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.
Rob Brown and I spent our Vulcan at Saddleback, Maine. It was a great day to explore Saddleback, this was my first time up there and we practically had the place to ourselves. The drive up on Wednesday night was a bit treacherous, we were almost sidelined by a logging truck (or two) and we saw a bit of carnage on Route 4, particularly on the hills. We saw one state plow sliding down a hill sideways, scary. Thanks to Rob’s buddy Eric, we had an outstanding lodge to stay at for the evening in Rangely. The morning came around and we checked the STE Weather page for snow totals – lots of snow across the board, Saddleback was reporting almost two feet. I think we got on the 4th or 5th double chair, when they let the first double on there were like 15 people lined up. We headed straight for Casablanca and it was deep, it’s not often I get to ski on my 195 Praxis Pow Boards but this was the day.
Myself, my brother and Rob Brown went up to Camel’s Hump yesterday to see how VT fared with Vulcan. Right from the parking lot we realized the snow had gotten really wet and dense the night before and it was going to be a challenge. Although the new snow depth seemed to be much deeper than what we had seen in Maine – the quality had gone to sh*t. The wet snow and my old touring setup didn’t work well – after 4 years of hard touring, my tired Naxo bindings broke at the toe piece, just like everyone told me they would. Skiing back down on 1 ski was a challenge, but a good workout. I’ll chalk Camel’s up as a cardio mission. It sounds like another 8″ fell in places last night and the rest of the week is supposed to stay cold. Spring temps are here and skiing is as good as it’s been all season, eventually we’ll have some stabilization of snowpack on George and we can get our annual pilgrimage underway.
Fail on pictures.
A look back at a wonderful sunny day last season in Vermont.
Last night at one of my favourite places in the world (I realize I say that a lot – this one for real though)
April 26, 2013 | Categories: Storm Chasing, Surf Photos, Surf Related | Tags: alpine live, alpine-live, Alpine-live.com, new hampshire, new hampshire surf, new hampshire surfing, surf, surf photos, surfing | 1 Comment
Wednesday was amazing, lowest water content I’ve skied all season. Last year we had an epic 30″ dump of pure blower powder and Wed. was almost as good. I headed up early and met up with John Howland and Dane Weister, Wilderness and Timberline were both closed for the day so we had plenty of prime terrain for shooting. Four hikes later and a full memory card I found myself cruising home with some serious wind burn and a perma-grin. Enjoy the photos and get your butts up to the mountains this weekend.
March 22, 2013 | Categories: Snow Photos, Storm Chasing | Tags: alpine live, Alpine-live.com, alpinelive, bolton, Bolton Valley, east coast, new england, Powder, powder skiing, ski, Skiing, Snowboarding, vermont, vermont powder, VT, vt skiing, weather | Leave a comment
Well, it happened. Nemo is gone, having left over 2′ of snow across much of New England. I read about this storm all week and started to make a plan of attack for the weekend. Ryan Dunfee and I agreed somewhere in Central NH would be our best bet. As the storm drew nearer, we decided a night session at Crotched would be a good way to get things going. They ended up closing at 9pm instead of the normal 3am because of the high winds and deteriorating driving conditions. We ended up staying in a local B&B just off the mountain which was an amazing break from the 40 mph sustained winds outside. When the morning came around, the report was saying 26″ of new snow in the last 24 hours. We kept our options open so that if another resort in the region had gotten more snow, we could take off early in the AM but the decision was made to stick around. The drive to Ragged (reporting very similar snowfall) would take too long and we really had enjoyed ourselves the night before. We arrived to beautiful, low water content powder and a very empty ski hill.
After shooting all morning with Ryan while Max did some scenic photography, Ryan went in for a break. Max and I went out for a few turns before we headed back to the Seacoast and that’s when the trip turned a bit sour. Max landed pretty hard on a rock and blew out his knee. Ski Patrol was called (thanks to the party of skiers who went down to inform them) and we waited. Max seemed comfortable but it quickly became apparent that he would have to be taken down by sled. Turns out, it’s not his first ski patrol sled ride. Ski
Patrol arrived with the sled and helped Max down to the bottom. Thankfully, after four years of carrying these orange Voile ski straps around with me, I had a functional and semi-emergency use for them – I tied up his skis as well as both sets of poles and we headed down.
At the bottom we reorganized to headed back to the Seacoast, one man down. Special thanks to Jane, Geoff, Isaac and the other helpful Ski Patrol at Crotched, truly professionals. Also a thanks to John at the Crotched Mountain Inn, if you’re ever looking for a B&B in the area – this is the place to go. Hopefully Max’s MRI went well this morning and he can get back to shredding. Max is an extremely talented skier and photographer. Take a look at his work.
Mr. Dunfee has a wonderful piece up on powdermag.com that chronicles our adventures and includes some of my shots, have a look.
The calm before the storm.
February 12, 2013 | Categories: Snow Photos, Snow Related, Storm Chasing | Tags: crotched mountain, crotched mountain inn, max santeusanio, nemo, nemo 2013, nemo2013, powder magazine, powdermag.com, ragged mountain, ryan dunfee, ski patrol | Leave a comment
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.
This past Sunday I headed up to Bolton Valley once again, this time with my longtime friend Ryan Flynn. We suited up in the balmy 0 degree weather, we packed up our now slushy PBR’s & started the trek upwards. We crushed the skin to the view in about 40 minutes thanks to Ryan’s pace. Our mission was mainly recon, to scope lines for the next storm, although we’re not holding our breath. The turns were great, but after being plagued by slipping skins and a looming 3 hour drive home – we made the most of our last decent and headed south.
I spent the last couple days up at Cannon Mountain helping teach some kids from Belfast, Ireland how to crush it like a local. The basics were covered: callouts, pole whacking, radness yells, etc.