Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Three Days of Peace

I've been so busy this past week I realized I haven't updated my blog in what seems like forever. Where do I start? Well, work has been a zoo. With President's Day weekend and the week following, we've had a pretty large number of tourists to deal with. It's been gorgeous and sunny outside so there are plenty of opportunities for beautiful shots. For the first time in a while I've been making money at my job.

I wrapped up the weekend with a morning hike up Mt. Glory and shooting a wedding in the afternoon. I can't think of anything more romantic for two die-hard snowboarders than getting married at the top of the tram. Here's a shot of the newlyweds riding off into the setting sun. Congratulations Cindi & Brian!

On Tuesday I finally got a chance to have some "me" time. David and I started off the morning with a photo session in the big park. He's really progressed this year and it's been super fun being on the opposite side of the lens doing all of the documenting. Latest trick: backside 900. Check it here:

I also got some photos from a few new angles too which I was super stoked about. It gets hard to find new angles and to get creative on the same features all the time but I was really happy with what we came up with!




I love shooting photos, but one of my favorite parts of the week was progressing my own riding. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday riding in the small park to practice my jumps and also riding switch. It really felt good to take a day like that to just practice. By the end of the day I could make it down the bunny hill with my opposite foot forward without falling. Woohoo!

Today was another epic day with 9" of new snowfall! It's been weeks since we got a big dump so I grabbed some friends and hit the slopes. I rode with David, Anna and her roommate Michael for most of the day. We really had an awesome time and ended the day with a lap through Rock Springs and margaritas at the Moose. Couldn't be better :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Park Time Again

It's been a while since we've gotten any new snow here in JH, so I'm back to shooting photos of David in the park. Not that I don't like that, but the level of creativity is limited in the park because I'm shooting the same features every time. This time we were out in the "intermediate" terrain park. I would consider myself above an intermediate level of riding, at least in the backcountry, and I don't really see myself hitting any of these mammoth jumps this season. Here are a few shots from the morning:

David Duffy, Backside 180

Backside 180 Nose

On another note, I'm sorry for the massive delay in blog posting. My last post was a bit of a rant, and a much needed one at that. I had my friend Kevin, a bartender at Teatro Zinzanni, visiting me over the past week. We were pretty busy getting after it while he was here. Lucky for him, it snowed a ton over the holiday weekend and he was able to experience what it's like to rip some JH pow.

As for future plans, I guess I'm going to drag myself out to the mountain today. All of my favorite riding buddies are working so I'm a bit less motivated. On a good work-related note, David is off to get oriented with working for Teton Gravity Research! He's going to spend three mornings a week logging videos for them. I'm not exactly sure what logging videos means, but it would definitely be sweet getting on board with TGR. If you're not familiar with TGR, check out a little preview of their upcoming snowboard movie "Deeper" featuring two of the most respected backcountry snowboarders in the industry -- Jeremy Jones & Xavier De Le Rue.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Fun in Four Pines

A few days off left lots of opportunity for hikes into the backcountry. On Friday, I headed out to Four Pines with David, his buddy Conner, and Halina. It was kind of a foggy day but I took the camera out anyway just in case. After the two hikes, we dropped into the north side of the ridge and were greeted with really deep powder turns. It wasn't long before Conner, David and Halina were scoping out some gnarly pillow/cliff lines. I, of course, tried to veer around such courses. As much as I am looking to drop more this winter, I think I'll hold off on the 20-footers for now. I carefully made my way around the first bunch of cliffs to see what my friends could do.

On the way down we came across several more outcroppings. Conner spotted a pretty crazy pillow drop and nailed it. He was a little fast for me to get a shot but I caught David following in his path. I was pretty glad I got at least one decent photo from the day because it was totally socked in and dumping snow, which made for pretty challenging shooting conditions.

Powder Pillows
Powder Pillows - David Duffy.

I'm sure we'll all get out together again for more photos. I always get stoked to shoot with talented skiers and riders, especially when they're girls :) Go Halina!

Next up was Saturday, another great day for venturing out of bounds. I was really excited to ride with my friend Laura from University of Washington. She works 9-5 so I haven't ridden with her all year. It was just lucky that I got a Saturday off of work. We started out the day with a hike up the Crags. They weren't open the day before so we thought it would be really good. It was totally deceiving from the top -- a field of untouched powder -- but when we dropped in we realized that it was sunbaked and heavy. Yuck. I still got a decent shot of David ripping down the heavy stuff.

Shredding the Crags
A rare bluebird day in the Crags. Rider: David Duffy.

After that we decided it would be best to go out to Four Pines. We followed a parade of people out there and I felt like I really had to push myself on the hike so that nobody passed me. I'm definitely getting better at hiking at 8,000 - 10,000 feet!

Sunny Day in the Backcountry

We took a pretty mellow shot down the nose of the ridge in order to avoid avalanche danger on the steeper slopes. We were all stoked and tired by the end of the traverse so a trip to the Mangy Moose was in order.

I can't really think of more perfect days off. Lots of snowboarding, hiking, and spending time with friends...only the best :D

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Big Days lead to Big Mountain Lines

Much to my dismay, the biggest snowfall of the year fell on a day that I was taking photos at the top of the kiddie lift. I woke up to a snow report of 12" overnight, 18" in the last 24 hours. I was super bummed. Luckily, the manager let us take some runs over on Apres Vous, and Jake and I tore it up in Saratoga Bowl. It was some of the deepest powder I've seen over there, and the traverse out was even mildly tame. Whew. Luckily, I had Tuesday off so I could at least get some leftovers from the huge day before.

David's friends Jesse & Chris are in town, so we started the day with a lap on the tram. It turned out to be a sunny day so we showed them the gorgeous view from the top. Jesse got really excited:

Jump for Joy
Jesse Atkins. Jumping for joy over Cody Peak.

We headed down to the bottom of Sublette and decided on our next plan of attack. David spotted a chute that looked ride-able and decided to go for it. Needless to say, he went a little bigger than I thought he would and I kind of freaked out on my side of the lens when I saw him do it. That's David though.

Stomped It
Rock drop to stomp 6 " from a big deal.

On the way to that line I had spotted a much gnarlier line that needed dropping. The sun was out and the snow was good so David decided to go for it. Let's just say that I was pretty stoked on David's riding today. I've seen him hit some pretty big drops and stuff in the park, but watching him do these big mountain lines got me really excited. Cody Peak is next.

Big Mountain Lines

Powder Turns

Soon I had to get my hiking itch taken care of and I met up with my friend Steve to hike the Crags. It took about 45 minutes from the Apres Vous side, but we found one of the best lines. Trees and knee-waist deep powder. Steve hit a tree stump and ripped his pants, but other than that it was all good.

We spent the remainder of the day playing around in Saratoga Bowl. I took a few shots of the guys "jibbing" this big pillowy rock. It was too abrupt to hit and jump off of so a spray was the way to go.

Rock Jibbing
David Duffy rock spray.

Back to work for the next two days, and then some more good riding. I must say that I'm getting awfully used to riding with my 25 lb. camera bag...and that's a good thing :)