Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

KT-22 Time Laps by Jeff Write

Time Lapse of Kt-22, Squaw Valley from UnofficialSquaw on Vimeo.

Jeff is an amazing filmer with UnofficialSquaw. He shot this time laps a couple days ago of the infamous KT-22

Friday, December 11, 2009

FWT Pack

The Freeride World Tour came out with a backpack from Snowplus that is equipped with an airbag designed specifically for the Tour. Take a look.

Also, has new athlete profiles and some ski porn for this coming season. The site is a great information center and has all kinds of fun stuff to look at.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Juneau, AK with Points North an UnofficialSquaw

On Thursday Tim Konrad(God) came to my room and asked me an electrifying voice if I could have my bags packed by tomorrow morning cause we are going to Juneau, AK to do some heli skiing. I tried to stay as calm as possible with a simple yes response, but shortly after I started to freak out and was totally beside myself. Juneau is my second favorite place in the world, behind Squaw, and I couldn't wait to get there and shred with the UnofficialSquaw Blasters. I was so excited thinking about getting there that I didn't even bother trying to go to sleep that night.

Our plain left early in the morning Friday and the travels all went smooth. We arrived in Juneau around 3pm to find that the sun was already starting to set. We quickly checked into the Travelodge then Kevin Quinn & Jason Mack (Points North Heli) took us over to the NorthStar Heli operations to meet the pilots and check out their hanger. Jay and Mike were are marvelous pilots that were totally down to earth and extremely good at their profession. After getting acquainted with them we met a man that goes by the name Spoon who is the mechanic for all of NorthStar's helis and travels up to Cordova to keep them in shape during the winter with Kevin & J Mack. Spoon explained to us how the A-Star B2 flew and showed us one of the engines that is being rebuilt. It was amazing to see the little engine that gives power to the greatest chair lifts ever. We headed back to the hotel shortly after the show so we could get some rest for day one in Alaska.

We woke up at 7:45 and headed over to the hanger. We had a little bit of time to get ready and wait for the sun to come up. Once we got the OK we loaded up and took off into the mountains. It was some of ours first time in Alaska and some of ours first time skiing this year. So day one was going to be a fun easy day of skiing, Quinner and J Mack made sure of that, not to say that the UnofficialSquaw Blasters didn't help . Quinner and J Mack worked together to find good safe snow to let us rip. We got in some really good runs the first day right outside of the airport in Juneau. The sun set came way to soon and we had to head back earlier than everyone wanted, but it was a super good fun day full of pow skiing.

Day two we set out to a zone that we scoped on the way home the day before. Just as Quinner and J Mack said, it was a super sick zone. The top was mellow and then it turned into a couple steep shoots with a sick win lip at the bottom. We spent the first part of the day getting some shots then at the end we got in some incredible free runs. At the end of the day we posted up on an apposing ridge from a face that we were going to shoot in the morning. The only time the face got sun was right as the sun came up, so we had to know our lines and be ready to go first thing in the morning.

At 8:45 we were ready to get the third day off. There was a little bit of a cloud layer that we weren't sure about, but we headed out to the zone to wait and see what happened. The clouds were slowly moving out of the way of the sun, so to give it some time we took a couple more free runs on the face from the day before. After a couple stunning free runs the cloud cleared the sun and it was game on. Ralph and Arne Backstrom had the the first line of the day. It was a sick face off the top then into one of the shoots that they both skied tandem. Ralph was in front of Arne nuking down the face in between the top line an the shoot. At first I thought they had changed their line last second, but that was not the case. Ralph had mistaken one of the rollers as the begging of the shoot. Without killing any speed Ralph punched it off about a 50'+ cliff into the bottom of the Shoot. My first thought was that Arne was going to punch it straight on to Ralph, but Arne stopped knowing that his brother just sent it into the obis. Ralph had gotten lost in his line a went off something most people would never even look at. To all our surprise Ralph stood up and gave a wave that he was alright. With the heli in the air and money burning up Mattias, Johnny, and I all dropped our lines as quick as possible. Once at the bottom we checked on Ralph and he was fine. His backpack, snowboard, and jacket got banged up and he didn't even have a scrape. It was something that happens in Alaska often and we couldn't have been more happy to see it turn out the way it did. With those lines in our pockets we headed to the other zone that was just starting to get some light.

We got to the second zone of the day and decided to get some free runs in to loosen our nerves from what we had all just witnessed. Once again Quinner and J Mack found the goods and we all couldn't help from screaming as we headed down the fresh pow. Our nerves settled down just in time for some clouds to come ruin the light. We sat and discussed our options and hoped for the best. After scoping two different peaks with the binoculars we decided that if the light was going to go it would only be a short window. With that in mind we headed up to the top of the peak to wait up there. To our luck we only waited for a little bit and the orange Alaskan light came through. We all dropped one by one into the face with a filmer above in the heli. As we all worked our way to the safe zone on the ridge below everyone was speechless and we shared a untainted moment of silence paying our respect to the enormous mountain in front of us. By then it was time to head back to the hanger before the sun went down. We flew past the peak that we were going to ski second and took a photo in our minds for when we make it back for a showdown.

Everyone celebrated a good trip that night in downtown Juneau with some drinks and good food. Our flight left the next morning exceptionally early. It was light enough outside to see the mountains as we flew towards Seattle. The Blasters said their good buys to the gigantic peaks and that we can't wait to see you again. In the Seattle airport we checked the weather to see what was going on back in Squaw. It had snowed a couple feet and at that moment we all started jonsing to get back and shred the mountain that made us the skiers we are today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Reasons Why Skiing is Like Sex

1. You're always willing to fight through the soreness and give it another go.
2. The beer and shower afterward are almost as good as the thing itself.
4. You fantasize about it more than you actually do it.
5. You can never get enough, yet you feel a vague sense of satiation when you're done.
6. You'll tell any kind of lie just to be able to do it one time.
7. There's a lot of fancy gear available, but it's fun even without it.
8. You can't do it as much as you used to.
9. You can do it alone, but it's much more fun in a group.
10. You're not nearly as good at it as you think.
11. It's the only thing you really use the Internet for.
12. Size does matter
13. The deeper the better

Add your reasons.

Juneau, Alaska Day 1

Today we loaded up in the helis and set out to shred some POW. It was about a 10-15 minuet flight out to the first zone we skied. The snow was stable/good and light. We took a couple runs there then bumped over to another zone that was a little bit more technical and had some bigger airs.
Once we had our fun there we took off to get are legs completely worked for the day. We landed in a saddle that had a 3,000' cliff on one side and a slope that varied 30-40 degrees or so. We made our way down in sections, making some of the best turns we ever have in Alaska, while our legs burned deep.

Our six hours of daylight was coming to an end at this point, so we slapped some high fives and geeked out for a bit then jumped back in the helis to film one another from them on the way home with the amazing Alaska views.

Friday, December 4, 2009

UnofficialSquaw in AK

Today we (UnofficialSquaw) made it up to Juneau, AK with the Points North Heli guys (Kevin Quinne an J Mack) to do some heliskiing.

We arrived around 1pm Juneau time, checked into our hotel and quickly went over to meet the pilots of the Northstar Heli Company, which is whom we will be flying with for the next three days. After getting a miniature briefing and talking to "The Spoon" about the A Stars engine we went downtown to get some food at The Hanger and ran into some from friends.

We met up with the Bausler's who I met last season out here at guide school and the infamous Ashley an Heather Call. Along with those Johnny B, an Alaska Heliskiing guide, was there. He had flown today and said the conditions are in favor of the riders right now and that it's prime time snow. With that in mind we paid our bill and headed back to the hotel to get ready for some face shots in the morning.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Silly Animals

Antarctica Wildlife from Timothy Konrad on Vimeo.

This clip is from when the UnofficialSquaw boys were killing it down in Antarctica. Thought the animals down there were pretty funny.

JT Holmes Freeride World Tour Interview 2010 Site Launch Party

The doors open on December 12th, 8pm at OVI for the Party. The party is a celebration of the new site being launched and is going to be a wild one. Come out and meet the Blaster team riders, too! It cost just $1 with all proceeds donated to the High Fives non-profit. A sick Rock Band and DJ Matt O'Connley will be jamming out all night. Hope to see you all there!!

Just Around the Corner


”The Best Riders on the Best Mountains in the Ultimate Freeride Competition”

In 2010, the Freeride World Tour (FWT) will in its third year continue to align with iconic mountain resorts around the world, feature the world’s top riders and partner with two of the world’s most recognised brands.

The main tour will have stops in:

• Sochi (Russia) - host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games

• Squaw Valley (USA) - host of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games

• Chamonix (France) – host of the first Winter Olympic Games in 1924 and home of the world famous Mont Blanc

• Verbier (Switzerland) - home of the now legendary Bec des Rosses

In addition, there will be no less than 17 Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) events taking place around the world – in Europe, North America and Oceania. The growth in the number of FWQ events has been rapid and this will continue as resorts look to capitalise upon the explosion of interest in freeriding, and the next generation of freeriders seek the opportunity to compete with the current elite.

Big name European riders such as Xavier de le Rue, Henrik Windstedt and Aurélien Ducroz will once again be at the fore. Snapping at their heels will be Americans Cody Townsend and exciting newcomer Tim Dutton. On the female side FWT welcomes US Olympic Gold medalist Julia Mancuso.

The 2010 tour will continue to gain the support of founding sponsor Nissan whose unwavering commitment to the sport now encompasses FWT, FWQ, a stable of riders and Freeride Spirit – the new weekly TV magazine featured on Eurosport. Swatch is also strongly committed to the tour, as are major ski industry players Scott, Snowpulse, DaKine and Dynastar.

Three Winter Olympic Games resorts plus the mythical Bec des Rosses in Verbier, untracked powder, heart-stopping cliff jumps, bone-shaking stomps and world-class brands – the 2010 edition of the Freeride World Tour really will be a case of ”the best riders on the best mountains in the ultimate freeride competition.”