what's your day job?
Graphic Design and Media
highest level of avalanche education
AIARE Rec 1
what's your story on finding your way to snowboarding/skiing?
I grew up in the suburbs of Minnesota. I didn't even know what snowboarding was until I hit high school - my life was consumed by ice hockey, getting good grades, and fending off the big brothers.
I came to Colorado out of high school with a flimsy 'snowboard' and a desire to figure it all out. I fell in Love: with the mountains, with the sport, with the community. I had never felt so connected to Momma Nature and driven to progress, I became addicted. The stronger I got with a board under my feet, the more I was able to bring creativity and exploration to my life.
Today? The addiction is still alive and well. Chasing deep snow. Chasing creative movements. Chasing deeper connection with myself and nature.
Describe Your Best Powder Day in the Backcountry
OH boy. Best Powder Day in the Backcountry? How am I supposed to answer this question...
Japan. Spring 2018. "Boot-pack Zone with the Boys." She was deep. I was riding the Japow. Butterflies were making themselves heard from my belly!
Hokkaido Backcountry Club had brought us to a zone filllleddd with deep snow, plenty of natural features, and we had all day to pack a stair-set to the top and lap the playground.
The memories from this day have engraved themselves in to my mind. Choking on powder slashes, cheek-aches from sharing smiles with friends all day, messing around with new tricks, and cheering on the sendy-mcsenderson moves that were made that day... unbeatable. My heart is actually fluttering a bit just reflecting on that day. Words don't do it justice.
Describe A Humbling Day in the Backcountry
Every damn day. I have not had a day in the Backcountry without feeling humbled. Humbled by the vastness of the mountains, humbled by the vulnerability of not having a warming hut to go grab a hot coco in, humbled by the athleticism of my peers.
I am lucky to have avoided the classically scary scenarios like dealing with a major injury or avalanche. But, the radar for such a scenario is in the mind like a loud white noise that plays at it's own volume.
If I must choose, I'd go with another day spent in Japan.
I have struggled with frostbite/frostnip damage my whole life. Keeping up with the brothers in the backyard of Minnesota has come around to bite me in the butt... or, fingers and toes. I also have Raynaud's Syndrome so circulation to my extremities are quick to fail. I've felt the pain of cold feet. I've beat myself up about only surviving one run at the resort because my body just can't handle it. I've become accustom to riding without any feeling. It's become a norm for me to wake up and brush my teeth, in my house, without any feeling in my fingers.
This day was different, it was worse. The day was long, the air was cold, the winds were howling, and I was trying to be tougher than I should have been. I sucked it up and stayed silent for as long as I could handle on the climb. I couldn't keep up. I couldn't navigate the icy terrain under my splitboard without feeling in my feet. I couldn't get my body to dig an edge in, there were a few moments where I almost slipped out and down the side of this face. I finally accepted my reality and experienced my first "bail" in the backcountry. I didn't summit.
I waited for the crew to summit and work their way back down the hill before finishing the rest of our descent. It was a long run out! Beautiful. The stoke level from the team was high! We were in Japan! and it was BEAUTIFUL. But, I had tears hidden under my goggles: from frustration with myself for not summiting, from frustration with my body for not performing the way other bodies can, and from the pain. Upon unstrapping at the base of the mountain, I raced to take my boots off. As the blood rushed in, I had reached a new level of gut-wrenching, breath-taking pain. I cried in front of the Marketing Director of Weston, Sean Eno, I cried in front of a Mountaineer Superhero - Pat Gephart. I was humbled.
I was humbled by Mother Nature's reminder that I am only human. No matter the gear and precautions you take to prep for your known limitations, she might have a different plan. She might chill you just enough to shut you down. She might bring in an unexpected storm. She might let that sneaky layer of snow slip and slide. We are small. Stay humble.
I ride Weston first and foremost because of our shared values. I have never known a company that prioritizes community, education, and environmentalism like they do.
I ride Weston because their boards are friggin' sweet. Their shapes, style, and durability speak for themselves.
And finally, I ride Weston because they believed in me before I did. I was scared by the idea of the backcountry. The unknown was enough to keep me on the lift. I got on a splitboard, they showed me the power of education, and they said "you've got this" ... and I was set free.
What does your quiver look like and why?
Rise. The strength I feel on any and all terrain with this bad girl under my feet is unbeatable. Set free to charge. The Directional Twin gives me opportunity to mess around on cliffs and progress my off-piste freestyle skills.
Eclipse. I'm typically hunting powder and this board keeps you afloat and eases back leg fatigue so I can charge all day. It's nimble through trees and handles really well on whatever you find yourself on top of.
Japow. This boat of a board gives me all the feels! There is not much like standing on top of a field of powder with this under your feet, ready to drop. It cuts and floats through everything effortlessly. Side bonus - it CHARGES carves on groomers. I find myself along for the ride when the Japow is under my feet.
wide n' duck.
Picture Organic Clothing. Smith.