Olympic Powder Sessions
~ Alpine Meadows with Louie Vito and Greg Bretz ~
Words: Adam Hawes
Photos: Chris Wellhausen
Alpine Meadows ~ Tahoe, CA ~
For many of us, traveling the world to snowboard is the epitome of “living the dream”. New places, people, cities and mountains await the adventurous, but it’s not always the beautiful life we may imagine. For Greg Bretz, Louie Vito and many of snowboarding’s elite, airplanes, transfers and hotel rooms are the overwhelming norm. Theirs is a life spent in constant motion; a never-ending road, spanning the globe for the next session, contest, photoshoot or publicity event. For some, it’s easy to lose yourself in the fray – forget to appreciate the incredible experiences and positions that lie ahead. But for Vito and Bretz – two of the hardest-working young riders in all of snowboarding – not a single opportunity is lost. Their dedication to both lifestyle and progression has earned the respect of many in our sphere, and sometimes, just sometimes, even Mother Earth will step in to repay your devotion to the life.
During a recent TransWorld halfpipe session in Tahoe, CA, Ma Nature came to call in a gorgeous display: 38 inches of pure, organic heaven descended upon Alpine Meadows – in a single night. With the filming attempts forced on-hold (due to the incredible weather system gracing the region), the crew packed up and headed straight to Meadows. A testament to their ethic and the long, arduous grind of the halfpipe circuit, neither Bretz nor Vito had been gifted a single powder day so far this season, and were both determined to get the most out of every slash, shot and chute possible.
In the end, it was epic – a day seemingly created for 5 am cat rides and 4 pm liftie bribes. It’s difficult to predict, but these experiences reaffirm what needs to be said: time and place are two of the most important facets to crafting a lasting memory, and this session held a lifetime’s worth for all.
…But, the best part? Bretz and Vito aren’t “just” world-class halfpipe-riders; they’re both damned gnarly pow shreds, as well. A day for the ages.