Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ski Salt Lake Shootout

I have been accepted to compete in the first ever Ski Salt Lake Shootout, which will be going on next week, March 3rd to 7th, and is being sponsored by Ski Salt Lake (Ski-SaltLake.com) and Ski Press Magazine. They are bringing in 5 seasoned pros and 2 "undiscovered" talents (one of which is yours truly). I have the honor of going up against Hank De Vre, Tony Harrington, Damian Cromwell, Grant Gunderson, Jay Beyer, and Brian Ralph. Definitely a little nervous, but also really excited.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Catching up on the last year

Just to highlight a few things in the past year....

Last summer i had the opportunity to spend a few days shooting the first ever Roxy Pop Drop water Ramp Camp. It was truly inspiring to see girls from all ages, and i do mean all ages, anywhere from 7 to 37, sending it into the pool, spin-after-grab-after-flip. It was awesome to say the least. Vanessa Pierce was there to provide written coverage for Powder.com as well. Here are the links to the stories that went up along with a final gallery of mine at the end.

GIRLS AND BEACH BALLS Women head to PC for water ramp camp
TRAMPS TO RAMPS Mackenzie Epperson-Valum Blogs from Roxy Camp
ROXY POP DROP Photo Gallery

After that my summer was full of adventures. I ran the Wasatch Back relay for the 3rd year in a row, went canyoneering for the first time, and backpacking for the first time, spent enough time on my bike to win the Mountain Bike category of our annual summer adventure contest at work, rafted a few rivers, camped out everywhere, and visited as many places within about a 6 hours radius of SLC as possible, including Moab, Brianhead, Zion, Escalante, The Uintas, Fruita CO, Jackson WY, Stanley ID, and Bellingham WA. (okay that last one isn't within 6 hours....) It was truly the "summer of fun" and possibly the first time i have really honestly loved summer. You know, instead of just wishing winter would come back as soon as possible. And after the jilting by mother-nature we had here last year, the summer was a welcome season.

And speaking of feeling jilted by mother nature, it was looking like a repeat of last year, or even worse when the local resorts could not even open by Thanksgiving this year (that is a rare rare occurrence to be sure). But suddenly winter got punched into high gear. And by January we were getting hit by storm after storm with nary a bluebird day to be had. Early on in that month i had the pleasure of driving 12 hours in one of those storms on a return stretch from Silverton, CO. (for which there is also a Powder Gallery: SILVERTON DUMP Re Wikstrom reports from the San Juans) it was definitely epic driving. After 6 hours of driving in star-wars-warped-speed like visuals, I was close to sleeping in the car and waiting out the storm, but we pushed on through the night and eventually made it home.

I guess that brings us up to February and the current season here in Utah. Our train of storms has been in remission for a week or two now, but it is at least nice to see some sunshine for a change (although too much usually ends up in a gross air quality inversion for the valley so we'll keep the fingers crossed that the forecasted storms for this week will push all of that crap out). The Crested Butte comp is also going down this week, so sending out some positive hard-charging landing-stomping vibes to the girls!

News Archive from my website

I'm replacing the manual "news" updates on my website with this blog, so the following is all the old news. You can see it's been a while since the news was updated on my site. Hopefully the blog interface will keep things updated more frequently. Enjoy the blast from the past!

Greetings from Whistler Canada! I'm up here visiting, skiing,
and shooting with the international woman of mystrery, Holly
Walker. We just came from Baker, WA where we had two great
days of skiing, but a rough day of shooting (with Holly, Heather
Roberts, and Brianne Taylor) due to some thick clouds and low
visibility. We were lucky en ough to hang out with, and get the
full ski tour from Grant Gunderson, the photo editor of the new
(and really awesome coffee table quality) "The Ski Journal".
I Would have loved to stick around, but Whistler Blackcomb was
also calling from the north. It has been snowing here so we're on
a mission for some storm shots since I leave Monday and most
likely will not see blue skies before then. Tomorrow we will also meet
up with Sarah Oakden in attempts to make some more photo magic.

Wow, it's been a while.... been to Argentina and back. If you
missed the adventures of my ski bag, check in to Powder.com
for a short narrative by Holly Walker and some photos from the
first few days (after i got my skis back!) of our trip. And seriously
if that's not the most lovable ski bag you've ever seen....
There is also some great evidence of our southern presence
on Doglotion.com. And many thanks go out to the people who
made the trip so much fun (i.e. Holly, Suz, Tobin, Bjorn, Jamie,
and all the other riff-raff we ran into).

As for the winter here in Utah, we are all trying to stay positive.
The epic storms have not materialized and a lot of people have
headed to the northwest where some places are already well over
200% of their average annual snowfall. Meanwhile, here in Utah,
we are learning how to avoid rocks and bushes, keeping in
perspective the fact that we can at least ski (unlike many other
drought stricken mountains), and keeping the faith that with a
little more patience we will get our dues.
Anyway, despite that slightly depressing state of the winter....
I am stoked to have been getting out to shoot a bunch in the
past couple weeks with Molly, Suz, and Kelly. We've been able
to explore a couple new areas, and do some sunset shooting.
I just think, at least we aren't on the couch bitching about the
conditions and are trying to make the most of it. And at least the
avie danger has been staying really low and there is some soft
snow to be had in some places (though harder to find right now).
There's always a good side, right?

The Outdoor Retailer Trade show descended on Salt Lake this
past weekend. A couple vendors I would love to highlite from the
show are GoPro Camera and Chrome. Both are awesome
companies with some super rad products run by really cool people.
And I am stoked to have picked up a couple of their goodies (the
Hero camera and a Metropolis messenger bag) to take adventuring
with me in South America!
Another highlite from the weekend was the "Ramp It Up"
event to benefit the OIWC (Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition).
This event showcased women's outdoor clothing lines in a unique
way... by hosting a DRAG SHOW! The "ladies" in drag were top
outdoor industry men from such companies as TNF, Horny Toad,
National Geographic and TONS more! The venue reached capacity
before the show even started, and once it did get underway it was
non-stop laughs, cheers, and cat calls. Being the first drag show
the OIWC has ever done, I know I am not the only one to say I
hope this was just the beginning of one of the greatest annual
events at OR.

P.S. 11 days till take off!!!

It's official. It's been official for a couple weeks now, and I can
hardly contain the excitement! I have plane tickets to South
America! It's been 3 years since my last visit and I am so very
excited to go back. After one of the most rediculous itineraries
I have ever been a part of (try flying from Salt Lake to Atlanta
to Ft Lauderdale to Bogota, Columbia to Santiago, Chile) I will
have a day to rest and explore Santiago before meeting up with
Holly Walker and Suzanne Graham to hop a bus across the Andes
and grab another transport from the city of Mendoza, Argentina
down to Las Lenas. We will have 2 weeks to pray for snow, shred
as much as possible, shoot as much as possible, enjoy our daily
siestas, and forget about life in the Northern Hemisphere. 24 days
until departure!

The past weekend was spent in the beautiful Spanish Peaks
in Montana. A month of two prior Kelly Holland mentioned skiing
in June and before asking for details I told her I was in. Previously
my June skiing experiences have been either working on Mt Hood
or annual trips to Tuckerman Ravine before moving west. This trip
was a little different. I hate to give away too many details right
now but there may have been some camping, a lack of trail to the
summit, a beautiful day of spring shredding with Kelly Holland and
Rachael Burks, and uh, a few mules.

Not that I haven't gone skiing since then, but it's been well
over a month since the chairs at Alta stopped spinning. We gave
the season a proper send off at the annual party on High Boy.
For those who missed it, or those who just want to relive it, you
can catch a glimpse of the debauchery on powdermag.com:


Kirkwood has been a blast as always! The World Tour finals
wrapped up yesterday with mostly clear weather and 2 feet of
fresh pow! I travelled out here with partner in crime Holly Walker
and we've been enjoying luxury accomodations compliments of one
Ms. Amy Holland. Also got to meet the awesome Tess Weaver and
catch up with Kelly and Rachael fresh off the plane and enjoying
a week of jet-lag from their (mis)adventures through The Alps.
To recap the event, the qualifier went off on thursday with
some gnarly wind, but decent visibility. (Article and Pics are up on
). Friday brought more wind, along with fog
and snow. And while we all love new snow, it completely sucks for
judging a comp. That night mother natured dropped 2 feet of snow
over Kirkwood and then told the storm to split. Saturday was a full
on pow day... you know, for those people that weren't standing
around taking photos all day. ;)


We have come to the end of a sick 3 week storm cycle. There
were deifnitely some good shooting days mixed in there with some
radical stormy-pow-ski days. It's kind of sad to see so much of the
snow turning to mank, but it's spring, and that's how it goes.
With the spring however comes the North American and World
Tour IFSA Finals going off next week in Kirkwood! Stoked for the
road trip and the insanity that is sure to go off in The Cirque, woO!

Since November the snow gods have smiled upon the Wasatch.
We've been getting some really nice storms, not the huge snow
totals of last year, but the snowpack has been really bomber for
the most part, very unlike last year's huge avie cycle, and the
storms have been relatively consistent. It looks like we may even
get through a January without the dreaded inversion.
Speaking of avies above, I finally did the level 1 Avie course.
And I can't speak highly enough of how important it is to educate
yourself on avlanche hazards and safe travel in the backcountry.
At the risk of sounding like everyone's mom, please read as much
as you can on the subject, attend every free or non free clinic you
can, and then take the course. And don't expect to be an expert
strsaight away. Even the ex-forecasters, patrollers, etc who teach
the courses are still learning. The mountains are a humbling place
that deserve our respect.


Salt Lake is off to a slow start in the winter department. We
got a few inches this weekend, but weather models are calling for
another warming trend this week. All residents in the wasatch
area are encouraged to hold a sacrificial ceremony of ski burning
to please the snow gods.


Today is the Mountain Maiden release party for their 2006
calendar. You will find a couple photos from yours truly, along
with other photos of women in the outdoors, so get out and find
yourself a copy!


We have snow! A cold front came through earlier in the week
and left a nice layer of white over the Wasatch and the Oquirhhs.


heading up to the water ramps in park city tomorrow. i am
seeing alot of face plants in my future. oww.


This is the Obligatory Welcome-to-my-new-website-newsflash.
Accompanied by the usual this-site-is-still-under-construction-
disclaimer. woO

Monday, February 18, 2008

A redneck sledding monster truck saturday to start things off

Here goes the obligatory "this is my first blog post" post.

The weekends have been more crowded than ever up in Little Cottonwood Canyon and the barrage of storm after storm after storm after storm has stopped. And high pressure was building in. The only logical thing to do was take my roommate's new snow trike up to the bobsled trail and give 'er. (We also embarked on a 4 hour mission to find a saucer for me, but it was to no avail.) So we loaded up the hatch with boots, sled, full face helmet, some snacks, and some PBRs and off we went. A brief photo essay can be found on my flickr site.

We could have wandered to the top of the bobsled, but time was running short. There was a Monster Truck Jam to catch! We piled into the front seat of Steph's truck and headed to the arena. under the soft glow of flourescent parking lot lights, she unveiled the chrismas present that Dave sent down from AK (that he actually picked up while in mexico). Jamon almost peed his pants after reaching in the bag to pull out an authentic mexican wrestling mask! As it turns out, 4 people in mexican wrestling masks is a reallly good way to get featured on the jumbo tron. I think they had us up there twice as long as anyone else. And to top it all off, while Jamon and Greg were making children cry in the beer line, Steph and I were then put up on the "Kiss Cam" on the Jumbo Tron ONCE AGAIN!! Of course we proceeded to fake-make-out like aliens. I was worried we might be scaring the couple in front of us with the two small children, but at one point the wife turns around and says to us "thank you guys so much, i thought this was goiing to be kind of boring, but you guys are making this so much more fun!" (There is photographic evidence of the monster truck shenanigans as well)

And that concludes today's episode of a Very Redneck Weekend