Thanks Colorado, it was short


As I alluded to in my previous post I recently moved from sparsely populated western Colorado, to a “small” Northern California city named Redding. I moved here because of a job opportunity but there are plenty of fun recreational options, including fly fishing within a 5 minute bike ride, mountain biking from town, 2 cascade volcanoes within an 1 1/2 hour drive, and Squallywood a weekend trip away.

Gunnison was fun, but it was a little too small, and a lack of employment options left my fiance and I a little stranded. I had a great couple of months living the ski bum’s life collecting unemployment as documented in previous videos. So, without further adieu, here is my perspective of January 2011, my last month in Colorado.


Music: Lightsonic, by Groove Armada

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Silverton PowCAM Edit


Alright, alright! Getting a heavy dose of the POV cam these days, but why not? With the great skiing in December it seems appropriate. In addition to my previous post, December also included the family ritual of shredding Silverton Mountain Resort after Christmas. This was my family’s fourth year together down in the San Juan mountains, and needless to say it was by far the best year.

So without further adieu, here is my latest installment of too much POV footage (and for those of you at work watching, this is a much shorter video than my last one).

Music by the one and only Dire Straits, with cameos by fellow cross-poster Jon Jay and older brother Zack Jay. Mad props to my old man, Howard Jay, for keeping up with us and making the trip happen every year. Also, thanks to Bent Gate Mountaineering for letting us try out next year’s (that’s right, 2012) Black Diamond Gigawatts, which appear in a couple of the clips.

A Very Merry December


Now that I don’t have a camera or a job, photographs might be hard to come by for the time being. However, my fiancée gave me a GoPro for Christmas so now I can be like almost every other kid out there and have helmet cam edits. So sit back, relax, and enjoy December from my helmet’s perspective.

Music is by Ween and Buju Banton, and features my two brothers and a couple other friends!

Unemployment & Broken Cameras


Having trouble finding work in the Gunnison/Crested Butte area, as a result I may have to fly the coop sooner than planned to find a job. Also, disaster struck this last week in Glenwood when I dropped my camera and broke it. So in the mean time I may be a bit out of commission until I can replace my camera. In the meantime enjoy some of these photos from the Anthracite Mountains near Crested Butte and Fremont Pass near Leadville.

Ashley Bembenek shreds near Lake Irwin.

Ashley enjoying the powder in the Anthracites.

Ashley in the trees in the Anthracite Mountains.

Chris Manning working some turns on Fremont Pass.

Cool stratus clouds.

Jon Jay riding the fresh off of Fremont Pass.

Colin Tilbe digging deep.

Game On!


Enough snow has piled up here in the Elk Mountains to get out and get some skiing while you can still drive out on the unplowed roads. Unfortunately, the snow pack is looking like it’s going to be dangerous early on this season.

On the way in

Stuck to the safety of the trees

But the skiing wasn't too bad

Prepping for Europe


I leave in a week for a long European excursion to do some skiing and traveling in the Alps. So I have been spending the majority of my time working, training and planning. In the process I found a really cool zone that, by Montana standards, is pretty easy access. So over the course of a few days I made 3 trips into the zone and summitted all 3 of the major peaks in the drainage, which resulted in nearly 30 miles and 20k of vert climbed and skied in 3 of 4 days. Not a bad way to start shaping up for the 20k vert a day in the Alps.

For skiing I’ve been trying to ski Bridger Bowl when I can, but without a pass it’s sometimes hard to get up there.

Ryan Walters sending it in Mundy's bowl at Bridger Bowl

Myself, airing out of Alabaster Chute in the Diagonals zone at Bridger Bowl

This tin was in my pocket during a pretty violent fall in Mundy's. Saved me from ending my season early, that's for sure.

As for touring and climbing, I’ve spent a lot of time on the easy approach and low angle of Mt Ellis, but I also found a drainage that I am going to keep secret for a little while. Skied off of 3 different summits over 4 days in this area.

Panorama of the Northern Absaroka mountains

The first of the three mountains climbed and skied during a summit binge in this drainage.

The fun thing about the 3 mountains in this zone is that they get progressively more difficult. The first day was on the easiest peak to get a feel for the snow and see what the terrain looked like.

Steve Geiger coming out of the inversion on the approach

Only one of many aesthetic and fun looking lines only a little more than 2 hours from the trailhead

Over the next two days I bagged both of these mountains

Shawtann Whitson climbs towards the summit of the first mountain climbed.

Rob Wudlick and Steve Geiger hike to our line

Shawtan Whitson enjoys the bottom half of 1200' of powder.

Steve Geiger on the approach for summit number 2

Steve Geiger nears the summit of peak number 2 after getting caught in an afternoon storm

Patrick Lawrence gears up at the trailhead in the wee hours of the morning for an attempt on the third peak.

Looking down my line from the top of the gnarliest peak in the zone

The last peak we climbed was the most difficult to climb and ski. I was up there with my good friend Patrick, who I ski and climb with frequently. After winning a round of ro-sham-bo for first tracks down what appeared to be one of the best runs of my life, Patrick staked out a cover worthy photo angle and waited for me to drop. I clicked into my skis on the pointy summit and looked down my line, one turn on a spine then straightline a little chute, lay a big slasher for the photo then race my slough out. I yelled to Patrick that I was dropping. I lightly skied onto the spine and made my first turn, this is when the mountain reached up and took one of my skis. I fell headfirst down a little chute, over some rocks then went through the washing machine as my slough pushed me down the hill. I fought my way out of the moving snow above another rock band, and with only one ski traversed to a “safe” spot. I yelled to Patrick I was ok, but I was missing a ski. Worried my ski was buried deep in slough at the bottom, I looked around and sure enough, my ski was poking straight-up still on the top of the mountain. Patrick recovered it and brought it to me. I gave him first tracks for the rest of the run because of my stupid fall.

Looking back up through the carnage after falling on my first turn. If you look at the very top of the mountain you can see my ski poking up.

Patrick Lawrence slashes after rescuing my ski.

Taggert and Green/Wilson Huts – The 2009 Photo Line-up