what's your day job?
Summer - river guide, Winter - wearer of many hats at Weston.
highest level of avalanche education
AIARE Rec 1
what's your story on finding your way to snowboarding/skiing?
I grew up in the frigid NW of Maine. My home mtn was Sugarloaf/USA. I started skiing when I was 2 and began my ski racing career at 6. Skiing racing in Maine, both Nordic and alpine, led me to my first state championship skimeister title when I was 16. My first time west I was 14 and skied Brundage just outside of McCall, ID. My sister was competing in the junior olympics and I was skiing powder up to my eyeballs. That was the day I decided to move west once I completed university. I later competed at UMaine and participated in 4 collegiate national events, 2 of which, brought me to Winter Park, CO. I was lucky enough to study the ski industry at UMaine, coached, raced and tuned my way through the winters and finally landed in CO when I was 22. Skiing was never a lifestyle, it was just life. It drove me to make every decision that has gotten me to this point and will continue to do so until they put me in the ground.
Describe Your Best Powder Day in the Backcountry
Any powder day in the bc is the best day.
Describe A Humbling Day in the Backcountry
My first 14er I ever hiked and skied was a humbling day. Made me realize the level of respect that is necessary to conquer your bc excursions follows close behind knowledge and ability. We started up the S side of Mt Sneffels to ski the Snake Couloir, a very iconic line in CO just outside Ridgeway and Ouray. 4 am with headlamps on we started skinning. A couple of the guys had transferred onto the boot pack when I heard “ROCK!” I had just enough time to scramble out of the way as a basketball sized piece of crumbly San Juan mtn whistled across the skin track just feet behind me. The boot pack aspect has bullet proof from the overnight freeze. One misplaced step led to you sliding 1000 ft back down to the skin track. 2 more occasions as we neared the summit I told myself “if I fuck up here I could die,” as certain moves were a must make above sheer cliffs. Off the summit, 14158 feet, we rappelled 150ft into the couloir. At the bottom of the rope I tied myself off so I could safely step into my skis. I had never been so relieved. Now it was onto 2500 vertical feet through the most narrow slice of rock I’d ever seen and at one point I had to push my 192 Hart Griffins through the rocks. At the bottom of the apron we lunched and then got on the boot pack for 2000 ft back out to the approach and skied back to the truck. The combination of a day filled with adrenaline rushes, fear of death, and pure exhaustion led to the best night sleep I’ve ever had in my life. Respect of the bc is real. The minute you lose it Mother Nature will be there to re-educate you.
Weston is a place where opportunity is possible, where community is priority and the struggle to break into the tough snow sports industry is real. Most well known companies like Rossignol, Blizzard, Nitro, Burton, etc have generations of product that lead them to where they are now. They have massive R&D departments, sponsored athletes, and global followings. That has also allowed them to get comfortable because they have a powerful name to back them. The drive for innovation, support for bc education, and the understanding that our industry is not just about highly paid athletes looking for front page photos, but about normal people just looking for a quality product and sense community, not exclusion, whether snowboarder or skier. This is what sets Weston apart. These attributes are what attracted me to them early, regardless of being a skier and Weston being known for its snowboards, not skis. Weston is community, it is about the local guys and gals, and that is what the industry used to be about and will hopefully continue to be with more influence from this company.
What does your quiver look like?
My 186 Blizzard Bodacious and Cochise and 192 Hart Griffins have been retired to my wall. Both models of Westons 2 planks, the Grizzly 118 and Summit 105, make up my daily drivers, as well as, a 163 carbon split board. I love the Summit for everyday conditions, whether it’s fresh corduroy, chunder, 6” of fresh, it doesn’t matter for this ski. If I know it’s going to be a big day I’ll take out the 118s. That being said I’m just as happy skiing this model in normal, everyday conditions like the 105. Just shows the range of both of these skis. My carbon split doesn’t get as much use as it should, but that comes with 32 years of skiing versus 11 years of snowboarding. My first big outing on it last season was off the W face of NY Mtn in the Sawatch Range. We climbed White Quail Gulch on a 14” day and I descended off the summit of NY Mtn in near perfect, surfy conditions, my first big line on a splitty and it was fantastic.