At the beginning of this year I had a ton of Southwest Airlines Frequent Flyer Miles from my Southwest Airlines credit card. I found that I could take trips to Salt Lake City for almost nothing so I started planning to go back and shoot some skiing. After a failed attempt to set up photo shoots in Utah in February, I rescheduled my trip for mid-March with much better success.
I have to give props to Southwest Airlines here. I cancelled my flight in February less than 24 hours before departure and my phone conversation went like this:
Me: “I need to cancel my flight to Salt Lake City for tomorrow.”
Customer Service: “Ok, I will add your points back to your account. Have a great day.”
Easiest interaction with customer service ever. Try doing that with United….
I met up with my buddy, Nick Rothenbush, at Snowbird and went out exploring for the day. The snow conditions were not great, but we founds some nice cliff lines. Pretty much in general the snow was not great. The week before the Wasatch had been hit with a pretty good storm, but the week I decided to come out the highs were in the 60’s everyday. So instead of getting killer pow shots I concentrated on getting some big airs.
Brighton connected me with Treyson Allen, a snowboarder based in SLC. He immediately takes me on a hike to a bowl below Pioneer Ridge, which has endless possibilities on a powder day. But we found some really esthetic lines.
Treyson Allen dropping in.
The beautiful view from Preston Peak
Trying to get a good slash.
Two high school shredders, Walter Shearon & PJ Baymiller, meet me after they get out of school early. They take me all over the mountains, trying to find any hidden stashes. It’s amazing how much young guys can bounce on terrible snow. It makes me feel old that my knees can’t take it anymore. They would get some big air and land on the cruddiest crud like it was 2 feet of pow.
There were a few stashes of fresh
Kyle Sul is a freeskier and ski base jumper. He spends his summers base jumping in Norway. He agreed to come out and see what we could get at Snowbird. Despite a subpar morning, the afternoon thaw made the snow soft enough for some great shots.
We meet up with Chris Crane and Niels Omana, friends of Treyson Allen. They are psyched to get some big air.
Chris Crane getting it clean
Niels Omana getting the grab
Kyle Sul taking off
I had a great week in Salt Lake City, but it makes me wish that Snowbird and Brighton were in my back yard. I’m loving living in Boulder, but…the access to skiing is not the greatest and the skiing is not the best. I found out first hand recently that the snowpack in the Colorado backcountry is unstable.
It was great working with all the athletes. They really put it on the line for me. I’m psyched to shoot a lot more skiing and snowboarding next season. ANNDD hopefully we have a much better snow year next season.