A world separate from any other on our planet, decorated with sky-scraping mountains, bottomless canyons, Earth-carving rivers, and a plethora of beauty unmatched anywhere in the world. The Colorado Plateau is an endless, soaring desert that encompasses four Western states- Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah-an area known as the Four Corners Region. The towering mountain peaks that stretch across the region include The San Francisco Peaks, San Juan Range, The Wasatch Front, and The Gore Range. Each individual mountain range plays host to wicked winter storms that breathe life into areas of recreation frequently labeled ski resorts.

There were also the people who contributed just as much to the history of development of the Colorado Plateau as the landscape itself-nomadic desert dwellers like the Anasazi, Fremont, and Paiute Indian tribes settled these lands long ago.

Ali Goulet, Mike Basich, Andrew Crawford, Kevin Zacher, and I represent a modern nomadic culture of the late twentieth century: a tribe that descends downward on wood and fiberglass planks, elevating themselves into open air and through sacred old growth, experiencing unlimited natural offerings before moving onward to the next mountainous expanse.

Our monumental journey began in Flagstaff, Arizona-home of the San Francisco Peaks. Named by Spanish missionaries in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, The San Francisco Peaks are an impressive collage of four separate peaks jutting awkwardly out of the desert floor. Nestled on the west-facing side of the mountains is the Arizona Snowbowl. Two-hundred-sixty inches of annual snowfall, a 2,300 vertical foot drop and 1,000 ridable acres make the Snowbowl Arizona’s premier winter destination. Riding Snowbowl’s trails brought back vivid memories of powder-filled days, not long ago, when Kevin and I called Snowbowl home. Each chair ride was filled with tales of old kicker lines, deep powder runs, and our earliest backcountry adventures.

Our band of transient travelers headed east toward the Four Corners National Monument on Highway 160. This unique landmark boasts the only point in the U.S. where four state corners connect. Thousands of people visit this historic landmark each year and relish the chance to stand in four states at one time. Advancing east we headed to the 47th state to proudly fly their star upon the flag, New Mexico. Adobe architecture, pastel colors, and desert landscapes decorate this state from town to town. Dwarfed in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains southernmost point-Mt. Blanca-Ski Rio, New Mexico is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. A very laid-back appeal is this area’s most valuable asset, along with 2,150 vertical feet to descend and 250 inches of annual snowfall to snorkel through.

Greeted by Trevor Patterson and two snowmobiles, we throttled up groomed trails and catwalks to the C Chair area. Construction of a booter in a mellow powder field ensued. Without a run-in sufficient for obtaining speed to hit the jump, the snowmobiles towed in Ali and Andrew. Swirling through the air with little regard for gravity or its properties, daredevil maneuvers were thrown around at will until the landing was spent.

Nightfall called for a tribal ceremonial dance in which Ali and Andrew would sacrifice a virgin quarterpipe delicately etched into the snow. The steep drop-in zone immediately outside the front door of our pueblo provided the speed necessary to blast out of the quarterpipe and reenter smoothly. This impressive display lasted well into the wee hours of the night. The following morning, handshakes and thank yous were exchanged as our nomadic band of travelers moved on.

On to the city of agua caliente, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Pagosa is a Ute Indian name given to the hot mineral springs renowned for their healing qualities. Butted up against the San Juan River, which runs through the middle of town, are the Pogosa Hot Springs. Giving in to legend, we submerged our carcasses belowubbling waters in hopes of rejuvenating them. Just as local fable would have it, the healing waters worked wonders.

An early wake-up call from Kalei Pitcher brought us out of a comatose sleep and to the realization of fourteen inches of new snow at Wolf Creek Resort. Hopping Highway 160 east out of Pagosa we were on our way to meet Kalei, John King, and their extensive knowledge of the area.

As the sun rose above the horizon, Kalei led us to the Alberta Peak area. It was a small hike to a resting spot above Davey’s Rock-appropriately named in honor of the first man to conquer its ferocious height and appetite, Davey Pitcher. Take-off and landing angles were checked from above and below to ensure safe flight over this monster drop. Kalei dropped first, displaying the control needed to land precisely in the run-out area. Ali, Mikey, and Andrew followed with their own perfectly executed airs.

The following day, Kalei opened up the next chapter in the Wolf Creek Bible-its backcountry. Wolf’s backcountry is a kaleidoscope of mixed terrain from avalanche chutes to open meadows and steep powder-filled gullies. Tales of backcountry enthusiasts who ventured out to these parts never to return were fresh in our minds, but Kalei insured us safe return at day’s end.

As we slipped out the rear access gate and headed for the million-acre maze of Colorado’s finest, Kalei and John greeted our company with two snowmobiles. “Ya’ll don’t want to hike everything, do you?” they shouted. “Hell no,” Ali replied. Once again the two-stroke bandit came through to speed up the day’s events. Steep gully runs ate up the morning, succeeded by a few varied cliffs in the early afternoon, salvaging what light was left in the day to put away some sweet powder turns. It took us two long days to sample the mineral wealth of snowboard transitions in Wolf Creek. A longer stay in this realm was needed, but time constraints forced us to move on. We moved on to an untouched place, where the skyline is dominated by jagged spheres that point dramatically toward the heaven above- the Gore Range.

The Gore Range is a spectacular arrangement of mountains practically uninhabited by the human race. Their makeup is so rugged and fierce, only a few species of plants and animals can survive. Contained within these hills are goldmines of natural transitions and drops that would fulfill any snowboarder’s dreams. Brian “Wookie” Fleming supplied the snowmobiles and guided us fifteen miles toward the summit of these untouched monsters, where we were greeted with numerous first descents. The sheer size and volume of the rock faces and outcroppings were overwhelming. It was nothing like anything, any of us had seen before in Colorado.

Ali and I brought the snowmobiles back around to the bottom, directly below where Andrew, Mikey and Zacher would be coming down. They chose a steep chute with a tight entrance and cliffs on either side, that eventually opened up to a football field-sized run-out. Mikey and Andrew threw down their own variation in the same chute, both executing smooth lines that would make their moms proud. We continued this process all day. Feeling a sense of accomplishment, we began the long journey back to civilized lands.

Similar to our predecessors before us, our band of nomadic travelers had barely received a taste of what this area had in store for those who look. Again, time was telling us to move on to the fourth and final state in the Four Corners belt of beauty, Utah.

Like Brigham Young and his Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who had trekked into this region during the late 1800s hoping to find the new Jerusalem, we trekked into this area in hopes of finding the Zion of snowboarding. Our search brought us to the vast, enduring mountains of the Wasatch Front.

Salt Lake City crawls up the western front of the Wasatch Mountains, with Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons winding their way up the magnificent hills until they end at Brighton and Snowbird Resorts, respectively. Brighton would be our initial destination.

The variety of terrain could keep you busy for weeks, with 1,000 rideable acres inbounds and endless acreage just beyond boundary ropes. Gear in check, we took the Millicent chairlift out to Mary’s Chutes-a small traverse across Milli Bowl, it’s that easy. Technical, but not huge in size, these chutes can definitely get the blood flowing. Since there was no hike involved, we ran a few laps until we tracked things out.

The next stop was atop Crest chairlift. Through the gate and up the bootpack lies the summit of Pioneer Peak. The serene, 360-degree view from Pioneer Peak is nothing short of astonishing. After relaxing a few minutes to take it all in, we each picked a line and went off to the races. Dropping in the resort-facing side of Pioneer Peak always promises dry, fluffy powder. It’s entirely north-facing and doesn’t get touched by sunlight until late April. A second run through Pioneer Peak, and it was time to cash in our chips.

Snowbird was to be the final leg in this prolific journey through the Colorado Plateau. The almighty Snowbird offers a 3,000-foot vertical drop and 2,000 ridable acres, all accessible by the tram and eight chairlifts. The best description of “The Bird” would be out of bounds terrain inbounds, all chairlift accessible. We should have had one day to explore and document Snowbird’s rugged, challenging terrain. Unfortunately, forces from a higher place decided to sock in our chances of capturing the action in this province. The spasmodic weather pattern closed out the final installment in the book of the Colorado Plateau.

A nomadic group of five individuals set out and traveled across four Southwestern states in search for snowy mountain spires, some well known and few untapped-exploring untouched places and experiencing the challenges that come along with it. We came to realize The Four Corners Region is a creation of time blended by the profound effects of evolutionary occurrences. Through these words and pictures, one can gain insight of a different life that exists beyond the everyday images of saguaro-studded deserts.

Without the help of these people, this trip would not have been possible; special thanks to: Trevor Patterson at Ski Rio, Kalei and Rosanne Pitcher at Wolf Creek, John King, Brian “Wookie” Fleming, Kevin Coulsting, Cole Taylor, Ethan Fortier, Arizona Snowbowl: (520) 779-1951, AZP Snowboard Shop: (520) 774-3020, Wolf Creek Ski Resort: 1-800-SKI-WOLF, Ski Rio New Mexico: (505) 758-7707, Brighton Ski Resort: 1-800-873-5512 and Snowbird: (801) 521-6040.Snowbird Resorts, respectively. Brighton would be our initial destination.

The variety of terrain could keep you busy for weeks, with 1,000 rideable acres inbounds and endless acreage just beyond boundary ropes. Gear in check, we took the Millicent chairlift out to Mary’s Chutes-a small traverse across Milli Bowl, it’s that easy. Technical, but not huge in size, these chutes can definitely get the blood flowing. Since there was no hike involved, we ran a few laps until we tracked things out.

The next stop was atop Crest chairlift. Through the gate and up the bootpack lies the summit of Pioneer Peak. The serene, 360-degree view from Pioneer Peak is nothing short of astonishing. After relaxing a few minutes to take it all in, we each picked a line and went off to the races. Dropping in the resort-facing side of Pioneer Peak always promises dry, fluffy powder. It’s entirely north-facing and doesn’t get touched by sunlight until late April. A second run through Pioneer Peak, and it was time to cash in our chips.

Snowbird was to be the final leg in this prolific journey through the Colorado Plateau. The almighty Snowbird offers a 3,000-foot vertical drop and 2,000 ridable acres, all accessible by the tram and eight chairlifts. The best description of “The Bird” would be out of bounds terrain inbounds, all chairlift accessible. We should have had one day to explore and document Snowbird’s rugged, challenging terrain. Unfortunately, forces from a higher place decided to sock in our chances of capturing the action in this province. The spasmodic weather pattern closed out the final installment in the book of the Colorado Plateau.

A nomadic group of five individuals set out and traveled across four Southwestern states in search for snowy mountain spires, some well known and few untapped-exploring untouched places and experiencing the challenges that come along with it. We came to realize The Four Corners Region is a creation of time blended by the profound effects of evolutionary occurrences. Through these words and pictures, one can gain insight of a different life that exists beyond the everyday images of saguaro-studded deserts.

Without the help of these people, this trip would not have been possible; special thanks to: Trevor Patterson at Ski Rio, Kalei and Rosanne Pitcher at Wolf Creek, John King, Brian “Wookie” Fleming, Kevin Coulsting, Cole Taylor, Ethan Fortier, Arizona Snowbowl: (520) 779-1951, AZP Snowboard Shop: (520) 774-3020, Wolf Creek Ski Resort: 1-800-SKI-WOLF, Ski Rio New Mexico: (505) 758-7707, Brighton Ski Resort: 1-800-873-5512 and Snowbird: (801) 521-6040.