My dog and I celebrating the first winter snowfall. Bindingless powdersurfing in the snow and weeds in the Northern Utah backcountry.
My friends and I spent the 2010 Thanksgiving break surfing the powder in the northern Utah backcountry on our handmade powdersurf boards. Shot and edited by Jeremy Jensen with help from Dave Smellie and Mike Kerkman using my Canon 7d.
We thought our powsurfing season here in Utah was over a couple of weeks ago but mother nature insisted on one more day. A fresh 18" of snow made for pow turns in the early morning and mush slashing by early afternoon. Another testament to the versatility of Grassroots Powdersurfers in ANY kind of soft snow. Not quite a "Powsurf Chronicle" but worth a watch!
|Mother nature hit the reset button|
Just last week I was telling a friend that this years season came to an end sooner than any year that I can remember. Well, it’s not over ’til mother nature says it is and she just decided to deliver nearly a foot and a half of pow to the nearby mountains here in Northern Utah. When the low clouds cleared out on a lazy and rainy sunday afternoon my eyes lit up at the sight of some surprisingly thick white stuff in the upper foothills. I checked the snotel data and it was reading cold temps and 12 inches of snow and counting!
I pulled out my gear and got on the phone to some friends.. I’m all about these bonus pow days and I would feel guilty if I didn’t seize the opportunity. At first light the next morning I was on the road, the contrast of the green trees and hillsides covered in fresh white snow made for an awesome drive. I left a bit earlier than the rest of the crew cause I know that May powder has a really short shelf life, and it turns to muck in a hurry.
CHECK THE QUICKIE VIDEO RE-CAP!
|Rolling with a quiver for some late season R&D testing|
|First run of the day was the real deal. Light and dry powder|
|Our powder turned into coastal style muck in less than an hour but still made for some great turns|
There was practically no base under the new snow so navigation on the sleds was a bit tricky. Luckily I had tried to go riding a couple of weeks ago so I knew where the remaining ribbons of snow were at. I buzzed up to the top and managed to hike a couple of quick laps in the upper fields before anyone else arrived. I could feel the snow getting thicker every run. Any direct sun this time of year puts a quick damper on the powder slashing. So when my friends arrived we sought out the most north-facing tree runs in the area and proceeded to throw around the powder and muck.
|hucking some muck around on one of the Phish series boards|
|The B-line into the “G-spot” is a classic early season shot.. tight entry and high speed thru the apron. We were dealing with early season style coverage so this run was at the top of my hit list.|
|Grassroots Powsurfers dominate in the powder and the mush.|
|DeJaVu – My powsurfing season started and ended in this exact spot.|
As the day progressed snow quality plummeted. Sunny spots became sticky and unrideable and the melting snow in the tree tops began raining down on the snow below. That’s May powder for you… it doesn’t last long so you gotta be on time. As a powsurfer, I couldn’t be happier. Instead of ending on a sour note (last week we were stranded by rocks and dry ground) we got a late season bonus dump and the powsurf season ended in style. It’s going to be a busy summer dialing in next years boards and accessories so I have a feeling that next winter will be here before we know it.
The solstice usually comes on the 21st of December but this year it fell on the 22nd. I was delighted by this news because I had to work the day of the 21st and I wanted to celebrate properly. Mother nature dropped 7 inches of the lightest and driest cold smoke she had to offer and served that up sunny skies and cold temps. Perfect timing for an epic celebration.
We keep getting holiday e-cards sent to me from anyone and everyone… so we hopped on the bandwagon and made a quick little e-card from today’s session.
It has been nearly a month since a significant snowfall and this seems to be the case across much of the US. So the conditions are still low tide and the spots with good coverage and no old tracks are difficult to find but luckily we know just where to find them.
The attitude across the country seems pretty bummed on the conditions but honestly I have been enjoying the hell out of it. Logged at least 20 good powder days so far and I have only felt the need to strap in once. Until the big lines fill in.. I just don’t see any reason to snowboard.
These early season conditions are a big part of what spawned Powdersurfing in the first place. Being able to take advantage of the smaller features and maximizing the fun and the challenge keeps things interesting and fresh. This is just one of the many advantages of Powdersurfing. If you are not enjoying the season so far, you should probably consider investing in a Grassroots Powdersurfer. It will change your life.
Ian and Neil posted this edit the other day. I’m always stoked on the Provo Bros edits, no matter if they are skiing, snowboarding, fishing, or powdersurfing. Good dudes doing what they love… I’m all about it. If anyone was wondering how our Grassroots Powdersurfers handle the deep and light pow in some steep lines, look no further (or of course stay tuned for the “Big Waves” episode in The Powsurf Chronicles).
Here you go.. Ian, Neil and friends slaying the deep on their 140cm Slasher and 140cm Powder Shark.
The first early season tease of snow fell on October 7th 2011. We rallied up to the “sacred grove” to check the depth and were delighted to find enough pow to snowskate the campground and powsurf the upper fields.
Utah is having a stellar winter so far. 150% of Normal snowpack and it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Grings and I got out for a beautiful day on Christmas Eve to test out the new shape and size I’ve been working on.
We snowmobiled for a few miles before we finally hit the snow line. It was sopping wet and it was raining/snowing. We were lucky enough to find a tree filled zone with rideable snow. A wicked rime crust had formed above 8700 feet and the rain line was at around 8000 ft. Our zone was right in the sweet spot in between.