After almost a year, we’re back with more winter content!
During the hiatus, lots has happened. Ryan Denning Creative has turned into a much more serious business venture over the last 9 months and wedding films have taken up the vast majority of my time. Being able to celebrate and spend time with a couple on one of the most important days of their life is so special and being able to hand them a personalized wedding film from our cameras after it’s over is even more rewarding.
Please have a look at the video gallery over on ryandenning.com, as a team we appreciate it!
Back to skiing…..we’ve been doing that too, in between building wedding films and selling them. It’s been a pretty special year here on the East Coast. Driving through Seacoast towns, snowbanks are as big as I’ve ever seen them. It’s been snowy up North but they haven’t had the blowout winter we’ve had down here. Still, I think I may be having one of the best ski seasons of my short ski career. Not only because of the snowpack but because of the new terrain we’ve stumbled on. In the past we’ve skied a lot at Bolton, this year it seems the ski touring wave has started to encroach upon our go-to spots. That’s a sore subject for sure, but I’ve spent the last 6 years telling everyone who will listen about Bolton and I can’t be bitter that there are a few extra tracks in my favorite spot. The Mountain has gone through multiple ownerships and long-term closures in recent memory and seeing it full of people, with a lift line (crazy IK) is phenomenal and I can’t be anything but happy for the team up there. Everyone works so hard to keep it together with such passion for winter, Vermont and the little village at the top of the hill. Thanks to Josh, Quinn, Jason, and all my friends who make Bolton what it is. I’d also like to publicly thank ‘T.O.G.’, Bill W., C.H., G.L. and whoever else pioneered the terrain we’ve been skiing for the last 6 years. I can’t forget Liz, my cousin, for introducing me to Bolton in the first place.
The expanding ski touring market has brought guided introductory groups to the area and rather than a couple journeying splitboarders stumbling upon the terrain, the groups shred the place out in a single run. This is tough to swallow, but again – great for business and in the end it makes me smile to think about the look on their face when they ski it for the first time. These factors have inspired me to look elsewhere though, it’s been a blessing without a doubt and I can’t wait to publish the film at the end of the season with all of our exploration and shenanigans. Keep your eyes out, and enjoy the mental spring we’re about to have.
I will add, for good measure to anyone who is reading: Some things just need to remain a secret. If you have to think about it, please find other places to bring your intro/guided ski groups. I’m likely the friendliest of the people who ski the terrain at hand here.
What a ride it’s been.
So grateful to have a patient touring crew for Tuesday, -10 degrees and not a single complaint all day from anyone. We checked out an old zone that I haven’t ventured into this season and it paid off pretty well. Bolton was reporting like 10″ since the weekend started but it seems as though this East aspect we were skiing (Bolton being West) had atleast another 4-5″. Our crew consisted of John Howland, Sam Chalek, Ryan Kinner and a wonderful new addition – Morgan Marzo. Enjoy!
January 23, 2014 | Categories: Bolton, Snow Related | Tags: alpine live media, alpine-live, alpinelive, backcountry, bolton, Bolton Valley, east coast, january 21 2014, Powder, powder skiing, Ski Touring, Skiing, Snowboarding, vermont, VT | Leave a comment
A look back at a wonderful sunny day last season in Vermont.
Finally! What a release.
After a long, flat, ordinary summer and a dismal hurricane season (so far?), we’ve received a welcomed autumn swell. The small Easterly swell direction and funky tide made for wobbly and sometimes walled out conditions in many of our favorite spots. Alternatively, it lit up some not-so-frequented spots along the coast that accept the E swell exclusively. Regardless, I spent most of the morning Tuesday doing the run around bullshit. The ‘is it better over there?’ complex.
I face this conflict all the time when we go skiing. I ski at Bolton enough to know what spots will be poached first and which spots don’t see much traffic. The conflict often arises on powder days, evaluating the risk/reward for going to spot A on first chair vs. spot B or C? The classic maneuver is leaving your super secret stash for later in the day because you’re confident no one’s going to poach it. It’s more practical to ski out the more popular and usually better/steeper/deeper terrain until it’s tracked out.
Short but semi-relative tangent – My brother used to tell me that when he arrived in Bozeman, MT in 2007 and got his first season pass to Bridger, The Ridge terrain was preserved until the afternoon. Skiers wouldn’t hike The Ridge from first chair, primarily because everyone was under the ‘code’ that inbounds terrain was first to get tracked out and when it’s done, then everyone can pillage the ridge. This was well before the Slushman’s backcountry access lift was put in.
You’d think that a new lift put in place to turn previously out of bounds terrain into new resort sidecountry might help to spread skiers out but instead it seemed to just add more chaos, and with the chaos came the cave-in and relinquishment of the ‘code’. It’s difficult to draw a parallel here and I guess there’s really no way to compare the two sports in this manner.
…..BUT if there ever was a similar code in surfing, the last bit of the foundation caved in when the first stand up paddled into a wave.
Crowds aside, most of the time these small one day swell windows make for crunch time decisions on the high tide. My solution is simple, and probably common:
Follow the speed limit and scope every friggin spot in question.
At the least get some recon from a friend. As annoying and unnecessary as it may sound, I can relax knowing I made the best possible decision. Additionally, for as long as I can remember I haven’t had to endure any ‘Oh man, you should have been there’.
I’m sure everyone scored on this last swell. It looked like there were good waves at every spot I passed but for me, in the end it’s about the adventure and maximizing the potential of the day, the lighting, the subject or the equipment and it’s also about producing an image I’m happy and confident showing to other people. Unfortunately for me, these photos just don’t come from simply driving down to Rye and clicking the shutter.
The photographer has the ability to reference the images and prove that the team has made the best decision, in the case that they did make the best decision. Unfortunately Matt and I didn’t win on any images Tuesday, we didn’t even come close – but it’s good to work the rust out, remind the surfer of his weaknesses (just kidding, not his flailing arms) and explore new spots that we’ve never seen break.
DAMNNN it feels good to be shooting at the ocean again.
A little all over the place on today’s blog – it’s been a while since I posted anything and I may be in a state of seasonal confusion.
October 3, 2013 | Categories: Bolton, Surf Photos, Surf Related | Tags: alpine live, Alpine-live.com, alpinelive, bolton, Bolton Valley, Bozeman, bozeman montana, Bridger Bowl, bridget bowl, east coast, hurricane forecasting, hurricane swell, new england surf, new hampshire surf, ryan denning photography, Skiing, slushman's, slushman's lift, surf photography, surf photos | Leave a comment
Spring is here and there’s been some nice weather down on the Seacoast. The skatepark is dry, there’s been some trace of surf the last few days and the sunsets have been gorgeous. I think it actually hit 60 the other day but it’s still Winter up in Vermont. Stowe is reporting 7-12″ in the last 48 hours! It’s going to be an awesome spring up there for sure – the resorts close down pretty soon but it’ll be prime for spring touring. There are deals galore if you’re looking for a touring setup, this is the time of year to shop.
On another note, I started a new website for my own personal work – check it out at www.ryandenning.com
April 3, 2013 | Categories: Bolton, Skate, Surf Photos, Surf Related | Tags: alpine live, alpine-live, Alpine-live.com, alpinelive, Bolton Valley, forecast, landscape, landscapes, new hampshire, new hampshire surf, new hampshire surfing, Powder, powder skiing, rye harbor, rye harbor new hampshire, rye harbor nh, seacoast, Skateboarding, Skiing, Snowboarding, Stowe, stowe mountain, surf, surf forecast, surf photos, surfing, vermont, VT, weather, winter surfing | 4 Comments
Conditions were all time & the goods…were great! Still reliving the powder filled weekend up north with the boys, cold IPA’s & close to 14 inches of fresh snow. I spent a while on this one, but stoked on how it turned out. In the words of the great Kenny Powers… “I’m going to Shaboom’s!”
Also, here are the rest of the photos from the best day of the season.
Thanks again to Bolton Patrol, Brett and Jenny Walker, Jason Plouffe, Luke Ingram, Nick Wilkins, Drew & Ryan Flynn.
With winter rapidly approaching & all this crazy hurricane weather lately, got me thinking thinking back to last winter and the absurd amount of snow that fell in the North East. I was lucky enough to get invited up to my good friend Eric’s camp, in Rangeley, ME – that was absolutely amazing. Views of Rangeley Lake right off the back deck & thousands of miles of trail to ride just outside the front door. Definitely one of the highlights of the winter – can’t wait for round two this season!
My favorite place in the Northern kingdom. There is loads of steeper terrain elsewhere in Northern VT but this place just has the perfect vibe. Back in early March they got pounded with snowstorm after snowstorm, the season total was just over 330″. This was one of my best days this season, or of all time for that matter…. (a season which also included a 22 day trip to Montana and Wyoming)
I’ll dedicate this one to the employees at Bolton and all they’ve done to preserve the wonderful tree skiing the mountain provides us season after season. Thanks guys!