THE 20/21 LINE HAS ARRIVED - ON SALE NOW - SHIPPING IN EARLY OCTOBER!!!
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    alex blanchard

    Reluctantly on FB, trying to keep it to just that.

    hometown

    Poulsbo, WA

    currently resides

    Denver, CO

    what's your day job?

    Weston Production Manager

    highest level of avalanche education

    AIARE Rec 2

    what's your story on finding your way to snowboarding/skiing?

    The mountains have always been a part of my life, but it was always a three plus hour drive to go skiing, so we only really went on family vacations. My brother and I begged my parents to start going more often as we got older, and getting my drivers license finally let us go more in high school. As I started to think past graduation I knew I wanted to see something new (as much as I love the PNW), and Golden, CO had a great engineering school and easy access to the mountains. Freshman year I got connected with the CSM Backcountry Club, and instantly fell in love with touring. It allowed me to ski whenever I wanted to and I didn't have to wait for resorts to open.

    Describe Your Best Powder Day in the Backcountry

    I've been fortunately enough to make it over to Japan twice, and needless to say, it's pretty hard to beat! That being said, I've had some of my best days ever just on Berthoud Pass. One of the best all-around days was a day in Grizzly Cirque near Alta, UT. Four of my best friends and I decided Thursday night that we were going to blow off responsibilities Friday and chase a storm out to Salt Lake. Saturday was shaping up to be the day, so we decided to check out this new zone we'd heard friends talking about. We hit the parking lot, and there's not a cloud in the sky! After a decent tour in, we crest a ridge and can see our target, a 180 degree bowl with 10-15 beautiful chutes. Miraculously, we're one of the first groups in there, too! We put first tracks down almost all of them, and the snow didn't disappoint. It was the perfect density, sending you into the white room every time you turned but was somehow still firm enough to straight-line the apron. You couldn't mess up on this! It's not very often that you get to safely ski 35-45 degrees in powder, but it was just one of those days. Needless to say, we all thought the trip was well worth calling in sick!

    Describe A Humbling Day in the Backcountry

    It's hard to get more humbled than watching your buddy get caught in a slide right in front of your eyes...
    Back in college, a friend and I decided to go get some skiing in before class that day. It had snowed 8-10", and despite trying to leave early, we were slower that we'd expected and realistically only had time for one lap. We'd planned to ski some lower angle trees, but in the process of getting there we came on top of a decent size cut in the trees that I'd seen previously and though looked fun. The last time I was up there I'd actually vetoed it because of a convex roller about halfway down it, but the combination of being in a rush, being the "expert" in the group, and some powder fever lead to us deciding the line was probably fine. Something just didn't feel right about it, but I ignored that as I dropped in. I skied the first half so that I could watch my friend drop the entire thing. He had just got under the roll and took a hard turn when the entire slope broke above him, knocking him off his feet. My heart dropped as I watched him slide the last 400 feet of the line. I was speechless. Thankfully I was able to see him sitting on top of the snow at the bottom. I carefully made my way down to him, and was reassured to see he was fine. He ended up loosing a pole in the slide, but we agreed that was a small price to pay. Neither of us talked for a while, lost in our own thoughts. Driving back down we discussed the morning, and came to three conclusions. First, just getting out can still be fun, you don't always have to push it. Second, there's always things trying to rush you, but you should take as much time as you need for decision making. And finally, listen to your gut feelings!

    why weston?

    I connected with Weston in college as an intern, but within that, I really connected with what they were doing. Sure, the boards and skis have always been amazing, but it's all the other things that they do that makes Weston special. They probably could have just stopped at the boards and been successful based on that. But to take their position and leverage it to create all the good they do beyond that is truly special. Be it sustainability, equality in the backcountry, building the community, or just giving back to non-profits, it says a ton about the company Four years later, I'm honored to be a part of it!

    What does your quiver look like and why?

    I've rode pretty much every board in the lineup, but a couple keep me coming back for more. The Backwoods is my daily driver for a split. I can throw anything at it, and it just begs for more. The Japow is a dream of a powder deck, and I know I'm going to have a good day if I'm taking that out. On the ski side of things it's the Summit for light and fast touring, but also having a blast at the resort. Finally the Grizzles are the go-to for ripping trees and stomping cliffs on the deep days.

    stance

    Regular 15/-9

    sponsors

    Caffeine and good food.
    Backwoods Splitboard - 20/21
    $ 899.00
    Summit Skis - 20/21
    $ 849.00
    Grizzly Skis - 20/21
    $ 899.00
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