Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dawn. Not too early though... A morning in photos.

Scouting Everest Ridge

Our next weather window we are going for Everest Ridge. Parker, Tanner and I took our weather window and used it to scout the approach. I really just wanted to go for it but Tanner didn't have his crampons and ice axe so we couldn't do it safely.

It took us just shy of three hours to get to baldy saddle, roughly 3,000 vertical feet above the valley floor. The more I am around that mountain the more I love it. It was such a beautiful day, I wish we could have pushed for the summit... but that calls for a 1 a.m. start this time of year. Hopefully this week.

Where have I been? Cutting things in half

I now understand why a friend of mine charges $150 bucks to turn a snowboard into a splitboard.... It was fun having a project for a while, but I am glad these boards are done and ready to be ridden. I look forward to the fun times I hopefully get to enjoy with the people these boards are for.

It all started when I snapped mine and fell in a river. I offered to cut some boards for some friends because I would be making my new one. Four boards, hours of oldies music in the garage, epoxy covered fingers, and here they are. From Left to right; Nate Love, Glen Harris, Torah and Jacob Welch. All awesome people. I did my best. The one up top is mine, my buddy Jeremy Jolley hooked me up with a Rosignol Experience 163. I am pretty stoked to get this thing up some big hills.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


302 Inconsistency - Wasatch Mountain Podcast from Parker Alec Cross on Vimeo.

Here is the latest episode.

Here in the zone

Justin Olsen, a local photographer and friend called saying he had a zone he wanted to scout. Parker and I buddied up on an old snowmobile that ran like a champ. We charged up to the zone where we pulled on our splitboards and walked up the ridge.

This zone was it, there were lines stacked one on top of the other all the way around. I will be back sometime in the future with a tent where I will stay for days.

This is the chute we named "knuckle-dragger" We rode it and found it had surprisingly decent snow. That is until we got out on the apron, then it was crap. Absolute crap.

Tree Hop

Parker, Blake Nyman, Jay Eichorst, and I went to the Brighton periphery a while back to hit this little drop. It has been a long time since I have hit a jump and I forgot how much I like it. Blake is always a fun one to ride with. Right now he is down at a Red Bull Cold Rush this week, GO BLAKE!

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Tale of a Winter Walk

Benjamin Louis Pelegrino, my boss and friend said, "let's go tour tomorrow" holding his brand new splitboard Burton had sent him. Naturally I said yes, so the next morning I drove up to his place with Parker and we headed for the White Pine Trailhead.

We laughed and enjoyed the deep settled powder as we made turns through the trees. Things were wonderful, but then mother nature decided to start messing with us. As we were traversing down the canyon to our next line we pushed our way through some trees whereupon I was attacked by a branch. I pushed the little sucker out of my way, but as I started to make my way forward I bent it just a little too far. SNAP. The stupid branch broke at my hand and recoiled straight into my face. Whap! Right in the nose. Idiot tree. I will probably go cut it down and burn it so it can't reproduce and make more idiot trees.

As we continued making the traverse across the increasingly steep slope, I looked up just in time to see Ben look down slope not noticing his downhill foot had given way while turning his head. He began a slow motion, narcoleptic looking fall straight off of the skin track onto his head in a tree well. I didn't laugh at first, I thought he was going to keep going down the hill through some trees. When I heard a muffled, "awe man..." from the tangled heap I began to crack up. After helping him get untangled we eventually made our destination: Red Pine Chute. We strapped in and had some awesome turns. But there is more to the story.

Parker went first, then Ben and I had the final drop. The snow was heavy but fun and we all made the bottom just fine. Smiles and a high five type moment. We looked down the rest of the slope to the river and noticed a she moose. The she moose didn't care what we were doing, but we gave her some space. As I was riding down to the river I suddenly was face down in the snow after hearing a loud snap. "I hit a stick. Crap... that was silly of me." But as I looked up to see what hidden little land mine had taken me out I noticed it was no stick. It was a big fat stump. The brain wheels were turning and I eventually figured I should look at my snowboard. Broke. It was not just broken... it was broke. The whole thing. Broke. So I tumbled down the last remaining slope to the river.

Obviously, since things were going so well for me I decided I would find the way across the river. So I set out looking. Funny thing about rivers in the winter is they form these things called snow-bridges. Now, these snow-bridges may look like sturdy ground, but I testify that they aren't. I splashed down into some almost waist deep water cursing as I scrambled to get back out. I couldn't even hear the laughter in the background for a little bit. I splashed my way across the river taking the snow off of the rocks so the others could cross before lobbing my board up on the bank only to see it make it's merry way out of sight. I thought for sure it was lost in the river. Thank goodness it wasn't.... I needed some of it.

When we finally arrived at the road I hitch hiked back to the car. We laughed about all of our follies and we grabbed some grub at Lonestar. What a great tour. It was one that will stay with me, that is for sure.

Don't worry... I already started making a new one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Brothers that board together...

A couple Saturdays ago I got to go out for a hike with my brothers. Every time we hang out I become more grateful that we are friends. I am glad I have been able to grow up being close to my brothers and now that we are older, we are even closer.

Jeff and Todd both just got their splitboards done so we went for a mellow easy tour in the Uintas. The avalanche danger was pretty crazy so we went for some pillow lines. This was Todd's first time out with an avalanche beacon so we did some drills. He did great, but I think practice is always a good idea. This was my first time riding pillows really and it was a blast. We all stuck to pretty mellow stuff and had a fun time. The trip wiped Todd out for a week. His Crohn's disease is sometimes worse than others and I think this little walk took it out of him. It was a good memorable day.

I haven't uploaded my pictures yet, so these are mostly from Jeff's camera

Getting underway.


Slashing some little ones.

Fun in the sun

Taller and flatter than I thought... Drop, drop, plop.