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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.

Technical difficulties have created a bit of a delay on the release of our Chronicles Episodes but with the purchase of a new computer combined with severe sleep deprivation and blood shot eyes.. we are getting things back on track.

“Goods in the Woods” is a flashback to last years epic la nina winter season.  We didn’t see many sunny days for a few months there but the snow stacked up like never before.  Stormy days forced us into the woods where the visibility improved and the snow was epic.  Enjoy a few minutes of virtual faceshots on us!

Grassroots came up big in the latest issue of Starfish Snowskate Magazine with the cover, a full page ad, and an 8 page interview with Jeremy Jensen – Founder/Owner/Designer/Shaper/Builder/Cinematographer/Photographer/Web Designer/PR Guy/etc.. of Grassroots Powdersurfing.  Jeremy is obviously a very busy man (which would explain the lack of blog posts this year) but he (I) found some time to sit down and answer a few questions about surfing powder, videography, photography, and Grassroots Powsurfers.

Peep it.

And finally, our ad.  Please help us keep the dream alive and Buy a Grassroots Powsurfer today!

We have been hard at work stocking up on boards for the upcoming season.  Over the past spring and summer we’ve been playing a bit with some new shapes and styles.. . taking advantage of some of the scraps that are lying around.  We are excited to get some of these on the snow.  There are a few that we just built for fun and they probably aren’t the best everyday boards.. but they will have their days where they rip for sure.  Unfortunately we will have to wait for snow to fall to find out.

 “The Blue Bomber” is just one of a bunch of experimental shapes we’ve got brewing.  

Makeshift kick tail support for the flat backed boards.  Helps keep the feet on but we are finding that the flat tailed decks are not super playful.

We have built and tested 30+ different shapes and sizes and it’s pretty cool to discover all of the differences in the way each one rides.  Some subtle and others are very apparent.  Some ride great and some will do better hanging on a wall somewhere.  Shape is key.

A small collection of the quiver that has built up over the past 4 years.. the room wasn’t big enough for the whole quiv.

We decided to stick to a few shapes and sizes that have been tried and true for the 2011 line.  


Shaping is a blast but we had to narrow down what we were going to offer to the public for now.  There are a couple more that we may release after they have been properly tested and dialed in but this will likely be the line.

Adam in AZ is an old Winterstick rider from the 70’s.  He saw what we have been doing and liked what was amped to have a custom board made for him.  I customized this “Rocket” for him shaped for his height, weight and foot size.  I wish I could have taken a few rides on her before I sent it off.

Custom “Red Rocket” built for Adam in AZ.


 

Jeremy Jensen Powsurfing at Alta Ski Resort


Late season snowstorms and cold temps were back in full swing in late May. I was due to leave for Kauai on a surf filming mission this weekend so I decided to leave a day early in hopes of bagging some late season pow at the bird. It had been dumping hard for 3 days and snowbird was due to open up on friday with 30 new inches. I woke up stoked and I waited patiently for the road to open after the avy control had finished up. The road opened on schedule and just as I was about to race to the car the bad news hit… Snowbird was not going to open today because of too much snow! They have been running weekends only for the past few weeks so they had not kept up with their avalanche control work and they decided it was too dangerous to open that day. I was pretty pissed after driving all the way from Logan and getting my hopes up to slash 3 feet of pow in late May.
I settled down and got on the phone to everybody I knew in the area to try to find a buddy to go hike some powsurf lines with. I had brought a couple of extra powsurfers with me for friends to ride. Nobody was into it. Who could resist a waist deep pow day in late May?! So I went at it alone. Not the smartest thing to do given all the red flags of the day – snowbird choosing not to open, 3 feet of new snow in May, potential for major warming…etc. However, 20 years shredding the backcountry has taught me that safe travel is still possible if you’re smart about it.


Luckily, Alta had been running their snowcats and had been grooming throughout the week so I didn’t have to hike in waist deep snow. I marched up the groomer passing ski supremacist hippies left and right. (Alta is a “skier only” resort, snowboards are forbidden)
The groomer made the hike up a walk in the park.

I love hiking with the powsurfers becasue they are so light and minimalistic. Of course I get all the awkward looks from people muttering things like “what the hell is that?” and “how do you ride down without bindings”…. I reply with “it’s a powdersurfer” and “gravity”. Some people are intrigued and stoked at the concept and some people can’t quite fathom it (especially your average hippy at Alta). They get all sorts of confused when you blow by them on the ride down.


Balls deep at 10,000 feet

Top of Collins Chair – Strictly Forbidden area for snowboarders

Looks like I’m authorized

Visibility was pretty poor so I decided the trees beneath the Collins chair were a good bet for good pow and better vis. The wind was raging so I quickly gave praise and dropped in for a warm up run. I knew it was going to be pretty deep but I didn’t expect it to be nearly waist deep.


After a short warm up run it was on! Conditions were epic – even for mid winter. Now where to go?

Decisions decisions….

The signs were very helpful…
I ripped a bunch of lines down “sunspot” under the collins chair. Nicely spaced trees kept the pow safe from the wind and the visibility good. The snowpack was so high that I nearly hit my head on the chairs as I slashed by them.

Tree barrel

Almost hit my head on the chair

After 5 runs on the upper mountain I was spent. I headed for one of my favorite zones at Alta for my lower descent. The Wildcat zone holds some sick steep shots with tons of features to launch off of. I had to do some trailblazing in waist deep snow to get there but it was well worth the effort. The snow was pretty saturated on the lower mountain so I needed a good steep run. Although the snow was not as good down here, this was still the funnest run of the day. Super steep chutes with fun buttons left and right- all the way down to the parking lot.
Faceshots galore, fun bumps everywhere, I was in powsurf heaven. I left super stoked to get a nice deep pow day that could be the last of the season. 10 hrs later I hopped on a flight to Kauai and spent the next 10 days soaking in the sun, surfing, and chilling out in a tropical paradise. Pretty epic ender to another epic season.
Peep the footy below!


“Secret Bowl” – One of my all time favorite zones.

The view from the top

The view from the bottom

Today was the perfect day for a first decsent of the northeast face of “Secret Bowl”. I powsurfed the north face of the bowl a couple of years ago as well as last year and finally the conditions were ripe to get the NE face.
The drop in of the run is usually the toughest part due to wind and sun damage. You kind of just have to point it thru that stuff and catch yourself with a turn as soon as the snow turns good. That really gets the heart pumping…. I felt like Danny Way dropping into the mega-ramp up there.
The first turn
The first turn was a good one! Thank God- or I would have been starfishing down the mountain uncontrollably. Now I have 1200 vertical of fresh pow ahead of me to slash before reaching the bottom. 20 turns and 10 or so faceshots later, I was at the bottom with a shit eating grin on my face. That was one of the funnest powsurf runs I have ever had.
Getting Barreled

Two perfect windlips awaited me near the bottom – begging me to slash them.


crushing the lip

The first run got me so stoked, especially after slashing two deep windlips near the bottom. I had to get me some more of that. So we charged back to the top for another.
Round 2!

Threading the needle – High speed ollie

Another perfect windlip waited for me near the bottom


We only had time for a half day today so we unwillingly packed up our gear and headed for home. We had scored much better conditions than we bargained for and it was really hard to leave so much sick terrain and untouched pow behind. I hope I can make it back before the season is up. Fingers crossed.


Neil and I scoping the goods.

I met up with Ian and Neil Provo on sunday to introduce them to Grassroots Powdersurfing and shoot some footy for an upcoming webisode. These guys are doing some killer video work. Check out Inspired Media Concepts to see some of their stuff.

We cruised up to one of the classic zones in my neck of the woods and got right to it. Seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing the shouts of joy after their first runs on my powdersurfers really made my day. It’s rad to see people pick it right up and just start shredding… Ian and Neil were both killing it right off the bat. We hammered out some fun little lines in some epic snow conditions. A fresh foot or two of dense pow had settled nicely over a plethora of boulders creating small jumps everywhere. Perfect for popping ollies in between pow slashes.
Neil dropping into Rock Bowl

Ollieing off the first of about 10 little bump jumps in a row on this little run

I dig the shadow on the bottom left corner


Neil Provo dropping in just before the sun set

Slash

Neil droppin.. He was really diggin the “sardine” deck.
Ian and Neil brought up their buddy “Fishbone” who skillfully captured the magic shooting video and stills as we slashed and bounced our way down some really fun lines. It was nice to just ride and not worry about capturing the footage by myself. We all had a super fun session, it was rad to get out and ride with some new dudes. I’m stoked to go powsurf some lines in the wasatch with the Provo boys.
We left to a gorgeous setting sun at our backs. Stoked for next time.

Slashing in a sea of pure white…

On the way to the goods….note the only track within 100 miles is Benor’s and I am right behind him! Today is gonna be sick.

We were pretty amped to show up to a foot + of fresh pow and not a track in sight or any sound of sledneckers in the distance. Things were gonna get rad….. until the track on my sled broke- sending me flying over the handlebars as the sled rolled over. No bueno… It was up to Benor to chauffeur all 4 of us around for the day.

We still managed to get the goods. Some easier access stuff, we sessioned a kicker for a bit, then a kicker over a cliff (on our snowboards), then we spent the rest of the day powdersurfing.
Slashing pow runs and building small jumps and hitting the natural rollers. A few kickflips were landed, a bunch of shovits, the biggest backside 180 I have ever done and copius amounts of powder was slashed.


Jeremy- cliffdrop

Castle Rock – Untouched!
We started the day off snowboarding (aaron was skiing) so we could take full advantage of all the terrain as best we could. Adrenaline was pumping all morning.. My legs and hands were shaking after every run. These lines really get your heart going, especially once you enter the ampitheater. The already steep hillside just rolls away out of sight and you have to be 100% committed or you are probably going to eat shit hard.

We pretty much had our way with this zone all day but I had to get one more …. without the aid of bindings.

This is one of my favorite snowboarding runs. Long, steep and exposed… I was stoked be the first to ever shred this line on the powdersurf board. (today was my second run on it) My choice of deck was the “Sardine”. A directional board that is pretty skinny compared to most of my boards. It was definitely the board of choice today because the snow was barely deep enough to be able to turn in.
I went for the bomb drop off the top and slammed pretty good, the landing was much flatter than it looked… Oh well, the last 1000 feet of my run was epic. The snow was slightly variable and that can be really tough without bindings. I made almost all the way down before taking two of the hardest slams I have taken all year. Full body slam while hauling top speed… my brain shook around in my head like jello- ouch.

Jeremy – Bindingless…Ready for takeoff…

Bombs away


I didn’t feel too bad about slamming on the bomb drop as I slashed mad pow the rest of the way down….this shit is like therapy.



…..we don’t need no stinking bindings!!!!
We decided to powdersurf for the rest of the afternoon. It was pretty fun but the variable snow conditions gave us quite a bit of hell. Lots of slamming.
Craig- slashing

So after 12 hours of killing it I was pretty pooped. This was certainly one of those days I will remember for a while.