The Circus Comes To Town
It turned out to be quite a year for snowboarding out here. Jackson Hole opened a new Burton Stash Park bringing in a large cast of media and riders from around the world. Travis Rice was filming for The Art Of Flight (Brainfarm is based in Jackson), Mark Carter and Kevin were filming for TB20, Jeremy Jones and Xavier De Le Rue were filming for Further, and Alex Yoder and Blake Paul had a crew going as well—when it rains it pours…or dumps actually.
The first Volcom crew that came through consisted of Bjorn Leines, Wille Yli Luoma, and Curtis Ciszek—backcountry veterans. They’ve all been to Jackson before and destroy everything. I’ve had some really good sessions the last couple of seasons with Wille and Curtis, and I was really stoked to shred and hang out with them. Wille can ride a snowmobile like a pro, he’s always down to break trail, and teamed up with Bjorn and Curtis, there were no limits to where we could go or what we could ride. Despite a lull in the snowstorms, we found good lines to ride on the high north-facing aspects and were on a mission to find better. We started chipping away, early starts with Wille brewing his Heart Roaster coffee for the crew, long drives, and exhausting days battling the cold. As the trip progressed, it began to snow. We battled the storm with white-knuckled drives through whiteouts and took to the trees with the flash, building jumps, and shooting well into the dark. After a solid week of shredding with the vets, it was time for them to go.
Vernon, Markus Keller, and Luke Mitrani arrived a day later. We teamed up with Kevin Jones and Chris Ando (a friend of Kevin’s who films for Standard). I was stoked to join forces with them as new snow began stacking up. With all the new snow came elevated avalanche hazards. After a couple days working through the weather, the storm broke and the sun came out. We left the house well before sunrise; it felt good to watch the sky turn from pink to gold. Herds of antelope kept us on our toes as we neared our destination. Our objective was a series of small cirques filled with cliffs and pillow lines. When Kevin, Chris, and I assessed the new snow we found it to be pretty unstable. It was a concern, but we decided it was manageable, so we eased into the session. We triggered a few small predictable slides on our first drops as expected and gained confidence to step it up. Kevin laid down some really nice lines, and Markus charged big cliffs, hitting transition with calculated Swiss precision. I picked off a few lines as well, and we got our fix after a few days working across the series of small, steep bowls. After our last session, Volcom Filmer Jake Price busted out his NoBoard and started hitting this jump. He threw a backflip and over rotated it a bit…we were freaking out when he went back up and threw a perfect double! He landed on the edge of a bomb hole and went down, but I swear he would of stuck it clean if it was a fresh landing.