Jackson Hole with Bryan, Travis Rice, and Lance Pitman. On their second lap, Rice and Picot situated themselves at the top of a line, and Travis went first, successfully descending the couloir. When Picot followed, the snow ripped out from under him and he was swept 500 feet over rocky terrain, dying from his injuries. “Snowboarding has brought me the best feelings I’ve ever experienced, but that day was absolutely the worst,” Bryan said. “I’d never experienced a loss of life and such tragedy.” When a true master reaches the peak, he keeps climbing. Over the past decade, Bryan has graciously and honorably stepped into an invaluable role in the snowboard community, offering guidance to us ambitious young bucks. Jackson’s royal family, including the The Jedi himself Travis Rice - and Blake Paul, the Crowned Prince, bestow much of their dexterity in backcountry travel to Bryan’s guidance. His 20-plus years exploring the Jackson area have taught him many hard-earned

It’s odd to talk about this as a junction, because Bryan never actually let up with his riding. In the seven years I’ve been riding with him, his hunger to rally has never seemed to fade. His riding has always spoken for him. I’ll never forget when he likened our individual tracks down a single face to graffiti tags on a wall. Graffiti artists are known for leaving their signature; they leave a little piece of themselves with every tag. If you look closely, you’re able to notice the clean strokes, the near misses, if it came to blows, or they had to beat feet. If the moment was right, you witness the perfect pairing of expression and environment. An effortless glide that is short-lived visually, but forever sacred internally.

What is it that keeps passion alive for decades? How does one wake up 40 years later still yearning to explore, to look past what is within reach and still have the spirit and sack to break the trail? It’s a question of grit. A tolerance for loose ground because the joy continually outweighs the suffering. The willingness to be educated by nature and nurtured by a curious spirit that won’t ever stop looking up at the mountains and wondering what’s out of sight. Last year Bryan’s now 6 year-old son, Mylo, the eldest of two boys, took his first solo turns on a snowboard. For Bryan, that day on the bunny slope at Jackson Hole was more memorable than any line, jump, or turn he’d ever done himself. Looking at him now, I expect Mylo to become a shredder just like Dad, but Bryan doesn’t want him to necessarily follow in his footsteps. Bryan’s wife Lily especially doesn’t because she has seen the toll it can take on someone’s body. They just want him to feel the glide, to dream of the thoughtless space of existence where everything just is and nothing cannot be. To find his own way to translate his daydreams.



This piece was published originally on TetonGravity.com To experience the full interactive digital feature (which is flush with additional photos and videos) check out: rad.tetongravity.com/unfound-bryan-iguchi

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 74

young pow

warr iors How one group is working to help get kids off the rez and into the mountains. W O R D S : J E R E M Y PAG U E

Issue Number Eleven - Features



hey instantly stood out from the group. Their shoes were ripped to shreds, hats on backwards and they were perpetually grinning. It’s not hard to discern a couple of stoke junkies, especially when you count yourself among the ranks. I just didn’t expect to find Cullan Charger, 15, and Matisse McClay, 14, in this crew of Native kids from the reservation. Yet here they were, the son and nephew of a medicine man, two Lakota from the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, in Jackson Hole to snowboard for the first time. It wasn’t long before I witnessed their raw talent – natural abilities you just don’t see every day – and an unconcealed passion for shredding. They were here as part of the Intertribal Winter Sports Summit, a program spearheaded on the reservation to get kids from different tribes together to learn to ski/snowboard while inciting cross cultural exchanges in the process. When I met them for the first time, they barely acknowledged me as they sat transfixed watching Travis Rice’s “That’s It, That’s All.” Neither of them had been very far off the reservation, not to Jackson Hole, and they had certainly never seen what Travis was pulling off. This was new territory for them, but a natural progression I would soon realize. The boys spend countless hours at the skate parks on the reservation. The parks there are nothing special, but you don’t need much more than a skateboard and a strip of concrete to learn to ride. That’s where Cullan and Matisse, unbeknownst to them, had been steadily laying the framework for this moment.

“Isolated and rife with poverty, it is a place where the symptoms of environmental and cultural genocide are still painfully visible, if you care to look.” It was late March, the conditions were sunny and warm, the snow mostly corn. We got the kids fitted with gear and sent them off with volunteers and ski/snowboard instructors to learn the basics. Cullan and Matisse naturally gravitated toward local pro-snowboarder Rob Kingwill, even though they had no idea who he was. Rob showed them some stretches and taught them the basics with the patience of a true master. Sure, there were a few slams, a wrist injury, some bench time, but they just kept going. Progressing much faster than the rest of the group, they were off exploring the mountain on their own by the second day. As they checked in every couple runs, ear-to-ear grins were etched on their faces. They were hooked. For Cullan and Mattisse, learning how to snowboard and being immersed in the moment offered them an important opportunity. The boys don’t have it easy where they live and they don’t have the ability to travel or buy the gear to take up snowboarding. Their home, the Cheyenne River Reservation, was originally part of the Great Sioux Reservation, formed by the Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. The Dawes Act subdivided the Great Sioux into five smaller reservations, Cheyenne River being one of them. Chief Sitting Bull lived and was killed just

Cullan Charger, 15

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 76

to the north on the banks of the Grand River. It is not an easy place for anyone to grow up, especially two young rippers. Isolated and rife with poverty, it is a place where the symptoms of environmental and cultural genocide are still painfully visible, if you care to look. Snowboarding, skiing, skating, climbing, biking – whatever your passion, it is a chance to forget the struggles of daily life and just be in the moment. It is what brought many of us to Jackson Hole, exploring nature, and finding ways to build relationships with the earth. These passions are physical art forms -how we express ourselves as human beings. “Find your particular art and learn to perform it to the highest of your abilities,” my Native mentors always said. Cullin and Matisse are young, just now finding and exploring their art all while navigating life on the reservation and the struggles transpiring around them. So it is up to us, people who have carved a path following their passions, to be mentors, facilitators and collaborators that help young people identify and cultivate their passions. I recently spoke with Cody Hall, the architect of the Intertribal Winter Sports Summit and the #nativelivesmatter movement, along with Red Nations Rising and a lacrosse program and summer camp for Native kids. Living on the Cheyenne River Reservation, Cody is a tireless advocate for the youth in his community. He called to tell me that Cullan and Matisse had been asking him if there would be another ski/snowboard program this year. That they had been working hard in school, even making the dean’s list, all in hopes of being able to return to the Tetons. You see, a lot of things are uncertain in Indian Country; programs come and go, funding wanes, there is infighting, corruption and jealousy. Meanwhile, these communities and their kids grapple with poverty, addiction, and suicide rates significantly higher than non-Native communities. I’d like to think Cullan and Matisse were forever changed by their experience here in the Tetons. That the lessons the mountains and this snow community bestowed on them somehow removed them from their daily trials and tribulations, if only momentarily. Cullan and Mattise will indeed return this year, and we are working hard to make this program a platform for them to speak of their struggles, share their culture and art, and tell us what their lives are really like. We are making connections with other Native communities, youth advocates, sports industry leaders, and pro-athletes, creating opportunities for them to have new experiences and explore the things they are passionate about. As Sitting Bull once said, “Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children.”


Matisse McClay, 14

To learn more about the upcoming 2016 Intertribal Winter Sports Summit or to get involved send an email to jp@thecoyotlgroup.org, call 208.716.8541, or visit intertribalwintersportssummit.com.

Issue Number Eleven - Features 77

Cullan Charger rips a boardslide with ease.

Matisse McClay with his ears pinned back on a downrail.

Jeremy Pague is the director of the nonprofit The Coyotl Group. He is a single father, farmer, snowboarder and avid trail runner helping the underprivileged to shred. @The_Coyotl_Group


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Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 80

where are they now? Cam shows off his base graphic.

Checking in with ‘Dropping Next’ alum Cam FitzPatrick.

Issue Number Eleven - Bios WORDS: JEFF MORAN P H O T O S : S E A N K E R R I C K S U L L I VA N


ard work, dedication and perseverance – all buzz words that conjure images of corny inspirational posters, but don’t mean shit unless you’re actually doing something about it. Cam FitzPatrick has been doing something about it. In JHSM’s issue No. 5 (season 2010/11), I had the privilege of writing a Dropping Next about Cam, a good friend and former Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club Snowboarder of the Year. At that point Cam was the snowboard world’s equivalent of a high school football rock star. He was regularly winning competitions and earning awards. He was traveling the world. He had a long list of sponsors. Every girl wanted him. The global snowboard media had him on their radar. He had even invented his own trick. At 18 years old, he was living the dream. Not to mention, he actually was a high school football star. This is normally the part in an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music where shit would hit the fan. Partying would take over. Relationships would crumble. Success was referred to in a “once upon a time” context. Not here, motherfuckers! For the last five years, Cam has been busting his ass and it’s paying off. For all of you short-attentionspan Millennials, here’s the abridged version: Park City, concussion, Disney, Far From Home, Jackson Hole, Travis Rice, Bryan Iguchi, concussion, new sponsors, big projects, YAY! (For those of you who appreciate a good narrative, read on.) After high school Cam decided to chase the shred game and leave the touchdowns for the “glory days.” His next move, as with so many young trick-jockeys from

Jackson Hole, was to Utah where he could train on Park City’s huge jumps. He had recently signed with DC from neck to toe, he was competing at an elite level, and he was gaining notoriety. Then in 2013 at a Revolution Tour event in Tahoe, Cam sustained a major concussion. The blow was enough to shift the trajectory of his shred career. He decided he was done riding icy park jumps and headed back to Jackson Hole – a move that has been known to make or break shred careers.

“No one really knew what was going on, but everyone felt loopy. My whole system just shut down and everything went black.” In the 2013/14 season, Cam received an offer that would become a pivotal moment in his snowboard life. He was invited to be a snowboard stunt-double in the Disney movie Cloud 9. No, it wasn’t the ender part in an Absinthe movie, but it was an opportunity to learn about a world he didn’t know existed and earn a paycheck from snowboarding. While filming for Disney, former JH Snowboard Team homies, Phil Hessler and Brolin Mawejje came to Cam to discuss the idea of a film based on Brolin’s life. Two years later, Cam has a starring role in the award-winning documentary film Far From Home. “It started with us just sitting in my room brainstorming… It’s so cool to see how successful they are now,” said Cam about Phil, Brolin and the Far From Home crew. “Being a part of that was a big highlight.” Cam’s move back to JH was paying off. He was working hard, filming as much


Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 82

as possible and starting to really make a name for himself. He connected with Kyle Clancy and Colin Langlois for some film missions and as word spread of Cam’s abilities and work ethic, he would eventually find himself brought into the fold of Jackson’s most elite shred royalty. He was soon regularly shredding with the likes of Travis Rice, Bryan Iguchi, Mark Carter and Pat Moore. “It’s truly an honor to be out there with those guys and to be taken under the wings of some of the biggest names in snowboarding,” Cam said. He even refers to Travis as a “big brother” and Guch as a “father figure” when it comes to his shred life. “I can’t thank all of these guys enough for helping me out. It’s been really awesome to know that they have my back.” “Literally, every time that guy [Rice] calls me, when his name pops up on my phone I don’t know if I want to answer it. I look at my phone and think ‘either this is going to be something really crazy or he’s just going to ask me to come over and watch surfing,’” Cam laughed. Unfortunately, the past five years haven’t been all rainbows and unicorns for Cam. While filming his last trick on his last day of his season in April 2014, Cam suffered another serious concussion. The cumulative effects of his previous head injuries had left him with serious double vision, balance issues, severe headaches and a huge blow to his confidence. “It was one of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to face in my life… my confidence was totally deflated after that,” he said. Cam spent the 2014/15 season working to get comfortable on his snowboard again. He remembered: “I was seeing double vision

all winter. I’d come into jumps not really knowing where the take off was. They were some of the best days and some of the worst days I’ve ever had.” Travis, by now a close friend, was supportive of Cam’s recovery period. “That was huge for me,” Cam said. But just as the pieces were starting to fall back into place, Cam suffered another set back in the 2014/15 season during a backcountry yurt trip in Whitefish, Mont., with his new sponsor, Arbor Snowboards. After a day of riding, the entire team was relaxing in the yurt when everyone started to feel off. “No one really knew what was going on, but everyone felt loopy.” Then, Cam recalled, “my whole system just shut down and everything went black.” Turns out, the guides hadn’t cleared snow from a generator’s exhaust pipe and the yurt was filling with carbon monoxide. After an emergency evacuation and a very stressful few moments trying to reawaken professional snowboarder Jason Robinson, Cam ended up in the emergency room on oxygen. “That was one of the scariest things that has ever happened to me. I had to take a couple weeks to just chill out. It really hit me.” To add insult to injury, the owner of the guide business has refused to accept any responsibility. When reflecting on the trip, Cam said, “It does piss me off that that happened, but all in all it was a good bonding experience with the Arbor crew.” As he looks to the future, things are stacking up again. Cam has branched off from the shred life a little bit and launched a modeling career. Although he’s received some hate and weird vibes, he could give a shit about what other people think. “I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door. It’s something I can build, and see what

happens.” As for the haters, “I’m just doing my thing, it’s fun,” Cam said. But the shred life still beckons. After eye surgery and 30 different therapies over the last year and a half, Cam is on his way back to being 100 percent. The headaches are gone, the balance is back, the double vision has been corrected; there seem to be no long-term effects from the carbon monoxide poisoning, and he is feeling as strong and confident as ever. As the 2015/16 season unfolds, Cam’s got multiple high-level film projects in the works, a (very) long list of dedicated sponsors and a strong team of supporters at his side. If Cam’s life were an inspirational poster, it would probably say something like “Luck, my ass. I earned this!” jm

Cam would like to thank his sponsors: Arbor Snowboards, Under Armour, Spy Optics, Bern Helmets, Speaqua Sound Co., Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Union Bindings, Jackson Treehouse, Bluebird Wax, Remind Insoles, Avalon7, Aion MFG, Adidas Boots, The WYPY

Jeff Moran is leader of the (free)ride world. @jeffmoran76

Issue Number Eleven - Bios 83

Now, for the important stuff: MORAN: Professional Rollerblader or Razor Scooterer? FITZ: Rollerblader. My favorite Disney movie as a kid was about a professional rollerblader. Ha!

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus? Taylor Swift. Miller Flips or Backflips? Miller Flips. Always. Snowmobile or splitboard? Snowmobile. Instagram or Snapchat? Instagram. River surfing or pow snowboarding? River surfing. If you could be pro at any other sport what would it be? Surfing. Where else in the world would you live? New Zealand – they have good candy. Dream sponsor? Ikea. Who’s your favorite person/people to shred with? The WYPY crew!

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Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 86

ode to d miller Evoking the stoke in his backyard, Darrell Miller is the humblest of hometown snow celebrities.

Darrell Miller drops into the abyss. Photo: Tristan Greszko

Issue Number Eleven - Bios 87




ights, camera… Action Jackson. Through many years of Trial and Air, these Precious, Magic Moments have managed to bring tourists and Locs together. Jackson Hole, otherwise known as The Land of 1000 Dreams is one of the Most Wanted ski resorts in the world. Capturing skiers and snowboarders ripping high speed lines, sending huge airs, and riding deep powder while screaming, Whoopee, down these Sleeping Giants is no easy feat. Whether the snow gods bestow the mountains with 300 inches or 600 inches of beautiful Frosty Flakes in a season, Darrell Miller’s Thrillers will have anyone Falling Forward off the edge of his seat. Miller’s a.k.a. Storm Show Studios’ 15th movie, in collaboration with Full Room Productions, Cliff Hanger, premiered this fall. Darrell has been making ski/snowboard movies for more than 15 years. His progression as a filmer/producer has paralleled his progression as a snowboarder. A Jackson Hole native, Darrell grew up watching some of the best skiers in the world tackle big lines in the Tetons that few had ever considered. “To see what people were doing before me, helped me build my mentality and progress my riding. To see them succeed and get through hairy situations cleanly, opened my eyes to what is really possible,” explained Darrell, who has first descents in the Tetons with lines such as Cora’s Couloir, a broken couloir that requires billy goating, route finding and a mandatory air exit. In the Gros Ventre Range, Darrell branded the King Couloir, a remote, steep narrow vain that few have laid eyes on, and he has broken virgin trail on the Sleeping Indian, too. Yeah, Darrell’s no stranger to a hairy situation. A pioneer and a representative for all adventure snowboarders, Darrell stealthily moves

through the backcountry with an eye for obscure, dangerous lines. Of course, a great day of riding with your friends is awesome; it’s a perfect time to soak it all in and live in the moment. But Darrell finds the real reward to be in how the entire experience is immortalized. He wants you to feel like you are there with him.

“To see what people were doing before me opened my eyes to what is really possible.” Sure, snowboarders are slow; we get stuck a lot, and yeah, skiers backslap and lose their skis. Often there is some disagreement on which method of mountain navigation is most enjoyable. But Darrell puts all the debate to rest by pointing the camera at anyone who is having fun. He films talented snowboarders such as Ryan Van Lanen ripping clean, unknown lines and the infamous Jason Elms backflipping smooth and large. He has shots of Jason King and Scott Bauer with their fluid, seamless styles, and Travis McAlpine dropping intense first descents. Then he’s got shots of talented two plankers such as Full Room’s Ryan Halverson with his corked 720s, and Dave Van Ham with his face melting high speeds and maniacal cliff hucking. He’s even got shots of Derek Deperio’s many first descents and gut wrenching crashes. But perhaps the most notable thing about D’s work is that he not only has an amazing group of riders to film, but the footage is mostly all local and without the aid of mechanical assistance. There are no high budget heli trips to Alaska; there are no exotic trips to Nepal; it all happens in our backyard.

A man and his mountain. Photo: Ryan Halverson / Full Room Productions

Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 88 Another dreary day at le office de Teton. Photo: Ryan Halverson / Full Room Productions

Cliff Hanger continues D’s legacy of capturing local brilliance, and he sews in some footage of locals in a few foreign lands, too. Expect to see high speed lines with mandatory air, POV footage of riders clinging to the side of steep faces, painful crashes, and of course, deep pow. So the next time you’re in the Snake River Brew Pub boasting about the gnarly line you skied and how you can get to so many awesome places, just remember that sitting in the corner sipping a beer is the humble Darrell Miller, who might have just helped you get there.


Randy Shacket is a modern day mountain man who always comes armed with an iPod full of Wu Tang, a backpack full of Cliff bars, and a pocket full of fresh safety supplies. @mountainrandy


Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 90

my so-called life Josi Stephens expresses herself freely.

Reminiscing on the rocky path that led to shred Shangri-La.

Issue Number Eleven - Bios 91



n this snow sport industry that I inhabit, rarely does a day pass where I am not challenged in a manner that high education did nothing to prepare me for. It is a relentless uphill climb, yet undeniably the reason that I vibrate on high from bell to bell. With weirdly asinine moments sandwiched by crystaline excellence, no career is stranger or more fulfilling. I have found that there are only so many ways to say “frothing” on Instagram (though I haven’t run dry yet) and only in snowboarding is the term “love over money” something that one truly believes, even while weeping at the ATM. So how did I end up here? Why would any sane human put all of their chips on the snowboard industry table? Perhaps one word can cover it: community, though in reality there are so many things that make up a community. Writers, artists, hypemen/ women, designers, social media nerds, craftspeople, moneypeople and your little dog too, they all come together to keep this monster breathing. There is a place for everyone if you want it bad enough; knowing that the ‘want it bad enough’ part is the hardest thing to cultivate. Like a shiny new college grad showing up in Jackson with a communications degree and no working knowledge of life outside of Phi Beta Something, this world will be a full-blown mystery with heartbreak at every turn. That’s where dogged perseverance and a friend that has actually made it to the promised land, paying bills sans bartending job, comes in real handy. We all have that homie that sustains their existence with a Volcom paycheck and the grass doesn’t just look greener over there, it is greener. And in constant need of mowing and raking and

scooping dog poop and screaming at the neighbor kids to get the fuck off of it. But I digress. Naturally none of that really does the job of explaining how I, Josi, ended up working in the snowboard world by way of Travis Rice’s art baby, Asymbol. I whole-heartedly promise that there is no way on god’s green earth that anyone will ever get here the way I did, but there is a point to be made with this story. So I will tell it.

“I happily made thousands of cocktails, fabulous friends, and countless bad decisions.” As a young child, like so many emotionally overwrought little girls, I fell in love with the world of literature and writing. I wrote page after page of complete drivel and then forced my family to listen while I recited it in five different voices. Fast forward to a small mountain town in Oregon where I pieced together a degree over seven years of putting snowboarding before my general studies. It took that long to realize that I didn’t want to make my love of words into a job, not yet anyway. It also took that long to realize that though I was a solid rider, I was far more skilled at getting Burton pro-forms and looking good on the hill. And like any impulsive 20-something, off to an overpriced design school I was. With nobody warning me that making it in the apparel industry while our economy tanked was about as easy as any career at that time. The post-college world was wildly unkind; I almost took a job at Burgerville. With tale between legs, I relocated to the only place that made sense, a tiny town in a state

I had only been to once with an old dog and $400 to my name. This is where low career expectations and high stoke on the Tetons came in real handy. I happily made thousands of cocktails, fabulous friends, and countless bad decisions and within a year or so landed on the Asymbol doorstep begging for an internship. That is the way it works sometimes, eventually the desire to be a part of something great overrides the fear of failure. In some strange turn of events, this winding road took me right to the place that I had been unknowingly seeking with all of my being. A place where I could write, design, snowboard, and be integral to a community that is worth every up and every down, always. Why is any of this important? Who cares how some lady ended up working for a snowboarder-headed art gallery in Wyoming? It is important because if you are still reading this then there is something inside of you that wants to get to this place. It may look a lot different than my world but it is the same and you want it. In a culture where people are taught to compromise everything for an existence that falsely seems safe, you and I know that this snowboard community gives us so much glorious life that there is no need to compromise. We can, in fact, have it all if we want it bad enough.


Josi Stephens loves words, art, horses and naps. She hails from the beach and lives in the mountains with her ancient dog Pharaoh. @Mustang_Josi

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Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine 94 Hannah Cackler ‘s sunny Snow King steez. Photo: Sargent Schutt

dropping next:

twice the threat Meet Hannah Cackler and Ashley Rot.



Issue Number Eleven - Bios 95


he best part about snowboarding is simple: it’s badass. The best part about snowboarding with Hannah Cackler and Ashley Rot is that they make it even more badasser! …As long as you can keep up. Hailing from very different parts of the U.S., their paths have serendipitously collided by way of the Jackson Hole Ski & Snowboard Club’s ( JHSC) Freeride Program. Ashley, a JH transplant from Naperville, IL, and Hannah, of Pinedale, WY, have found themselves as not only teammates, but leaders of the pack on the Jackson Hole Snowboard Team. Although their approaches may vary, their mission is shared: to shred the heck out of everything in their paths while singing and dancing and smiling and laughing. Since joining the JHSC, they’ve each proven themselves as two of the most driven, passionate and accomplished shredders on the team, bar none. Both girls are deeply respected by teammates and

Ashley Rot cranks a boardslide. Photo: Andy Lex

coaches alike, due in no small part to their ability to know when it’s time to let loose and when it’s time to do work. If you’ve ever spent 10 minutes with Ashley and Hannah at the Village Café (RIP) on a Saturday lunch break, you could easily think snowboarding was the farthest thing from their minds. But once back on snow, their focus narrows and the progression ensues. Hannah can be found fine-tuning her pipe runs and blasting huge airs while Ashley is dialing in her slopestyle laps and perfecting her method. Which, by the way, is easily one of the most stylish of the entire JH Snowboard Team (including coaches). Ashley and Hannah lead by example and it shows. Whether they’re standing on the top of the podium or brushing off bone rattling slams, they both have the capacity to stay focused and positive, no matter the situation. As with so many of the previous snowboarders featured on these pages of the Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine, both Hannah and Ashley have

earned the JHSC’s esteemed title of Female Snowboarder of the Year; Hannah in 2013/14 and Ashley in 2014/15. Both girls have super supportive parents who can be found at every event, whether home or away, braving the cold to cheer on their girls. Hannah and Ashley head into the 2015/16 season with pre-qualified spots on the USSA Revolution Tour and an almost manic obsession to push their abilities as far as they will go. I don’t mean to start anything here, but it’s only a few short months until JHSC’s next Snowboarder of the Year is chosen. Who’s it gonna be, girls?


Jeff Moran is leader of the free(ride) world. @jeffmoran76


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