Helicoptering Over Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand

Franz Josef Glacier

Last year I went on a New Zealand glacier helicopter tour.

There’s something about the majesty of a glacier that you can’t quite get the full effect of from the ground level, separated by a fence and the cracking glacier a few meters away.

Sure, the vistas and viewpoints provide great photo opportunities, and the hike is quite rewarding, punctuated with cascading waterfalls and framed by gorgeous mountains.

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Snowbird Powder Porn

Snowbird is one of those resorts that in almost always included in best ski resort lists, and rightly so. It has one of the biggest annual snowfalls in the country, and it’s the legendary Utah driy powder. It has some of the most accessible in-bounds extreme terrain that I’ve ever seen.

I was fortunate enough to visit Snowbird a few times this year and shoot some of their sponsored riders. It was epic. I rode chutes like the ones I’d only previously seen in movies. Hucked sme pretty big cliffs as well. The conditions weren’t always great for photos, but we still got some pretty spectacular shots.

snowbird utah snowboarder

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Telluride Powder Porn

My expectations were high when we visited Telluride. It was my first visit.  We arrived in a whiteout that had us driving 30 miles an hour on the highway there. The first night the hill received several inches of snow and it kept snowing all the next day. The second day the sun came out and I got to ride Telluride the way it’s meant to be ridden — on steep pitches with over a foot of fresh pow.

This is how it was: legendary.

tellurdie 01

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Crested Butte Powder Porn

We arrived at Crested Butte at the wrong time. Crested Butte is a real big mountain rider’s paradise. The north face is a huge area with amazing cliffs, chutes, and steeps. Unfortunately, it had been a few weeks since they’d had a good dump of snow, which is pretty necessary to enjoy that kind of terrain.

The saving grace of the trip was the opening of the High Lift T-Bar, which accessed previously closed terrain. So, although there was no fresh snow, there were some fresh tracks, and the local pros lit it up. This is what it looked like.

crested butte skier snowboarder 01

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Heavenly Eye Candy

My buddy Bryon and I spent two bluebird days exploring Heavenly, which isn’t nearly enough time to actually get to know all 4800 acres of the massive mountain. Fortunately, I had a very spry guide named Mike Frye. Mike’s a former ski racer, coach, and extremely fit and fast biped who slows down for no man.

So, I despite time constrictions, and thanks to Mike, my snowboard did make contact with a very large portion of that mountain.

This is what it looked like.

Special thanks to Bryon of Exploring Elements for contributing some of his photos to this post. If these pics aren’t enough for you, then you should check out his photos from Heavenly.

Heavenly skier snowboarder

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Sierra-at-Tahoe Snowboarding Porn

When we asked people at Sierra-at-Tahoe what they loved most about the hill, they mentioned a few things. Many people mentioned the amazing terrain park system, which includes five terrain parks that gradually increase in difficulty from a kiddie park with features that rise just a few inches above the snow, to the big feature park with jumps up to 40 or 50 feet. Several people mentioned the beautiful job the hill does of maintaining their groomed runs, and lots also loved the Huckleberry sidecountry gates.

We got a few pictures of each during our trip.

Special thanks to Bryon of Exploring Elements for contributing some of his photos to this photoessay.

sierra at tahoe skier snowboarder 1

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Sugar Bowl Powder Porn

Sugar Bowl is one of the lesser-known resorts in the North Lake Tahoe area. I’m very happy about that, because it means that whenever I visit, the lines will be  short, and the fresh tracks will be long.

Sugar Bowl is only 1500 acres, but it feels much bigger — especially the area between the Disney Chair and the Mt. Lincoln Express, where there are cliffs, steeps, a gorgeous frozen waterfall, and chutes that rival extreme legends like Squaw Valley’s Pallisades and Jackson Hole’s Corbet’s Couloir.

The locals told us that they liked Sugar Bowl because of it’s homey atmosphere, short lift lines, and friendly staff. I liked it because Brian (of Exploring Elements) and I did basically one awesome powder run all day long on the first day and never crossed a track that wasn’t ours.

Here are some of the photos we took. Thanks to Brian for providing the photos of me (the snowboarder in the blue jacket and green pants). He also published his photos of Sugar Bowl.

sugar bowl ski resort 1

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