Will Wesson, Sami Ortlieb, and Rob Heule take to Switzerland!
The three LINE skiers take on the Matterhorn for the first installment of Zermatt Glacier Days.
The end of April usually marks the end of many skier’s season. But with a strong late season in the Alps, LINE Skiers Rob Heule and Will Wesson hopped a plane to Switzerland to meet up with Sami Ortlieb in Switzerland. Awaiting them, in the vibrant mountain town of Zermatt, was arguably the best spring park in the world. Over the years, these three have produced the Zermatt Glacier Days Video Series, a webisode series shot exclusively at the area’s summer operation. But with the opportunity to ski an even bigger park and more snow at their disposal, the boys geared up for an April session.
It seems like a fitting location for these three skiers. With discerning eyes, smooth style, and a creative outlook, Sami, Rob, and Will had the ideal park for imparting their particular brand of skiing. The shapers at Zermatt pieced together a flowy, seemingly endless park with tons of lines and features — through which the guys were able to lap to their hearts content.
But perhaps our favorite bit of content from this epic spring park trip was the train produced though the whole park. Spanning nearly four minutes, Rob, Will, and Sami, alongside Russian technician Andrey Anufriev, pass the camera back and forth as they bop from feature to feature. And the bit starts of with a bang as Rob blasts a proper nose butter seven off of seemingly nothing.
The squad will be grouping back up throughout the summer. So keep your eyes out for more creative, Blend-bending action!
Colter Hinchliffe Feeds the Stoke!
While many of us have moved past the ski season, the Aspen Local is just getting started. Putting the easy, fun-fueled resort days behind him, Colter sets his sights a bit further. Often times, Colter checks in with some rambling post about a half-crocked mission — usually involving his dirtbike and a TON of walking — to bag some remote and rarely skied peak.
This year is no different; The lifts have shut down, but Colter is — perhaps unsurprisingly — Not Over It. We reached out to Colter and ask him to recount one of his favorite late season missions. Oh, and while you’re at it, enter the LINE Not Over It Photo Contest. Maybe you can snag a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists for those late season pushes.
It’s 9 PM in Aspen, Colorado. I can’t take my eyes off the sky. I’m looking for the stars. If I see what I’m looking for, I will toss my skis in my truck next to my dirt bike and begin my journey no later than 11pm. All I need is a weather window.
Our lift served skiing came to an end only a few days ago here in Aspen Snowmass. We are one of the later operations to shut off the lifts – especially with the bonus week tacked on. But with a healthy snowpack and longer days ahead, I am Not Over It – I never am. My love for skiing gets me out searching for turns amongst the rocks as early as September and as late as July here in the high mountains of the Colorado Rockies.
Colter and Tim Durtschi Take on Moab
More often than not, I find myself walking. It’s not easy; it’s type 2 fun at best and often type 3. Walking with my skis, boots, skins, crampons, ice axe, full water bottle, lunch, camera, shovel, probe, first aid kit, and more strapped to my back. But the with prospect of harvesting high-alpine turns in new zones, I find myself walking – usually at 1 in the morning – with all of my gear strapped to my back. It’s for the love of it, right? Something like that.
The slogs – those long days deep in the mountains have become a staple of my spring. Last May, I decided to capitalize on this, and even pieced together a project, Sandstone and Snow. We skied the north face of Mt. Tukuhnikivatz – a technical climb and ski that involved a dicey rappel mid-line – and I was still hungry for more.So as I left behind those sandstone cliffs of the La Sal Mountains, I started scheming, plotting my next mission.
My route home took me south of the La Sal Mountains towards Telluride and the San Juan mountains of Southern Colorado. Late in the afternoon I came into the town of Naturita. To the south, a striking peak rose out of the horizon, basking in the last light. It looked like a mini volcano. I saw a sign for the local forest service office and pulled up, looked at a map outside and quickly learned that the mountain was aptly named Lone Cone with a summit elevation of 12,618 ft.
I wasn’t planning on skiing anything on the way back to Aspen – my thoughts were focused on peaks closer to home – but the weather was nice, and I didn’t have a reason to book it home. My thoughts quickly focused on a solo mission. But I was hungry, and I don’t think well when I’m hungry. Or if I have to pee really bad. So I went and got a slice of pizza on Main Street in Naturita as I contemplated my next move.
In the end I decided I might as well give it a shot. I ordered a couple extra sliced of pizza for the road and followed National Forest Access signs towards Lone Cone in the fading light. Eventually the road got muddy and rutted out, and I decided to find a flat spot and call it a night. It would be the farthest my truck would go. I pulled my dirt bike out of my truck, pitched my tent, and scarfed down one last slice of ‘za.
Not a bad place to start the day. Photo: Colter Hinchliffe
I slept in – a rare occurrence on these adventures. I planned on skiing the North Face of Lone Cone. The couloir itself that had a big wall that would shade the slope well into the afternoon. Corn o’clock is a fickle and fleeting beast, and too many times I’ve found myself too early or late to actually harvest her bounty. So I chanced it with a late start, departing shortly before sunrise.
I only made it a few miles on my dirtbike before I had to switch to foot power. So, like many of these half-crocked ideas, I soon was hoofing it with all my gear loaded on my back, trudging through the low angle flanks of this volcanic megalith. For what seemed like an eternity, I stumbled around, unable to see the objective. I was navigating off of pure luck and hope. But I’ve made enough wrong turns in my life to trust my instincts, and sure enough, I crested into the basin of my planned ascent route.
Pushing the West Ridge of Lone Cone
I kept moving up the west ridge. I switched from skins to crampons and began directly ascending the ridge, front-pointing most of the climb. The breeze kept things firm, and I was in no hurry; so naturally I took a bunch of selfies with my go-pro. GTS at all costs, am I right?! There’s something enjoyable about being alone in the mountains. I can move at my own pace, chose my own route, listen to music, and waste as much time as I want taking stupid pictures.
I dilly dally’ed my way to the top of the frozen Lone Cone hoping the sun would begin to do its thing, gracing me with soft corn to plunder. But it never did. I dropped into that North facing couloir around noon and skied frozen snow 1500 feet – not exactly the reward I was expecting. The angle finally eased and the snow began to soften for another 500-1000 feet of mellower skiing into the basin that drains the north face.
I followed the basin and followed it and followed it until it ran out of snow. It was only this point I realized how far west I had travelled. I would have to backtrack to my campsite – plus the additional 2 miles to my dirtbike. So I ditched my gear and moved quickly on the road with no weight. At camp, I re-hydrated, switched from ski boots to hiking boots, and jogged up to my dirtbike. By late afternoon I was rambling back down the muddy road with the Lone Cone in my rear view mirror. Satisfied, relieved, and happy that I just went for it.
As for now, it’s 10 PM here in Aspen, and the stars are not shining. In fact, its snowing. It looks like I will be sleeping tonight. But the entirety of #NotOverIt season lies ahead. I am just beginning to feel the inspiration to endure early mornings, long days, and less-than-great snow. I know the inspiration to push onward and upward will come. It always does. I usually just need to see a mountain to light the fire.
How Not Over It are you? Check out the LINE Not Over it Photo Contest on Facebook. Upload a shot of you showcasing how far you’d go to get your summer shred on, and enter to win a pair of LINE Sick Day Tourists!
IDC: Kerrency X Egg
Mountain Command Skiers Shut Down Colorado
Carson Kerr and Peter Koukov teamed up to create a banger edit out in Summit County Colorado. These two Mountain Command Skiers ski aggressively and put down both heavy and creative tricks on their LINE Blends. Tune in and embrace the strange!
Rob’s Rolls 2
Rob Heule has undertaken a new film project this year. The Canadian LINE skier has been dragging around his trusty Canon AE-1 film camera and forgoing the iphone-tography. Instead, Rob has been using his phone as a recording device, logging ambient audio for every corresponding exposure.
The images themselves are crisp, warm, and inviting. And they offer a unique glimpse into Rob’s life. Often times, it seems as though skiers live this fast-paced, intense lifestyle. But with this intimate snapshot of life on the road, Rob offers a more realistic depiction of life on the road.
Click play and escape to a simpler life.
And while you’re at it, check out his first roll HERE
It’s a sunny day in Late February. Teems of tourists and locals alike lounge around the revamped Jackson Hole base area. A local cover band cranks out yacht rock. It’s the ski world’s ideal. Amongst it all sits Hadley Hammer, professional skier and Jackson local, taking in the scene.Jackson has long been at the center of Hadley’s life, and the ease with which she navigates it is apparent.
But it wasn’t always the case. For years, Hadley lived on the east coast, first for college in New Hampshire, and later in Washington, DC. A far cry from rallying classic Teton lines and pushing the frontier of women’s freeskiing, that’s for sure. Skiing was put on the backburner. But like many, that siren song rings loud, and Hadley headed home – and shifted focus towards skiing.
After a stint chasing pow across Europe on the Freeride World Tour, Hadley returned home – and promptly started shooting with Teton Gravity Research. Since then,it’s been game on. Between knocking lines off the ever-expanding tick list, rallying human-powered expeditions in Alaska, and even producing a syndicated podcast, Hadley has carved out a niche for herself within the evolving landscape of skiing.
I feel like I have two lives. I grew up in Jackson, so I still have a few friends from highschool, and my family is still here. But I live in a cabin at the base of TetonVillage. I’ve got my life at the mountain, and then my life in town.
The Community aspect is still here, but it definitely feels like a different place. There’s a new kind of wealth – a different kinds of families are moving in.
But my hobbies are the same as they’ve always been. Climbing, hiking, skiing, camping – I’ve always loved those activities and will continue to. Jackson has all of those things right in our backyard.
I think it’s the best skiing in the US by far. I can’t imagine skiing anywhere else betweentrips. It’s got the best terrain, amazing snow, and the proximity to Teton National Park is insane. You can’t get that in Salt Lake.
Here, it’s just…Game on. There are so many shredders. You’ve essentially got to sprint to the top of the line, and block others from skiing it while cameras line up. It’s hard to keep the logistics of setting up a shot overshadow the actual skiing.
And this year, it’s like a different mountain. There’s just so much snow. I had to take about two weeks off, and then a crazy storm came through and knocked out power for almost a week.
I got gnarly frostbite on my toes while I was taking an Avalanche II/III course. My feet are always cold, so I didn’t think much of it. But by the time I took my boot off, my toes were black. It definitely set me back for a bit.
By the time I could ski again, I was blown away. Expert Chutes were practically a groomer. All the hits I always go to first to get by jumping legs back that are mellow don’t even exist. It’s been crazy.
The kids around here are so fun to ski with, too. I’m not coaching or anything; I just randomly link up with the kids from the program every now and then.
They remind you it’s really not that serious. It’s just about having fun in the mountains. Plus, they make me jump off of stuff I wouldn’t otherwise. They’ll look at hits, and all I’m thinking is, “the landing looks a little flat, and I’m a little older.” But it’s good to tap into that feeling.
I have been focusing on filming around Jackson. We filmed almost every day for a month and a half straight. A lot of those days were super productive.
But we haven’t seen the sun in so long. It keeps everyone out of the higher alpine zones. There are a couple of lines that I still want to get on, but I’ll have to wait for the sun to come back.
I’m splitting my time filming for TGR and the ESPN Real Resort Contest. I had hoped to travel more, but since everything has been so good in Wyoming this year, it’s kind of hard to leave.
There’s this small moment where you stand on top of a face, knowing that you have two minutes to show just how good you really can be on skis. I can’t really swing competing on the Freeride World Tour anymore, but covering the event for Powder allows me to tap into the scene that was so instrumental in my career.
I had 14 hours to make the trip to Alaska happen. I was at the LINE Sring Break 2016, and I got a call from The North Face asking if I could get to AK in two days.
They Just sent me a photo of the face. It’s called Corrugated. I’d never seen anything like it before. It looked insane, but I was down. I didn’t even know if I’d be able to ski ia spine, but I figured there was only one way to find out.
Oh, and we were going to approach by snowmobile and by foot, so there was that, too.
We sat in the RV for 25 days. The weather was awful. But finally, we got a three-day weather window. So we set out on the snowmobiles until we got the point where we had to start touring.
I was straddling a generator in this plastic sled trying to ski across this glacier to set up camp. It was the hardest workout I’ve ever had.
The next day, we got on top of the line, and skied it. If it wasn’t for Sam Anthematten, I don’t think it would have happened.
It was a struggle just to get onto the face. Sam had to dig through this massive cornice. The runnels were super icy, and there was a massive crevasse towards the bottom.
You could see the bottom of the line from the drop-in point. So steep. And I’d never even skied a spine before.
I had been standing up there for almost eight hours before I dropped. I almost backed out. But after all of that effort to get there, I wasn’t going to back off.
You feel the gravity as it pulls you down the face; I’ve never experienced that before. Plus, it was waist deep snow, so it was this really heady experience.
I just tried to survive it. I knew I wasn’t going to rip it. I focused on descending.
It looks so easy to ski spines. You see guys like Ian McIntosh and Sage just rip these fluted spines, but it’s so hard. There’s no way to learn that style of skiing besides actually going to Alaska.
And I’m hooked. It’s all I want to do. Go back to Alaska and really learn what they’re all about.
That process it what skiing is all about: constantly learning. There will always be skills that I want to learn and develop so I can keep doing this.
I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I didn’t come back to Jackson. I did my two years in a city, staring at a computer screen all day.
I lived in Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. I had studied hotel management, and I was offered a job in D.C.
I was so poor — my rent was 1,500 a month — and we got by. We didn’t have AC, we kept the lights off; you know, typical dirtbag existence. I just happened to be in a major city.
Having a business background has helped so much. I know how to navigate discussions; I’ve made a spreadsheet before. It sound silly, but that’s half of it.
Especially to make it in a place like Jackson. It’s so expensive, and I know I can’t ride it out solely off of skiing.
I wanted to have something that was stimulating outside of skiing, so I started the podcast about women in non-traditional sports.
It’s called Nasicaa Cast. Powder picked it up, and now I’m focusing on Women within skiing. There are all of these women crushing it in all aspects of skiing, and I’d like to tell their stories.
Creating that back and forth is pretty difficult without losing that storytelling aspect. I think it’s important to develop these mediums, because you get more of the actual stories.
The Podcast has led to other opportunities, too. I’m going to Europe to cover the Freeride World Tour Finals in Verbier for Powder Magazine.
I’ll head to Chamonix after the competition, which I’m excited about. I love travelling around Europe.The terrain is so fun, and culturally, it’s pretty special.
And I’d like to head south to Argentina or Chile again in the summer time. I’ve gone the past two years for essentially their entire winter.
I feel so thankful that this is my life now, especially since I’veseen the other side. I’ve lived the career track lifestyle. Now, My job is to go skiing, and I live in Jackson. How cool is that?! I couldn’t think of anything better.
Jeff Curry lays it down on the all new Sick Day 88
You Never Saw This…
We’ve never been a brand that accepts the status quo. It’s in our DNA. Always pressing forward, pursuing the illusive, and creating. And this year is no different. We took the LINE Sick Day Series, one of the more decorated lineups in skiing, and thought: how can we make this more fun?
So we went back to the drawing board, and retooled one of our favorite lines of skis. We realized we needed to make them arc better, make them surfier — all in all, we needed to make them…ahem, more funner.
The 2017-2018 Sick Day Series
Let’s start with the specs: this upcoming year, the skis ring in at four different waist widths: 114, 104, 94, and 88. Each Ski features Magic Finger Filaments — carbon stringers running the length of the skis — that add snap and pop to an already stable chassis. Whether you’re rallying hardpack, or pilfering pillows in hero snow, there is a Sick Day for you.
Leo T. Airs Out a Washington Classic. Photo: Mark Erickson
The 114, equipped with our featherweight Partly Cloudy Core, is meant for those days. You know — those days. The days you dream about. The days where the refills are free, and you froth and chomp at the bit. The days where you time gate drops perfectly, and the whiteroom is perpetual. Yeah, those days.
Dylan Siggers Kicks Up Dust on the Sick Day 104. Photo: Nick Nault
Stepping down a bit, we are rolling out the Sick Day 104. This all-mountain, soft snow beast features a more gradual rocker line and a tail that will break loose with ease. But don’t think of this as a slouch on hardpack, either. This everyday quiver of one offers the snappy, good times vibe that won’t overbear or clap out after half a season.
The Sick Day 94 is the nimble, crud-busting every day ski that won’t blow it when an unexpected arctic pulse blankets the hills with a fresh coat. With a quick turn radius and ample camber, you’ll be able to arc and let ‘er buck in all conditions.
Jeff Curry Arcing ‘Em Photo: Dan Brown
We round out the Sick Day family with the Sick Day 88. From east coast gladed cuts to high speed groomers, the 88 will be your everyday weapon of choice. Cut the tails, surf the earth, and rail turns on hardpack; whatever your day may have in store, the Sick Day 88 abides.
Curry Contemplates Yet Another Sick Day. Photo: Dan Brown
Whatever your pleasure, there’s a Sick Day with your name on it. Come fall, which one will you choose?
XGames Real Ski 2017 Is Live!
Forgoing the typical run-based contest, the folks over at ESPN debuted X Games Real Ski last season. The concept was simple: one skier, one filmer, and two months to create a 90 second segment. Whoever produces the best segment wins. Last year, our favorite van-dwelling transient, Will Wesson took home the top spot in 2016, while Tom Wallisch rallied the masses to win the popular vote.
This year, two more LINE skiers were tapped to take a shot at producing the segment of a lifetime: #railgod420 Khai Krepela and burgeoning stunt double LJ Strenio. Four skiers, four different styles and perspectives.
Reigning champ Will Wesson returns to defend his title against some of skiing’s heaviest hitters. Piecing together techy and creative spots with a few massive handrails – and the typical composure we’ve come to expect – Will created a part that oozed style with nuanced technicality.
Tom has never been one to shy away from the larger spots, and this year is no different. Twisting the winch throttle all the way open, Tom drops hammer after hammer with proper style and ease. His segment is marked by heavy spots, banger tricks, and a level of production that only Good Company could produce.
Urban flip ups. Massive handrails. High consequence lines. LJ, in his first XGames Real Ski appearance, redefines what is possible in the streets. With a stunt-oriented mindset, LJ flips, spins, and puts in all on the line in his segment, often times leaving you wondering what on earth you just watched.
Khai is a bit of a darkhorse in this competition, but his segment leaves no doubt: he deserves a seat at the table. With inverted wallrides, high consequence features, and arguably the most articulated ankles in the game, the Park City native makes a statement in classic form.
Which one segment is your favorite? Head over to xgames.com/realski to log your vote!
Everyone’s favorite Canadian, Rob Heule dropped off the radar for the month of January. We couldn’t track him down, and his social channels were suspiciously quiet. However, Rob hadn’t exactly checked out; he was just doing typical Canadian things with his trusty SLR and a few rolls of film.
Between long tours in the mountains, soulful river surfing sessions, and the occasional laid-out backie, Rob Heule’s latest project, Rob’s Rolls, offers an experiential multi-media glimpse into life north of the border. Each image in the immersive slideshow — shot entirely on 35 mm film — is accompanied by audio recorded at the time of exposure.
Look for new episodes of Rob’s Rolls throughout the season!
“Tasty little inbounds XXX treat”
Jackson Hole Snow Day w/ Daniel Tisi
With an unexpected — and practically unprecedented — school closure in Teton County, Jackson Hole young gun Daniel Tisi strapped up and ticked off some Village classics on his trusty LINE Mordecais.
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